Canterbury Cricket, Mainland Football create new role

Hussain Hanif. Photo: Supplied
Hussain Hanif. Photo: Supplied
Canterbury Cricket and Mainland Football have appointed Hussain Hanif to a newly-created role of ethnic diversity and inclusion programme manager.

The role has been funded from the Christchurch Foundation’s sports inclusivity fund, which was established with a significant gift from New Zealand Cricket.

The New Zealand Football Foundation has also contributed.

A research project was undertaken in 2020 into the barriers to entry for sport and recreation for ethnic minorities in Ōtautahi Christchurch. The establishment of this role is a key outcome of that work.

Hanif will work across both sporting codes, which are two of the most popular sports in the region widely played by ethnic communities.

"The opportunity to work more closely with our ethnic communities has come from the tragic events of March 15th 2019. Sport has a wonderful ability to bring communities together. Both cricket and football were impacted by the tragedy, and it feels right to work together on a project like this, albeit delayed by COVID,” said Canterbury Cricket chief executive Jez Curwin.

Said Mainland Football chief executive Julian Bowden: “We are thrilled to have been able to get Hussain on board. He adds depth to both organisations and brings a focus on ensuring that we are connecting with everyone that wants to play, no matter what the level.”

Hanif has a background in diversity and inclusion, having previously held roles with Cricket Victoria in Melbourne, where he was the diversity and inclusion participation specialist, and at the Melbourne Renegades in community sport.

Hanif said he’s excited by the opportunities the new role presents to break down barriers and bring social change through sports.

"What Mainland Football and Canterbury Cricket are working to achieve is for cricket and football to become inclusive of all.

"This is a unique opportunity to have direct impact within specific community groups while using my experience across two sporting codes in Christchurch.

"I appreciate there is a lot of work to be done but that is the exciting part.”

Hanif is scheduled to start in the role on February 24.

His role is funded from the Christchurch Foundation Sport Inclusivity Fund. Anyone wanting to contribute can do at www.christchurchfoundation.org.nz.

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