Bournemouth University, official higher education sponsor of AFC Bournemouth, celebrated the partnership between the two organisations with the BU Big Match at the weekend.
The match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC was designated as the BU Big Match, with a range of activities taking place before and during the game.
The BU Big Match activity focussed on the subject of resilience. As a part of the pre-match activity to celebrate the partnership, AFC Bournemouth captain Simon Francis, and defender Tyrone Mings, visited BU’s Talbot Campus to give a talk on their careers and the resilience needed to perform at the highest level.
The BU Big Match also afforded the opportunity for the university to highlight its work in wellbeing and mental health, with the film #lifeunfiltered being shown around the ground before kick-off, alongside a range of other content.
#lifeunfiltered is a video proving the opportunity to look at mental health through the eyes of a young person. Some of the young people featured in the film will be guests of the university at the match on 8th December.
Ahead of the game, Bournemouth University Chief Operating Officer was in China, where he met Chinese football coaches and spoke about the partnership out there.
As the game took place, a gathered group of Premier League fans watched live in New York, as a part of NBC’s coverage of the Premier League. BU alumni joined AFC Bournemouth fans in New York to watch the game.
At the BU Big Match itself, BU showcased the partnership inside and outside of the ground, with a series of videos on the screens. The BU Big Band performed a selection of hits to build atmosphere before the match, while experts from BU's Faculty of Media and Communication were on hand in the Junior Cherries Fanzone to showcase green screen technology and get the young Cherries fans exploring visual effects through football.
Even BU's own Professor Puzzles took to the stadium, welcoming fans and cheering from the sideline before taking to the pitch during the half time entertainment to keep one of the goals - with AFC Bournemouth's mascot Cherry Bear at the other end.
Ahead of the game, BU Chief Operating Officer, Jim Andrews, said: “We are very proud of our partnership with AFC Bournemouth and the BU Big Match will again be a chance to showcase the many benefits of two of Dorset’s leading organisations working together. This year’s BU Big Match will mark the first year that we’ve supported all of the AFC Bournemouth Girls teams, as well becoming a Junior Cherries partner, and we will be including the educational opportunities the partnership provides alongside support for the next generation of players and supporters.”
AFC Bournemouth Commercial Director and BU graduate Rob Mitchell said, “Our partnership with Bournemouth University has been running for six years now, and has been of great benefit to the club, the university, and the wider community. From the work placement opportunities, to knowledge sharing, we are working together to advance knowledge and give opportunities to students. It has also been great to have the university included in our community activity, including with our Junior Cherries and their sponsorship of the AFC Bournemouth girl’s football teams.”
For more information about BU’s partnership with AFC Bournemouth, visit https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/collaborate/afc-bournemouth