Team Maccabi GB have returned home from a successful JCC Maccabi Games held in Fort Lauderdale.
While the event showcased various sports disciplines, it was the deep connections formed, the warmth of host family hospitality, and the joy of meeting Jews from across the globe that truly defined the essence of the Games.
Within the competitions, they achieved notable success, securing medals across five different sports.
Adam Warner, the manager of the swimming squad, shared insights into his team’s achievements. “They all competed really well while battling the scorching weather, made lots of new friends and gained valuable experience for future competitions,” said Adam.
The medals won were symbols of their dedication, but it was the friendships forged and the invaluable experiences gained that stood out the most.
The tennis team (Photo: handout)
Ben Sweiry, the tennis manager, emphasised the team’s achievements as a team. He praised the participants not only for their athletic prowess but also for their exceptional sportsmanship.
“After a week of tough competition, I couldn’t be more proud of the way they competed and carried themselves,” said Ben.
“Rocco Yanover’s near-perfect tournament eventually came to an end in the final, but he can be extremely proud of his silver medal and I’m certain this is only the start of a long tennis career with Maccabi GB.
Libbi Alexenicer did us proud in the girls’ tournament, playing to a high-standard and only falling at the quarter finals to one of the top prospects in Israel, while Matan Ben-Yair did a superb job as squad captain, consistently rallying support for the squad, as well as an impressive singles display from him.
Tomer Doctors had an impressive tournament too, showing strong mentality to come back from injury and play his knockout matches. Zeb Imber enjoyed a flawless tournament, winning the U16 boys’ competition. He can be extremely proud of the way he conducted himself and his achievements and it couldn’t have come to a more deserving athlete.”
The Team GB U14 and U16 girls footballers with coach Tash Kingsley (Photo: handout)
U16 Football Team manager Brandon Myers celebrated not only their accomplishments on the field but also their impeccable conduct off it. “They have conducted themselves so well on and off the pitch, and I couldn’t be prouder of them,” said Brandon.
The sportsmanship demonstrated by the U16 boys resonated strongly, summing up the spirit of the Games.
The medals, which hold their own significance, were not the sole focus of the Games.
The JCC Maccabi Games provided an opportunity for young individuals to share their love for their respective sports, learn from one another, and immerse themselves with different cultures.
The warmth of hosting families and the bonds formed with athletes from different corners of the world were the true treasures of the JCC Maccabi Games 2023.
Heads of Delegation Janice and Ian Aarons said: “We were honoured to lead this summer’s JCC Maccabi Games in Fort Lauderdale, assisted by a strong management team.
"We were delighted with the way our athletes conducted themselves at the Games, winning medals and having an amazing time. Our athletes made new friends with others from around the world and in turn, enhanced their Jewish identity.”
A huge congratulations to all the athletes and managers that were involved.
The Team GB medals:
l 8 Gold:
Jess Petar (Contemporary Dance);Gabriella Weller, Joe Kaye & Isaac Gold (4x200m Freestyle Relay)
Izzy Goldman (Jazz Solo Dance); Joe Kaye & Jack Clapper (4x400m Freestyle Relay); Zeb Imber (U16 Boys’ Tennis)
Tamara Felix (U16 Girls’ Table Tennis); Joe Kaye & Isaac Gold (4x400m Medley Relay); Yali Zmora & Jack Clapper (4x200m Medley Relay)
l 12 Silver:
Etta Saunders (Ballet); Etta Saunders & Jess Petar (Ballet Duet); Dance team (Contemporary Team Dance); Isaac Gold (4x400m Freestyle Relay); Sabrina Davis & Izzy Goodman (Lyrical Dance Duet); Sabrina Davis (Open Solo Dance); Gabriella Weller (200m Butterfly); Isabella Green (200m Butterfly); Jess Petar (Jazz Solo Dance); Rocco Yanover (U14 Boys’ Tennis); Tamara Felix (U16 Mixed Table Tennis); Rafi Zakaim (U16 Boys’ Table Tennis)
l 12 Bronze:
Charlie Loble (U16 Boys’ Table Tennis); Joe Kaye (500m Freestyle); Izzy Goldman (U14 Lyrical Solo Dance); Isabella Green (4x200m Medley Race); Joe Kaye (200m Backstroke); Isaac Gold (50m Butterfly); Isabella Green (4x400m Freestyle Relay); Yali Zouma, Isabella Green & Jack Clapper (4x400m Medley Relay); Yali Zmora (100m Freestyle); U16 Boys’ Football Team; Charlie Loble (U16 Boys’ Table Tennis); Daniel Ben-Yair (U16 Boys’ Tennis)