Pitch perfect: Open Academy win playoffs!
Students earn spot in Premier League Enterprise Final
Pupils from a local secondary school will represent Norwich City Football Club at the Premier League Enterprise Challenge Final in London this March having successfully beaten teams representing Cardiff City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Southampton at an event held at The Emirates Stadium yesterday.
The business and skills based challenge is run by the Premier League and Sport Relief, which this year tasked pupils with working on a strategy to help encourage fans to spend more time at stadiums on match days.
The pupils from Open Academy in Heartsease impressed the judging panel with their business ideas of early bird discounts on food and drink and a special ‘Match Day Experience’ package.
The young team, made up of teenagers Oliver Chapple, Jack Strougler, Lewis Vincent, Jake Marrison and Kareem Alexander, will now pitch their idea to a panel of judges from the world of sport and business at the Finals on 9th March.
They will go head-to-head against five other regional winners, which so far include school groups representing Swansea City, Everton, Middlesbrough and Manchester United.
Finalists - the boys celebrate the big win!
Open Academy were chosen to represent Norwich City Football Club after a strong showing at a heat stage run by the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (CSF), who operate the challenge on behalf of the club, in December.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for the school to be able to represent the Canaries and brilliant to see the pupils so engaged," said CSF’s Enterprise Coordinator Mark Woodcock.
“Four of the five students are season-ticket holders at the club and they used their previous match day experiences to help shape their business strategy. They should be very proud of themselves for getting to this next stage. A huge well done from me. Next stop – the finals!”
Since its introduction in 2009, 10,000 young people aged between 13 and 17 have taken part in the programme which uses business models of professional football clubs to deliver enterprise education, with another 1,000 set to take part in this year’s competition.
Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, who set this year’s task said: “I am sure this year’s challenge, our eighth, will produce even better ideas generated by even more enthusiastic and engaged young people. Our successful partnership with Sport Relief, Premier League and Football League clubs, to deliver education with football as the backdrop, continues to bring new and exciting entrepreneurs to the fore. I look forward to seeing the six play-off winning groups at the Final.”
Story added: 10 Feb 2016