Heart on the Beat – April 2010

April marked the launch of Melbourne Heart FC’s Community strategy as the club began traversing the state, attending clinics and events at local clubs and schools.

April marked the launch of Melbourne Heart FC-s Community strategy as the club began traversing the state, attending clinics and events at local clubs and schools.

Fielding 73 teams in Football Federation Victoria competitions this season, Brighton SC kicked off the Heart-s community program, with Head Coach John van ‘t Schip and Assistant Jesper Olsen venturing down to the Club-s Gala Day.

Van ‘t Schip, Olsen and Kamal Ibrahim helped orchestrate drills, took part in an impromptu kick around and dispensed with valuable advice to the many youngsters in attendance, demonstrating the Heart-s commitment to providing guidance and support to the community.

Van ‘t Schip as well as youngsters Kliment Taseski, Kamal Ibrahim and Brendan Hamill also helped raise money for the Good Friday Appeal, with the Club-s accomplished coach completing a stint in the phone room taking donations at Etihad Stadium.

Caulfield Grammar School was next on the agenda before Assistant Coach Ante Milicic and Qantas Young Socceroo Jason Hoffman joined the festivities at Gala Days with Mornington SC and Bundoora United.

The Club then ventured down to Benloch to help celebrate the Big Issue Street Soccer program-s Victorian Championships event, with van ‘t Schip and Chief Executive Officer Scott Munn in attendance.

10 teams of eight players took part in the tournament, representing each of Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, North Melbourne, Women-s Program North Melbourne, Broadmeadows, Dandenong, Shepparton, Morwell, Mildura in a celebration of the beautiful game.

The heart of the Big Issue Community Street Soccer Program is weekly training sessions at permanent pitches located in underprivileged communities across Australia, where playing equipment and a dedicated soccer coach are provided.

Participants get fit, make new friends and seek support and advice. Support staff also work closely with players, linking them to services that address their homelessness, substance abuse, family breakdown, grief and loss and mental illness.

Street Soccer values participation over football skills and competition, engaging people who in many cases have given up on counselling and traditional support systems and services.

The launch of FIFA-s 1GOAL - Education for All program saw star signing and Qantas Socceroo legend John Aloisi feature as a key ambassador, with Essendon Keilor College the venue.

Over 100 Year 7 students took part in the World-s Biggest Lesson, discovering how education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty for families, communities and whole countries, particularly in Africa.

Victory Park, home of the Caulfield Cobras, was the next stop for the Club, before trips to Hallam Secondary College, St Martin of Tours and Scotch College rounded off the month.

General Manager of Community Sue Crow revealed her delight in the launch of Heart-s community strategy.

“Embracing the grassroots community is a critical pillar of the Club-s overarching philosophy and dream of developing into a football institution truly representative of Victoria-s sporting public,” Crow said.

“The launch of our community program marks the first small step towards achieving that dream, and we hope to continue unfolding various elements of the program in the months to come.”

With the countdown to the club-s competition debut well underway, Melbourne Heart FC invites you to register for priority access and become a member at the Hyundai A-League-s newest football club.

Click here for a registration form.

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