AN esteemed figure has given an inspirational talk about important life lessons to students at a Newquay secondary school.

Treviglas Academy hosted Floyd Steadman OBE, who expressed candidly his life story; growing up in care, being one of the few black players in English club rugby, becoming the first black captain of Saracens Rugby Club and the prejudices he overcame to become a headteacher.

He spoke openly about the discrimination he faced, reiterating to pupils that he was judged on one thing, and one thing only, the colour of his skin.

Floyd, who had a career as the head of four prep schools, captivated Year 8, 9, and 10 students, along with the Year 11 rugby players, with his poignant and thought-provoking talk that covered overcoming discrimination and determination to challenge unconscious bias.

The underlying message in Floyd’s talks was to challenge students to reflect on their own unconscious bias and encourage students and staff to remember the importance of empathy, understanding, and talking to break down barriers.

Finishing his talk, Floyd, told of his experience of collecting an OBE and how he intends to use the title to support his work in creating a more compassionate society.

After each talk, a question and answer session followed that allowed pupils to pose sensitive and thoughtful questions. 

( )

Students also relished the opportunity to have their photographs taken with Floyd and even got personally signed autographs.

( )

Headteacher of Treviglas Academy, James Rogers, commented; “We were honoured to host Floyd Steadman at Treviglas Academy, and his talk left a lasting impact on both students and staff alike. 

“His message of challenging unconscious bias resonated deeply with our students. We are grateful for his generosity in sharing his experiences and inspiring our school community."

( )

In a gesture of generosity, Floyd donated two copies of his book, 'A Week One Summer', each personally signed for the students of Treviglas Academy.

The forward of the autobiography was written by England and British Lions rugby player Maro Itoje, whom Floyd introduced to the sport. 

( )

Year 9 student Rozen, who was amongst the first to borrow a copy, said: “Listening to Floyd was truly inspiring. He showed me that no matter what challenges you face, you can overcome them.

“I feel inspired to challenge my own biases and strive for success, just like he did.”

Floyd said: “It was a pleasure to come and deliver presentations to the students at the Treviglas Academy. 

“I was very impressed with the focus and engagement from all who took part. Students also asked me some very thought-provoking questions. 

“The lovely comments from many students make this aspect of my work hugely rewarding."