Eilidh Child backs Ann Budge to improve football

As a hurdler, it is apt that Eilidh Child admits that she “jumped at the chance” to help out her beloved Hearts.

Eilidh Child has agreed to become an ambassador of HYDC. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Child and former Hearts winger John Colquhoun were yesterday unveiled as the Hearts Youth Development Committee’s first ever ambassadors. Formed in 1991, HYDC have raised over £700,000 – with every penny going towards the club’s youth academy.

Based in Bath, the Olympic athlete attends matches when she is back in Edinburgh and has been invited into the directors’ box by current owner Ann Budge.

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With Hearts thriving both on and off the park, Child says she is delighted to play her part in building a bright future for the club.

She said: “As Hearts fans, we’re always so keen to give something back and this is such an important thing. You see the players that have come through the academy and the difference it makes.

“It’s a brilliant thing to do and hopefully I can raise more awareness of it. I jumped at the chance.

“It’s a good time at the club. Just coming to Tynecastle and being among the fans, it’s a totally different feeling to previous years.

“It’s buzzing and you’re getting these massive crowds. It’s an exciting place to be and a nice place to be again.

“What Ann has done is just incredible and it’s great to have someone that you have so much faith in. You know everything she does is for the benefit of the club.

Budge is keen to be elected on to the SPFL board and Child reckons she has a lot to offer.

“I think Ann should have a wider voice,” Child said. “She’s switched on and is level-headed about it. She gets a lot of respect across football, her voice is heard – but I think it could be used in a wider way.

“It’s good to see a female having such an impact on the game. I did a women in sport conference last year and a lot of people were talking about Ann. She was the one who was standing out and it’s great to see as football is dominated by men.”