Three hundred children from eight primary schools across Kilwinning and Irvine enjoyed a day of football and fun at a Tesco Bank Football Challenge Festival at Kilwinning Community Sports Club.

The schools have taken part in six weeks of introductory coaching sessions in recent months, and came together on Friday 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 400 boys and girls in the North Ayrshire area and almost 16,000 children across Scotland have been involved in the programme in the last six months.

To continue the children’s development in football, a link has been created with Kilwinning Sports Club who have used the Tesco Bank Football Challenge and the children involved to create new football teams for younger age groups.

Scottish FA Development Officer Craig Hamilton said:

“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.”

Adele Mills, Community Investment Manager at Tesco Bank commented: “Tesco Bank aims to make a positive contribution to the Ayrshire area both in the way we do business and by supporting community initiatives. Football is central to this programme, acting as a vehicle for fitness and the development of both physical and social skills.  Our aim is to see hundreds of boys and girls from across the city participating in football on a regular basis and having fun. We hope our initiative gives the kids an experience that will stay with them for life and ultimately encourage regular involvement in the game.”

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 eight primary schools attending the festival were Corsehill (Kilwinning), St Marks (Irvine), Castlepark (Irvine), Abbey (Kilwinning), St Luke’s (Kilwinning), Blacklands (Kilwinning) St Winning’s (Kilwinning) and Whitehirst (Kilwinning). John Galt Primary, Pennyburn Primary and Annick Primary were also involved in the Tesco Bank Football Challenge, but could not attend the festival.