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Sheffield Eagles Literacy Kicks

Find out more about the literacy project the Sheffield Eagles Heritage Project and Literacy Kicks have been running in September.

The Sheffield Eagles Heritage Project has worked with Literacy Kicks during September delivering literacy workshops and tag rugby coaching sessions to primary schools across Sheffield

Literacy Kicks

Literacy Kicks is a schools programme that encourages children in reading and writing by taking them inside the exciting world of sports journalism, developing their literacy through sports reporting. It was set up by Rugby League journalist Gareth Walker and you can find more details HERE.

Inspired by the 1998 Challenge Cup Victory

The 2nd May 1998 is a historic day in the short history of the Sheffield Eagles. It was on this day, only 14 years after being formed that they defied the odds and expectations in beating Wigan Warriors 17-8 in the Challenge Cup Final. This match is often described as the biggest upset in Challenge Cup history, perhaps in British rugby league as a whole.

Gareth developed a specific programme using using the 1998 Challenge Cup win as inspiration for the young people to produce a piece of writing.

At most of the workshops there was someone there linked to 1998 to share their memories with the children and talk about life in Rugby League. We’re grateful to Mark Aston, Keith Senior and Cory Aston for spending time with the schools talking about their memories and experiences. Linked to this, we brought together all aspects of the work of the Eagles Foundation by also offering a tag rugby league coaching session for the class on the same day. Thanks to the funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we were able to offer these workshops free of charge, therefore throughout September we worked with nine primary schools to deliver 21 literacy workshops and 21 coaching sessions involving over 650 schoolchildren.

The Schools

Thank you to Grenoside Community Primary School, E-Act Pathways Academy, Phillimore Community Primary School, Fox Hill Primary School, Ballifield Primary School, Oasis Academy Don Valley, High Hazels Academy, Hartley Brook Primary Academy and Hatfield Academy for all taking part in the project.


We're still in the process of collecting all the feedback and reviewing the project but we know from the conversations we've had with the teachers and children how much they've enjoyed it.

The enthusiasm from the children has been amazing to see, many of them never having heard of the Sheffield Eagles before. They’ve been inspired by the historic 1998 Challenge Cup win and the people involved to write some brilliant articles about that day. They loved being able to meet a sports journalist, to have a different lesson to normal, learning about the Sheffield Eagles, having a chance to write in a new way and of course the most popular – receiving a free pencil.

It’s been great working with Gareth on this project and we’re already looking at working with him again next year, if we can raise the funding, as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Club.

Some of the schools featured the project on their social media.

Images of the Sheffield Eagles Literacy Kicks Project 2023
Examples of feedback from the Literacy Kicks Project

Examples of Writing

Below you can see some examples of the writing produced by the children.

Examples of writing from Literacy Kicks Project

Find Out More

You can find out more about the historic Challenge Cup win and how it has been celebrated over the last 25 years click HERE.