Community diary: January 2010

Melbourne Victory teamed up with The Smith Family to acknowledge the hard work of selected Learning for Life participants at its Australia Day match against Wellington Phoenix at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne Victory teamed up with The Smith Family to acknowledge the hard work of selected Learning for Life participants at its Australia Day match against Wellington Phoenix at Etihad Stadium.

Sudanese-born Melbourne teenager Wilson Poni was given the honour of tossing the coin before kick off, while Ethiopian student Layet Mebrahto lead the team out with Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat.

The Smith Family also invited Shepparton primary school student Kalukula Kitanguno to be a special guest in the Chairman's Function, where he read his award-winning entry in The Smith Family's national I Love Australia writing competition, before being presented with his own signed Melbourne Victory strip by defender Steven Pace.

Furthermore, students from The Smith Family-s Learning for Life program and Auburn South and Thomastown Meadows Primary School participated in the half time small-sided football display.

Melbourne Victory home games during January provided the opportunity for junior players from Baxter Soccer Club, Knox City JSC and Kyneton District Soccer Club to participate as the Care Park Ball Squad, while juniors from Brunswick Zebras, Croydon City Arrows and Peninsula Strikers served as the Hyundai Centre Circle Mat Bearers.

Melbourne Victory continued its support of the Starlight Children's Foundation with players Mate Dugandzic, Matthew Foschini and Glen Moss visiting the Starlight Express Room at the Royal Children's Hospital.

The Starlight Express Room is a place where ill children and their families can visit to take part in computer games, movies, crafts and activities to take their minds off their treatment and to put a smile back on their faces.

Melbourne Victory young gun Mate Dugandzic understands the importance of the Starlight Children's Foundation.

"I spent quite awhile in and out of the Royal Children's Hospital when I was younger; the Starlight Express Room creates a great getaway for the kids who are having a rough time of it," Dugandzic said.

"It was great to give back to the hospital that helped me so much and to see the kids with big smiles on their faces; it was a really enjoyable yet humbling experience."

Melbourne Victory hosted the Carn the Kids Clinic with stars Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak, Mathew Theodore and ambassador Rodrigo Vargas putting 30 participants through their paces, followed by an autograph and photo session.

Melbourne Victory members and supporters also enjoyed an Open Training Session during the recent school holidays at Monash University Clayton campus.

Click here for the January 2010 photo gallery.