Heart Celebrates State Street Soccer Championships

Melbourne Heart FC has reaffirmed its commitment to the Big Issue’s Street Soccer initiative after helping celebrate the program’s Victorian Championships event at Benloch.

Melbourne Heart FC has reaffirmed its commitment to the Big Issue-s Street Soccer initiative after helping celebrate the program-s Victorian Championships event at Benloch.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip, Chief Executive Officer Scott Munn and squad member Jason Hoffman ventured down to Camp Weekaway on Sunday to show their support for the annual event.

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.

Munn said he found the experience enlightening, revealing he was stirred by the passion and zeal for football displayed by the Street Soccer participants.

“The Big Issue-s Community Street Soccer Program provides a unique opportunity for marginalised members of society to find their niche and promotes social inclusion,” he said.

“Melbourne Heart FC is highly supportive of using sport as an agent for social change, and we can-t help but admire the work of the Big Issue as well as the character of the players themselves who have grasped the opportunity to be part of something quite special.”

Dandenong clinched the overall title, emerging victorious over a gallant North Melbourne side 5-4 in a fast paced final, with the latter-s Silver claiming honours as Best Male Player of the Tournament.

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.

It puts the person at the centre of the solution and provides them with the support and tools necessary to help themselves make positive changes.

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.