Main content
2019-GIANTS-web-header-v2.png

Opening Our Doors for Iftar

A GIANT Iftar 2016 The GWS GIANTS threw open the doors of the club to welcome people from many backgrounds to celebrate the breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
Our goal over the next five to ten years is to encourage as many people from whatever background they are, to play our great game and support the GIANTS. We’re in a region like no other in Australia and it would be rude of us not to.
Stephen Coniglio

For the third year in a row, the GIANTS have opened their doors to more than 200 guests for the club’s annual Iftar dinner at the Learning Life Centre.

The Iftar is the evening meal which celebrates Muslims ending their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.

“Today we come here with community members from all around Western Sydney celebrating Multiculturalism and breaking the fast,” said GIANTS Head of Community Ali Faraj.

“Some of these people would have walked into the club for the first time tonight, it’s about embracing the community.

“It’s about us opening our doors to say everyone is welcome … Sharing the break of fast with all community members and bringing them together.”

Richmond Tigers player, Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassador and practicing Muslim Bachar Houli opened proceedings with a call to prayer as he attended his second Iftar event.

“Last year was great and I thought it was going to be hard to beat but the boys have pulled through and made something special,” Houli said.

“It’s great to see clubs such as the GIANTS be so welcoming to the Islamic community. We live in such a great country, such a diverse country that we need to make an effort and the GIANTS are leading in this area.

“In Western Sydney you see a lot of diverse backgrounds and we see it today, people from all backgrounds coming in and sharing different foods and it’s beautiful because food bring people together.”

VISIT OUR MULTICULTURAL ROUND HUB

The event featured food stalls from a range of different cultures with 36 different dishes prepared by GIANTS HQ Head Chef Tony Crossin with help from students from local high schools.

Belmore Boys High School and Granville Boys High School helped prepare and serve the food throughout the day with many of their students fasting for Ramadan as well.

“It’s extremely important for our boys, it teaches them about community, it teaches them about leadership, it teaches them about communication,” said Hala Ramadan, Principal of Belmore Boys High School.

“So, overall they’re improving their skills as young men. They do quite a lot of leadership activities within the school so this takes it to the next level. It’s a great learning experience for them.”

GIANTS Head Coach Leon Cameron has attended every event and said he is proud of the contribution the club is making to the local community.

“I’m really proud we have an open door policy here and we invite people into our footy club at any opportunity we get,” Cameron said.

“There’s so many people from different backgrounds, so many people from different workplaces that understand what the GIANTS are about - It’s not just a footy club, it’s there to provide community opportunities like we’re having tonight.”

Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassador and GIANTS midfielder Stephen Coniglio said the Iftar dinner represented the diversity and multiculturalism that exists within Western Sydney.

“It’s a great event, it’s the third instalment we’ve hosted here at GIANTS HQ and it seems that every year it gets more popular,” Coniglio said.

“I think the idea around the food stalls from different cultures is fantastic and it’s a great night.

“Our goal over the next five to ten years is to encourage as many people from whatever background they are, to play our great game and support the GIANTS.

“We’re in a region like no other in Australia and it would be rude of us not to.”

The Iftar dinner was held as a key pillar of the club’s social inclusion program as part of GIANTS Care - a major community initiative that will see the club double its community outcomes and further enrich the lives of people in Western Sydney. Click here to find out more.