Rio Ferdinand Visits Walworth Academy

Wednesday 03 February 2016

Last week we had a very special visitor to the academy, ex professional footballer Rio Ferdinand.

Rio, as part of his work for the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, made a surprise visit to see the students who take part in the Foundation’s 5 Star Active programme. The programme provides trained coaches that deliver a range of youth-led sports activities after school at Walworth Academy.

Upon arrival Rio was met by the principal, Ms Yvonne Powell, and school prefects - and then to the sports hall. The year 7 boys and girls football team were there alongside the year 8 boys’ football team and a few of the year 9 boys’ football team.

The students had no idea he was coming to the school. As soon as he walked in you could see the shock on their faces they were absolutely delighted to see Rio. He firstly took part in a Q&A session where students asked Mr Ferdinand a number of questions about how to become a footballer, his childhood and his professional career. He later played a lively match of football with the students.

Before leaving Rio personally signed T-shirts for each child. A student later said of the experience, “I was so shocked, I had no idea he was coming. I cannot believe I just met a world class football player!” The visit was truly a treat for the children who thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Rio clearly made an impression on them as they were speaking about the visit for days after. It is an experience they will never forget.