Spelman College aims to keep fit after ending team sport

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Sports have long been an important part of college life in the US, with resources and attention showered on a few elite athletes.

Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia may not be an NCAA powerhouse like Duke, Notre Dame and the University of Alabama. But its million-dollar budget has always been focused on a tiny minority of students playing a few competitive sports.

Until now. Facing a search for a new conference in which its teams could compete against other colleges in the region, Spelman opted instead to cancel its entire sports programme from the 2013-14 season.

The historically black women's college says it will use the money to provide facilities and classes that improve the fitness and nutrition of all of its 2,100 students.

The college's president Beverly Daniel Tatum told the BBC that African-American women are among the least healthy demographic groups in the US, with high rates of obesity and type two diabetes. She hopes the wellness programme will improve her students' lives in the long term.

Produced by the BBC's Kate Dailey, Pete Murtaugh, and David Botti

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