Heart in the Community

Melbourne Heart FC's Community Department and Game Development Officers have been busy at work over the past couple of weeks with a number of exciting projects and events.

Melbourne Heart FC's Community Department and Game Development Officers have been busy at work over the past couple of weeks with a number of exciting projects and events.

Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar contested in the Zaidee-s Cup on February 23, with Heart winning the cup, following a 1-0 victory at AAMI Park thanks to a goal from Orlando Engelaar, who deservedly took out the Zaidee-s Medal for best on ground.

Zaidee-s Rainbow Foundation and Melbourne Heart have been working together since the Club-s inception in the effort to raise awareness for organ donation.

Zaidee Rose Alexander Turner - aged 7 years and 22 days died suddenly on 2nd December 2004 from a burst blood vessel in her brain called a Cerebral Aneurism. Zaidee-s parents, Kim and Allan, founded Zaidee-s Rainbow Foundation not long after. More information on Zaidees can be found here.

“It's an impressive story and I have a lot of respect for these people,” Engelaar said.

“Especially the fact that she was only 7 years old, I can imagine it's not easy making that decision.

“I can tell you that I am a registered organ donor myself and it's stories like this that make me feel good about that.”

At half-time of the Zaidee-s Cup, the Docceroos, a group of enthusiastic footballers with the unifying feature of being medical practitioners from around Australia, played a small match at half-time to help raise awareness of organ donation.

The Docceroos are also involved in a number of men-s health strategies including the M5 Project, Blue September, Men-s International Health Week and, this year, DonateLife in conjunction with Melbourne Heart FC.

Melbourne Heart FC also recently teamed up with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre to run a football clinic for the ASRC football team.

Game Development Officers Louisa Bisby and Simon Zappia ran the event which featured a mini-tournament at Flagstaff Gardens and a hit the crossbar challenge.

The asylum seekers were able to learn the rules of the game from two Football Federation Victoria referees who kindly volunteered their time.

CEO Scott Munn and General Manager, Football Operations, John Didulica spoke at a club briefing for clubs around the metro area last week with a large number of representatives attending.

Our first of two Coach the Coach sessions took place on Tuesday night with a total of 55 coaches from as far as Ballarat and Werribee joining Assistant Coach Gerard Nus and High Performance Manager Simone Ripamonti in Pakenham.

The Coach the Coach initiative has been a huge success in recent seasons, with our next session featuring Head Coach John van-t Schip and Head Physiotherapist Simon Storey already booked out.

Stay tuned as always to the official Melbourne Heart FC website for more news of our ongoing community programs.