What a good sport

Joe of the Rovers com­pletes dream sea­son by be­ing named the Per­son­al­ity of the Year

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY DANNY CARO & CRAIG SIL­VER

SPORT JOE Ja­cob­son was this week recog­nised as the com­mu­nity’s top sportsper­son by win­ning the Mac­cabi GB Sports Per­son­al­ity of the Year.

The Wales Un­der 21 and Bris­tol Rovers left-back won the Pent­land se­nior award, see­ing off the chal­lenge off Da­gen­ham & Red­bridge star Sam Sloma, Mac­cabi Her­zliya’s Josh Ken­net, blind Eng­land crick­eter Daniel Field, hand­ball player Daniel Grant and karate prospect Jenna Shilston.

The for­mer Cardiff City player ar­rived at the sports awards and gala cer­e­mony, held in part­ner­ship with UJIA in Is­ling­ton, North Lon­don, af­ter watch­ing his home town team reach the fi­nal of the FA Cup with vic­tory over Barns­ley at Wem­b­ley.

“It is a great hon­our,” com­mented Ja­cob­son, “I hope to push on over the next 12 months and help Bris­tol Rovers clinch pro­mo­tion and break into the se­nior na­tional squad.”

The first Bri­tish Jew to play in the Foot­ball League for 25 years, Ja­cob­son has made 12 ap­pear­ances for the Welsh Un­der 21s and hopes to earn a call-up for the se­nior squad’s sum­mer tour.

Ja­cob­son, 21, who was pre­sented with a cheque for £1,000, said: “I never thought that I would win this award.

“To be recog­nised is one of the high­lights of my ca­reer, es­pe­cially when you bear in mind that I am in­volved in a team sport. Hope­fully I can now move on to big­ger and bet­ter things.”

Hav­ing helped Rovers reach the quar­ter-fi­nals of the FA Cup, his next goal is to play in the Pre­mier League and to help Wales reach the fi­nals of the Un­der 21 Cham­pi­onship. He added: “To play in the World Cup for Wales would be un­be­liev­able.”

Triath­lete Lara Ny­man won the JC Young Sportsper­son of the Year.

She took the award ahead of gym­nast Me­gan Bell, fencer Amy Hy­man, golfer Marc Ku­ber, judo player Me­gan Moore, sailor Josh Pis­tol and ta­ble ten­nis player Zak Zilesnick.

The 15-year-old has en­joyed a fine year, win­ning the Bri­tish Na­tional Youth Duathlon Cham­pi­onship, sil­ver in the Bri­tish Youth Triathlon Cham­pi­onships and two bronze medals in the Mich­e­lob UL­TRA Lon­don Youth Su­per Sprint. Based in Hatch End, Mid­dle­sex, she is also in the top 20 na­tional swim­ming rank­ings for 200 me­tre freestyle and med­ley. And, as a run­ner, she is ranked 16 in the UK in the steeplechase and is a Mid­dle­sex County 1,500 me­tre sil­ver medal­list.

“I am ab­so­lutely gob­s­macked,” Ny­man said.

“I was so sur­prised that I re­ceived this award ahead of all the other peo­ple in my cat­e­gory. It is my aim to go on and try and claim a top three fin­ish in the Open Wa­ter Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships.”

Lord Janner, box­ers Ro­man Green­berg and Laura Saper­stein were among the spe­cial guests as the com­mu­nity’s lead­ing sports char­ity cel­e­brated its 70th an­niver­sary.

A doc­u­men­tary of its his­tory, Liv­ing Flame – Our Fu­ture in Your Hands, was screened at the event.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

One to watch: Joe Ja­cob­son in ac­tion for Bris­tol Rovers

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