A FOOTBALL competition for primary school children was held at Reading FC’s The Dome last weekend (August 3).

The event was organised by Little Kickers, the UK’s largest pre-school football provider, and was their first Mega Cup competition.

Around 60-70 children aged between 5-7 years old put all their skills, learning, teamwork and experience together in a competitive but fun environment.

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Teams came from all over the country to take part including Leicester, Kettering, South Buckinghamshire, Bracknell, Romford, Central London and Guildford.

Little Kickers UK and ROI director of coaching, Deano Farshbaf, explained that the children were not too aware of the scoring system on the day as it was more for fun.

However, the team that tallied the most points and took home the trophy was Little Kickers Bracknell.

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He explained: “I know that some of the franchises lose some of their children to clubs/teams and start to play in competitive football at this age 5-7, but lose that sense of family feel and move on from the children that they have grown up with at Little Kickers since the age of 2.

“With this idea and concept of Mega Competition, we hope that this will encourage higher Mega Kickers retention and show parents that element of competition but within the Little Kickers environment - play not push!”

He was grateful for all the support on the day and thanked those that attended.

He continued: “Thank you to all the parents for creating such as great atmosphere on the day, thanks to all the franchisees and coaches that attended and those that helped with the running of the day.

“But most of all, well done to all the children that participated, they all did brilliantly well and for some it was their first experience within a setting like this - well done!”

Little Kickers was set up in 2002 by Christine Kelly who was living in London at the time and spotted a gap in the market when trying to find pre-school football classes for her son.

Child obesity was also becoming a hot topic and she couldn’t believe there weren’t any pre-school classes encouraging young children to get involved with sport.

So, she made one herself and decided to build a brand putting “fun first” and encouraging “play not push”.

Working alongside experts in child development and FA qualified football coaches, Mrs Kelly formed Little Kickers.

Together, they created programmes that would deliver high quality football skills, combined with important pre-school learning concepts such as colour and number recognition, sharing, following instructions and using imagination.

Classes are now run in over 30 countries and are tailored for specific age groups from as young as 18 months old.