Jerusalem welcomes the world for International Children’s Games.
(photo credit: DAVID DRUCKER)
The International Children’s Games officially kicked off at Sultan’s Pool in Jerusalem on Monday night. Children and their coaches from all around the world socialized at the venue’s plaza to meet other kids from around the world before the games begin.
“It’s great, I’m having a fun time. We’ve been experiencing a lot of different people and languages. I’ve met a lot of different people,” said Terrion Ellis, a basketball player from the United States.
The age of the children range from 12-15 years old. The over 1,500 athletes comprise 50 percent boys and 50 percent girls. Young athletes will compete in nine sports through August 3.
“This is my first time in Jerusalem. It’s fantastic, so nice, so good,” said Lununlen Chongloi, a soccer player from India.
The opening ceremony also had a large stage with singers, dancers and performers entertaining the crowd.
“It’s different [being in Israel]. The people and culture are very nice. And it’s really hot. It’s been challenging talking to people from other countries because of the language barriers, but they’re all friendly, so it’s really nice,” said Adanna Ogadhoh, a basketball player from Kenya.
Not many of the countries will field a team across all nine sports. Instead, most of them elect to compete in just a handful of them.
“We have three sports: swimming, athletics and street ball. We have 16 kids and four coaches,” said Whrern Souen, head of delegation of the Austrian team.
Team Israel has 21 players representing this year’s host country at the International Children’s Games.
“I think it’s unique for us to host this event. This is the first time I’ve gone to these competitions,” said Shaked Shif, the head basketball coach of Israel.
From the looks of Monday’s opening ceremony, it looks like the International Childrens’ Games will accomplish its goal again: “Play fair, win a friend.”
“I’m so excited to play,” said Phoebee Molget, a basketball player from Canada. “We just want to do our best, represent Canada really well and have a good time.”
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>