TWO-TIME Olympic medallist Jessica Fox and Paralympian Adam Kellerman were the highest profile winners of the Maccabi NSW Jewish Sports Awards, announced at a gala dinner at Easts Rugby Club on March 26.
Fox was named NSW Jewish Sportswoman of the Year for the fifth time, edging out fellow nominees Australian bobsleigh representative Ashleigh Werner, gymnast Deborah Greenbaum and fencer Rachel Stanton.
Fox was unable to attend the awards night, but told The AJN “I feel really proud and grateful to be a part of this community and having your support.”
“I do my sport because I love it and feel so fortunate to represent Australia on the world stage.
“This gives me a platform to reach so many people and hopefully inspire a few to get active or aim high, dare to dream and work hard.”
In the last 12 months, Fox won a bronze medal in the women’s K1 canoe slalom at the Olympic Games in Rio, won several World Cup rounds and the Oceania Cup in K1 and C1, and maintained her top three world ranking.
Kellerman was named the NSW Jewish Sportsman of the Year in recognition of making the round of 16 when representing Australia in tennis at the 2016 Paralympic Games and for making the quarter-finals of the 2016 Australian Open.
He said via video message “I’m so grateful. Thank you to Maccabi for all your support over the years.”
Other nominees were Australian 400m runner and Olympian Steven Solomon, NSW Waratahs player David Horwitz, and Australian men’s Futsal team member Jarrod Basger.
Matthew Sharp is the NSW Jewish Junior Sportsman of the Year, for excelling in water polo at international and state level.
Sharp was a member of the Australian junior team that won the Trans-Tasman Series 3-0 and came sixth at the Pan Pacs tournament.
Other nominees were footballers Ryan Blumberg, Jordan Swibel and Jay Hirschowitz, gymnast Ethan Fouracre, rugby and cricket player Jordan Segal, and runner Frankie Kogan.
Swimmer Isabella Coghlan won the tightly contested category of NSW Junior Sportswoman of the Year.
Coghlan finished third in the Australian Open Water Swimming Championships and first in the NSW State Age and Open Water 5km and 10km races.
She also came sixth in the 2016 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships and second in the U15 girls 2016 Sydney Surf Lifesaving Series.
Other nominees were high jumper Danielle Rutstein, tennis player Lara Kaplan, swimmer Maya Murphy, gymnast Jaymi Aronowitz and field athlete Tali Baltineshter.
Robbie Ezekiel won the NSW Maccabi Open Club Sportsman of the Year award for representing Hakoah FC’s first grade football team, the East Coast Heat in the Futsal F-League and Maccabi Touch Football Club in division one.
The Maccabi Australia award winners will be announced this weekend.