Robert Wells

Outstanding Learner of the Year

A serious injury from a traffic accident six years ago left Bob, the retired Super Heavyweight bronze medal winner at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, no longer able to work, and feeling like his life was falling apart.

Bob struggled to read and write at school where he was given little support. However, he developed techniques to cope, including keeping his ‘books’ for around 1,000 customers in his head, when he was a window cleaner once he’d retired from boxing.

After his accident, Bob was unable to continue cleaning windows and so to help him change career he decided to take English, Numeracy and Computer Studies at Sutton College of Learning for Adults, in Sutton, Surrey (SCOLA). He was immediately diagnosed with dyslexia but his determination and good humour saw him pass exams in all his subjects up to a Level 2 Numeracy qualification in just three years.

Bob said, “[Learning] has given me a bit of a second chance or another crack of the whip!” The confidence he gained from learning means Bob is now doing a volunteers’ course that he hopes will get him a job helping with the 2012 Olympics. “It has been very hard this time to pick myself up off the ground, but if you don’t get up you just stay there,” ended Bob.

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“Learning has given me a bit of a second chance or another crack of the whip.”
Robert Wells, 2010 Award Winner

Film produced by Coracle Films