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20 November 2015

St Mary’s High School to represent Wigan Athletic at regional finals of Premier League Enterprise Challenge.

Four year 9 students from St Mary’s High School, Astley, were the winners yesterday at the Wigan Athletic heats of business competition, the Premier League Enterprise Challenge, where they presented ideas to link up with online taxi firms and introduce a credit aspect to Season Cards.

The Enterprise Challenge is an annual competition for high school students which involves Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore setting young people a challenge to solve related to the football industry. This year’s challenge was to come up with ways in which to encourage football fans to spend more time at football stadiums on match days.

St Mary’s took on groups from four other high schools, presenting their ideas to a judging panel made up of Jonathan Jackson, Wigan Athletic CEO; Mark Ward, Managing Director of Kappa UK & Ireland; Emma Joussemet, Senior Community Policy Executive at the Premier League; and Tom Flower, Head of Wigan Athletic Community Trust.

The St Mary’s students, had the idea for football clubs to link up with online taxi firms to provide fans with ways of getting to the game, as well as car sharing opportunities and a way of easing congestion around the stadium on match days.

They also wanted to introduce credit to Season Cards, allowing fans to pay for their food and drink with their ticket instead of cash.

Judge Mark Ward from Kappa said: “It was a very enjoyable experience. With it being my first year on the judging panel I was quite interested to understand how it all works. 

“When we sat down as judges, we thought all of the ideas were excellent and very well thought through. And it’s not easy, the actual brief itself was quite complex and the judges did take that into consideration. 

“We thought each group came up with some unique ideas, they considered the financials, the research and ultimately I think one of the key challenges is standing up in front of your peers and a panel of judges to present, and I think every single group did that fantastically.

“We liked St Mary’s innovation in their ideas, we thought they captured the key areas that the brief was initially set for. Presentation-wise they were very strong and when they were questioned about numbers and other information, they referred back to the presentation well and answered very confidently.”

Emma Joussemet from the Premier League added: “This has been my third year judging Wigan Athletic’s heats of the challenge and I was delighted to be back. 

“It’s a really exciting challenge this year so it was great to see the enthusiasm of the students presenting and hearing all of their ideas.”

The Premier League Enterprise Challenge is supported by Sport Relief and is a way for high school business students to come up with and present business ideas to professional football clubs.

Last year’s winners of the Wigan Athletic heats, Hawkley Hall High School, made it all the way to the national finals of the competition, presenting their ideas in front of a panel of judges including Dragon’s Den’s Theo Paphitis.

Hawkley Hall took part in the competition again this year, alongside Abraham Guest Academy, Lathom High School and Standish High School.

To find out more about the Community Trust’s Premier League Enterprise programme, contact Jake Blackburn, project co-ordinator, on 01942 488 530 or email

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