Hawzah News Agency (Victoria, Australia) – The federal government is injecting $1.2 million into the AFL's Bachar Houli program, which sees Muslim boys and girls develop their football skills while learning about their culture.
More than 35,000 young Australians have taken part in the initiative since it began in 2013, which includes the Bachar Houli Cup, academy and employment program.
The Bachar Houli Cup involves more than 5000 Islamic school students while the employment program offers traineeships at the AFL for up to 10 young people.
Houli was the first devout Muslim to play in the AFL and is the code's multicultural ambassador.
Minister for Social Services Paul Fletcher on Tuesday praised him for "doing a fantastic job using sport to promote social cohesion, self-esteem and engagement in Muslim Australian youth".