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University Of Hull Aims To Transform Lives in Scarborough with New Sports Partnership

The University of Hull is investing in an ambitious new five-year partnership with two grassroots sport clubs in Scarborough to help raise the aspirations of young people and adults in the area and transform their future prospects.

More than £60,000 is being invested by the University in the initiative which will enable both clubs to upgrade their facilities and increase their capacity so more people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds can access transformative sport experiences.

Under the partnership, Dexter’s Surf School will use the money to expand its changing facilities and increase its provision while the Desapline Martial Artsschool will move to a new, bigger dojo in the town.

To celebrate the launch, everyone is being invited to join a free activity-filled open day on Saturday, April 13, at the North Bay Piazza.

The University of Hull, through its North Yorkshire Partnership Hub, has worked with these clubs for some time as part of the successful Scarborough & North Yorkshire Children’s University programme, which aims to encourage young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to participate in out of school clubs and activities. 

The aim of the programme is to raise aspirations and boost self-esteem which is proven to have a positive impact on what children go onto achieve in their education and lives beyond. 

Members of the clubs will be able to access sports facilities at both clubs and will also be able to participate in a range of events and workshops at the University campus in Hull.

Dexter’s, which is owned and run by local businessman Luke Austin, began surf lessons for children and adults back in 2012. Today, they also provide equipment and run activities including SUP and Kayak Tours and Jet Ski Safaris. 

Established in 2014 by Andy Desa, a martial arts professional of 37 years and holder of 10 world and 187 European titles, Desapline Martial Arts has more than 250 local members, ranging from 2 years old to more than 70. 

Deborah Green, director of widening participation at the University of Hull, says: 


“We believe this partnership will transform the lives of the clubs’ members. Participation in sport can have a huge impact on aspirations and we want to make sure everyone in Scarborough and the surrounding area can achieve their full potential.

“This five-year investment could have far-reaching positive consequences for hundreds of families and further cements the University of Hull’s commitment to Scarborough.

“Programmes like these are an integral part of our new partnership with Team GB and our commitment to make sure that everybody can find their extraordinary.”

The event on Saturday 13thApril will run from 1pm and will include demonstrations from both clubs, free “give it a go” sessions with the professional club staff, including kick-boxing, self-defence, surfing and paddle boarding. From 3pm, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Waves of Waste group will be hosting a collaborative beach clean with University students which families can join and you will be able to find out more about the partnership and what the clubs have to offer.

For further information, please contact Catherine Mason on 01723 383883 or


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