Sir’s very special lesson in life for pupils

With his bright red track suit, Nike trainers and Golf GTI sportscar, Ade Olorunda may seem like your typical PE teacher.

But there can’t be many teachers across the country who are grilled by their students every Monday morning on how they ‘got on at the weekend?’

By day the inspirational 30-year-old is busy putting the next generation of sports science students through their paces at William Parker Sports College.

But by night he transforms himself into one of the most talented local footballers in the region.

Earlier this month, Ade scored twice in to help Maidstone United win the Ryman Division One play off against Faversham in front of more than 2,000 fans.

The Stones replaced demoted Hastings United in the Ryman Premier Division and have their sights set on even more success.

Ade’s remarkable story began in London when his mother gave him up for adoption at the tender age of just eight weeks.

He was fostered by Marion and Peter Dawson and came to live in Hastings. Ade’s brother’s Tim and Wale were also fostered by the Dawsons.

They grew up in the town and enjoyed an idllyic childhood.

Ade went to William Parker High School and was spotted as a talented footballer.

He trained with Gareth Barry who also represented the school and even played under 16 county cricket with a young Mike Yardy.

Ade had his sights set on playing football for a living but his dreams were shattered in 1990 when he ruptured a cruciate ligament.

His injury cut short any plans he had to sign pro-forms and instead he applied to go to university.

He said: “It was the first lesson that I learned.

“I needed something to fall back on if my sporting career fell through. So I got into university and really never looked back.

“It was an important lession in life.”

After three years at Roehampton University in Surrey studying for a sports science degree, Ade took a job in the City working at a project manager in a recruitment company.

After two years he applied to William Parker and was handed in his first job in his home town.

He also managed to get into the Hastings United squad and helped the team go on to win the promotion into the Ryman Premier League.

He went on to play for Tonbridge Angels and then Maidstone United where he scored 17 goals in 20 games this season.

The club has a five year plan with hopes of making it into the Conference division and even back into the football league.

The original Maidstone United folded and went out of the football league in 1992 but later reformed and now has its own smart new ground with synthetic pitch.

Ade was hailed a hero when he scored twice in the recent 3-0 play off final win against Faversham.

And his career off the pitch has also taken off.

He has risen through the ranks to head of year 10 and made temporary assistant headteacher of the college before he had hit 30.

“I am a product of this school and Hastings,” he said. “If any pupil needed an example of just what you can achieve they can look at me.

“I came through this school and I know what it is all about. Now I am an example to the boys.

“I manage to juggle school life with football quite well. The college has given me a good grounding.

“I get the time to train and play and still put a full shift in at work.

“I am really enjoying it here and it’s great to teach in my home town.

“I must also thank my parents Marion and Peter who have been fantastic to me and my brothers.

“Without them none of this would have been possible. I would have ended up on some estate in Hackney with no chance at all. I just can’t thank them enough.”