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Week-long Just Play training ends successfully

Organised by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) special projects office, the training program involved 18 schools and 2 communities in Honiara. It is part of the second phase of the implementation of Just Play in Solomon Islands and similar training workshops will be held in other provinces within the next year.
The three 2-day training workshops commenced on Monday and ended on Saturday. A total of 42 teachers and community volunteers completed the training and were awarded their Just Play trainers certificates in presentations held on Tuesday, Thursday and on Saturday after the completion of each 2-day segment. With the completion of the training the schools and communities will be issued with Just Play training packs for the 6-week training program which will commence next week.
SIFF special projects manager, Phillip Ohoto’ona, says that the last week has been a very successful one for Just Play and he is looking forward to working with the schools in the 6-week training program.
“Overall, we have taken a big step which has kicked off the second phase of Just Play. I commend the teachers from Honiara and the community volunteers who have shown great commitment and confidence in this program throughout the 3 workshops,” Ohoto’ona says. “I envision that the success of this week will translate into the 6-week training program and my office is ready to assist the schools and communities with their students.”
Present to handout the certificates was the Third Secretary to the Australian High Commissioner, William Ewing, who congratulated the participants and thanked them for being a part of Just Play.
“Just Play is an important program for the Australian Government and I would like to thank all the participants here for their interest in becoming a part of the program. I wish to congratulate you all for your hard so far,” Ewing says.
Ewing also encouraged the trainers to take ownership of the program saying to them that they will be the ones working with the students everyday and their attitude towards the program is important.
“You are the people that will carry out the work on the frontline and your energy and enthusiasm for Just Play is vital in its overall success,” Ewing says.
One of the participants in the training workshop, Alden Ado, who teachers at Florence Young Primary School says that it is a real privilege to be one of the Just Play trainees and highlighted the program’s potential in the community.
“As a teacher I am proud to take part in the Just Play program and I am thankful to the Australian Government for their support. We do not have the money for such programs and this help from Australia is very important,” Ado says.
“I see that Just Play does not only have a role to play in the classrooms but also in the community at large. Educating young children about social and health issues is important and Just Play is a vehicle for this. As a social tool Just Play can encourage our youth to take a bigger interest in sports and stay from crime and other ante-social behaviour,” Ado says.
Just Play is a social development program that combines football and community education into a package that is delivered to primary schools. Since its introduction in 2010 Just Play has been gaining great interest from communities throughout Solomon Islands. Currently, there are 82 schools and 3 communities participating in the program involving more than 121 Just Play trainers and 5000 children. The aim of the SIFF office is to train an additional 340 trainers over the next year to assist in delivering the program effectively.
Just Play is funded by the Australian Government via the Australian Agency for International Aid (AusAID). Just Play activities are coordinated from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC)social responsibility department headed by Franck Castillo. Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Tonga are among other beneficiaries of the Just Play program.

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