Oceania Football Confederation > News > Tonga > OFC ‘JUST PLAY’ programm launches

OFC ‘JUST PLAY’ programm launches

OFC has worked closely with Tonga Football Association (TFA) and the Tongan Government to introduce the programme which promotes physical activity (especially, but not only, football) for children aged 6-13 and encourages community involvement.
OFC President Reynald Temarii says introducing the ‘Just Play’ Active and Healthy Kids for Life project will see a range of benefits for local communities.
“Through this initiative, we will be able to use the development of football to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities in Tonga,” said President Temarii.
The programme, which started on Monday at Loto Tonga Soka Centre in ‘Atele, involves primary-aged children who receive guided tuition on developing games skills by teachers and volunteers trained by OFC and TFA.
Participants are also given a valuable sports kit containing balls, cones, bibs, an activity manual and other resources.
Franck Castillo, OFC head of social development and project manager for ‘Just Play’, says the programme would not be possible without key partners.
“With the assistance of Football Federation Australia (FFA), OFC has signed a partnership agreement with the Australian Government through its agencies the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). We are sincerely grateful for their support,” said Castillo.
The agreement with the Government of Australia amounts to AU$4 million over a three-year period and covers the implementation of ‘Just Play’ throughout the region. Also supporting the programme are UEFA, Cue Sports and Manukau-based charity Find Your Field of Dreams.
In Tonga, the government put their full backing behind the project on Tuesday when they signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Nuku’alofa.
Present at the signing was Vice President of TFA the Honourable Moimoi Vaea, acting Director of Education Mrs Peaua Heimuli, acting Director of Sport Mr Viliami Liava’a and OFC representative Franck Castillo. The MOU defines the roles of each stakeholder in facilitating the programme over the next three years.
‘Just Play’ in Tonga will involve 10 government primary schools including Kolomotu’a, Longolongo, Ngeleia and Nuku’alofa in the Central District, ‘Atele, Veitongo, Vaini in the Eastern District and Tokomololo, Pea and Halalo in the Western District. To kick things off, OFC ‘Just Play’ technical coordinator Yvon Avry is delivering workshops in Tonga this week for teachers and volunteers who will run the activities.
The programme is expected to roll out across Oceania over the next year including American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand (Manukau), Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. rettre

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