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News Code: 1117


Glasgow Games Prepare for Fasting Athletes

As world athletes prepare for the looming Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014 chefs and caterers have been working round the clock to find a unique dietary system to be served to all practicing Muslim athletes who will be fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

"Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam. It will be difficult, but if you have a faith you believe in, you have to do it. We have been fasting all our lives, so we are used to it,” Pakistan bowler Mohammed Ayub Qureshi, 55, told Herald Scotland.

"We will be prepared to play the games. We will be fasting and playing bowls."

We believe that if we observe our religion, it will give us encouragement, give you more spirit. It will give you more motivation as well, that you have to try harder because you don't want any other people to think that because you're fasting your performance will be below average," the joint owner of the Alishan Tandoori in Battlefield, Glasgow, added.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games, officially the XX Commonwealth Games, will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom over 11 days of competition from 23 July to 3 August 2014.

When athletes start to arrive in mid July, daylight will last from 5am until 10pm - the longest period of fasting many Muslims from the southern hemisphere will have ever experienced.

The last time Ramadan occurred in July was during the London Olympics in 2012, when daylight was one hour shorter than in Scotland.

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, is expected to start in June through July.

It will coincide with the games which is scheduled to start on July 23.

Preparing to serve fasting athletes, who will abstain from food and water for more than 16 hours, Glasgow 2014 chefs and caterers have been working round the clock to ensure all practicing Muslims suitable dietary system.

The food will be available to Muslim members from 6500 athletes and their team officials, 35,000 games families, the workforce and volunteers, and 60,000 international media, as well as spectators, sponsors and guests.

Hundreds of catering staff from India, Austria, London, Canada and Scotland, including young graduates of Motherwell and City of Glasgow hospitality colleges, have been recruited to provide a rolling 24/7, three-shift, catering operation at the main 2014-cover Athletes' Village in Dalmarnock and the main press centre.

"None of this is a problem and it is just one of the many cultural, religious and sporting dietary variations we have been working to meet over the last two years, consulting with nutritionists and trainers and using as much Scottish produce as we can," said Craig Lear, head of catering for Glasgow 2014.

Scotland is home to more than 50,000 Muslims, making up 1.4 percent of the population.

Muslims are the second largest religious group in the country, which has thirty mosques.

Source: ABNA