The Just Play Program was implemented by the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in partnership with the Australian Government, UEFA and Football Federation Australia.
Since its inception in 2009, OFC has taken signi?cant strides to becoming the leading organisation that uses sport for Paci?c Island children’s education and personal development.
Just Play trains local community volunteers and teachers as Coaches to run the program as part of OFC’s commitment to achieving positive changes for children around the pacific region. OFC has seen positive changes in children’s behaviour in schools as well as the communities.
What impact is Just Play having in children in PNG communities? Well the programme has expanded to other centres of the country engaging almost 20 thousand children in a year since its inception. The unfortunate children in the settlements who have not touched a soccer ball in their life time found it exciting to just play.
The targeted number of communities and schools are showing keen interest on the programme. A total of six communities and 42 schools including 22 volunteers and 93 teachers have contributed to the popularity of the programme around PNG.
What are the conditions needed for sport to have a lasting, positive impact on children and communities? Sports must expand a person’s identity, relationships, and experiences, and show how this can extend beyond sporting contexts.
Research shows that certain conditions are needed in order for sports to have the best impact for young children. These principles have been guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which has been integrated directly into the elite programme.