Community sport in Coventry has received a huge boost following the successful, and on-going, delivery of activity at two community sport sites around the city by Sky Blues in the Community. The community arm of Coventry City FC were able to deliver sessions after securing a grant worth £23,850 from Barclays Spaces for Sports.
Sports sessions and comprehensive training programmes for volunteers are being offered by Sky Blues in the Community at the Active Meadowlands, Barras Heath and Eagle Street multi-use games areas, all of which were built with Barclays Spaces for Sports (BS4S) development grants.
The sustainability funding Sky Blues in the Community is part of a UK-wide sustainability plan instigated by BS4S and the Football Foundation in 2011, demonstrating Barclays commitment to ensuring all of its 200 community sports sites across the UK have a long-term future and remain manageable for local volunteers and authorities to run.
BS4S uses sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities and tackle key social issues by helping young people develop a range of life skills. It is part of Barclays community investment programme and the wider Citizenship agenda. Since 2004 BS4S has built 200 community sports sites in the UK, in partnership with the Football Foundation, and now funds 13 sport for development programmes around the world.
This new funding for Sky Blues in the Community follows a previous BS4S grant worth £60,000 that was given to Groundwork West Midlands in 2006 to deliver sports activities across the three popular BS4S funded multi-use games areas. In 2008 the Active Meadowlands multi-use games area won the BBC Power of Sport award for the work delivered at the site engaging local rival gang members. This was linked to a 60% reduction in crime in the local area.
Based at the Ricoh Arena, Sky Blues in the Community is a registered charity which delivers community initiatives on behalf of Coventry City FC to over 10,000 people every year across Coventry and Warwickshire.
David Busst, Head of Sky Blues in the Community, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this grant from Barclays Spaces for Sports. This funding will contribute to us being able to deliver activities in the heart of the communities who need it most for the next three years.
“Our project aims to harness the passion and enthusiasm for sport which will undoubtedly be generated both nationally and locally as a result of the Olympic Games. Not only will we be offering sports activities in the community on a Friday and Saturday night with our partners, Sporting Futures, we will also be working with a host of other local partners to promote leadership and volunteering opportunities.
“We hear the word ‘legacy’ a lot at the moment and this grant will really allow us to promote a local legacy as a result of significant investment from Barclays Spaces for Sports.”
The partnership between Barclays and the Football Foundation sees one of the largest corporate banks in the world joining forces with the nation’s largest sports charity to help provide opportunities for communities to engage, learn and develop through sport.