Oceania Football Confederation > News > Just Play > Tournament a success in Solomon Islands

Tournament a success in Solomon Islands

A total of 150 children, including 90 boys and 60 girls, took part in the event at Nguvia sports ground and each of the six schools involved fielded both a boys and a girls team.
Ngalibiu Primary won the boys division while top spot in the girls category went to Nguvia Primary. The winners were awarded trophies and given an invitation to represent Guadalcanal at the youth talent identification programme currently being run by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF).
“I am proud to see that Just Play has been able to positively influence the communities here,” SIFF special projects manager Phillip Ohoto’ona says.
“This event is not only about football but the interaction and exchanges between the children. From what I’ve seen over the two days of the tournament, I can say that football and Just Play have a bright future here.”
The tournament was initiated by the teachers who attended the Just Play training workshop run by SIFF in the area in June. After completing the six-week implementation of Just Play in their schools, the teachers decided to organise the tournament to reinforce the goals of the programme with their students.
The Guadalcanal Football Association played a large role in the hosting of the tournament and President Patrick Miniti is pleased to have helped provide the children with such an opportunity.
“There were challenges we had to overcome but in the end the atmosphere created by the excitement of the kids to play football made it all seem like a joy,” Miniti says.
“I thank all the schools and teachers for coming together to organise this event, it is a model I hope to implement in other areas on Guadalcanal.”
A similar festival will be organised for Honiara schools in the second week of November to wrap up the six-week implementation for the capital, set to begin on October 3.
Just Play is a FIFA-approved OFC initiative which promotes physical activity for primary-aged children while encouraging community involvement and healthy living.
It is designed for children aged six to 12 and is based around structured activity programmes as well as the distribution of equipment packs containing balls, cones, bibs, activity manuals and other resources that enable children to play football.
Developed by the OFC social responsibility and technical departments, Just Play was launched in Tonga and has since been introduced in Vanuatu, 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.
OFC is also currently working in New Zealand with Special Olympics (NZ) on a Just Play programme for people with mental disabilities.
For more on Solomon Islands football go to www.siff.com.sb

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