A superb year in Australian Jewish sport

Matt Levy. Photo: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia
Matt Levy. Photo: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia

There were so many sporting highlights in 2022, from solid growth at the grassroots at Maccabi clubs in Sydney and Melbourne, to outstanding moments of triumph on the world stage.

Here’s just a sample of incredible achievements by Australian Jewish athletes and teams this year.

Five-time Paralympian Matt Levy ended his swimming career on the highest note by winning gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Also medalling in Birmingham were race walker Jemima Montag (gold), rhythmic gymnast Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva (gold, silver and bronze), and judo brothers Josh and Nathan Katz (a bronze each), while Steve Solomon made the men’s 400m final.

Maccabi Australia sent more than 540 athletes to Israel for the Maccabiah Games, and they came fourth overall out of more than 60 nations.

In football, Perth’s Jacob Muir, Western Sydney’s Zac Sapsford, and Sydney’s Jake Girdwood-Reich made their A-League Men’s debuts, while Erin Gordon debuted for the Junior Matildas.

Teens Layla Bloom (weightlifting) and Brayden Bloch (cycling) also made their international debuts, and teenage para athlete Ori Drabkin broke more national age records.

In cricket, Maccabi-AJAX men’s First XI won their first premiership since 1983.

And to top it off, former AJAX Footy Club junior Harry Sheezel, 18, was signed last month by the North Melbourne Kangaroos, as the third pick in the AFL Draft, creating Australian Jewish sporting history.

L’chaim and mazal tov to all who did themselves, and the community, proud. And may next year be equally successful!

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