Day 4: July 3

And the City of Champions wins gold in ball hockey!

Fathers lifted their eager children onto their shoulders while others stepped on their tip-toes for that extra essential inch of height. Everyone squeezed a little closer together despite the warm temperatures to make room for strangers who quickly became acquaintances. You may ask, what was all this for? To catch a view of the much anticipated male ball hockey finals between Edmonton Team A and Ontario.

The excitement could be sensed from outside the George Hughes Arena, especially since Edmonton claimed the women's ball hockey championships in a 4 – 2 win against Prairies minutes prior. According to the arena’s manager, the venue had not been THIS packed since 1978!

The puck was dropped at 4:30pm, marking the start to the final event of the 2011 Canadian Ismaili Games in Edmonton. 

Both teams started with intense speed and skillful tactics but it was Edmonton's Amin Mawani (assisted by Rahim Valji) that scored the first goal. A few minutes later, Alim Mohammed earned another point for Edmonton. The first half continued with ruthless action: Edmonton's Hafeez Gowa scored another goal and Ontario quickly responded with their first point – compliments of Shafraaz Virani.

The fast pace continued through the second period.  Edmonton’s Hanif Kanji produced another smooth goal. The intensity of the game was illustrated when one of the player’s hockey stick shattered into pieces. Gasps of shock erupted through the crowds when two of Edmonton’s players received penalties, giving Ontario a five-on-three power-play. However, Ontario’s two man advantage was no obstacle for Edmonton. The home team was able to smoothly switch from defense mode to a more aggressive offence: within seconds of the penalties being over, Mawani scored short-handed for Edmonton. Towards the end of the period, Mohamed scored Edmonton’s sixth and final goal.

As the second half came to a close, fans counted down the seconds with deafening enthusiasm, stood to their feet and gave a standing ovation to the hometown winners. The chests of Edmontonians swelled with pride to watch their men – who they have seen grow up over the years – take first place in 2011 CIG ball hockey!  Seems like once again the City of Champions has lived up to its name.

Malika Ladha
Posted: July 2 2011, 11:25pm MDT

Celebration of our Athletes

The 2011 CIG athletes were honored on Saturday evening during the Athletes dinner and entertainment program at the University of Alberta Pavilion.

Rizwan Manji, actor on the television series Outsourced, was the guest host, and highlighted the accomplishments of the CIG athletes. It was an evening full of food and laughter, capped by an evening of raas.

As the Jamat indulged in the fragrant biryani, we re-lived the high notes of this past weekend. From host of the Opening Ceremonies Omar Sachedina, to the inspiring words from our leaders, to the unique array of diverse cultural performances, to of course the stellar performances of the athletes, the CIG Opening Ceremonies will sure to be remembered by all.

On this night dedicated to outstanding Ismaili athletes, the noteworthy players who demonstrated superb sportsman-like qualities were recognized for their achievements. In the background, screens replayed photos that captured this jam-packed weekend, reminding us there is only more excitement to come!

After all the delicious food had been eaten there was only one thing to left to do – play raas! While listening to our classic beats from the band Saaz-E-Mehfil, the Jamat again bonded over the many rounds of the festive dance.

Sania Amiri
Posted: July 2 2011, 9:40pm MDT

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