Ex-Aussie’s daughters hit the target in Israel

February 19, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Shira and Alma Ifergan have taken out Gold and Silver medals in their first Israeli National Youth Archery Championships.

Shira, Alma and aba Avi take aim

The girls are daughters of Avi and Anit Ifergan.

Avi is Bondi-born and raised and a Moriah College graduate who emigrated to Israel in 1993.

The Ifergan girls took up the sport less than 12 months ago, with the desire to join their father who was already active in the sport.

“I was looking for a new sport. Something less taxing on the hips, knees and lower body” said Avi, a former senior banker, and who is now the CEO of cybersecurity company TrustDefence. “I quickly understood that archery is far more than just a sport. Similar to golf, there exists an inner game. Apart from the technique, one must conquer one’s own mind. It is really a moving form of meditation, and one can easily lose yourself on the range”.

According to a Harvard University study, 30 minutes of archery burns about 100 calories, and properly drawing a bow strengthens arms, chest, hands, shoulders, back and core. Other physical benefits include improved posture, greater blood flow, and improves issues related to focus and ADD / ADHD.

The Championships, held in Jerusalem’s Malcha Stadium, saw Shira 13, and Alma 15, convincingly defeat all comers before facing off in the finals.

Alma and Shira share the spoils

“Obviously, as a father, I was both thrilled and excited for both girls,” Avi said. “There was really no dilemma for me. I told them both that they had already performed phenomenally and I was very proud of them. I told them that they should focus only on their own arrows. Not on each other’s. And that their goal should be their own personal bests. I then took each aside separately, and gave them some tips relevant to the issues each faced”.

Ultimately the younger Shira was the better archer on the day and won the finals 6-0.

“Watching the girls hug at the end of the match was emotional and awesome,” their father said.

The Ifergan girls train at the Maccabi Rishon Le Zion Archery Centre between 16 to 20 hours a week, under the close guidance of former Olympic Archery Coach Dennis Dratovsky. Dratovsky, who emigrated to Israel from Ukraine in 1999, combines training methods developed in Ukraine, with cutting edge technology that includes slow-motion cameras and

Shira his the target time after time

meditation devices. Dratovsky was no less proud than the girl’s father: “It is always a genuine pleasure to see young athletes with such commitment, who demonstrate how the hard work and dedication pays off”.

Current Israeli National Archery coach, Guy Matzkin, who himself represented Israel internationally echoed Dratovsky’s sentiments and noted the girls’ strong work ethic and competitive spirit.

Incredibly, Shira scored 291/300 in her first round, dropping only 9 points. “For an archer in her first year, this is very impressive,” said Matzkin. “While too early tell, this is nonetheless very promising”.

“Their immediate goal is to train for international events in 2021, in order to gain the necessary experience to qualify for the 2022 Youth Olympics in Dakar. If they continue to work hard, they are likely hopefuls to represent Israel in Sydney in the 2021 Junior World Championships.”

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