Islamic College of Sport (ICS) has officially commenced following its recent launch event and Victorian Registration & Qualification Authority (VRQA) registration.
The College, which is driven by the Bachar Houli Foundation is set to provide Islamic youth with unprecedented access to careers in sport.
ICS will provide an alternative to traditional VCE studies by adopting the VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM) program, with a sporting lens applied to the curriculum. This will allow Islamic students to obtain their VCE and a nationally recognised VET qualification in a culturally safe environment.
Inaugural Students, their parents, staff members, directors, and industry partners including Richmond Football Club, Cricket Australia and Melbourne Victory, recently came together for the ceremonial Launch Event, with key stakeholders lauding the impact the ICS will have on Islamic youth.
“It’s a great initiative, first and foremost, and Richmond is thrilled to be a part of it,” Richmond Chief Marketing Officer, Simon Matthews said.
“We want to be part of authentic things that have real depth, and this program will have real depth. Richmond is incredibly excited to be involved.”
Melbourne Victory’s Community Football Manager- Inclusion, Gulcan Genitsaris, added that she could see the ICS as pivotal in providing opportunities for young Muslim women and allowing them to fulfil their sporting and academic potential.
“This program is so amazing for young Muslim women…it’s an opportunity they don’t always have,” she explained.
“Being in a safe environment with people that understand their culture and beliefs can allow them to excel and reach their dreams.”
Former Australian cricketer Fawad Ahmed, who also attended the event and will be a part of the program, added that he was thrilled with the holistic development opportunities the ICS will provide students.
“It’s an amazing opportunity, especially for the young kids…once you have a roadmap…life is a lot easier, and I think there’s a lot of people [through the ICS] that will help them.”
Ahmed will be joined by Islamic athletes from various codes, closely mentoring students enrolled in the opt-in high-performance program through the ICS.
The high-performance program will be spearheaded by former St. Kilda forward and Bachar Houli Foundation programs manager Ahmed Saad, as well as the Foundation’s high-performance lead Michael Chiovitti, who brings valuable experience ranging from the Richmond Football Club, Melbourne Boomers, and Newcastle Jets.
ICS’s high-performance program aims to maximise the sporting potential of each student-athlete by providing them with resources such as training, mentoring, education, and personalised development programs.
The College will commence with its inaugural year 11 class on January 29.