Bolton School Infants

Pupils Meet Rugby World Cup Mascot Grubber Bear

Pupils at Beech House had a visit from 2013 Rugby League World Cup mascots ‘Grubber and Steed’, along with Leigh Centurions first team player Ryan Brierley, as part of the Try Reading project.

The Try Reading project has been launched to link with the 2013 Rugby World Cup to encourage people of all ages to take an interest in reading and to raise the profile of the tournament and of Rugby League in general. The visit is part of a number of fun schemes included in the project. The Reception children were introduced to Grubber and Steed and Ryan Brierley read them a story about the pair called ‘What’s a bear to wear?’ Part of the scheme is commissioning new writing and the new children’s picture book, written by Tom Palmer, was a result of this. Copies of the book were given to each Reception class.

Miss Kylie Bevon, Head of EYFS at Beech House, said: "Reading is an integral part of the curriculum and Beech House life. Through daily phonics lessons from their first day in school our children become confident and competent readers and our enriching environment helps to foster a love of reading. Grubber Bear is a real inspiration to our children and we feel sure he will wncourage them in the development of their early reading skills. In particular we feel that the Grubber Bear and his links with rugby will excite and inspire our pupils to take part."

Over 150 events, including author talks, writing workshops and drama events are taking place across the North West, Yorkshire and Humber regions between April and November 2013. The project is being funded with an award from the National Lottery supported £6 million Grants for the arts Libraries fund by Arts Council England. It is among the first projects to have received an award through this fund and it recognises the positive connections that can be made between sport and the arts.

Bolton School Boys’ Division Year 7 pupil Luke James also attended, as a winner of the Rugby League World Cup 2013 Mascot Design competition. One of three winners, Luke’s design was chosen from over 1,000 entries from the UK and France. All three winners contributed elements to the overall design which were merged by illustrator Mark O'Hanlon to create ‘Grubber and Steed’. Grubber is a large bear character who has a rugby ball shaped side-kick called Steed. Grubber wears a shirt which has the logos of 14 competing nations on and will be there cheering on every team during the tournament. As part of his prize, Luke also won tickets to two World Cup matches of his choice in addition to tickets to the Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford, where he and the other winners will lead the players out with their mascot.

Grubber Bear Bolton School

Pupils at Beech House had a visit from 2013 Rugby League World Cup mascots Grubber and Steed

Grubber Bear Bolton School

Rugby player Ryan Brierley read them a story about the mascots called ‘What’s a bear to wear?

Grubber Bear Bolton School

Senior School pupil Luke James designed Grubber Bear