SLIDESHOW: Mini Soccer League kicks off again

It was the big kick-off once again for one of the Ballymena area’s most popular youth football initiatives at the weekend.

The annual Ballymena Invitational Mini Soccer league football festival started its 2016 run on the 3g pitch at Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

Children from the Primary 3 age group playing in the Ballymena Invitational Mini Soccer league football festival.

Children from the Primary 3 age group playing in the Ballymena Invitational Mini Soccer league football festival.

The opening day of the competition saw teams in action in the P2 and P3 age categories.

Special guest at the event was Councillor Billy Ashe, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council who presented medals to all of the children taking part in the event.

Teams representing a number of youth football clubs in the local area took part in the tournament.

This year’s competition will be the 16th year of the hugely popular initiative, which has given a first grounding in team football to several youngsters who have gone on to play at a higher level in their footballing careers.

These kids were ready for a great afternoon of football at the Showgrounds.

These kids were ready for a great afternoon of football at the Showgrounds.

This Saturday 14th May will see children the P4 age group compete in an afternoon session also on the 3g surface.

The competition continues right up to P7 age level, just before the start of Euro 2016.