Sport in Haifa

Haifa has a high potential for developing popular and competitive sports. Currently there is a great shortage of playing fields and sports halls, a lack of locations for sporting activities and, of course, a lack of activity itself.
It is essential to increase the number of sports facilities in the city, repair and renovate the existing ones and improve accessibility to them, so that every resident can find a place for physical activity within walking distance of home. 
It is also essential to establish sports frameworks and instill a sporting culture in children, parents and educational staff whoever they are. The contribution of sport to building mental and physical resilience, and assimilating fundamental values such as mutual respect, honesty, fairness and equality, is worth more than its weight in gold.
Home » Sport


Haifa is the third largest city in the State of Israel, with one leg dug into the sands of one of the most beautiful bays in the world, while the other leg climbs Mount Carmel. The city’s topographical structure invites special activities in various fields – one of them is sport.

Haifa is a place with high potential for developing popular and competitive sports. Currently, there is a great shortage of playing fields and sports halls, a lack of locations for sports activities and, of course, a lack of activity itself.

It is essential to increase the number of sports facilities in the city, repair and renovate the existing ones and improve accessibility to them, so that every resident can find a place for physical activity within walking distance of home.

At the same time, the city plans to establish systems that instill a sporting culture – from kindergartens, through all school grades up to the age of at least 18 – and harness parents and teaching staff in schools for this task. With these frameworks, we can reduce drug and alcohol consumption and manifestations of violence among children and adolescents, instill them with a healthy lifestyle, give them an education measured not only in numbers but also in their discovering their uniqueness, and enable them to succeed in their own way at a pace that suits them and in an appropriate framework. We can offer athletes warm surroundings where they can flourish and excel.

We can strengthen the weak and needy social strata and give them equal opening conditions to those of the stronger strata. We can cultivate Haifa’s famous multi-existence, raise and educate the future generation to adopt sporting behavior, and instill tolerance for the other. After all, sport essentially does not distinguish between color, race and gender. Everyone works as a unit, and everyone gets an equal opportunity.

We can make the City of Haifa number one in Israel and one of the leading sports cities in Europe.

ספורט חיפה

Work Plans (for a range of one to four years)

  • The multi-purpose sports complex in Neot Peres has been approved and is in the execution process. Currently, the establishment of an ice rink and possibility of adding an Olympic-sized swimming pool in the southern side of the sports complex are under examination.
  • Building new fields and sports halls in the neighborhoods, to be determined according to the following priorities: (1) Schools that do not have sports halls but do have space (e.g. activity groups), (2) Neighborhoods that lack such infrastructure (e.g. Neve Paz).
  • Constructing 5-6 permanent Ninja facilities and functional facilities in the neighborhoods (the budget for some has been approved) in Eli Cohen Park in Kiryat Sprinzak, on Ben Zvi Street in Kiryat Haim, on Truman Street in Kiryat Haim, in Azoulay Park in Neve Sha’anan and in Wadi Nisnas near the Achva School and in the Neve Paz neighborhood. Currently, a location is also being sought in Kiryat Eliezer.
  • Plan for roofing and upgrading sports fields throughout the city. Instead of roofing, the possibility of utilizing the space and building roofs over open playing fields, thus increasing the number of playing fields in the city, will be examined.
  • After the Property Department has mapped abandoned buildings in Haifa, whether some of them can be turned into sports halls will be examined.

Regulating activity in sports halls

Regulating the distribution of halls to nonprofits currently training in school sports halls, which pay them rent. The operating model and maintenance of the sports halls and playing fields will be determined at a later stage.

Preparing criteria and acceptable rental levels – a clear and transparent determination of which nonprofits will train in the facilities, why, and according to what criteria the rents are determined. Changing the use of income from sports activities to the profit centers in the municipal education system – to promote and improve the physical education and sports infrastructure (revenues from the sport will be intended to improve the sport’s infrastructure, in a closed circle). Encouraging teaching staff and parents to instill the values of sport to raise interest and become more professional, in order to promote a sporting culture.

Sports halls and playing fields

Regulating the management system of sports halls and fields in the city: (1) raising their level of operation and maintenance, (2) allocating hours of use to nonprofits and private entities according to clear indexes and an orderly supervision system, (3) creating uniform rates and supervising full payments according to the scope of use. The management of the sports halls used to be completely unregulated. A legal examination is currently under way, and the issue is in the process of being regulated.

Direct support in the framework of sports support

Today, with rigorous examinations on the ground (to the level of the athletes’ personal details) and in light of cross-referencing information received from nonprofits and professional associations, a computer system has been built for the exact support for each association. Next year we will advise on introducing the factor of hiring a coach or instructor, depending on the age of the trainees and the amount that coach or instructor would work. The purpose of this move is to prevent the city’s wealthy sports associations from “stealing” outstanding athletes from the poorer nonprofits – an issue that all nonprofits in the city, in almost every sphere, complain about. Professional teams that raise the athletes lose them to richer teams, and as if that were not enough, thanks to those players the support of these teams doubles. The transitions of athletes to the rich associations do not always lead to their professional advancement, and sometimes the opposite is true. This process causes helplessness among many professionals, who have been known to quit their jobs as a result.


We will inaugurate a program for movement and cognitive development in kindergartens. The program will operate on four levels: frontal work with the children, training for teaching staff, raising parents’ awareness and establishing suitable infrastructures for child development in the kindergartens. This program will have far-reaching effects on children’s development in various aspects: education and culture, physical health and mental health.

The Student’s Home

The Student’s Home is the largest community system in the city, supervised by the Director of Municipal Education. The system’s mission is to train and educate elementary and junior-high students in the fields of sports, culture and art – all the areas that the State of Israel places under the umbrella of informal education. Among other things, the Student’s Homes are supposed to identify the potential in each child in all areas that the school cannot be free to address. But over the years, the Student’s Home became a babysitter, and so it is perceived by the parents and children. At the moment there are no criteria for the professional level of the teams that work there – for example, there is no difference in the system between a senior national team coach and an instructor who completed a coaching course yesterday. When students leave this system in seventh grade, there is almost no chance of integrating them into other frameworks. The result is low physical abilities, poor self-confidence, poor physical and mental health, low social skills and escaping to screens, alcohol, drugs and other temptations.

In the future, we will conduct a policy of tenders and clear procedures for the absorption of professional teams into the system, and the relevant body in each field must be a partner in the Director of Education’s decision-making. For example, the Sports Authority must be involved in every decision relating to sports.

Operating school or neighborhood municipal leagues

The goal is to give children who do not experience professional leagues the experience of a system with an organized calendar. We will select branches that meet the criteria of the Israel School Sports Association, and operate the system from first to 12th grades – not from the seventh grade as is currently the case. In such activities children from all sectors of the city will meet and get to know each other from an early age. The schools or neighborhoods will form teams, and we will grant the required professional envelope. We will create excellence in sports in the local education system (champion schools will be rewarded).

Schools Project – National championships for schools in various sports

The state allocates a dedicated annual budget for each sport in the Schools Project. Our intention is to raise the awareness of school boards to the equal importance of all sports, and that it is essential to recognize athletes from all sporting branches who bring achievement and honor to the school. Haifa has quite a few regional and national champions. The city’s role is to instruct schools to respect all sports that operate in them impartially, and to address everyone’s achievements. The continued ignoring of less highly regarded sports is likely to cause disconnection, disappointment and even athletes’ retirement from the sport at the most crucial age.

The tradition of annual ceremonies for outstanding athletes and coaches should be started in both the municipality and schools.

The Chess for Every Child Project

The project, initiated by the Mifal HaPais national lottery and the Israel Chess Federation, is designed for second graders throughout the country. In 2019-2020, Mifal HaPais issued its first call for proposals to local authorities and announced that it would budget 50% of the funding costs. Haifa Municipality received a budget for five classes. In view of the importance of the project and its contribution to the students, the municipality decided this academic year to budget 30-35 classes on its own, at a cost of NIS 280,000, to be drawn from sections of the operating programs for children and youth. At the same time, we are exploring the possibility of incorporating games and competitions into the municipal chess leagues for families.

The Sports Class Project

It was decided to promote a pilot program in two schools in Haifa. The project’s main goal is to make the sport an equivalent field of study to other areas of the education system, and enable students to choose it as their main study track. Another goal is to track down young talents.

Students in the sports classes will study six hours of sports a week and another two hours of physical education. They will be accompanied by professional coaches from various sporting branches. Athletics will be a compulsory study track, and regarding other sports, the Sports Authority, the Director of Education and (Olympic judo medalist) Arik Ze’evi will decide together, considering the neighborhood and the population. Children will be able to experience the lifestyle of athletes, a very familiar experience abroad, yet in Israel almost inexistent. Who knows, maybe in this project we’ll find the next (Gold medal Olympic rhythmic gymnast) Linoy Ashram or Arik Zeevi?

  • Connecting with sports-related elements in Israel and abroad: clubs, unions and others.
  • Initiatives such as international competitions, training camps and other events that require close contact with unions and clubs that provide a variety of sports-related services.
  • Creating fruitful working relationships with all the financial aid bodies – the Mifal HaPais national lottery, the Toto sports lottery, the Sports Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Sports, foundations involved in sports – and receiving priority in providing assistance.
  • Establishing an array of investors from Israel and abroad who will invest in the construction and maintenance of facilities as well as international events.
  • Integrating into the calendars of annual competitions (Grand Slam; Pro-Tours) of international sports organizations.
  • Establishing a system that can host huge productions such as the Maccabiah (“Jewish Olympics”) and the Peace Games.
  • Attracting domestic tourism through training camps, centers of excellence and national competitions.


Part of the essence of an educator in the field of sports is to learn, improve and develop together with the athletes, gain experience, learn new training methods and stay updated with both coaching theory and innovative technologies and equipment.  

To this end, we will establish a training system in which professionals at a national and global level will lecture. Instructors and coaches who will attend these sessions will form the infrastructure of a pool of professionals that will enable the establishment of centers of excellence. At the same time, lectures will be given to parents and teachers in the education system about the importance of physical education and its tremendous contribution to success in studies and life skills.

Ceremonies for coaches

As mentioned above, we must begin with a tradition of ceremonies of excellence.

In order to raise public awareness of the importance of physical activity, we must work on two levels: the achievement level (following the successes of Arik Ze’evi and Yael Arad there was a surge in the number of Israeli boys and girls who took up judo) and the popular level.

We will promote grassroots sporting events, not only individual and team, but also family, with the family being the team. Promoting family activities has also been tested in the context of sports classes (parent-child). In this way we seek to open the possibility of a new type of family leisure activity besides cinema, parks, restaurants, leisure time that allows the whole family’s active activity, at least for a few hours.

We will develop and build urban centers of excellence. We will choose the preferred sporting branches in the city, according to their level of professionalism and achievements in the national and international arena (with an emphasis on children and youth), and for each chosen sport we will allocate the place and fund the coach of that center. Information about these centers will reach every parent and child, and outstanding athletes will train for free or at high discounts.

At the same time, we plan to open sports classes in schools with a tailored training system, so that children who want to specialize in sports can receive the appropriate education that will enable them to develop in the field (as in other courses of study).

We will cooperate with the Sea Authority regarding beach sports (beach volleyball, beach futsal), very popular sports worldwide.

* After the activity has been regulated (content and allocating hours), activities will be operated at a nominal price in the courts and sports halls in the neighborhoods (a monthly program like in country clubs with a variety of classes both in the sports hall and the adjacent playing field).

* Mapping the hiking trails on the Carmel Ridge and also in the neighborhoods (an app that will allow users to select routes according to length and degree of difficulty).

* Cooperation with nearby authorities in preparing bicycle routes.

* Integrating swimming and other branches within schools; the activity in these facilities will replace sports classes.

* Expanding a variety of activities and events within the municipal structure; Alongside the Haifa Race and the stairs, we will inaugurate new events in other branches.

* Putting into use abandoned buildings in the city, for establishing an extreme sports park, for example.

* Lectures to the general public about child development and what it means to be parents to a child in achievement-based frameworks.

* Bringing a variety of elite athletes to schools in Haifa for lectures and presenting the benefits of the sport.

At the end of the day, physical activity must be accessible to the public and inexpensive.

Later we will work to establish a website that will provide all the current and new information about sports in Haifa: data about all the subsidies, renting courts/sports halls and prices, results of games and tournaments, live broadcasts of competitions in Haifa, information for parents and coaches, references to relevant articles and global websites, building apps for various activities in the city (real-time availability of courts and paying fields, registration for activities and others).

The projects


Partners in Activity


In progress

Municipal Sports Authority, Legal Director, Human Resources Division/Department, CEO

Designing an organizational structure in a way that fits a strategic plan – a change in organizational structure and redefining the authority’s responsibilities

In constant and developing progress

Sports Authority

Professional development of employees – participation of Sports Authority personnel in courses and training, including training courses held by government ministries

Process is complete

Sports Authority, Legal Director

Formulating criteria for the allocation of municipal resources (subsidies and manpower) – changing the budgeting method of sports activities and allocating personnel according to needs and the strategic plan

The process of purchasing the complex is nearing completion


Engineering Administration, Assets Department, Haifa Economic Corporation

The Sportan sports and leisure center – earmarked for a subsidized pool for Haifa residents. Adding an Olympic-sized pool that will serve professional sports bodies will be considered at a later stage

Approved by the council. Phase A of planning has ended. Work has begun


Engineering Administration, Sports Administration/Manager, Mifal HaPais, the Israel Land Authority, Budgets Division, the Rolan construction company, Local Government Economic Services Ltd.

Multifunctional Sports Hall (Neot Peres)


In a statutory examination of the land

Engineering Administration, Assets Department, Haifa Economic Corporation

Ice Rink

In the implementation process. The first will be Kiryat Haim, Wadi Nisnas and Kiryat Sprinzak

Engineering, Operations Manager, Mifal HaPais, Budgets Division, Local Government Economic Services Ltd., the Ganit Park and Urbanix leisure apparatus companies


In planning stages

Engineering Administration, Operations Manager, Sports Authority

Skate park next to the Technion

In planning stages

Sports Authority, Operations Manager

Walking/running paths in neighborhoods

The projects will begin in the current school year

Sports Authority, Education Administration, Budgets Division

Implementing sports projects in schools – chess and sports classes



פרויקטים סביבה וחברה