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Calgary Catchball Joins Maccabi Canada Family

Posted on March 23, 2021

You may dislike Mondays, but if you live in Calgary, it’s the most anticipated night of the week for Catchball players – thanks to Cathy Cole and a serendipitous meeting in Israel.

In 2014, while in Israel for an annual conference, Cathy was invited to join a Catchball game. Armed with only her running shoes and an open mind, she was hooked from the first time she stepped on the court. An extended stay allowed her to become well acquainted with the game, attending Hebrew classes in the morning and playing as much Catchball as she could at night.

The Calgary Jewish Community Centre (JCC) offered up a court each Monday night and Cathy got to work recruiting players. They opened the door to the community at large, drafting players from their 20s to 70s including four mother-daughter pairs. The team accepts anyone who can “throw, catch, and laugh” – a phrase that has become the motto of the now very active Calgary crew.

The team, who call themselves “Rocky Mountain Chai”, has a wonderful core group of players, many who have been playing since the beginning. The team has hosted three player clinics with guest coaches from Israel and the US Catchball Federation. The Calgary team has participated in multiple US tournaments and their catchball prowess on the court has represented Canada strongly.

In future, the Calgary team will no longer have to manage independently; it will now operate under the Maccabi Canada umbrella, leveraging national resources to support expansion, training, and tournament participation. Maccabi Canada’s Director of Operations, Michele Bass is thrilled to welcome western Canada to the fold and had this to say:

“Bringing Calgary’s team to join Maccabi Canada perfectly aligns with national Catchball growth efforts. We’re excited to work with current and future players to provide resources and a framework for expansion consistent with both Maccabi Canada and the ICF's guidelines. They’re a great group of women who have very admirably built the kind of team we’d like to see in other cities across Canada.”

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