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Just Play workshop gets underway

The workshop has 12 participants from schools and communities in Honiara with an almost equal attendance from men and women. Five schools are represented namely St. John Primary School, Lunga Primary School, Perch Primary School and Burns Creek Primary School.
Three communities are represented in the workshop with participants coming from Burns Creek, Matanikau (Lord Howe) and White River.
Overseeing and contributing to the proceedings is Emmie Sope, the Technical Coordinator for Just Play based at the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in Auckland, New Zealand. Just Play instructor, Christopher Asipara, is leading the workshop with the support of technical officers, Commins Menapi and Garbiel Riotarau.
The first day of the workshop covers health and social issues affecting young children. In the second day participants will learn how to use football to addresses the issues emphasized in day one. The final day will introduce participants to the basics of football coaching within the OFC education structure.
The content being delivered to participants has been developed from previous years which addressed basic football for young children aged 6-12 years old. The revised content in Just Play courses reinforces the principles introduced in previous training workshops but links to football development, health education and building community partnerships are highlighted as integral to the programme.
Diane Justus from the SIFF Technical Department explains that essentially Just Play is about impacting upon the lives of young children in schools and communities positively using football as a medium.
“Just Play is unique and effective as a tool for community education because it uses sports something which children enjoy to bring home the message. While the children enjoy and develop football skills they also learn about important health issues and how they can overcome them,” Ms. Justus says.
Just Play was introduced in Solomon Islands in 2010 during the same period the FIFA World Cup was held in South Africa. Just Play is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Sports Commission and Football Federation Australia. UNICEF and UEFA are also partners of Just Play.
The current workshop will conclude on Wednesday.

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