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Softball life: Mariana Fox, Israel

I started to play softball by the age of 11 and joined a local team where I met some of my closest friends to this day. I was captivated by the diverse rules and positions this sport has to offer. I fell in love instantly and have been playing ever since.

As years went by my hunger for the sport only grew. It began to play a big part in my life; Games, practices, tournaments and friendships. I practiced 3 times a week. The climate in Israel is mild and usually allows us to play all year round. Israel is a small country with few softball players and so we come from all over the country to play.

In Israel, 18 year olds have the responsibility to give back to their country either by serving in the military or volunteering in the community. I chose to represent my country in the Army. However, that meant putting softball aside. A few months after serving in the army, I realized how much I truly missed softball. I tried to balance both and though it did not work out exactly as I had planned, I’m very pleased with the outcome.

I wouldn't change my service for the world; it’s part of living here. However, it did make it extremely challenging to support the National Team on the field and off, and to stay in the right kind of shape for softball, maintain skills and keep the mindset.

Our team is a wonderful mix of fellow soldiers, doctors, businesswomen, students and moms all equally dedicated to our country and our sport— softball. Softball that is based in a small country needs support from those around in order for it to continue to grow and develop. Donations and sponsors as we all know are a big part of sports and because of this many players have had to pull out of competitions due to a lack of recognition of the sport in Israel. We have competed for 12 years now in 7 European Championship Tournaments around Europe, and last year we traveled in the summer to Vancouver, Canada for the World Championships. That was an unforgettable experience. Needless to say, it is a true victory for our little country- Israel, to be represented in these tournaments.

My personal goals for the future would be to play softball in college and continue to develop myself as player.

With many ups and downs, Team Israel has been working hard to prepare for the upcoming European Championships. I’m looking forward to putting on my National team jersey and playing with my teammates once again.


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