Israeli National Women's Soccer Team Visits Alma
The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association had the recent
opportunity of hosting the Asa Tel-Aviv Women's Soccer Team, and Alma
College was one of the schools that took part in this special cultural
The Israeli National team arrived on Alma’s campus at 11 a.m. Monday Oct. 1 and stayed until it traveled to Kalamazoo with the Scots’ women’s soccer team the following day.
As part of the cultural exchange, the Israeli team took part in two Alma College women’s soccer practices, dined and lodged with the team, and participated in a women’s panel discussion.
While the whole campus was pleased to welcome these visitors and were excited for the experience, it was the women’s soccer team that had the chance to have the most interaction, and many of those student-athletes considered it a life altering two days.
Britni Patrick, a sophomore from North Muskegon, offers the following comments:
“What an opportunity it was to have the Israeli National Women’s Soccer Team here at Alma College. Before they visited, I took the time to research their culture in order to better understand the background they were coming from, but nothing could have prepared me for the educational experience that I gained.
"When they arrived on campus, they were dressed in jeans and sweats, listening to their music and texting on their phones. Perhaps it shows a bit of ignorance on my part, but I was relieved to see that even though they lived a half a world away, they were just like us! Although only a few of them spoke good English, I soaked up every bit of information that any of them shared with me — whether it was about their families, their education, soccer, their religion, or music! I even learned some Hebrew.
"Hosting the players was probably one of my favorite parts of their visit. The two girls I hosted did not know much English, but the hand signaling communication only added to the experience. We also were fortunate enough to be able to play some soccer with them. It was interesting to see their style of play and how it was different from any soccer that I had ever seen here in the United States. They were a very skilled team that truly worked together as a team. Their speed of play and quick movements reminded me of playing against boys.
"Having the Israeli women’s soccer team here at Alma was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although we only spent 24 hours with these girls, I know I will never forget this opportunity, and I look forward to keeping in contact with my new friends.”
Posted: Fri, October 5th, 2007 at 1:12PM