Premier League Enterprise Final
Students from Open Academy impress judges in London
Five pupils from Open Academy represented Norwich City FC at the Premier League Enterprise Challenge Final held at Altitude 360 in London on Wednesday.
Twenty-nine Premier League and Football League clubs have taken part in this year’s national competition, which tasked pupils with developing ideas to encourage fans to spend more time at stadiums on a match day.
The young team, made up of teenagers Oliver Chapple, Jack Strougler, Lewis Vincent, Jake Marrison and Kareem Alexander joined representative school groups from four other Premier League clubs including Everton, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Swansea City and West Ham United.
At the final, the boys had the chance to present to a judging panel which included former Premier League and England Defender Graeme Le Saux and Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis.
The team impressed the judges with their business ideas of early bird discounts on food and drink and special ‘Match Day Experience’ packages but Man United’s representatives Swinton High School were the ultimate winners in what Theo Paphitis described as a highly competitive final:
"Choosing a winner was really tricky. I thought last year was brilliant and I didn't expect the same this year to be honest.
“I'd read the presentations and you think, 'do you understand what you are talking about?' My word, didn't the teams understand what they were talking about. They knew exactly.”
The Premier League Enterprise Challenge has been running since 2009 and is the highlight of Premier League Enterprise, which is run in partnership with Sport Relief, and uses the appeal of football clubs to engage young people in business activities.
Open Academy Principal Jon Platten, who travelled to London to watch the team present, believes the scheme will have a major impact on the students.
"Having an opportunity to stand on a stage like this and to give presentations in front of national and internationally known people can do nothing but provide them with a fantastic opportunity which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives,"
"I am very proud of them. Ultimately, it’s why people go into education because they want to see young people grow and develop and achieve their potential."
Story added: 10 Mar 2016