It all started with a few cups of coffee and a packet of biscuits.
This was LLS’ first leadership meeting of 2016 and following the success from the previous year we knew it had to be a good one. Our sixth form students had accessed some fantastic opportunities in 2015 from gaining weekly work experience at Premier League football academies, to visiting places such as Wembley Stadium and St George’s Park – the English FA’s National Football Centre.
The highlight of the year was a trip to Helsinki, Finland where a group of 27 Year 12 and 13 students spent 5 days coaching football to local players. The experience has taken their unique CV to the next level as it gave them the opportunity to work with players’ from different cultures and who speak a foreign language. This has no doubt contributed to why 98% of trainees were successful when applying for coaching roles in the USA and Canada this summer. So, the question on our minds: ‘how do we make this year bigger and better than ever for our learners?’
We used two of LLS core values to keep us on track during this strategy meeting; innovation and raising aspirations. With events and travel being something our team specialise in and have a great passion for, we let our creative minds run wild and decided to do something a little away from our comfort zone.
A wish list soon began to develop: Premier League Footballers, Professional Athletes, Sports Personalities and far away countries featured, but there had to be a purpose to what we were planning. What could we do that would enrich the education of LLS Post 16 students? Whatever our decision, it had to inspire.
‘Let’s go to Rio’. ‘Why?’ ‘Why not?’…….. ‘Yeah, sounds good’. So that was the first bit sorted – nice and easy.
The next part was thinking how we were going to announce this to our students. ‘Let’s do a launch event and get a Brazilian footballer to tell students what they can expect.’ ‘Perfect’.
Liverpool FC’s longest current serving player, Lucas sprung to mind swiftly followed by Phil ‘The Magician’ Coutinho, but something didn’t quite feel right. ‘What about the Scouse Cafu, Flanno’, we laughed….. Then looked at one another and said, ‘we don’t need a Brazilian, he’s the man’.
Being a local lad and fans favourite, we couldn’t think of anybody better to inspire our students than 23 year old LFC Academy graduate, Jon Flanagan.
The birth of 90 minutes with…..
Thursday 3rd March 2016, the day after Liverpool FC thrashed Manchester City 3-0 at Anfield; four days following City’s Capital One Cup Final victory. This date symbolises the launch of LLS ’90 minutes with…..’ the first in a series of aspirational events, exclusive to members of our team and professional network.
A crowd of almost 200 young people and guests were welcomed to Liverpool Hope University by our apprentices, coaches and tutors. Our marketing team arranged for the local press and camera crews to be on hand from the off and there was a real buzz around the place.
Head of Marketing, Marc Garnett launched the proceedings with an introduction to the crowd and provided a glimpse of what was to come by playing an awe-inspiring Brazilian themed video.  LLS Co-Founder and Managing Director, Jordan Wright took to the mic and had guests on the edge of their seats with a visual presentation on what can be expected on our tour of Rio de Janeiro.
On to the main event…..
WDS_0830WDS_0830The crowed were buzzing and the best was yet to come.
flan2We welcomed Radio City Talk and LFC TV presenter, Steve Hothersall to the stage.  His engaging delivery combined with a genuine passion for sport resulted in a fantastic build up for the welcome of our special guest.
With the two Manchester City fixtures still fresh in our minds, one question everyone wanted to ask related to that early tackle on Sterling, Jon’s response: ‘the ball was there to be won! Sterling is a mate but business is business’. The LFC fans in attendance burst into fits of laughter, followed by a round of applause.
Students had plenty of opportunities to ask questions to both Jon and Bradley Orr (former Professional Footballer and current agent), as well and have their picture taken at the end. Check out @LLSonline social media feeds for more images and questions from the event.
If you are currently in Year 11 or aged 16-18 and passionate about sport, LLS are holding invitation only taster sessions in March. You can apply to attend and discuss Your Future aspirations by emailing Marc Garnett at: #JOINTHETEAM

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