In the wake of civil unrest in the Solomon Islands which caused disruptions to everyday life, the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) held a Just Play festival just before the holiday break aimed at offering a reprieve for local children. 

Run jointly by the SIFF technical and social responsibility departments, the festival was run under the theme of teaching and celebrating respect and brought together 116 participants. 

Fun activities, small-sided games and skill drills were run as part of the festival, with giveaways for every child in attendance at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara.  

Members of both the Solomon Islands women’s and men’s national teams also attended, taking part in activities with the kids.   

SIFF Just Play manager Maria Rufina said it was nice to offer something fun during a tough time for young people in the country.  

“This festival was suggested because we wanted to bring back, in a small way, children’s focus from the past negative events of burning and looting,” she said.  

“Emotionally many children have been impacted. Many feel fear and stress because of it.  

“It was very encouraging to have both national men and women’s team players available to assist with our Just Play team at the festival.  

“I’d like to acknowledge the support from the Coaching Director, Technical Director, Women’s Development Officer, Youth Development Officer and other SIFF staff.”  

Credit: SIFF.