Junior squads to be united in top festival of football

Melrose take on Tweedbank Thistle in Borders junior football festival action
Melrose take on Tweedbank Thistle in Borders junior football festival action

The 2016 Live Borders Festival of Football is set to kick off on Sunday, June 5 at the 3G Arena in Galashiels.

Over 120 teams are expected to participate in the event, which will feature matches for girls and boys aged from six to 17 and include the Disability Football Festival and for the first time, walking football for those aged 50+.

In total, between competitors and spectators, over 2500 people, are expected to attend.

This year’s event also marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Selkirk teenager Cameron Gunn.

A special minute of applause will take place preceding the SBJFA age 15s final, the winners of which receive the Cameron Gunn Cup.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Live Borders said: “This event has gone from strength to strength and is now the largest football festival of its kind in Scotland.

“Each year, new elements have been added and it represents a fabulous showcase of football at all levels, from playing for fun and fitness to highly competitive matches for cups and trophies.

“It takes our team months of hard work to organise the event – but always in the forefront of their minds is the memory of Cameron Gunn, who died aged just 19 while playing football.

“We are delighted to continue to work with Cameron’s parents, Wilma and Kenneth Gunn, to use this event to raise money for the charity, Scottish Heart who raise awareness of childhood heart conditions.”

This year’s event is sponsored by NFU Mutual, Newtown St Boswells.

Participating teams at this year’s event come from across the region and will include the junior football clubs from Ancrum, Chirnside, Coldstream, Duns, Earlston, Eyemouth, Gala Fairydean Rovers, Gala Fairydean Rovers Youth FC, Greenlaw, Hawick, Kelso, Lauderdale, Leithen Rovers, Linton Hotspur Colts, Melrose, Peebles, Peebles Rovers, Selkirk, St Boswells and Tweedbank Thistle.

In addition to fun matches, the Festival includes the Scottish Borders Junior Football Association Finals in the 13s, 14s, 15s and 17s age brackets.

Richard Forsyth, of NFU Mutual Newtown St Boswells, said: ‘We are delighted to be sponsoring this fantastic event which brings youngsters from all parts of the Borders together to play football and have a great day out. We hope the event is a huge success and look forward to seeing everyone on June 5.”

The Festival will also host the Live Borders Play Village where competitors and attending children can be entertained and enjoy activities including an inflatable fun run and football speed shot competition.

SBJFA finals kick off at 10am, with Festival matches from noon. All are welcome.