Winners from each Play-Off will head to the Final in London on 20 March 2017
Lathom High School will be representing Wigan Athletic Football Club at this year’s Premier League Enterprise Challenge Play-Offs having beaten two other local schools in their club heats.
The Play-Offs for the annual Premier League Enterprise Challenge competition kick-off this week, when 30 school teams representing Premier League and English Football League clubs will go head-to-head in a football-related business task, set by Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore. This year’s task challenges teams to come up with business ideas to engage international fans.
Premier League Enterprise is joint-funded by the Premier League and Sport Relief and uses the backdrop of professional football clubs' business models to deliver enterprise education to inspire young people and increase their aspirations and skills. The Challenge is a national competition that gives the teams an opportunity to present their response to the business task.
The Enterprise programme has engaged more than 11,000, thirteen-to-fifteen-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 are due to take part in this year’s Challenge.
Each of the 30 professional football clubs taking part have held local heats to determine which school group will represent them in the Play-Offs, which will be taking place over six days and at three different Premier League stadiums – bet365 Stadium (the home of Stoke City), Etihad Stadium (the home of Manchester City) and Emirates Stadium (the home of Arsenal FC). The Play-Off winner from each of the six days will then face each other in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge Final being held in London on Monday 20 March 2017.
Manchester United FC will be looking to retain their Premier League Enterprise Winners title after The Swinton High School won last year’s Premier League Enterprise Challenge on their behalf. The winning team created ‘Transfer Foods’, an idea implemented by the club, which saw food dishes based on the nationalities of new signings sold on match days, fulfilling the brief to encourage fans to stay longer at stadia on a match day.
CBBC presenter Lauren Layfield will return as a judge for one of the Play-Off events this year, and was impressed by the hard work of the young people involved in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge in 2015/16: "This programme is not what it seems maybe from the outside. It's an opportunity for kids, but it's more. It's a chance for them to prove themselves. They may go away from here and will be cool and teenage about it but you can tell that they all are proud of themselves, going, 'I can do that.'"
The Premier League Enterprise Challenge Final will take place in Central London on Monday 20 March, where the six Play-Off winning teams will be looking to impress Football Analyst and former Premier League and England Defender Graeme Le Saux, Comic and Sport Relief Ambassador Theo Paphitis and Premier League Executive Office Director Peta Bistany who will be judging their answer to the international fan base task.