LONDON Olympic heroes Steven Solomon and Jessica Fox scooped the main awards at the Maccabi NSW Jewish Sports Awards last week.
Solomon was named Sportsman of the Year after he stunned the athletics world by making the final of the 400m at the London Games last year, while Sportswoman of the Year went to Fox for her silver medal in the slalom kayak at the same Games.
Speaking via video link, Fox, who is currently studying at the University of Sydney on an elite sports scholarship, said the award was a great honour.
“Thank you so much for this award. I’m truly honoured to be named Sportswoman of the Year,” Fox said.
“It means so much to me and I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received from Maccabi and the Jewish community.”
Also speaking via video link, Solomon described the honour as a “privilege”.
“[The year] 2012 was a fantastic year for me and I’d really like to thank everyone who supported me. Without you, I’d never had made it to the Olympics.”
Karate champion Carole Schlessinger, who holds a second-degree black belt, won the Master Sportswoman of the Year award following her recent gold medal victory at the 11th Shotokan Karate World Championships in Sydney.
Masters Sportsman of the Year was awarded to not one, but two accomplished athletes in a tie, with lawn bowlers Brandon Conway and Jack Kampel, who recently won the NSW State Senior Pairs together, sharing the prize.
Pole vaulter Elizabeth Baral was named Junior Sportswoman of the Year for the second year running. This award follows a busy 2012 that saw her named the NSW under-16 pole vault champion, Australian under-15 pole vault champion, and coming in second in pole vault at the Australian All Schools Championships.
Junior Sportsman of the Year went to swimmer Kyron Israelsohn, who recently took gold and silver medals at the All Schools Nationals.
Team of the Year went to the Maccabi Futsal Premier League Team and Club Administrator of the Year was awarded to David Weiner, who has rebuilt the touch football club, seeing a surge in membership from 12 to 213 in less than 12 months.
Club of the Year was awarded to the Triathlon Club and Administrator of the Year went to Larry Cornofsky, who judged the men’s hockey at the 2012 Olympics.
There were six new categories this year, including Maccabi Open Sportsman, Maccabi Open Sportswoman, Maccabi Junior Sportsman, Maccabi Junior Sportswoman, Maccabi Masters Sportsman and Maccabi Masters Sportswoman.
The winners were Jason Rubenstein, Lyn Blecher, Mitch Maloon, Lara Kaplan and Jack Kampel respectively, with no nominations having been received for the final category.