Gordon swimming pool in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Blavatnik Family Foundation, Alex Blavatnik and the Clal Industries Group announced over the weekend that they are providing a grant of over $1 million to the Israel Swimming Association.
“The grant is part of a multi-annual plan to support the Israeli National Swimming Teams – to foster excellence, achievement, professionalism, Israeli pride and a national goal of becoming an international powerhouse in the sport of swimming,” read the press release.
In recent years, a new world-class training and competition facility has been built at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, with American David Marsh being named last year as the new head coach of the national squad.
The new initiative, announced at the conclusion of the Masters swimming events at the Maccabiah, is spearheaded by Alex Blavatnik, a Jewish-American swimmer and Vice Chairman of Access Industries, who will serve as the Honorary President of the Israel Swimming Association. Blavatnik came to Israel for the Maccabiah Masters Swimming events and participated in the unprecedented exhibition relay alongside Olympic swimmers from the US and Israeli teams.
“The Blavatnik Family Foundation and I are deeply committed to Israel, and I have had a long-standing relationship with the Israel Swimming Association,” stated Blavatnik. “I am delighted and proud to be here.
“Israeli determination, perseverance and spirit is reflected in every field today, and I have no doubt that, by supporting the sport of swimming, we will help young and talented athletes advance to new and important achievements. Furthermore, it is our desire to turn the sport into a global center of excellence.
Our goal is nothing short of creating a national system and culture to develop Israeli Olympic and World swimming champions now and in the future.”