Year 5 to 8 pupils from six local schools across the East Midlands will join students from Trent College and its junior school The Elms as Clare talks about and reads extracts from her children’s book, The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, and shares stories about her own life as an author and broadcaster.
‘An Evening with Clare Balding’ will begin at 7 p.m., with all proceeds going to her chosen charity, the Brixton-based Ebony Horse Club, which uses horses to raise the aspirations, life skills, education and wellbeing of young riders in south London.
In The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, Charlie Bass is a horse-mad nine-year-old who dreams of owning her own pony. When her parents buy a racehorse, called Noble Warrior, Charlie is thrilled. There’s just one problem; he won’t gallop. As well as being the tale of Charlie’s quest to turn Noble Warrior into a champion, the story sends a powerful positive body image message to its young readers, especially girls.
If we can capture young imaginations early, and make reading something children do for enjoyment and escapism, not as a chore or because a teacher tells them to, we can inspire a lifelong passion for reading – Clare Balding, Author
Clare said: ‘I’m looking forward to coming to Trent College to talk to and meet so many children from the local area about The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop. I loved writing this book. I have a lot of nephews, nieces and godchildren and wanted something they could read and enjoy. They are tough critics, but give the best feedback!
‘If we can capture young imaginations early, and make reading something children do for enjoyment and escapism, not as a chore or because a teacher tells them to, we can inspire a lifelong passion for reading. If the books they read also reinforce positive messages that help them to make sense of the world, then even better.’
The author event has been organised by Trent College’s Head of Library Services, Claire Scothern, who is delighted so many local youngsters will get the chance to hear from such a popular, high profile writer.
She added: “Author visits are an integral part of how we try to nurture a passion for reading in our pupils at Trent College and it will be fantastic to welcome so many local youngsters to the school to listen to and be inspired by Clare’s stories.
“You can’t beat that feeling of being so engrossed in a book you can’t put it down. My parents used to take me to our local library and I loved choosing a book. Books are in competition with so many other distractions now, but if children have the chance to try different authors and find something new they love, it can instil a voracious appetite for reading. School libraries play a pivotal role in doing this.”
Clare Balding won the BAFTA Special Award and RTS Presenter of the Year Award for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. She has worked on six Olympics, five Paralympics and four Winter Olympics, and has presented racing for the BBC and Channel 4. She is currently fronting BT Sport’s America’s Cup coverage in Bermuda.
Her best-selling first book, My Animals and Other Family, won biography of the year at the 2012 National Book Awards. The Racehorse Who Disappeared, the sequel to The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, will be published by Puffin on 21st September.