Rugby Player - England 7's
1. What was your school like?
I went to a public school called William Edwards. It was for both boys and girls and was located in Grays, Essex where I grew up.
2. What is your favourite memory from school?
It would probably just be the quality time you used to get with friends; trips we used to go on etc. I’m not really in touch with a lot of the people I grew up with anymore which is sad but I guess things change and people go their own ways.
3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?
I had always wanted to be a rugby player from a very young age. I got into the Saracens Academy from around the age of 14, which I think is year 9 in school. From then onwards it started to become more important and I had to travel an hour or so to training every Tuesday night. Luckily, in school, I had a few very encouraging teachers, very much into their rugby, who would sometimes give me days off to train as I guess they knew how important it was to me.
4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?
Fortunately, I wasn’t bullied at school. I witnessed it sometimes but was probably too afraid to stand up and say anything. I have, however, always been against any form of it and feel I’m in a better position to do so now.
5. What was your favorite school subject?
My favorite school subject was Physical Education. I enjoyed doing anything active and was always competitive.
6. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?
It’s quite hard looking back as it’s already been 6 years since I left school now. I would say I looked forward to seeing people I didn’t hang around with but knew well. I enjoyed listening to what they’d been up to over the summer.
Not to sound patronizing to youngsters now but I think of how naïve I was in school, not knowing how important it was to make sure I gave my full attention in class. I was always rugby, rugby, rugby!! Not to say I didn’t do well in school but I could have done better had I been more focused on what it was I’d have done had rugby not worked out.
As well as being a rugby player, I’m now doing a degree alongside it to prepare for the future, as I came to the realisation that it doesn’t last a lifetime.
For young people going back to school, I’d say for them to look at it as a new start. Whatever happened the previous year (good or bad) is now in the past and there isn’t anything you can change. All you can do is look ahead and focus on what’s to come. Set targets you want to achieve. For those wanting a sporting career, don’t neglect the academic side of things, as you never know what can happen in the future. It’s better to be prepared if something doesn’t quite work out.
7. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?
I never really had any worries about going back to school and always looked forward to it. Okay, apart from what I then thought were early mornings.
8. What was your favorite school meal?
I wouldn’t say I had a favorite school meal.
9. If you had to do school again what would you change?
I would change my attitude towards academia.
10. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?
Whatever your problem may be, I would strongly recommend you tell somebody close to you whom you can trust. Having that someone there who can help or be a shoulder to lean on can make a huge difference. Never try and battle something like bullying alone, as mentally it will only make things worse.
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