Team Manager David Pinnick tells Danny Caro about his experiences of the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel.
How would you describe Team GB's 19th Maccabiah experience?
"Judging by the comments and fulsome praise about the experience that we have received from our many participants, parents and supporters, we can only describe the 19th Maccabiah as an unqualified success. Everyone seemed to have a fantastic experience right from the start at our Israel Connect Pre-Camp, the sport and the many organised activities, including of course, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies."
Did our medal tally exceed/fall below expectation?
"We do not exclusively judge the success of the Maccabiah by our medal tally alone, although our Juniors really did excel themselves at these Games. Our medal tally was a little down on 2009 but so were our numbers by comparison. The medals won will sit in a drawer but the memories of the experience are for life."
In terms of sporting achievement, what was your individual athlete and team highlight?
"This is very personal, but Josh Paris epitomised the whole meaning of the Games - he is a wonderful tennis player and an exceptional young man on and off the court. In the team event I would single out the Junior Girls Netball Team for beating the Australian girls for the first time ever in a magnificent final."
Was there one particular incident/achievement that summed up the Games for you?
"Again very personal but arriving at midnight with the Juniors at the Kotel as we arrived and watching them write notes and place them into the Wall was a specially moving moment."
On the sporting side watching our Junior Rugby players beat Israel in a bruising but epic battle to guarantee them a silver medal was simply outstanding."
What lessons can be learned about the Games?
"I learned that the work that Maccabi GB do exclusively in the area of sport is most valid and purposeful. We take literally hundreds of participants to Israel - many for their first trip - all of whom are enthused about their sport - and we bring home the same people but who along the way have developed a love of Israel and made friendships from across the world - many of which will last a lifetime."