Squash: Israel’s U15 team places 2nd at Euros

Israel runner-up to England in Junior Squash Championships; sport vying for approval by Olympic Committee to be included in 2020 games.

Israel youth squash champ team 370 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger and Adi Avishai)
Israel youth squash champ team 370
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger and Adi Avishai)
Israel’s under-15 squash team was runner-up to England in the final of the European Junior Squash Championships 2013, which just concluded this week in Girona, Spain.
Seventeen countries participated in the U15 age group.
En route to the final, the team of Ido Burstein, Yali Shass, Sahar Keidar and Raz Fridman defeated teams from Spain, Finland, Ireland and Denmark and in the semifinal overcame the favorite and top seed, France.
Playing two matches a day, the youngsters drew much praise from the opposing players and team managers for their sportsmanship and tenacity.
Squash is one of eight sports vying for the single spot available for inclusion in the Olympic Games for 2020.
Acceptance by the International Olympic Committee would undoubtedly give a big boost to the sport and hopefully bring more financial support from the government.
Meanwhile, squash in Israel receives meager funding from the government and national lottery, resulting in each of these juniors having to fully finance their participation and opportunity to represent the country.
An elated Stan Tannen, Chairman of the Israel Squash Rackets Association’s Youth Committee, noted that this was the first time a junior squash team from Israel had reached the final of a European Championship and praised the team and the national coach, Nadav Wilensky, for their outstanding achievement.