Around 150 primary school children from all over the South West of Scotland took part in a football festival at Rugby Park on Thursday, 2 June.

Boys and girls came from North, South and East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire and even from Glasgow to take part in the fifth annual event.

The first event, taking place in 2012, saw 35 players take part but word has spread quickly amongst the teachers and parents leading to this year’s much larger Festival. 

Plans are already in place to expand the event further still next year.

The delivery team consisted of Scottish FA staff, Development Officers and staff from Kilmarnock FC Community Trust, Ayr United Football Academy, KA Leisure, South Lanarkshire Leisure and students from Ayrshire College.

All staff were trained in Deaf Awareness and supported by teachers, parents and support staff from the schools, many of whom were proficient in sign language.

South Ayrshire based Teacher for the Hearing Impaired and co-creater of the festival, Kenny Fraser said: “Hearing impaired children are generally educated in mainstream schools where they might be the only child with that particular challenge. 

“The football festival allowed them to come together and play the sport they love while meeting new friends from different schools. 

“We are delighted with our on-going partnership with the Scottish FA that allows the children to have such a brilliant day and memories that will last a lifetime.” 

Scottish FA South West Regional Manager John Brown said: “At the Scottish FA we are determined to create ‘Football for All’ through increasing diversity and ensuring that anyone who wants to play has a full range of opportunities to do so. 

“The Deaf Festival is a brilliant example of multiple partner agencies coming together to put smiles on faces of young people who might not otherwise be able to take part. 

“I want to thank everyone who played a part in making the event such a massive success.”