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Israel Society & Culture: Israel Sports Association for the Disabled

Roughly 10% of Israel's population – some 650,000 people – suffer from physical disabilities attesting mainly to three main factors: road accidents, birth maladies and injuries from war or terrorism.

The Israel Sports Association for the Disabled (ISAD) stands in the front line of a strong national effort to instill hope in the hearts of our disabled citizens. In charge of fifteen sports, ISAD helps all those suffering from handicaps achieve the kinds of personal triumphs that can only be imagined in their wildest dreams. ISAD trainers and coaches have steadfastly developed the suppressed athletic abilities of scores of immobilized boys, girls, men and women, enabling them to rise above their sense of powerlessness and reach unbelievable heights. ISAD instructors teach the disabled how to use their healthy limbs, compensate for their physical disadvantages and compete in local leagues, tournaments and international games. The participation of Israeli athletes in the Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of ISAD’s ongoing achievements.

Israel’s Paralympic heritage is one of the vital characteristics of our small state, which prides itself at overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. Our disabled athletes have set a most uncommon example, both for our able-bodied Olympic athletes and all those Israelis for whom participation in sports and the competitive spirit is dear to them.

ISAD runs the following all-year-around sports in Israeli leagues and sends national teams to international competitions and Paralympic events:

Sailing – Swimming – Athletics – Basketball – Weightlifting – Shooting – Fencing – Hand Cycling – Horseback Riding – Wheelchair Tennis – Table Tennis – Archery – Volleyball – Goal Ball (for the blind) – Badminton

At different stages of their development, Israeli Paralympic athletes train at the Wingate Institute, Bet Halohem: (Organization of IDF Veterans) Spivak – The Israel Sport Center for the Disabled (under the auspices of the Ilan Organization for children with physical disabilities) and Etgarim – the Israel Outdoor Sports and Recreation Association for the Disabled.

Source: Israel Paralympics