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Top authors, TV and sporting stars take on #FitforLit Challenge in week-long fundraising campaign to boost literacy of children impacted by COVID-19

17 Aug 2020


Today, several top children’s authors, TV presenters and sporting stars are helping us launch our fundraising campaign, the #FitforLit Challenge.

The challenge encourages everyone to take on a sporting task of their choice and add a literacy twist - from doing keepy uppies while balancing a book on your head to telling a funny story while skipping – share it on social media, make a donation and nominate friends to join in too.

For more than 20 years, the National Literacy Trust has used the power of sport to motivate more than one million children to improve their literacy skills. We are now channelling the passion and excitement surrounding sport into a new fundraising campaign to help improve the literacy and learning of disadvantaged children who have been most seriously impacted by COVID-19.

Launching the fundraising campaign in spectacular style is a dream team of TV stars, sports stars and top children’s authors who will be sharing their challenges on their social media channels:

  • Ade Adepitan MBE (@AdeAdepitan), Paralympian, TV presenter, journalist and author is featuring his Cyborg Cat books (Piccadilly Press) in a sporting challenge
  • Danielle Brown MBE (@danibrownmbe), two time Paralympic Gold Medallist, author of Be Your Best Self (Button Books) and keynote speaker is taking on an archery challenge and her co-author Nathan Kai is standing in a tree pose, both while reading a chapter of their book
  • Matt Oldfield (@footieheroesbks), whose book Unbelievable Football (Wren & Rook, Hachette Children’s) won the inaugural Telegraph Children’s Sports Book of the Year Award is reading while doing keepy uppies
  • Justin Somper (@JustinSomper) Bestselling VAMPIRATES author who is no stranger to penning cliffhangers is reading from his books whilst suspended from his new at-home rock climber’s hangboard
  • Dave Cousins (@DaveCousins9000), children’s author and illustrator best known for his Charlie Merrick’s Misfits series (OUP), is reading aloud a chapter of his new book A Robot Ate My Grandma (Little Tiger Press) while running on Barmouth Beach in Gwynedd, Wales.
  • Tamsin Cooke (@TamsinCooke1) author of The Scarlet Files and Stunt Double series has set up a slalom of books to roller-skate around
  • Michaela Morgan (@MichaelamorganM) author of Respect! (Barrington Stoke Ltd) performs a poem about all the things you can do with a book to inspire others to get involved

If you’re feeling up to the challenge, here’s how you can get involved and help us support the children who need our help most:

  1. Take on a sporting challenge of your choice with a literary twist – you can find some brilliant ideas and inspiration here
  2. Upload your photos or video to social media using the hashtag #FitforLit and tag @Literacy_Trust
  3. Donate £3 by texting FITFORLIT to 70085 (text costs £3 + a standard rate message)
  4. Nominate three friends to take on the challenge

All money raised from the #FitforLit Challenge will help the National Literacy Trust level the playing field for disadvantaged children by funding books, resources and programmes that will help them catch up with their literacy and learning when they return to school in September.


Not only does sport bring people together, teach us important values and boost our physical health, it also has the power to transform children’s outcomes in the classroom. I’ve seen first-hand how sport can inspire even the most reluctant children to get reading and writing. So after such a significant disruption to children’s literacy and learning as a result of COVID-19, we must do everything we can to level the playing field for those who have fallen furthest behind. Our #FitforLit Challenge is simple, fun and can change a child’s life story – so let’s follow in the footsteps of our dream team of children’s authors and TV stars to get #FitforLit!

Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager

Visit our #FitforLit fundraising page to find out more about the Challenge and to take part or head to our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages.

Find out more about the National Literacy Trust’s work to improve children’s literacy through sport .

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