Maccabi NSW Awards

May 3, 2013 by David Weiner-Maccabi NSW
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Two Olympians have received Maccabi NSW Jewish Sports Awards.

Adam Kellerman

Antony Goodridge and Adam Kellerman

Steve Solomon and Jessica Fox took home the organisation’s highest honours.
 at last week’s awards ceremony.

If our youngsters need any inspiration, they need look no further than our four nominees for this year’s Lou Rose MBE Sportsman of the Year – four players to have donned the green and gold in 2012.

Solomon, along with Adam Kellerman (London 2012 Paralympics), Anthony Tockar (international karate representative) and Jarrod Basger (futsal World Cup) completed the highest calibre of nominees we’ve ever assembled.

Steve joined the audience via a recorded message from Stanford University.

”I’m really honoured to win this award – it’s a great privilege for me to accept this for myself and my family,” Steve said.

”2012 was a fantastic year for me; I’d really like to thank everyone that supported me, especially my family and my coach Vira.

”Without them, my Olympic journey, let alone my Olympic success, would not have been possible.”

Then there’s Jessica Fox, unknown to our community before London, but one of the genuine success stories of Australia’s 2012 London Olympic campaign.

Jess, in France preparing for international races ahead of the World Cup and World Championships, thanked the community for the reception she’s been given.

”I am truly honoured to be named Sportswoman of the Year,” she said, also via recorded message.

”Although I can’t be there to accept it, please know it means so much to me to be recognised in this way.

”I am really grateful for the support I’ve received from Maccabi and the Jewish community.

”Last year was a big year, with great results, and to be honest, I was overwhelmed by the support and the messages and the way I was welcomed into the Jewish community by everyone. It was really special and I thank everyone enough for that.”

The calibre of contenders was as good as ever. Sandi Rabie told the audience how her Brisbane marathon win was motivated by trying to knock off her dad’s personal best, having also surpassed her mum in an earlier marathon. Dad still holds out – but perhaps Sandi’s exceptional CV will get another notch in New York. Year 12 Moriah College student Gemma Adelman explained how ultimate Frisbee has taken off as a sport, particularly at university level. Gemma talked about her “amazing” experience in Dublin with the Australian under-19 squad last August.


Kyron Israelsohn, a runner-up last year, went one better on Sunday to win the Leo Kellerman Junior Sportsman of the Year award. The 16-year-old, who will compete in the open field at July’s Maccabiah Games, thanked his parents for schlepping him around on a 4.30am wake-up.

But it’s been worth the toil. Kyron made a mark on the national circuit last year, with the highlight a gold – with the year’s fastest time for a 15-year-old – in the stage age short course 50m freestyle. There was also gold – and a record – in the 4x50m freestyle relay at the All School Nationals. In and amongst his other achievements, Kyron was picked as a state representative at the national age short course championships.

Our Nahum Opit Junior Sportswoman of the Year is a remarkable talent. Elizabeth Barel defended her crown – and it’s easy to see why. The 15-year-old pole vaulter is a star.

Last year she won the Australian u-16 championship in February, the under-15 championship in March, under-14 NSW All Schools in October and came second, in an open field, at the Australian All Schools in December.

Just for good measure, her feats this year are worth mentioning too. She holds both the under-16 and under-17 Australian junior titles at the same time, and finished ninth at the Australian Open Championships in April. Baral said love of sport came first for her – any future ambition will just take of itself.


You never know what the future holds! Just take a glance back through the history of our awards nights and there are some great Maccabi names on the honour role.

Look at 2009; who would’ve thought Steve Solomon, a tied recipient of the junior sportsman of the year with David Sofaer after his first year in athletics, was destined for Olympics success just two-and-a-half years later?

Our 2007 & 2008 winner might have thought Olympic opportunities were on the horizon. It was a teenage Ben Goldstein, representing Australia in water polo at junior level. The same Ben Goldstein wowing Australia on Channel 9’s The Voice.


Maccabi legend Phyllis Glasser was on hand to present her Masters Sportswoman of the Year award to Carole Schlessinger. Carole won gold at the Shotokan Karate World Championships in November- the first time the event was held in Australia. Carole couldn’t make the Aussie team because the try-outs were during Rosh Hashanah. Never fear! She proudly qualified for the Israeli squad and won their first ever gold medal at the championships.

The Percy Weinstein Memorial Trophy for Masters Sportsman of the Year was a joint decision – split between lawn bowlers Brandon Conway and Jack Kampel, who have both enjoyed excellent success on the NSW circuit.


Larry Cornofsky took out the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Administrator of the Year prize for his continued work in the field of hockey. In a nice touch on the night, Maccabi NSW chief executive Mick Vasin was acknowledged for his 15-year service to the organisation with an impromptu nomination (of course, Mick collates the nominees list, so it had to be a surprise!) alongside Zvi BenDavid in this category.

On the club front, David Weiner received the Louis Platus OAM Club Administrator of the Year award.


The David Selinger Award for Outstanding Sportsmanship at Junior Carnival went to Matthew Suntup, Milli Haber
and Sasha Wrublewski.


We awarded club awards for the first time – a concept we hope grows in years to come as clubs buy into the concept, where we recognise the best of the players excelling wearing the Maccabi jersey.
Our inaugural recipients are: Lara Kaplan (juniors), Mitch Maloon (juniors), Jack Kampel (masters), Jason Rubinstein (open), Lyn Blecher (open).


Congratulations to David Taylor and the Triathlon Club – adjudged the best in our stable for their 2012 performance.

”This is an award which recognises the re-genesis of the ‘old’ club, a veritable phoenix rising from the ashes,” David wrote to his club members this week.

”As such, it is an award for all of you – because every one of you, by joining the club and coming to its events, has helped the club become the vibrant entity that it is today.”

For a full run-down of the club’s achievements, read here.

There was little surprise when it came to the Australian Jewish News Michael and Betty Golland Trophy for Team of the Year.

The futsal All age Men’s side competed on an international platform wearing the Maccabi badge and they were represented on the night by four magnificent ambassadors for the club: Gareth Naar, Jarrod Basger, Jordan Mundell and Paul Meltz.

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