Bright schoolchildren have what it takes to be the next apprentices

WINNERS Youngsters from Team Dreamers
WINNERS Youngsters from Team Dreamers
From left, Paul Stanley, Jo Crisp, George Heasman, Mercedes Bevan, Luke Galea and Bethany Bevan from Highbury College

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A HEALTHY drink with no artificial colouring and just 35 calories a can won an Apprentice-style competition at a school in Southsea.

Eight teams of 10 and 11-year-olds at St John’s College spent the week coming up with ideas for a new soft drink just like in the hit TV show. They had to present to a panel of judges who stepped into the shoes of Lord Sugar and his henchmen.

It was a tough call, but Team Dreamers won overall spot with their high-energy yet low-calorie Active Star beverage.

Judges were particularly impressed with their advertisement claiming the drink would be a top choice for parents who wanted their children to be active.

Oscar Jenkins, 11, team leader, said: ‘The presentation was nerve-wracking as we couldn’t prepare completely for the questions. We all felt we gave a good pitch and it is brilliant that we won.’

Team mate Charlie Webb, 11, said: ‘Two years ago my sister came second, now I can go home and brag that we came first!’

Nancy Waters, also in the winning team, said: ‘Taking part in this project has made me want to go into business when I leave school.’

Clare Young, the school’s marketing officer, co-judged the event with lower school head Tony Shrubsall (aka Lord Sugar) and school bursar Hilary Angel (aka Margaret Mountford).

She said: ‘The standard of work was extremely high, with all teams conducting market research and cost analysis, and considering target markets and unique selling points before presenting their product.’