More than 1,000 football-mad kids set to head to Netherdale for festival

A FOOTBALL frenzy is set to take place at the Netherdale 3G pitches on Sunday when the ninth Borders Sport and Leisure Cameron Gunn Football Festival takes place.

More than 1,000 youngsters from across the Borders are expected to participate in the tournament which is now the largest of its kind in Scotland.

The event is open to all primary school-age children who play for SBJFA teams and also includes the SBJFA cup finals for under-13s, under-14s, under-15s, under-16s and under-17s.

Organised by the SFA and Borders Sport and Leisure, the tournament kicks off at 11am with the Under 6s-Under 12s games being played on a round robin basis.

Named in honour of Selkirk teenager, Cameron Gunn, who died aged 19 while playing football, all funds raised by the Festival are donated to the Scottish HART charity.

Drew Kelly, SFA development officer, said: “Last year’s festival was a huge success with all the children playing the game in great spirit and we are all looking forward to an even better day this year.

“The event is supported by the teams and officials involved in the SBJFA leagues and represents the pinnacle of their season.”

Last year over 100 teams participated in the event which raised almost £1,500 for HART and organisers are hoping for a record turnout this time.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure, added: “We are looking forward to a fantastic day of football and want to encourage families across the Borders to come and support the young players taking part.

“Festivals like this play an important role in encouraging children from an early age to enjoy participating in sport.”