Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles today announced that a young Solomon Islands girl is the 100,000th participant in Australia’s ‘Just Play’ program.
Mr Marles made the announcement with Solomon Islands Football Federation President Martin Alufurai during a visit to SIFF headquarters in Honiara.
“It is my great pleasure to announce that the 100,000th participant in the Just Play program is a nine year-old girl from Pipisu Primary School in South Malaita.
“Just Play has provided Solomon Islands children and over 100,000 other children across the Pacific, with the opportunity to build critical life skills through sport. This is creating social change in communities in Solomon Islands and across the Pacific.
“Just Play is ensuring a lasting impact by building the capacity of teachers and community members to independently deliver quality sporting activities for children,” Mr Marles said.
Just Play is a social development program funded by the Australian Government and delivered in partnership with Football Federation Australia and the Oceania Football Confederation to 11 countries.
The program promotes physical activity for primary school-aged children while encouraging community involvement, healthy living and gender equality.
Just Play is based around structured activity programs as well as the distribution of equipment packs containing balls, cones, bibs, activity manuals and other resources that enable children to play football at anytime and in any situation.
The program is guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly Article 6: Children’s Right to Play.
Recent review findings have shown that children who participate in Just Play are more motivated to go to school, develop positive citizenship skills and demonstrate strong leadership within their communities.