Muslim netball program concludes with special Iftar dinner

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Students of the Saturday Afternoon Youth InTensive (SAYIT) netball program from the Muslim Women’s Association (MWA) in Western Sydney hosted guests from across the netball community on Saturday evening, to celebrate the conclusion of their new netball program.

Hosted by the Muslim Women’s Association and with the support of the Netball Foundation, this celebration brought members of the netball community together at all levels, including Netball NSW, Netball Australia and representatives from Bankstown Netball Association.

As the celebration was held during Ramadan (where the Muslim community fasts from sunrise to sunset), the group gathered to break the fast together with an Iftar which translates to ‘break the fast’.

SAYIT program coordinator Feda Abdo explained that their program is about empowering young Australian Muslim women in everything they do, and that the partnership between MWA and netball is an important part of this program.

“The SAYIT participants enjoyed being able to play netball with such talented and fantastic coaches,” said Abdo.

“Parents were grateful for the fact that their girls were able to play in a safe and comfortable environment, where the girls were accepted for who they were without any question, and not made to feel different but able to play and interact freely while learning some fantastic skills.”

In addition to training sessions run by Netball NSW staff, students of the SAYIT netball program attended an ANZ Championship match to support their local team, the NSW Swifts.

Australia Post One Netball Ambassador and former Diamonds player Rebecca Bulley was also in attendance – her first experience of attending an Iftar.

“The Iftar helped me understand more about Islam and how netball is a great opportunity for Muslim women and children,” said Bulley.

“The women were so kind and generous and the enjoyment and appreciation shown by the children participating in the netball program has made me even more passionate about ensuring that not only does every young girl have the opportunity to play netball, but that she is welcomed unreservedly by the netball community.”

At the conclusion of the program and with links now established with the committee of Bankstown Netball Association, the SAYIT students will be hosted at their local courts with further ‘Come and Try’ opportunities.

 

Netball Clubs and Associations can learn how to create more supportive and inclusive environments for communities from diverse backgrounds in a number of ways:

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