A group of Everton in the Community Apprentices will represent Everton Football Club in the Play-Offs of the 2014/15 Premier League Enterprise Challenge in the hope of reaching the Final in London and being crowned champions.
Arriving at Liverpool Town Hall, the winning quintet saw off stiff competition from fellow hopefuls, including three teams from Everton Free School and a side from Coleg Cambria, to be named as the ones to go forth and compete in the forthcoming Play-Off, which will be contested at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium on Wednesday 11 March.
Speaking of the winning team, Everton Free School Principal Phil Duffy, who formed part of the judging panel along with Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Erica Kemp said:
“It has been a real privilege to be involved with this, especially in such a beautiful venue like the Council Chambers at Liverpool Town Hall. It has been incredibly difficult to judge, you see the commitment and passion put in by these young people to get to this stage, and making that final decision is really tough.
“I think Everton in the Community’s Apprentice team edged it on a few things and we feel very comfortable with our choice. We don’t know what the competition at Old Trafford will entail, but if the winning team keep working hard, and honing their skills then I really feel we will be up there with a real chance.”
Twenty six schools and community groups representing Premier League and Football League Clubs have made it through to this year’s Enterprise Challenge Play-Offs. The business and education based challenge is run by the Premier League and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which this year tasked pupils with formulating a strategy to help increase the number of families attending match days. Seven of these groups will progress to the Final, where they will go head-to-head to pitch their idea to personnel from the world of sport and business.
The three Play-Offs will be hosted at Old Trafford, Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium, as well as Arsenal’s Emirates home, with the top two groups from each of these and a wild card, decided by a Premier League Judging Panel. The winners will be invited to present in the Final at the prestigious BIS Conference Centre in Westminster on Monday 27 April 2015.
Simon Morgan, Head of Community Development at the Premier League said:
“The Premier League Enterprise Challenge has gone from strength to strength with more innovative and exciting ideas being presented by the groups involved. It gives young people the chance to develop their presentation skills and self-confidence, whilst also understanding that there are numerous job opportunities at a football club aside from the eleven players on the pitch.”
“The Premier League Enterprise Challenge gives Clubs, local schools and community groups a great tool and platform from which to interact, which we hope they can then use as a foundation for future joint initiatives.”
Since its introduction in 2009 over 8,000 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.