On Tuesday 7th June, 220 children from ten primary schools across East Dunbartsonshire enjoyed a day of football and fun at a Tesco Bank Football Challenge Festival at the Celtic FC Training Complex in Lennoxtown.


The schools have taken part in numerous weeks of introductory coaching sessions in recent months, and came together today for a grand finale festival.


The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a four year community programme run in partnership with the Scottish FA. The programme introduces football to Primary 2 and Primary 3 children (six to eight years old) across Scotland and gets them engaged in a healthy and active lifestyle.


The programme has been delivered to 350 boys and girls in the East Dunbartonshire area and 18,000 children across Scotland have been involved in the programme in the past year. In addition to the coaching, 25 teachers in East Dunbartonshire have gone through Scottish FA training to continue coaching in their schools.


Enda Ruddy, teacher at St Agatha's Primary said:

"Thanks to the Tesco Bank Football Challenge, there has been a huge surge of interest in football from the children - especially the girls."


Leah Gibson(Primary 2) at St Agatha's Primary enthused:

"I like having fun and being able to play football with the boys. The thing I like best is scoring goals! I never used to play football, but now I love it - I play all the time at home and at playtime."


Scottish FA Assistant Football Development Officer Scott Murray commented:

"The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a great initiative which is all about getting the young kids taking part and having fun. It is not only about learning basic football skills but also about getting children involved in physical activity and leading healthier, happier lives."


Tesco Bank is investing over £1 million in the programme and will use the power of football to get six to eight year-old children active. The aim is to reach 72,000 boys and girls of all levels and abilities in, at least, 1,600 primary schools across Scotland’s 32 local authorities with over 500,000 coaching hours.


The ten primary schools who attended the festival were Castlehill, Twechar, Meadowburn, Colquhoun Park, Oxgang, Lennoxtown, St Helens, St Joseph's, St Andrew's and St Agatha's.