Lara receives inaugural scholarship

February 2, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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The winner of the inaugural Maccabi Australia Rudi Roth Sports Scholarship was announced at the closing ceremony of the 33rd Maccabi Australia Junior Carnival held in Melbourne last week,and Maccabi Australia is excited to announce NSW Junior tennis player Lara Kaplan as the recipient.

Rudi and Lara

Rudi Roth and Lara Kaplan

Whilst Lara was unable to attend the ceremony to accept her award in person, Rudi was able to surprise Lara when she was in Melbourne competing a few weeks ago with a visit and presentation court side.

Her award win was a well kept secret until the Closing Ceremony of the Junior Carnival as this was seen as a fitting audience to make the announcement to – an audience to be inspired by a young girl’s sporting success.

During his short address to the 550-strong audience, scholarship sponsor, Rudi Roth explained that he hoped to inspire the Junior Carnival participants to dream big and seek out sporting success. With many of his grandchildren competing in the Carnival, Rudi was particularly proud to have the award announced at the Closing. “Having my grandchildren stand with me to present this award, shows the generational impact that Maccabi and sport has in our community” explained Rudi in the lead up to the Ceremony.

2014 was an outstanding year for Lara, capped off with her selection in the NSW under 12 state team that recently competed in Melbourne for the National States Tournament. Lara is ranked 2nd in NSW and 5th in Australia in her age group.

Rudi, a former Maccabi Squash Club President and captain will make a single grant each year to emerging athletes to assist them on the path to achieving at an elite level. Having overcome Rickets at age 12, undergoing six operations and then re-learning how to walk, Rudi was not sure he would ever walk, let alone succeed in squash at the highest level. To this end, Rudi is keen to support emerging athletes, with their eye on elite status.

Barry Smorgon, President of Maccabi Australia “reminds all Jewish sports persons that the scholarship will be offered again in 2016 and applications will be open by October 2015. Maccabi, whilst connecting the community through sport is keen to recognise, reward and contribute to the development of sport excellence.”

Rudi Roth was born in Poland, and came to Australia in 1933 as a toddler. He lived in Israel for a short time in the 1950s, coaching in the first ever Israeli International Squash Championship, conducted in 1955. He was also the Israeli Airforce Squash Champion in 1955. He then returned to Australia, residing in Sydney for a number of years before returning to Melbourne.

Rudi was the first Australian Jewish squash captain. He had an illustrious squash career as a young adult in NSW, founding JASA Squash while captaining the Eastern Suburbs Squash Club. He also played an instrumental role in the development AJAX Squash Courts in Alma Rd, Melbourne, named as a founder of the AJAX Squash Club in Victoria, which later became known as the Maccabi Victoria Squash Club. He was not only the Club’s first secretary, but also its first Captain. Soon after the Club’s creation and acceptance into pennant competition, the Club won its first ever Victorian Flag, a first for a Jewish sporting club at that time.

Having overcome Rickets at age 12, undergoing six operations and then re-learning how to walk, Rudi was not sure he would ever walk, let alone succeed in squash at the highest level. To this end, Rudi is keen to support emerging athletes, with their eye on elite status.

With the foresight and generosity of Rudi Roth, Maccabi is pleased to be able provide some assistance to those athletes with a dream in sport….

 

Yearly Grant

The Rudi Roth Maccabi Australia Scholarship Fund make a single grant each year for the next 20 years to emerging athletes to assist them on the path to achieving at an elite level.

Each year the grant will be made to the individual who best fits the criteria, and is deemed the most deserving by the selection panel. The first grant will be made in January 2015.

Funding can be used to pay for such legitimate items as travel to tournaments, coaching expenses, registration or nomination fees and the like. Funds must be spent within the calendar year in which they are granted and copies of receipts or other formal documentation are required to be submitted for our financial records supporting the expenditure.

Comments

One Response to “Lara receives inaugural scholarship”
  1. Esther Oliver says:

    Sorry delete last comment! What a wonderful gift of encouragement by Mr Roth.
    Kola hakavod!

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