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Just Play extended in Malaita, Guadalcanal

SIFF special projects manager, Phillip Ohoto’ona, says that April has been a particularly successful month for Just Play in Solomon Islands.
“We faced difficulties at the start of the year especially with receiving the equipment that we needed but once that was sorted out I am pleased to say that we have achieved our targets for the first half of the year in such a short space of time,” Ohoto’ona says.
Fundamental in the success of Just Play this month is the number of trainers at the disposal of the SIFF Just Play office. With one team operating on Malaita another team was appointed for the training workshops in Guadalcanal.
According to Ohoto’ona Just Play has access to 4 trainers and that is why they are able to conduct training workshops almost simultaneously.
“We now have the ability to conduct multiple training workshops happening at the same time because we now have more trainers in Solomon Islands. The great support from the SIFF technical department has enabled us access the expertise of people like Diane Justus who has done great work for Just Play,” Ohoto’ona says.
In Malaita Just Play was extended in the Are’are region where 2 training workshops were held. The training workshops were held in Waisisi Primary School and Aiarai Primary School and were conducted by Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Just Play instructor Diane Justus and Commins Menapi. Thirty-one teachers and 10 community volunteers attended the workshop. The duration of the training was April 10-14.
Ohoto’ona who personally oversaw the implementation in Are’are says that his office is pleased to expand the reach of the program in the region and acknowledges the good work of the communities there in supporting Just Play.
“We are building the human capacity for Just Play in this area so that its presence on the ground is real and its impact is felt by the communities here even after we leave. I also acknowledge the desire for continuity and the positive work done by participants over the last year,” Ohoto’ona says.
In Guadalcanal 2 training workshops were conducted, one was held at Nguvia Primary School and the other was held at the Ngalibiu station hall. Training for the Guadalcanal workshops was led by Just Play instructor, Christopher Asipara and regional technical officer Gabriel Riotarau along with local liaison officer Henry Padaverana. Ms. Justus joined the trio for the second workshop held at Ngalibiu.
In the Nguvia workshop 27 participants were trained over 2 days from 16-17 April. The second workshop, held at Ngalibiu from 18-19 April, had 30 participants.
Coordinator for the training workshops on Guadalcanal Maria Rarawa says that everything went smoothly and her office wishes to thank the communities of Nguvia and Ngalibiu for their support.
“The training workshops were conducted successfully and we are extremely pleased with the turnout and the enthusiasm of the participants and the children that took part in the festivals we organised. This indicates to us the amount of community support for Just Play and we are excited about the future of the program in this area,” Mrs. Rarawa says.
Both the training programs in Malaita and Guadalcanal are part of the extension of Just Play covered in phase 2 of its lifespan in Solomon Islands. Phase 2 also includes extensions for Honiara and Western Province and its successful completion qualifies Solomon Islands for the third phase of implementation. Once the program and the funding for the third phase is approved 3 provinces will be identified to receive Just Play.
Since its introduction in 2010 Just Play has achieved a coverage of 11 000 children including 4000 girls in the 4 partner provinces. The SIFF special projects office has successfully trained 300 local trainers including 50 community volunteers in more than 100 primary schools. A total of 673 Just Play packs containing 2000 balls were also distributed in phase 1 and phase 2 of Just Play.
Just Play is an Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) social responsibility program that combines community education with football. Its implementation in Solomon Islands is funded by the Australian government. Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Tonga are among other OFC countries benefitting from the program.

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