The Just Play Program is a sport for development promoting gender equity and also encouraging children to live healthy lifestyle in their respecitive schools and communities. The program has covered Port Moresby, Lae, Kimbe, Madang and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Children with potentials skills can now move to the next level of the programme where they will be trained with proper football skills and techniques by their coaches. Schools who have been taking part in the program have identification potential talents with the ability and skills to be football players. Those children who have the skills are going through a development programme, similar to the Just Play Program but focuses on training these potential players with football techniques.
Every Saturdays parents and children, as young as six meet at the Sir John Guise Stadium with their coaches where they go through drills on shooting, passing using both legs and also dribbling skills. After the drills they take part in small sided games.
Those selected by their coaches are now taking part in the grassroots next step of the programme which will enhance them to develop into potential junior players in the years to come.
It is surprising to see how supportive the parents are, spending their Saturdays with their children to be part of the programme. A good number of parents showed up at the Sir John Guise Stadium to watch their children and also become part of the Grassroots Talent Identification programme. During a short interview with a parent last Saturday, she said she is impressed with the skills these young kids are displaying.
They have improved alot over the weeks when they first started attending the programme, said Phibi, a parent of three.
This programme will be running for six weeks before they take part in the festival which is expected to be held next month in Port Moresby.
It is now on each individual child to decide if she/he wants to take up football as his/her career in future.