RBAI pupils were treated to a talk this morning from as very special guest; former NFL player and Sky Sports pundit Cecil Martin. Cecil is a former University of Wisconsin–Madison Football captain, and enjoyed a successful NFL career with Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cecil is also a former winner of the “Ed Block Courage Award”, and annual award presented to an NFL player who has exhibited high levels of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.
Sportsmen from all ages and abilities were invited to hear a motivational talk from Cecil outlining three key areas:
- Hard Work
Cecil related to his own high school, college, and NFL experiences regarding the three above areas, and challenged those in attendance to strive to be better in their chosen field. Cecil outlined that without hard work, focus and perseverance, young men could not hope to achieve all they would like and are capable of. Pupils were called to repeat these three key words alongside Cecil throughout the talk, and it was evident that they will have these areas ingrained in their mind going forward.
Before his talk, Cecil visited the Year 12 rugby players during their morning gym session, commenting that he was hugely impressed with the players work rate and application during their session. Cecil was also keen to learn the ‘art’ of lineout lifting and jumping; with senior rugby players Lewis McNamara, Mark Mairs and Garrett Bell happy to help on the front lawn. In return, Cecil taught them some basic American Football plays, encompassing both passing and running with the ball.
We are hugely grateful to Cecil and Matt Craig from the IAFA (Irish American Football Association) for organising time out of Cecil’s busy schedule to come and speak to our pupils today. Cecil is in Northern Ireland to run ‘coaching combines’ for local American Football players, and those wishing to try the sport for the first time. To thank him for his time, Mr Peak presented Cecil with a school crest, school tie, rugby ball and even his own RBAI rugby jersey! We hope Cecil will return at some point to the school again to reignite the themes he discussed with pupils today, and we wish him all the best for his future endeavours.
Cecil addresses pupils in the Common Hall
Cecil catches the ball in his first Lineout
Cecil throws to G Bell in the Lineout
Cecil visits senior players in the Fitness Suite
Cecil with Rugby Staff members
Cecil with senior rugby players M Mairs, L McNamara and G Bell
Cecil with Year 12 rugby players J Finnegan, C Reid, M Lowry and J Hume