Students Staff

22 May 2017

Meet Adeseye Ogunlewe

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 3.27 pm

Adeseye Ogunlewe studied Law and Politics at Essex and graduated in 2016. He qualified to represent Nigeria in the 100 metres at the Rio Olympics, and was recently named as our 2017 Alumni Sports Award winner.

An image of Adeseye Ogunlewe with Professor Anthony Forster.

Adeseye Ogunlewe with our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster

How does it feel to receive the Essex Alumni Sports Award?

It feels good. It feels good to be able to come back to receive this award. It shows that you guys cherish what I’ve done and what I’m still doing. It feels good. My parents are happy, I’m happy, and hopefully you guys are happy with me as well.

Wow! Could you tell us a bit about what Essex means to you?

Essex means everything to me because when I came here I was no-one. I came as an amateur athlete in 2011 and you guys grew me from where I was then, to where I am right now. I’m grateful to you guys, as without you I wouldn’t be where I am today. So, Essex means the world to me.

You knocked 0.7 seconds off your time while studying here, how instrumental were the staff and facilities at Essex in supporting you?

The staff at Essex were instrumental in my development. The Human Performance Unit put me on a path which has brought me to where I am today. I can’t thank them enough. They gave me access to a very good nutritionist in Chris McManus, and a lot was done to track what I was doing in the gym and on the track. I had a strength and conditioning coach as well. Everything was monitored. The best part of everything is that they believed in my ability, which meant so much to me.

Your next major tournament is the World Athletics Championships in London this summer. This will be Usain Bolt’s last race. What are your thoughts on his career, and has he inspired your own?

Bolt has definitely inspired me. In 2008 I watched him win and break world records in a very calm way at the Olympics. One of my friends said to me that Usain Bolt reminds them of me because we are both so chilled! He is the greatest track athlete and I am honoured to have watched him compete. He has been an inspiration, not just to me, but to a lot of other people.

How does it feel to travel the world doing what you love?

I travel a lot because of what I do. We  race in various countries around the world. Unfortunately, I never get to go sightseeing so I buy fridge magnets to remind me of the places I’ve been. I have quite a few and I hope I can collect many more!

You mentioned that the thrill of graduating was on the same level as Rio! Really?

It was for me! Going to the Olympics was a goal I set in 2008. Making it was overwhelming because I put in a lot of work for a lot of years to get there.

It was the same with getting a degree. It was one of my life goals, and I come from a very educated family so the pressure was on! My Dad was all about school before sports, so when I graduated with my degree in Law and Politics it felt like a huge relief, as I had spent a long time balancing track and school.

Both achievements mean everything to me.

Do you have any top tips for students graduating this year?

Set your goals. Set your goals before you graduate. Don’t just come out of school and set your goals. Set your goals before you come out and go for it! Don’t shy away from anything. Go for anything you set your mind to. It can be done. I set myself the goal of going to the Olympics and I did. If I can do it, anyone can do it!

What’s your everyday life like, now you’ve graduated?

I wake up at 5am every morning to go for training. I have weights in the morning, then I have track, then I have physio.  It’s exciting, being able to do what you love and do it at the highest level. It’s a bit intense, so I have to be disciplined. I’ve set my goals high and hopefully I’ll achieve them.

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