Going For Gold In Ramadan

To mark the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the final days before the 2012 summer Olympics, Heart and Soul explores the clash between strict religious obedience and the quest for Olympic glory.

For all practising Muslims, the month of Ramadan means abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset - hard enough in itself during the summer months in a country like Britain - which has daylight well into the night. But how much harder is it for a top Muslim athlete to fast and train, or even compete when Ramadan this year falls over the Olympic fortnight.

Peter Musembi from BBC African Sport talks to top athletes, to find out how they deal with the dilemma, he hears from one of the Britain's top medal hopes Mo Farah, born in Mogadishu but raised in London, he has also deferred his fast in past years.

He meets Mo Sbihi, the first ever practising Muslim to row for Team GB. Sbihi tells Musembi how he has faced criticism for deferring his fast until he is out of competition, and how he has donated his own money to fund meals for homeless children in his family’s home country Morocco.

He also meets an Olympian of the future, 18-year-old Ambreen Sadiq, the first British Muslim female boxer, who tells the programme how she deals with her brutal training regime, while denying herself food or drink for up to 14 hours a day.

Heart and Soul explores how sporting glory conflicts with the honouring one of the five pillars of Islam.


Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Mon 23 Jul 2012 02:32 GMT