Each county involved in Just Play was represented in Auckland
during the project managers' meeting.
The four-day workshop took place at OFC headquarters and aimed to help provide the participants with a plan to continue the successful running of Just Play in their respective countries.
The main focus was the development of a 'logic model' for each country that serves to identify the key goals of Just Play and outlines how they can be achieved.
The workshop was conducted by OFC head of social responsibility Franck Castillo, who leads the Just Play project and believes strongly in the power of the logic model, an outcomes-based tool for planning and evaluation that is used by many non-profit organisations around the world.
"The exercise is quite simple, it's what we call the 'if-and-then' process," he says.
"The theory is that 'if' I put these activities in place, the consequence will be 'then' and so on until the objectives are reached. It's a very good management tool because it allows you to set up all the steps, decide what kind of activities you need and make clear who you are trying to reach."
The discussions centred around how to address three main issues - non-communicable disease (NCD), gender equality and the inclusion of children with a disability - as these are priorities for the Australian Government, which helps fund Just Play through its agencies the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).
"They have asked us to focus mainly on non-communicable disease as 75 per cent of deaths in the Pacific are due to NCDs," Castillo explains.
"Unfortunately, there are not many resources to fight against this so everybody needs to work together to tackle the problem."
Developed by the OFC social responsibility and technical departments, Just Play is designed for children aged six to 12 and promotes physical activity while encouraging community involvement and healthy living.
OFC has worked closely with UEFA, the Australian Government and Football Federation Australia to implement the programme across the Pacific over a three-year period between 2009 and 2012. It was launched in Tonga and is now also running in American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
The confederation has also been working in New Zealand with Special Olympics on a Just Play programme for people with mental disabilities and has launched the same initiative in Samoa and Fiji.
Just Play has reached over 100,000 children - 43 per cent of whom are female - across the Pacific and trained over 2,000 teachers and volunteers.
Recent review findings have shown that students who participate in Just Play are more motivated to go to school, improve their academic performance and develop positive citizenship skills while many of the volunteers have demonstrated strong leadership within their communities.