Reading for pleasure has a positive impact on education, literacy and emotional health (see reading list below to explore this claim in more detail).
So over the course of two weeks, Cyncoed Library focussed on World Book Day as a way of promoting the benefits of reading and literature to staff and students here at Cardiff Met. Sport was the theme for our WBD this year. And to share the love (of reading), we invited two writers and journalists, heavily involved in the world of sport to talk about their work and inspirations.
Experienced educator, television producer, researcher and writer, Jos Andrews gave a great talk about her sport broadcasting and writing career. She initially trained as an English teacher and was head of department in a school when she got summer holiday experience as a runner for a TV production company in London. Meeting people in the profession who were willing to give her a chance was key to getting a wealth of research and television production experience.
Through her many anecdotes, Jos told students how hard work, flexibility and networking was important to building a career…
She recounted her experiences of filming cricket being played in Crompton – an area of Los Angeles beset by poverty and violence. The game was strengthening community ties, helping people improve their life chances and sense of belonging. Despite their background, the players treated the crew with kindness and respect. So no matter where you are, always think the best of people. Most will be respectful and bend over backwards to help.
These were one of many stories she recounted about the people she has met. Other nuggets of wisdom and common sense career advice included:
“Think outside the box – don’t be too focused as other experiences can really add value to your C.V.
If you want something done, carry sweets! (author’s note: always very good advice J)
Ask questions that give people space to answer.
And introduce yourself when inviting potential LinkedIn contacts.”
Book writing – Quick Reads
She has worked extensively with Colin Jackson on educational television productions with a strong sports theme. Despite having no prior experience of writing a book, he asked her to help him write his autobiography for Quick Reads. These are a series of short books: both fiction and non-fiction from The Reading Agency for reluctant readers or English learners. Since then, she has written several Quick Reads books such as Rugby Dads and Going for Gold.
Our next speaker of the week is experienced sports television broadcaster and journalist, Joe Towns who is also course director and lecturer for the new MSc in Sport Broadcast starting in September. He gave a fascinating talk with video, music and poetry reading. He looked at how poetry can be juxtaposed with sporting images and video to create visually striking, meaningful and memorable pieces for promoting sports programmes and events.
Poetry readings and sport
In his television work, Joe talked about ‘stealing’ or using other inspirational ideas in a creative way. Much broadcasting and writing can be routine and cliché, so copying great pieces of writing or film that relates to the brief can have a big impact as he demonstrated throughout the talk.
Serena Williams’ 2016 reading of Maya Angelou’s “I Rise” – was particularly moving. The words spoken and the power of Serena as a black woman and champion tennis player bought out the meaning and emotional impact of the poem. She had been dogged with injury and depression, so the poem also had a personal resonance in that she was getting back up from adversity.
An inspiration can often be generated from watching other films or advertisements. All Pacino rousing his football team with an emotional pre-match speech in “Any given Sunday” was appropriated to a very dramatic (& less sweary) effect by playwright and actor, Stephen Berkoff for the Heinekken Cup on Sky Sports.
Further reading on reading!
Use MetSearch to find more books, or look for the following shelf mark numbers and just browse..
155.4 – Child development/psychology
372.412 – Reading/literacy – includes reading schemes & activities
372.6 – Literacy development in education
809.89282 – Children’s literature
813 – American fiction
823 – English fiction
813 & 823 Children’s fiction (School Experience Room – upstairs in Cyncoed Library L101)
A very small selection of research articles – available on MetSearch
Sullivan, A. and Brown, M. (2013) Social inequalities in cognitive scores at age 16: the role of reading. CLS working papers. 13/10. Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, University College London.
Araújo, Luisa ; Costa, Patricia (2015) Home Book Reading and Reading Achievement in EU Countries: The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2011 (PIRLS). Educational Research and Evaluation, Vol.21 (5-6), p.422-438
Finding more articles & books
There have been a lot of research into the impact of reading on educational attainment and development. Use a range of resources: books, journals, internet & newspapers to find potential sources of information and leads. For this, we recommend you use our library resource discovery search engine – MetSearch. It is reliable and provides access to paid-for quality information. To help you develop your search skills and increase your chances of finding relevant sources, contact your Education Librarian, Catherine Finch.