Neath’s Llangatwg Community School is celebrating after being named Swansea City FC’s Secondary School of the Year 2019.
The Cadoxton based school picked up the award at the annual Swansea City AFC Community Trust annual awards evening at the club’s iconic Liberty Stadium.
The awards are aimed at rewarding work done with the trust by people and organisations in South West Wales.
Llangatwg Community School got the prize for its excellent relationship with the club through the Community Trust and its involvement in a range of projects including Premier League Enterprise, Premier League Enterprise Challenge, Premier League Inspires and Premier League Girls.
These are initiatives aimed at inspiring entrepreneurship in young people and increasing girls’ involvement in football.
Pupils, helped by teachers including Rob Shaw and Rhian Collins, access the projects, which involve current and recent Premier League teams, both at their school and at football club facilities, including the Liberty Stadium.
Llangatwg’s Niamh Thomas took home the Community Trust Premier League Girls Participant of the Year award while fellow pupils Charlotte Elias and Ffion Morris were nominated for the prize.
One of the key elements in Llangatwg’s Secondary School of the Year award win was the outstanding effort by its Premier League Enterprise team in reaching the National Final. The four Year 10 pupils who competed were Mia Davies, Millie Thomas, Lauren Moore and Lowri Williams.
After beating representatives from other clubs in the Premier League Enterprise play-offs at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux Stadium in January, the team travelled to London’s Ernst & Young offices to compete in the final.
Competing against teams from Stoke City, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, Brighton & Hove Albion and Blackpool, the pupils presented their idea of a “bespoke Swansea City student offer”.
The final was hosted by TV presenter Ben Shires and judged by Executive Office Director of the Premier League, Peta Bistany, entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis and former Arsenal and England Lionesses footballer, Alex Scott.
The Swansea City FC Community Trust said of the team’s effort: “The pupils gave an amazing business pitch and were unlucky not to be crowned champions, however they took great confidence from the experience.”
Among those who have worked with Llangatwg Community School this year include Swansea City FC Ambassador and ex Swans striker Lee Trundle and the club's 23-year-old Welsh international right back Connor Roberts - a former Llangatwg pupil.
Llangatwg Community School head teacher Alan Rowlands said: “The School of the Year award is a fitting reward for all the talent, commitment and effort shown by all pupils who have participated this year, along with great support from parents and staff.”
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, Cllr Peter Rees added: “Congratulations to Llangatwg Community School for this award which is thoroughly deserved and reflects a lot of enthusiasm, hard work and innovative thinking.”