Footballer, Dean Furman, was recognised as the top Jewish Sportsperson in the UK on Sunday night, at the Maccabi GB Sports Awards 2013 sponsored by the Pierre Gildesgame Memorial Fund. Elise Lazarus, one of Great Britain’s top female squash players at only 13 years of age, took home the Junior Sportsperson of the Year prize.
Following a sensational year where he made his debut for South Africa, played in the Africa Cup of Nations Tournament and won the SkyBet League 1 Championships, Furman accepted the John Dymant Senior Sportsperson of the Year Award via video link, having played and scored for his club Doncaster Rovers over the weekend. He saw off competition from tennis player, Lillian Geey, and Triathlete, Ivan Green, who finished in second and third place respectively.
Speaking about his Jewish identity, Furman said, “I was brought up in a traditional, Jewish family, I went to a Jewish school and now I live up in Manchester in a predominantly Jewish area. My Jewish roots are all around me, I am very traditional in my beliefs and I continue to practice Judaism, so to win this award is very special to me.”
Elise Lazarus has also had a successful year, rising up the national rankings to be the number one squash player in the U16 category and ranked number 4 in the UK in the U23 category, despite her young age. As one of the youngest ever nominees for the Sam Bulka Junior Sportperson of the Year Award, she won ahead of second-placed weight-lifter, Shachar Head, and Trampolinist, Joshua Newman, who came in third.
The event, held at the Radlett Arts Centre, also acknowledged the outstanding achievements of Maccabi GB’s 19th Maccabiah Games Delegation with the UJIA Team of the Year Award jointly going to Team Maccabi GB’s Junior Netball Squad and U16 Boys Football Squad. Team Maccabi GB’s Junior Rugby Squad was awarded the Runners-Up prize. Athlete Ellie Edwards was presented with the European Maccabi Confederation’s Most Valuable Player Award - alongside Dutch wheelchair Basketballer, Marc de Hond – for her hat trick of medals in Israel over the summer.
Other prestigious accolades were presented to Juliette Wise (CST Young Sportsperson of the Year Award), David Kyte (Maccabi GB Gold Medal Award), David Pinnick (Ken Gradon Award for Outstanding Contribution to Team Maccabi GB), Brian & Helena Green and Alex Pinnick (all Maccabi GB Silver Medal Awards), David Wolff (Richard Urban Lifetime Achievement) and Sandra Waldman (Fred Worms Award for Volunteering).
Speaking about the evening Elizabeth Fishel, Maccabi GB’s Events Manager, said, “The Maccabi GB Sports Awards is one of the highlights of the Jewish Community’s calendar. To recognise the talent, commitment, dedication and achievements of all those involved in Jewish sport over the past year is incredibly important and Maccabi GB is proud to host this event. We would like to thank everyone who attended the ceremony, either as a guest or helping to run the show, and an enormous ‘Mazel Tov’ to all the winners”.
300 people packed-out the venue to see the awards ceremony, which was hosted by TV presenters Olivia Wayne, Emma Pollard and Rob Nothman and included entertainment by singer, Talia Welka, and magician, Nick Einhorn. Amongst those in attendance were Vice President of Maccabi World Union and Life President of Maccabi GB, Bob Glatter, President of the European Maccabi Confederation Stuart Lustigman, Chairman Motti Tichauer and Sports Director Robert Cohen, President of Maccabi GB Stanley Cohen, Chairman Michael Ziff, Vice Chairman, Daniel Collins, CEO, Martin Berliner, and Maccabi GB Vice Presidents and trustees.
A full list of winners can be found below:
John Dymant Senior Sportsperson of the Year Award
Winner: Dean Furman (Football)
Runner-up: Lillian Geey (Tennis)
Third Place: Ivan Green (Triathlon)
Sam Bulka Junior Sportsperson of the Year Award
Winner: Elise Lazarus (Squash)
Runner-up: Shachar Head (Powerlifting)
Third Place: Joshua Newman (Trampoline)
UJIA Team of the Year Award
Winner: 19th Maccabiah Games U16 Football Team and 19th Maccabiah Games Junior Netball team
Runner-up: 19th Maccabiah Games Junior Rugby Team
Maccabi GB Gold Medal Award
Winner: David Kyte
Maccabi GB Silver Medal Award
Winners: Brian Green, Helena Green, Alex Pinnick
Ken Gradon Award for Outstanding Contribution to Team Maccabi GB
Winner: David Pinnick
Richard Urban Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: David Wolff
CST Young Leader of the Year Award
Winner: Juliette Wise
Fred Worms Award for Volunteering
Winner: Sandra Waldman
European Maccabi Confederation Most Valuable Player Award
Winners: Ellie Edwards, Marc De Hond
SEE ALL THE FANTASTIC MEMORIES FROM THE EVENING IN OUR PHOTO GALLERY
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