Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Visits From The Real Challenge Project

The other week I had the unexpected pleasure of acting as a 'Dragon' to five aspiring teams looking to fund a community project. Over the last couple of days I've had the opportunity of seeing how teams go about preparing for these dragon sessions by hosting individual teams at the Cherry Red Records Stadium - Kingsmeadow. Ivor had greeted two teams on the morning of the Reading game and I had a group last Thursday morning. That was an interesting experience as the group were looking at raising awareness of Deen City Farm in Merton. They had plans for an open day and various other activities and I like to think we were able to offer a couple of worthwhile suggestions for them
Team Pelham - or was it?
Todays group at the stadium were Team Pelham (I think - something close anyway) and they were looking to develop an intergenerational project in Kingston. The format of the morning pretty much follows the same routine and we start by gathering in the main entrance by the trophy cabinet. There are various introductions and then we try to give the students a potted history of both AFC Wimbledon and Wimbledon FC. 'We' was the correct term today as it was a dual effort between myself and Sam Grayson, the new commercial executive. After the introductory chat we then took the students through the President's Lounge and into the home changing room. After that we made our way out to the Main Stand and into the most welcome sunshine. More discussions regarding ground development followed before we made our way back to the Back Bar for a trial run through of their presentation. 

It wouldn't be fair to go into details of their presentation but I think having both Sam and myself involved worked pretty well - Sam dealt with questions around finance and planning and I concentrated more on the community side of things. After about half an hour we pulled things together and just before they left we all went back onto the pitch for some photographs.

I think we have a further six or so visits lined up over the next couple of weeks - I've added their visit dates on the community blog calendar above if you're interested. The attitude of the youngsters has been positive and creative and I really hope their projects come off and inspire them to greater things!

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