Oceania Football Confederation > News > Just Play > Festival a success in Vanuatu

Festival a success in Vanuatu

The Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) joined forces with a pair of local youth organisations, Amicale Kids and the Pikinini Association of Vanuatu, to put on the Community Just Play Festival for youngsters aged 10 to 12.
The children received basic football training from several VFF coaches, including star Amicale defender Richard Anisua, and enjoyed the chance to kick a ball around and learn some of the main points of the Just Play programme, which aims to promote physical activity for children aged six to 12 while encouraging community involvement and healthy living.
VFF Just Play development officer Kaison Maki was delighted with how the day went and is excited about the future of the programme in Vanuatu.
“It’s really good to see children coming out in such large numbers to play football,” Maki says.
“Every festival has its own identity and purpose – to help children living in different communities enjoy life with football and we can see that happening in all the areas we have visited.
“Earlier this month, we went to 12 areas in Port Vila and the outcome is that over 2,000 kids participated in the programme. That’s a fantastic result for VFF and our target is to reach thousands more children over the coming weeks.”
Maki was quick to acknowledge the efforts of those behind the scenes who helped the festival run smoothly and become such a success.
“None of this would have been possible without the help of our volunteers, parents, friends and Amicale’s top players,” he says.
“In the end it was just what we wanted it to be – a positive and memorable experience for the kids who love football.”
Developed by the OFC social responsibility and technical departments, Just Play was launched in Vanuatu last April and has since been introduced in Tonga, Tahiti, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and South Auckland in New Zealand.
OFC is working closely with UEFA, the Government of Australia – through its agencies the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) – and Football Federation Australia (FFA) to roll out the programme across the Pacific. The Australian Government has shown its support to the project by contributing AU$4million.
In South Auckland, Just Play is supported by OFC’s partnership with the Sir John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation, Counties Manukau Sport and Auckland Football Federation.
For more on Vanuatu football go to www.vanuafoot.vu

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