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"I could have been a swimmer but I was spotted, played football once and never stopped since." - Coventry City's Reda Johnson

8 January 2015

The City defender attended the Premier League Kicks event at the Futsal Centre in Birmingham to support the City team...

Coventry City defender Reda Johnson has revealed he could have been a swimmer if it wasn't for his friends’ Dad, speaking at the Premier League Kicks event.

The 26-year old defender was representing the Sky Blues, along with Chief Executive Steve Waggott, at the Premier League Kicks event at the Futsal Centre in Handsworth, Birmingham which was organised to celebrate the success of the scheme.

Coventry City is one of five Midlands clubs which has received funding since September 2013 to help engage young people with football across the West Midlands.

Sky Blues in the Community have run their programme since 2012 and in the last four months, over 500 young people from Coventry have participated in the Premier League Kicks scheme.

Johnson, who was voted the Football League Community Player of the Year for 2014, has praised the programme and the coaches who dedicate their time to helping young people.

The City defender said: "It is a great event and it's been great to come down and see the work the Sky Blues in the Community are helping carry out.

"It's been nice to meet the Coventry City Kicks team and they've just beat Aston Villa which is always good. They seem very happy with that result.

"You always have to give credit to the coaches as well. If it wasn't for them, they wouldn't be able to come down here.

"When I was young, I was actually a swimmer. I went to the park and one of my friends’ Dad spotted me and ask me to play in his team. I did it once and I haven’t stopped playing football since!"

The Coventry City Kicks team recorded impressive victories over Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the event watched by their coaches Ali Myton, Craig White and Joe Frith, a West Midlands Police officer who volunteers with the team.

Guy Rippon, SBitC Director, has praised the scheme and believes the Sky Blues in the Community has continued to go from strength to strength this year.

He said: "It has been a great event to celebrate the partnership between the five clubs and the West Midlands Police, Sport England and Premier League Kicks.

"Our involvement in the scheme has continued to grow and we have regularly have over 120 people attend our Kicks events. We run seven sessions a week in three different areas of Coventry. 

"Sky Blues in the Community are now delivering more projects than ever before and we’re always starting up new projects. We run a range of programmes across the board to make sure Coventry City is in the community."

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