Pompey match saw the official launch of the Sky Blues in the Community Kickz Project.
Coventry City became the 44th professional football club to deliver the Kickz Programme, which uses the power of the football brand to engage young people aged 13-19 in positive activities.
Young people from Upper Stoke and surrounding areas are now able to benefit from free activity sessions three times a week as part of the project delivered by Sky Blues in the Community.
The project which began this summer is run at the Goals Soccer Centre in Upper Stoke. Coventry City Kickz offers football sessions twice a week every Tuesday and Friday from 6pm – 9pm. A further night of alternative activities at the centre runs every Thursday from 6pm – 7.30pm which includes other sports, dance, music and personal development and leadership opportunities.
Nationally funded by the Premier League via the Premier League Charitable Fund, the Kickz project is currently running at 45 Premier League and Football League clubs across the country. The programme has successfully engaged over 64,000 young people since it began in 2006 and a further 6,400 volunteers across the country. Coventry City became the 44th club, joining West Midlands rivals Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolves in delivering the project.
Saturday’s official launch at the Portsmouth game saw young people from the Portsmouth Kickz project visiting Coventry to play in a football tournament before the Npower League One fixture, playing against the Sky Blues youngsters, as well as a West Midlands Police side.
Chief Inspector Tim Metcalf from West Midlands Police joined Sky Blues in the Community staff, representatives from the Premier League and young people involved in the project on the pitch before the game to officially launch the scheme, before players from the Coventry City and Portsmouth Kickz projects took part in a half-time penalty shootout.
To date the Coventry City Kickz project has had over 130 different young people attending, with over 100 13-19 year olds regularly participating in the Friday night sessions.
Cllr Phil Townshend, Cabinet member for Equalities and Community Safety said, "I'm thrilled that Sky Blues in the Community have been awarded this grant for a Kickz project. It's clear that the money will be put to good use to create engaging and diversionary activities for young people, helping them to gain confidence, discover their gifts and realise their potential as responsible citizens of Coventry"
David Busst, Joint Head of Sky Blues in the Community added, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this support and recognition from the Premier League. Kickz is probably the highest profile community initiative run at football clubs up and down the country and we have worked very closely with the Premier League and the Active Communities Network over the last 12 months to get to this point. We have a fantastic network of local partners who we know will be fully supportive in really making the Coventry Kickz project a resounding success.”
Claire Bell, Superintendent, Local Policing, Coventry, West Midlands Police said, "The police in Coventry are delighted that the City has been able to secure a Kickz project locally. It will give young people a structured programme with meaningful activities, offering them the opportunity to stay active, gain qualifications and learn new skills. We are delighted to be working with the Community Safety Partnership and Football Club".
For more information on the Coventry City Kickz please contact Craig White on 024 7678 6313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org