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Rugby’s reading boost

Press release   •   Dec 11, 2013 16:41 GMT

Rugby League World Cup 2013 has helped encourage people across the borough to read more. As the tournament drew to a close last month, local libraries have been reflecting on the success of their ‘Try Reading’ programme, themed around the competition.

Over the last few months the borough’s libraries have provided a wide range of opportunities for people to get involved with reading, writing and drama through a varied events programme celebrating Rugby League World Cup 2013. Rochdale Central Library hosted family-friendly events with author Tom Palmer and poet Tony Walsh, aka ‘Longfella’. Comic book artist, Tim Quinn, presented a cartoon workshop at Darnhill Library and contemporary dance group, Risktakers, worked with a year 4 class at St John’s RC Primary School to devise a haka to welcome the Fijian team which was performed during Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival.

Well over 100 people attended events in Rochdale, with more than 6,000 involved across the Try Reading regions of the North West, Yorkshire and Humber. A picture book for young children, ‘What’s a Bear to Wear?’, specially written for the project featuring Rugby World Cup mascots, Grubber and Steed, is available to borrow from all libraries.

Linda Fisher, Deputy Chief Executive at Rochdale Borough Council said the scheme really captured the imagination of the public:

“Try Reading has been a great way to get people involved, thinking creatively, talking about what they’ve read, and sharing a passion about the sport of Rugby League. At libraries and schools across the borough book lovers have been sharing their enthusiasm for the power of words and recommending their favourite reads. Try Reading also encouraged more people to visit libraries, which is great … just like rugby league, libraries need supporters!”

To find out more visit

The project was funded with an award from the National Lottery-supported Grants for the Arts libraries fund via Arts Council England.

To discover more about your local library visit

Head to our website.

Rochdale Council - A council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.

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