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Friday 2 March 2012 | Published in Regional


Cook Islands Football’s Just Play project manager and instructor Michelle Paiti and development officer Tuka Tisam spent last week in Aitutaki running the first outer islands training course for facilitators.

They delivered a van load of equipment to schools and communities and put on festivals within the schools.

The Just Play grassroots social development programme was embraced by the island of Aitutaki with all schools and communities taking part in this phase three of the programme.

Seventeen teachers and community leaders attended the two-day course held at Araura College Hall with an outstanding 16 female participants taking part to become facilitators for this programme which focuses on fun and participation.

During the two-day course participants took part in theory and practical sessions before getting the opportunity to deliver what they had learnt to more than 50 girls and boys who had turned out for the afternoon session.

Children and facilitators all enjoyed themselves and it was very hard to get them all to finish the activities. Happy children and exhausted facilitators were seen departing the fields at the end of the session.

Following the training course, festivals were then organised at each school with the Just Play team assisting the new facilitators to deliver the programme for the larger numbers within their schools.

Just Play kits full of equipment were then presented to the new facilitators and principals to allow them to continue delivering the programme throughout the next six weeks and beyond.

Also gifted to each school and community were a large number of hula hoops for use within their respective areas.

“The response and support shown by the principals, facilitators and children was very positive and pleasing and I am confident that Aitutaki will be successful in implementing this programme,” says Michelle Paiti

“We would like to thank Air Rarotonga for their assistance in discounting freight costs to transport all this equipment to Aitutaki prior to the start of the course,” she says.

The facilitators will be provided with local support in Aitutaki as well as ongoing support and guidance from the Just Play team in Rarotonga.

We would like to acknowledge the continued funding of this programme from the Australian Government (AusAid), UEFA and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC).