Juggling sports and fasting: Muslims face a tough choice

Ali Serunkuma rigorously trains at the MTN Arena in Lugogo.

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FAITH VS CAREER. Fasting during Ramadhan is the fourth pillar of Islam. Not every Muslim fasts as there are some exceptions. However, with the energy required, what are athletes supposed to do? Abdul-Nasser Ssemugabi caught up with different athletes and sounded them out on their lifestyle

After his gruelling victory over light welter champion, Shadir Musa, at the second national trials at the MTN Arena in Lugogo and my interview with him last week, boxer Ali Sserunkuma, with sweat profusely cascading down his chin, sipped on a Red Bull can as he left for home.
“He is supposed to be fasting,” I said to myself but I saved the “harsh” question for another day. Then I recalled Hamis Ssemakula, who missed a better part of fasting last season as he prepared for the Commonwealth Games. Unfortunately, he never made it to Glasgow, which left him crestfallen.
As I combed the arena, I saw several other Muslim boxers either eating ice cream or sipping water. The grounds were fertile for further inquest into why Muslim athletes miss the mandatory fasting during Ramadhan.


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