PRINCE WILLIAM poses with participants of The Equalizer program yesterday in Jaffa after their exhibition soccer game. .
(photo credit: AVIV HAVRON)
A special soccer event was held on Tuesday in honor of Prince William visiting Israel.
As part of the affair, organized by the British Embassy in Israel, the Duke of Cambridge met the children of “The Equalizer” educational program and even took part in kicking the ball around the pitch.
The theme of the proceedings was the integration of Jews and Arabs, which is always reflected in the activities of Equalizer through numerous meetings between schools from different populations.
Other special guests at the event were Israeli national team player Tomer Hemed and Arab-Israeli Dia Saba of Maccabi Netanya, who came to play with the children and take pictures with them.
At the end of the exhibition game, Prince William scrimmaged with the kids and took a picture with them, with the Equalizer participants presenting him with a personalized jersey.
“I was very excited to accompany Prince William, and I was even more moved to get to know the activities of Equalizer, which, alongside the supreme value of coexistence, instills in children additional values of respect, teamwork and acceptance of differences,” said Hemed. “The future generation, both Jews and Arabs, playing in front of British prince and demonstrating fair play excited me no less than watching the approaching World Cup final”
Liran Jerassi, founder and CEO of Equalizer, said: “It was very exciting to host Prince William. The children are not sure who they were playing in front of, but in a few years, when they look at their picture with him, they will probably understand the meaning in retrospect. We are happy to enable them to realize dreams, large and small.”
The Equalizer is an educational, social and sportive organization striving to instill an effective framework for children in Israel’s periphery. The organization runs teams in elementary, middle and high schools, and combines soccer practice and monthly tournaments alongside study centers which provide educational assistance.
Through the regional tournaments, the children meet others from neighboring towns, with different backgrounds and sometimes different religions. At the tournaments, sportsmanship is instilled and a fair play trophy is awarded as well. In 2017/18 there are 3,500 children (ages 9-16) participating in The Equalizer’s programs throughout Israel, in about 220 schools between the Golan Heights and Eilat.