As a sports dad, coach and Founder of iSport360, I get to see youth sports from so many perspectives. But I can’t say I ever imagined seeing my daughters play on an Israeli soccer field together with Israelis and Palestinians… primarily because I never would have expected to see Israelis and Palestinians playing on the same soccer field… or any field for that matter. But the fact is, it’s happening across Israel and in many places in the Middle East thanks to the Mifalot Education Society of Israel.
I can’t explain the joy I felt on a recent trip to Israel to see my two little girls joining a soccer practice with 15 Israeli and Palestinian children. Not an easy task for sure, since their coach had to call instructions in English, Hebrew and Arabic. But I loved seeing all of the children shake hands before the game, competing hard, showing teamwork, celebrating goals together while most importantly, showing respect together. Hard to imagine this is taking place across the Middle East.
10,000 kids per year participate in these programs. The Mifalot Education Society is the largest NGO in Israel and one of the largest in the world. They use sport to empower communities and individuals. I have since learned that they provide sport-based programs to underserved communities in 15 countries. It’s said they use the “language of the ball” to bring about social change. Learn more here.
Ian Goldberg is the Founder and CEO of iSport360, a SportsTech company developing tools for coaches and sports parents to share objective feedback on their players. He is a thought leader who speaks and writes on the topic of bringing best practices from the classroom to the ballfields in order to solve many of the pain points in youth sports. He is a fervent believer in the power of ongoing feedback and how it can improve the youth sports experience for coaches, parents….and of course our kids.