Newcastle United Foundation's Enterprise Academy - part of the Enterprise Academy business skills development initiative set up by the Government and the Premier League - celebrated its first birthday this week with a special anniversary event at St. James' Park.
The Newcastle Academy has proved to be a resounding success in its first year with students from 20 schools across Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead and North Tyneside reaping the benefits of the OCR-accredited Enterprise Academy Certificate in Business and Enterprise, which aims to improve business skills by using Newcastle United Football Club as a model for how a real-life business is run. 500 students across the North East are set to complete the course by the end of the academic year, with 500 more set to follow in 2011.
Amidst the celebrations, Lauren Poundall of All Saints College received an iPod for being chosen as OCR Student of the Year and an enterprising challenge for students saw them design a new Newcastle United kit with the winners of the challenge receiving their very own Newcastle United shirts.
Sam McLoughlin, Newcastle United Foundation Enterprise Academy Co-ordinator, said: "Our first year has been great, using the city's love of Newcastle United Football Club to stimulate young minds about business and cement links between the club and young supporters. This is just the start though and we intend to extend our project to engage more students through further enterprise courses. The support of OCR is vital in this process."
Lauren from All Saints College, added: "I think Sam is an amazing tutor, I've learnt a lot about business and enterprise and Newcastle United. I'm so glad I had this opportunity."
All Saints College teacher, Diane Howorth, said: "This has been a real benefit for the boys who were more engaged as a result and also was great to remove stereotyping of girls who actually discovered there is more to football teams than the sport."
Providing additional entrepreneurial inspiration was Rob Mathieson, Managing Director of AYO Media Ltd, who talked to students about his experience in establishing a business locally.
Newcastle United Foundation's Enterprise Academy is funded by One North East and delivered by Newcastle United Foundation.
The target of the Enterprise Academy initiative is to have every Barclays Premier League club engaged with Premier League Enterprise by the end of 2010. To date, 12 Premier League and Football League clubs have established Premier League Enterprise Academies:
To find out more about the OCR Enterprise Academy Certificate in Business and Enterprise, please contact the Qualifications Leader, Sophy Walker at: email@example.com.
View a report on the Fulham Enterprise Academy