ECO-FRIENDLY pupils are celebrating after “going for gold” and being crowned national champions in a prestigious schools business competition.
Students from Cramlington Learning Village in Northumberland came out top in the Coca-Cola Enterprises Real Business Challenge with their campaign idea urging more people to recycle – and scooped tickets to the London 2012 Olympics.
Michael Bacon, business studies teacher at Cramlington Learning Village, said: “The whole experience has been fantastic, from start to finish, and to have won is just phenomenal. The students responded brilliantly to all the challenges they were set and showed real innovation. The competition allowed them to learn some essential business skills and to get a taste of what it is like in a genuine working environment. It has truly inspired the students and some are already talking about their future careers – it looks like we have some budding entrepreneurs on our hands.”
In 2011, over 500 schools from across the UK entered the competition, designed to inspire the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future, with regional heats taking place throughout November. The 10 regional winners, from Scotland to Southern England, then travelled to London to take part in the national final, held at Wembley Stadium where students had the opportunity to meet Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, one of the most successful disabled athletes in the UK, who is from Middlesbrough.
At the Wembley final, students were given the opportunity to develop their ideas, with expert mentoring and skills workshops, before pitching their campaign to a panel of judges, including Baroness Grey-Thompson, Sir Keith Mills, deputy chair of London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and CCE managing director, Simon Baldry.
The 14 and 15-year-olds from Cramlington Learning Village were awarded victory following their business plan for encouraging consumers to recycle more and litter less in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Glenrothes High School from Scotland claimed second place, and St David’s College in Llandudno, Wales came third.
Simon Baldry, managing director of Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “Congratulations to Cramlington Learning Village and all of the students who took part in the final. The level of innovation we have seen throughout the competition this year has been truly inspirational, and a demonstration of the entrepreneurial spirit of the country’s younger generation.
“It has been a privilege to see students from across the UK coming together for a combined focus on enterprise and sustainability. I was hugely impressed by the passion and creativity displayed throughout the campaigns in the name of recycling.”
Sir Keith Mills, deputy chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), added that he had been hugely impressed by the standard of entries for the competition.