Crescent Wealth roars with Bachar Houli sponsorship
Sydney, 31 March 2014 – The growing cultural diversity of AFL football got another roar of support today with Islamic wealth manager Crescent Wealth announcing its sponsorship of Richmond Tigers defender Bachar Houli, the AFL’s first practising Muslim player.
Known for his strong commitment to the Islamic faith and his role as AFL Multicultural Ambassador, Houli prays five times a day and finds time in his busy schedule to educate his team-mates and supporters on Muslim beliefs and attitudes.
Born in Australia in 1988 to Lebanese parents, Houli showed a strong passion for sport at a very young age, despite there being little sport played at his Islamic schools and the disapproval of his parents, who saw it as a distraction from his studies. With his now extremely supportive family by his side, Houli has cemented his place in the line-up at Richmond, to which he was drafted in 2010 after making his debut with the Essendon Bombers in 2006.
Under the one-year sponsorship arrangement, Houli will become a Crescent Wealth Advocate, working with the Crescent Wealth team to raise awareness of multiculturalism in Australian communities through sport.
Crescent Wealth managing director, Talal Yassine OAM, said: “Bachar Houli is a great role model and an ideal representative of our Community Partnerships Program dedicated to fostering prosperous communities through health and fitness.
“Our sponsorship of Bachar continues Crescent Wealth’s record for promoting tolerance and diversity through sport. The partnership follows our announcement last year of a three-year sponsorship deal with then Auburn Giants, the first predominately Muslim women’s AFL team in Western Sydney which has recently announced a partnership with GWS Giants,” Mr Yassine said.
Bachar Houli said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be appointed a Crescent Wealth Advocate. Crescent Wealth is playing an active role seeking to foster understanding between Australian Muslims and the broader Australian community. I’m looking forward to supporting this work.”
As AFL Multicultural Ambassador, Houli has been heavily involved in introducing young people from diverse communities to the game through such initiatives as The Bachar Houli Cup, an inter-Islamic schools football competition involving 25 Islamic schools across Victoria, and the Bachar Houli Academy, established to nurture aspiring young Islamic footballers.
Houli was also named an inaugural winner of the Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding Award granted by the University of South Australia and the Australia Day Council in late 2012.