Melbourne City FC bring festive cheer with Christmas Volunteering Week
On Tuesday, Melbourne City FC players and staff kicked off its annual Christmas Volunteering Week with a special delivery to the ‘Boots for All’ warehouse, where they packaged up sports equipment ready to deliver to underserved young people in Victoria.
At the same time, children, families and staff at the Monash Children’s Hospital met another group of Melbourne City players as they visited the Starlight Express Room and delivered Christmas gifts.
‘Boots for All’ has provided more than 70,000 hours of volunteering and training opportunities for people with physical and intellectual disability at their Melbourne enterprise sport store, Sport for All. The social enterprise works with City in the Community’s ‘Soccer Hub’ in Brimbank, whose participants will benefit from the Club’s donations this week.
City midfielder Osama Malik, who, alongside his A-League and W-League colleagues have donated their boots to the cause, said it had been a rewarding experience:
“Weeks like this mean so much to all of us at Melbourne City – donating boots or kit is so simple, but the impact of giving someone the opportunity to play football can be huge, for mental and physical health, and for the social experiences it offers. It’s a rewarding experience to help with our amazing community programs and all the players have really enjoyed contributing to such a meaningful cause.”
Boots for All CEO Joanne Rockwell said the contribution of boots and time in the warehouse would positively impact the lives of many Victorians:
"There are many people across the State who are unable to participate in sport or community programs because they simply don’t have the essential equipment.
“We exist to dissolve those barriers to sports participation and provide opportunities to address issues such as social inclusion by providing employment opportunities in our shop. These aims marry perfectly with the objectives of Melbourne City’s community programs, so our partnership is a great fit.
“With the help of the players today, our mission to provide more Victorians with essential sports equipment will be achieved this Christmas.”
Fans attending Saturday’s Christmas Derby are encouraged to play their part and will be able to donate newly-used sports equipment at Boots for All collection points at AAMI Park.
Speaking from the Starlight Room at the Monash Children’s Hospital, midfielder Luke Brattan said he is continually inspired by the experience:
“These kids are going through a challenging time, but they are so positive and courageous. Each time we visit they have huge smiles on their faces despite the incredible challenges they are facing, and we are pleased to play our small part, particularly at Christmas time. Especially as a new father, it’s a moving experience and one that’s very inspiring.”