What is PL Inspires?
Premier League Inspires is a 20 hour programme delivered in local secondary schools focusing on helping young people to become more resilient individuals, reducing stress & anxiety by developing coping strategies and relaxation techniques, with the aim of giving young people the skill set to cope with the pressure of exams.
This week pupils took part in our annual ‘PL Inspires Club Heat Challenge’. The focus this year was – how can we make Blackpool FC a more Eco friendly experience for its staff, spectators and the environment. To find out more about how pupils got on here’s the full report from an action packed day…
On Wednesday 2nd February 2022, Blackpool FC Community Trust (BFCCT) welcomed over 35 pupils from seven of our local high schools, for the annual ‘Premier League (PL) Inspires Challenge’.
Held in the prestigious ‘Matthews Suite’ at Bloomfield Road, pupils arrived, filled with excitement and anticipation. Once the pupils had settled in and arranged their stalls they were ready to present their ideas to BFCCT staff, BTEC students and players from the U23 and U18 youth team squads. One of the pupils said, ‘wow, the room is massive and it looks really professional, I’m feeling nervous but excited at the same time’.
Prior to the event pupils had viewed a video, outlining this year’s theme and challenge. The Premier Leagues focus this year is centred around, the very pressing issue of climate change. Sticking within the football remit, pupils were tasked to come up with an idea to make Blackpool Football Club more environmentally friendly.
Focusing on match days and the general day to day running of the stadium, pupils set about researching ideas with their designated High School Hub Mentor. Working hard in their weekly PL Inspires sessions and their own time, they had to take into consideration a multitude of issues to help them develop their proposal.
At the event, staff and peers were there to judge their proposals on the following areas: design, cost, implementation, and effectiveness. The winners of the event go on to implement their idea with a chance to win at the national event in July 2022.
After a brief welcome from our Secondary Education Manager, the doors opened and pupils began to present their ideas and proposals to their audiences.
Ideas were wide ranging, including, a vegan menu for matchdays, recycling and reusing rainwater within the stadium and integrating solar panels to seats to generate energy for the club to use and sell on to local energy providers.
Pupils interacted in a positive and professional way, explaining their ideas with confidence and passion. The skills and personal values learnt during the event will be easily transferred and support them as they move through education and into the work place. One pupil from St George’s Academy said, ‘I love doing things like this it gives me something to focus on and I love talking to people about something that I am interested in’.
The event had a huge impact on individuals’ self-esteem, confidence and their ability to work effectively with their peers. During the event pupils refined skills in areas such as communication, organisation and responsibility.
Mr Mashiter from Unity Academy offered his thoughts when asked about how impactful the PL Inspires event has been for his pupils, “they’ve been having to do their own research into different products, different lines of enquiries about what will work for the football club in terms of making it more environmentally friendly. It’s one of their main talking points in school and communities at the moment, so it’s been really good for them to work as a team and to explore those different solutions”.
What happens next?
Firstly we would like to thank all pupils who took part in the challenge and contributed to a fantastic event. We are very pleased to announce that the team from St George’s Academy received the most votes and will now have the opportunity to put their proposal into practice. They will work closely with their High School Hub Mentor to develop and implement their ideas. We look forward to seeing how they get on.
Watch this space for more information.