The Premier League will be partnering up with the Love Football Zone at the Soccerex Global Convention taking place in Manchester, 26th-28th September. The newly re-branded Zone will focus on the wider community aspects of football such as grassroots, woman’s football and disability football and will feature a mixture of presentations, demonstrations, exhibition pods and panel discussions. Taking place across all three days of the event, the Zone will focus on a number of current topics such as employment through football, participation and football’s global responsibility.
The Premier League and its clubs have for many years delivered a significant community programme, and from this season will be undertaking and funding more than ever at this level. This includes investing in community facilities and coaching, providing young people with the opportunity to play a diverse range of sports, improving educational outcomes and helping young people become qualified and get into work.
At the Love Football Zone the Premier League will be showcasing aspects of this work, such as their Premier League Enterprise project, which gives thousands of young people the chance to learn about the business behind football, enhance their entrepreneurial instincts, and develop practical skills that will help them gain employment. The annual ‘Enterprise Challenge'<https://www.premierleague.com/news/60481> that the Premier League run, challenging young people to create and present a business plan to a genuine football business issue, has involved the likes of Stephanie McGovern, BBC Breakfast business presenter, renowned entrepreneur and Dragons Den judge Theo Paphitis, and ex-Chelsea and England player Graeme Le Saux.
The League will also discuss the impact of their ground-breaking PL Kicks project<https://www.premierleague.com/communities/programmes/community-programmes/pl-kicks> – which sees 56 professional clubs put on free football, music, and other sports sessions in over 850 venues across the UK, targeting particularly deprived, mainly urban areas. Over 162,000 young people have taken part in PL Kicks in the past ten years, with current Premier League stars Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Wilfred Zaha all former PL Kicks participants.
Commenting on their involvement with this year’s Love Football Zone, Nick Perchard, Premier League Head of Community, commented:
“We are immensely proud of the way in which clubs use Premier League programmes to connect with their communities and Soccerex, through the Love Football Zone, provides a fantastic platform for us to showcase to the wider football industry the inspirational work being carried out across England and Wales.”
The League plan to use the Love Football Zone on Monday afternoon to introduce some of the key figures involved in their work, from the clubs themselves and the young participants on the projects, through to the high profile partner organisations they work with to deliver their innovative work.
The Premier League have recently published a new digital review of last season, including extensive coverage of their work on the Communities front, called Inspiring Stories<http://stories.premierleague.com/2015-16/>.
Setting the agenda for the Zone is a steering group made up of Jez Weeks, Director at W10 Sports Consultancy, Dan Wood, President & Founder at the Freestyle Football Federation, Simon Lansley, Director at ConnectSport and Jennifer O’Neil, Editor at She Kicks, who will be providing their expertise across the subject areas as well as giving their own insights in to how best to promote and create higher involvement across other levels of the game which are not the elite men’s sector.
The Global Convention as a whole is designed to deliver unique business insight across a variety of key sectors and subject matters ranging from sponsorship and fan engagement to the technological innovations and stadium development. For more information on the programme, check out the full first edition here<https://www.soccerex.com/events/global-convention-2016/conference-programme>.
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