A new event is on the cards for young Fijian footballers as the Fiji Football Association (Fiji FA) launches the Just Play Cup in three districts this month.
Northland Tailevu, Ba and Savusavu are the three venues preparing for Saturday’s launch, with more than 200 players expected in each district.
Fiji FA Just Play Manager Lavenia Yalovi said preparations have been ramping up as the districts prepare for Saturday’s launch.
“The registrations have been flooding in and we’re very excited about kicking off the first Just Play Cup activities this Saturday in the three participating districts,” she said.
“The district associations and community Just Play volunteers will run the Just Play Cup, with cadet referees consisting of 10 officials per district, will assist.
“Fiji FA Just Play and Football Development staff will be present at the opening round and the last round of the cup, and we will also act as administrators.”
The activities of each round will see small-sided games of five-a-side and futsal, Just Play sessions and skills challenges taking place throughout the day.
Children aged 6-12 years will register as mixed teams, while those aged 16-18 years will register separately as boys and girls teams. In addition, for every boys team registered, a “twin” girls team must also be registered in order for the boys to be eligible to compete.
The Just Play Cup is a pilot project which incorporates a more traditional football model alongside the social components the OFC Just Play Programme is renowned for.
This merging of the player development and social responsibility is expected to provide greater opportunities to develop fundamental football skills by offering more touch-time, while at the same time ensuring a positive platform for learning and growth is provided.