Friday, August 31, 2012

Premier Soccer Club Accommodates Shabbos for MHA Student

You may not know it by looking at her, but 5th grader Shayna Kahane ranks among the school's most highly accomplished athletes.  Though a few years back she played together with our elementary school girls on our first ever lower school girls soccer team, Shayna's knack for the sport quickly propelled her onto more and more competitive teams in more and more competitive leagues.

Most recently, it was recommended that Shayna try out for the newly created MidSouth FC Elite Academy, a conglomerate of the region's premier competitive soccer programs: Memphis Futbol Club, Arlington Soccer Academy, Bartlett Soccer Club and Futbol Club Legendinhos.

According to the MSFC's website, their program boasts the following accomplishments:

  • Appeared in SIX national Finals
  • Winners of nine international tournaments
  • In 2010, five Midsouth FC teams qualified for TN State Cup finals
  • The only Memphis club to produce a US national team player to appear in a world cup
  • More than 400 MidSouth players have gone on to play for top colleges on scholarship
  • Eight Midsouth players have gone on to play in the MLS (Professional soccer league)

Knowing that their practice and travel schedule would pose a problem for Shayna in terms of shabbos, the Kahanes initially did not pursue it.  However, when members of local soccer community assured Shayna and her parents that if she was good enough, the program would find a way to accommodate her, they decided to give it a try.

So, two weeks ago Shayna tried out for coach Ross Paule, a former Major League Soccer player.   Just as predicted, when he saw what Shayna could do an offer quickly followed to provide her a private workout every Sunday morning in place of the team's major workout on Saturday mornings, as well as an exemption from all Saturday games without risk of losing her starting spot.  The MSFC can now proudly list "accommodated one shomer shabbos athlete" to their list of accomplishments.

We wish Shayna the best of luck on her new team and - more importantly - the strength to continue making a kiddush Hashem wherever she goes!

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