Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Hassenbrook student wins £70,000 scholarship to Rugby school

A PUPIL from Hassenbrook school has won a £70,000 scholarship to the boarding school where rugby was invented.

Michael Olorunlogbon, 16, is the 100th student to get a life-changing Arnold Foundation scholarship to Rugby and has moved from Hassenbrook Academy to the school in the West Midlands.

The keen footballer, who has never played rugby, won the scholarship for his academic ability and because he was judged to be someone who would flourish at a boarding school.

This term Michael will start playing rugby on The Close, the school’s famous pitch where in 1823 William Webb Ellis first ran with the ball and invented the game.

Headmaster Peter Green said he hoped Michael and other Arnold Foundation scholars would have a “ripple effect” on their communities when they return home.

He told the Evening Standard: “We might be able to be transformative and transform their lives. Then when they go to university, and after, they can start to transform their own local communities. It’s not about parachuting someone out of that. We want to keep their association with where they are from.”

Michael, who recently joined Rugby’s sixth form, will have all his fees and living costs of around £35,000 a year paid.

The Arnold Foundation was launched in 2003 to provide bursaries for boarders at the Warwickshire school and Michael was put forward by the East Side Young Leaders’ Academy, set up to develop the leadership potential of African and Caribbean boys.

Before moving to Rugby, Michael lived with his mother, a maths teacher, near Arsenal’s Emirates stadium. His father lives in Nigeria and his older sister is at university.

He got 10 GCSEs and is studying A- levels in history, maths, physics and economics. He said that when he walks into the school “I think ‘wow’…how many generations have walked down these corridors.”

Michael added: “I will enjoy playing rugby but football will be my main sport.”


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