‘Whether it’s rowing or another sport, hopefully my visit will encourage them and push them on to success’

Olympic champion Moe Sbihi visited a school in Slough to encourage the children there to try out new sports and reach their potential

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Moe Sbihi at Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College

“Have you ever met the Queen?”

This was just one of the dozens of questions answered by Olympic champion Moe Sbihi when he visited Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College on Wednesday.

Sbihi presented to children from four state schools in the area, describing his journey from World Class Start athlete to Olympic champion and the lessons he learned along the way.

At the event organised by Megan Orme-Smith, a Stewards’ Charitable Trust coach who works with children in the Slough area, Sbihi discussed how he balances his Muslim faith with his gruelling training schedule and even got a round of applause for his, admittedly impressive, GCSE results.

“Being able to inspire just one of the 50 kids who were there that they could become a rower or pursue another sport is something that I really like about being a professional sportsman,” he said.

Slough and Eton College is just a 10-minute walk away from the Jubilee Riverside Centre – a new water sports facility on a man-made river, providing people of all ages a quiet waterway to learn rowing, kayaking and more.

Sbihi hopes that having such a facility on their doorstep will encourage the children to get active by try out rowing and seeing where their talent takes them.

“I knew of one rowing club when I was growing up, and that was Kingston RC, which happened to be next to a restaurant that my mum and dad would go to for Sunday lunch. When I started rowing I realised there were about 10 clubs in a two-mile radius. A lot of the kids here, or their parents, might not know there is a rowing facility so nearby.

“Hopefully having a rower come in they will be inspired to get out on the water and try their best. Whether it’s rowing or another sport, hopefully [my visit] will encourage them and push them on to success.”

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