We are very proud and happy to share with you a summarize of SquashBond's activity for 2015.
January started with continuity of most graduates of 2014 and this is the best proof for us that we are in the right direction and making an impact.
33 children, ages 10-13 half coming from Ra'anana and half from Tira, half boys and half girls kept attendance of over 80% every session.
High quality of Squash training working on personal development as well as full integration between the children. Enrichment classes focused on creating the group development by using group dynamic activities, dialogues and English lessons which created equal and middle language for better understanding of each other.
End of July, SquashBond has officially joined ALLMEP (Alliance for Middle East Peace) as a member.
in September we were honored to host James Zug at the Raanana squash center.
James Zug, is an author of six books and a writer of the US squash magazine from the American squash association (US SQUASH).
During his visit (first time in Israel), he met with SquashBond's members, in order to make an interview and to learn more about the project.
An article is going to be published this February in the most respectful Squash magazine in the world.
3rd year of the program commenced on October 7th with 35 children, most are experienced and some new members.
October started with serious security tensions throughout Israel. Gaps and concerns between the two sectors only getting worse and that is exactly the call for SquashBond to strengthen the relationships between the participants and to continue the work despite the barriers on the way.
Our sessions kept going as usual keeping in the children's minds that the "other side” is not a collective enemy but just another person like them.
We had the first round table bringing together all school principals of our children from Tira and Ra'anana to meet and to share idea about involving the schools in the process of bonding.
Later this month SquashBond attended at ALLMEP's convergence of twenty of its members to look at how they could collectively respond to on going events, offer a space for members to speak to one another and give each other strength during this difficult time.
In November we established the parents committee and had our first meeting discussing ideas and planing together extra activities to involve the families more.
December held the first family day which brought together the kids and their parents to the squash center. All participants had a session of playing squash and later all parents went into a workshop letting them have a taste of what their kids are doing every week.
The workshop immediately broke down the barriers and there was a lot of smiling and laughing.
All together - Great success !
Later on in December SquashBond sent its first ever team to participate in the Israeli national championships. 14 children (9 boys and 5 girls) proudly represented themselves and SquashBond. It was the first time ever for Arab children to play in a junior squash tournament in Israel.
2016 starts with the same enthusiasm and a great desire to move forward and to expand the program.
We wish you all safe and peaceful time,