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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 13:06 GMT
Rugby star's life with dyslexia
Scott Quinnell chatting to schoolchildren
Scott Quinnell spoke passionately about dyslexia
Rugby legend Scott Quinnell has told how dyslexia reduced him to tears as a boy because he could not grasp what he was being taught in school.

He was not diagnosed with the condition until he was 21, but he told pupils at Ysgol Penweddig in Aberystwyth that he had learned to cope with it.

Quinnell, now 34, has opened a dedicated centre at the school to help children with the learning difficulty.

The ex-Wales captain is vice-president of the Wales Dyslexia Association.

Quinnell said he was diagnosed with dyslexia at the same time as his younger brother Gavin, who plays rugby for Guinness Premiership side Worcester.

Teachers called me thick and stupid because they did not understand
Scott Quinnell

He urged sufferers at Friday's opening, during National Dyslexia Week, to take advantage of the new centre and not to give up on their studies.

Quinnell told pupils: "I used to hate school. I could not understand what teachers were trying to teach me.

"Teachers called me thick and stupid because they did not understand.

"They would say I wasn't trying, but I just could not take in the information and retain it, and I couldn't understand why I could not remember."

Scott Quinnell and Ysgol Penweddig head Arwel George
Quinnell and Penweddig head Arwel George discuss the new centre

Quinnell recalled how he sat at the back of the classroom at school, unable to understand what was being written on the blackboard. He added that on occasions it would reduce him to tears.

Ysgol Penweddig's head teacher Arwel George said: "Scott gets his message across well and these children will gain confidence from his visit and remember it for a long time."

Children at the centre will benefit from specialised teaching and learning materials that will include the latest resources to help deal with dyslexia.

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