A group of local students are preparing to represent Liverpool FC in the final of the Premier League Enterprise Challenge later this month in London.
The youngsters, from Woodchurch High School on the Wirral, won their regional play-off at the Etihad Stadium in February and will now face teams representing five other professional clubs in the final on March 20.
Compered by BBC Kickabout presenter Ben Shires, the Enterprise Challenge final will see the six school teams go head-to-head, presenting their business ideas aimed at engaging international fans.
The Premier League Enterprise Challenge, which is run with Sport Relief, has engaged more than 11,000 13 to 15-year-olds in educational sessions run by Premier League and English Football League clubs since it began in 2009. 100 schools and 600 young people have taken part in this year’s challenge.
Bethan Stalker, aged 14, said: “We’ve been working on the project since November and we can’t wait to go to the final in London. It’s been such a great experience so far – we even got to watch a Liverpool game from an executive box as a reward for winning our semi-final.
“The competition has been really challenging, but rewarding at the same time. I’ve learnt so much. I’m normally quite shy, but taking part in the challenge has really built up my confidence.”
Teammate Ben Richards, who is 15, added: “It’s been really worthwhile and I’m sure we will get so many good opportunities in the future thanks to the skills we’ve learnt. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us and I’d definitely recommend it to other students.”
Teacher Adam Bunby said: “It’s been a fantastic experience for the kids. They’ve realised skills they didn’t even know they had, and had the opportunity to learn about business and bring their ideas into the real world.
“It’s been amazing to work with LFC and it’s something the pupils will probably never get a chance to do again. It’s built their confidence massively – the whole experience has been huge for them.”
Andrea Cooper, head of the Liverpool FC Foundation, said: “The Premier League’s Enterprise Challenge is a brilliant competition that really brings out the best in all of its participants. It really inspires the students and also provides them with key enterprise skills and opportunities.”