Moses Odubajo returned to Sedgehill Secondary School in Catford last week to motivate aspiring footballers and even joined in with a 5-a side football tournament!
Odubajo attended Sedgehill School and began his footballing career whilst he was a student there. He met a group of Year 9 students that are all part of the school’s football team and some of them are Academy standard players so they were excited to have a former student become a professional footballer.
Bethan Shakesheff, P.E subject leader at Sedgehill said, “It was lovely for Moses to come back and visit us today. We wanted him to come in so that the students could have a role model and these particular students are very interested in football and are also the year group that have the highest attendance in the football extra curriculum club.”
She also spoke about the connection that the students would feel with a former student, “We really wanted them to have a role model that has lived the same life as them and walked the same streets as them so that they know that if they try really hard they can go on and achieve amazing things in whatever they wish to do.”
Odubajo said, “It was fun coming back to visit my school today. It was nice to see the old teachers and I felt proud to come back in the Orient kit instead of my school uniform! It’s been a dream come true to play football in front of thousands of people and it’s nice to share it with the students.
Most of the boys that were here today seem focused with their football and they seemed to take in what I said which is really nice. It’s good to be able to motivate them to work hard at what they want to do.”
The young O’s player encouraged the students and spoke about the importance of working hard at school alongside giving everything on the pitch. He told them that he managed to achieve five A-C grade GCSE’s even though he was training with Orient from a young age as he felt it was always important to have other qualifications. “You have to give your all every time you step on to the pitch but it is important to always work hard at school because if you are not lucky enough to make it you always have a backup plan.”
A selection of pupils spoke about what they gained from the visit with one commenting, “I enjoyed Moses being here because it showed us what a footballer’s life is like and how hard you have to work. It was good to hear about his story and about always having other paths that you can take.”
Another student said, “I thought that it was a great opportunity to get his advice and possibly a once in a life time opportunity to meet a professional footballer.”
Moses hopes to return to the school later in the year and help with their Sports Relief fundraising activities.