Posted: 29.04.21 at 14:17 by Tim Lethaby
Former England rugby international Anthony Allen used his own experience of overcoming dyslexia at school to inspire youngsters in Ashcott this week.
Anthony, who played more than 200 Premiership rugby games for Gloucester Rugby and Leicester Tigers, paid a visit to the Level School on Tuesday (April 27) in his role as the Ashcott school's sports patron.
Because of Covid-19 and the restrictions, this was Anthony‘s first time at the school's Etonhurst site.
He was greeted by the school's sport ambassadors Billy and Pippa, and had a guided tour by them around the site. He even popped into a few classes to meet the other students and staff members.
Levels School founder Bradley Middleton told Street Nub News: "I personally asked Anthony to become our sports patron so the kids can look up to someone who has had a successful rugby career but struggled at school with his own dyslexia.
"Anthony took a rugby session at lunch time which the students loved and then took a Year 10 PE lesson."
After the visit, Anthony said: "I wanted to get involved with the Levels School because I am dyslexic and struggled in the classroom with reading and spelling.
"Sport was my release and really enjoyed it. I want to try and help other people in and out of the classroom where I can.
"It was fantastic to see all the hard work from every member of staff. They have done a great job in a short period of time to create an environment for the students to thrive.
"It was refreshing to see the students get stuck into the rugby session and I hope they enjoyed it."
Capped twice for England, the 34-year-old centre played 91 times for Gloucester and 126 times for Leicester before his playing career was cut short due to injury. He is now the defence coach at Championship club Coventry.
The Levels School is an independent specialist day school offering education and pastoral care to students with dyslexia and other similar learning differences.