web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Two Generations of Athletes Emerge From Judea and Samaria


Budding fencing prodigy Yuval Freilich

Budding fencing prodigy Yuval Freilich
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Noad Lahat and Bat El Geterer are known by a broad public throughout the world due to their achievements in international sports competitions, and are today considered veteran athletes. Lahat, a 27-year-old from Alfei Menasheh in Samaria, won a gold metal in the Jiu Jitsu World Championship held in California in 2010. Geterer, aged 23, grew up in Kochav Yaacov, and is today a Taekwondo European Champion.

Lahat began his career at the age of 6. When he was drafted into the IDF he refused an exemption from service, as other Israeli athletes do, since he wanted to serve in a combat unit. He joined the Paratroopers, and returned to his sports career after three years of army service. During a trip to Brazil he became acquainted with the Brazilian version of Jiu Jitsu, a fairly common sport there. After years of grueling training, Noad won five matches in California and received a gold medal. “For this I worked so hard”, he said, as he descended from the podium.

Geterer is a young religious woman who lives in Jerusalem. She is a student at Hebrew University, working on a Bachelors degree in physical education and mathematics. She is comparatively young, and yet has succeeded in obtaining several European titles. In 2010, she won the gold medal at the 2010 European Taekwondo Championships in St. Petersburg, the first Israeli to achieve such success there. In 2008 she was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Beijing Olympics, and today is considered a veteran on the Israeli team.

Continuing the tradition Two new young athletes have caught the attention of sports fans in Israel, and there are great expectations for their success in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. Shachar Sagi and Yuval Freilich have both seen success internationally, despite their young age. Yuval Freilich, aged 16 from Neve Daniel in the Gush Etzion block, is a young fencer who won the gold medal at the European Championship in Austria last February. Sagi, a 16-year-old who lives in Shaked in Northern Samaria, won a silver medal last November at the Loralux international Judo competition in Luxembourg.

These athletes, like all athletes, experience ups in downs in their careers. During periods of crises, it is important for athletes to be surrounded by supportive people and a positive atmosphere that gives them the strength to continue and compete. This atmosphere can be found in the communities of Judea and Samaria. “It’s great to feel the support, its great to feel that you are a role model for others. Truly, for better or for worse, I have never heard a negative word about me here. They have always supported me and told me that for them I will always be a champion, no matter what. For me,” Sagi said, “that is very comforting.”

These athletes all reside in Judea and Samaria. What is special about this area that draws people to live there? “Unlike the big cities of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, here, there is a stronger sense of a community. Things are calmer and quieter. My parents were looking for something small, more tight-knit and religious,” Freilich explained.

Freilich was born in Israel, son of immigrants from Australia. His family returned to Australia for five years, only to return to Israel in 2004. Yuval began to train as a fencer after being watching the sport in the Sydney Olympics. He is the first Israeli to receive a medal as a cadet. How does he cope with such an achievement? “I hope there will be many more Israeli athletes who will receive medals in international competitions. Maybe my accomplishment will encourage others. I am glad. What is important about sports is that if there is any measure of success, you need to set it aside. You need to be focused on what you will do in the future, and not on what you have done in the past” Yuval answerd modestly.

Shachar Sagi’s success in Luxembourg was the most significant for Israeli sportswomen in the past years. She was asked how this achievement affected her. “There are many excellent and accomplished sportswomen in Israel. I am happy I was able to get the points and the medal. It is important for me to point out that the girls give a real fight abroad.”

With all the training and schooling, the young athletes still find time for communal service and volunteer work. Yuval volunteers at his school, participates in the distribution of food baskets to the elderly and assists younger pupils. Sagi assists in training younger athletes twice a week.

Where does she find the strength after all her other occupations? “I come home and collapse. I am a counselor at the youth group, help my coach train others, and it gives me a good feeling. I can see where I began. I can steer my apprentices towards things I didn’t do, set them on the proper path, without the mistakes I made. The volunteer work is good for me, even though I have the pressure from school and my training. I contribute in a field I enjoy. If I didn’t want to help I would come only to training and that’s a little self-centered. If I have something to contribute, why not do so. We have 40 trainees at the communal center. It makes me happy to see the place; we used to have only 12 athletes. Suddenly there are many children who have fallen in love with the sport. Today I passed through there, and it was pleasing to see this increased interest.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Two Generations of Athletes Emerge From Judea and Samaria”

  1. Mazal Tov, novos atletas.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tourist injured by Muslim mob on Temple Mount on August 4, 2015
Arab Sources: Islamic Waqf Officials Arrested for Attacking, Robbing French Tourist on Temple Mount
Latest News Stories
Israelis seen on SUP's (standup paddleboards), at sunset on the beach in Tel Aviv, on a hot summer day.

The worst heat wave to hit the Middle East in more than a decade has claimed its second victim in Israel.

Tourist injured by Muslim mob on Temple Mount on August 4, 2015

The non-Jewish tourist tried to wave an Israeli flag when he was set upon by the Islamic mob.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon says he’s ready to present the new state budget to the cabinet Wednesday.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz

Minister Yuval Steinitz says “if he were American he would oppose the deal with Iran” and explains why.

A German neo-Nazi politician is accepted to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

The Obama administration may intervene in the NY federal district court judgment against the PA.

The Maccabi Games made it to Berlin but anti-Semitism was hardly left behind.

George Soros, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg have plopped down at least $1 million to Clinton’s super PAC.

The long-planned and long-delayed high-speed train between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is getting closer Israel Railways has begun to lay tracks for the western section of the line in the Ayalon Valley, west of Jerusalem. The target date for launching passenger train on the new line is January 2018, 17 years after construction began. The […]

The Home Front Command for the first time has deployed female soldiers to guard the front lines in Shechem in Samaria.

The tourist supposedly waved an Israeli flag, at which point the Muslim mob tried to kill him.

The Obama administration also promises not sell F-35 to any other Middle East country – but for how long?

Meir Ettinger, the Shin Bet’s most wanted Jew, is suspected of leading a national underground revolutionary movement.

Israelis enjoy kayaking in the Jordan river in Northern Israel on August 2, 2015, as temperature reached 47 degrees Celcius in some parts of Israel.

New York Democratic Congresswoman Kathleen Rice will vote against the Iran deal.

More Articles from Tazpit News Agency

They are throwing rocks and blocks at the drivers as they drive by.

President Rivlin visits the Mount of Olives cemetery.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin inspected the Afghan section of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives Monday, a site which has seen repeated vandalism and destruction by some of East Jerusalem’s Arab residents.

In its growing desperation, the IDF claims that Hamas, a beneficiary of Iran, has begun cooperating with an Islamic State (IS) affiliate in Sinai.

The treasure/demon hunting team included children as young as 7 years old. The father was to banish the demon and the children would traverse the tight and airless cave.

After decades of legal wrangling, the Tel Aviv District Court last Wednesday awarded custody of the estate of Max Brod, Franz Kafka’s friend and publisher, to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

The closing of the highway, comes after Israeli security officials voiced concern that Waliyat Sinai, the ISIS-affiliated terror group responsible for the attacks, may be planning to strike Israel as well.

The four men were returning from a basketball game near the Israeli community of Shvut Rachel when Palestinian Authority gunmen opened fire on their car in what security sources believe to have been a premeditated ambush.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/two-generations-of-athletes-emerge-from-judea-and-samaria/2012/03/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: