Sydney’s iconic City2Surf run has a new, vibrant Muslim Team this year as 80,000 people cover a 14-kilometre distance from Sydney’s CBD to Bondi Beach.
The City2Surf Muslim Team came to fruition last year with eight participants, however, the team’s leader, Ali Sowaid, expects that to increase to eighteen this year.
The impetus behind City2Surf is all about charity, and this year the Muslim Team is hoping to raise $10,000 for HayatHouse, an initiative by ‘Mission of Hope’ to assist youth susceptible to substance abuse, gang-related crimes and criminal behaviours.
In order to reach the desired amount, the Muslim Team have decided to collect recyclable items such as cans and bottles, which will then be deposited for cash. The aim is to collect 100,000 cans and bottles which will meet the target, and when asked whether this was an ambitious aim, Ali said, “We need to exhibit to the broader Australian community, that Muslims are making a positive contribution to society, I’m confident we will reach our target.”
Fitness is an inevitable part of the City2Surf run but that is not the sole purpose.
The Muslim team want to draw attention to local issues and acknowledge that while donating to charities whose work focuses overseas is important, “we sometimes forget the issues in our own backyard”, he said.
The work of HayatHouse focuses heavily on local youth and this is what the Muslim Team want to make evident, that there is a range of challenges in our own communities that require our support.
Collecting recyclable items is also constructive for the environment. The Muslim Team have already witnessed the positive change this creates, as families stockpile bottles and cans. “It has ripple effects by creating the right system of disposal within a household”, Ali said.
An integral part of this event is inclusivity, which explains why many non-muslims have also contributed to the cause. In fact, a non-muslim colleague of Ali’s donated 600 recyclable items alone.
The City2surf Muslim Team is inclusive of all, regardless of gender or creed. Many schools and organisations have shown support to the Muslim Team, which is a positive sign, for a community-wide initiative.
You can get behind the City2Surf Muslim Team by organising a pick up of recyclable items for yourself, your family or organisation on 0424185399. Start collecting!
Follow the hashtag #2018City2SurfMuslimTeam