RECENTLY THE FINAL FOR THE INTER-COMMUNITY TOURNAMENT FOR JUST PLAY 13-16 YEAR OLD HELD AT LOTOTONGA SOCCER CENTRE, THE “HOME OF FOOTBALL”.
The tournament is one of Just Play program in bringing kids of nine communities together from the Town District of Tongatapu, as support for the “Sport to Life” Tournament Program. This tournament was in two categories; the ‘Under 14’ and ‘Under 16’ years old playing ‘7 Aside’ with each team playing mixed boys and girls
Such tournament was setup to encourage kids to participate and stay active as part of the 16 weeks program run by Just Play Grassroots since February this year. Number of participants were 202 which made up of 50 girls and 152 boys including 3 special needs participants.
The Final Results are as follows:
- Under 14 Ranking: 1. Fasi 2. Marist 3. Nukuhetulu 4. Longolongo
- Under 16 Ranking: 1. Fasi 2. Longolongo 3. Veitongo 4. Nukuhetulu
Just Play is a Sport for Development using football as a tool to promote healthy lifestyle, gender equality, social inclusion and Child Protection. The Just Play Development Program is managed by Palu ‘Uhatahi Tuamoheloa, (Just Play Program Manager/ Head of Social Responsibility of Tonga Football Association).
“For the past four years I noticed children can remain in the program for a long time if there is something to motivate them such as festivals or tournaments in sports such as football,” explain Tuamoheloa.
“In align with the Tonga Football Association Strategy 2019-2022, in promoting football in Tonga we run Program in Vava’u, Ha’apai, ‘Eua and Tongatapu for ages 6-16 both boys and girls. This Tournament we involved special needs children as part of our support for social inclusion in sports. Every Saturday there will be a theme to focus on during each Tournament Day from the social challenges emphasizes in ‘Sport to Life’ program (JP13-16) weekly. For example, the Respect each other, Know Your Limit and Stay in the Games were few to mentioned,” she said.
“We would like to thank the Australian Government, New Zealand Government, Australia Football Federation, UNICEF, UEFA Foundation for Children, Oceania Football Confederation, and Tonga Football Association for your ongoing support with the program to build a better community for Tonga in the future,” Tuamoheloa acknowledged the sponsors and supporters of the Tournament Program.