Maccabiah Games will be tougher, says Kyte

By Danny Caro, July 21, 2011

David Kyte believes Team GB can build on their success from the European Maccabi Games at the 2013 Maccabiah Games.

Kyte, the head of the GB delegation in Vienna, led a 240-man team that brought home 78 medals including 32 gold.

"Israel 2013 will be a different challenge for so many reasons," said Kyte. "First, there will be many more sports and age groups so I expect team GB to be over twice the size that we took to Vienna. Second, the commitment of the Games itself will be both a greater cost and length of time.

"The standard of competition will be infinitely stronger and therefore to achieve success and medals will be that much harder. So there is lots of work to be done on so many fronts.

"We will continue the momentum but at the same time, inevitably, there will be fresh faces on all fronts from the players, to the coaches, the managers, the medics and the organising committee.

"The door is open for talented and able candidates on all fronts and after the summer we will be starting the process of establishing the team for Israel 2013 - it seems a long time away but the Vienna experience which started in September 2009 showed me how quickly the dream became a reality and now is a fond memory."

Looking back on Vienna, Kyte said: "It was an exciting, emotional and rewarding experience topped by an outstanding performance from Maccabi GB both on and off the field of play.

"There are many people who give so much of themselves in a voluntary capacity and without expecting thanks or recognition all for the greater good of the community. There are too many to name but I thank them all."

Kyte's sporting highlight came in the Open football final. He said: "With the game delicately poised in the first half the German defender unchallenged handled the ball in the box. The referee had no option but to give a penalty. The player claimed that he had heard the referees whistle and assumed that an infringement had been made and play was being stopped. The whistle had come from an adjoining pitch.

"The GB team with great honour and grace did not accept the penalty and gave the ball to the German keeper. This epitomised for me the best in sportsmanship and true Maccabi spirit."

But he came away with one underlying memory from Vienna. "Singing the Hatikvah at the opening ceremony at the same venue over 70 years earlier Hitler and his fellow Nazis had vowed to wipe out the Jewish people."

Last updated: 11:32am, July 25 2011