AFP to host inaugural cricket cup with Afghan community

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is teaming up with the Afghan-Australian Youth Association (AAYA) to host their first community cricket gala day on Sunday (25 February 2018) in Western Sydney.

With the support of the Sydney Thunder, the AFP’s cricket team will take on sides from the NSW Police Force and two from the AAYA, in a day of round-robin competitions. The event aims to build stronger ties between police and the Afghan-Australian community.

The Gala event began as an idea from one of the high profiled AAYA founding members, Hameed Kherkhah, along with the AFP Community Liaison Team Sydney Office team, who wanted a way to encourage the community to positively engage with and learn more about policing in Australia.

As a former Sydney Thunder player, Hameed enlisted his previous club’s support, with the Thunder generously offering assistance to hold the Gala at one of their venues, Blacktown International Sports Park, and provide umpires and a scorer for the day.

Sydney Thunder has also arranged for the ‘Thunder Bus’ to be on site for the day, offering those attending a chance to test their cricket skills in an interactive visual display.

AFP State Manager New South Wales Commander Chris Sheehan said the day was about more than just getting runs on the score board.

“The day is a fantastic opportunity for the AFP to demonstrate that we’re approachable and we’re here to help and support the community. And hopefully it shows we’re not too bad at cricket either,” Commander Sheehan said.

AYAA founding member Hameed Kherkhah said the event aims to build relationships between the community and police.

“We know that for some in our community, the idea of engaging with the police can feel quite intimidating and we want to change that,” MrKherkhah said.

“This is a great initiative for our youth as AAYA members have experienced that youth in our community feel that they are disadvantaged and excluded. We aim to change this perception and bridge the gap by organising events like these where youth and community members can interact with the police and feel included as part of society, be successful people and contribute in a positive way to the society.

Lee Germon, General Manager Sydney Thunder said supporting the community is a key driver for the team.

“Sydney Thunder is proud to support community projects within our region of Western Sydney and Regional NSW.”

“Cricket is the perfect sport to bring communities together, we are pleased to support this great event alongside the Australian Federal Police and the Afghan-Australian Youth,” Mr Germon said.

The Gala begins at 9:00am this Sunday 25 February at Blacktown International Sports Park, with crowds encouraged to come along and games finishing at 4:30pm.


Media enquiries:
AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

Note to media: Interviews with AAYA can be arranged by contacting 1800 790 952.

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