Case study: Eniola Aluko, top women’s footballer
Our students are a sporty bunch, according to a survey of all College of Law students that we carried out this autumn.
It revealed that 87 per cent actively participate in sport on a regular basis with the most popular being running, swimming and cycling.
As well those who pull on their training shoes, swimming cossies or Lycra shorts for fun or simply to get fit, we also have a decent smattering of serious sportsmen and women who play at the top of their game.
There were 129 mentions of playing at county level, 55 at district level, 74 at national level and 10 at international level in sports ranging from rugby, football, netball and hockey to fencing, sprinting, shooting and even cage fighting!
Our survey, carried out in conjunction with The Times newspaper, asked students for their thoughts on all sorts of subjects including career aspirations, student debt, tuition fees, changes to the legal profession, politics and the economy.
But we were also interested to know what our students do when they’re not slaving away over their law textbooks, particularly in relation to sports as it is hoped that a legacy of the London Olympics will be to increase the nation’s participation in sport.
One former College student who has been doing the country proud, both as part of Team GB at the Olympics and the England international team, is well-known women’s footballer Eniola Aluko.
Eniola recently finished the seven-month corporate Legal Practice Course at our Moorgate centre. She had to defer her elective exams to take part in the Olympics and College staff worked hard to help her combine her studies with her footballing commitments.
The Team GB Women’s Football team won all three of their opening group matches without conceding a goal, beating New Zealand, Cameroon and Brazil. However they unfortunately lost against Canada in the quarter finals.
More recently Eniola scored one of the goals in England’s decisive 3-0 defeat over Croatia on September 19, which secured the team a place at Euro 2013. She also plays for Birmingham City Ladies FC in the FA Women’s Super League.
Now aged 25, Eniola’s superior skills on the football field were recognised nearly ten years ago when she was named ‘Young Player of the Year’ at the 2003 FA Awards. She played for England’s U19s and U21s before making her senior debut against Holland in 2004, while still only 17. She played at Euro 2005 while taking her A-levels and scored three goals at Euro 2009.
She is managing to combine her career as an elite sportswoman with a career in the legal profession and has started a training contract with leading media and entertainment law firm Lee & Thompson. The firm, which is based in London, represents some of the world’s most highly acclaimed musicians, actors, directors, producers, television personalities and sports people, and the entrepreneurs and companies that work with them.
Eniola kindly managed to take some time out of her extremely busy schedule to answer our questions about her Olympic experience, life at The College of Law and her legal ambitions:
Q: What was it like to be part of the Olympics?
A: The Olympics was an unforgettable experience. It is difficult to summarise entirely how great the experience was but I certainly feel fortunate to have been representing Great Britain on home soil and being part of a team that inspired the next generation of female footballers and athletes. The event captured the imagination of many people and I believe the legacy of the Olympics will still be evident many years from now.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about your experience at the College?
A: My overall experience at the College has been pleasing. I have benefitted from very good teaching on many parts of the LPC course and have been fortunate to meet a range of different students who all seem to have a bright future. This only helped to provide an encouraging environment for my learning. I also feel that the College always accommodated my commitments to training for the Olympics and assisted in me managing the course to perform as best I can.
Q: What are your immediate plans regarding your legal career?
A: I have started my training contract with niche entertainment law firm Lee & Thompson who are based in London. I am excited about the opportunity to train as a lawyer within areas that interest me and hope that my training contract will be the foundation of a successful career in law.
Q: Are you planning any further study following the College?
A: No, not in the immediate future but I would certainly consider the College for any required professional courses in future. I would also highly recommend the College to future trainees and law students.
Q: What are your future Olympic plans?
A: I am unsure of whether I will be able to participate in 2016 in Rio. It is a long time away! However I believe I will be involved in the future Olympic Games in some capacity whether that is on or off the field of play.