Bolton Council is encouraging people to give reading a try this summer.
It is one of 30 local authorities signed up to the Try Reading project, which is being led by library services in the North West and is linked to Rugby League World Cup 2013.
The project, which promotes reading books and the popular sport, was launched recently and includes a number of exciting opportunities for people to get involved.
These include author talks, writing workshops, drama events, reporting live games and creating a welcome ‘haka’ for the visiting teams.
To start the ball rolling, members of Leigh Centurions RLFC paid a visit to Westhoughton High School, Bolton, where pupils signed up to the official Six Book Challenge.
The challenge encourages participants of all ages to read six books of their choice over the summer. Those completing the challenge will receive a certificate.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Councillor Christopher Peacock, said: “The Try Reading project is a fantastic way of encouraging people of all ages to take an interest in reading and also raises the profile of the biggest sporting tournament of the year.
“Not many people would associate sport with literature, but the activities planned over the summer are fun and innovative ways of combining the two. The players from Leigh Centurions have agreed to take up the Six Book Challenge along with the pupils and I’m sure rugby league will gain a few new followers as a result.
“Bolton’s library service has lots of activities planned over the summer to link in with the Try Reading project and Rugby League World Cup 2013, so there will be plenty of opportunities for people to join in.”
Leigh Centurions coach, Paul Rowley, added: “I’m very proud that our club is supporting this initiative. Reading is a great way for young people to use their imagination in a stimulating way, and experience adventures that they otherwise wouldn’t.
“Becoming immersed in a book can provide a great means of escape from the pressures of everyday life, and it’s important that kids receive the best possible opportunity to enjoy the wonders of literature.”
Assistant headteacher at Westhoughton High School, Alison Spence, said: “Our students are very excited to be involved with Try Reading. It’s brilliant for them to see that reading is a vibrant and active part of the world beyond the classroom.”
Rugby League World Cup 2013 kicks off in Cardiff in October and the Fijian team will be staying in Bolton and training in the town prior to their matches.
A game between Tonga and the Cook Islands will also be held in nearby Leigh Sports Village.
The Try Reading project is delivered in partnership with Rugby League World Cup 2013 and funded by Arts Council England. The Six Book Challenge is in partnership with The Reading Agency.
For more information visit the Try Reading website.