Last Friday, the Madang FC players, took time out before their NSL game on Saturday against Southern Strikers FC to meet and play with Hagara Primary School children who take part in the internationally recognised Just Play Programme.
Before heading to New Zealand for the OFC Champions League, Madang FC were faced with lots of challenges but despite all these the players decided to put these aside to give back to the little ones.
PNGFA Just Play operations manager Micah Kaneng says it was a great moment to Madang FC getting acquainted with Just Play.
“We are glad to partner with Madang FC to help shine a spotlight on the importance of physical activity in all areas of children’s lives. Sport and play are crucial elements for childhood development and furthermore are the right of every child.
“Just Play is for all kids from any and all sporting codes. Sport is a great social development tool and the visit from Madang FC is a great way from a team to lend support and spend time with the little ones,” Kaneng says.
The team led by manager Gary Moka ran drills and took part in kicking some balls with the local children at Hagara.
Moka thank PNGFA for the opportunity to invite Madang FC players to be part of the OFC Just Play program and help showcase skills and participate with the Hagara Primary School children.
“We were delighted that during our visit we have seen how sport can act as a unifying force to communicate and reinforce important social messages around healthy eating, the importance of physical activity, inclusion and gender equality. But we have also seen how sport can act as a vital coping mechanism for children in their everyday lives.
“Just Play as we know it’s a social development programme running under the PNGFA banner and will require all our member association to be part of the programme in terms of promoting the programme at our respective association.” Moka says.
About Just Play
The Just Play programme, developed by the Oceania Football Confederation, is helping children in the Pacific to grow, learn and explore through sport. Through the integration of social messages into Just Play activities children aged 6-12 years, develop healthy lifestyle habits, encourage gender equality, promote social inclusion, insist on sport for all and become confident in their abilities. Made possible with support from UNICEF, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, the Union of European Football Association and the Australian Football Federation, the programme has reached over 200,000 children across 11-Pacific island countries.