Rugby Legend Returns

Scott Quinnell Sept 08

Reading Is Fundamental UK
Sports and Literature Wales

In September 2008 rugby legend Scott Quinnell, returned to the South East Welsh Valleys and visited over 600 children in Merthyr and Caerphilly as part of the South Wales Valleys Sports and Literature Reading Is Fundamental Project.

Scott inspired the pupils with the story about his own struggles with learning and talked about growing up when dyslexia hadn’t really been identified, and the support needed for him to succeed was not available.Scott is now trying to encourage other children to follow his lead and get the support that is now available for sufferers of dyslexia.

He said: “I used to fear public speaking, but now I enjoy going round and talking to school children and teachers. It’s just for the children to realise that it’s so important to get support, and not be afraid to say when they are struggling. You can be exceptionally intelligent but just find it hard without the right support. If these talks can help just one child, then that’s fantastic.”

Scott signed copies of his book The Hardest Test for the children to keep. His visit to the schools and Library has been one of the most successful events run as part of the RIF Sports and Literature project in the Valleys.

Gavin Jones, who at 17 is working his way into the youth set-up at Newport Gwent Dragons as a flanker, found it inspiring to hear a rugby legend talk openly about his problems. He said: “It was brilliant. It was a really good talk, and it was wonderful to meet Scott. He was just a fantastic player to look up to, and it was great to listen to him.”

RIF, UK was established in 1996, following the success of RIF, Inc in the USA. Since then, RIF has given more than 750,000 books to over a quarter of a million children living in disadvantaged areas. By promoting reading for pleasure, RIF encourages life-long reading and helps address the cycle of underachievement.

Scott Quinnell Sept 08   Scott Quinnell Sept 08