21 May RAMADAAN TOURNAMENT 2019
In the middle of Saturday night, early Sunday morning, when most of the town was asleep, WWSET staffs were hosting their Annual Ramadaan Tournament under the flood lights of the Adams Park Stadium, home of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.
The Ramadaan Tournament was initiated by WWSET to engage local Muslim Community, giving opportunity to local mosque members in Berks & Bucks to get together, use football as a vehicle to increase the brand and reputation of WWSET among the local community. In addition to this, as it was the Holy Month of Fasting for our Muslim members of the community, where they were fasting from Dawn till Sunset, most would not have opportunity to play football due to them keeping observing the Fast during the month.
So, to assist with this WWSET initiated a tournament during the night/early morning, once the Fast had opened, night prays had been prayed and for those few hours before the pre-dawn meal to start the 18 hours Fast. This was for those that played football and wanted to keep playing, stay fit and also those looking for an opportunity to participate during those few hours they were not sleeping.
WWSET through this innovative activity, wanted to raise its profile and awareness in order to show its impact and value within the community. Along with this was to create better community cohesion, engage new participates and meets needs of our community.
The tournament was fully booked in days and demand from more teams was there but due to staffing and timings the tournament ran, we could only accommodate 8 teams. Participants within the teams were not just made up from the Muslim Community but individuals from all backgrounds, cultures and religions.
The tournament itself was a brilliant show piece, with positive feedback from participates and demand for more of the same. The structure on the day was a round robin tournament, 5 a-sides, with each team playing each team once.
We had teams representing from High Wycombe and Aylesbury, who battled it out for the right to be crowned champions of Ramadaan Tournament 2019.
The fixture list organically had fallen into place that the top 2, the favorites playing each other as the last game of the night. That game became the decider and brought in extra importance and excitement at the end of the night.
WISE A, last year’s champions and defending their trophy that they won, were up against Aylesbury. Both the teams knew each other well as both were involved in WWSET Mosque League, which both teams had won, with WISE A winning 1st Block and Aylesbury the 2nd Block.
The games between these always had been close encounters, full of quality, with nothing to pick between the two. The quality of both set of players was easy on the eyes. This again was a very close game, with Aylesbury needing a draw to secure the trophy and WISE A needing the win.
The early exchanges there was not much to choose between the sides and battle in the middle of the park was tense and even.
WISE A took the lead with a well taken goal through Kam but Aylesbury fought back and got the goal they needed through Abuzah. It was an evenly poised game and anyone could have won the match.
With 2 minutes left, Shoaib, captain marvel for WISE A came up trumps, with an excellent individual goal. It was a moment of lapse of concentration from Aylesbury young players and this could be due to being a long night and the tired mind and body switched off a split second and this allowed Shoaib time and space to run past the defense to find the space to place the ball in the bottom corner with a well driven shot.
Aylesbury went in search for the equalizer but the clock beat them to it and WISE A had retained their trophy with a well fought victory.
That was Aylesbury’s only defeat of the night and only time they conceded all tournament and they will look back at a missed opportunity, especially with the only game they drew in the tournament, against Green St, which they dominated, had shot after shot, chance after chance but could not convert their chances as in Ali, from Green St, they found a keeper who was having one of those games. Also, needing a draw in the last game, with game evenly poised, that split second of switching off cost them but they are a young team and hopefully their manager knows this will keep them in good stead for future games.
For WISE A, it was again another successful tournament. They have the experience now, quality, and youth and know how to win matches and tournaments and have a great base to continue to flourish in the future. They will be back next year to defend their trophy, knowing new challengers will arise to dethrone them.
Overall, it was a great tournament, with demand for more of the like. The feedback was it was very well organised and delivered by WWSET with participants keen to come back again next year.
We are hoping to see some of them at our newly formed Mosque League, Block 3, which we have developed into an Inter Faith League and set to start in early June.
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