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Foundation Teams Compete In Premier League Enterprise Challenge

Newcastle United Foundation hosted the regional Premier League Enterprise Challenge semi-final at St James Park today, with teams representing Newcastle United, Hull City FC, Sunderland AFC, and Middlesbrough FC, competing for a place to represent the region in the finals in March.

The programme works with students who are at risk of underachievement to develop life and entrepreneurial skills as well as improving motivation, attendance, and attitudes.

This year the Premier League Enterprise gave pupils the opportunity to work together on a challenge outlined by Richard Scudamore, Premier League Executive Chairman, to attract more people to match days and to increased engagement with the club while at the stadium. The teams had to pitch their ideas to the judging panel, which comprised of Thomas Guthrie (Premier League), Ollie Dawson (Sport Relief), Jordan Cummins (CBI) and Dr Anna Tilba (Newcastle University).

The ideas were all based around getting more people involved in the game on the day and keep people interested during and after the match at their respected stadiums. The team from Hull CIty FC presented the idea of having a ‘Tigers Family Fun Centre’ which gives all children aged from one to 16 spaces to socialise and relax before, during, and after the game.

The group representing Sunderland AFC pitched their Free Park and Ride idea in an attempt to get more people to the games with easier methods of transportation. Middlesbrough FC debuted their idea of the ‘Riverside Social’ which gives everyone of all ages the chance to relax at certain areas inside and outside the stadium at themed bars, fan areas, and even an artificial beach!

The Newcastle United team, from Longbenton Community College, showed off their Interactive App idea, demonstrating how this would be beneficial to fans.

The team from Middlesbrough FC were named the winners by the panel and will travel to London in March and present their idea to a panel of star judges.

Longbenton Community College pupil Kai Morton said: ‘I learned a lot about teamwork and how to work effectively in a group. The whole experience has given me some really good tips to take into the world of work when I finish school.”

Dr. Anna Tilba, Director of Corporate Engagement at Newcastle University Business School, added ‘I really enjoyed seeing the level of enthusiasm in all the children who competed. They were all very engaging and passionate about their ideas. All the children should be inspired by today’s competition and become more open to learning about the business world and what they can get out of it’.

Newcastle United Foundation Programme Manager Andrew Foster commented: “It was brilliant to have such strong entries from all the teams – it just goes to show how competitive Premier League Enterprise is – every year the ideas and pitches get stronger and stronger. We’re really proud of the team from Longbenton Community College – they did a great job representing Newcastle United Foundation. Congratulations to the Middlesbrough FC team on their win and a huge thank you to today’s judges – it was great to have their support.”

The Premier League Enterprise Challenge, funded by the Premier League and Sport Relief, harnesses the power of football to engage young people and develop them in a business and entrepreneurial sense. So far it has reached 10,000 people a year. It teaches life and business skills to pupils around the region by confronting them with genuine business issues and giving them tasks to benefit a clubs reputation and future.

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