Big social action win for GB Maccabiah athletes

British Maccabiah team members proved good sports by supporting deprived children in the Galil


In advance of the sporting action, 200 junior members of the British squad for the Maccabiah volunteered at UJIA projects in northern Israel.

They joined up with 350 Israeli children in the deprived Galil region to socialise, learn about the charitable work they benefit from and run sports activities.

Participants included Grace Alexander, 16, who organised a wheelbarrow race and other activities in Shfar’am, where UJIA administers a football and educational programme. “The highlight for me was getting to know the kids,” she said.  “It was a challenge to get over the language barrier but we succeeded by using simple words in English and Arabic, along with actions and hand gestures.”   

Lior Tapnack, 17, added: “It’s been great to spend time with kids who may not be as fortunate as we are. It’s amazing to see how football can unite us all.” 

Jake Mincovitch, 16, from Leeds, and Londoner Lara Hugh, 15, were equally enthusiastic about their time at Carmiel Children’s Village, where UJIA is renovating dormitories.

UJIA chief executive Michael Wegier said the initiative was “one of the biggest youth volunteering encounters by British teenagers in Israel and I’m so proud we managed to work with Maccabi GB to make it happen. Combined with the educational activities which made up the two-day programme, I feel we have given our athletes a really meaningful encounter with the Israel of today.”

A further 80 Team Maccabi GB athletes aged 18 to 35, also took part in a day of educational touring and activities.

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