Maccabi South Africa has undergone a strategic evolution in the past two years and I am pleased to report that we have made significant progress towards achieving our goals. We kicked off our mobilisation with a new strategic purpose wherein we recognised that we are uniquely positioned to unite, engage and deliver real value for our community through SPORT. However to achieve this we needed to reinvigorate Maccabi SA and adapt to meet the changing needs of the community.
Our Vision remains the same but we have updated our Mission Statement to reflect our revised purpose:
To provide a sustainable, meaningful and inclusive sporting and recreation programme of participation and competition, which serves to mobilise and enrich the Jewish community.
In order to fulfil this mission, we began by first strengthening our foundations:
Our next step was to conduct a comprehensive brand and communications overhaul:
Supported by this solid foundation we have begun to redefine our role in the community via the creation of two parallel pipelines:
Participation: The delivery of an ongoing, local programme of events is critical for the success and sustainability of Maccabi SA. The past year has been very productive and provided many opportunities for the community to participate in a range of activities suited to all ages and abilities. As this programme continues to gain momentum we are confident that Maccabi SA can provide a meaningful sport and recreation service to the community.
Excellence: A highlight of 2015 was Team Maccabi SA’s inaugural participation and resounding success at the 2015 European Maccabi Games. We were deeply honoured to have been a part of this momentous occasion in Berlin where we sang both Nkosi Sikeleli and HaTikvah with great pride. The SA delegation of 37, which comprised three futsal teams and two swimmers, won ten medals overall. I am extremely pleased with the achievements of our Futsal teams and congratulate our Futsal Coordinator Ronen Cohen, his staff and players on their success at EMG. The Futsal Programme has been adopted as our Best Practice Model and we are hopeful that with similar infrastructure and systems, our other sports can achieve the desired results in 2017.
Planning for the 20th Maccabiah in 2017 in Israel is underway as we strive to ensure our athletes are well prepared and competitive. SA has a proud and successful history at the Games despite our limited resources, and we are determined to continue to build on this legacy. We have begun recruiting for volunteer Sports Coordinators for 2017 and also appeal to the many talented coaches, managers and former athletes within our community to reach out to us and contribute to Team Maccabi SA. We have also collaborated with professionals to provide quality coaching and talent development, for example the successful merging of our youth tennis programme with Byron Werbeloff’s Tennis Academy.
Another highlight of 2015 was the launch of our partnership with the Maccabi Football Club, managed by Alan Norman. The programme includes a professional team competing in SA’s second division and an amateur section which provides valuable transfer of skills and knowledge to our own football structures, thereby strengthening our Excellence pipeline.
In 2016 we will be focussing on one of our key objectives, “de-couching’’ the youth, by encouraging kids to participate in both competitive and fun outdoor activities. A variety of events will be held throughout the year which will complement the schools’ sports programmes and add value by increasing physical activity and improving performance.
As part of our expanded community engagement we also seek to assist those less fortunate. Plans are underway to create a meaningful Maccabi SA Outreach Programme comprising various sporting support services, and we look forward to sharing the details in due course.
This past year has been very productive and we are motivated and committed to fulfil our new purpose. However, as with all community organisations, financial resources remain an ongoing challenge. I am hopeful that our growing brand, infrastructure and community support will attract new partnerships and thus provide the sustainability we need to remain valuable and competitive.
Wishing you a healthy, sporting 2016.
Chairman, Maccabi South Africa