Building bridges through Basketball: Ahmadiyya and Indigenous youth unite in Saskatoon tournament

Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Saskatoon organised the first Ahmadiyya and Indigenous basketball tournament, reported Indigenous Desk Coordinator, Saskatchewan, Rashid Ahmed Sahib.

The tournament had the goal of helping the youth spend their time productively and providing them with a platform to showcase their sporting talents. This tournament created friendships between Indigenous and Ahmadi Muslim youth.

Michael Linklater, an Indigenous basketball player, also attended the final session of the tournament. He is a member of Team Canada as well as the FIBA (International Basketball Federation), the world governing body for basketball, and is one of the top professional basketball players in all of the Americas. He appreciated the efforts of the Jamaat to make a partnership with the White Buffalo Youth Lodge to organise this tournament. He expressed his gratitude and said:

“I’m super happy with how our youth basketball tournament turned out. It truly makes me happy to see kids from all different backgrounds enjoying the game of basketball and competing against each other in a positive environment.”

14 teams from across the province of Saskatchewan participated in the tournament, which included Ahmadis as well as Indigenous teams. Many players travelled hundreds of kilometres to attend the tournament. The tournament was very well received by the Indigenous communities. More than 200 Indigenous people came to watch the game.

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