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Posted on: July 22nd 2019

Top Enterprise Award for Chesham Grammar Students

Over 30,000 young people work on ideas to increase female participation in football as part of UK’s largest enterprise initiative, with Chesham Grammar School taking the top prize!

Five students at Chesham Grammar School had the experience of a lifetime on the 10th July when they were named the winning team at The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge at Wembley Stadium. Dany, Tilly, Daniel, Catherine and Aayush created a winning business concept ‘Girls Get Goals’ to encourage more girls into football at a younger age, which was unanimously voted top by a panel of judges including Theo Paphitis of ‘Dragon’s Den’ fame. This was a second win for Chesham Grammar, who are the only school in England to have won the Year 10 competition twice.

Team Leader Dany said after the Wednesday final, “Words cannot describe the experience of being onstage at Wembley.  It was an amazing opportunity to experience the world of business!”. Chesham Grammar Headteacher Annmarie McNaney said of the team, “I am so proud of the students.  They worked incredibly hard to prepare and I know this is something they feel passionate about.  Well done to them and the staff who supported them.”

The team was accompanied to Wembley by Miss Antonia Thoday, MBE, who has led the National Enterprise Challenge programme for the past six years at Chesham Grammar, and Marion Rasekh, Subject Leader for Life Skills.  Miss Thoday called the day, “Truly the experience of a lifetime! I was so impressed by the progress the team made from the day they found out they had made it to the finals, to presenting in front of 1,000 people at Wembley.”

The Chesham Grammar team had some specialist knowledge with two team members, Tilly and Catherine, being part of the Chesham Grammar girls’ football squad who earlier this year scooped all three of the Buckinghamshire Schools FA Country Cups Under 16, Under 15 and Under 13. Tilly agreed it was a team effort saying, “Everyone contributed different skills to the project”. Aayush added, “We all really wanted to win and that gave us focus, so we went in with the right mindset!”

Daniel contributed his experience of the day, “The winners were announced and after a heart-pounding long wait we were told that we had won! It was an awesome feeling to have pictures taken of us left, right and centre and to have taken a step towards being a key figure in the women’s football industry, something I have wanted to be more invested in for some time.” The next stage for the winning team will be to pitch their idea to UCFB bosses, and then a winning prize trip to see a West End show in the new academic year.

With women’s football in England currently in the spotlight due to the Lionesses’ recent success at the World Cup in France, the UK's largest enterprise challenge for young people, The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge partnered with University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) to develop the 2019 challenge asking the students to plan an event or competition to support the FA’s initiative to double female participation in football in England by 2020.

The finals were judged by a high-profile panel consisting of Theo Paphitis, Kick it Out CEO Roisin Wood and Brendan Flood, the founder of UCFB and director of Burnley FC. The Event was also hosted by Britain’s Got Talent dance troupe, Diversity’s Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo.

Former dragon Theo Paphitis is the main ambassador for the challenge, a role that he has held since 2013 when he replaced Lord Sugar. Of the initiative, Paphitis said: “This fantastic skills initiative has given thousands of young people an unrivalled opportunity to experience what the world of work is going to be like. This is so important in giving them the skills and insight into how they can be part of the Great British or even global workforce.”

Commenting on this year’s challenge, National Enterprise Challenge Co-Founder Michael Dyer said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with UCFB to create such a fantastic challenge. Taking the finals to Wembley was incredible and it created a once in a lifetime experience for the students involved. We loved seeing everyone’s ideas and Chesham Grammar Schools winning idea ‘Girls Get Goals’ just had that something a little bit special about it and the presentation was slick and professional.”

UCFB Chairman and Chief Executive Brendan Flood added: “At UCFB we are dedicated to encouraging young entrepreneurs, and so the National Enterprise Challenge has been a perfect fit to allow the leaders of tomorrow the opportunity to influence the UK’s sporting landscape.”

Daniel summarised the fantastic experience for the Chesham Grammar ‘Girls Get Goals’ team when he said, “From that first step into the hall, little did I know we would later become the National Enterprise Challenge Champions of 2019. It was an experience that we will truly never forget. Thank you, TNEC. We enjoyed your company!”


For more information please contact:


Martha Ware, Development Director, Chesham Grammar School /office 01494 782854 extension 247/ mobile 07850738187

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