Champion jockey to launch reading campaign

Following the success of last year’s “Mullingar Reads Together” project which saw over 1,000 people get into Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, the Home School Community Liaison Initiative has chosen Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo as this year’s treat.

The campaign to promote the book - which was recently adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg - will be launched in the Mullingar Arts Centre on April 17 at 11.30am, and the HSCLI is delighted to announce champion jockey-elect Davy Russell as guest of honour.

”We really want to promote reading for pleasure and we were heartened by last year’s response in which over 1000 people read Hatchet,” said Angela Bowe, teacher at the Community College and spokesperson for the HSCLI.

“Not only will students and teachers in each school read Warhorse, their parents, friends, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grannies and grandads are also encouraged to read it”.

“The aim of the project is to encourage as many people as possible in our community to take up reading and to consider it as a hobby rather than a chore,” she said.

Also appearing at the event will be The Voice of Ireland star Graham Dowling and The Mullingar Community College Variety Group, fresh from their appearance at the All-Ireland schools light entertainment festival.

On the day the audience will be treated to a multimedia experience hosted by Marty Mulligan including film, poetry and readings from the book by various guest speakers, as well as an interview with Davy Russell.

Russell is Horse Racing Ireland’s national hunt ambassador, and is the retained jockey for Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud out in Cloughan.

He is odds-on favourite to win his first ever champion jockey title at the Punchestown meeting at the end of the month, as he has ridden 98 winners this season and is 17 ahead of nearest rival Ruby Walsh.

The ‘Read Together’ campaign is maintaining an ambassadorial theme, as last year the guest of honour was the Honorable Loyola Hearn, Canadian ambassador to Ireland.

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