Friendships abound as girls fight for rebounds

Due to overwhelming enrollment demands, this year’s camp has been relocated to the much larger and improved facilities.

By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF
June 7, 2012 23:39
2 minute read.
Girls basketball

Girls basketball. (photo credit: Courtesy/Shiraliga)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

For Talya Cohen of Beit El, there are very few opportunities to meet other girls her age with similar interests and backgrounds. Thanks to the Shiraliga Basketball League (a basketball league run entirely by women for women), Talya and hundreds like her meet new people on a regular basis, and many friendships have developed as a result.

Just this past week, for example, three of the six divisions in the Shiraliga were active in the last tournament of the school year, and more than 350 religious girls from ages 9-18 played in 75 games for 32 teams in the Malcha Arena. The teams, representing their respective schools, practice all year for various tournaments, and this particular event marked the final championship.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Many of these young women come from as far away as Gush Etzion, Modiin, Ofra, Beit El, and Kochav Yaakov to play in tournaments; these competitions offer them an ideal opportunity to meet girls from similar backgrounds.

No other activities between these schools currently exist that allow for the interaction of these students on a schoolwide basis.

With the exception of Shira Amsel, few believed that there was any interest for religious girls to be active in sports, particularly basketball, and compete regularly against each other.

Many of the religious schools were highly skeptical, and reluctant to even let Shira through the door to present her program – at first. But Shira herself (the starting center for the Hapoel Jerusalem women’s basketball team for the past six years) had gone through the religious school system in Jerusalem and felt the great need for women’s scholastic sports.

Her dream was ultimately realized in the creation of the Shiraliga. Once the schools gave the Shiraliga a chance, they were blown away at the students’ enthusiasm and competitive desire.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Six years after its birth, the Shiraliga has expanded to include more than 60 teams for women ranging in age from elementary school to retirement.

The Shiraliga has been so successful that last year’s inaugural summer sports camp, Liga Camp, attracted over 120 young athletes.

Due to overwhelming enrollment demands, this year’s camp has been relocated to the much larger and improved facilities of the new sports complex at the Keshet School in Katamon, Jerusalem.

There, religious boys and girls will learn and play sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, American football, tennis, baseball, hockey, swimming and more – all from professional coaches.

Despite these recent achievements, Shira’s enthusiasm and energy has her dreaming about doing more. She still believes that sports in Israel, and women’s sports in particular, are not where they should be.

Amsel has received many inquiries about expanding to more communities and venues, but she has been limited due to the difficulty of finding suitable women coaches to instruct and prepare new teams for competition.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Shiraliga, Liga Camp or coaching opportunities should please visit the website at www.shiraliga.com.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

dudi sela
August 31, 2014
Sela steamrolled by Dimitrov

By ALLON SINAI