Natasha Kate Evans’ beautifully illustrated educational book Didge is based on former West Ham and Australian footballer, Dylan James Tombides, who passed away to testicular cancer in April 2014. Natasha has written a children’s book equipped with a teaching package that aims to arm future generations with strategies to be resilient through adversity. Through Dylan's real life story teachers, parents and students will gain the necessary knowledge about testicular cancer that will enable them to be confident when taking health matters in their own hands.
Didge follows the life of talented cub, Didge, who excels playing football. However, Sena, the sneaky, slithering snake enters Didge’s life unexpectedly and his life changes dramatically. Didge reflects Dylan’s story and is based on courage, persistence and love that aims to inspire children of all ages.
A teaching programme for Didge is also going to be available in PDF format here: http://didgeskingdom.org/. The guide includes lesson plans for teachers, worksheets and assessment rubrics, and the activities are adopted from a range of teaching strategies to provide students with engaging and motivating learning experiences.
Natasha has written Didge in Dylan’s memory to help inspire the youth of today to lead positive, meaningful lives and to never give up on achieving their hopes and dreams. It aims to teach children the importance of becoming resilient when they are faced with challenges in their lives, just like Didge, and helps teachers learn how to engage in such sensitive topics with their pupils.
A hugely popular figure among his team-mates, coaches, backroom staff, supporters and opponents alike, Dylan was loved and respected throughout the football community for his talent, his smile and his spirit. Dylan was already a star. What he achieved in his 20 years was astonishing, but we knew he had potential to go on and accomplish even greater things. This book will ensure that the stars of the future have the opportunity that Dylan, tragically, was robbed of, to fulfil their potential,” comments Vice Chairman of West Ham United F.C., Karren Brady.