Mumbai: The Western India Football Association (WIFA) has further strengthening their relationship with the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and implementing the ‘OFC Just Play’ Programme in India. The theme of ‘OFC Just Play’ is about spreading the awareness of ‘sanitation’ and ‘hygiene’ among young footballers. A Just Play Festival was organized with the aim to give messages related to effective hand washing techniques which were imparted through fun football sessions.
OFC, General Secretary, Franck Castillo and Fiji Football Association, President and FIFA Council Member, Rajesh Patel, had visited the WIFA office for the festival and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between OFC and WIFA. This MOU supports the next phase of implementation of the OFC Just Play Programme in India and details the financial contribution and technical assistance provided by OFC towards the same.
The program will be delivered by WIFA – OFC’s national implementing partner in India. Souter Vaz, General Secretary of WIFA and Henry Menezes, led the WIFA signing delegation and discussions.
“We thank the OFC for their valuable support to the WIFA-Just Play in India. We ensure our strong commitment towards this program as we project to extend this program to other regions of the state and target to reach out to 10,000 kids through this program.” said Vaz
Castillo is confident about the future of the programme not just in Maharashtra but also its expansion across India. “This is a fun and cost-effective programme providing the first positive experience for children and promoting social development. This makes it an incredibly attractive programme for those companies that are looking for ready to go programmes in order to link with their existing CSR activities. The contribution of the Just Play programme to the Sustainable Development Goals (Goals) has been acknowledged in a case study documented by the Commonwealth secretariat in 2018,” said Castillo.
The programme has been active in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) schools across Mumbai and the next phase of delivery will focus on development centres as well as training volunteers to assist in future programme delivery.
WIFA will continue to deliver the Just Play programme in Mumbai, Maharashtra while also expanding the scope of programme delivery to other towns in Maharashtra such as Thane and Palghar.
The expansion of the Just Play Programme into India has been made possible because of the technical expertise and financial support of OFC and the UEFA foundation for Children.