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FFAS conducts two-day Just Play workshop

It is going to be a banner year for the program as Just Play is being held in all 22 ASDOE elementary schools, 19 on Tutuila and three in Manu’a.
“Last year we had eight schools under the Just Play Program,” explained DOE PE Coordinator Valusia Talataina to the course participants. “At the end of the last school year we approached Mr. Tavita Taumua and asked if we could include all 19 schools on Tutuila and the three in Manu’a. Out of their good hearts they responded with a yes to our proposal, and that they are willing and happy to provide not just equipment, but the man power to help and assist with the PE out in the schools.”
FFAS Technical Director Rupeni Luvu conducted the two-day course that was held on Sept. 25-26 at the soccer association’s headquarters in Pago Pago.
“On behalf of our Mrs. Puna Tanielu (Elementary Division Director), and we’d like to thank you all that have been selected to run the Just Play Program for your schools,” said Siauini Taala of DOE’s Elementary Division. “I know this is one subject that should not be treated lightly because the future of our children as far as physical and mental is in your hands. If you consistently do this I think our children will most likely enjoy these activities.”
FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua officially opened the course on behalf of president, Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet.
“I am very happy to see teachers from last year being a part of this year’s workshop again,” Taumua said. “This program is a great one to help battle the high obesity rates here in American Samoa and also to combat the many NCDs faced by our children. We thank DOE for making us be a part of this as we believe our sport can do a lot for this fight against obesity and NCDs.
“If a child is strong in body because of physical activity, then I believe that child will be strong in mind for his or her school work.”
Luvu guided the course participants through practical and theoretical sessions with the objectives of:
• Understanding the sports for development and how Just Play will help improve the situation
• Deliver the sessions including social messages
• Measure the change by using the Just Play evaluation tools
• Identifying the link between the JPP in schools and community with Grassroots
Some of the sessions are geared towards social issues such as NCDs, gender inequality, discrimination towards women and children with a disability exclusion.
“These are all not new topics for the Just Play Program and I’m sure the teachers from last year are very familiar with them,” Luvu said. “I believe this is a big challenge for us to have all the elementary schools involved in the program but it is also a great plus for all the children involved.”
Participants received Certificates of Participation as well as Just Play Program Kits from FFAS. Each kit was filled with balls, bibs, cones and a JPP guide to help the teachers run the program in their respective schools.

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