My time at King’s Ely began in Year 4. I arrived with little interest in academic success or sports. Upon my entry I was inspired by my then Head Teacher, the late Tony Duncan. Tony encapsulated what the school is about to me, with personal achievement in academics coupled with an environment where you able to grow into the best individual you can. This is where my King’s Ely journey began, and when I became set on finishing my education at the school.

As I grew through the school, I began to participate in a variety of sport and music, which enabled me to grow in confidence and come out of my shell. This however would not have been possible if it were not for the bursary that I was kindly awarded to stay at the school.

The bursary opportunities at King’s Ely are far reaching and bring so many opportunities. I would have never reached the levels in rowing or achieve the relative academic success without the support. I was awarded my bursary coupled with a sports scholarship in my last few years at the school, this enabled me to stay at the sixth form and complete my studies at the school which I had grown to love. It also enabled me to have the opportunity to continue to row at the school, where the coaching team that I was comfortable with and trusted could continue to help me on route to my international success.

Rowing has shaped my life and helped me to grow into the person I am now, I have learned so many life lessons from sport and the financial support that I was awarded at the school enabled me to have those opportunities, without which I would have been a less driven and focused individual now.

To conclude, the bursary and scholarship system was the enabler of my success both as an athlete and also as a person. The monetary support that the school gave was invaluable to me and my family. If you can give support to the school bursary and scholarship funds however little, it will without doubt be invaluable to another family but most importantly another individual at the school.

Toby Rudkin, Old Elean (2004-2015), International Oarsman and Rowing Coach


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