19 September 2015 - 6 Tishri 5776 - ו' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
The Maccabiah Games: Tales from a proud parent E-mail

I don’t remember the exact day but it was some time in October 2012 when I received a call from my son in Hong Kong. “Mum, I have been asked to lead the delegation for Hong Kong-China at the Maccabiah this summer.”

Daniel is usually quite understated and typically won’t get overly excited but I could hear when he was telling me about this he was more animated than usual. I have seen over the years the work Daniel and others have done in Hong Kong building up Maccabi and for them the Maccabiah would be the result of that work.

For many of the last 12 years since Daniel has lived in Hong Kong, my holiday each summer is spent with Daniel, his wife Claire and three of my grandchildren, Dylan, Tyler and Maddi in Israel. The summer of 2013 was again going to be spent together in Israel but it was going to be unlike any other. As we counted down the weeks to the Maccabiah it became even more exciting when my eldest Grandson Ollie, was selected for the Under 18 GB Rugby Squad. Unfortunately, shortly before the games began Ollie dislocated his shoulder and had to withdraw from the games. I know Ollie will do his best to make it next time.

The Hong Kong Jewish community is around several thousand and includes a high percentage of Israelis. When I would ask Daniel in the months leading up to the Maccabiah how many athletes were going he would say, “Mum, you tell me.” I know he and others spent a lot of time trying to convince people to come and represent Hong Kong in this unique lifetime experience but tying people down was proving difficult.

Eventually, with just a couple of weeks to go, Daniel confirmed that the delegation would be a team of 17 covering a range of sports. In the delegation were some of Daniel’s closest and oldest friends including Jason Webber, who Daniel has been friendly with for over 40 years.

Myself and Valerie Hyams, whose son Andrew also lives in Hong Kong and had been picked for the futsal team flew to Israel together on 16 July with the games due to start on 18 July.

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