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Successful Just Play Workshop

Thirteen facilitators from seven schools here on Rarotonga participated in a workshop conducted by Just Play’s Instructor Michelle Paiti and OFC Just Play Technical Coordinator Emmie Sope.
The course covered classroom theory sessions, group activities and on the field practical sessions on Non-communicable Diseases (NCD’s), Gender Equality, Social Inclusion and Child Protection.
The content addressed Social Issues in the Pacific and more significantly in the Cook Islands with 16 sessions focusing on four objectives and key messages that will be conducted throughout the year.
The course showcased how football contributes to change and its partnerships with in the community, government and Ministry of Education.
The facilitators were placed into groups to prepare for practical sessions and had to come up with creative ways to deliver them. The creative flair of the facilitators was seen in their group activities on social issues that included nursery rhymes of Red Riding Hood to Pokemon.
“The course was aimed to give tools for educators to prepare, deliver, measure and evaluate physical activity for children while integrating the four objectives” adds Paiti.
Participants were able to practice what they learned in theory sessions as they delivered these messages and activities to forty children from the Takitumu School on day two.
There were several great examples that were showcased in the practical demonstration. The most popular activities featured 5 plus fruits and vegetables a day and what’s the time Mr Wolf.
“Social Issues in our community are important issues that we need to address. We need to educate our children by encouraging them to make healthy lifestyle choices, which will help reduce the risk factors associated with NCD’s, promote gender equality, encourage social inclusion and being aware of their surroundings. Respecting themselves and others is very important” says Paiti.
“It is important for the facilitators to keep in mind what is the key message, what is the theme and how do they deliver their key message in terms of teaching it to the students. Facilitators must be creative, use visual tools, colours, clear communication to the children and most importantly utilize the Just Play Kits” stated Sope.
Just Play Kits full of equipment required for this programme were presented to the new school facilitators to allow them to deliver the programme throughout the next six months and beyond.
Developed by the Oceania Football Confederation social responsibility and technical department, Just Play is designed for children aged five to thirteen and promotes active healthy lifestyles.
Paiti would like to thank Takitumu School especially the children and parents for their continued support and assistance in Just Play courses. As well as local partners from Health, and Gender for their contributions during the course.
“We would like to acknowledge the continued funding and support of this programme from the Australian Government (AusAid), UEFA, UNICEF, and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC),” says Paiti.