Rugby Legend Spreads the Word

Rugby legend Scott Quinnell travelled to Tredegar and Abertillery Comprehensive Schools in March 2008 to help inspire pupils with his speech about how dyslexia had prevented him from discovering books and the joys of reading until a few years ago. Former Wales number eight Quinnell generously gave up his afternoon to speak to pupils about his own difficulties with reading, sign autographs and hand out 250 copies of his book, The Hardest Test (Quick Reads, Accent Press, 2008).

South Wales Valleys Literature Development Officer, Louise Richards, worked with the schools to help advise and support them in their Reading is Fundamental Project, funded by the National Literacy Trust. RIF programs offer enriching activities that spark children’s interest in reading. And every child involved with RIF gets to choose and keep new books, at no cost to the children or their families.

English teacher Lisa Tippings, who helped coordinate the visit at Tredegar said: “It was wonderful to have Scott visit us at the school. He is an inspiration to many and spoke with passion about the importance of reading.”

Literacy Support Teacher Kieron Marnell welcomed the opportunity to set up a ‘Dads and Lads’ Group which saw over 40 pupils and their fathers attend the session to meet Scott and receive free signed copies of his book. The Dads and Lads will then read the book, talk about it together and write reviews to be displayed in the school library as an inspiration to other readers.