Football

Hapoel Katamon: The world's most progressive football club?

Updated 1355 GMT (2155 HKT) August 26, 2015
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Hapoel Katamon has breathed new life into Israeli football with an all-inclusive approach. The Jerusalem-based club has won admirers from across Europe for programs which bring together children from vastly different backgrounds. Dafi Sapunar/Katamon.co.il
Katamon is a fan-run club. It holds elections each year, with fans voting for their own representatives to sit alongside private investors on the board. Dafi Sapunar/Katamon.co.il
Hapoel Katamon does not own its own stadium or training facilities -- it rents from the local council. It offers a range of programs for local children, including village leagues, a local academy and a girls' team. Dafi Sapunar/Katamon.co.il
Hapoel brings together children from the local Arab and Jewish communities within Jerusalem. There are few football programs like it in the city. Dafi Sapunar/Katamon.co.il
Playing at Keshet on a turf field surrounded by an athletics track, the team is often cheered on by local supporters. Few clubs can summon this level of support for its junior sides. Guy Yitzhaki/Katamon.co.il
The Hapoel Katamon girls' team comprises of youngsters from Jewish settlements such as Efrat, as well as Muslims and Christians who live in East Jerusalem. The girls compete in a national league against teams from across the country.
Guy Yitzhaki/Katamon.co.il
The local village league brings in teams from around Jerusalem to compete against each other. The children are encouraged to play football as well as take part in educational sessions to improve their studies. Dafi Sapunar/Katamon.co.il
The club gives away free tickets to local children for its home games at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium. Hapoel shares the stadium with city neighbor Beitar. Or Keren
Hapoel won promotion from the third tier last season and begins its new campaign this month, with the first league game against Maccabi Herziliya. It is now just one promotion from reaching the country's top division. Or Keren/Katamon.co.il
Hapoel's fan base continues to grow, with supporters paying around $320 for membership. That allows each fan to vote in elections and includes a season ticket. Or Keren