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British RoyalsPrince Charles and Camilla

Boy backed by Duchess of Cornwall to cycle and raise literacy awareness

Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall
Stephen Lock/ i-Images

An eight-year-old reader is undertaking a cycling challenge to raise money for the National Literacy Trust, weeks after writing to The Duchess of Cornwall about his love of reading.

The youngster, Milan, began his fundraising efforts last week, hoping to raise £1,000 for the National Literacy Trust by cycling around the University of Bolton Stadium. He’d previously made headlines for reading 50 books and receiving a letter from The Duchess of Cornwall congratulating him.

Camilla, after receiving a letter from Milan, wrote back that she was excited to hear that he’d been nominated as Bolton’s Lockdown Reading Hero, and that “I do hope you are proud of yourself.” She also encouraged him to “keep up the good work!”

Milan will cycle 50 laps each day of the #FitforLit Challenge, representing one lap for each book he read during lockdown. The challenge will continue for as long as he can manage it.

“I want to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children,” Milan said in a statement on the National Literacy Trust’s website. “Every child should be able to read and have books of their own. It’s a fact children need literacy skills to succeed. It’s a fact children who exercise do better at school.

“Therefore, for me, get #FitforLit makes perfect sense. I’m combining my two favourite hobbies to fundraise to help make a difference to the literacy skills of all children.”

The #FitforLit Challenge Milan is supporting “encourages the public to take on a sporting activity with a literacy twist,” per the National Literacy Trust website, and aims to “support the literacy and learning of children most seriously impacted by COVID-19 when they return to school in September.”

Milan’s challenge has been posted on the Just Giving website, and has already raised £1,142—114% over his target.

“Milan is a sporting and reading legend! Every day I see first-hand just how powerful sport can be at motivating children to read and write, so I have no doubt that Milan’s incredible fundraising challenge will achieve just that, while also raising vital funds for our work,” said Jim Sells, the Sport and Literacy Programme Manger with the National Literacy Trust.

“We’re thrilled that Milan has teamed up with our friends at Bolton Wanderers FC for his #FitforLit challenge, as we have worked with the club for many years to get children excited about reading through football. Good luck Milan! We will all be cheering you on.”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.