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The Premier League has launched Premier League Writing Stars, a new poetry competition open to all children aged 5 to 11 at primary schools in England and Wales.
Backed by well-known names from the worlds of football and literature, the competition aims to get young people writing poetry around the theme of resilience: “What does it mean to you to try, try again?”
Entries can be in any form, including rap or lyrics – it doesn’t have to be traditional poetry! Judging will be based on a range of criteria, including creativity, tone and originality.
The all-star judging panel includes former professional footballer and children’s author Frank Lampard, ‘Charlie and Lola’ author-illustrator and Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, Premier League star Yannick Bolasie and Young People’s Laureate for London Caleb Femi. All judging will be overseen by Jonathan Douglas, National Literacy Trust Director.
Competition winners will be selected from Key Stage 1 (ages 5 to 7) and Key Stage 2 (ages 7 to 11). Ten regional winners will be selected for each age group and two national winners (one per Key Stage) will be announced in early 2018.
The first 1,000 schools to enter the competition will receive a bespoke poetry Book Bag’. Other prizes include author-led writing workshops and Premier League trophy school visits, plus, a special limited-edition Writing Stars poetry book featuring the submissions of all regional winners which will be released in 2018.
Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said:
“Premier League Primary Stars has already proved to be a success thanks to the great work our clubs are carrying out in their communities and the breadth of resources the programme makes available to primary school teachers. We have already achieved our initial target of engaging 10,000 schools and the programme keeps evolving. Premier League Writing Stars is backed by established authors and poets as well as footballers and our aim is to enthuse children, teachers and parents alike.”
Everton FC player Yannick Bolasie is also known for hosting MC battles. He said:
“As a parent I know how important it is to keep young children motivated and engaged with learning. This Premier League Writing Stars campaign not only underlines the importance of resilience in life but also shows that poetry can be fun and can take many forms including song lyrics and raps. I hope that by seeing the different names involved in the campaign it will inspire children to create their own poetry, in whatever form they like. I am looking forward to seeing and judging the different entries.”
Frank Lampard, who has authored 19 books in his ‘Frankie’s Magic Football’ series, added:
“Resilience is something every footballer certainly knows about. Encouraging children to think about what it means to persevere and keep trying is a hugely valuable life lesson and I love that this message forms a core part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme and Writing Stars poetry competition. I am sure I will be reading lots of creative and inspiring entries.”
Schools have until 22 December 2017 to submit their pupils’ original poems. All entries are submitted via schools – teachers and parents can visit PLPrimarystars.com to register or nominate their schools to take part.