Sport and Recreation in Rishon LeZion



In First Place

Tens of thousands of Rishon LeZion's residents are sports enthusiasts and take part in a vast variety of amateur activities. It all started in 1885, when exercise classes for children were held in the basement in the Great Synagogue on Rothschild Street. At the time, no other facilities were available. That same year, a sports club was started by the Maccabi organization. When the first Maccabiah Games in Israel were held ten years later, Rishon athletes came away with several trophies and medals.

Chess Club

The chess club that meets in Rishon's community centers is one of Israel's leading chess groups. The performance of the club's children, youth and adult groups brings great honor and pride to the city. This includes winning national and international competitions and the Israel Chess Championship in 2001.

Sports Education

Some 4,000 students play basketball, football and tennis in athletic classes at Rishon's schools as well as in informal settings. They also swim, learn self-defense and engage in many other sporting activities. A special program run by the city in cooperation with the Weizmann Institute helps encourage future record-breakers – youths who are especially talented in table tennis, handball, volleyball, gymnastics, track and field, and virtually every other sporting activity. 

Hundreds of children between the ages of 4 and 14 take part in special municipality gymnastics programs. Over 40 girls from Rishon are on the national gymnastics team! 
The city is particularly proud of the fact that its gym classes have been awarded the title of “Israel's Best Sports Association” for several years running.

You'll find residents of Rishon at all the following annual events:

  •       “Tzaadat Hashlosa” (March for the Three) – every year some 8,000 people hike 10 km in memory of three Rishon LeZion soldiers killed in action in Kfar Darom. The route passes through attractive countryside and several of Rishon LeZion's historical sites.
  •       “Spring Race” – a 10 km professional race held every May in memory of the late Captain Eran Alkavi. Thousands of high school students take part in the amateur race held at the same time.
  •         “4x4” Table Football Tournament – 450 young teams participate in these games, which provide great enjoyment for competitors and visitors alike.
  •         Golani Race – Rishon's high school students join the Golan Brigade on its annual running race from Dan in the north to Eilat in the south. Golani soldiers traditionally run through Rishon LeZion.
  •         Triathlon – this relatively young sport in Israel draws many participants and spectators.
  •         And more – field races, sports tournaments for small children, basketball, volleyball, handball, as well as the Rishon LeZion tennis championships and wind-surfing competitions.