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One of the many former students who have gone on to fulfil their dreams after studying at Uxbridge College is sporting success Ricky Machel. Ricky, who won a full sports scholarship in the US to Belhaven College (the equivalent of a British university) in Jackson, Mississippi, tells us how he got where he is today.

Name: Ricky Machel

Date of birth: 22 May 1987

Qualifications at Uxbridge College: BTEC National Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science

Home in UK: South Acton, London

Sporting history: I played football for several Sunday league teams as well as QPR junior team from age 11-14. I played for Beaconsfield SYCOB from 16-18 under Uxbridge College.

Sporting future: I am playing at Belhaven College now, and this summer will be playing for Mississippi Brilla where I will play alongside and against international players and pros.

Ambitions: In the future I would love to play professional football. That's always been my dream and still is. Also I would like to get in to sport media.

Why I chose Uxbridge College: Came for the soccer program and sports course primarily, but liked the size of the College as well and the facilities. Steff Thomas and Dan Lloyd helped me a lot with trials and getting where I am - and focusing on my studies.

How I got my scholarship to Belhaven: I had been offered a place on one of the top 25 teams in NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and Belhaven heard about me, saw me play then offered a very good scholarship. I got my scholarship initially from going to a trial at Chelsea's training ground where there were several university soccer talent scouts from the US watching - and I got offered a few scholarships.

Life at university: What I love most about Belhaven is my team mates and how much of a family we are out here.

My inspiration: Firstly my family inspires me always, and secondly so does everyone who looks to me for inspiration at home and supports me, and would like to be in my place.

My advice to others: As much as you don't want to hear it and as much as I didn't want to hear it two years ago, get those grades and get the work done - because without that no university in the States will take a second look at you.


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