October 26, 2009 / 8 Cheshvan 5770
Last Monday, the King David Society members visited the Olimpic Experience Center in Tel Aviv. During their visit, they were addressed by the sprinter Eliyahu Yaakov, a student in Ben Yakir Youth Village, who won two medals in the last Macabiah. The donors were excited and moved by his story and addressed him with many questions about his life in the village, his family and his future plans in the sports field and in general. The visit was also attended by representatives of the Olimpic Committee and the Olimpic Medalist in Judo, Arik Zeevi. We bring the words of Eliyahu from this event:
"Hello! My name is Eliyahu Yaakov. I am 16 years old, and my family is from Hadera. I attend the 11th grade in Ben Yakir. It is my 5th year in the village. The village is located in Kfar Haroe, and besides being a school and a boarding school, it is a warm and caring place that I am always happy to return to.
The wide range of enrichment activities in Ben Yakir enables each student to succeed in the best field for him; sports, arts and culture. I attend the music class for the past 4 years and I have learned how to play the organ along the years. My friends and I perform with music pieces we learn at class. Furthermore, until last year I was involved with the village’s petting zoo, and was also responsible for a horse named Saar, who I was trained to clean, feed and of course ride. Among the many activities offered to me in Ben Yakir, I was most drawn to the field of running.
The feeling of competition, shape and challenge made me join the running team of Ben Yakir 3 years ago, and I have been running and competing every chance I get since then. The running practices put me in a health and good shape and also strengthen my aspirations to move forward in my life and turn in positive directions, not only in the running field but in general.
After many difficult practices, a great effort on my side and with great help from my coach Almayo, I was sent to compete in the 18th Macabiah this past summer. I am happy and proud to be holding a bronze medal in 1500 meter sprinting and a silver medal in 800 meter sprinting. This achievement has brought much happiness to my parents, my family and the staff of Ben Yakir. I was happy to make this people proud and respectful of me. I am glad and thankful for the opportunity to run and to advance in this field, and I hope to break many more records with everyone’s help and support.
I would like to thank my coach for supporting and believing me along the road. The village director, Yossi Krothamer and boarding school director, Lior Tubul for giving me the privilege to represent the village and the tools to move forward. To our house mother Dorit Cohen and the counselor Rachel Levian for being with me here today.
And of course I would like to thank the lord for giving me the opportunity and ability to pursue and succeed in this field I love so much.
Thank you very much."