Foundations come together

Newcastle United's Rolando Aarons and Sunderland's Wes Brown supporting the project.
Newcastle United's Rolando Aarons and Sunderland's Wes Brown supporting the project.

Rival football fans are putting aside their differences to learn business and enterprise skills.

A new project by Newcastle United Foundation and Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light will bring together young people from North and South of the river Tyne to work on business challenges.

It aims to involve more than 100 young people challenged to develop an advertising campaign, whilst also increasing their confidence and self-esteem through gaining skills in business and enterprise, life skills and personal and social development skills.

The ‘Football and Business in Partnership’ Enterprise programme will provide a series of workshops to promote and develop the students’ understanding of unity in football, while developing their own entrepreneurial skills along the way.

The programme will use Newcastle United Football Club, Sunderland Association Football Club and Port of Tyne as business models, highlighting the range of more than 100 different occupations within Port of Tyne, whilst also introducing other businesses examples in order to highlight North East Local Enterprise Partnership skills gaps and growth industry areas.

Port of Tyne chief executive Andrew Moffat said: “We are delighted to have supported this unique project bringing the two rival teams’ Foundations together.

“It’s unique in that it is tackling two major challenges.

“First it is encouraging young people to understand the importance of being able to work together productively no matter where your football allegiance lies and secondly it’s providing invaluable training and a qualification in business and enterprise.”

Newcastle United Foundation development manager, Sarah Medcalf, said: “Port of Tyne has an outstanding reputation, both as a business and with regards to its engagement with the community, so we’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with them for this Enterprise project.

“It’s a great opportunity for both Foundations to use football and business to encourage positive relationships between the two sets of fans, who will gain valuable skills, insight and qualifications as part of the process.”

Foundation of Light education curriculum lead, Chris Hooker, added: “Using football to help people realise their potential is something that both Foundations have a great record of success with.

“Thanks to Port of Tyne we’ll be able to help even more youngsters develop their skills and business knowledge through the ‘Football and Business in Partnership’ as well as bring them together in the spirit of positive and friendly competition.”