The KBB Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival has once again been hailed a ‘fantastic success’.
The seventh staging of the festival, at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich, saw a total of 136 teams from across the county take part and more than 4,000 people attend over Saturday and Sunday.
The FA Premier League-themed event got off to an inauspicious start on Saturday morning when a thunderstorm forced matches to be halted just minutes after the scheduled 10.30am start.
After a half-an-hour delay play resumed and the remainder of the festival for Under-7 to Under-16 male and female teams was bathed in glorious sunshine.
Among those taking part was an Ipswich Wildcats team from the recently launched SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Clubs, aimed at doubling girls’ participating by 2020.
The Ipswich Town Fanzone was present at the festival for the first time, with allcomers able to take part in speed-shot challenges.
Club mascots Blue (Saturday) and Crazee (Sunday) both attended and face painting was available for children.
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager, Michael Cornall said: “From start to finish the whole weekend has been a fantastic success, despite the spot of bad weather on Saturday morning.
“All the players, coaches, officials and parents had a positive attitude and contributed significantly to creating a great footballing experience for everyone involved.
“Our thanks go to Roger Peck and everyone at KBB for their brilliant support across the whole weekend. It was a superb team effort and great to see so many smiles on the players’ faces.
“We now look forward to next year when we will have a World Cup-themed Grassroots Festival.”
KBB Director, Roger Peck, added: “The good old British weather threw us a curve ball with the thunderstorm, but everyone huddled together in the marquee waiting for it to subside before carrying on for what turned out to be a fantastic weekend.
“This was mainly due to the excellent organisation and delivery by the Suffolk FA staff.
“As sponsor of the event I can say it was a truly memorable experience seeing so many youngsters playing football and their families enjoying the sunshine, which is what it is all about.”