Oceania Football Confederation > News > OFC > Ricki Herbert heads back to school for ‘Just Play’

Ricki Herbert heads back to school for ‘Just Play’

It will be a brief but important visit on 5 May to Papatoetoe Central Primary (Herbert’s old school) where he will be joined by former All White Colin Tuaa, who also learned his football in Manukau, for the launch of ‘Just Play’.
‘Just Play’ – Active and Healthy for Life – is an Oceania Football Confederation programme now being taken up throughout Manukau schools in partnership with the John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation.
“Just Play is an ideal fit for the foundation’s aim to encourage Manukau’s young people to take up an active and healthy lifestyle,” foundation chair Sir John Walker says.
“The goals of the OFC’s Just Play programme mirror ours. We know that football is one of the world’s most popular sports and we’re grateful for the support of Ricki and Colin, at the Just Play launch, to share the message with the youngsters that sport is fun, and for everyone, regardless of age, gender or ability.”
‘Just Play’ is aimed at the six to 12-year-old level, where it can be enjoyed equally by boys and girls. It helps build confidence and self-esteem, provides them with foundation ball skills as well as providing a great way to build up friendships and social skills.
“This programme ticks all the boxes to match the foundation’s strategic goals, including to one day develop future football champions and All Whites,” Sir John says.
“But most importantly, it’s about getting our young people to expect sport and activity is a natural part of their lives, to develop those important building blocks that will ensure those taking part in ‘Just Play’ will move naturally into club involvement.”
OFC General Secretary Tai Nicholas says the ‘Just Play’ programme is about fostering development in the local clubs and associations that are at the game’s grassroots.
“The collaboration between schools and clubs – and associations like Auckland Football and Counties Manukau Sport – will provide the vital links to ensure children get the most out of this programme,” Mr Nicholas says.
“It’s also about building human capacity and leaving a lasting legacy through targeted training for teachers and volunteers.”
The ‘Just Play’ programme, which OFC is also rolling out across the region, was developed in line with the confederation’s vision to service and administer football in Oceania while using the game as a tool for social development.
“Through this initiative we will help young people to make friends, build confidence and self esteem while learning respect for others and respect for the community,” Mr Nicholas says.
‘Just Play’ will reach 106 schools, 1600 teachers and classrooms and 48,000 students over the coming three years.

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