Authors Ben Lyttleton and Alex Bellos are to headline the National Literacy Trust’s annual Where’s Wally? fun run, to be held virtually for the first time.
Running on the 20th-21st March, the event, renamed the Where’s Wally? Weekender, will see the co-authors of the Football School series (Walker Books) both participate in a 10K run in their local areas, dressed as Wally, to raise money for the charity. Funds will be used to support schools and families whose children have had their literacy and learning most adversely affected by the disruption Covid-19 has caused to education.
Families are encouraged to register and order a free Wally costume to wear while jogging in their local areas to raise funds. Participants will receive a medal and virtual goody bag, which includes an exclusive sneak peek of digital activities from the brand new Where's Wally? book, Where's Wally? Party Time!
The virtual event will officially kick off with a 15-minute Facebook Live warm up from football freestyler Jamie Knight, which participants can tune into at 10 a.m. on Saturday 20th March. However, runners are free to begin their routes at whatever time suits them over the weekend.
Bellos, author, documentary presenter and puzzle columnist for the Guardian, said: “Having taken part in some really fun sport and literacy activities with the National Literacy Trust, I can’t wait for the Where’s Wally? Weekender and to wear Wally’s iconic red and white stripes with pride! It’s a great way to do something fun and physical while celebrating the magic of reading and supporting a great cause. I wouldn’t be where I am today without a love of reading, it’s such an important skill for all aspects of your life, but it is also supports wellbeing, which at a time like this is so important. Sign up today and encourage your friends and families to get involved too!”
Lyttleton, author, football journalist and consultant, said: “I’m really excited to be gearing up for this challenge. While it’s going to be really fun and I love dressing up, I’m delighted that every step I take in Wally’s shoes will help lots of children on their way to brighter futures.The National Literacy Trust does so much to provide reading and writing support to those who need it most—and in creative ways! I have loved working with them on sport and literacy programmes which help reluctant readers get into reading through sport. So what are you waiting for, register today and join us in this brilliant event!”
NLT chief executive Jonathan Douglas said: “Every year, I love seeing hundreds of smiling, enthusiastic families, runners and book lovers create a beautiful sea of red and white stripes on Where’s Wally? race day. This year, it warms my heart to know that there will be Wallys running around all over the country to help our charity in our mission to change the life stories of disadvantaged children in the UK by giving them the literacy skills they need to succeed and supporting those who need our help most, especially after a year which has disrupted children’s education so much. To those of you who have signed up, thank you, you are brilliant, and to those thinking about it, go for it! Let’s do something amazing together, even while apart.”
Along with a team from Walker Books, other teams will compete virtually in the race to win the fastest team award and raise the most money. Each winning team will get a box of books which includes a full set of the Football School series to gift to their local school, sponsored by Walker Books.