The preschool at The Center serves children with disabilities aged 3-6, many from disadvantaged families. Most of the children suffer from devastating injuries, including many victims of cerebral palsy with typical developmental learning difficulties.
The holistic, rehabilitative approach of The Center’s kindergarten comprises the main services and treatments needed: physical, occupational, and speech therapy; hydrotherapy; and emotional support both for the children and their families. This is the only preschool in Israel located in a sport center.
Children and Youth Program
This program serves children of all ages, backgrounds, and disabilities, including children suffering from congenital disabilities, car accident victims, victims of terror attacks, and other violent events.
The 4-times-a-week afternoon program is comprised of sports and recreation activities that include aquatics, track and field events, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, para-table tennis, para-cycling, and more.
This program seeks out and absorbs young athletes with disabilities who have Paralympic aspirations, and provides them with professional guidance, social support, transportation services, equipment, medical services, and more so that they can focus on one thing alone — achieving their goal of representing Israel and The Center in the Paralympic Games.
ENJOY SOME PERSONAL STORIES FROM ISCD ATHLETES
Meet Asael Shabo who lost his mother, three siblings, and one of his legs in a horrific terrorist attack on his home over 20 years ago.
Asael joined The Center at the age of 8 and found his place in swimming and wheelchair basketball which gave him much mental and emotional strength to deal with the trauma that he had encountered as a child.
Asael was quickly identified as a rising star in wheelchair basketball, playing on Israel’s national team for a number of years and leading the team to success.
Asael took his sporting career to the next level and signed with BG Baskets Hamburg in Germany and continues to play professional basketball in Germany. Asael continues to train younger athletes at the Center when back in Israel.
Asael is a true inspiration and role model to many of the younger children with disabilities at The Center, and his success provides them with great hope for the future.
Adam is a former professional soccer player who in 2007 lost his leg while in Thailand. Today he is one of Israel’s most prominent wheelchair tennis stars.
Adam lost his leg after jumping into the water to rescue his wife, Hila, following a boating accident in which many lost their lives or were left with severe injuries.
Adam is a top-ranked Israeli wheelchair tennis player. He is an Israeli national champion and a member of the Israeli National Team to the Wheelchair Tennis World Cup, and to the Paralympic Games.
Arthur Hassin became one of the Center’s youngest wheelchair basketball stars at the age of thirteen. He was a member of the National Junior Wheelchair Basketball team and became the youngest athlete to play in the EuroLeague.
Arthur’s smile and vibrant spirit give no hint of the long and difficult road he has traveled since a tragic accident at the age of two when he fell seven stories down from a window. After miraculously surviving the fall, Arthur embarked upon the long journey of rehabilitation at The Center. His hard work and that of his coaches and the entire Center’s team have paid off for him.
Ben Kunnick suffers from cerebral palsy quadriplegia. Ben arrived at The Center several years ago and participates in a range of fitness activities. He enjoys swimming, riding hand cycles, and playing boccia. He travels to the Center once a week from his Kibbutz, Ein Hacarmel, about a 4-hour round-trip journey. The activities that he participates in at The Center bring Ben much joy and an improved quality of life.
In August of 2016, the Center’s swimming championships took place and Ben participated for the first time with his swimming instructor, Shani. This was the first time that Ben experienced swimming in a big pool of 25 meters and finished the race successfully. The experience of being in the water and not only in his wheelchair helps to build Ben’s self-confidence and strengthens his physical capabilities.
Tahel and Liel Zarfati
Twins Tahel and Liel were born prematurely in 2009. They were both left with cerebral palsy due to complications resulting from reduced oxygen during birth. Both twins are graduates of our preschool program, and now attend mainstream schools in their community.
Tahel and Liel are enthusiastic participants in the Children’s Program, active in swimming, boccia, and many other sports. The twins love having fun with their friends at the Center.