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Rugby Stars And Avid Readers Team Up To Launch 2009 Campaign

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

18 FEB 2009 - Over 23,000 children have signed up for this year's Reading Crusade - more than double the number who took part in the last biennial event.

The six-week promotion, which encourages primary and intermediate school students from throughout the Crusaders' rugby franchise area, to read more books was launched at AMI Stadium in Christchurch yesterday (17 February).

Crusader and All Black Andrew Ellis teamed up with pupils from over 30 Christchurch schools, along with fellow Super 14 heroes Jason McDonald, Sean Maitland and Nasi Manu, to answer questions, sign autographs and help hand out goodie bags including the hot-off-the-press 2009 Crusaders poster.

Reading Crusade 2009 was launched with the passing of a rugby ball from Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Chairperson Mark Solomon to Clark Uthayakumar (11), from Sacred Heart School, who read 48 books during the 2008-09 Summertime Reading Club - the highest number read by any participant in the Christchurch City Libraries school holiday event.

Libraries and Information Unit Manager Carolyn Robertson says this is the fourth Reading Crusade. The first event in 2003 won a 3M Innovation Award for Reading Literacy. "We're delighted more than 23,000 children from Canterbury, the West Coast, Nelson and Marlborough enjoy reading and are keen to take part in the promotion, compared to 10,300 in 2007.

"It appears more whole schools have joined instead of individual classes, which is really positive."

The students must read six books of their choice during the six-week campaign, to be in to win great prizes including attending a Crusaders training session.

Crusaders' players will also visit Christchurch libraries during the promotion, including Fendalton and Spreydon libraries on 10 March and New Brighton and Hornby libraries on 24 March. All library visits will take place from 2-3pm and everyone is welcome.

The Reading Crusade 2009 prize giving will be held at AMI Stadium on 9 April at 2pm.

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