Manchester Maccabi packs a punch


Manchester Maccabi community centre attracted more than 300 people to its post-Chanucah event on Sunday.

The sports club, which has plans to build an £80,000 indoor youth zone extension and hire a £30,000-a-year youth worker, has been making efforts to attract more people to communal activities aside from sports.

Sunday's event, sponsored by the JC North, offered 90 youngsters coaching by former Manchester United and Halifax Town player Ian Fitzpatrick, but also saw doughnut making, big screen computer gaming and a beauty bar for those less frenzied by football. Eight children with life-threatening illnesses joined the fun with the help of charity Camp Simcha.

Volunteer for the charity, Shloime Abenson, 22, said the boy he was helping "was loving it" as a welcomed distraction following repeated hospital visits.

Salford mother Micha Maslin said her five-year-old daughter Rebecca had "liked being pampered" with fluorescent nail polish but also commended the Maccabi "hangout" for "those not particularly interested in sports to have a choice of a Jewish venue".

But nine-year-old Bury and Whitefield pupil Samuel Sherman, who is hoping to become goalie for his school team, was very pleased to see the professional sports coaching element.

Maccabi's Steph Wilks thanked over 20 volunteers who had made the event possible from Maccabi and the youth movement Habonim Dror.

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