The week-long festival is one of the longest running and largest events of its kind in the British Isles, and sees over 12 teams with parents and coaches travel from across the UK to take part in football matches and teambuilding activities during the Easter school holidays.
The festival has long been regarded as the pinnacle of under 11 football and has an important role to play in developing the aspirations of the islands young players. It will be a great achievement for those children who make it onto the Jersey team and the culmination of practice and hard work during inter-school tournaments.
Graeme Le Saux participated in the tournament as a schoolchild and is a keen supporter of the event: "The primary schools football festival was a vital part of my football development. It gave me the chance to compete against schools from all over the UK, and made me realise how high the standard was, a level that I wanted to reach".
We see the festival as a great example of the quality of work done in youth sport on the island and great for Jersey’s reputation as a tourism and sporting destination, as well as for the children participating.
The 39th Jersey Primary Schools Football Festival took place at FB Fields with over 200 UK children, parents and coaches visiting from Barking & Dagenham, Chiltern & South Bucks, Hackney, Orpington, Plymouth, South Birmingham, Thurrock and Tower Hamlets. This year we worked with David Brookland of the Jersey Football Association, and Pat Cullinane, event organiser, to promote the UK FA’s Respect campaign, helping to embed the right behaviours and attitudes in the football players of the future.
The event is more than just a football festival for the children attending. Each year they also go on outings and activities in the afternoons. This builds their confidence and gives them opportunities to make new connections and friendships with other teams that last long after they return home.
2014 dates are to be confirmed with the event normally being run at FB Fields between 9am and 1pm each day between Sunday and Friday.