A University of Worcester graduate and football coach has created an interactive children's story book to encourage young people to get more physically active.

Tom Oldaker, who recently graduated, has used his experiences on and off the football pitch to produce an engaging interactive narrative, ‘The Adventures of Alex the Pirate: Treasure Island’, which combines a story with instructions on physical games and activities.

Mr Oldaker, of Cradley Heath, said: "Just seeing it from an idea, going through the process of creating the illustrations and refining the story, to seeing it as a physical book has been really exciting."


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The book tells the story of a child who pretends he is a pirate and goes on an adventure.

The story leads into the second half of the book, which encourages children to enact the story through a series of structured sports games and activities.

Adaptable based on age and ability, the games aim to grab the interest of children towards physical activities.

Despite the games being primarily focused on football, they can easily be adapted to other sports.

Created for children ranging from 18 months to six years, Mr Oldaker says that the activities can be modified to engage children up to the age of ten.

He completed a Master’s in Sports Coaching in 2019 at the University of Worcester, and went on to complete a PGCE in Secondary PE, graduating in 2022.

Mr Oldaker said: "My Master’s was very theory based, it was all about how we learn and constructions of learning.

"The PGCE was much more practical.

"The combination of both courses helped my understanding of learning.

"The genesis of the book came through the engagement he observed in children when he themed his football coaching sessions around characters like pirates or cowboys.

"The idea soon evolved, leading him to create and refine an engaging narrative through a series of games, ultimately culminating in the book which took eight months to realise.

Mr Oldaker intends to continue this interactive format in future books should this one prove successful.

Published by Rowanvale Books, the novel concept is now available on most online retailers.