Coventrians FC

Coventrians FC is a true community football club

Established by Jane and John Connolly, the club has grown from two teams in 2007 to 15 teams in 2015, with between 170 and 200 young people – both boys and girls - proudly donning the club’s blue and white stripes every week.

The writing on Coventrians’ changing room wall neatly sums up the ethos of the club - ‘Grassroots football is not about winning trophies, it’s about the difference you make to somebody’s life.’

Across all of its different teams, Coventrians plays an important and influential role in the lives of its players and the wider community. For example, its ladies teams are creating opportunities for local girls to play football and stay active in a fun and supportive environment. Whilst the club’s older Under 18 and 21 teams are proving to be remarkable effective at keeping its players off the streets and away from potential trouble.

Due to Coventrians’ location in an area of high deprivation, many of the young people that play and train for Coventrians come from low-income families. As a result, Jane and the club often take it upon themselves to provide food and snacks, to ensure its players don’t go hungry whilst they are at training. They also provide a boot and kit exchange to ensure money doesn’t become a barrier to participation.

HOW SPORTED HELPED

What makes Coventrians’ work all the more remarkable is that the club is run solely by volunteers. As Jane Connolly explains, the lack of capacity and the right business know-how within the club can sometimes make things difficult.

We had a business plan in place, but I really needed help with the administrative side of running the club - things such as cash-flow forecasts I struggle with. And the bigger the club became, the more out of our depth we were getting. The coaches know what they are doing on the football side of things, but there is only me trying to do all this work behind the scenes for 15 teams! We came to Sported for a mentor to point us in the right direction and to give us reassurance that we were doing the right things.

With a Sported mentor now on board, Jane is hopeful that the club will be able to secure more regular streams of funding in order that they can continue to expand the club and carry on their important work in their local community.