Bachar Houli Academy wins program

The fourth Bachar Houli Academy program culminated with a 16-point win over the Jim Stynes Squad at Punt Road Oval last Thursday.

Under the guidance of Richmond defender and AFL Multicultural Player Ambassador, Bachar Houli, the Academy secured victory 8.3-51 to 5.5-35.

The week-long program provides pathways for young Muslim men across the country aspiring to play AFL football.

On the final day of the program, last Friday, the 2016 Bachar Houli Academy Leadership Medal was awarded to Muhammad Saad.

Saad was voted by fellow program participants for best demonstrating the values throughout the program.

Centred around football, the Bachar Houli Academy also focuses on strengthening players’ leadership abilities and promoting values while providing a unique football development opportunity.

Participants attended football training sessions, as well as culturally affirming activities, including a tour of the Islamic Museum and Cerberus Navy Base.

They also took part in sessions on identity, goal setting and decision making.

Houli said it was a privilege to be a part of the program, that focused on three key elements throughout the week.

“The three things that we focus on during this solid week are leadership – so we teach them every aspect of leadership and put them through tests throughout the week and see how the boys handle the situations,” Houli said.

“Number two, identity…. We teach them to be proud Australian Muslims and teach them the basics about what they should believe in and how they should put it into practice living in this great, fortunate country.

“And number three, obviously very, very important, if not the most important – their football development. We want to see these young men develop as individuals as footballers and hopefully we see a few of these young men running around at the highest level in the near future.”