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The Crawley student who is inspiring everyone

After announcing his acceptance into the Olympic Programme last month, we sat down with Anton Adewale to discover more about this talented Crawley student.

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The internet is awash with stories and videos of talented youngsters from around the world. Sometimes a three year old who can play Brahms Requiem backwards on a piano or another child who is pitched to be the next Lewis Hamilton. But these stories all have one thing in common, they are all about people in places no-where near us.

Till now!

We ran a story a couple of weeks ago about a student at Thomas Bennett Community College who had just been accepted into the Olympic Programme for his gymnastics.

The achievement of this young man did not go un-noticed by the locals including politicians who all vocalised how impressed they were.

But to understand just how incredible an achievement this is we decided to sit down with Anton at his school to find out more.

The Thomas Bennett pupil has not let his studies be affected by his intense training schedule.

Fourteen-year-old Anton Adewale looks like your typical teenager. Slightly shy and unimposing, his slight frame gives nothing away from the gruelling 27 hour schedule he undertakes every week ONTOP of his studies.

Anton trains for the mens artistic which is made up of six apparatus, The Vault, The Floor, Pommel Horse, Rings, Parallel bars and Horizontal bar.

“The floor is my favourite!” Anton points out straight away.

But how did it all start for the youngster?

“When I was four I was watching the Beijing Olympics with my mum,” says Anton, “when I saw the gymnastics I was like, I want to do that! So my mum started me up at gymnastics at ICC before moving to Hawth gymnastics club where I had one coach Josh till I was eleven. Now I’m based at Pegasus in Maidstone.”

Having started at such an early age Anton made the decision to take it seriously when he was only eight.

“I just really enjoyed it and found I was good at it so I wanted to just persevere with it. I would sometimes with my coach get set targets and because of your team mates they help motivate you because doing it by yourself is quite hard.”

Most people know just how hard it is to stay focused but Anton even has this sorted out;

“I try to think of the positives, because your whole sessions wont just be negatives, there will always be a positive somewhere, so if I have a negative on the high bar but a positive on the pommel then I will concentrate on the pommel and it will cheer me up”

An incredibly mature attitude and when your training routine consists of six days of the week with, Monday, Wed and Thursday 5-9, Tuesday and Friday 2-7 and Saturday 10-3 you realise the sheer mammoth commitment required. What’s more he is not allowing any of his training to interfere with his school grades and still has time for his friends who fully support him.

If you thought your training was intense, check out this snippet of just one session:

Last year this commitment reaped its reward. He came 3rd in the English Championships, 15th in the British Championships and an incredible 2nd in the grades competition where all the boys from across the UK compete.

Just to reiterate, Anton is only fourteen!

So what’s next?

“This year I have the English and British Championships and if I do well I can compete internationally for GB.” Anton explains.

In order for him to make the cut for team GB it means he will have to reach the top six which after his recent success you would think would be easy but as he points out, this will be the first time he will competing with boys older than him.

Regardless of how he performs in the few weeks, Anton has made it into the Olympic cycle preparing athletes so they are ready to compete and whilst he will not be old enough for the 2020 Tokyo games the goal is certainly for the 2024.

One thing is very clear though, Anton Adewale is such an inspiration to everyone and without doubt someone to keep an eye out for.

It goes without saying this talented athlete is someone Crawley is very proud to have as a resident.

The support from his school was summed up perfectly by the new head Mr Smith:

“We continue to support Anton with whatever he needs during his time at Thomas Bennett.”

But all this training does come at a cost and remarkably Anton has yet to get any sponsorship meaning the whole family has to pull together and tighten the purse strings to make it possible.

If you are a business and would be interested in becoming a sponsor of Anton then please email us at info@crawleynews24.co.uk and we will pass on your details.

Education

‘Don’t force children to go hungry’ says Crawley Council leader after MP’s vote against extending free school meals

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It was always going to cause a huge debate but following a vote in the commons yesterday a motion to extend free schools meals into the holiday period was rejected.

Now Crawley’s Council Leader had spoken out saying that up to 2,511 children in Crawley are now at risk of going hungry over the holidays.

In a statement Cllr Peter Lamb wrote:

“Even before the pandemic, a third of Crawley’s children were growing up in poverty. Now, with more families in Crawley facing unemployment than ever before, the need to ensure children from low-income households are fed through the school holidays has never been greater.”

Now Cllr Lamb has called on the government to extend free school meals into the school holidays, including the upcoming October half term and Christmas, saying this is the only way to ensure no child goes hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Lamb said:

“Crawley’s economy is suffering the impact of COVID-19 harder than anywhere else in the country, the government’s unwillingness to support the aviation sector having cost the town thousands of jobs with thousands more at risk. Now more than ever we need support for low-income families to ensure the mistakes of the government don’t force children to go hungry.”

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