Oatridge welcomes the multi-talented Mr Dawson
18 September 2012
The declared aim of Oatridge College in West Lothian has always been to help students achieve their full potential, “Be the best that you can be”, and this week the campus will welcome a man who can only be described as a shining example.
Matt Dawson was a star of the England international rugby team and off-field has not only become familiar to television, radio and newspaper audiences, but has developed numerous business interests and devoted time to supporting several major charities.On Friday, September 21, Matt Dawson will be at Oatridge in his role as an ambassador for the College’s catering partners Sodexo and will officially open the recently refurbished refectory, the Eating Place, which they operate. Following that event he will be the keynote speaker and will present the top awards to students at the annual prizegiving.
The audience of staff, students, families and friends will also hear from Professor Bob Webb, the Principal of the Scottish Agricultural College who will, from October 1, take charge following the merger of the SAC and Scotland’s three other landbased colleges, Oatridge, Elmwood and Barony, to form a new organisation called SRUC.
David James, the Principal of the Oatridge says: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Professor Webb to Oatridge and look forward to hearing his vision of the future of landbased education in Scotland. These are momentous times for the sector and hugely important to the industries we serve.
“We are equally thrilled to be welcoming Matt Dawson to the College. He has done so much, achieved so much and is a truly excellent role model. I have no doubt that as a Sodexo ambassador he will have plenty of good advice to all of us on the importance of a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
“I’m sure, with all his experience of delivering at the highest level, that his speech to the prizegiving will be incredibly inspiring for the audience of students, families, friends and staff.”
Matt Dawson, who is now 40, played his club rugby for Northampton and London Wasps. He was capped 77 times for England, nine times as captain. He was a member of the squad which won the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) the following year for his services to the game. He retired in 2006.
His television career has made Matt Dawson a household name far beyond the rugby fraternity. He has been a team captain on “A Question of Sport”; he won “Celebrity MasterChef” in 2006 and came second in “Strictly Come Dancing” later that year. He has also made a number of other television series featuring food.
He appears as a rugby presenter, commentator and summariser on radio, is a regular columnist in newspapers and a sought-after after dinner speaker.
His charity work includes being the Honorary President of the rugby charity Wooden Spoon, which helps disadvantaged children in Britain and Ireland. He famously posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine to support the testicular and prostate cancer charity Everyman. He is a UK ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and is Patron of both the National Hospital Development Foundation and the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.
Matt became an ambassador for Sodexo in 2010 and works with the company across all of its business segments in the UK and Ireland.