Children from five local primary schools across Dundee had an amazing afternoon of football and fun at the Tesco Bank Football Challenge Festivall this week at Douglas Sports Centre as city football stars Michael Gardyne (Dundee United), Stephen O’Donnell and Kevin McBride (both Dundee) paid a special visit to the 200 participants.

The schools are the latest to have taken part in six weeks of coaching sessions as part of the Scottish FA’s flagship participation programme and are now coming together for a finale to remember.

The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a four-year community programme run by the Scottish FA. The project introduces football to Primary two and Primary three children (six to eight years old) across Scotland to help get them engage in a healthy and active lifestyle.

After two years of the programme over 39,000 children (8.7% more than targeted) across 1000 schools in Scotland have been engaged with the country’s leading football participation programme, accounting for more than 40% of the nation’s primary schools.

The Scottish FA led programme was recognised by UEFA, winning a silver grassroots award last season.

Julie Lemon, Head Teacher at Craigiebarns Primary School, said: “It is fantastic to be part of the Tesco Bank Football Challenge. The children had a wonderful day at the Douglas Sports Centre and one I’m sure they will remember for a very long time.”

Dundee United midfielder Michael Gardyne said: “It was great to see the Tesco Bank Football Challenge and the effect it has on kids. We need to get more children playing the game and initiatives like this can only help.”

Dundee captain Stephen O’Donnell added:  “I had great fun at today’s Tesco Bank Football Challenge. We all love the game and this gives us a great chance to promote it to local kids.”

Scottish FA football development officer Gavin Tinley said: “The Tesco Bank Football Challenge continues to grow from strength to strength and we’re pleased to welcome the children to Dundee for a third successive year.”