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Just Play workshop a success

Conducted by OFC Technical Coordinator Emmie Sope, the teachers’ feedback during the last day bore fruits of success as they expressed the amount of information learned as facilitators of physical activity provided in their Just Play manuals for their students.
All of them commented that they were more knowledgeable of what types of passing, dribbling and shooting drills to run for their students. The program also encourages the involvement of the community and living a healthy lifestyle.
The workshop ran from Jan. 13-14 and FFAS President Iuli Alex Godinet was on hand for the opening ceremony.
“Just Play is a program that has been long awaited by our association and we look forward to the day when we finally launch it in your schools,” Iuli said to the participants, including FFAS’ Just Play Coordinator Naomi Oney.
“I am really looking forward to the day we launch this program in the schools,” Oney said. “It’s a great program for the young children and we hope to include more schools later on.”
DOE’s Head of Athletics Department Tumua Matu’u took part in the workshop and she praised the work of FFAS with the high school soccer competitions while also thankful for the opportunities the Just Play program is offering for elementary schools.
Matu’u also coordinates the elementary schools’ P.E. along with Clayton Mahuka, another participant of the workshop.
Just Play is a grassroots program promoting physical activity targeting elementary-level children (ages 6-12) and was developed by Oceania Football Confederation. The implementation of the Just Play program is a joint partnership between OFC, the Australian Governement and Football (soccer) Federation Australia (FFA) as well as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
OFC’s Head of Social Responsibility Franck Castillo is in charge of the Just Play program.
According to the OFC website oceaniafootball.com, Just Play “is based around structured activity (programs) as well as the distribution of equipment packs containing balls, cones, bibs, activity manuals and other resources that enable children to play (soccer) at anytime and in any situation.”
It will also allow “children the opportunity to build critical life skills through sport.”
According to an OFC Just Play Results 2010-2011 pamphlet, a “review findings showed…children who participate in Just Play are more motivated to go to school and are able to concentrate more in class.”
It also promotes the involvement of girls and the pamphlet said, “41% of Just Play participants are girls.”
At the moment six schools are being targeted for the launch — Tafuna, Lupelele, Coleman, Mt. Alava, Alofau and Afono elementary schools. The launch date will be determined soon.
The participants were each given a Just Play teachers manual that includes a teaching approach, field dimensions and dribbling, controlling, passing and shooting drills as well as a tournament format.
They had a practice run of a tournament as a little more than 30 children of the required ages took part in a practical session run by the participants and under the supervision of Sope.
After they were all handed Certificates of Participation and will now await the announcement of when Just Play will be launched in American Samoa.
The D.O.E. participants of the course were Matu’u (DOE P.E. staff), Mahuka (DOE P.E. staff), Edwin Galo and Maluelue Toli of Tafuna elementary; Jane Lang and Renee Finau of Pita Tali Coleman (Pago Pago) elementary; Kapeneta Manu & Joshua Uma of Mt. Alava (Vatia) elementary; Joseph Moliga and Tuumafua Taase of Alofau elementary; Setefano Umaga and Herman Gaoeteote.
FFAS’ people involved were Oney, Ruben Luvu, Terrence Sinapati, Lemusa Alatasi, Junior Mikaele, Richard Donovan, Daru Taumua and Rafe Luvu, Talalelei Fa’alavaau, Chris Taumovai, BJ Samuelu and Jeannette Ting.

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