The Rotherham United Community Sports Trust is celebrating the completion of their Midnight Ramadan Tournament series which was held each Friday night throughout Ramadan.
Unique in the region, the RUCST welcomed more than 12 teams and more than 100 players to take part in the tournament that took place at Rotherham Indoor Football Centre in Eastwood from 11pm – 1am.
The event saw a free weekly 5 a-side league for participants who celebrated the month of Ramadan.
RUCST’s Ramadan Tournament is one of its kind within the region. Antony Bayou, Inclusion Manager at Rotherham United Community Trust, shares his insights into the tournament: “It was fantastic to host the Midnight Ramadan Tournament and welcome more than 100 players.
“It’s been great to see a wide range of communities, religions and cultures take part and see some great football being showcased.
“Not only have we had a great turn out of teams, we have also seen a high number of spectators turn up to the tournament which once again supports a greater more cohesive society and community approach.
“The event has allowed us to break down barriers to underrepresented groups within our community and build relationships that will expand to external projects and provision within Rotherham.
Antony adds how the tournament is unique for the community. He said: “Our Ramadan tournament is completely inclusive and sees mixed communities and abilities attend.
“Participants don’t have to be celebrating Ramadan to part and it’s cohesive of all communities and faiths.
“Not only is it open access and free to attend but its location and environment is suited to that of the people celebrating Ramadan. The tournament is booked at a time to ensure players are catered for and allows time for individuals to attended mosque, pray and break fast prior to attending, ensuring the best possible opportunity for individuals to engage in a community celebratory event.
Antony adds: “The event has also allowed us to raise awareness of Hate Crime issues within Rotherham and advice people on the correct ways of reporting hate crime when individuals hear or see it.
“Uniquely, Rotherham United are a hate crime 3rd party reporting centre, meaning anyone can report a hate crime to a member of staff or coach and this will be forwarded to the police in a safe and insightful manner. Again, showcasing the importance football can have on a community and its individuals.”
Well done to all involved!