Assalamu-alaikum (Peace be upon you) readers,

Earlier this afternoon, the ISGL Youth Group conducted its first-ever Youth Olympics event. Youth were divided up in teams based upon their Sock Wars kingdoms (plus the mercenaries). The actual Olympics event consists of many, many different events conducted over a two- to three-week period. Unfortunately we didn’t have the luxury of having two weeks for our Olympics, but we were still able to create a funtastic (yes that is a made-up word) 3-hour event.

The day began with some basic stretching exercises to get the blood flowing and the limbs limber for the day’s activities. After getting warmed-up, the youth headed over to the grass fields by the tennis courts (across from the Purdue Recreational Sports Center). Along the way we encountered some fans heading to the football stadium for the annual Purdue-Notre Dame game. A segment of these fans were interestingly smashing a junk car and motorcycle which had information inscribed on them about our friendly rivals to the North (sorry no pictures are available so you’ll have to take our word that this actually did happen).

The ISGL Youth Olympics began with a crazy 100-meter (roughly) dash. Each team had to appoint a teammate to run this race. This teammate would not be allowed to compete in the second event, the 2×200-meter relay race. Thus it was critical that the right man be chosen for each activity.

Getting lined up for the big race; Ihsan counts them down 3...2...1...GO!

Ali dashes to first place in the 100 meter dash

After a 12-second (thereabouts) run, the following official results were recorded:

First-place: Ali Kais

Second-place: Mohamed Abdul Moniem

Third-place: Muhammad Aly

The second activity in the Youth Olympics was a 2 x 200-meter relay race. The race involved two teammates for each team. One teammate ran 200 meters (or close to it) with a tennis ball (our baton for the race). Teammate 1 would then hand the baton (tennis ball) to teammate 2 who would race another 200 meters towards the finish line. Whichever team managed to complete these tasks in the shortest amount of time won.

Youth running for their lives; don't drop the tennis ball!

Murtaza leads the home stretch of the 200 meter relay race

In the first leg of the relay race, Omar managed to get his team a slight lead. Murtaza scrambled to take advantage of this lead by racing home quickly. Halfway through the race, Mujtaba galloped from out of nowhere to pass his brother and win the race for his team. Official results for the 2 x 200-meter relay race are below:

First-place: Mohamed Amine & Mujtaba

Second-place: Omar & Murtaza

Third-place: Danyel & Essa

Our final activity before Asr prayer was the Punt & Pass competition. This competition was actually two separate events. Each team had to select one teammate to complete the pass competition and another teammate to complete the punt competition. In the punt competition, youth attempted to kick a cool brown football as far as they could. Each individual competitor was given two practice kicks and two official kicks. The longest distance of the two official kicks was kept while the other kick was discarded.

Omar with a technically sound kicking motion...smooth, very smooth

Mohamed with a deep pooch of the football

After a friendly competition, the following young men emerged as the top three kickers:

First-place: Mujtaba

Second-place: Ali

Third-place: Omar

In the pass competition, youth tried to throw a tennis ball as far down the field as they could. The only catch was that the ball had to stay in a narrow throwing lane. If the ball landed outside the throwing lane (marked by orange cones), the throw would be discarded. This activity was a mix between the javelin throw, the shot-put, and the discus toss. Each competitor was given two practice tosses and two official tosses. Only the longest distance as recorded from the two official tosses.

Muhammad with a deep toss of the tennis ball. Sadly his arm would need to retire after just one throw

Ahmed with a nice follow-through after tossing the tennis ball

After an intense competition, the following gentlemen emerged as the top three tossers:

First-place: Danyel

Second-place: Muhammad Aly

Third-place: Hamza

After completing three rounds of difficult competition, we walked back to the ISGL for Asr prayer and a brief respite. After Asr prayer was completed, three of our youth presented a small snippet from the lives of three incredible companions of the Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam. The youth were challenged to study an aspect, characteristic, or story from the life of the companion which they found to be personally inspirational or relevant to their own life. Some of the youth focused on qualities such as modesty, courage, and generosity. Other youth formed links with the companions because they were in fact named after the companion. After each presentation, a short discussion was held to allow the other youth (who didn’t present) to express to the group what they found inspirational/cool about the companions studied for the short presentations.

Omar talking about another famous Umar (ibn al-Khattab)


Youth listen attentively...Hamza wondering why his picture is being taken by the dude with the camera


Essa shedding light on the amazing accomplishments of Khalid ibn Walid, radi Allahu anhu


Mujtaba breaking it down on the life of one of the greatest men to walk on Earth - Abu Bakr As Sadeeq, radi Allahu anhu

Once the youth sahabah presentations were complete, we presented information about the next youth project – the East Africa Awareness Event on Saturday, October 22. As most of you may know, currently in parts of of Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, civilians are suffering through one of the worst droughts in decades. Crops have been destroyed and entire families left to scramble to camps in neighboring countries to receive humanitairan aid. Our youth will spend the next two weeks in shaa Allah researching the life of the civilians of these affected countries and learn more about the humanitarian crisis currently taking place. Their task will be to create a poster and small oral presentation explaining to the community what they have learned from their research project.

After getting a quick snack and grabbing a water bottle, we were off to the fields again for one final event – soccer tournament. The rules for the soccer tournament were simple:

  • Each team plays two games
  • Games were played as first team to score 2 goals or after 8 minutes had elapsed in one game
  • If a game remained tied after 8 minutes, we went to a penalty shootout
  • In the penalty shootout, teams had to select one teammate to play goalie and five different teammates to take penalty kicks
  • The team which successfully converted the most penalty kicks won the game

In pursuit of the white soccer ball...where art though oh ball?


Log jam near the soccer goal

After wading through the cold weather and brisk wind, the following victors emerged for both games:

Game 1 winners (3-1 on penalty kicks): Essa, Ali, Danyel, Murtaza, Amr, Ahmed, and Muhammad Aly

Game 2 winners (2-0): Mohamed Amine, Hazem, Mujtaba, Omar, Amr, Ahmed, and Muhammad Aly

Congratulations to all our winners and all youth for taking part in our first-ever ISGL Youth Olympics! Great job by Omar, Essa, and Mujtaba on the Sahabah presentations!