Pupils from Rickmansworth School have won the chance to represent Watford FC at this year’s Premier League Enterprise Challenge Final having beaten representatives from Leicester City, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United to the opportunity.
The Premier League Enterprise Challenge, is the national competition element of the Premier League’s enterprise programme which began in 2009 and which is run in partnership with Sport Relief.
31 Premier League and English Football League clubs entered this year’s Challenge and have competed across six Play-Off events being held at three Premier League stadiums - Liverpool FC’s Stadium, Anfield, the King Power Stadium, home of Leicester City FC and St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton FC’s ground.
The Premier League Enterprise Challenge sees Year 9 and 10 students set a football business-related task by Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore, which this season asked groups to come up with initiatives to encourage diversity and make going to a match the most enjoyable experience.
The team from Rickmansworth School, Freddie Bradshaw, Charlie Court, Henry Fitzgerald, Katie Hunt and Georgina Neale came up with the winning idea of offering a ‘Community Ticket’. The Community Ticket would see the Football Club partner with local charities in order to offer tickets to people who may not otherwise be able to attend matches.
Katie Hunt, Year 10 student at Rickmansworth School, was clearly ecstatic with the result;
"I still can't quite believe we've won! It was scary but exciting and I've really enjoyed getting to know students in other classes and year groups I wouldn't normally have mixed with.”
This was a feeling mirrored by Liz Pickford, Head of Careers & Work Related Learning at the school;
"To win the Play-Off was the icing on the cake for the team - we are so proud of them and what they have achieved so far. The journey they have been on is immense - going from tongue tied teenagers at the start of this programme to now presenting confidently in front of a panel of judges has been a privilege to be part of.”
The pupils from Rickmansworth School will now head to the Ernst & Young Offices in London to represent Watford FC in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge Final on 23 April.
Ahead of the final, Community Projects Officer at Watford FC CSE Trust, Lucy Tearle, added;
“I am extremely proud of how much the group have achieved and for them to win the play offs was an incredible achievement and well deserved. They have all worked so hard and I know this effort will continue throughout our preparations for the final. Everyone at the Trust is excited to see them competing in the final and wish them all the very best of luck.”
Premier League Enterprise Challenge 2017/18
Diversifying your Club’s fanbase - Clubs are at the heart of their communities.
You work at a professional football club and have been tasked by your Board to ensure matches are enjoyed by everyone. The Board will support initiatives that encourage diversity and make going to a match the most enjoyable experience.
You have been asked to generate ideas that result in greater inclusion within your fanbase and a significant improvement in match attendance from new fans.
Your proposal should include analysis of who currently comes to matches, who lives in your club’s local community, the groups you intend to reach and what might incentivise them to attend matches.
The plan should be part of your club’s work to achieve the Premier League Equality Standard or the EFL Code of Practice. The Board is prepared to invest in strategies that promote and deliver diversity, but want to see a business plan with measurable targets and a return on any investment.
They are particularly interested in fresh, creative ideas using club assets to appeal to those who have not considered attending before.
It is up to you to research your community and your club and develop a plan to make this happen.