Players on hand as youngsters progress in Enterprise Challenge.
Sunderland stars Emanuele Giaccherini and Keiren Westwood recently took time out to meet youngsters taking part in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge, an initiative which gives young people the insight into the running of a professional football club.
Hundreds of school children participated in the scheme, with Sunderland making the semi-finals this year, which were hosted at the Stadium of Light for the first time.
The budding entrepreneurs have been working with the club's official charity, the Foundation of Light, on business plans, financial forecasts and presentations since the competition was launched in November at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.
The challenge, which this year focuses on trying to develop revenue streams from international markets – in particular Africa and the United States – and aims to engage ‘hard to reach’ students, culminates with an on-stage presentation to a panel of judges, who then quiz the teams on their proposals.
Sunderland saw off competition from 11 other teams to join Middlesbrough and Bolton in traveling to London for the final next month.
The Enterprise Challenge is the highlight of the Premier League Enterprise Academy (PLEA), which engages youngsters in the world of business.
The PLEA is delivered in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills with 24 Premier League and Football League clubs involved in the initiative.
Around 90,000 have taken part in the programme since it was launched in 2008.