Hearts fans will love what former boss is doing in £5.5m drive

Some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people have formed a football team - and former Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has stepped in to help coach.
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Former Hearts manager Robbie Neilson recently visited Seamab Care and Education to help coach the school’s newly formed football team. The charity, which is based in Kinross, provides care and education for children and young people from across Scotland who have complex needs and require specialised support.

Pupils at the school formed a team for the first time ever and have since competed in the Who Cares tournament in Glasgow. Seamab is currently in the process of raising £5.5 million to build the new school, with plans for a gym hall to enable indoor football for the Scottish winters. The project, which is backed by some of Scotland’s leading property companies including the Chris Stewart Group, needs another £1 million to see the new school become a reality.

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Neilson, who left his role as manager of the Tynecastle club earlier this year, is the latest famous face from the world of Scottish sport to lead a coaching session following the likes of rugby legend Chris Paterson, who is Seamab’s official ambassador, and Olympic basketball star Kieron Achara. He said: “I’m incredibly excited to see where the young people are able to go with their football team. Sport has the potential to empower people by building confidence and community.

“They’ve taken it upon themselves to start a football team, and soon, hopefully, they’ll have their own indoor football pitch to hone their skills. I’ll definitely be back and I’m really proud that I was able to help these amazing young people, some of whom have faced unimaginable hardships.”

Seamab’s Chairman Chris Stewart added: “There are very few young people who don’t have access to a gym hall. It is hard to develop sporting skills during Scottish winters without access to one. That is one of many reasons that Seamab’s current school isn’t fit for purpose. Through our fundraising drive, we will be able to create a new gym hall, which children can enjoy all year round as part of a revamped school.

“We’re so close to making this project a reality and call on Scottish businesses and government to help us get this over the line. We really appreciate the support of people like Robbie, who take the time to support these children in pursuing their passions.”