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Premier Success for Reading Stars Initiative
Tuesday 26th September, 2006

Premier Success for Reading Stars Initiative
Matt Jackson meeting the children involved in the campaign.

A campaign to inspire young people and their families from across the Wigan Borough to take an active interest in reading has proven to be a real Premier League winner.

Twenty children and their families from four schools in Wigan and Leigh (Leigh Central Primary School, Leigh St. Joseph's, Britannia Bridge and Westfield Primary) took part in the initiative organised locally by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, Wigan Council and Wigan Athletic.

Many of the children involved in the project have been encouraged to read more often thanks to the activities they have taken part in and the inspiration of Wigan Athletic's Reading Champion, Matt Jackson.

Matt chose his favourite book 'Danny Champion of the World' by Roald Dahl and at the start of the campaign met all of the children involved and talked at length about the book and why he enjoyed reading so much. The families involved also enjoyed a visit to local book store Smiths of Wigan to choose some free reads for their enjoyment and had two personal visit to their local libraries by author Tom Palmer.

Matt said, "I am so pleased to hear that the children who were involved this year got so much out of the campaign. I hope they will continue to see reading as something to be enjoyed and will continue to read as they get older."

The campaign culminated this weekend with all of the families involved visiting the JJB Stadium for Wigan Athletic's Premier League fixture versus Watford. Courtesy of Wigan Athletic all of the families had free tickets and got to join in the pre-match fun at the JJB kids club at Robin Park Sports Centre.

Ian Bancroft, Executive Director for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, said, "Matt has proven to be a real inspiration this year and the partnership between the football club, the national bodies involved and ourselves has been of great benefit. We hope next year's campaign is as successful and that those involved this year will continue to read in their spare time and take advantage of the free facilities available at their local library."

Councillors Peter Smith, Chris Ready and Brian Baldwin, who all supported the campaign, issued a joint statement saying, "We are delighted with the success of this event and are looking forward to many more children and families becoming involved over the next few seasons. This kind of event shows the benefit of the excellent working relationship Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust and Wigan Council have built with Wigan Athletic".

The Premier League Reading Stars campaign is supported nationally by the FA Premier League, the Football Foundation, the National Literacy Trust and Arts Council England.

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