Pupils shine at Premier League Enterprise Challenge final
After being crowned winners of the local heats, followed by the play-offs, pupils from Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School got the opportunity to battle five other teams to be crowned the Premier League Enterprise Challenge (PLEC) champions.
Dwr-y-Felin were Swansea City’s representatives in the PLEC, which has been running since 2009 and has engaged with 11,000 young people to date.
This year, 31 Premier League and Football League clubs competed in the challenge.
The Enterprise Challenge sees Year 9 and 10 students take on a football business-related task set by Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore.
This season groups were asked to come up with an initiative to encourage diversity and make going to a match the most enjoyable experience possible.
The challenge gives pupils the opportunity to work alongside clubs and their community arms to learn about the business of football, whilst using the power of the club badge to encourage participation, learning and development.
Held at Ernst & Young’s offices in London, the final comprised of various activities as well as the delivery of a final presentation.
The six teams were set a supplementary task on the morning of the event and later had to present to the judges, who included Theo Paphitis and football stars Graeme Le Saux and Alex Scott.
This year, students were tasked with planning how they would engage their local MPs in their proposals.
The PLEC is jointly funded by the Premier League and Sport Relief, and guests at the final heard speeches from Scudamore and Liz Warner, chief executive of Sport/Comic Relief.
Sport Relief ambassador Paphitis and Mark Gregory, chief economist at Ernst & Young, also spoke.
Hosted by CBBC Presenter Ben Shires, the event saw six teams present their ideas to a room full of guests and the judges.
Dwr-y-Felin students delivered their pitch titled ‘ASD Jacks’ with confidence and passion. ASD Jacks is an initiative to make matchdays more inclusive to fans who have autism.
What particularly impressed the judges was the support that the club have given to the team. The idea was piloted at the FA Cup fixture against Sheffield Wednesday, and was helped by a grant of £1,500 from the Swans Community Trust’s Inclusion project.
Although pipped at the post in the race to be crowned the PLEC Winners, the pupils did themselves, the Swans and their school proud.
PL Enterprise coordinator Graham Smith said: “The journey the boys have been on, from their first brainstorming session at Dwr-y-Felin to their final presentation at Ernst & Young, is inspiring.
“They have demonstrated creativity, enthusiasm, hard work and integrity throughout the competition, growing more confident at every stage.
“Their idea to create a sensory room for fans with ASD at the Liberty was both inventive and insightful, and they developed their vision with real professionalism.
“That they managed to implement their idea of a sensory room for ASD fans at a Swans game, with the support of the club, will have a lasting impact on all involved and hopefully be another step in the Swans reaching out to every section of our community.
“The boys have been a real credit to their school and represented Swansea City with distinction.”
View the full gallery from the PLEC final HERE.