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World Book Day Poetry Competition 2015

World Book Day shortlisted poems announced at flagship event

To celebrate World Book Day 2015, Dr Helen Day and her Live Literature Project students organised a poetry competition on the topic of Sports and Evolving. From ancient warriors fighting for superiority and fame to the modern day Olympic Games, sport has evolved over the ages and so have the sports men, women and children who play it. Pupils were invited to consider areas such as how certain animals, or even dinosaurs might play sport, how science could help invent new sports, how we might play sports in space or how we might evolve to become more adapted for certain sports. 

UCLan students Michael Card-Mina, Erica Hoggarth, Madeleine Refoy and Lucy Stackhouse designed the competition and shortlisted 22 poems, 11 from Primary (Years 5-6) and 11 from Secondary (Years 7-8): 10 poems and 1 for luck!

The shortlisted poems were announced at the flagship Preston World Book Day event on 5th March, held at the Deepdale football stadium, by poet Yvonne Reddick to an audience of 5,000 children and authors such as Frank Cottrell Boyce (who also scripted the opening ceremony to the 2012 Olympic Games), Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon), Cathy Cassidy (prolific author for teens) and Danny Wallace (filmmaker, comedian, writer, actor, and presenter). The event was organised by Jake Hope (Literary Consultant) with Elaine Silverwood from Silverdell Books, Kirkham. 

The shortlisted poems will be judged in the coming months and winners from each category announced by a published poet at UCLan’s Lancashire Science Festival where the poets will be invited to read their own poems to their family and friends. 

UCLan Live Literature would like to congratulate all the schools who took part and all the pupils who shared their wonderful poems with us. Well done!

View photos from the event



Specially commissioned poem by Yvonne Reddick

Yvonne Reddick is a publishing poet and Research Fellow in Modern English and World Literatures at UCLan. She was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Memorial Prize this year and selected to be mentored by the Wordsworth Trust’s Poet in Residence. She has published poetry in magazines and recently co-edited The Apple Anthology from Nine Arches Press.

A word from Yvonne …

“World Book Day is such an amazing day. We celebrate the happiness that books bring by sharing stories, hearing from authors, and dressing up as our favourite characters – all for a good cause. My favourite thing about World Book Day was coming to school in costume. When I was younger, I’d be Mildred from The Worst Witch … then, when I was a bit older, I’d be Alice from Alice in Wonderland! Twenty years later, I suppose I haven’t changed much. When I write poems, I’ll often experiment with a character’s voice, trying it on like a costume or mask to see if it fits the poem. 

I was delighted and honoured to be asked to read out the results of the World Book Day Poetry Competition, and to be invited to write a poem for the occasion. The theme got me thinking. What will sports be like in the future? What will we be like in the future? In this poem, I imagine what might be in store for us! It’s 2195, human beings have landed on all of the planets in our Solar System, and we’ve made contact with aliens. The Olympic and Paralympic Games take place on different planets. New technologies are transforming the way we do sport.”


You’re Invited to the 2195 Space Olympics

It’s this millennium’s Space Olympics!

Roll up! Who’ll come

to the most star-studded event in the galaxy?

We’ll light the torch at a volcano on Venus

and pass it in a chain of rockets

to light up the crater

of Mount Olympus Mons on Mars!


First, it’ll be the Interplanetary Space Race.

Two brave Earthlings versus shuttle pilots

from Saturn and Neptune.

We’ll fire up our boosters!

We’ll fasten our belts

and ready the shuttles for the speed of light!

Next, we’ll have Lunar Space-Hopping.

Our brave athletes will leap

between craters, moon seas

and meteorite smashes. Who’ll watch

as they raise moon-dust and roars of applause?


We’ll see Low-Gravity Gymnastics,

somersaults on Mars! We’ll go Storm-Surfing

on Jupiter and Zorbing on Saturn!

Swimming Championships in the liquid diamond seas

of Neptune. Table Tennis competitions

with twenty-armed aliens. Bionic Paralympics

with Titanium Blade-Running

and Rocket-Pod Basketball.

Then the Moonwalking Contest!

Our dancers will sport

full space suits and lunar ballet shoes.

Who’ll get ten out of ten

from our tough judge from Alpha Centauri?


Who’ll train to take part?

Who’ll compete in the heats?

Who’ll win the gold medals,

sparkling like our star, the Sun?

Who’ll win the silvers, round as the moon?

And the bronze, glowing like Jupiter?


Just a century and a bit to wait now.

Now, if we can just put the finishing touches

to our time machine…

Yvonne Reddick (2015)



Winners Years 5-6 (Primary)

Winner: Hannah Welsby, Withnell Primary School, ‘The Power of Science’
Runner-up: Rachael Hardman, Brabin’s Endowed Primary School, ‘Sport is Addictive’
Runner-up: John Bonsato, St. William’s Catholic Primary School, ‘The Evolution of Sport’

Winners Years 7-8 (Secondary)

Winner: Caitlin Allen, Penwortham Girls’ High School, ‘The First Sports Day’
Runner-up: Lewis Cox, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Skelmersdale, ‘The Race’
Runner-up: Libby Treadwell, Tarleton Academy, ‘Swimming Goggles’

Shortlist Years 5-6 (Primary)

In alphabetical order (surname)

Shortlist Years 7-8 (Secondary)

In alphabetical order (surname)

  • The First Sports Day (.pdf 45KB) by Caitlin Allen (Year 7, Penwortham Girls’ High School)
  • Sport Across the Ages (.pdf 48KB) by Charis Bethell (Year 7, Penwortham Girls' High School)
  • Confidence (.pdf 43KB) by Abigail Cooper (Year 8, Tarleton Academy)
  • The Race (.pdf 44KB) by Lewis Cox (Our Lady Queen of Peace, Skelmersdale)
  • Quidditch (.pdf 43KB) by Zainab Dawood (Year 7, Penwortham Girls' High School)
  • The Unfair World of Motor Racing (.pdf 43KB) by Emma Fielding (Year 7, Penwortham Girls’ High School)
  • What if Sport had Never Evolved? (.pdf 45KB) by Olivia Gill (Year 7, Penwortham Girls' High School)
  • The Race (.pdf 38KB) by Lucy Handford (Year 8, Tarleton Academy)
  • Football (.pdf 42KB) by Sam Latimer (Year 7, Tarleton Academy)
  • Can I Do It? (.pdf 38KB) by Charlotte Paterson (Year 7, Penwortham Girls' High School)
  • Swimming Goggles (.pdf 38KB) by Libby Treadwell (Year 7, Tarleton Academy)

Terry and Hannah 

Shortlisted Winner and Terry 

Terry and Caitlin