Ha’apai are ready, willing and now able, to deliver the Health and WASH curriculum following a two-day training of Just Play coordinators in the island group.

Just Play Tonga Master Instructor Lafaele Moala led the training, which took place on the islands of ‘Uiha and Kauvai, with support from futsal instructor Manu Tu’alau.

Nineteen participants representing 13 different communities took part, with many of them first-time participants of any kind of sports training course.

Ha’apai Football Association Vice-President, Ma’u Langi, offered words of encouragement to the participants, reminding them of the roles they will now play in development with the Ha’apai FA.

“The Just Play Programme in Ha’apai will be a success through sacrifice, and every sacrifice we do will always go together with love,” the guest of honour said.

“We have to work together and do your best not only to benefit Ha’apai Football Association, but also Ha’apai as a whole because the reef of today, is the land for tomorrow.”

The training included theory, covering social challenges, supporting system, skills/attributes and identifying a healthy lifestyle, while the practical session introduced methods and ideas both from the instructors and participants alike.

Lafaele Moala, master instructor, helping the volunteers run activities during a practical session.

Moala, the course instructor, said those present all worked well together and with continued application of the principles of teamwork, the Just Play Programme in Ha’apai will continue to develop and grow.

“The participants were able to adapt and change the activities according to their own understanding, and they came up with their own ideas and methods which may work well in their communities,” he said.

“They are confident and can change the lives of local children. I believe they can help prepare children to become Ha’apai, and Tonga, representatives in beach soccer one day.”