The Association for Mentally & Physically Challenged Children in Israel

Hapoel Migdal Basketball Players

Hand in Hand with the SHALVA children

For four years running, Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem professional basketball team dedicates one home game a year to the children of SHALVA, with the goal of promoting tolerance and inclusion for individuals with special needs. All proceeds from ticket sales from the game are earmarked for advanced therapies, support and programming at SHALVA. 

A Special Night 

The night gets underway with SHALVA children marching onto the court hand-in-hand with a team member followed by the presentation of gifts from the players to each individual child. At half-time, SHALVA youngsters are paired with peers from the Hapoel Migdal Youth Club and they help each other shoot baskets. A SHALVA child representative is chosen to receive a ball signed by the team captains while 
the fans are treated to a special performance by the talented SHALVA band. The tremendous enthusiasm displayed at the games brings the children to their feet to cheer for their favorite player and be a part of the vibrant crowd.

The relationships built from the evening continue beyond the game, as the SHALVA children welcome the players to their court, the SHALVA campus in Jerusalem. The players are shown the SHALVA programs and have the opportunity to get to know the children on a personal level. In this way the SHALVA- Hapoel partnership extends well beyond basketball and is something the children cherish for years to come. 

With the cheers of support and encouragement from the audience filling the stadium, and the support of their heroes putting an arm around their shoulder, SHALVA children feel loved, appreciated and on top of the world.

Jerusalem Post February 2007
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