When asked to choose her most important takeaway from her participation with Maccabi USA, Catie Chase was quick to respond. “I can’t say enough about the relationships that I have made through my Maccabi experiences,” said Catie. “Whether with other athletes, coaches, staff, etc., the relationships that you build are priceless.”
As a five-time Maccabi USA alum, Catie has met Jews from all over the world, and has used those relationships to her advantage. When she travelled to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, she had Shabbat dinner with members of Maccabi Brazil’s Men’s Soccer team. Travelling through Hungary, Catie was met by a friend from Maccabi Switzerland whom she met at the 2011 European Maccabi Games, who showed her his neighborhood as well as the touristy spots. While vacationing in Mexico, she played Futsal and “hit the town” with members from Maccabi Mexico’s Men’s Soccer team. “Being at the Maccabi Games, you discover that there are so many other people out there just like you,” exclaimed Catie.
Presented with the opportunity to represent Team USA at the European Maccabi Games in Berlin, Germany, Catie didn’t hesitate. “I immediately jumped on board,” recalled Catie. Given the honor to lead Team USA into the Opening Ceremony, Catie devised a plan to honor her family, carrying pictures of her late grandparents, who had survived the Holocaust in Poland, into the Opening Ceremony. “I felt like I was representing them,” explained Catie. “The banner that led Team USA into the stadium said, ‘We Are Still Here’. What a proud moment for me.”
As an Assistant Athletic Director at a High School not far from her hometown, Catie envisions a future moment wherein one of her students asks her for advice regarding participating with Maccabi USA. What would she say? “You should absolutely do it. It is a life-changing experience to play in an international competition in a foreign country,” said Catie. “And surrounded by thousands of Jews from around the world? If you ask me, I’d say it’s a pretty easy decision.”
Maccabi USA is currently seeking female Jewish Soccer players, ages 18-35, to represent the United States at the Pan American Maccabi Games on the Open Women’s Soccer team! For more information, please contact Shane Carr, Program Director at 267.627.5647 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also click HERE to apply!