David Kyte leads his Team GB stars to Israel this week declaring “win medals at the Maccabiah and change your lives forever."
The GB Head of Delegation says there is an overriding feeling of excitement throughout the 443-strong squad, the majority of whom will fly to Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday.
"We are all extremely excited to be taking part in the 19th Maccabiah Games this year,” said Kyte. “As many people are aware, being one of the largest sporting competitions in the world, the Maccabiah Games is the pinnacle for any Jewish athlete and we cannot wait to touch down in Israel and represent British Jewry, competing against other Jewish athletes from around the world.”
British athletes from sports ranging from football to swimming will descend on Israel for the two-week event, nicknamed ‘the Jewish Olympics’. They will take in some history and culture before the competition begins, with the GB squad visiting Yad Vashem and the Kotel during pre-camp.
Kyte believes his delegatio n will be the best prepared from Great Britain in the history of the competition.
"I’m absolutely delighted with how all our squads and our athletes have prepared for Israel, especially as the squad is made up of players, managers and coaches from all across the UK, and from different backgrounds. The delegation is gelling really well.”
The squad features a number of newcomers, including swimmer Adam Warner, as well as Peter Lazard who is preparing for his eighth consecutive Games.
Kyte said: “We also have a fantastic management set-up and backroom team, and to bring all of them together is no mean feat. It is exciting to see Maccabi GB made up of a blend of established international athletes and up-and-coming talent, many of whom will be competing in their first Maccabiah Games. I am extremely satisfied and proud of our delegation."
Success for Kyte will not be calculated by medals alone. He said: “First-and-foremost, our role is to make sure the delegation’s experience in Israel is the best possible; from integrating with other Jewish athletes from around the world, to enjoying the Israeli culture, and of course competing and representing Great Britain.
Maccabi GB vice-chairman Daniel Collins said: “For many athletes, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and our aim is to always provide a platform where Jewish people can play sport in a competitive environment alongside other Jewish people from around the globe"