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NEWS: Coventry City to celebrate work of Sky Blues in the Community staff and volunteers this Saturday!

9 September 2021

Coventry City will be celebrating the work of Sky Blues in the Community, its staff and volunteers at this Saturday's home game against Middlesbrough.

Sky Blues in the Community are the official charity of Coventry City Football Club, aspiring to make positive impacts across all areas of our community through sport, health, inclusion and education.

On Saturday we want to recognise and celebrate SBitC's staff for all the hard work, dedication and passion they have shown through what has been a very challenging time over the last year.

Staff and volunteers will be parading the pitch at half-time when fans can show their appreciation, with videos informing fans of the work that they have got up to this year playing on the big screen at the same time.

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Let’s give you a run through of what Sky Blues in the Community been up to so far this year across our different departments...

Health We launched our new Men’s Mental Health Project ‘MENtalk’ in the spring. SBitC secured £371,000 of funding from The National Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme to deliver its mental health programme, MENtalk. SBitC are one of the few football community schemes nationally to have received an award of this size from The National Lottery which is a tribute to their track record in innovative community work.

The programme has had great success already, but don’t just take our word for it, here’s what a couple of our participants said:

“Joining the programme gave me confidence to meet other people, to talk out, show my feelings and emotions, get things off my chest and has enabled me to come off my medication”.

“Highly recommend it, it is no exaggeration a life safer”.

As well as this new fantastic initiative starting up in the spring, we have also had an expansion in our Walking Football project, gaining two new locations in Rugby and Warwick, totalling eight Social Football sessions across the Midlands.

 

Sports During June we held our yearly Player Development Centre trials which saw an amazing ‘469’ new players register! We have also held holiday camps through easter, Whitsun week and not forgetting our busy summer of HAF (Holiday Activities and Food).

Our HAF programme ran for five consecutive weeks across six different locations in Coventry, seeing the children take part in numerous activities such as, tennis, archery, arts and crafts, football, healthy eating education workshops, fruit kebab making and much, much more! A parent of one of our HAF campers commented:

“I do not know what I would have done during the summer without the Sky Blues HAF programme. My children are now more aware of the importance of healthy eating and lifestyle. As well as being more physically active.”

As well providing a safe environment where children can learn, be active and thrive this summer, we also made it a priority that every child ate well every day they were with us and also took food packages home on a Friday to provide meals at the weekend for themselves and their family. In total we provided over 3700 meals throughout this summer's programme.

From the 21st April – 14th July we also took part in the Flame of Friendship. An original torch from the 1948 Olympic Games was taken between 54 participating schools completing the relay, with the idea to connect communities and show an Olympic spirit of friendship across Coventry.

 

Inclusion Premier League Kicks (PL Kicks) is one of the Premier League’s flagship community programmes, funded through the Premier League Charitable Fund.

Offering young people aged 8 – 19 to participate across Coventry in a wide variety of sports, educational and personal workshops. So far this year we have engaged with over 700 PL Kicks participants.

We had fed over 170 children on our holiday hunger camps and engaged with 70+ young people in our disability schools. Here’s what one of our disability participant parents said:

“She really enjoys it, it gives her a night out, she gets to meet new people, she’s getting fitter, she really enjoys the football, it’s great!”.

 

Education For 2021 we’ve seen 1856 volunteer hours for young people delivering various social action projects – helping to raise money and rebuild our local communities.

We saw 30+ young people attend our open trials this spring for our Football Education Programme – in partnership with Coventry College.

Designed for 16-17-year-olds, NCS (National Citizenship Service) is an inclusive programme that helps young people get the skills, experience and self-belief they need to achieve their potential - and smash their future goals. NCS aims to make a life-changing difference to young people and how they approach life after school. We had over 45 graduates for our Summer NCS programme this year! This is what one of our participants thought of the programme:

“Sky Blues in the Community has helped me gain confidence and meet new friends by being in the course with NCS”.

 

We would say that’s a pretty successful year so far, wouldn’t you? So, if you see our team walking around the pitch at half time on Saturday give them a cheer and wave – they deserve it!

Our aims surround engaging all walks of life in physical activity by providing fun, safe and enjoyable environments for all ages and abilities. We pride ourselves in our ability to deliver accessible and high standard activities whilst facilitating and adapting to the needs of the community.

We have a passionate and dedicated team working endlessly to make a difference in our community and through the use of sport we hope to succeed in changing the lives of people who deserve it most.

If you have any questions or queries regarding any of our sessions/departments mentioned above, please get in touch. 

Call: 02476 786 349 or Email: sbitc@sbitc.org.uk


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