Maccabiah 2013 gets community support

May 31, 2013 by  
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Maccabi’s Melbourne and Sydney communities have shown their support for Team Australia heading to the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel in July.

The Melbourne community had the honour of listening to Australian Olympic icon Cathy Freeman, while Sydney’s audience heard from three-time Olympian and basketball legend Damian Keogh.
Both guest speakers inspired the audience with anecdotes from their careers, with a reminder to all the athletes in the room about the privilege of wearing green and gold on an international stage.


Getting ready for Israel

Getting ready for Israel


The gala events also saw the official uniform unveiled by representatives of Australia’s junior teams, while some attendees went home with some extraordinary prizes from raffles and auctions.

There was a wonderful atmosphere on both nights as the community gears up for Maccabiah, and the level of support provided was best summed up by Sydney event co-ordinator Tom York OAM, who reminded everyone about the importance of helping our athletes, particularly our juniors, get on the plane to Israel.

“If 5, 10, or even just one of them come back inspired and motivated by the amazing experience and work for the betterment of our community and country – it makes this investment money well spent,” he told the audience.

The annual Bondi Bolt race was held on the weekend to find the quickest guy and girl across the sand on Australia’s most famous beach – and both winners happen to be heading to Israel in July to represent Australia on the athletics track at the Maccabiah Games.

Robbie Baskin and Ella Regan-Lacey were the last ones standing after a series of 70m knock-out races – where the bottom few competitors are eliminated after each race until there is a winner. And there’s just a minute rest between races. “My quads are still painfully stiff and my groin feels like I could given birth,” Robbie, who won in the ninth race, quipped two days after the event.

The Bolt, hosted by the North Bondi Life Surving Club, was a bit of fun for both athletes but it augers well for their upcoming Maccabiah campaigns.

Ella, 18, improved on her third-place in the race last year. “My coach Joel Maybury has organized and competed in the Bolt for many years and has won it about 7 times, so it was pretty exciting for me to win it this year,” she told Maccabi News.

Ella, part of our junior athletics team, will take on the 100m, 200m, 4X100m relay and possibly the 4×400 relay in Israel.

“My preparation is going well, I’m training pretty much everyday between the track and the gym.

“I have been competing as much as I can to try and get some good times and also some good practice at racing in race conditions.

“My coach Joel Maybury has been incredible, and we are working towards improving my 100m time to about 12.2.”

The Bondi Barefoot was no fluke; Ella, also a member of our Touch Football Club in Sydney, says a highlight of her preparation has been constantly improving her ‘personal best times’ “every time I race”.

“I am excited and nervous for the Maccabiah Games. I am really excited to meet some new people from all over the world but mostly I’m excited to get onto the track and race. My goal for maccabiah would definitely be to try get a medal!”

Robbie, 24, is on his way to his third Maccabiah Games, and will contest the 100m, 200m and long jump. Starting full-time work since the last Maccabiah has made training difficult, but as Sunday’s result suggests, perhaps Robbie is in a position to improve on his fourth-place finish in the 100m in both 2005 and 2009.

“Luckily my coach has a squad that trains at 6am so I’ve been able to add that into my routine giving me a solid training base for maccabiah,” he said.

“I’ve also added a sneaky couple of gym sessions in the mix to make me stronger this time round too.

“I’m hoping you go at least one better. I’d love to get a medal, or two.

“Besides the great competition I’m definitely looking forward to a solid few weeks off work and partying with my Jewish brethren from all around the world!”

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