Soccer therapy for traumatised kids

UK football agent recalls Sderot siege horror.

By Charles Gardner | | Topics: Gaza, Britain
Clive and Tamar Hart. Photo courtesy

A football agent who has brought Israeli players to compete in the Scottish Premier League is now using the sport to help traumatised youngsters in the Israeli town of Sderot, just one kilometre from the Gaza border.

In a Zoom meeting with Glasgow Friends of Israel, Wembley-born Clive Hart and his wife Tamar also shared their experiences of the October 7th massacre when the town was the focus of key battles, with many residents slaughtered.

Together with a local policeman, Clive shared shocking videos of the attack and subsequent siege of the town’s police station which saw a number of officers killed.

At the time, they were understandably unaware of the full extent of what was happening but, with hindsight, realise it could have been infinitely worse.

Some were saved in seemingly miraculous ways, including two girls hiding under a blanket as their parents were murdered and a couple who hid under a child’s bed, undiscovered even while the terrorist lay above them for 15 minutes.

With a population of 36,000, Sderot was subsequently evacuated, but many have since returned to try rebuilding their lives there.

Clive meanwhile has been asked by the mayor to oversee 300 children in a soccer programme to help restore their physical and mental well-being – a project for which he is raising funds via myisraelcharity.org

Sderot has been under constant rocket fire ever since Hamas took over the neighbouring Gaza enclave in 2007, and many of its residents, especially kids, have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress as a result. One 25-year-old resident reckons she has had to run to the town’s bomb shelter 20,000 times!

Then came October 7th when, in a surprise attack, many civilians were murdered on the streets and in their homes.

Clive has been a licensed football agent in the UK for 23 years during which time he has brought four Israeli players to Scotland including Stav Nahmani, who has been playing for St Mirren.

Clive moved to Israel after completing his university education and served in the Israeli Defence Forces, after which he returned to Britain. But in January 2022 he went back to Israel for a holiday when he met and married Tamar following a whirlwind romance.

 


 

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon; Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com; To the Jew FirstA Nation Reborn, and King of the Jews, all available from Christian Publications International.

 

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