Oceania Football Confederation > News > Cook Islands > Just Play teams up with Come & Play

Just Play teams up with Come & Play

The ‘Just Play’ and ‘Come & Play’ programmes are both aimed at providing young children with the opportunity to play football and, as they share the same philosophy, the two initiatives are being run in conjunction with each other.
Just Play is an OFC programme that was launched in Cook Islands in February 2011 while Come & Play is a Cook Islands Football Federation (CIFA) initiative and is now into its fifth year.
Come & Play is run over a six-week period every Saturday at CIFA headquarters in Matavera and has attracted numerous junior players from across the island of Rarotonga.
CIFA Just Play project manager Michelle Paiti is pleased to see the federation team up with OFC to incorporate Just Play into Come & Play over the coming weeks and believes the youngsters taking part in the programmes will be the main beneficiaries.
“It’s always great to see the children getting a chance to have a go and have some fun,” Paiti says.
“Just before you wrap up the sessions you always hear them saying they want more and are always unhappy when it is finished. But they know they can come back again the next week for more fun.”
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 and healthy living. As well as the Cook Islands, it is also running in American Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga and Vanuatu.
OFC is working closely with UEFA and 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 over a three-year period between 2009 and 2012.
The confederation has also been working in New Zealand with Special Olympics (NZ) on a Just Play programme for people with mental disabilities and has launched the new initiative in Samoa and Fiji.
For more on Cook Islands football go to www.cookislandsfootball.com

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