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Super 12 players to launch second Canterbury Reading Crusade

21 February 2005

Crusaders Dave Hewett, Sam Broomhall, Casey Laulala and Corey Flynn will be among the VIPs to officially launch this year’s Reading Crusade at Christchurch Central Library on Wednesday 23 February.

The chance to be a Crusader for a day and meet their favourite rugby heroes is expected to attract up to 20,000 children to take part in the Crusade, which aims to encourage children, specially boys, into a life long habit of reading.

Dave Hewett said, “for me the Reading Crusade has highlighted that there is a problem with boys not reading and how we (the Crusaders) can make a difference as role models for kids who love sport and the outdoors.” He said he and his wife had three young children, whom they read to each night. “It (being a good reader) is such a great asset and you need to start when you’re young.”

Among the other guests at Wednesday’s launch will be Associate Minister of Education David Benson-Pope, parents, teachers and about 100 school children, who have been selected as ambassadors-for-the-day by their schools.

Organised by Christchurch City Libraries in partnership with the Rebel Sport Super 12 2005 rugby team, the Reading Crusade is open to all primary and intermediate school children in the Crusaders franchise catchment, which includes Canterbury, the West Coast, Nelson and Marlborough.

To join the Reading Crusade, all children need to do is read eight fiction or non-fiction books and send an entry form to Christchurch City Libraries by 15 April.  They will then be in the draw for some fantastic prizes including several chances to be a Crusader for a Day. Every child who takes part will receive a Reading Crusade certificate, printed with the signatures of the Rebel Sport Super 12 rugby team.  The prizegiving for the Crusade will be held at Jade Stadium on Wednesday 4 May.

More information about The Reading Crusade is available from Favourite reads from the Crusaders and reading suggestions from children who have already entered the Crusade feature on the site, along with the entry form and a map showing the schools that have taken up the challenge. Entry forms will also be available from all Christchurch City Libraries from Wednesday 23 February.

In the next few months, the Crusaders will visit New Brighton, Linwood and South Libraries to promote the Reading Crusade and meet children from various Christchurch schools.  As part of a new player development programme, they will also be visiting schools to work one-on-one with children to help them improve their reading skills. 

This is the second time the Crusaders and Christchurch City Libraries have worked together on a Reading Crusade. The first in 2003 attracted 7,000 entries and gained a 3M Innovation Award for Reading Literacy.

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