The Stadium of Light’s Riverview Brasserie was transformed into a Dragon’s Den as more than 150 youngsters pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges.
Pupils from Seaview Primary School, Trimdon Juniors and Ribbon School took part in the Foundation of Light’s Samson’s Shoes project, which challenged them to create new shoes for Sunderland AFC’s mascot Samson, using basic business principles.
The programme was delivered to Year 6 pupils, with sessions taking place over six weeks, and culminated in a presentation event at the Stadium, with each group presenting their designs to Foundation staff as well as Samson himself.
Winning team Level Up Training, from Ribbon School in Murton, took home the trophy for their innovative and hi-tech trainer design, which featured an embedded microchip to measure distance and pace, which can then be linked to phones and other digital devices. Ribbon school pupil Lydia, 11, said: “Samson’s Shoes has been brilliant, not just the fact our team won, but that we got to share this experience with everyone else, as we have all worked so hard.
“We were a little nervous doing our presentation, but it went really well.
“There was a lot to work on, but once we picked our team name, did our market research and worked on our design and business cards, it was a little easier to develop our script and presentation.
“It’s a nice feeling to know we have won.”
Using the design technology element of Key Stage 2 (linked to the National Curriculum), Samson’s Shoes uses basic business principles, to offer pupils experience of a topic which they would usually not come across until Secondary School.
The project is an offshoot of the Premier League Enterprise programme, which uses football and clubs’ off-pitch activity teach business.