Elise Lazarus is certainly a chip off the old block. The 12-year-old from Woodford Green is the daughter of legendary Maccabi champion David Lazarus, and she took her accolade at the Maccabi GB Sports Award right in her stride.
Clutching the Sam Bulka trophy tightly, the Redbridge Squash Club member is no. 1 in the national under-15 rankings and no. 4 in the under-23 category.
Lazarus started playing squash aged five, but indeed David has been much more than a father figure — he’s been helping her every step of the way. "Sometimes I find it difficult to concentrate on the court, but my dad is an amazing coach," said Elise, who attends West Hatch School. "This is a wonderful prize to win and I couldn’t be prouder."
Elise, who will turn professional in the New Year, holds the record for being the youngest ever player to represent England at under-13 level, when she was just nine. She recently won the British Closed under-15 Championships and also plays in the men’s 1st XI at club level.
David Lazarus said: "This is a proud moment for both Ellie and I. She has put in a lot of hard work, but now she needs to keep it going. She’s already up with the top women in the country. Everyone always wants to beat her, but she’s number one in the country. She remains focused and wants to keep doing well."
Powerlifter Shachar Head came runner-up in the Junior awards section, with trampolinist Josh Newman third.