Maccabi welcomes back triathlon club

June 12, 2011 by David Weiner-Maccabi NSW
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An advertisement placed in the Jewish News in early 1990 by Steve Denenberg was the catalyst for the formation of the Maccabi Triathlon Club, which held its first race – a duathlon – in Centennial Park in May of that year.

Paul Stone, a member of the committee which put on Sydney’s first ever triathlon, at Narrabeen in February 1982, become the first President of the club – a position he was to hold for 10 years.

From these tentative beginnings, the club soon made its mark on Jewish sport, and for nearly 20 years, the Maccabi Triathlon Club brought together Jewish triathletes of all ages and abilities to compete regularly and enthusiastically, both at club races and at outside events.

A quite remarkable statistic is that no less than seven members of the club have represented Australia in world championships (both triathlon and duathlon) in age group competition, and a swag of medals of all hues is testimony to the distinction with which its members have performed at the Maccabiah Games.

Husband and wife Anne and Michael Besser, who between them have won the Maccabi Masters Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year award a remarkable nine times, both started their triathlon careers at the club.

Triathletes have continued to make their mark in Jewish sport. Last September, Paul Stone and Julian Rifkin (below) competed at the World Masters Triathlon Championships in Budapest. Julian – who last week won the 2010 Maccabi Masters Sportsman of the Year award – will again represent Australia in age group competition over both the Sprint and Olympic distances at this year’s championships in Beijing in September.

Several years ago, the club ceased to function, but an enthusiastic committee has now re-formed the club to cater for the many Jewish triathletes (and would-be triathletes) of all ages who would like to train and compete together on a regular basis. It hopes to attract at least 50 members in its first full season.

The Maccabi Triathlon Club has a proud history, but looks forward to an even better future. And since the future of any club must lie with its youth, the present club committee is determined to encourage much greater participation amongst the younger members of our community.

The club will hold its own races – triathlon, duathlon and other – at approximately monthly intervals throughout the year, and its events calendar will be designed to give its members the opportunity to compete in the many external events (in Sydney and beyond) that are now available for enthusiasts of this increasingly popular sport.

Its first event – a duathlon (a 2.6k run, 19k bike and 3.8k run) will be held at Centennial Park (opposite Mckay oval) on Sunday 5 June at 7.00 am.

Those who wish to join the club can download and complete an application form.

For further information, please contact David at davidtay@bigpond.net.au or phone 9326-1262.

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