FFA and the federal government have been thanked by the Oceania Football Confederation and the Cook Islands Football Association for their support of the Just Play programme.
Image courtesy The OFC Football Federation Australia and the federal government have been thanked by the Oceania Football Confederation and the Cook Islands Football Association for their support of the Just Play programme, a social development initiative that has enable more than 106,000 children across the Pacific to play football.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard was in Rarotonga for the Pacific Islands Forum recently, where Richard Marles, the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, was thanked for Australia-s ongoing financial support of the programme.
Marles said he was hugely impressed with the programme-s impact.
“I am really pleased at how the investment from the Australian Government has contributed to the success of Just Play,” he said.
“The programme has shown how sport can have an impact on improving the lives of young children in the Pacific. It-s not just about participation, there are also so many other benefits as it is a great way to promote healthy lifestyles and gender equality,” he continued.
“We are so excited about our relationship with OFC and are really proud to be joining with Football Federation Australia and OFC in delivering this programme.”
The initiative is the result of a partnership between the OFC, UEFA, the Australian Government and Football Federation Australia over the last three years, with the OFC hoping to extend the programme further, with the goal of reaching 200,00 children.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton are also set to play football with young people in an event in Honiara soon, which includes and youth forum and women-s forum, another sign of how the Just Play programme can bring communities together though football.