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Kehinde's mum, Tolu

We are very proud of both our children working so hard and having gone to University to better themselves further. It is a joy. Our concerns were – will the courses they picked be good enough to get them good jobs and also will they be happy doing them? Our feelings have changed a lot because they are happy with what they are doing.

At first, Sports Science to me just didn’t mean much and I was very worried what future would hold doing this career-wise. But after having long conversations with Kehinde she put my mind at rest. Kehinde has made a huge progress in her studies due to the support and hard work of the team at UEL. I believe, she is happy and positive, and she is being pushed to better herself each time – they are not letting her slack in any way!

UEL was very suitable for our daughter because they listen and understand that students do their best when they feel secure.

Kehinde's story

I wanted to live at home during university because my parents offer me a good support system. Sometimes I can get unmotivated. Without them I don’t think I would have been disciplined enough to keep working at my course like I have.

When I said I wanted to do Sports Science at UEL my dad was fine with it, but my mum wanted to know more. She said: ‘If you want to do this, go online and see what jobs you can get with this degree.’ So I looked it up and saw that you could be a PE teacher, a personal trainer, or you could work in biomechanics. I said that biomechanics was what most interested me and that I would be able to combine my degree with work experience because there were so many high-class athletes in London. When I told my mum I had a passion to do this, she said 'OK, go ahead.'

It took quite a bit of time to convince her. But now I am in my second year she said 'I understand why you have chosen this, and I can see that you are working hard and getting really good grades.' I got offers from UEL, Durham University and Middlesex University. I decided I wanted a university in London so I could commute from home, and UEL had the best sports facilities.

What made up my mind for me to choose UEL was an Open Day I attended. They had a load of different kinds of support for students. When I have finished my degree I hope to go on and do a Master's in Performance Motion so that I can then do a Doctorate in Biomechanics for Athletes.

Different kinds of support

UEL has a lot of extra help for students should they need it. The Hub is a great way of getting help with lots of different things. They have been a great help to me in looking for work experience opportunities.

I found UEL had a subject library, which was very useful for me. And they offered extra help in English and maths, which was really good for me because maths has never been a strong point.

I was able to get some important help this year from staff on the Docklands site. They helped me check data for one of my casework projects, and also helped me with my writing style which has given me extra confidence.

The best sports facilities

I am hoping to start up my own organisation, funded by UEL, to encourage young women in Newham to take up sport. I will be able to rent out the arena in SportsDock for free as a student, and I have had financial support lined up if I can get the organisation sorted out in time.

I have always loved athletics, and I am now a semi-professional athlete. I train six or seven nights a week with Newham & Essex Beagles. I joined the club in 2015 and I do sprints and the long jump. My 100m best is 12.68sec, and I have done 25.00sec for the 200m.

I study at the Docklands campus, which is brilliant for me in terms of location. I can get the DLR from straight outside to Prince Regent, which is close to where I mostly train.

One of the athletes I most look up to is Christine Ohuruogu, who is also a member of Newham & Essex Beagles. She has won Olympic and world titles at 400m, and I have sometimes seen her when I train at Lee Valley. She is a really nice person as well as being a great athlete.

Next year I am hoping to do work experience alongside coaches at the University of Texas, which has a number of world-class athletes.

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