Two teams of girls from across Melbourne and around the world will come together for Melbourne Heart's first ever Girls with Heart game on February 17.
Two teams of girls from across Melbourne and around the world will come together for Melbourne Heart's first ever Girls with Heart game on February 17, 2012.
The inaugural Girls with Heart game will be played as the curtain raiser game for Melbourne Heart's crucial Hyundai A-League game against Gold Coast United and features an interfaith game bringing girls from Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths and from European, African and Asian backgrounds together as one.
Girls with Heart is part of Melbourne Heart's first ever Harmony Day game in partnership with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship who will turn AAMI Park orange, the official colour of Harmony Day.
Harmony Day is celebrated on March 21 and in 2012 the central theme for Harmony Day is Sport - Play, Engage, Inspire and recognises the important role and positive influence that sport has in fostering a sense of belonging, acceptance and understanding of other cultures.
Melbourne Heart CEO Scott Munn is thrilled with the inaugural partnership and said today "Melbourne Heart supports Harmony Day as our values strongly align. At our club everyone is welcome, everyone belongs and we demonstrate respect for all."
Melbourne Heart's Harmony Day game will feature Harmony Day crowd giveaways, Player mascots and small sided games featuring multicultural community kids and a rousing rendition of "I am Australian" by the Balwyn High School Choir.
Girls with Heart will mix girls from established communities such as Jewish and Croatian with humanitarian refugee migrant communities from Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Egypt.
Westfield Matildas captain Melissa Barbieri, who will participate in the launch of the event this Sunday, will undertake a mentoring role with the Girls with Heart players and said "This is a great initiative from Melbourne Heart and I can't wait to work with the girls.”
"My story shows that you can play football to the highest level from a multicultural background and I can't wait to hear the girl's stories and see them in action."
The Girls with Heart game kicks off with a training session in which the girls will be introduced, taken through a training session with Westfield Matildas captain Melissa Barbieri and Westfield W-League player Louise Bisby and share a Middle Eastern lunch.
Following lunch the players will be taken on a guided tour of the National Sports Museum at the MCG.
The inaugural Girls with Heart is part of Melbourne Heart FC's inaugural Harmony Day game and proudly supported by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Football Federation Australia, Football Federation Victoria's United Through Football Program, Reagan Milstein Foundation, Maccabi Sports and Red Elephant Projects.