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Just Play extends Cook Islands reach

The workshop was held on 18-19 February and provided an opportunity for the attendees, all of whom are teachers or community volunteers, to learn how to successfully deliver the Just Play programme to children in their areas.
CIFA Just Play project manager Michelle Paiti says around 15 school teachers and two primary school principals participated in the course which will enable them to introduce Just Play in their respective schools.
“The workshop has provided enough information to the school teachers and I trust that the programme will be delivered to the school children in the coming weeks,” Paiti says.
“I am very interested in receiving the updates and photos from two school teachers who will be taking the programme back to the island of Palmerston. This will be a new programme for them and I am looking forward to seeing how it is received.”
Workshop attendees were treated to a guest speaker from the Ministry of Health, healthy living specialist Karen Tairea, who works closely with the Just Play programme promoting physical activity and healthy eating.
Developed by the OFC social responsibility and technical departments, Just Play is designed for children aged six to 12 and promotes physical activity while encouraging community involvement, healthy living, gender equality and disability development.
OFC has worked closely with UEFA, the Australian Government – through its agencies the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) – and Football Federation Australia to implement the programme across the Pacific over a three-year period between 2009 and 2012. It was launched in Tonga and is now also running in American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
The confederation has also been working in New Zealand with Special Olympics on a Just Play programme for people with mental disabilities and has launched the same initiative in Samoa and Fiji.
Just Play has reached over 106,000 children – 43 per cent of whom are female – across the Pacific and trained over 2,200 teachers and volunteers.
For more on Cook Islands football go to www.cookislandsfootball.com

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