Skip to content ↓

Canaries defender tells how school days saved him

Published on 05/01/17

Students at The Hewett Academy have heard from Norwich City captain Russell Martin how hard work at school set him on the path to success.

The Canaries defender visited the school on Thursday, January 5, to talk to students about the importance of hard work and positive thinking, and encourage them to set high aspirations for the new term.

In two special assemblies he told students about his own school days, and how education was a way for him to escape from a troubled home life when his father was sent to prison.

“I decided early on that football was the way I could make mine and my mum’s lives better, but I knew I needed to get my education sorted first,” he said.

“It wasn’t always easy and I had to work extra hard as I didn’t have the best support at home. But I made sure I stayed focused, and the harder I worked at school, the easier it became.”

And he told students to make the most of their school days.

“You have such a fantastic opportunity to achieve what you want to, with the facilities you have here and the support of your teachers,” he said.

“Whatever career you want to go into, if you work hard and give 100% at school, it will be so much easier to get there.”

He added that he stays motivated by setting himself regular goals both in football and in life, and that on the pitch, just like at school, even the toughest challenges are a learning opportunity: “I never lose. I win, or I learn.”

Russell joined the Canaries in 2009 and has captained the team since 2014. He also plays for the Scotland national team.

His positive mindset has helped him overcome challenges in his own sporting career, fighting his way back to fitness after being diagnosed with the serious health condition ulcerative colitis shortly after joining Norwich City.

Principal Tom Leverage said: “At The Hewett Academy we teach our students to develop a ‘growth mindset’, where they can face challenges with resilience and a positive outlook, and Russell’s story is a fantastic example of that.

“He’s shown that with determination and hard work everyone is capable of achieving great things, which is very inspiring for our students.”