web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Two Generations of Athletes Emerge From Judea and Samaria


Budding fencing prodigy Yuval Freilich

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

Share Button

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.”

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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

  1. Mazal Tov, novos atletas.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest News Stories
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden

Many Pakistanis consider bin Laden a “hero of Islam.”

Two major obstacles have kept Israel from joining the program: Allegations by U.S. officials that Israel has discriminated against Arab- and Muslim-Americans seeking entry, and a proliferation of young Israelis traveling to the United States as tourists and then working illegally.

A Lebanese man who was arrested in Thailand on suspicion of belonging to Hezbollah admitted to targeting Israelis, Thai media reported.

On Friday afternoon, Syrian fighter jets hit opposition/rebel targets and villages on the Syrian side of the Ramat HaGolan (Golan Heights), in the Quneitra region. Large pillars of smoke are seen rising from struck areas. Quneitra is the site of an official crossing between Syria and Israel on the Golan. IAF jets were sent out […]

As Rabbi Stav said, “You’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew?”

Chimpanzees and Orangutans eat Matza, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Passover holiday, at the Ramat Gan Safari on Thursday, April 17, 2014. I hope they can digest it. On Passover no leavened bread (Chametz) is allowed in Jewish possession, and that includes food we feed our animals.

Following intelligence reports of further expected Arab rioting and violence on the Temple Mount today, the police have placed restrictions on Muslim entry to the Jewish holy site, according to a report on Arutz-7. Entry will be limited to Muslims over the age of 50, and women, also they must be Israeli citizens or residency […]

PA President Abbas’s refusal to publicly condemn the terror attack that killed Baruch Mizrachi is putting a damper on the parade.

The Shas political party, founded and run by the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, has a appointed a new spiritual leader, according to a Galei Tzahal report. The rabbi chosen to replace Harav Ovadia and be the new president of the party’s Council of Torah Sages is Rabbi Shalom Cohen. Aryeh Deri is the political leader […]

In 1941, the Jews of Kiev received a similar leaflet. When they showed up the next day, more than 34,000 were murdered.

Teen stabbed in South Florida high school.

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.

Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine this week were ordered to “register” themselves and their assets.

U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk is on his way back to the region to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

More Articles from Tazpit News Agency
A recreation of the Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem, on April 10, 2014.

Even the Egyptians didn’t dare do this!

Residents of the Shomron who wish to host a family from Israel’s battered south this Shabbat, can call: 1700-700-0106.

The IDF opened fire on the terrorist as he was throwing a stone at a moving vehicle.

When a region experiences strife and instability, the first to come under threat are the Jews.

According to the MDA spokesperson, a baby was injured after being hit in the head with a glass marble that was shot at a group of tourists near the Kotel.

Arab rock-throwing terrorists attacked dozens of cars in  western Samaria Wednesday  evening, causing widespread damage but no injuries. The attackers fled the area when soldiers arrived at the scene on the road to Hashmonim, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and near the city of Modi’in. Soldiers so far have not nabbed the attackers.

Approaching the anniversary of the Fogel family massacre, the IDF caught 4 armed Arabs trying to infiltrate into the town of Itamar on Friday night.

For the first time in decades, enemy forces can attack all of Israel’s cities.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: