What do tennis, football, swimming and athletes have to do with the World Zionist Village? It may work out to be a lot. The Minister of Culture and Sports, Miki Zohar, approached JNF-USA with the opportunity to support the expansion of the renowned Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports located in Netanya, with a Southern campus of Wingate in Be’er Sheva.
Wingate is the official government entity for sports and athletic training preparing Israeli athletes for international competition including the Olympics and World Cup competitions. The programs at Wingate include early training for gifted young athletes, a high-school program for intense athletic training and facilities to support “professional” athletes in preparation for competition. In addition, Wingate provides day facilities to advance young athletes throughout the region to a competitive level.
The city of Be’er Sheva has allocated 120,000 square meters — about 40-acres – adjacent to the campus of the World Zionist Village for Wingate to construct a sports/athletic center which will house training facilities including gymnastic arena, basketball/volley facilities, track and field arena, swimming pools and more.
The WZV would become the home for about 120 high school age athletes training at the Wingate South facilities as well as for about 25-30 professional athletes. The WZV will provide dorms, small apartments and meals for the Wingate students and professional athletes. Wingate’s high school students will study in the educational facilities of the campus and together, Wingate and WZV will provide a World Class Wellness Center including Sports Medicine for the Wingate Athletes.
Participants at the WZV including our AMHSI students, Mechina/Gap-Year participants, interns and conference attendees will have access to the Wingate facilities.
Having Wingate as part of the WZV provides the opportunity for dozens of international sports camps to train and compete in Israel.
Wingate is now finalizing the budget for the government funding of the construction of the Sports/Athletic facilities. Stay tuned!