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OFC nominated for international sports award

Peace and Sport is a non-profit organisation based in Monaco which uses sport as a tool for peace-promotion and peace-building for communities in vulnerable conflict prone areas.
The nomination recognises excellence from a sport federation project which contributes to the development of social integration and peace through sport – which for OFC is the highly successful Just Play Programme.
OFC President David Chung was delighted by the news.
“Franck Castillo and his department have worked incredibly hard and it is therefore an honour for the Oceania Football Confederation to be recognised in this way.
“Just Play, along with the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference scheduled for 2-7 December in Noumea, New Caledonia, show our sport is active in the area of social responsibility for our region,” Chung says.
Head of Social Responsibility and International Relations Franck Castillo says the nomination is a major achievement for the programme especially coming from a sport for development organisation like Peace and Sport.
“This is recognition of the work of our team over a long period of time, since 2009,” Castillo says.
He says the programmes partners have been essential to implementing the Football Federation Australia, Unicef, the Australian Government through the Australian Sports Commission and AusAID and UEFA.
Just Play aims to use football as a social development tool with a view to improving the lives of communities in the Pacific.
It is also based on four separate objectives which are the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), gender equality and the empowerment of women, access to primary education for all and social integration of people with disabilities.
Castillo says prevention is the key to making a difference in this region and with over 151,000 children going through the programme so far in the 11 countries the programme has proven is has a captive audience in Oceania.
“The programme uses the passion for football as a force for starting, and continuing, to be active and live a healthy lifestyle.
“The strong support of the presidents of OFC’s Member Associations, as well as the commitment of the Just Play Project Managers and their teams has made this programme a success,” Castillo says.
“If we have been selected it is because our strategy is to build local capacity, which is more sustainable.”
Castillo says the programme is currently 12 sessions of structured football-related physical activities that culminate in a small festival but this is expected to grow in 2014.
“A new programme with 34 sessions is coming and will start in 2014. It will be even more relevant with greater impact.”
OFC is nominated alongside USA Wrestling and its Rumble on the Rails project and the Italian Federation of Sport Climbing’s Promote Climbing in Africa.
The winner will be announced during the Peace and Sports Awards Ceremony on Thursday 7 November in Monaco under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

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