Students and Graduates (underlined) of Hadassah Neurim/Jewish Agency for Israel Youth Village Special Sports Program Who Will Be Competing at 18th Maccabiah Win at Israel Athletics Championship Held 1-2 July, 2009

Above: Itamar Levy

July 12, 2009 / 20 Tammuz 5769

1. Gadi Ohayon – He is now 20yrs old. Hold's the Israeli record for the long jump 7.54 m for his class. He is Israel's youth champion and 2nd place in Israel's adult league. He has represented Israel in the World and European Championships in the long jump. He is now serving in the IDF's sports athletic training program. He graduated from Hadassah Neurim having studied business management. After the army he plans on continuing his training as well as would like to set up his own hair salon.

2. Itamar Levy  - is 17 and  from Israel's northern city of Kazrin in the Golan Heights. Born with dyslexia, he started having trouble in school beginning in the third grade. As a result of his disability he was placed in a special education school for children with learning disabilities at Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the Golan.

At Kfar Blum, Itamar Levi discovered his special talent in sports and therefore began exercising and competing in sport's competitions. As he developed his talent, so did his need for quality facilities and training which would enable him to realize his potential to its full extent.

Beginning in high-school, Itamar was accepted into Hadassah Neurim Youth Village's competitive sports program. At the village, Itamar is getting the attention he needs to overcome his dyslexia in order to successfully obtain a high-school diploma. In the sport's program, Itamar rigorously trains for four hours a day -- even training twice a day during competitions.

 Thanks to the Sports program at the Hadassah Neurim Youth Village, Itamar is reaching new heights and distances - breaking and setting new records all the time.

Recently, Itamar set new records including 54:66 meters in the discus throw - a new record for his age group in Israel. Last Shabbat he even set three new Israeli records overall - competing and throwing a discuss in the adult age group - even though he was still considered in the cadete class at the age of 16.

He is Israel's future hopeful in the discuss throw for the Olympics.

3. Anatoli Minyenko – 21, a new immigrant who made Aliyah from Kazakstan in 1997 with his brother and two parents. Settling in Afula he started working out in an Athletics program and was recruited to come participate in Hadassah Neurim's sports program where he attended as a student from 9th until 12th Grade. Currently he has finished his army service and is training to compete in the 2012 Olympics in London. His specialty is the long jump. His current and past records include: Israeli Youth Champion in the Long Jump. Third place holder in the adult age group even though he was 15 at the time, Semi Champion in the adult age group in Israel for the 100 meter relay. He has represented Israel in the World Championships in Turkey and in Europe where he achieved impressive records in the 22 age group despite him being 15. He and his group were ranked first in the World Cadete Championships in 2004. For him sports made him a human being, it gave him purpose and discipline – when other kids his age were roaming the streets getting involved in disreputable activities he was training to represent Israel in the world championships.

4. Yevgenia Zabolotni – 24, is a new immigrant from the Ukraine and has been training at Hadassah Neurim for the past 7 years. She currently holds the record of Israeli Champion in the Hammer Throw. She is currently finishing up her studies at the Wingate Institute with Bachelors Degree to be a teacher in Physical Education. She is also training to represent Israel in the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London. Regarding sports and its importance in her life she comments, "When I started to train it positively influenced my studies and strengthened my interpersonal skills having taught me to set goals and stick to them in order to achieve and succeed. When training as much as I do there is no time for aimless activity or wasting time and energy. Sports for me has opened the world to me. For youth who do not have the means, sports can take them to faraway places to meet new and interesting people."

5. Anastasia Kirilov – 17 is a new immigrant from Uzbekistan who settled with her family in Ashkelon with her younger brother and two parents. Anastasia is an 11th grade student in the village’s boarding school program. Anastasia is an outstanding student and is also one of Israel’s champions in the 400m and 800m races. Anastasia will represent Israel in the upcoming Cadete World Championship in Italy in 2009. In the European Cup, in 2008, Anastasia won first place in the 400m race with a time of 57.50 seconds. She was inculcated with an appreciation and strong connection with sports since a very young age having played volleyball. For her sports has made her into who she is today, has taught her patience and the ability to succeed.

6. Mark Alterman – 21 is a new immigrant from the FSU who made Aliya 16 years ago and settled in Tzephat. He is a graduate from Hadassah Neurim having studied electronics. His specialty event is the discuss throw. He currently holds records as the semi Israeli champion in the Discuss throw as well as holds records in the adult age group. He has represented Israel in the European Youth Championships and the World Championships in Crete. He would like to eventually study to earn an advanced degree in Business Management. He is currently training to represent Israel in the London Olympics.

7. Igor Basur 17 years old, a new immigrant from Russia, immigrated 9 years ago. From Dimona. He currently holds records in his class for the Shot .

For further information contact:
Michael Jankelowitz,
Liaison to the Foreign Press, Jewish Agency for Israel
Mobile: +972-52-6130220
Voice-mail: +972-2-620-2780 




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