The Checkatrade Trophy was at Horndean Technology College last week as part of a University of Portsmouth Outreach visit. Year 9 pupil – and budding journalist – Martin Lloyd provided us with the following report.
Representatives of Portsmouth FC and the University of Portsmouth gave a motivational presentation to teenagers at Horndean Technology College on Tuesday.
The team that gave the talk in the school’s library were Mark Catlin, the CEO of Portsmouth FC; Pompey defender Jack Whatmough and commercial director Anna Mitchell.
There were also three student ambassadors from the University of Portsmouth: Sydney Bautista, Lamine Kherroubi and Marwan Kisserwan, as well as two from the University outreach team: Jodie Anthony and Emilie Smith.
What drove Portsmouth Football Club to create a partnership with the University of Portsmouth? Catlin explained that it wasn’t the commercial impact that was the deciding factor, as the club had much larger offers – they wanted a sponsor that clearly represented Portsmouth.
Pompey’s fan-base is renowned nationwide and even more so after roaring their side to a Checkatrade Trophy victory on Sunday afternoon at Wembley Stadium.
Catlin described the mental rollercoaster that the weekend had been for him, while the students were told about two former students from the University of Portsmouth who worked hard to achieve their goals.
Reon arrived at the university without being able to swim, yet he found such a passion for a sport that he was able to become president of the university’s swim team.
Vincent was a former professional footballer with Pompey, but did not have many qualifications. He set up a mental health app for students with help from the university.
Jack Whatmough possibly has the most inspirational story of all and the Pompey youth product is currently recovering from a serious knee injury.
The defender said: “It’s something that now I know you have to get on with. You just have to focus on getting yourself fit, and mentally and physically strong.”
It was a brilliant session for the students, who left the library motivated and excited about their futures.
The partnership between two of great Portsmouth institutions has been incredibly successful so far and there is no reason why that will not continue for years to come.