When our soldiers fought to protect Israel, they did so in formations of combat teams. Now, when the focus is healing, the team mission and identity has been a fantastic venue for injured soldiers to help each other in the context of sports.
The soccer project was established in 2009 by two of our members, Tomer Saada and Nir Shalom, with a specific goal: to play competitively in an able-bodied league. Tomer, who was an officer at the Alexandroni Brigade, was severely injured in the Second Lebanon War. Today he is a CPA and the head of the Soccer Project. Nir, who served in the special Egoz unit, was injured in Lebanon in 1996. Currently he is a landscape architect and is coaching the team. The team plays in the Sports in the Workplace League, and is currently the only team of players with disabilities that competes in an able-bodied league. 28 of our members participate in the project, and the team was placed 1st in the last year’s tournament.
Water Sports Project
The water sports project began a few years ago as a kayak summer project. As many of the members benefited from the calming effect the sea had on them, the project went on and developed into a number of different water sports programs: the diving team that conducts at least 5 diving training sessions per year, the catamaran course that meets once a week at the Marina in Tel Aviv, kayaks, surfing and more. Over 100 BFL members participated in some sort of a water sports program during the past years.
Shai Greenstein is heading this project. Shai suffered a severe head injury though shrapnel from a roadside bomb during an operation in Gaza. After joining BFL he began running and discovered the positive effect it had on his condition. He took on himself the mission of founding the project, in order to help promoting other soldiers’ well-being through running. Currently there are 15 members who participate in this project on a regular basis. They meet weekly, train and participate in competitions, with the ultimate goal to complete a marathon.
The head of this project is Avydan Bader. Avydan served in the Nahal brigade and suffered an injury to his leg in 2006. A few months after joining BFL he founded the cycling project that currently has more than 20 members. The cycling team meets for about 20 one day and multi-day cycling trips during the year.
MMA training is one of the newest BFL projects. 10 soldiers with different types and severity of injuries participate in this project. The members meet on weekly basis. The goal is to help them regain confidence in their physical abilities. The head of the project is Niv Keshet.
10 BFL members participate in this project on a regular basis. The group meets every Thursday evening at the Beit Achim, for two hours of focusing on the inner peace and listening to the body and soul. Shuki Finkelstein, who was injured during an operational activity in Gaza, is the head of the project.