Former Welsh Rugby Union captain Scott Quinnell visited Sussex Coast College on Monday (March 27).
He was delivering a motivational talk about his journey through life and his struggles while in education.
Scott suffered from dyslexia for a great part of his life but it wasn’t diagnosed until he was 32.
He spoke honestly to students about his lowest moment with dyslexia and explained how he overcame his obstacles and decided to not let dyslexia hold him back any longer.
The students at the Hastings and Ore campuses could ask Scott questions about his time during school and what lead him down the path he has taken, from not being able to spell people’s names to being able to speak in front of hundreds of people.
Scott said: “When I was at school, I was told that I was thick, stupid and lazy. I didn’t know that I had dyslexia. It made me want to hide away at the back of the class, hoping that the teacher wouldn’t notice me.
“Rugby was the only thing that kept me going. It was the reason that I woke up in the morning with a smile on my face. Luckily enough, I was quite good and was able to make a career out of it.”
He added: “The biggest thing you need to have is self-esteem, the ability to feel good about yourself. I couldn’t stand up and talk at 28. I could play rugby in front of 75,000 people but talking to everyone after the game was terrifying.
“You have to get over things, you push yourself to do better and now people can’t shut me up.
“You need to practice what you want to do and there is no shortcut from A-Z. You have to find the determination to keep on going.”
Students Connor Brown and Charley-Louise Burlace were invited to join Scott for lunch, where they discussed their goals and ambitions before they were gifted with a signed rugby ball to celebrate their achievements at college.
Scott’s visit and motivational talk helped to demonstrate the commitment the college has to students with dyslexia. Dyslexia is estimated to affect one in 10 people in the UK.
Last year, the college was awarded the Dyslexia quality mark for its excellent standards and support it offers to students with dyslexia, one of the few colleges in East Sussex to be awarded the accreditation.
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