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Together We’re Stronger – VANRATH Active Lifestyle Programme Launched

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8th Mar 2023

Queen’s Sport are delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with market-leading consultancy and recruitment firm VANRATH.

The new partnership sees VANRATH become official sponsors of our annual Active Lifestyle Programme.

Designed to be fun, inclusive and accessible for students of all abilities the VANRATH Active Lifestyle Programme provides options to try out and get involved in the many sporting opportunities on offer at Queen’s. VANRATH and Queen’s Sport are both committed to the same aim of helping our students strive for success in both their studies and future careers and both know the value of sport in achieving this.

Speaking at today’s official launch, VANRATH Managing Director Barbara McKiernan, recognised the significance of sport when it comes to employability: “Employers are increasingly looking at extra-curricular activities that students have taken part in, alongside their degree programmes. Sport helps develop many of the softer skills that are so important in today’s workplace.”

Recognising the significance of the launch of the partnership taking place on International Women’s day, Barbara went on to say: “Given the desire to increase sporting and recreational activity levels amongst female students, we are particularly pleased to be launching the VANRATH Active Lifestyles programme on International Women’s Day.”

Supporting and encouraging young women to take part in sport is also a key element of the programme as explained by Queen’s Sport Participation and Wellbeing Manager Kevin Murray: “Physical inactivity is a major public health concern, and we know that many female students, in particular, do not take enough exercise to stay healthy. The VANRATH Active Lifestyle initiative provides a supportive environment and a programme that creates opportunities to have fun and make new friends. It’s a great way of making the most of the student experience and being part of campus life at Queen’s.”

Rossita MacLean, Founder and President of Women in STEM at Queen’s (WiStem QUB) welcomed the huge benefits of recreational activities especially for female students: “WiStem supports young women as they strive for academic excellence in STEM subjects, but we are equally committed to ensuring that they have an excellent student experience and take advantage of all the sporting and recreational activities that the University has on offer. I thoroughly recommend the VANRATH Active Lifestyle Programme for the benefits it brings in terms of physical health and mental wellbeing and I would encourage our female students to take part in some of the many activities and sports on offer.”

Both Student Sport Ireland (SSI) and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) have pointed to the need to increase levels of sporting activity amongst female students with SSI reporting that 39% of female students surveyed acknowledging that their activity levels were inadequate.  Both bodies also acknowledge that sport and recreational activity have an important impact on mental health and wellbeing with reduction in stress levels, increased happiness and increased life satisfaction commonly reported.

Kevin Murray also welcomed the fact that the launch of the VANRATH Active Lifestyle programme coincides with this year’s QUBeWell University Wellbeing Week and encouraged staff and students to get involved: Inspired by its theme, “Never feel alone with your mental health”, QUBeWell is a full week of events taking place from Thursday 2 March to Thursday 9 March.