Bleak, rainy weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the 300 players and supporters who braved the elements to participate in the highly successful Othman Bin Affan Mosque A-Tag Gala Day and Family Fun Day on Sunday 22 January.
The non-tackle, rugby league-style tournament was held at the picturesque Australis Park, Wattle Grove, near Liverpool in Sydney’s west and an impressive 17 teams contested the Men’s 15 years and over competition.
With heavy rain prevailing prior to the planned 9 am starting time, organisers consulted with the players who were almost unanimous that they wanted the event to proceed.
And in spite of almost constant rain and slippery surfaces throughout the day, the players displayed very silky skills, which wasn’t surprising given that some players boasted previous National Rugby League experience – while others appear destined to make it ‘on the big stage’ in the years ahead.
Congratulations to the tournament winners, the Bankstown-based Spider Men, who played absolutely brilliant A-Tag all day, winning each of their eight games, culminating in their victory in the $500 to the winner Final.
“What a brilliant day….in spite of the ordinary weather, the event proved to be a wonderful success,” an elated OBA Mosque President Roy Halabi told AMUST.
“Our sincere thanks goes to the players for supporting the event in their numbers in spite of the persistent rain and also to our many volunteers who assisted the committee on what proved to be a very memorable day.”
“It just goes to show what can be done when a team works in harmony and for the sake of Allah,” he said.
OBA Mosque Vice President and chief event organiser Salim Allouche said that a similar and even bigger event is already on the drawing board.
“This was our first attempt at running a tournament of this size and while it went off almost without a hitch, we’ve already identified a few areas we can streamline,” he said.
“All things considered, we did well to get through the massive program of 47 games and finish on schedule in spite of the rain.”
“It’s disappointing that the wet weather kept a lot of families away but those who did brave the elements had a great time, with the kids enjoying free face painting, fairy floss and popcorn.”
“We’d also like to thank the Royal Fire Service who brought two trucks along on the day and despite the rain, they put on a great display for our kids and also the families whose homes border Australis Park.”
“The St Johns Ambulance also did a great job….we only paid for two medical officers but they brought a team of six, and they were actually kept quite busy with a few injuries to players – although nothing too serious, thankfully.”
“It was great to have our brothers from Masjid Rahma (Guildford) and the MIA at Liverpool with us on the day and thanks also to the LMA for assisting us with the admin and socials/publicity.”
Located in Cabramatta, Othman Bin Affan Mosque is a pretty little masjid which has a dedicated committee who work tirelessly for their local community.
The masjid services the local area with the 5 Daily Prayers, Friday Khutbah which draws 200-plus worshippers, Friday night youth lectures and many other regular activities and events for both brothers and sisters.