web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 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.”

The young athletes have hopes for the future, anticipating the upcoming London Olympics: “First of all – military service. I don’t think you can serve properly for three years if you’re training for the Olympics. Meantime, I must strive to achieve the outmost; I’m told that representing Israel at the Olympics is the most significant service I can perform for the country. And after my military service I would like to get a law degree,” Yuval said.

“I would like to be involved in any form of sports during my military service. It’s very important for me not give up on my Judo training. After my military service I would like to get a degree in physical education, to become a trainer. Of course I would like to continue and compete in more advanced competitions – The world championships and the London Olympics,” Shachar stated.

Yesha (Judea and Samaria) council spokesman Roni Arazi stated: “I congratulate these outstanding athletes who join those who excel in education, volunteering, the industry and enlistment to the IDF, who live throughout Judea and Samaria and who represent the municipalities of the vicinity with great honor, in Israel and abroad. It’s pleasant to witness how with every crown of national pride which is bestowed upon the residents of Judea and Samaria, the extreme left wing minority encounter a growing difficulty to sabotage the spirit of the settlement enterprise.”

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
Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.
Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva
Latest News Stories
A terrorist tunnel leading from Gaza to Israel.

The system was recently activated and installed surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.

A new cyber defense program has opened for the first time at an Israeli pre-army yeshiva.

Shas MK David Azoulay.

He refuses to consider Reform Jews as “Jews” but “welcomes them with love and joy” to be just like him.

NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire presented a check for $441,318 to United Hatzalah.

“You’re truly saving lives,” said Stoudemire, “and to do it in a way that’s fun to me, to play basketball, it’s a win-win.”

Adi Kaplan, widow of Captain Zvi (Zvika) Kaplan lit a torch during a ceremony marking one year since Operation Protective Edge at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on July 6, 2015. Prime Minister Netanyahu laid a wreath of flowers at the ceremony honoring our heroes killed in battle against Israel’s enemies in Gaza

The IDF is placing its four elite combat units under a single commando brigade in the 98th Paratrooper’s Division. The combat units Egoz, part of the Golani Brigade; Rimon, part of the Givati Brigade; Duvdevan of the Central Command; and Maglan of the combat engineering force will be under the new command to be headed […]

The European Union explains the deadline is not being extended. Negotiators simply are continuing to negotiate. Huh?

The “AvocadoFact” Twitter account launched a just-for-fun poll, and the fruit is trouncing “the Donald.”

The IDF says Gaza reconstruction is moving ahead with new Hamas terror tunnels being built.

The ISIS terrorists died after breaking their fast at their Iftar meal with poisoned food…

Europe’s low-fare airline will fly three routes to the Ovda Airport, northwest of Eilat.

Iran’s Expediency Council head says Israel, an “alien presence” will be “wiped off the map” some day.

Palestinian Authority police arrested 170 Hamas terrorists in a sting across Judea and Samaria.

Hollywood producer Branko Lustig says he will gift his Oscar for ‘Schindler’s List’ to Yad Vashem after his death.

Israeli researchers invent a cutting edge technique for stitch-free bonding in cornea transplant surgery.

More Articles from Tazpit News Agency
View of the Israeli-Egyptian border next to the southern city of Eilat

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.

Malachi Rosenfeld HY"D

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.

Technology giants Apple will open 20 sale points in Israel over the coming months.

The main issue of the seminar was the well-being of Holocaust survivors in Europe today.

UNRWA is “actively being counterproductive to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Israeli athletes mark a successful day on Sunday, as gymnasts win multiple bronze and silver medals in the 2015 European Games in Baku.

Doctome, an Israeli medical start-up, is looking to change both how patients interact with their healthcare providers, and how people look to the internet for quick health advice.

The purpose of the “NGO bill” is to clamp down on illicit foreign intervention into Israel’s domestic policies under the guise of support for civilian organizations.

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: