Reading challenge kicks off at Balmoor

Cllrs Gillian Owen and Dianne Beagrie, Jill Strachan of Peterhead Library and Peterhead FC chairman Rodger Morrison with avid readers Emily Campbell, Cameron Beddie and Arran Thomson
Cllrs Gillian Owen and Dianne Beagrie, Jill Strachan of Peterhead Library and Peterhead FC chairman Rodger Morrison with avid readers Emily Campbell, Cameron Beddie and Arran Thomson

A new reading challenge involving football has been launched to encourage children to pick up a book in exchange for free match day tickets.

Scottish Book Trust is working with the Scottish Premier and Football League Trust (SPFL) to launch the 4-4-2 reading challenge.

The challenge will see 14 football clubs across the nation work with libraries to promote reading.

Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Premier and Football League Trust, Nicky Reid, has sought funding and support from Scotland’s professional football clubs to increase children’s literacy, library use and community engagement.

In Aberdeenshire the council has joined forces with Peterhead FC to encourage more children to read.

Children aged between 6 and 12 will be challenged to borrow and read four books from their local library.

They will exchange their completed challenge cards at Peterhead FC for a free child ticket and half-price adult ticket at any home game during the 2017/18 Scottish football season.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “Reading improves the mind whilst football encourages exercise and develops teamwork and leadership skills. I hope that young people from across Aberdeenshire get reading and enjoy cheering on Peterhead FC.”

Nicky Reid said: “The 4-4-2 Reading Challenge initiative is designed to encourage children who don’t regularly visit the library or participate in sport to do so. Although this is a pilot project, we have high hopes that it can be a hugely successful programme, and so we are grateful to the SPFL for their support to allow us to kick-off.”

The materials will be available at Aberdeenshire Libraries later this month and the 4-4-2 Reading Challenge runs until Saturday, May 19.