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Women in Sport: Interview with Dafna Orbach

Posted: 21-Aug-2019 by Maccabi NSW

Interview with Dafna Orbach – Lawn Bowls champion
By Mandy Penkin

This month I had the pleasure of speaking with Dafna Orbach, one of Maccabi’s top lawn bowlers in NSW. Dafna, has competed at a high level, including in Maccabi Carnivals & competitions in Australia since 1990. She has medalled many times over the years including the prized gold in tennis, table tennis and backgammon and more recently lawn bowls! She started playing Lawn Bowls in 1993 at the age of 40.

In the last 26 years she has participated in the Australia Open, Victoria Open and NSW Open in Lawn Bowls and tasted success with a gold in the team categories.

Growing up, Dafna played golf, tennis, table tennis, squash, badminton and was a very keen Backgammon and cards player before settling on lawn bowls. Her philosophy is she is game for anything.

She has won the Maccabi state & national Masters Sportswoman of the year award on numerous occasions.

Here’s what Dafna had to say …

Question 1: What is your best sporting moment and what did you learn from it?

Even though I have participated in many top-class events in New South Wales and Victoria, one of my leading moments was in the 2010 ladies’ triples in the New South Wales open, with two relatively new bowlers as my teammates. In the first three rounds we defeated some of Australia's leading women bowlers and made it all the way to the finals. We lost in the final of the event which was broadcast live on television – a thrilling opportunity. From this experience I learned that, regardless of the standard of the opposition, never give up and support your teammates, because sometimes you can triumph top players through grit and positivity.

Question 2: What has been your hardest time in sport and how did you motivate yourself to keep going?

In 2007, as a consequence of a number of personal issues, instead of withdrawing into
myself, I was spurred on to bowl more and try harder. This enabled me to overcome these
difficult times and regain balance in my life. So sport and the game environment helped me to overcome my personal challenges and experience the triumph of beating your deamons.

Question 3: If you could go back and talk to your teenage self – what would you say to her (and her friends) about reasons for continuing to participate in sport or exercise?

If I were able to give advice to young people, I would encourage them play sport at any and every age as it helps maintain good health and a good outlook on life. Keep trying until you find the one you love and that works for you. The rewards are well worth it.

Look out for our next article in the Women in sport series as I chat to Jess Fox – canoeist

Live long and prosper

Carnival 2020


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