The Israeli women’s lacrosse team scored major points last week when the players found a way to gift cleats to the entire Kenyan team who had been playing all this time without them.
After defeating the Kenyan team in the 2019 Women’s Lacrosse Under 19 World Championships in Ontario, Canada last week, the Israeli players noted how every member of the Kenyan team played in regular sneakers, which puts you at a disadvantage against a team of equal caliber.
According to a report in the Daily Kos, three Israeli players were bothered by that and later that day asked their parents if they could help purchase proper cleated shoes for each member of the Kenyan team. One of the parents happens to be a foot doctor in Israel.
“They called a coach from the Kenyan team, who gave them each players name and shoe size, and a promise of secrecy. And literally overnight, with the help of a local specialty store that stayed open much of the night to help fulfill this moment, they had the shoes.”
“The Kenyan coach had his team come to the Israeli-Belgium game that day in the guise of scoping out Belgium who they themselves would be playing the next day. And after the game, each sister from the Israeli side had something to give, as an offering of love to their new friends.”
Lacrosse is relatively new in both countries and both Kenya and Israel are near the bottom of the 22-country roster.
“This is what I’ll remember in twenty years. My friends. My old ones and my new ones.
This is the real reason why we are here,” said Israel’s goalie Lielle Assayag.
After the Kenyan team posted a video of the event on its twitter account, ESPN retweeted the post which has been seen by millions.
The gift of giving ❤️
— ESPN (@espn) August 8, 2019
“Our players, coaches and supporters take pride in representing our country using our sport as a way of building bridges and connections to Israel. They continue to inspire the world winning on and off the field.” — David Ladsay, COO of the Israel Lacrosse Association
With their new footwear the Kenyans defeated Belgium 16-9 the following day, earning their second win of the tournament.