*Click here to donate to the Rachel Corrie Gaza Sport Initiative
The Rachel Corrie Gaza Sport Initiative is an annual project, consisting of the Rachel Corrie Ramadan Football Tournament and the Rachel Corrie Tournament for Athletes with Disabilities. These events provide a safe space for sport enthusiasts to gather through athletic events that transcend factional identities and allow neighbors to come together as friends, and as Palestinians. The projects are a success when athletes and their families and friends participate and experience a level of enjoyment, play, normality, and a positive sense of community that is otherwise absent in Gaza due to the persistent pressures of military occupation and closure.
Corries’ message to partners in Gaza:
“The Rachel Corrie Ramadan Football Tournament in Gaza is an inspiration to us in Rachel’s hometown of Olympia, Washington. Through this project, we have an opportunity to join you in celebrating the remarkable spirit of the athletes who play the game, of the organizers who have the vision, and of the supporters who come to cheer on their favorite teams. Together, we make this event happen. Each year, around Ramadan, we become a community connected across the miles by our respect and love for each other and by the knowledge that we can work as a team to make the world a better place.”
Read the rest of their letter here to find out why the tournament is important to Rachel’s family and community.
From Yousef Aljamal, Palestine Chronicle Correspondent in the Gaza Strip:
“For the ninth year in a row, Palestinians in the city of Rafah will organize a football tournament in the memory of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year old American peace activist who was killed in the city while she was trying to protect Palestinian houses from Israeli demolition. The tournament, which will take place on June 15, 2016, will consist of 32 teams from across the Gaza Strip.”
Read the rest of his article at the The Palestine Chronicle.
Rachel Corrie Ramadan Football Tournament (Summer): June 15 – July 1, 2016
Features of the 2016 tournament:
- 32 participating young men’s teams named for towns or villages in historic Palestine.
- Special preparations for the opening and final day of the tournament.
- Invitations issued to 16 non-Rafah teams from throughout the Gaza Strip and to teams that reached round 16 in last year’s tournament.
- Active social media sharing of tournament progression and winners.
Rachel Corrie Tournament for Athletes with Disabilities (Winter): TBD
The Tournament for Athletes with Disabilities helps connect those with disabilities to the broader Gaza society, affirms the place of the disabled in Gaza society, and provides an avenue of accomplishment and fun in the sphere of athletics. It also provides an opportunity for female athletes to participate in a public forum, an unusual occurrence in Gaza.
The tournament highlights the international focus in December on persons with disabilities and on December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It connects Gaza’s disabled to those in other parts of the world. In 2015, 150 men and women took part in football, table tennis, and basketball tournaments, and a wheelchair marathon, providing a sport forum to showcase the skills of athletes who are deaf, amputees, paraplegics, or have suffered from polio.
For more information about past tournaments, partners in Gaza, photos, and more please visit – http://www.gazalife.org/
Follow the 2016 Tournaments on Social Media for updates!