Nearly 150 children from Bonaly, Longstone and Pentland primary schools were treated to an afternoon out of the classroom to take part in a Tesco Bank Football Challenge festival at Meggatland Sports Complex in Edinburgh.

The Scottish FA, in partnership with Tesco Bank, have embarked on a four-year community programme which is aimed at primary two and three children and lets them experience the joys of our national game in a safe and fun environment, within curriculum time.

Coaches go into schools over a period of six weeks tasked with encouraging children to lead a healthy and active lifestyle and engaging them through fun football related activites.

For many this is their first taste of the sport and as Football Development Officer Chris Roberts explains, it is vitally important for the game that children have an enjoyable first experience.

"Many of the kids who take part in the Tesco Bank Football Challenge have never played the game before but our job, with the support of Tesco Bank, is to make sure that every child enjoys themselves and learns some good skills, life skills not just football skills," he said."Maybe some of the kids won't go on to play the game but at the very least they will have had a fun time on the programme.

"We have been very lucky that over one hundred youngsters have went on from our programme within Edinburgh to join local clubs and that is also key to what we are trying to achieve. We may only be in the school for six weeks, but we can leave lasting links between schools and the clubs in their local community and that can go on to benefit many more youngsters in the future." Peach, a teacher at Pentland Primary,had nothing but glowing praise for the coach who had worked with his class.

"It has been fantastic to watch the coach work with the children and we as teachers can learn a lot from how football sessions are structured and how the coach interacts with the children," he said.

"The Curriculum for Excellence promotes the development of children's skills in all different environments and also focuses on building confident and effective learners. We felt the Tesco Bank Football Challenge fitted perfectly with our school ethos and curriculum."

The Tesco Bank programme is delivered throughout Scotland by the football development departments at the thirty two local authorities.