My Story – Moshe Sahar
When Moshe Sahar landed in the United States, at 13 years old, for exhibition matches with the aim of raising funds for the Israel Tennis Centers (“ITC”), he couldn’t have imagined that thanks to tennis he would go on to travel all around the world. The values that Moshe learned from his coaches on the courts of the Marjorie Sherman ITC – Ashkelon, the experiences as a young tennis player and the discipline that was instilled in him, lead him to serve his country in the Army and then at the Israeli embassies in Egypt, Jordan, Colombia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
Sahar, 32 years old, was born in Ashkelon and was raised on the courts of the Marjorie Sherman Israel Tennis Center – Ashkelon. He started playing tennis recreationally when he was six and quickly developed his game to join the ITC’s High Performance Tennis Program. Moshe ended up being ranked fifth in the U-14 category and he even reached the semifinal of National Israeli Championship in that age group. Just two years later, Moshe decided to retire from tennis but he didn’t leave the sport altogether – he went to complete a national and international umpiring course and get a coaching certificate from the Wingate Institute. “I wanted to be a combat soldier in the Army and I understood that I was not good enough to become a professional tennis player, so I decided to retire”, says Sahar, “but I stayed in tennis, I was a chair umpire at the Riklis and Eisenberg ATP tournaments in Ramat Hasharon and of course at the Davis Cup. In addition I also became a coach in Kiryat Gat”.
Sahar enlisted as a Paratrooper, completed a course to become an officer and was Vice Commander of his sqaud. “The strenuous physical efforts were not foreign to me thanks to the training and the fitness I got through tennis”, he says. Sahar was released from the IDF after four years of service and underwent months of screening processes before he started working at Israeli embassies around the world. He held a variety of positions during his travels and around four years ago Moshe returned to Israel. Today, he is married with three children and speaks three languages (Hebrew, English and Spanish). Sahar and his family live in Gan Yavne, close to Ashkelon, where he works as a sales manager for the security company “Nice”. His younger brother, Tomer, followed him to the tennis court of the ITC – Ashkelon and ended up winning the National Junior Israeli Championship several times. Today Tomer is a coach at the ITC – Ramat Hasharon.
Sahar explains how the ITC ended up being such a huge contributor to his success in life: “There is no doubt that the hard work, the discipline and the desire to win instill values that you carry during your whole life. I remember very well my four weekly practice days, along with my fitness training. I participated in tournaments and I saw the improvements in my game every match. It made me appreciate hard work and the satisfactory feeling of victory”.
“There are many similarities between my current job and tennis”, Moshe reveals. “When I close a deal that I have worked hard on, the satisfaction is higher because it’s a direct result of my own actions. That is similar to tennis, where I fought hard physically and mentally, having been alone on the court. Today, I am able to take many difficult decisions by myself and I’m successful in large part due to the values that I learnt playing tennis. Tennis gave me the strength to face complex situations whilst being decisive and confident in my abilities. In addition, all our practice sessions were in groups, which gave me the skills to become an excellent team player and to be able to exert authority over people. What motivated me in tennis was my desire to achieve and to make myself, my parents, my coach and the ITC proud of me – to repay them for the belief they had in me”.
Moshe at an ITC exhibition
Moshe at an ITC exhibition
About The Israel Tennis Centers Foundation (“ITC”):
The ITC is a non-profit organization (formerly known as The Israel Children’s Centers is a 501 (c)) that works to enhance the social, psychological and physical development of Israeli children through the medium of sport. We provide a healthy and structured environment for children from all walks of life, teaching values of cooperation, persistence and tolerance. Thirty-five years after the inauguration of the first Israel Tennis Center in Ramat Hasharon, the ITC has expanded throughout Israel and has nurtured and empowered more children and adults than the original founders could have ever dreamed. Currently one of the largest social-service agencies for children in Israel, the ITC operates 14 Centers throughout Israel’s periphery within socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. The Centers are complete with cutting edge facilities and tennis courts that serve over 20,000 children. For additional background please visit: http://www.israeltenniscenters.org