During the February half term school holidays, Sky Blues in the Community launched their new project 'One Coventry', with under 16 and under 18 6-a-side football tournaments at Goals.
The new project, which is funded by the Home Office as part of the ‘Building a Stronger Britain Together’ campaign, aims to build community cohesion across Coventry by providing inclusive sports sessions for young people aged 13 – 18.
In addition, SBitC will be delivering educational workshops around British Values and two leadership programs. The Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSBT) programme supports civil society and community organisations who work to create more resilient communities, stand up to extremism in all its forms and offer vulnerable individuals a positive alternative, regardless of race, faith, sexuality, age and gender.
The programme allows organisations that share these aims to bid for in-kind support and grant funding for specific programmes that deliver goals set out in the Counter Extremism Strategy. All our sessions and events are free to participate in, beginning this month. Young people engaging in the sessions will be introduced to various communities with their common interest.
The tournament engaged 90 young people from 11 wards across in Coventry; Henley, Radford, Upper Stoke, Lower Stoke, Holbrook, Foleshill, St Michael’s, Longford, Whoberley, Binley and Willenhall and Wyken. Additionally, players identified with a mix of ethnicities and religious beliefs. As well as playing competitive football in an inclusive environment, the young people were able to socialize and communicate during rest periods.
Throughout the day there was positive sportsmanship during the games, with the winning team each receiving a JD Sports voucher. All young people that attended received information on the projects weekly football and basketball sessions that will be running across the city throughout the year.
SBITC Inclusion Officer, Laura Wilson said; “The tournament was a great start to the One Coventry project, with 90 young people from various communities, ethnic backgrounds and religions playing together. It showed us that football can really break down community segregation.
"We constantly hear negative messages of gangs and violence amongst groups of young people in Coventry, this project is working towards creating community cohesion and giving young people an opportunity to tackle the stigma.
"All the sessions and workshops will be tailored to the needs and interests of our young people through sport, there will also be workshops delivered in schools and community settings. We are delighted with the start to this project and endeavor for continued success throughout the year.”
To find out more information please contact, Sky Blues in the Community Inclusion Officer, Laura Wilson, via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: 024 7678 6349.