Sports plays a big role in Shalva’s programs. Our judo program continues to be a favorite. Under the direction of Olympic medalist Judoka Ori Sasson, the students continue to develop their skills, and recently graduated to the next level, receiving their yellow belts. We were privileged to have a visit from Moshe Ponte, former Olympic judoka and President of the Israel Judo Association, who pledged ongoing cooperation between the organization and Shalva.
Shalva is opening two new soccer teams next school year. That’s a total of 2 judo groups, 2 therapeutic fitness groups, 2 basketball teams, and 4 soccer teams! The two new soccer teams are being operated in partnership with Beitar Norda, a community-focused soccer league. While the Beitar Jerusalem national football club offers inclusive opportunities in the sense that the children are able to be part of a cultural sports forum and to learn from some of Israel’s top soccer players, the Norda league will make it possible for Shalva’s children to actually play in teams with children with typical development. This will be especially beneficial to the children in the Horizon program.
Sports programs operate in the Steven Diamond Sports and Wellness Center at the Shalva National Center.