The Auckland-based National Rugby League team takes on the St George Illawarra Dragons at FMG Stadium Waikato on Friday, 19 May, in the side’s first ever “home” fixture to be played in Hamilton.
As part of the club’s community engagement activities, Vodafone Warriors players and staff, including club legend Jerome Ropati and Kiwi Fern Georgia Hale, will bring the Konica Minolta League in Libraries programme to Chartwell Library at 11.30am on Thursday, 18 May. They will be meeting with children from Bankwood School and Rototuna Primary School, working alongside the players on a series of literacy-based activity stations set up in the library.
The schools won the League in Libraries creative writing competition.
The programme shows kids ‘reading is cool’ and aims to improve the literacy levels of primary and intermediate students as they put pen to paper to compose an illustrated piece of creative writing that features the Vodafone Warriors.
Aaron Martin, Hamilton City Libraries’ Children’s and Teens Librarian, says it’s a first for Hamilton.
“The League in Libraries programme has been running for 10 years, but this is its ‘debut’ in Hamilton,” Mr Martin says.
“We’re delighted to be a part of the programme,” Mr Martin says.
“Libraries have a core role in developing literacy in our communities, and if we can do that collaborating with high-profile professional athletes the children look up to, then that’s even better.”
League in Libraries, is in its tenth year, and has gone from strength to strength thanks to long-time supporter Konica Minolta. Through the sponsor’s involvement, the competition now boasts six published authors (three boys and three girls); the winning entry over the last six years has been published in illustrated book form.
The programme has been expanded to include intermediate schools with two separate competitions – one for year four to six pupils in primary schools and one for year seven to eight students in intermediate schools.
Veteran wing Manu Vatuvei and young standoff Ata Hingano are scheduled to join Ropati and Hale for the League in Libraries visit at Chartwell Library on Thursday.
“We place great importance on our role in the community with our players doing all they can to help through various programmes and initiatives,” says Vodafone Warriors community relations manager Petrece Kesha.
“Literacy is a critical skill and we value the ability we have through Konica Minolta League in Libraries to make it fun for kids while also assisting their development in a significant way.”