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Introducing Ariel’s Athletic Advancement (AAA) program

Ariel’s best and brightest athletes continue to train throughout the city – and they may grow up to be national champions.

To invest in their future, American Friends of Ariel is excited to introduce the Ariel Athletic Advancement (AAA) program.

The AAA program would provide partial or full scholarships to Ariel’s rising teen athletes, which would enable them to become professional teachers after an intensive 4-week course – and give back to the next generation of rising stars in Israel’s athletic scene.

In exchange, each teen would also agree to provide training in their chosen sport, free of charge, to Ariel’s younger athletes – and not only give back to the City of Ariel, but also sharpen their skills and prepare for life as a professional teacher.

One of our rising stars is Yael, a floor gymnastics expert. Yael wrote to us to tell us a little about herself and how she envisions life after the program.

My name is Yael. I am 17, and for the past 12 years I have been training in floor gymnastics, as part of the Tempo Gymnastics Group.

Tempo, for me, is my second family. I joined the course when I was in first grade, and since then I have fallen in love with floor gymnastics – which has become an inseparable part of my life.

My training has intensified over the years and has increasingly required more and more emotional and physical fortitude. In ninth grade, I joined a regional competition group and began practicing three times per week. I have been privileged to represent the City of Ariel in many competitions, and I have even championed many competitions; in addition, I have been privileged to compete alongside some of Israel’s best floor gymnasts in my age group, with colleagues from Jerusalem to Eilat.

Recently, I just recovered from a severe injury to my thigh sustained from a bad landing during an exercise. The doctors at the hospital where I was treated told me I need to undergo a complicated surgery to fully repair the damage, and that afterward the chances of me being able to compete again are very low. My dedication to floor gymnastics was so high that I refused the surgery, and checked out other options; I found a Physical Therapist who gave me an intensive program to rehabilitate my leg. Six months later – after a lot of hard work – I am back on the floor and eager to train.

In my free time I volunteer to instruct floor gymnast trainees from ages 4-12. I immensely enjoy helping younger girls train and passing along my knowledge and experience to help them develop their own potential. I have full confidence that this group of girls will grow up to be the nation’s brightest gymnasts, and replace me and my peers as we age out of our competition group.

To continue instructing on the professional level – and be Ariel’s next gymnastics teacher for our city’s youth –  I need to take a course which would issue me a formal teaching certificate. My mother is a single mom supporting three children on her own, and can’t pay the fees.

Right now, I train twice per week and still serve as a volunteer instructor in my free time. My dream is to pass the instructors’ course and become a professional gymnastics teacher – and to continue teaching and learning the art all my life. Gymnastics is the air I breathe. I want to prove to myself that I can do it despite my injuries and the economics obstacles – and a scholarship would make it so much easier for us. 

Hundreds of children in Ariel look forward to their after-school sports programs – but there are not enough instructors to fill the demand. Your contribution to this exciting program would not only help one teen fulfill her professional dream, but help hundreds of schoolchildren enroll in after-school sports programs and follow their own dreams.