On 29th March 2014, NUSMS held its inaugural Hunger Games, a sports event aimed at youth, aged 18 to 28 years old. “Hunger Games 2014: Strengthen Your Deen, Strengthen You” aspires to increase sports participation among youth and draw the connection between sports and Islam. It incorporates sports such as dragon boating, cycling and Captain’s ball, as well as various other games aimed to expose youth to some knowledge on Islam through entertaining platform of sports and games.
The event was capped at a total of 140 participants called the tributes (participants) and peacekeepers (facilitators) in line with the well-known Hunger Games trilogy. The tributes were sorted into 12 districts led by their peacekeepers. Each district was named after Muslim warriors who had fought in famous battles during pre-modern Islam or Muslim individuals who had fought towards excellence in their respective academic and sports fields. These districts include district Khawla (named after Khawla Al-Awzar), Tariq (named after Tariq bin Ziyad), Avicenna (named after Ibn Sina) and Ali (named after Muhammad Ali), to name a few. The entire event was planned and executed under the watchful eyes of the organising committee, The Capitol with the assistance of its volunteers called, the Capitol crew.
The day commenced at Republic Avenue with an ice-breaking session among tributes and their peacekeepers before the head of The Capitol cheered in after an opening dua and introduced them to their district names. After a safety briefing, The Reaping was conducted to determine which district could make a move first to the first activity. District by district, participants then headed to the Cornucopia (Kallang Water Sports Centre) for dragon boat in collaboration with the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) before heading back to Republic Avenue for the feast (lunch).
The fun was resumed at East Coast Park with Cycling Trail where participants cycled from station to station located along the stretch of the park. There were four stations namely Tri-ball, The Unbreakables, Desert Rush and Prophetic Tree. Islamic values of teamwork and perseverance were emphasised throughout the day apart from other station-specific Islamic elements. For instance, Prophetic Tree taught participants some fun facts about the 25 prophets mentioned in the Quran while Desert Rush exposed the participants to Quranic verses and their meaning. Although it was a race among districts, participants showcased admirable sportsmanship and enjoyment throughout the day. The presence of our friends from the Red Cross Youth (NUS Chapter) ensured the day ran smoothly with minor injury well-taken care of.
All good things come to an end, including Hunger Games. The day was closed with a prize-giving presentation and an appreciation note to all Hunger Games volunteers, sponsors and partners who had made the running of the event possible. District Jazari was crowned as the Victor district and other districts went home with bountiful medals, hampers and of course, joy and knowledge that they had garnered throughout the day. Unanticipated to The Capitol, the participants planned an uprising moment, just like the movie, ironically, to celebrate the incredible hard work of The Capitol for organising the memorable event. It was surprising yet touching moment for The Capitol, an unforgettable ending indeed.
Alhamdullilah, Hunger Games 2014 ran well in good weather despite some hiccups that we experienced with the transportation. We would again like to extend our utmost gratitude to everyone, tributes, peacekeepers, Capitol crew, sponsors and partners for endlessly supporting us. Your contribution and support are integral in the success of Hunger Games 2014 and may Allah reward all of us. As a final note, continue strengthening yourselves and your deen in any ways possible, just like how we say it, Strengthen Your Deen, Strengthen You !