This year I intend to do everything I can to promote literacy through rugby. 2015 is the year of the Rugby World Cup, hosted by England. It is also the year of what promises to be a very competitive RBS Six Nations tournament, as well as a thrilling domestic race for the title.
These are the things I will do:
ONE: A tour of fifty school visits. Half during the Six Nations in the spring. Half during the Rugby World Cup during the autumn. At each visit I will perform up to four Rugby Reading Games to 10,000 children.
TWO: A tour of the thirteen libraries next to the thirteen Rugby World Cup venues, from Newcastle to Brighton, via Leicester, Twickenham and Cardiff. Family events. This tour is being funded entirely by the RFU. It will take place in the second half of August.
THREE: A live story inspired daily by the events of the Rugby World Cup, available in cliffhanging five-minute read episodes for schools every morning from 8 a.m. during the tournament. Featuring adventure and excitement. Determined by the events of the tournament. Also funded by the glorious RFU.
FOUR: A lively blog several times a week drawing attention to the events of the rugby year and to things I am reading about the game – including books, magazines, websites, newspapers, etc. Hopefully creating useful reading recommendations for adults and children. Already up and running. See #RugbyReaders.
FIVE: A toolkit of literacy ideas for rugby clubs, libraries, schools and homes, called Rugby Reading. Activities, games, challenges and more to get children reading about rugby for pleasure. Funded by the RFU. Available on their education website soon.
SIX: Fifteen classroom lesson plans – or drills – aimed at encouraging children to engage with a variety of reading materials and helping them make writing more enjoyable. Again, funded by the RFU. Again, available on their education website soon.
SEVEN: Three new books. (This is the bit I referred to at the top.) I have written a trilogy of children’s books about a school rugby team taking part in a fictional UK, European and World schools’ rugby tournament.
Rugby Academy is aimed at children aged 7-11 and published by Barrington Stoke. The books are set in England, France and New Zealand. More information about them here. Book one – Combat Zone – is Rugby World Book of the Month for February. This has made me very happy.
That’s what is going to happen. I hope it sounds good. If you want to know more about any of the above, please email me via my website.
And please tell anyone who you know who cares about rugby, children or literacy about these plans. It’ll help a lot.