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Newcastle United Players Kick Off Premier League Enterprise Challenge

Newcastle United players Freddie Woodman and Jamie Sterry joined pupils from schools across the North East as the Premier League Enterprise Challenge heated up at St. James’ Park.

School groups from Joseph Swan Academy, Kingsmeadow Community Comprehensive School, Ponteland High School and Southlands School came together to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges made up of business and university leaders: Lucy Backhurst  (Newcastle University), John Horseman (Horseman Capital), Sean McArdle (HMC Group) and Drew Gansbury (Ernest Young)

Newcastle United Foundation staff have spent the past six weeks in schools working with pupils helping to develop their ideas and ensure their presentations covered the key areas of the programme.

Participants were treated to a stadium tour after their presentations where they were joined by Sterry and Woodman. The United players took part in a Q&A session before joining the tour around the home changing room and pitch side. They then took centre stage as they presented the winning school, Joseph Swan Academy, with their prize.

Set by Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore, this year’s challenge tasked participants with developing a business plan and promotional campaign to increase the number of 18-23 year olds following Premier League clubs and attending matches.

The winning school will now represent Newcastle United at a regional heat at Huddersfield’s John Smith Stadium on the 24th January 2019.

Gavin Ferry, Project Coordinator at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “The standard of the business pitches has been exceptional this year and it’s fantastic to see just how much effort the participants put into their presentations.

“All of the teams should be incredibly proud of how they performed, and I want to say a huge congratulations to Joseph Swan Academy for their winning pitch. It was richly deserved.”

Jamie Sterry said: There were loads of quality pitches in this year’s Premier League Enterprise Challenge and I really enjoyed showing the teams around the Media Suite and the Dressing Room as a reward for all their hard work.”

Freddie Woodman added: “It was great to meet the teams from this year’s Premier League Enterprise Challenge – huge congratulations to today’s winners – good luck in the regional finals, we’re backing you all the way!”

Mr Arkle, teacher at Joseph Swan Academy said: “I’m really proud of the lads, they put a lot of time and effort in to get here.

“They’ve taken absolutely loads from working with the Foundation. They’ve grown in confidence hugely every single one of them.”

Now in its tenth year, the Premier League Enterprise Challenge is an exciting national competition for young people in Years 8, 9 and 10. Delivered in partnership with Sport Relief, the programme aims to inspire young people to engage positively in education and raise awareness of the world of work, through the power of Premier League football clubs.


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