The Gator Club is continuing to expand, and today we’re really excited to be welcoming the very talented ten-year-old Oliver to the club. Oliver has two passions; singing and football!
Oliver has been a Chorister at Romsey Abbey in Hampshire for two years which requires a tremendous amount of commitment from both Oliver and his parents. In addition to this, he’s a keen footballer who’s showing great signs playing for his local team, Broughton FC. Oliver is clearly a very active child who’s passionate about his talents and has the desire and ability to develop them further.
We wanted to know more so we caught up with mum, Nicola, to get the low-down on how she manages Oliver’s busy schedule alongside his brother William, 12 with Dad, Matt. Needless to say, we found out that the juggle of family life is clearly in full swing with both boys heavily involved in the Romsey Abbey Choir. Rehearsals for Oliver and William take place several times a week; they’ve sung with the Romsey Abbey Choristers at Durham, Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals too. In this role, they’ve recorded a commercially available CD, accompanied orchestras and performed at many services, concerts and musical celebrations, including singing for members of the royal family!
It’s evident that Oliver loves what he does and Nicola and Matt are committed to the hour-long round trip to take the kids to the Abbey several times a week. We love how well versed Nicola is at multitasking – she prepares the boys bento-box dinners en-route! Yum! Nicola works for herself and will usually use these opportunities to set up office in a local café until the boys finish at 7:30 pm and then home to bed for 8 pm. Oliver is a real Gator Watch enthusiast, and the whole family find it very useful for keeping in touch with each other to coordinate pick up times, keep in touch about delays and send messages of supportJ. The Gator Watch has also allowed Nicola to “loosen the apron strings” and allow Oliver some independence when he’s at the local park or catching up with friends.
Alongside Oliver’s role at Romsey Abbey, he loves to play football and plays for their local team Broughton FC (in various positions), scores a lot of goals and is a real team player. He’s recently won both ‘Players Player’ and ‘Managers Player’, a testament to his wonderful attitude. In the theme of football, Oliver is a huge fan of Jamie Johnson on CBBC. He’s read the first three books by Dan Freedman which are all about football are “brilliant” according to Oliver! We’re not surprised it’s a tough call juggling his passion for football with choristry, but at the moment the balance is right! Long may it continue!
All this activity means that Oliver has little screen time. However, like many kids his age, he likes to play on the Xbox with William, when he does get the chance. Nicola has a pragmatic view about this, as they only get the opportunity to indulge on a Saturday afternoon once activities are over. The boys are also very good at self-regulating and will take themselves outside for match practice and goal scoring when they’re screened out. When we asked Oliver what his favourite thing about being a kid is he said, “paying with my mates, going on school residentials and having sleepovers” – sounds perfect.
Oliver is a wonderfully outgoing and bubbly character with an inquisitive nature and a passion for life. When we asked Nicola about fostering this passion her advice was that it’s all about the enjoyment factor, “If they’re not enjoying it, it’s time to move on”. Nicola and Matt have helped the children find their talents by giving them the opportunity to try lots of things and continuing to support through positive encouragement.
The team at My Gator Watch wish Oliver and his family every success and look forward to hearing his performance updates, both in the abbey and on the pitch!