FFAS hosts 2nd Just Play Festival

“Are we ready to Just Play today?” shouts Netini Sene
Participants of the Just Play Program Festival on Feb. 7, 2014 during the warm up session conducted by ASCC CNR exercise physiologist Ursula Te’o-Martin. [FFAS MEDIA]

The reply is a thunderous “YES” from 600 Just Play Program students of five— Le’atele, Lupelele, Manulele, Pava’ia’i and Tafuna elementary schools in the second of three Just Play festivals hosted by FFAS and the DOE PE Division for the 2013-2014 school year.
“The Just Play Program Festival was a wonderful success!” exclaimed PE Specialist, Valusia Talataina, of the activity held at Pago Park Soccer Stadium on February 7, 2014.
The first festival was held on November 10, 2013 and it involved the five schools from the eastern district — Afonotele, A.P. Lutali, Aua, Matafao and Matatula elementary schools.
“FIFA & OFC are committed to growing (soccer) at the community and school levels throughout the pacific and to this end the Oceania Football Confederation developed a program called Just Play,” Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet, president of FFAS, explained to the students. “It is to help promote physical activity and also trying to encourage the involvement of our community and to continue to practice health living.”
Sene, assistant director for the Office of Curriculum and Instruction (OCIA), said that physical education is a “program that the office of the DOE has put together for a very long time and fortunately, we do have partnerships.
“This curriculum will make you understand endurance, will make you understand stability, will make you understand movement, will make you understand the reason of good nutrition and being healthy,” she explained.
The partnership between the Just Play Program and the elementary school’s PE curriculum is one she said they hope to continue.
Assistant Director for the Elementary School Division, Puleai Aloese, said to the students, “determination will take you further than the greatest talent. If you want to become the best athlete in the future you’ve got to have that determination and you’ll be able to (climb) a lot of mountains and dive into the “deepest) oceans.”The festival was an hour of games but the lead up was a warm up, exercise session by ASCC CNR exercise physiologist Ursula Te’o-Martin and her assistants Ryan Taifane and Ammon.
Sancia Sopoaga, a teacher at Le’atele and current goalkeeper for the American Samoa women’s national team, praised the program and its benefits to the students.
“It’s a great program because it helps the students engage in learning not only indoors but outdoors as well,” she said. “It benefits the students to stay healthy and stay fit and to help them with the importance of decision making.”
The final festival will include all 10 schools and is scheduled for April or May, before the end of the current school year.
Also in attendance on this day were the FFAS executive committee members, Vice- President Sandra Fruean, Rev. Ioane Evagelia, Amio Mavaega-Luvu and Saili Ott.


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