De Vos gives pupils inspiring talk

Departing Ipswich Town captain Jason De Vos told Ipswich High School pupils 'never give up' in an inspiring speech at the launch of the school's new Elite Sportswomen Programme.

Departing Ipswich Town captain Jason De Vos told Ipswich High School pupils 'never give up' in an inspiring speech at the launch of the school's new Elite Sportswomen Programme.

Having announced his retirement from professional football at the end of this season, the 34 year-old Canadian agreed to be the main guest speaker at the launch after his young daughter's time at the school.

Talking just ten days before his return to Canada, where he has already secured work as a television football pundit, De Vos told IHS's top sportswomen about all the highs and lows of his career from not being picked for squads as a youngster to being turned down by numerous English clubs when he first arrived in the UK.

He said: “There is nothing in life that is worth having that comes for free. Success requires commitment and sacrifice.

“Ultimately it comes down to one thing - whether you want it, or whether you need it, because there is a big difference.

“I needed to be successful. I have tasted disappointment in my career so many times that it beggers belief that I am stood up here.

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“You will get kicked in the teeth five times for every time you receive praise in your career. Everyone likes to be told how good they are, but you should be happy when you receive criticism because it means that your coach has seen something in you and believes you can improve. It's only when they say nothing that you should worry because it means they have given up on you.”

Following De Vos's speech, Ipswich Town coach Simon Milton hosted a question and answer session with a celebrity sporting panel that, along with De Vos, included former international swimmer Karen Pickering and England hockey captain James Southgate.

Pickering said: “I went to a GDST (Girls Day School Trust) in Brighton & Hove which was very academically focussed, so it is nice to see the emphasis that is being put on sport here.

“Sport is such a great way of educating and teaching you how to deal with life. I'm not sure there's any better way of dealing with the transition of leaving school and entering the real world than sport to be honest.”

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