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Reading and football challenge kicks-off


By Kyle Ritchie


A new reading challenge, which enables young people to enjoy football matches for free, has kicked-off in Aberdeenshire.

Children aged between five and 12 are challenged to read four books from any Live Life Aberdeenshire library to get free tickets to football matches.

They can read a choice of books from their local library, listen to talking books or download and read eBooks/eAudiobooks, also available from the library service.

Libraries in Aberdeenshire are taking part in the reading and football challenge.
Libraries in Aberdeenshire are taking part in the reading and football challenge.

For every book read children will receive a sticker on their card.

When they have read four, they can exchange their completed challenge cards at participating football clubs for a free child ticket and half-price adult ticket at any home game during the 2019/2020 Scottish football season.

Of the participating clubs, Peterhead FC is the most local, with other clubs across Scotland also taking part: Arbroath, Forfar, Brechin, Dundee, Dundee United, Montrose, East Fife, Inverness, Ross County, St Mirren, Stirling Albion, Queen of the South, and Ayr United.

Borrowers can redeem their cards at any of these clubs, offering a great opportunity to read more and support their favourite team.

The initiative was very successful during the 2017/2018 season, with 200 libraries in Scotland participating, 4484 books read and 300 football match tickets issued.

In Aberdeenshire, there were 73 sign ups in libraries, with a total of 691 books read.

Chairman of Live Life Aberdeenshire's culture and sport sub-committee David Cook said: “I’m thrilled our libraries will be supporting such a worthwhile initiative.

"Reading improves the mind while football encourages exercise and develops teamwork and leadership skills.

“I hope that young people from across Aberdeenshire get reading and enjoy cheering on their local teams.”

Funding for the 4-4-2 Reading Challenge has been provided by the Scottish Premier Football League (SPFL).

The SPFL Trust, Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Library and Information Council all support the initiative.

SPFL Trust chief executive Nicky Reid said: “The 4-4-2 Reading Challenge initiative is designed to encourage children who don’t regularly visit the library or sport to do so.

“As such, we think it’s a real win-win opportunity for all concerned. The project engaged with more than 20,000 kids in its first year, and we hope this can continue to grow and inspire children to read.”

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “The SPFL Trust’s 4-4-2 Reading Challenge has already made an extremely positive impact across the country.

“It’s encouraging to see so many children benefiting, and I would like to congratulate the trust and clubs from across all four SPFL divisions who are helping children develop a love for reading, which is an incredibly rewarding part of childhood.”



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