“Sport has the power to change a nation because sport has the power to inspire” Nelson Mandela
For over 20 years the Freddie Krivine Initiative has helped to break down stereotypes by bringing Jewish and Arab children together through their interest in tennis. Several thousand disaffected Arab Israel young people from some of the most socio-economically disadvantaged villages in Israel have enjoyed playing tennis with their Jewish Israeli counterparts over the last twenty years. Currently, there are twice weekly training programmes in the Arab towns of Jisr, Faradis and Ein Hawd, monthly meetings with two junior tennis clubs – Ein Carmel and Binyamina – and regular matches with neighbouring clubs. As well as tennis, the young players celebrate religious and non-religious holidays such as International Mothers’ Day, Chanukah and host an Iftar meal during Ramadan. The Freddie Krivine Initiative also provides after-school clubs, summer camps, team building workshops and escorts groups to watch tournaments. Many of the staff and volunteers started as children in the after-school clubs.
About the Founder of the Freddie Krivine Initiative
Freddie Krivine (1920 – 2005) was one of the six founder trustees of the Israel Tennis Centres, and was elected President of the Israel Tennis Association in 1992. In 1935, when Freddie was just 15, his father sent him from London to Palestine where he was welcomed by relatives living in Tel Aviv. He studied at the Pardes Hanna Agricultural School and returned to London in 1938. Freddie served in the British Army during the war years before entering the London business world. After he married, and had a family, he became a keen weekend tennis player. Freddie and his wife Shelagh made aliya – came to live in Israel – in 1984. At that time, he was already a founder trustee of the Israel Tennis Centres.