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Sport 2 Life debuts

A five-day workshop was held at the Fiji Football Federation Academy in Suva from 18-22 January 2016, to ‘Train-the-Trainers’ on the new youth-focused curriculum, known as ‘Sport 2 Life’.
Just Play members worked alongside partner UNICEF as well as Think Pacific and the Fiji Sports Council to train 19 participants on the Just Play ‘Sport 2 Life’ pilot programme which will be implemented in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. These participants will, in turn, train other Just Play facilitators, ensuring rapid roll out across the three pilot countries.
The workshop covered UNICEF’s Sport 2 Life approach and its integration with the broader Just Play programme, which currently engages children aged 6-12 years across the Pacific.
“The participants had a great time at the workshop and it’s clear that the Sport 2 Life approach for older children will be an important addition to the Just Play programme” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Dr Karen Allen.
“The Just Play teams from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga left excited to begin training teachers and rolling out the Just Play Football Tournament programme in their respective countries.
“We’re equally excited about the new programme’s potential to reach children at a critical time in their lives, when they’re facing new challenges and need to learn new life skills.
“These skills include staying healthy and active, teamwork, treating others with respect, learning about reproductive health and understanding the consequences of smoking, drugs and alcohol.”
OFC Head of Social Responsibility and International Relations Franck Castillo has wanted to extend the programme to a new age group for some time.
“After Just Play participants reached age 12 the programme just ended for them. To avoid this gap we designed a new curriculum adapted for secondary schools to continue the programme and develop a closer connection between social development and football development within that age group,” Castillo says.
“For now, we are just trialling the new content, but hopefully next year we will be able to implement it in each of our participating Member Associations.
“I would like to thank Emmie Sope, OFC Just Play Technical Coordinator for developing the new curriculum, Melissa Palombi for her input in content and training, and Raymond Vries from Namibia, who travelled all the way to Fiji to help deliver the programme. Vries has worked with Palombi on similar programmes in the past, and has had invaluable input in the programme.
“We would also like to thank the Tonga Football Association, Football Federation Samoa and Fiji Football Association for their involvement in the course and pilot, in particular Fiji FA CEO Bob Kumar who provided the facilities for the workshop.”
Teacher trainings are set to take place in Fiji and Samoa in February, and in Tonga in April.

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