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.”
Source: The Ismaili org
- Dispatches from the 2016 ANZ (Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea) Ismaili Sports Tournament — Ismaili org