The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Just Play department launched its new ‘Sport 2 Life programme in Buala, Isabel Province at the Jejevo Community High School.
A team of three facilitators who were trained in Fiji held a two-day workshop for 20 teachers and volunteers who will roll out the programme in Isabel.
The programme was initially developed by UNICEF Namibia and was contextualised for use by the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) to reach children between the ages of 13-18 years old.
Just Play Solomon Islands project manager, Maria Rafina said this unique sport-based curriculum enables children to develop the skills and attributes to make consistent, long-term healthy lifestyle choices.
“The Sport 2 Life programme was created to aid sporting codes and programmes to utilise the medium of sport to help promote a healthy lifestyle and risk reduction behaviours among young people,” he said.
“Alcohol, violence, unwanted pregnancy and other risk factors make it difficult for young people to successfully navigate the ‘choice landscape’ and remain physically, mentally and spiritually healthy.
“Unfortunately the reality for many young people around the world is that they are facing choices that have very serious risks.
“As an adult working with young people, it is my hope that we can influence young people in a way that helps them to make choices that keep them safe and on a positive path in their lives.
“We’re trying to influence young people to make choices that help them avoid risks and stay healthy.”
Rafina stressed that Isabel province was selected as the launch site due to its successful implementation of past Just Play programme over the last four-years, targeting children between the ages of 6-12.
“We decided to launch the Sport 2 Life programme here in Isabel because the province is a model we want other provinces to follow when implementing Just Play nationwide.
“To all the participants, I hope you will learn and grasp all that you need to help the young people of your beautiful province Isabel,” the Just Play project manager added.
Jejevo CHS principal, William Leguvaka said his school is so fortunate to be selected as the first site of implementation for the very important programme for young people in the country.
“Firstly, I would like to thank SIFF, under your Just Play department, for selecting Jejevo school as the launching place for the Sport 2 life programme,” he said.
“I believe this programme will be a very effective way to spread the importance of living a better and happier life.
“This project will also help our students to become good ambassadors for Isabel and Solomon Islands as a whole.
“I am happy that most of my teachers are trained to be facilitators of this very important programme in the province and my hope is they will carry on the vital role to help support our young people who are desperately needing service with social issues in our communities.”
The Sport 2 life is supported by UNICEF and donor partners namely Football Federation Australia, Australian Government, New Zealand Government aid programme,and the UFEA Foundation for Children.