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Just Play launched in Samoa

Mr Anderson in his keynote address stated that the Australian government has pledged AU$4 million towards the ‘Just Play’ program across the pacific region. Mr Anderson also explained that The Australian Prime Minster The Hon, Mr Kevin Rudd and the Oceania Football Confederation signed the ‘Just Play’ agreement at the 2009 Pacific Island Forum meeting, which was held in Australia. Also attending the opening were, members of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture, FFS executive members, school principals and teachers from both private and government schools.
‘The ‘Just Play’ program is designed for children between the ages of 6-12 and is based around structured football activities. Teachers from different schools both private and public will partake in a two-day course on how to deliver the program to their students. Equipment packs containing balls, cones, bibs, activity manuals and other resources will also be distributed to the participating schools. This would enable children to play football at anytime and in any situation. The program has also already been launched in Tonga, Vanuatu and parts of New Zealand.
FFS Interim Chairman Mr Toetu Petana made clear that “This program will benefit especially young children. The FFS will also focus more on youth development as a result of the program” .“At the recent 2010 FIFA Congress in South Africa the FIFA executive committee emphasized the importance of football development at a young age especially for both boys and girls” Mr Penata stated.
MESC CEO Galumalemana N. Petaia reiterated the recent agreement signed by MESC and FFS as a ‘marriage’ between these two organizations. She also hoped that this partnership agreement would sustain over a long period of time, which would benefit especially young children.
Representing OFC at this launching was ‘ Just Play’ Technical Coordinator and former FFS CEO Mr Colin Tuaa. “I am very excited to be back in Samoa and to be involved with the launching of this program. ‘Just Play’ is very important since for the game to grow and be sustainable it needs to start at the grassroots level. Children will be able to learn the basics skills of the game as well as important life skills”. Mr Tuaa emphasised that “football offers young people great opportunities and pathways within the sport as seen by the current success of the New Zealand Football Team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Samoa has great potential over the coming years”.
After the official launching teachers from twenty private schools will be participating in the ‘Just Play’ course conducted by Mr Tuaa and the FFS technical department. Following this course teachers from government schools and village community members will also take part in the course and receive training.

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