SquashBond – one of the programmes which the PSA Foundation supports - has expanded their growing national network of programmes for underprivileged and minority youth.

The programme aims to teach life skills and leadership through squash and brings together children from diverse segments of Israeli society to foster personal growth and cross-cultural co-operation.

Thanks to a partnership with Haifa University, SquashBond Hafia serves 26 children from Arab and Jewish backgrounds.

In addition to utilising the university’s squash courts, the partnership also includes a partnership with Perach – a national tutoring organisation for university students.

Four university students, work with half the group for an hour at a time, while the other children play squash and then, after a lunch break, the groups switch.

Although the year has just begun, warm relationships have already been forged between students, mentors and coaches.

“The excitement in the air is palpable,” said SquashBond Director and one of the coaches, Nitzan Moree.

“The kids are loving the squash. They adore their mentors and it’s very powerful for 8-10-year-old children from disadvantaged backgrounds to spend several days each week on the university campus – which most of them had never even visited before.

“This truly is a historic moment for squash in Israel and we couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that our partnership with Haifa University brings.”

For more information contact Nitzan Moree at nitzan@squashbond.org and check out their website at: http://www.squashbond.org/.