SquashBond is a people-to-people youth initiative for children from all walks of life and all sectors of the community. Through intensive training in the sport of squash, educational programs, and ongoing mentorship, SquashBond develops Arab and Jewish children into young adults who have self-confidence, perseverance, and respect for peers of different religious and socio-economic backgrounds.
Research has shown that competitive sports can have a life-transforming impact on children. Through sport, children learn many critical life skills, including the importance of practice, the necessity of failure on the path to success, the payoff of perseverance and hard work, the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own time and actions, how to handle competition, and the joy of having a strong and healthy body.
At SquashBond, children learn all of these lessons, and many will go on to become some of the best squash players in the country. Being part of a small but growing sport like squash gives participants the opportunity to aim and reach high, and to achieve recognition on a national level. That said, success in squash is an excellent bi-product but not the only goal of the program.
At SquashBond, children learn critical life skills. This includes conversational English, how to achieve academic excellence, and how to learn from Arab and Jewish role models, including the country’s top youth and adult squash players. In 2017, SquashBond will also begin a module on Positive Psychology, based on the principles developed by internationally known motivational speaker and former Israeli squash champion Tal Ben Shahar.
Over the course of 150+ hours of programming each year, children from sectors of Israeli society that often have nothing to do with each other–Arabs and Jews, the wealthy and the disadvantaged, secular and religious–also undertake practical, trust-building steps to become genuine friends.
SquashBond’s vision is to create a new generation of Jews and Arabs who develop friendships and share life experiences at a critical young age, when their identities as individuals and as members of a group are still being formed. These shared interactions open up opportunities and possibilities for a more expansive and empathetic worldview for every child.
Through SquashBond, Arab and Jewish Israeli youth of today develop the self-confidence, perseverance, and deep mutual understanding to become fearless, fair, and compassionate leaders of tomorrow.