Bachar Houli Cup helping to grow Australian rules footy

The Bachar Houli Cup for around 200 boys was held at X Convenience Oval last week. A further 240 girls from Islamic schools will participate in the Cup at Prospect Oval on August 15.

By SANFL Media

Almost 450 multicultural boys and girls from Islamic schools across Adelaide are being introduced to Australian rules footy this month as part of SANFL’s annual Bachar Houli Cup.

SANFL, together with SANFL clubs Central District and North Adelaide, last week hosted 200 boys in a lightning carnival with modified nine-a-side matches at X Convenience Oval, Elizabeth.

This will be followed with the girls’ Bachar Houli Cup at Prospect Oval on Tuesday August 15, with about 240 participants in 16 teams.

Participating schools across both days include Pinnacle, Playford, Garden and Australian Islamic colleges in Adelaide.

Named after triple Richmond premiership player and devout Muslim Bachar Houli, the carnival is aimed at growing football participation for multicultural boys and girls in Years 5-8 and to highlight football pathways from Islamic schools through to SANFL and AFL.

Boys from Islamic schools playing in the recent Bachar Houli Cup.

SANFL’s Bachar Houli Cup co-odinator, Amer El Hosni, said it was pleasing to see a growing number of schools and students participating in the event, an integral part of SANFL’s multicultural programs.

“It’s been great to see such a large number of boys and girls participating in the event which provides a starting point for many of them to start playing Australian football,” Amer said.

“It’s all about having fun but really importantly it can connect these school students to community clubs in these SANFL club zones, giving them the confidence to potentially go onto playing competition footy.”

The Bachar Houli Cup was introduced in 2021 as part of SANFL’s partnership with the Bachar Houli Foundation.

Students interested in taking up the game are provided with information on how to join their local community football clubs, and information is provided to parents and guardians.

More than 170 boys and girls also are now participating Auskick clinics run by SANFL in five Islamic schools across Adelaide as part of the curriculum, compare to 106 in 2022.

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