The DSActive team hosted their 8th DSActive National Festival on Sunday 17 June at the PlayFootball Indoor Arena in Birmingham. 16 teams travelled from all around the country to play in the festival, which this year was sponsored by Legal & General.
The National Festival is always a highlight of the year for all of the team and this year we welcomed members of staff from other teams within the Down’s Syndrome Association who gave up their own time to come and help on the day. The standard of the football from all the teams was the highest seen at the festival and every game was closely fought. As always, it was fantastic to see the excellent sportsmanship shown by all the players and to see the community which has built up around the DSActive sessions.
The group stages were very close, with one group being decided by goal difference! The top two teams from each group progressed into the quarterfinals. It was great to see a mixture of new teams who have never played a fixture before coming up against some of the more experienced teams and almost beating them. The final saw the Charlton Addicks continue their winning run by beating the Merseyside Blues in a very close match which had everyone watching engrossed.
A member of the DSActive team said: “It was a fantastic day. The football was of the highest standard I have ever seen and there were goals flying in from everywhere. It was great to see the community that has built around the DSActive session and to see new friendships being made. A huge thank you to our sponsors Legal & General as without their support the festival wouldn’t have happened. And a big thank you has to go to the DSA staff who gave up their time to support the DSActive team on the day. We are all already looking forward to next year’s festival!”
A huge congratulations to the overall winners Charlton Addicks, and well done to the Merseyside Blues who came runners-up.
Congratulations to all of the group winners:
And the group runners-up:
Continuing with a tradition started last year, the DSActive team presented three special awards for outstanding performances throughout the day.
This year’s Best Goal Keeper went to Beth from Bottesford Town, who was playing in her very first match but was fantastic with the gloves on.
The Golden Boot this year went to Tayo from Millwall who scored a magnificent 26 goals in the group stages.
And this year’s Players player went to Sam from Merseyside Blues. He showed great enthusiasm throughout the day, never stopped smiling from start to finish and all of the DSA staff agreed he encapsulated what the DSActive National Festival is all about.
Here are some photos from the day, we are all looking forward to next year’s festival and we hope to see you there!