New youth program launching in Sderot

David Lasday, Israel Lacrosse's Director of Youth Development, introducing the sport at Sha'ar Hanegev School, located at the heart of the fire from the Gaza Strip.
David Lasday, Israel Lacrosse’s Director of Youth Development, introducing the sport at Sha’ar Hanegev School, located at the heart of the fire from the Gaza Strip.
Israel Lacrosse has announced the expansion of their thriving youth programs to serve the city of Sderot with a pilot program to begin immediately.

Sderot is a periphery city in Southern Israel where a large percentage of the city’s residents receive welfare subsidies and it has consistently been caught in the midst of escalations between the Israeli military and the Hamas terror group based in the Gaza Strip. Despite these difficulties, Sderot is home to a new, fortified school that serves more than 1,000 from the region’s neighboring towns, kibbutzim and moshavim. The new Israel Lacrosse program in Sderot will provide the underserved youth of the city with a meaningful afterschool activity to engage, empower and encourage them to constructively contribute to their community.

“The youth of Sderot and the community-at-large will benefit tremendously from the implementation of this new pilot program,” said David Lasday, Director of Youth Development for Israel Lacrosse. “We have seen the positive impact that lacrosse has made on kids throughout the country – serving as a tool for development of confidence, communication and leadership skills – and we are excited to bring our passion to Sderot to continue growing the game and planting the seeds for these important life skills through organized sport.”

Israel Lacrosse will begin recruitment in community centers and schools for the Sderot Summer Lacrosse Academy during the spring and summer with league play to commence in September 2016. U-19, U-15 and U-11 programs for both boys and girls will compete in intra-city competitions as well as against teams from Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Kiryat Gat.

Mirroring the successfully established programs in other cities throughout the country, Sderot’s high school players will also participate in volunteer work through “Cities Without Violence” by using lacrosse to teach communication, goal setting and teamwork to at-risk youth.

For their generous financial support, Israel Lacrosse extends their sincere gratitude to Gigi and Brad Schwartz of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, without whom this new program would not be possible.

Photo Credit: Sportpic Israel