• Issue: April 1961
  • Designer: O. Adler
  • Plate no.: 50
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

Hapoel - Israel's Labor Sports Organization - celebrated its 35th anniversary with a week-long International Sports Rally that opened on April 30, 1961. Six thousand Israelis and 1,000 visitors from 30 different countries participated in a variety of matches, competitions and athletic displays. Football, fencing, swimming, yachting, cycling, wrestling and chess were some of the 19 sports represented.

The story of Hapoel differs from that of the usual sports organization. It was founded in 1926 by a group of workers, formerly members of Maccabi and other sports organizations in Europe. They chose as their slogan: "Health of the worker will guarantee victory." This slogan symbolized the unique role Hapoel was to play in the upbuilding of the country. Its primary objective was not the encouragement of "sport for sport's sake" but the building up of the health and physical fitness of the worker and the youth. Physical training, light athletics and aquatic sports were the first activities developed by Hapoel clubs. Members of these clubs volunteered for every pioneering task of the hour. Hapoel units formed the backbone of the Hagana, the pre-State voluntary defense organization; their members helped to build Tel Aviv port and to found border settlements. Israel's navy and merchant marine have been manned by many Hapoel sportsmen who won their "sea-legs" through Hapoel's training in sailing and ship-building.

The first Hapoel Rally, held in 1928, was attended by 780 members. With the growing national interest in sport Hapoel's ranks have swelled and its sporting activities have become more varied. At its 7th Rally in 1961 75,000 members from 548 Hapoel Sports Clubs celebrated the 35th anniversary of Israel's largest sports organisation.

From 1928 to 1971, there were eight Hapoel Games, the first four of which (1928, 1930, 1932, 1935) were modest and of rather private character. Riots, the war, and the task of establishing the State of Israel account for the fact that no games took place during the next 17 years. Since 1952, however, they have recurred at regular five-year intervals. The Hapoel Games are a national and international event, which has grown and developed greatly since the Games were first held in 1928. At that time they were more just a meeting of local sports clubs. Sportsmen in various fields of sport met for a few days and held competitions. Then, as the scope of the games grew, the character of the events changed accordingly.

Nowadays, hundreds of events all over the country are arranged by the largest sports organization in Israel and national and international contests are held during the Games.

The first Hapoel Games in the State of Israel took place in 1952 when athletes from foreign Workers' Sports Organizations took part for the first time. As the international standing of the Games strengthened, the interest of the local public as well as of those abroad grew considerably.

Since the first time that athletes were invited to "Guest competitions" during the Hapoel Games, these events have become well-known in international sport. The games are listed in most international sports programs and heads of sports associations attend the Games and thus accord them considerable importance in the world of sport. The fact that they are held one year before the Olympic Games means that participants have a chance to prepare for that supreme sporting event.

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7th Sport Convention Hapoel