Westpac Heart 2 Heart Program Launched

Amid the excitement of the biggest football derby in recent memory, to be fought between Melbourne clubs Heart and Victory, scores of football’s honest and unexamined battlers will be calling the Heart home.

Amid the excitement of the biggest football derby in recent memory, to be fought between Melbourne clubs Heart and Victory, scores of football-s honest and unexamined battlers will be calling the Heart home.

They-ll be fans, yes, but they-ll also have “skin in the game” as their fortunes can now rise with those of Melbourne Heart.

Under the newly announced Westpac Heart 2 Heart program, Melbourne Heart-s goals and games mean a leg up for the true grass roots of the game, the suburban and country clubs that foster emerging talent and bring the game to thousands of young players every week.

Though they-ve discovered and produced big name A League and Australian regulars such as Simon Colosimo and Josip Skoko their honesty, love of the game and loyalty doesn-t always pay the bills. Raising enough money just to get teams trained and on the park every week is a constant challenge.

By registering for the “Heart 2 Heart” program on the Melbourne Heart FC website and telling the story of their club and its vision, clubs can be in the running for tangible support to help them realise their dreams and continue to nurture the Melbourne Heart squads and the Socceroos of tomorrow.

"Westpac has a strong history of working with the community and we are proud to be able to support grassroots clubs through the Heart2Heart initiative," said Julie Rynski, Westpac's State General Manager for Victoria.

"A key reason why we partnered with Melbourne Heart is because of their commitment to bring football to local communities across Victoria. The work that local clubs do week in and week out provides a path that help kids follow their football passion on their way to the professional ranks."

Melbourne Heart-s Scott Munn agreed saying, “Without local clubs, we wouldn-t have a professional game today and without them we won-t have one in the future. Heart 2 Heart is about supporting their commitment to football.”

Clubs have the opportunity to be nominated for a cash donation from Westpac and Melbourne Heart to help them achieve their goals. The amount is linked to the results of the Heart-s remaining 11 home games for the 2010 A League season, with even scoreless draws netting that week-s winning club a minimum of $1000.

The Westpac / Melbourne Heart program helps the club to reach out to the community with the help of its sponsors, and to engage with the heartland of the game in Victoria.

Appropriately, the club-s Community Relations General Manager, Sue Crow and Club Captain Simon Colosimo will nominate the winning clubs for assistance. The nominations will reflect the current needs of particular clubs and the unique characteristics of their “story”.

Clubs can register for “Heart 2 Heart” at www.melbourneheartfc.com.au