History of Athletics Department

The beginning of sports activities at Bethlehem University

It all started in 1973, when a group of first-year students at the university created, with self-help efforts, a basketball team consisted of: Khalil Shouka, Late Anis Halabi, Issa Al-Naber, Rober Handal, Edward Hazboun and Salim Al-Hodaly. The team was supervised by Mr. Khalil Shoukeh.

There were several meetings between those students and the university administration at that time, represented by Brother Anthony and Brother Brendan on the necessity of having a coach for this team.

They had contacted Mr. Amin Zait, who expressed his agreement to supervise the sports teams. The team began its training in October 1973 and was coached by student Khalil Shoukeh.

In May 1974, Mr. Amin Zeit started as a part coach. Meanwhile, the team played 4 games with Bethlehem district school teams and clubs teams. The first basketball match with Birzeit University team, that took place in Al Tireh Teacher College, was one of the most important and strongest matches. Bethlehem University team won this match in the presence of all Bethlehem students, who were then 63 students.

In the academic year 1974/1975, several teams were formed for B.U students in basketball, handball, football and volleyball. Thus, the sport activity and the matches increased, especially the internal games that were held between the university faculties, which were: Arts – Sciences – Business Administration – Hotel Management – Nursing.

And among the most important activities that were held in that year, the match between the first year students team and the second year students team in basketball, which created an atmosphere of competition and encouragement between supporters of the first year and the second year, which led students to make advertisements and cartoon drawings that filled The university walls as part of the cheering campaign. The match was played on a cup that was presented by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Anton Sansour. The first year team, represented by the following players: Khalil Shawka – Edward Hazboun – Issa Al-Nabr – Salim Al-Houdali – Robert Handal – Hani Al-Imam had won the game.

As for the second year team, it included: Ruby Kanawati – Kamal Khamshta – Joseph Berzakhian – Jack Kaplanian – Samir Saati – Dawood Haddad.

Moreover, table tennis teams have been formed for male and female students, which have held internal games and competitions.

Here are the sports activities that took place since 1973:

1973/1974: 4 basketball games for students.

1974/1975: Volleyball Championship among the university Faculties.

The first winner was: Faculty of Arts – The second winner: Faculty of Business Administration and the award was a trophy presented by Mr. Abu Al-Amir Dajani.

Basketball for students: 7 games.

In the year of 1975/1976:

Basketball: 14 games.

Handball: 8 matches.

Football: 4 matches.

Volleyball: 7 matches, including one for female students.

In the year of 1976/1977:

Bethlehem University won the first place in the Palestinians Universities Basketball Championship; BU also won the second place in the handball championship.

Internal Volleyball Championship:

First winner: Faculty of Business Administration – Second winner: Faculty of Arts and the award was a trophy presented by Mr. Abu Al-Amir Dajani.


University Championship in Table Tennis for male students:

The first place: Muhammad Al-Qumairi, the second place: Issa Marzouqa.

University championship in table tennis for female students:

First place: Georgette Barham, second place: Lina Atallah.

University Chess Championship under the supervision and arbitration of Dr. Anton Sansour:

First winner: Samih Alqam.