WHITTON United will stage the KBB Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival for a second successive season.
The festival, which Ipswich-based company KBB have agreed to sponsor for the next three years, will take place on Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th at the King George Vth ground.
The two-day event will have a FIFA Women’s World Cup theme, with the free-to-enter festival for under-7s to under-16s taking place just under three weeks before the tournament kicks-off in France.
Ipswich Town FC have agreed to partner with Suffolk FA and the club’s Under-21 midfielder Paige Peake, who recently made her debut for England Under-17s, helped launch this year’s festival.
Pictured above at the launch of this year’s festival are (left to right) Ipswich Town Women’s U21 Lead Coach Joe Sheehan, Whitton United Youth Secretary Maxine Barnes, Ipswich Town U21 & England U17 player Paige Peake and Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard.
Members of Ipswich Town Women’s U21 side will hopefully attend on both days ahead of their showcase match versus Manchester United at Portman Road on the following Monday evening.
After confirming that long-time sponsors KBB will continue to support the festival for the next three years, director Roger Peck said: “We at KBB are delighted to be sponsoring the Grassroots Festival for another three years.
“I am so proud of the partnership both KBB and my family have developed with Suffolk FA and the Footballing community, and my staff and family look forward to the Festival every year.
“When I got involved with Suffolk FA I wanted a project that could be long-term and something we could develop together. The grassroots game was always something that I wanted to get behind, so when we came up with a festival theme, my aim for it was an event which was free to enter.
“This meant there would be no car parking or programme charge and for it to be a fun, safe and friendly environment.
“I had no idea it would develop into such a great success. The hard work put in by Suffolk FA and ourselves has meant we are reaching out to so many children participating in football each year with more and more teams entering.
Players and spectators are pictured above enjoying last year's KBB Grassroots Festival at Whitton United's King George Vth Ground.
“I make a point each year to stop and look around to see what we have achieved, how the event is running and how many people attended. There is nothing more pleasing than seeing so many people, with smiles on their faces, whether playing football or just enjoying the weekend.
“So with that in mind, it was very quick decision to say ‘yes’ to another three-year contract.”
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “We are really looking forward to delivering the 2019 KBB Grassroots festival, a highlight in our season and celebration of local grassroots football across Suffolk.
“This year’s festival will be our biggest yet with the introduction of walking football, more disability teams and more spaces for teams across mini-soccer and Youth age groups than ever before.
“We are really pleased to be supporting Whitton United again this season and returning to the fantastic facility at King Edward V Playing Fields.
“This festival could not take place without the commitment and support of staff, coaches, referees and parents, and we thank you in advance for your contributions towards creating a positive festival experience for everyone involved.”
Whitton United Youth Secretary Maxine Barnes added: “We are delighted to once more host the KBB Grassroots Festival.
“We enjoyed staging the event last year and look forward to welcoming Youth teams from across the county to our King George Vth ground again in May.”
Clubs will be able to register for the festival from April 1st. More details on how to register will be sent to all clubs two weeks beforehand.