Yokneam, Haifa, Ramat Hasharon and Tel Aviv win the Marshall ITC Championships
On Friday, 22nd June 2012, the 13th consecutive Marshall ITC Championships in memory of Eitan Belachsan, came to an end. The tournament for U-12’s and U-14’s was of high quality yet more importantly it was played with a spirit of sportsmanship. The competition lasted three days and took place at the ITC – Jerusalem with the participation of 120 children from 12 centers. There was great encouragement of the children for their teams and excellent relations between the children of the different centers. The children all stayed together overnight in a hostel and participated in various activities together which added to the excellent atmosphere and gave them a chance to break the usual routine of playing matches.
This traditional tournament which started 13 years ago at the ITC – Jerusalem, has been played at the ITC’s in Kiryat Shmona, Ramat Hasharon, Jaffa and Haifa and returned to the capital two years ago. During the tournament, each team played two singles and one doubles match. A round robin format was used during the first two days, and on the third day, the finals and the ceremony took place.
In the U-12 boys category, the group from Yokneam beat Tiberias in the final, with Beer Sheva finishing third and Tel Aviv 1, fourth. The U-12 girls title went to Haifa 1, who beat Jerusalem in the final; Tiberias ended in third place and Haifa 2 in fourth place.
The boys U-14 title was won by Ramat Hasharon 3, with Jerusalem, Ramat Hasharon 2 and Arad finishing second, third and fourth respectively. In the girls U-14 category, Tel Aviv beat Ramat Hasharon in the final, with Beer Sheva finishing third and Akko fourth.
One player in each category won the “outstanding player” award and received a new racket, donated by ITC board member, Eric Marshall.
A number of Belachsan family members were present during the closing ceremony – the father Klod, the mother Ziona and the siblings Osnat and Yaron. They were joined by the tournament’s sponsor Eric Marshall, Eli Levy – Director of Sports at the Jerusalem Municipality, Elisha Peleg – Director of Sports at Jerusalem Municipality, Gal Hirsh – Chairman of the Noam Foundation in memory of Eitan Belachsan, Danny Gelley – CEO of the ITC, Benny Schwartz – Manager of the ITC’s Tournament Department and Ilan Maman – Manager of the ITC – Jerusalem. Benny Schwartz: “I would like to thank Ilan Maman and the staff at the ITC – Jerusalem for the outstanding help and cooperation”.
Eitan Belachsan: a national hero who loved his country
Eitan Belachsan z”l, was born on 2nd February 1969 in Moshav Ramot Naftali, in the upper Galilee. His parents, Ziona and Klod Belachsan, immigrated to Israel from Tunis and Morocco and settled in the Moshav. Eitan is their third son, and brother of Yoav, Osnat and Yaron. Eitan grew up and was educated in Ramot Naftali, absorbing values of love for the nation and the country, sensitivity to and consideration of others, love for the land and great love for animals and for getting to know the country well through trips.
Eithan’s last mission took place on the Night of the 22nd February 1999, when he led the Paratroopers Recon warriors on an assignment, which took place east of the Lebanon security zone. The mission was hitting Hezbollah saboteurs on their way to attacking IDF forces. The night was cold and the force climbed to 4000 feet above sea level to Kala t Jabur, north to Chune, not far from Maydun. The area, north of what was the security zone is rocky and characterized by dense vegetation, limiting their range of vision to a few feet. A few minutes after midnight the force arrived at their positions.
Eitan went to check the position with Lieutenant Liraz Tito, an engineering officer who joined the operation, when the two soldiers came very close to a group of terrorists; they both got hit, and were killed instantly. Eitan left behind his parents, two brothers and a sister, his wife Raya and daughter Noam.
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