Elliot Omozusi and Moses Odubajo visited Portway Primary School in Newham recently to give the pupils some inspiration to work hard.
The aim of the school’s partnership with Orient (LOPASS) is to help stimulate the pupils and to encourage the children to support their local club. The O’s pair began by speaking about how their footballing careers began and then held a question and answer session with the year 5 students. Omozusi explained that it has been hard work and determination that has helped them fulfill their career, “You have to be very disciplined with what you eat, and with how you look after yourself. You can’t go out on a Friday night with your friends because you need rest, so it is hard but it is all about discipline.”
The pupils asked questions to Odubajo and Omozusi such as what are their biggest inspirations. Odubajo explained that it is his older brother that has motivated him to play football. Omozusi said that his biggest inspiration is his father, but he also said that his fellow teammates motivate him. Another question asked them what age they had decided that they wanted to play football professionally. The young O’s player Odubajo spoke about his love of football from a very young age, “I have watched football since I can first remember and first went to watch a game around the age of 8, but it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I realized that I wanted to play football for a living rather than a hobby. That is when I had to focus and work hard to come up through the Orient youth team.”
Philip Walsh, one of the P.E teachers at the school said, “It was really good to have the players here, and the boys gave a lot of great information for the kids to learn from. This was intended to help give the children the right mentality to progress in sport and inspire them to fulfill their dream careers. Having professional sportsmen come in and meet and talk to the pupils gives them something to aspire to.” Philip also continued to explain that he feels that more people should support their local football clubs, “I think that it is very important for people to support their local clubs from a very young age and that is something that we are aiming to achieve with the partnership with Orient.”
Omozusi and Odubajo finished off the afternoon with a showcase of their skills in front of the school and signed autographs for the pupils. One of the year 5 students, Malachi, said, “It was a great experience for real footballers to come and visit here. I think that it will help people who want to become footballers because they gave good advice to us about working hard. It has taught me to always persevere.”