Name: Hannah Ripps
Team: Inter Aliyah Banot
Originally from: Florida, USA
Favourite team: USWNT (United States Women's National Team)
Position: Right Back/Right Midfield
Football idol: Viola Hastings (if you know who that is...)
Interesting fact: I've only broken a single bone in my body and that occurred whilst playing as a goalkeeper!!
''I am originally from Pensacola, Florida, which is part of the American Bible Belt region. Although traditionally not a Jewish area, I did come from a small Jewish community.
''As a young girl I was (and still am) really inspired by the US Women's Team. They're breaking down all kinds of gender issues in the world of sports as well as being a hugely successful team on the world stage.
Hannah (top row, far left) with Inter Banot
''I started playing soccer when I was in high school in North Carolina but only got my boots on again once I was here in Israel and found Inter Aliyah. Since I joined Inter Banot, I've been playing consistently for the last two years.
''I came to Israel mainly for work opportunities, but I’ve always felt a strong connection to Israel and wanted to be a part this special place. I am currently finishing up my MA thesis in archelogy through Tel Aviv University. I heard about Inter Aliyah through a friend in the Olim community and have been a regular on Wednesdays ever since.
''As kids, many of us grow up playing sports but there are far more opportunities for adult men to continue on in a club or even hobby level. So I would say the most special and important thing about Inter Aliyah is that there is a women’s team; a place where we can be passionate and aggressive, work hard and play hard. There aren’t enough spaces like that for women and I’m so appreciative of Inter Aliyah for providing one.
''But even beyond that, Inter is this amazing community of Olim who are also trying to find their home here like me, and when we all meet up, we have the most fun two hours of the entire week.
''My favourite Inter Aliyah memory is from last year when the men’s and women’s teams came together after practice to light candles for Hanukkah. It was rainy and windy but we all huddled together, a group of immigrants from everywhere, to do this Jewish thing. It was great.