Yesterday evening, the Crystal Palace FC Foundation kicked off our 2015 Premier League Enterprise Challenge, a national competition which gives thousands of youngsters from around the country the opportunity to generate ideas to solve a real-life business scenario.
The Challenge is an annual event, for participants aged between 13-17, and allows young people the chance to develop their enterprise skills and business understanding by exploring the different departments that formulate the running of a professional football club.
This year’s task, run in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), was set by Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore and asked participants to consider ways in which families can be encouraged to attend on a Matchday by using real business examples from their local club.
The Crystal Palace event was held in Speroni’s Lounge at Selhurst Park, and saw nine hopeful groups pitch in a Dragon’s Den style, to our panel of expert judges, which included ex-Palace midfielder and Sky Sports pundit, John Salako.
After intense deliberation the judging panel concluded that Croydon Kicks team presented the most innovative ideas, delivered eloquently and displayed great teamwork. Croydon Kicks will go on to represent Crystal Palace at the next stage of the PLEC competition where they will face teams from other Premier League clubs.
The Crystal Palace FC Foundation were particularly excited, after last years success, to begin our search to find a local school to represent Palace once more at the national finals. This year’s competition will see 24 clubs compete, but the Foundation are convinced that Croydon Kicks team can replicate the same success as last years representatives, Carshalton Girls School, who won their preliminary rounds to reach the final of the 2014 Challenge.
Guest judge and CPFC Foundation ambassador, John Salako, said: ‘this initiative is a great chance to showcase local entrepreneurial talent. It is also a great way to highlight that professional football clubs have to function above and beyond the players on the pitch and demonstrate that there are so many different occupational avenues within football. These children have been introduced to ideas, professions and career options that they never knew existed, or didn’t know they were interested in. Palace has always been a club dedicated to giving rewarding opportunities to the local community.’