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Monday 11 July 2011 | Published in Regional


Cook Islands Football Associations Just Play project manager Michelle Paiti returned this week from an instructors course in Auckland and managers workshop in Canberra and Sydney with more knowledge on how to make the course a fun and sustainable programme.

Nineteen participants from the Pacific region, including New Zealand, attended the instructors course in Auckland where they were given the opportunity to share and discuss the programmes current content while working through the new content to be introduced.

Following this, each countrys project managers then travelled to Canberra where they met to review and assess the programme with the Australian Sports Commission at the Australian Institute of Sports.

The group, led by Oceania Football Confederations head of social responsibilities department Franck Castillo, and including project managers from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papa New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga and Vanuatu, reflected on the programmes strategies and achievements to date.

For the project managers, the three-day meeting in Canberra was an eye opener, which began with team management training and the review of the Just Play evaluation with special focus on gender equality and education.

The project managers delivered country reports and discussed Just Play developments in their respective countries with Martin Roberts of the Australian Sports Commission, who oversees Australias Pacific Sports Partnerships and his team at the Australian Institute of Sports.

Australia has an enormous commitment to development, especially in the Oceania region, and with the success of Just Play in the Pacific, the future certainly looks bright.

In Sydney the managers then met with Football Federation Australia, again reporting their respective countries developments before then hearing presentations from the respective grassroots programmes running in Australia along with sharing of invaluable insights into their development.

Michelle says it certainly was a great experience and she looks forward to applying the new knowledge into the next phase of Just Play.