A new loyalty points system to attract younger fans to Wigan Athletic home games was among the winning suggestions of young people from Hindley High School at a special Enterprise competition at the DW Stadium last week.
To help launch the club’s Latics Enterprise Academy scheme six secondary schools had been set the challenge of coming up with ways for the Club to increase the number of Under 16’s who attend Latics home matches.
They were then asked to present their ideas in front of a panel of industry experts including Latics boss Roberto Martinez and Club Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson as well as a camera crew from BBC’s Match of the Day programme.
Organised by the Club’s Latics in the Community scheme, the Latics Enterprise Academy scheme uses the model of a professional football club to teach and inspire young people about business.
Since it began in September 2012 over 300 young people have taken part - with 97% gaining a qualification in business and enterprise.
IT'S A YES FROM ME: The panel of judges that chose the winners
Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson said: “The Enterprise project is a great way for young people to learn more about their local football club, but it’s also a really useful way of getting them to think about business.
“All of the schools who entered the competition can be proud of themselves, but the judges felt that the team from Hindley had thoroughly researched their proposal and had come up with a simple and achievable concept.”
For winning the competition the young people were treated to hospitality before the home game against Newcastle United and were also presented with individual trophies and a framed signed Latics shirt for their school.
Manager Roberto Martinez said: “The pupils should be very proud of themselves. As a club we are always looking at ways to improve things on and off the pitch and it’s important that we listen to young people who will be the fans of the future.”
One of the entries that caught the attention of the Manager was the group from St John Fisher High School who performed a song they had written inspired by the Club’s historic FA Cup run as part of the presentation. The Manager was so impressed he has now invited the group to the training ground to perform it to the players.
“I though the song was great and will help inspire the players as we get ready for both the Semi-final and the rest of the season.” he said.
The Latics Enterprise Academy is part of the national Premier League Enterprise Academy project which is backed by the Government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
The Wigan scheme is also supported by Manchester Metropolitan University who provide funding and student volunteers to support the scheme.
The competition will be featured on BBC’s Match of the Day programme on Easter Sunday.
For more information please contact Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Enterprise and Literacy Co-ordinator Gareth Nolan on 01942 488 530 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.