THE first three high profile athletes to be appointed as Australian Maccabiah team ambassadors for the next games in Israel in July 2022 have been named by head of delegation Barry Smorgon.
They are reigning Commonwealth Games women’s 20km race walking champion Jemima Montag, swimmer Matthew Levy – who has won medals including gold at Paralympics, Commonwealth Games and world championships – and Sydney FC A-League squad member Jordi Swibel.
Each enthusiastically accepted the honour, and offered words of inspiration and encouragement, coinciding with the reboot of the Australian delegation’s recruitment process.
Smorgon said despite the initial double blow of the 21st Maccabiah Games being postponed by one year by the Maccabi World Union, and the ramifications of the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, “planning is now well and truly back on track”.
The motto for the Australian team will be: One Team, One Dream.
The original volunteer-based senior leadership group headed by Smorgon – including Sam Gamsu (operations and sport), Giselle Berlinski (support services), Lauren Ehrlich (masters) and Debbie Rutstein (juniors) – has been reinstated, and a new timetable set for Australian team nominations.
“We’re working to deliver an outstanding experience for all our team members,” Smorgon said.
First up will be nominations for team managers and coaches, which are open now and close at the end of August. Nominations for athletes will open in November.
Maccabi Warriors ‘Big V’ player Jarred Kieser, who played at the 2009 Maccabiah Games for the youth team, aims to coach the junior boys’ squad at the 2022 games.
“Basketball has been really good to me, and I love that I’d get to share my knowledge and passion for the sport with the next generation,” Kieser said.
To find out more, visit www.maccabiupdates.com/m21.