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Children of Are’Are get taste of Just Play

A delegation from the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) which included the General Secretary, Eddie Ngava, Special Projects Manager, Phillip Ohoto’ona, and the, Women’s Development Officer, Diane Justus traveled there for the program.
Accompanying the SIFF team was Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) women’s development officer and Just Play coordinator, Emmie Sope, who had the opportunity to witness first hand some of the challenges experienced in implementing the program in the country.
While 2 launches were supposed to be held only one, held in Kiu village, was successfully completed.
The Kiu launch involved 13 primary schools from the area and 2 villages and a total of 24 resource people underwent training on the delivery of the Just Play program which brought together more than 60 young children.
The schools that were involved are Kiu, Wairokai, Dorio, Nariekeara, Uhu, Porepore, Tawaimare, Pipisu, Waisisi, Aiwarawa, Rohinari, Wairaha and Aiarai and the 2 communities were Kiu and Surairo.
According to Ohoto’ona the launch at Kiu was successful and the reception of Just Play can be described as enthusiastic.
“I am pleased with the launch at Kiu especially concerning community acceptance. Just Play is a grassroots program and its strength is based upon willingness of local stakeholders to be partners. With what I have seen I can anticipate that a similar success for the program will be experienced when it moves to the northern and central regions of Malaita province,” Ohoto’ona says.
The second launch proposed for Afio in East Are’are did not eventuate as planned due to communication problems which resulted in the postponement of the launching in that area.
Ohoto’ona says that the problem experienced with the Afio launch is a minor glitch in the overall successful implementation of Just Play since 2010.
“This challenge I believe will help us improve on our communication with all stakeholders to ensure a smooth delivery of Just Play throughout the rest of the country,” Ohoto’ona says.
No date has been set for returning to Afio but Ohoto’ona says that once all issues are sorted out with the responsible authorities SIFF will make an announcement on a new schedule.
The next province in the 2011 rollout schedule for Just Play is Guadalcanal and the launch will start from the eastern region.
The Just Play is a community based sports initiative based on football which is funded by the Australian government through the OFC.

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