Olympic chief lauds Maccabi

April 19, 2013 by David Weiner-Maccabi NSW
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One of the key players in landing and organising the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games says the “whole Maccabi movement deserves recognition” for the work being done ahead of the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel in July.

Robert Elphinston talks to leaders

Robert Elphinston talks to leaders

Robert Elphinston OAM, a former secretary general of the Australian Olympic Committee and the General Manager of Sport at Sydney 2000, was the keynote speaker as Australia’s Maccabiah Games management team gathered near Phillip Island on the weekend for a crucial weekend of planning ahead of the Games.

Elphinston, the president of the International Federation of Basketball from 2009-2013, facilitated the leadership workshop, which brought together management from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. It was the first time management, including coaches and physiotherapists have been brought together before the Games.

For those counting the days until the Games begin, he reminded the audience “there are only 12 Mondays until the Games start” – but added that he’s never seen a Maccabi leadership so well prepared for the Games.

“I’ve been at a couple of team workshops like this, for Maccabi, and this is by far the most advanced I’ve been at,” he said.

The weekend allowed medical, media, security, logistical and sporting plans to be discussed amongst the leadership team. Elphinston, an inspirational and engaging speaker, whose current roles include consulting on which sports should be included in future Olympic Games, said he was impressed by what he saw.

“I think the weekend reaffirms my previous beliefs that as a community you are a very passionate, dedicated and concerned community; you respect and look after each other very, very well. You have some amazing people who have committed a lot of their life to the Maccabi movement.

“The fact that you can take such a huge team – like 400 people – to the Maccabiah Games and be if not the No.1 nation, then close to it, is a remarkable effort.

“The whole Maccabi movement deserves recognition.”

He added that the demographic of the weekend’s audience re-assured him that the future of the organisation was also in bright and safe hands.

“You’re building a body of knowledge … in turn, I’m seeing the legacy being passed on (by the experience) to new, young people, becoming involved in the team leadership, which is great,” he added.

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