Tonga Football Association (TFA) General Secretary Ahongalu Fusimalohi and visiting Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Consultant Franck Castillo this week held successful discussions with Tongan government officials to gain support for the grassroots initiative ‘Just Play’.
The meeting put the wheels in motion towards the launching of the Active and Healthy Kids for Life, school and community, ‘Just Play’ program with intention of having it included in Tongan primary school curriculum. This will benefit 81 Primary School over three years.
This initiative emphasizes OFC’s and TFA’s strong commitment to community and school growth in football and sports participation.
The ‘Just Play’ program provides a structure to grow children’s active participation levels in the 6-13 year age group while promoting a healthy and social life through football and other sports.
TFA and the Education Ministry, with the support of the Ministry of Training, Employment, Youth and Sports, will be the Major stakeholders and facilitators of the ‘Just Play’ program’s management and roll-out phase that will ensure effective and efficient delivery to schools and the wider community.
In endorsing the ‘Just Play’ program, the Honorable Minister of Education, Rev. Dr. Tevita Palefau said “the biggest issue in the Kingdom is lack of facilities but since it is fully funded, the Ministry is in full support of this program for the betterment of Tongan Youth”, a sentiment that is echoed by the Minister of Training, Employment, Youth and Sports, Honorable Tuivakano.
Mr. Fusimalohi said the program includes training of teachers, distribution of packs to schools and communities as well as local and national competitions with the winners receiving a trip to New Zealand, which will be fully funded by TFA and OFC.
Mr. Fusimalohi adds, “OFC is also organizing the Pacific Youth & Sports Conference 2010 in Manukau, Auckland from the 8th -13th March 2010 where Tonga will have 50 participants in attendance.”
The “Just Play” pilot program will be conducted in selected Tongatapu schools for a period of six weeks after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in August.
Story courtesy of TFA