Olympic sprinter inspires college students to stay on track with studies

British sprinter Adam Gemili

British sprinter Adam Gemili, a former student at Barking and Dagenham College. - Credit: Adam Gemili

A British sprinter and Tokyo Olympics hopeful offered students advice during a virtual visit to Barking and Dagenham College.

Joining them via Zoom from his home in Florida, Adam Gemili spoke about his career and the importance of gaining an education.

He told students how his education had helped him and will continue to help him on his journey as a professional athlete.

Mr Gemili was a student at the college himself, gaining a BTEC sports qualification.

“The course really opens your eyes to so much about sport you didn’t know; the nutrition, science and biology of how the body works,” he said.

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“The course helps you start to learn all about that and become better at sport."

After graduating from the college in 2012, Mr Gemili competed in the London Olympics and went on to become a European champion in the 200m and 4x100m relay events two years later.

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He was part of the Great Britain team that won gold in the 4 x 100m at the 2017 World Championships.

Mr Gemili was speaking to students as part of the college’s annual 'inspiration day'.

The day gives students the chance to hear from industry experts, take part in workshops and competitions and listen to inspirational people.

Mr Gemili said his biggest piece of advice for students was to take their education seriously.

“You might be able to get away with doing the minimal amount of work for a little while, but it’s the people that do the hardest work and the smartest work that are successful in the end”, he said.

He also stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded people who offer support.

“Surround yourself with like-minded people who are on the same sort of mission as you are and get a good support system around you - friends, family, your teachers and teammates,” Mr Gemili said.

“Have patience and believe in yourself and don’t have any regrets."

After answering all questions from students, Mr Gemili wished them well with their studies before heading off to training.

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