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Govia Thameslink Railway launch poetry competition to get kids back on track

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), has launched a national poetry competition this easter in partnership with Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho.

Open for six weeks, the competition looks to encourage children’s creativity and reduce screen time by tasking young people to write a short poem about somewhere they love to visit by train.

To enter the competition, children aged between five and 13-years-old need to write a short poem about somewhere they love to visit by train, or think others should visit by train, on the Southern, Great Northern or Thameslink network.

With a rail network spanning 11 counties, there are hundreds of great destinations to choose from.

With the help of Mr Coelho, 10 lucky winners will have their poems displayed on trains and at stations across the GTR network, so they can be read and admired by travellers far-and-wide.

Poems will be judged based on quality of language, structure, theme and creativity.

Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho who will be judging the competition (Picture: Peter Alvey on behalf of Govia Thameslink Railway)

Winners will also receive complementary return rail travel for themselves and four family members, for a summer adventure.

Mr Coelho, who will be judging the winning entries, said: “Poetry is a wonderful way to get children exploring their innate creativity and their voice, helping them to see that their words have power.

“One of my earliest memories of writing is during a poetry competition when I was twelve years old, so I am truly looking forward to reading the entries. I encourage the youngsters who get involved in GTR’s poetry competition to have fun with it and good luck to all who enter.”

The competition comes just in time to keep children entertained while travelling during the easter holidays.

Research by GTR shows 80 per cent of parents want to keep their children entertained on the train without the help of technology, with only one in five families now playing traditional travel games like I Spy.

Jenny Saunders, customer services director at GTR said: “Travelling by train is a great way to entertain kids, as the journey becomes part of the experience, but as a mother myself, I know how hard it can be to keep children occupied when on the move.

“This poetry competition is a fantastic distraction aimed at sparking children’s creativity. We hope to inspire young explorers to take on an adventure by train this summer, with our far-reaching network that helps open the door to more!”

Submissions are open now and close on May 10. Winners will be contacted between June 3 and 14 before the official announcement on June 24.

To enter GTR’s Poetry in Motion competition and view full T&C’s, visit:

Pictured top: Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho (Picture: Peter Alvey on behalf of Govia Thameslink Railway)

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