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The Just Play program in Samoa / Credit: OFCJustPlay/2015/Wenzlick/Samoa

What is Just Play?

Established in 2009, Just Play is a multi-country sport for development program designed to communicate critical messages through the medium of football, recognise the importance of helping children to develop a positive relationship towards sport and physical activity from an early age, and encourage a lifelong engagement with sport and physical activity.

The critical messages are aligned to eight key programming pillars: health; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); child protection/safeguarding; emergency preparedness; gender equality; social inclusion; wellness; and life skills.

With a ball, a coach, and a safe place to play, the Just Play program improves the lives of children, adolescents, women, girls and persons with disabilities in the Pacific, empowering them to advocate as agents for change and supporting the development of positive behaviour practices. Through the integration of social messages that are aligned to the eight key pillars, the programs engage children in a series of interactive sessions allowing them to explore a variety of key areas critical to their development.

Just Play is implemented with the support of trained coaches and equipment packs containing footballs, cones, bibs, activity manuals and other resources that enable children to learn healthy lifestyle habits and social skills focusing on:

  • Health by reducing risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, and engaging children and adolescents on a range of health issues
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) by supporting the development of positive WASH behaviours and practices in schools, communities and in times of emergencies
  • Safeguarding by challenging harmful social norms and stereotypes and creating pathways to empower those disadvantaged on the basis of their gender, identity or ability to realise their human rights
  • Emergency preparedness by building resilience and supporting the emotional recovery of children and adolescents following natural disasters and conflict
  • Gender equality by changing perceptions towards women and girls and creating pathways to empower women and girls to realise their human rights
  • Social inclusion by changing perceptions towards persons with disabilities and creating pathways to empower persons with disabilities to realise their human rights
  • Wellness by reducing risk factors associated with mental health and wellbeing
  • Life skills by enhancing the development of healthy lifestyle habits, which are more likely to be carried through to adulthood.

For more information about Just Play (Samoa) please use the contact details below.

Maupeni Asafo
Football Federation Samoa


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