Club News

Hearts' Community Department support trip to Rwanda

9th June 2016

Hearts’ Head of Community has packed and organised his usual bag of balls bibs and markers and is heading out to deliver one of the club's most adventurous coaching programmes ever

On Saturday, Alan 'Chalky' White, along with East Lothian Football Development Officer Sean McAuley and ten coaches from Tranent Colts, travel to Rwanda to deliver community coaching, club development workshops and coach education to leaders of youth academies football coaches and volunteers.

A number of the coaches will also be involved in some house-building projects that bring together survivors of the genocide and former perpetrators, as the people of Rwanda continue to rebuild their communities. 

Chalky commented, "The coaches at Tranent Colts instigated this trip and we are delighted to have been invited to help. The preparation started months ago and the East Lothian club have worked wonders to raise over £15,000 through a number of events and fundraising initiatives to make the journey possible. 

As well as delivering coaching in Rwanda we are collectively taking 12 bags of football kit to hand out to local communities including cones, bibs, markers and kids' football boots - all of which have been donated from Tranent Colts players. Robbo and I found some training kit at Tynecastle as well so very shortly there is going to be some Rwandan children running about and playing sporting the Hearts crest and the famous maroon and white!

I've been lucky to be involved in delivering community coaching and football development programmes at Hearts for 18 years now but this trip is taking our community involvement to a whole new level and for all the right reasons."

The travelling party are due to visit two Genocide memorials at the beginning of the trip before meeting up with the Rwandan FA and government officials. 

Rwanda has witnessed a remarkable transformation over the last 20 years. Part of the rebuilding strategy has been to unite everybody through the nation's love of football.  Today, there are 12 youth football academies in the capital, Kigali, giving young people the opportunity to develop both football and life skills. 

We wish The Colts and Chalky all the very best during this exciting trip!