MACCABI Victoria honoured the best Jewish sport stars in the state on Sunday night, with Victorian netballer Joel Gocs and Melbourne Victory gun Ashley Brown taking out the top two awards.
The event was also used to recognise the work of volunteers from the 24 Maccabi clubs.
Gocs, 22, was named the Outstanding Jewish Sportsman of the Year, after having won the Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand with Australia’s under-23 side.
“It’s wonderful to receive this award for my sporting achievements,” Gocs told The AJN. “It’s a great honour.”
Brown, 18, won the award for the Outstanding Jewish Sportswoman of the Year after starring for the Victory in the W-League and playing six games for the Matildas, including a debut international goal against Haiti.
She was able to share the occasion with her younger brother Jordan, 16, who took the Outstanding Jewish Junior Sportsman of the Year, and younger sister Jamie, 14, who was named the Outstanding Maccabi Club Junior Sportswoman of the Year.
“It was cool that we could all go up there and share it together,” said Ashley.
Jordan added: “It does make it a sweet a moment, because we’ve all grown up in the same house, we’ve trained and played with each other, and to get awards like this in front of all these people is really good.”
Champion walker Jemima Montag, 15, was recognised for her wins at the state and national championships with the Outstanding Jewish Junior Sportswoman of the Year award.
Lawn bowler Gail Nadelman and hockey veteran Norman Same took out the Outstanding Jewish Masters Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year awards respectively.
Star AJAX footballer David Fayman’s outstanding 2012 saw him win the award for the Outstanding Maccabi Club Sportsman of the Year, while Asher Marks was recognised for his achievements on the track by taking out the Outstanding Maccabi Club Junior Sportsman of the Year award.
Harry Szmerling, who represents the Maccabi Toastmasters Club and has starred at several levels of competition, won the Outstanding Club Masters Sportsman of the Year award.
Maccabi Victoria also recognised its top administrators, with Adam Needleman named Outstanding Maccabi Club Administrator of the Year and Sharon Hamilton winning the Lenny Bogatin Award for Outstanding Service to Maccabi Victoria and Jewish Sport.