A POP star, footballers and cricketers dropped into a school to inspire schoolboys to achieve more.
Scott Robinson from 5ive was joined by up-and-coming Southend United players and Essex county cricketers at the Basildon Upper Academy.
The event saw Scott, cricketers Nick Browne and Tom Craddock, and Blues players Jack Bridge and Ted Smith – an England youth international – speak about their lives and what could be achieved.
It follows a successful inspirational women’s event in January, when Samantha Cameron, Clare Balding and Miriam Clegg spoke to girls at the school.
Scott, from Pitsea, was a pupil at the former Chalvedon School, which became the Basildon Academies in a merger with Barstable School.
He said: “I wasn’t the most academic boywhen I was there. I used to get chucked out of class for dancing on the tables because I always wanted to be a singer.
“I have been telling the boys that’s something I would have liked to have changed.
“The main point is they can achieve anything and they can learn from everyone.”
Jack Bridge, 18, advised the boys to stay in school for as long as possible.
He said: “I knowwe are in football, but anything can happen, like a serious injury, which would mean we are out of action.
“We did our A-levels thanks to Southend United, so we have something to fall back on if something goes wrong.”
Students were grateful for the chat, with Charlie Pritchard, 15, saying it had made him realise how much hard work went into making a career for yourself. He said: “I wanted to be an architect, but decided not to bother because it seemed like too much hard work. Now I think I could do it.”
Rhys Dopson, 16, took inspiration from speaking to an economist who also visited the school and once worked with Boris Johnson.
He said: “I wanted to be an economist before this, but I really want to do it now.
“I haven’t got a dream, but money motivates me and hearing about his Aston Martin impressed me.”
Bev Bell, executive headteacher, said: “For some of our boys, going into London is a big adventure.
“We reallywant to show them they can be anything they want.”