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Libraries and rugby league champion the Six Book Challenge

Date posted: 12 February 2013

Libraries and rugby league champion the Six Book Challenge Reading and sport made a winning combination (9 February), with families and rugby fans packing into Leeds Central Library to see the Rugby League World Cup trophy, meet top player Jamie Jones-Buchanan, and celebrate The Reading Agency's major new partnership with the Rugby League World Cup 2013 (RLWC 2013), to promote and run its Six Book Challenge for less confident readers in locations used by rugby league fans.

England international Jamie Jones-Buchanan was the star guest at the special event alongside the Rugby League World Cup trophy which was on display for the afternoon as part of its tour around the UK, Ireland and France ahead of this coming autumn's major international sporting event. There was also a special rugby league 'family quiz trail' around the library, the chance to play a rugby league X-Box game, entertainment with poet Craig Bradley and Ronnie the Rhino, official mascot of Jamie's Leeds Rhinos team, joining in the fun.

Although he didn't get into reading until he was in his twenties, Jamie is now a keen reader. An official champion for the Six Book Challenge, he has signed up to take part himself and is encouraging sports fans who might not otherwise pick up a book and enjoy it, or anyone wanting to develop a reading habit, to do the same. This year, specially branded RLWC 2013 materials are available to Six Book Challenge participants, including quotes from Jamie and book recommendations at all levels for rugby league enthusiasts.

People who have completed the RLWC 2013 Six Book Challenge will have the chance to win tickets to the major games in the international tournament this autumn. Jamie told Leeds Central Library visitors: "When I was young I used to see other people reading, especially girls, and I always wished I could read like that. But for me at that age it was futile - I would start reading something but I'd get to the end of the page and I'd have forgotten what I read. Now I read with my three sons as often as I can. It's important to make time for reading - it's like food for the soul. My life is more rounded now because of reading. My message to any rugby league fans out there thinking of signing up for the Six Book Challenge would be just give it a go. Don't be shy or embarrassed, even if you haven't read for a long time. No one will be judging you and it can only bring you good things.'

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