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'It makes it real': Team Aus receive 'awesome' new strip

Posted: 04-Jun-2019 by PanAm Games 2019

The countdown to the Maccabi Pan-American Games in Mexico has entered its final month, and Team Australia is kitted out and ready to go.

As the Sydney-based members of the record 138-strong contingent converged on Maccabi HQ in Paddington, there was a buzz in the air. It’s nearly go-time, and they’re finally getting their hands on the green and gold strips they’ll represent their country in.

“It makes it all real, it’s happening,” quipped triathlete Daniel Rifkin, with excitement plastered all over his face.

Triathletes Alan Kaplan (L) and Daniel Rifkin (R) pose with their kit

“The countdown is on, its time to refine the training and in a couple of weeks well be going to Mexico to give it our best!”

Green shirts, gold basketball singlets and the rest of the Team Aus swag are carefully lifted from kit bags as athletes cast their eye on their new uniforms. The consensus is clear… once again, the Aussies will hold their own in the fashion stakes!

“It’s awesome,” Rifkin continues.

“I love the green, like the material, I get really excited! So, looking forward particularly the half marathon, putting on the singlet and having a good knockout.”

For the first time, a large chunk of the squad fill the same room, as Head of Delegation Barry Smorgon and General Manager Sam Gamsu address an expectant crowd. Eyes are fixed on the chiefs as the excitement builds towards departure.

Gabi (L) and Daniella (R) Goodridge pose with the new Aussie kit

Next, juniors and their families were reassured via a chat from Deputy General Manager Giselle Berlinski. Standards were set, details outlined and it was finally clear. This thing is actually happening.

“I’m very excited,” beams swimmer Gabi Goodridge.

“Especially since Maccabiah was two years ago, I’m very excited to be representing Australia again. Meeting new people again and meeting Jewish people around the world.”

The young swim star represented her country two years ago in Israel, but for some its their first time in the green and gold, and take-off can’t come soon enough.

Youth basketballer Beck Rosen is one of many newbies to Team Aus, and as he combs through his brimming bag of paraphernalia, he’s just happy to be a part of things.

Beck Rosen shows off one of his basketball singlets

“I think the look is very fitting, glad to represent the colours,” Rosen said.

”The uniform is great, can’t wait to see everyone out there, just happy to be here right now. So far just the amount of stuff we have is incredible. I mean it’s a great range, it just shows how much care they put into it and how much they want us to enjoy this. The only thing we can do in return is play our hardest and enjoy the experience.”

Those in the Harbour City are geared up and ready to roll, now attention turns to Melbourne as the rest of the team experience a similar thrill. It’s nearly time to pack those bags and head to the airport, because its all getting very real now.

Watch out Mexico, Team Aus are coming for you!