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Kids festival cancelled

This decision was revealed in a statement by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) general secretary, Eddie Ngava, following consultation with members of the executive committee, competition staff and major sponsor Our Telekom.
Ngava says it is a tough decision but given the recent changes in the financial commitment of SIFF there is no choice but to cancel the program for 2011.
“When resources are limited we have to prioritise and committing our national teams to the Pacific Games has forced us to leave the kids festival program out for 2011. It is a decision that SIFF takes with regret as the kids festival is a great event which appeals well to young children,” Ngava says.
At the same time Ngava underlined SIFF’s commitment to the kids festival program saying that it will remain a major component of federation’s annual calendar of events.
“Definitely, SIFF will be looking at securing finance for the event in the 2012 calendar because we see it as an important development tool which goes right down to the grassroots,” Ngava says.
The kids festival was initiated in 2009 and the first event was held the same year. Nineteen (19) schools took part in an event which brought together 300 primary schools students from all over Solomon Islands for a week of football, cultural and educational activities. The second event was held in 2010 and was attended by 14 schools.
The kids festival program combines a three-pronged development approach which encompassed education, culture and football. In the football component the teachers undergo a week long grassroots coaching program and this is wrapped up with a 5-day football competition. All the schools are also given grassroots football packs for use in their schools.
The students also benefit from community education programs which are run during the kids festival event which raise their awareness about health and social issues. In the last 2 events the organisations like Save the Children, Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) took part in the education program.
The final key feature of the kids festival is the cultural exchange night. In the cultural night each school presents a cultural dance or song from their locality. The aim of the cultural exchange component is to promote cross-cultural understanding and encourage the students to learn more about cultural diversity in Solomon Islands.
The kids festival was SIFF’s most costly local event prior to the Telekom S-League with a budget that extends beyond SBD$400 000. Our Telekom funded both events which have been held so far.

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