Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Jamats arrive in Sydney for sports tournament

Sydney, 24 March 2016 — More than 1 000 athletes, spectators and volunteers from across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are gathering for the 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament (IST), which starts today and continues through Sunday.

In Sydney, the next generation of Ismaili athletes are being prepared to represent the ANZ Jamat. Ismaili Council for ANZ
In Sydney, the next generation of Ismaili athletes are being prepared to represent the ANZ Jamat.
Ismaili Council for ANZ

Sydney, 24 March 2016 — More than 1 000 athletes, spectators and volunteers from across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are gathering for the 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament (IST), which starts today and continues through Sunday.

Athletes will compete in 14 sports including basketball, cricket, soccer, swimming, and track and field. Many non-sport activities have also been organised, such as family games and races, seniors activities and kids’ sports clinics.

Although some sports events kick off today, the opening ceremony will take place on Friday morning. Evening entertainment over the next few days will include garba and mela nights as well as a youth café.

While competitive sport is the focus of IST, the theme of One Jamat, No Boundaries speaks to the overwhelming spirit of unity in which the ANZ Jamat will gather and celebrate over the coming days.

“The ANZ Jamat is distributed across three countries with significant geographical spread and so this event is that opportunity to reconnect and reunite the jamats under one banner and one focus,” says Nizar Kabani, Youth and Sports Member on the Ismaili Council for Australia and New Zealand. “This is also a truly unique flagship event where an ever growing number of volunteers from different centres will be working side by side.”

Parade, traditional dance and cauldron lighting mark ceremonial opening of ANZ sports tournament

Sydney, 25 March 2016 — The 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament was officially opened today in a ceremony that was both motivational and moving. The lighting of a cauldron with a torch, symbolised the start of the IST.

A pipe band leads the parade of athletes at the opening ceremony of the 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament in Sydney. ANZ-IST2016
A pipe band leads the parade of athletes at the opening ceremony of the 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament in Sydney.
ANZ-IST2016

Sydney, 25 March 2016 — The 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament was officially opened today in a ceremony that was both motivational and moving.

The Opening Ceremony featured a parade in which each city team circled the track. Games mascots Kangaroo and Kiwi made an appearance, and the Auckland team performed the Haka, a traditional dance of the Māori people of New Zealand. The lighting of a cauldron with a torch, symbolised the start of the Tournament.

“Seeing the Jamat together and hearing the [starting] gun go off for the first race was very emotional after 12 months of planning and meetings,” said Ismaili Council Vice-President Imran Maredia. “It’s finally real!”

For many, the opening ceremony was a chance to reconnect with old friends. A Melbourne spectator was particularly ecstatic as he explained that he met two buddies from his home town, and none of them knew that the others were also living in ANZ. One now lives is in Auckland and the other is based in Perth.

“It is fabulous to be here and experience this meeting of friends after 12 years,” he exclaimed.

Track and Field events followed the opening ceremony. Faizal, who is from Canada and has adopted Australia as his second home, proudly represented Melbourne in the 100 metre men’s sprint.

“I miss home, and so I was very excited to represent my newly adopted home and make new friends,” he said. He won a bronze medal for his new home city.

Impressed with the commencement of the Ismaili Sports Tournament, Sydney Jamatkhana Mukhi Saheb said: “Hats off to all the organisers for the exemplary service and voluntary participation, particularly from the youth of our Jamat.”

Youth and seniors alike enjoy a busy Day 3 at ANZ sorts tournament

Sydney, 26 March 2016 — Day three at the ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament offered exciting sports action among younger athletes as well as senior members of the Jamat.

Winning athletes glowing following the medal ceremony at the Castle Hill Sports Centre.
Winning athletes glowing following the medal ceremony at the Castle Hill Sports Centre.
ANZ-IST2016

Sydney, 26 March 2016 — Day three at the ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament offered exciting sports action among younger athletes as well as senior members of the Jamat.

In the hotly contested soccer match between Melbourne and Sydney, Melbourne’s Samad Karim wasn’t about to miss his chance at the final. Karim, who had suffered a toe injury in his prior match, played anyway. Melbourne took home the silver, but Karim won the hearts of his teammates.

Meanwhile, elder members of the Jamat were not missing out on the fun of the games.

After a fierce day of competing against each other in lawn bowling, a large group hopped on a bus into downtown Sydney, known locally as Darling Harbour. “We had a great day and really enjoyed the city as well as the company on the bus,” declared Amynah.

The day’s action followed a lively garba celebration the previous evening. The crowd that gathered Friday night were treated to an unexpected surprise when Jamati members from northern Pakistan performed an impromptu dance.

“It was a brilliant display of our diversity as we celebrated the different cultures represented,” said one attendee. “We were so pleased to see our brothers from northern Pakistan dancing and we all enjoyed the music.”

Swimming spectators cheer on father and son

Sydney, 27 March 2016 — A father and son duo with a 40-year age difference raced for first in the 50m freestyle race on Sunday.

Father and son Bashir and Riaz Sumar of Sydney took gold and silver medals respectively in the 50 metre freestyle swimming event.
Father and son Bashir and Riaz Sumar of Sydney took gold and silver medals respectively in the 50 metre freestyle swimming event.
ANZ-IST2016

Sydney, 27 March 2016 — A father and son duo with a 40-year age difference raced for first in the 50m freestyle race on Sunday.

The crowd cheered and clapped as Bashir Sumar and son Riaz, both from Sydney, approached the finish line, with Riaz winning gold and Bashir taking silver.

“What a wonderful effort from Bashir,” commented his close friend Azeem. “He trained and worked to improve his time over the many months leading into this race.”

Fun and games at the Mela

Games attendees were treated to a fun and relaxing Mela event Saturday night, involving many games and activities.

About 500 socialised and visited mehndi and face painting stalls, took part in selfie competitions and played some rounds of putt-putt golf.

“It was very well organised and we had real fun playing putt-putt and eating candy floss with our wider interstate family,” said Zaileen Shah, from Sydney.

VIDEO: Highlights of the 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament

Sydney, 28 March 2016 — After four days of sports competition and Jamati gatherings, the 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament concluded on Sunday evening with a lively stage show and closing ceremony.

 

Video presented by TheIsmaili.org, the official website of the Ismaili Muslim community.

Sydney, 28 March 2016 — After four days of sports competition and Jamati gatherings, the 2016 ANZ Ismaili Sports Tournament concluded on Sunday evening with a lively stage show and closing ceremony.

Dancers from every region and across all age groups put their artistic and cultural talent on display against a sports-themed backdrop. Highlights of the past four days were featured in a video montage.

In all, some 375 athletes took part in 17 sports and were cheered on and supported by more than 1 200 spectators and 300 volunteers. Five-hundred-eighty-two medals were awarded, but the most important victory was in the immeasurable strength of One Jamat, No Boundaries — the spirit of unity and celebration of sport that was brought to life during this most memorable weekend.