Heart celebrates Save the Children partnership

Melbourne Heart FC celebrated the Club’s newly-formed partnership with Save the Children Australia this afternoon`

Melbourne Heart FC celebrated the Club-s newly-formed partnership with Save the Children Australia this afternoon, ahead of this Saturday-s Hyundai A-League clash with Perth Glory at AAMI Park.

Heart striker Dylan Macallister, an ambassador for Save the Children Australia, worked with the non-for-profit organisation to host a Christmas barbecue to provide disadvantaged children from Fitzroy with the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of Heart-s players.

Macallister organised for other Heart players, including Matt Thompson, Golgol Mebrathu, Andrew Redmayne, David Vrankvic, Jason Hoffman, David Williams, Clint Bolton, Jonatan Germano, Ben Garuccio, Stefan Mauk and Steven Gray to donate balls, caps and drink bottles for the children.

"It was a great day today with the kids of Fitzroy, there were so many energetic happy kids enjoying football,” Macallister said.

“It was a great response from our players to volunteer their time and donate their money towards Christmas presents for all the children that attended.

“The partnership with Save the Children Australia is a great initiative, looking to give back to the community and the players and the club have responded amazingly.”

Around 60 children of African descent from the Fitzroy and Collingwood housing estates attended the clinic, mingling and sharing a kick with the Heart players.

“Dylan is a fantastic ambassador for Save the Children and our club,” Heart-s General Manager of Community, Sue Crow, said.

“As a father of two young children, he recognises the importance of Save the Children-s vision for a world where children-s rights to survival, protection, development and participation are granted.”

The players have donated money that went towards purchasing balls for the Save the Children-s African Kids Reading Club.

This weekend-s A-League match at AAMI Park, which is dedicated to Save the Children, will celebrate the partnership and will allow Save the Children-s volunteers to be posted inside and outside the venue to raise funds for the leading child right-s agency-s vital Australian and international programs.

Ten lucky children will have the opportunity to play in a half-time game and five children will be official mascots. Melbourne Heart will also provide a signed playing jumper for auction.

“This is a very exciting week for Save the Children and we thank Melbourne Heart for the great support it has shown for the children in our programs,-- Save the Children CEO Suzanne Dvorak said.

“It will be a thrill for the children to kick the ball with these great players at the clinic tomorrow. It is an experience they won-t forget.--