Brunel University has awarded the first ever Sid Richardson Rugby Scholarship to Mathematics and Computing student and Rugby Sevens International, Mark Odejobi.
Mark, who joined Brunel in 2010, represented England at the International Rugby Sevens tournament in Hong Kong last month and is currently playing with and assisting with coaching the Brunel 1st XV team. Mark had also spent the last four years playing for London Wasps, one of the UK’s top rugby union teams.
Speaking about receiving the award, Mark said: "The Scholarship will be a weight off my shoulders as it makes me more secure. But the main thing is being recognised for my past and present achievements. It is pretty tough to balance things as I am regularly away from University for training camps or when I get selected for tournaments. But I do my best to work hard and believe I will come out the other end having done well in a very challenging course."
The recently established Scholarships – in Mark's case, worth £1,000 in a year over three instalments – were founded in honour of the late Sid Richardson, Life Vice-President of, and a major benefactor to, the Brunel University West London Rugby Football Club (RFC). The Scholarships recognise outstanding rugby players who choose to study at Brunel and are designed to boost Brunel rugby through the recruitment of quality players. The valuable award also helps students balance their studies with the costs associated with national and international competition.
John Hunter, Life President of Brunel RFC and convenor of the Scholarship, said: "Mark came across as exactly the type of person whom we felt confident would do justice to the award. He aspires to England Sevens standard and was selected for the world-famous Hong Kong tournament, with Brunel University listed as his home club."
The University has a long and proud rugby heritage and has been home to many international players, including England and British and Irish Lion flanker Richard Hill and former captain of the Argentine team, Augustin Pichot. Mark hopes to emulate their success in the future, but is determined not to let his studies suffer in the process. "For the present time I’m just concentrating on getting some more experience on the international seven a side circuit and completing my first year," he explained. "I'm hoping to come out with a good grade after my first year and I’m going to try my hardest to establish myself as a regular for England 7s."
For more information on the Sid Richardson Scholarship, please contact John Hunter, c/o of Genevieve Dewez: Email firstname.lastname@example.org