Talented Dagenham student performs hat trick on and off playing field
Student Taiwo Ilori Whyte, 12, performed a hat trick of achievements this summer after being crowned footballer of the year, playing at the BBC Proms and securing a place at Eton College.
Here, the teenager from Suffolk Road, Dagenham, talks about his dreams including playing a solo at the Royal Albert Hall and joining Team GB.
I have lived in Barking and Dagenham all my life with my mum, dad and twin sister, I am a very active person and enjoy doing things and have many hobbies in and out of school, which include sports and music.
I play football for both my school and Euro Dagenham at Mayesbrook Park in Dagenham.
The other sports which I take part in regularly are swimming, cricket, badminton, and athletics. The reason I like sport is because it keeps you fit and healthy.
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I started playing the piano five or six years ago and enjoyed it immediately and I now play a number of instruments including the double bass, saxophone and piano, as well as the clarinet, recorder, guitar, viola and violin.
Every Saturday during term time, I go to the Royal College Of Music in central London for lessons and have been lucky enough to be chosen to play in the National Children’s Orchestra, the National Youth Wind Orchestra and the National Children’s Chamber Orchestra. On August 12, I played in the BBC Proms with the NYWO at the Royal Albert Hall.
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I like playing music because it is relaxing, and a fun thing to do, I also enjoy reading because I find it interesting and it helps me to wind down at the end of the day and the authors I like best are John Buchan and Michael Morpurgo.
The achievements I am most proud of in my life so far are winning the football tour and the league with Euro Dagenham under 10s, in which we were undefeated throughout the whole season, playing in the BBC Proms and winning three football awards including player of the year at Euro Dagenham this season.
I am very happy that I have been accepted into Eton next year and am grateful to all my family, especially my mum and dad for all their support and encouragement and hope that one day I am able to show them my appreciation by taking my dad to see Man Utd and being able to let my mum have a day off work.
My aspirations for later on in life are to be a solicitor, to play a solo in the Royal Albert Hall and to be a judo fighter for team GB at an international tournament.