Over 150 pupils from across the UK and Jersey will be able to take part in the 39th Annual Primary Schools Football festival this year thanks to financial support from PwC, who have stepped in to bridge a financing gap.

The week-long festival is one of the longest running and largest events of its kind in the British Isles, and sees over twelve teams with parents and coaches travel from across the UK to take part in football matches and teambuilding activities during the Easter school holidays. Its future was in doubt after budgetary cuts but the Jersey Football Association and PwC have stepped in to give Pat Cullinane, event organiser, the support needed for it to go ahead this year. Based at FB Fields, over 200 UK children, parents and coaches are now confirmed as attending. David Brookland, Chief Executive Officer of the Jersey FA explained: “The Festival has long been regarded as the pinnacle of Under 11 football and we were keen to support it in whatever way we could. It has an important role to play in developing the aspirations of our island’s young players to work on their football skills. It’s 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." Mark James, Partner at PwC commented: “We see the Festival as a great example of the quality of work done in youth sport on the island and it’s great for Jersey’s reputation as a tourism and sporting destination, as well as for the children participating. We’re also excited about working with David and Pat on plans this year to promote the UK FA’s Respect campaign, helping to embed the right behaviours and attitudes in the football players of the future.” Pat Cullinane added: ‘We are immensely grateful for the support from PwC and the Jersey FA.

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. We are also grateful to Hotel Metropole, who close to the public whilst our teams are resident so that we can run a children friendly programme of evening entertainment, which culminates with an awards dinner on the last evening.”

The public are encouraged to support the event which will run at FB Fields between 9am and 1pm each day between Sunday 7th and Friday 12th April. For further information please email Pat Cullinane at pcullinane@gmail.com.