St. John Vianney Primary School took part in a coaching session as part of the 'Gifted and Talented' project...
England Under 21s Manager Gareth Southgate was on hand to watch Sky Blues in the Community coaches deliver a session to local pupils at the Ricoh Arena on Thursday.
Former England international Southgate was at the stadium announcing his squad for the forthcoming UEFA Under 21 Euro 2017 qualifier against Kazakhstan.
Sky Blues in the Community invited pupils from St John Vianney Primary School in Coventry to the Ricoh to take part in a coaching session as part of the ‘Gifted and Talented’ project.
The Premier League-funded scheme sees Sky Blues coaches offering free PE sessions to schools across Coventry and Warwickshire, working with Key Stage 1 pupils. Those pupils identified as having potential are then invited to after school clubs, where exit routes including the Sky Blues Development Centres, or potentially the Coventry City Academy.
Last year the community team worked with 32 local schools on the project, with over 3,650 children taking part. The scheme has now entered its second year, with over 700 pupils already benefiting since the start of September.
Gareth Southgate – the former Head of Elite Development at the FA, was interested to find out more about the project and came to Community Director Guy Rippon said: "Gareth obviously has an interest in the pathway for young players and it was great to be able to talk to him about our Gifted and Talented project.
"The links we have with the schools and then in to our development centres or the Academy provides a really good talent framework for the club. The Academy itself obviously has a fantastic record with bringing players through to the first team, and there are already a number of young players currently at the club performing well who are on his radar."
For more information about the Gifted and Talented project, you can contact the Sky Blues in the Community team on 024 7678 6349.