Watch: Young Hearts players take on MasterChef challenge for charity

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Rising stars from The Hearts Academy went head to head recently to win the coveted title of Heart’s Young MasterChef, all while helping to raise over £10k for Save the Children’s annual fundraiser, Christmas Jumper Day.

The young Hearts stars dazzled a panel of top judges on Sunday 9 December at the event, which was sponsored by Edinburgh restaurateur, James Thomson OBE, and saw Hearts Reserve player and Academy graduate Chris Hamilton crowned king of the kitchen at Tynecastle and his team from ‘The Witchery’ celebrating in their Christmas jumpers, after wowing the judges with their chicken main course.

To raise money for Christmas Jumper Day, which takes place on Friday (14 December), a raffle and auction was arranged, which included generous donations from Mr Thomson.

The money raised will go towards Save the Children’s work in Scotland, and around the world.

Hearts owner Ann Budge said: “It was a wonderful event and it has been marvellous to see our young stars of the future putting their cooking skills to the test. The MasterChef course, run in partnership with Next Step Foundation, has taught our players life skills that stand them in good stead both away from the pitch and for the future, and I know they have enjoyed taking part in it. 

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The winning team recieve their trophy from James Thomson OBE. Picture: Save the Children

The winning team recieve their trophy from James Thomson OBE. Picture: Save the Children

“I hope everyone has enjoyed this event at Tynecastle Park and we’re thrilled to have raised lots of money for Save the Children.”

The Hearts youngsters have developed their culinary skills through a 10-week employability course run by the charity, Next Step Foundation. It provides a unique and holistic approach to education, skill development and mental health and wellbeing support for all sports people, at all levels, throughout the UK.

Emma Nodzak, media and communications manager at Save the Children said: “Cooking doesn’t get much tougher than this and the young players did incredibly well! They were enthusiastic and willing to learn (and take some constructive criticism from the judges) and the amount raised has certainly exceeded our expectations. The lunch has further solidified our partnership with Hearts and it’s great to have a little festive fun especially for our Christmas Jumper Day campaign. Huge thank you to all involved.”

HMFC Young MasterChef Teams

Team Rhubarb: Dean Ritchie (Captain), Anthony McDonald, Euan Henderson, Scott McGill and Sean Ward.

Team Witchery: Chris Hamilton (Captain), Harry Cochrane, Leeroy Makovora, Mackenzie Lawler and Dino Leddie.

Team Tower: Connor Smith (Captain), Jay Sandison, Brodie Strang, Cameron Logan and Aaron Hickey.

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