Coventry Sports Network

Sky Blues in the Community Gets £201,604 Sport England Boost

A Coventry sports project set up by Sky Blues in the Community to get more teenage girls and women active has been awarded £201,604 by Sport England.

The “In it Together” project will provide a range of free activity and fitness opportunities for women at a number of community centres across Coventry. The Sky Blues in the Community team will also be working with secondary schools across the city to offer extra-curricular sessions to young women aged 14 plus, encouraging a more active lifestyle amongst females across the city.

The aim of In it Together is to provide fitness and activity in an informal way, with no commitment or costs for those involved. In turn this will allow groups of women to get active together and to have fun doing it, sharing their stories and experiences through social media, whilst encouraging each other along the way.

The project has been made possible with funding also provided through Coventry City Council’s Public Health Department, who have allocated £38,000 towards the scheme, which will see the activities delivered for the next three years.

Sky Blues in the Community Health Coordinator Hiedi Sloan, said:

We are absolutely delighted to receive this Sport England funding. We piloted certain elements of project over the last 12 months and our consultation showed that there was a need for an alternative approach to sport and being active amongst females. Many women may have had negative experiences or perceptions of sport and a combination of that and lifestyle factors may stop them from being active.

We aim to overcome some of the barriers, through the In it Together programme with our informal approach, and we have a strong network of partners that we are working with to make this a success and really offer something unique to the women of Coventry.

Sky Blues in the Community Director Guy Rippon added:

We have been planning this project for quite a long time, so to be successful in receiving funding through a very competitive process from Sport England is excellent news.

It is widely known that female participation in sport and activity drops off in teenage years, and addressing this is a key focus for the Coventry Sport Strategy, which outlines the plans for sport in the city over the next 10 years. We will be working with a range of partners from the Coventry Sport Network to make this project central to those plans to increase activity amongst the female population in the city.

This project is one of over 40 projects to secure a share in £8.2 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England. Encouraging people to give sport a go, the fund empowers local communities to reach out to people who for one reason or another don’t exercise.

Announcing the funding, Sport England Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said:

It’s great to be working with innovative projects like In it Together which offer more people the chance to get active in a way that suits them best. Given the overwhelming benefits of being active, it’s important that age, gender, or income never prevent anyone from taking part.

You can find out more details of the programme on the Sky Blues in the Community website

Photo - pupils from Ernesford Grange Community Academy joined by Councillor Kamran Caan (portfolio holder for Health and Adult Services) holding the cheque with Hiedi Sloan and Kim Dougherty from Sky Blues in the Community.