The fun filled day gathered twelve communities in the National Capital District involving more than five hundred youngsters.
PNGFA Just Play project manager Micah Kaneng said, the festival is not only about football but the interaction and exchange between the children promoting gender equality and ENDviolence while also enjoying the thrill of playing football was a great success.
“I am proud to see that Just Play has been able to positively influence the communities,” Kaneng says.
“Seeing the children enjoying the games, enjoying the company of kids from other communities and also showing off their skills and putting what they have learnt into practice was encouraging.”
“There were challenges we had to overcome but in the end the atmosphere created by the excitement of the kids to play football made it all seem like a joy,” said Kaneng.
PNG Kapuls coach Flemming Serritslev who attended the festival as the special guest was impressed by the impact the Just Play programme is having on the local communities.
“It has been great to have so many children participate and I want to thank all the communities, parents and the trainers who make this festival such a success,” he says.
The OFC Just Play Programme is a sport for development programme that helps children to grow and explore through sport. Just Play gives a child a ball, a coach and a safe place to play. The programme shows children how to have fun with other children, be physically active and become confident in their abilities. Through the integration of social messages, Just Play helps children to develop healthy lifestyle habits, encourage gender equality and leaders in the community, promotes social inclusion and insists on sport for all.
The OFC Just Play Programme is designed and monitored by the OFC Social Responsibility Department in partnership with Australia and the New Zealand Governments, the Football Federation Australia, the UEFA Foundation for children and UNICEF.