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Workshop sets pace for Just Play

Diane Justus, who is the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) women’s development officer, and fellow instructor, Chris Asipara, attended the workshop along with the SIFF special projects manager, Phillip Ohoto’ona. Also attending were instructors and project managers from 8 other Oceania countries bringing the total number of participants to 19.
“This refresher course was very important because we had the project managers there as well so we learn to understand our respective roles which will really boast our team work,” Ms. Justus says. “Moreover I see great value coming from Just Play because its appeal to young women throughout the pacific is immense and as the person responsible for women’s football in Solomon Islands I am motivated by this knowledge.”
The workshop gave the instructors the opportunities to report on the progress of Just Play in their respective countries from a technical point of view. Importantly, the presentations the instructors did outlined some of the challenges faced within the different localities where Just Play is being implemented.
The Solomon Islands presentation was done by Ms. Justus who described some of the difficulties faced by instructors with respect to the delivery of Just Play in the rural areas in the country. The overwhelming interest in Just Play was noted as a major plus for Solomon Islands where local technical people are faced with a very high student to instructor ratio.
The workshop also covered other areas inherent to the delivery of Just Play such as raising the standard of training for teachers and community volunteers. A lot of discussion also went into planning practical sessions effectively and how to conduct an evaluation of completed training programs as well as management of resource people.
An important part of the workshop came at the end where project managers and instructors contributed to shaping the direction of Just Play in the coming years. The main points which came about included promoting community ownership, increasing number of rural instructors and how to make Just Play a self sustaining program within the member countries.
The overall report for Just Play in Solomon Islands was presented by Ohoto’ona who outlined in detail the activities conducted from June 2010 to June 2011. His presentation also pointed out SIFF’s vision for Just Play in the period from July 2011 to June 2012 and beyond.
Following the end of the workshop Ohoto’ona travelled to Canberra in Australia where he made the same presentation in front of officials from the Australian government and representatives from the Australian Sports Commissions and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Ohoto’ona then wrapped up proceedings with a presentation to Football Federation Australia (FFA) officials in Sydney before returning home on Friday.
Ohoto’ona says that he is confident that the workshops and meetings held with officials from the Australian government and FFA have set a firm foundation for the future of Just Play in the pacific.
“Our report was evidence of the uptake and beyond that the potential of Just Play in Solomon Islands. I believe that our overseas partners are satisfied with the progress that we have made and our plan for taking Just Play forward,” Ohoto’ona says.
The Just Play program was introduced to Solomon Islands in May 2010 as a community based football development program and has been implemented in Honiara, Malaita, Guadalcanal and Western province to date. It is funded by the Australian government via AusAID.

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