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Free football-themed books to be sent to libraries and food banks across Wales as part of World Cup drive

29 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Picture by the Books Council of Wales

Free football-themed books are to be sent to libraries and food banks across Wales in order to celebrate Wales’ involvement at the World Cup in Qatar.

The Books Council of Wales will be distributing the books as part of the Welsh Government’s World Cup Partner Support Fund.

The books will be available from the beginning of November and will include a wide range of titles for all reading abilities, from Foundation Phase to adult readers.

Chief Executive of the Books Council, Helgard Krause, said that the aim was to bring the magic of football to readers and celebrate the Welsh team’s achievements.

“We are delighted to be part of this exciting programme and to use the passion and celebration of Wales’ achievement in the World Cup to ignite a love of reading in young people and help them improve their literacy skills,” she said.

“Both reading and physical activity have a huge role to play in our health and well-being and Sporting Stories brings both elements together.

“Whether it’s helping a football fan to discover books they’ll love or providing some footballing inspiration to encourage participation in football, games and sport, children and young people will be able to choose from a wide selection of football-themed books to enjoy during the World Cup and celebrate Wales’ place in the tournament.”

‘Historic achievement’

The Government’s World Cup Partner Support Fund will see a total of £1.8 million shared among 19 projects which it says will help “project our nation’s values and work to secure a positive and lasting legacy for Wales and Welsh football”.

The successful projects which will receive funding include:

  • A festival of creativity and culture which will unite communities, led by the Football Association of Wales.
  • A concert in North America highlighting Welsh culture across genres, from music, to poetry and performance. It will be broadcast on the eve of Wales’ match with the USA.
  • The new Football Museum for Wales in Wrexham, which will run a series of events and activities to document the experiences of a diverse range of fans and players.
  • An ‘Inspiring a Generation’ initiative delivering a bilingual range of events for the Boys and Girls clubs across Wales.
  • The Barry Horns band engagement in Qatar.
  • Promotion of the Welsh language through community singing sessions.
  • Mentrau Iaith will also commission murals from Welsh artists, run a bucket hat design competitions and produce giant retro shirts for fans to sign and send to Qatar for display at the Cymru training camp in Doha.

In his statement, Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh Government has established an ambitious and exciting range of activities to make the most of the unique opportunity offered by the Cymru men’s football team’s participation in the FIFA World Cup.

“This is the most significant marketing and sports diplomacy opportunity ever presented to the Welsh Government given the profile of the event.

“We are determined to capitalise on this historic achievement and deliver real benefits for people here in Wales.”

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