Introducing … Jordan Adetiba

Meet Jordan Adetiba, a football scholar at Essex balancing his passion for the game with pursuing a law degree. Through his journey, discover how he navigates the challenges of being a student-athlete while shining both on the field and in academics, with insights into the impactful support system, scholar accommodations, and enhanced employability opportunities offered by the University's Performance Sport programme.

Student Athlete and Men's Essex Blades Football Team Player Jordan Adetiba

Discovering University as a Student-Athlete

If you’re anything like me, then university was a last resort option. My sport is football and has been from as early as I can remember. It’s taken me to cities as far as Cape Town and Abu Dhabi and caused me to progress from grassroots to academy football at Blackburn Rovers, up to semi-pro level where I spent time at Rochester City and Ebbsfleet United amongst other clubs.

Choosing a university with a strong focus on sports was important to me to continue playing whilst pursuing my law degree. Now, as a football scholar at Essex approaching graduation, I can share how my football ambitions have not been ‘written off’ like I thought attending university would do which is testament to the football programme and support at the University.

A Balancing Act

As you can imagine, balancing a law degree with footballing commitments can be very challenging. For one being able to continue playing football at a good level whilst achieving a solid fallback option, and the other graduating with the degree grade I’ve been aiming for…and let’s just say I aim high. This has created a tendency for me to use one side of the student-athlete scale as an excuse for demotivation or underperformance in the other. For example, when my grades were low it was easy to disregard them because “I’m here for footy anyway”; likewise, to tell myself that football doesn’t count towards my degree when I’ve been out of form on the pitch. So, trying to remember my “why?” for being at university has been blurry at times. However, this struggle has caused me to learn the importance of time management and prioritisation, which certain features and perks of the football programme have helped me with.

Benefits of Scholar Accommodation

For instance, the accommodation that we’re given as scholars has been an important part of my university experience because it’s closest to the gym and pitches, and it’s near the centre of campus. It’s made it easier for me to form healthy routines during busy periods like the start of the academic year where I’m busy settling into new modules, and busy training and playing matches because the uni football season begins around this time too. In my opinion, our accommodation is placed right where we can make the most of the library and the sports facilities, and I like being able to turn these three things into a little productivity bubble whenever I need to.

Impactful Coaching Staff

The coaching staff are also worth noting for their role in our academic and athletic growth at the University. I’m especially thankful for Pedro Bruno who was our first-team coach for much of my time at Essex before recently progressing to coach academy football. He was invested in us as people as well as players which made it easy for us to approach him regarding issues on and off the pitch, and this is a testament to the well-rounded support that is available as a sports scholar at Essex.

Enhanced Employability

We have access to personalised strength and conditioning programmes and performance testing to enhance our performance on the pitch, as well as access to special workshops where we’re able to learn how to leverage our sporting skills in the professional world. This has been particularly helpful for me since I have sent out numerous applications for graduate work opportunities this year, and I believe that it’s one of the reasons behind my successful application and interviews for a legal internship at LIV Golf this summer. Being a sports scholar at Essex gifts you an investment in your employability alongside your sporting ability, which you grow to appreciate the closer you get to graduation.

Discover how our Performance Sport programme at Essex can support your overall development.

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Sports scholarships and bursaries

We are committed to supporting and developing high performance athletes. Find out whether you could be eligible for a sports scholarship or bursary, plus a range of additional benefits too when you join the University of Essex.