Be a part of the Local Delegation
Although the JCC Maccabi Games offer primarily a competition, the spirit of community and coming together are what make the Games so special. It’s in the months leading up to the Maccabi Games that coaches and individual athletes come together to form a team.
“What I really enjoy is taking a group of kids who may not have known each other when they start and when they’re done with the experience, they’ve had so much fun they remain friends for a long time,” says Local Delegation Coaching Liaison Richard Williams who has coached at Maccabi for 20 years.
Teams will bond during upcoming programs including community service, uniform sizing days and a special mural created specifically for the athletes in the Columbus Delegation. Coaches will take these opportunities not only to instruct players in terms of their sport, they will also use these as valuable teaching moments of life lessons relatedto “Midot” (more about this in an upcoming newsletter) and “Rachmanus”.
“Rachmanus” calls athletes to go beyond simply following the rules, expecting athletes and coaches to compete fairly and show respect in all situations. “Sometimes there’s a game where one team is much better than the other. No matter what the score is, you still treat your opponent with respect,” says Williams. “If there’s a soccer game with a score of 10-0 at half time, you don’t play your best players in their best positions… You don’t taunt or play antics.”
“Sports mirror everyday life in certain aspects. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t,” says Williams. The infusing of Jewish values like “Rachmanus” into the games is what makes the Maccabi experience so meaningful and unique.
There are also Rules of Conduct which require athletes to follow the rules of each sport and have good sportsmanship. “The Rules of Conduct for Maccabi, and how they are governed, are generally in line with high school and club sports,” says Athletics / Venues Committee Chair Rick Meizlish.
The Maccabi Games Sports Commissioners also make sure things go according to plan and by the rules of each sport. They ensure venues have the necessary equipment, monitor the officials, coordinate with the medical staff, and more. “We have a great group of passionate commissioners this year and we are poised to have an excellent tournament,” says Meizlish. “It is a major commitment and most of the commissioners will be taking a full week of vacation in order to fulfill their responsibility.”
In team sports there are gold, silver and bronze medals for each sport. In individual sports there are several opportunities for athletes to win medals depending on the sport they are playing.
Team Columbus is still recruiting athletes for the games this summer. Any athlete looking to play in an individual sport (Tennis, Table Tennis, Swimming, Star Reporters, and Golf) can still sign up. The Delegation is also looking for 15-16 year old Boys Basketball players, 13-14 year old Boys Soccer players, Girls Soccer players, 13-14 year old Boys Basketball players and Baseball Players. Please contact Josh Goldstein at email@example.com or 614-559-6286 to join the delegation today.
As a battle-hardened Maccabi veteran, Williams gives this advice for parents, volunteers and athletes: “Come to the Games with an open mind and an open heart. It’s about the kids having a good time athletically and socially. It’s about the Columbus family putting on a good show and a welcoming experience to our visitors… Appreciate everything for what it is.”