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Daniel Fainman


Lauren Sera

 


DANIEL FAINMAN AND LAUREN SERA WIN 2010 JEWISH ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

By Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng. July 7, 2010

Daniel Fainman and Lauren Sera were both crowned Jewish Athlete of the Year  at the 32 Annual Y Sports Dinner at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on June 23, 2010.

DANIEL FAINMAN-HOCKEY PLAYER

Fainman is a hockey player on the St. Paul's Crusaders hockey team and Sera is goaltender for the University of North Dakota Women’s soccer team.

Commenting on his  tie  with  Sera, Fainman said, “I was both thrilled and honoured. I felt I was up against a very strong athletic group, and I was very surprised to win. I felt all of the nominees were great athletes and any of us could have won. None the less, I am very happy and thankful.”

Fainman, the son of Brad and Cheryl Fainman, is 18 years old, weighs 200 lbs. and stands 6’1”. He played center for the St. Paul’s Crusaders. He has also played rugby for St. Paul’s and is currently on a floor hockey and hockey league. This fall he will enter the University of Winnipeg to take business courses.
 “I was heavily involved in sports growing up. I have played baseball, basketball, hockey, football, soccer and lacrosse, but I have always enjoyed hockey the most and taken it the most serious. I started playing hockey when I was four years old in a youth league at the Highlander,” said Fainman.

“Two years ago I played AAA hockey. It was a great learning experience for me and it was great being able to play at such a high level. It allowed me to develop as a player. This year I came on to the St. Paul’s hockey team as a Grade 12 rookie and wanted to make as big of an impact as possible. The team had a very successful season and I felt that I also had a successful season on a personal level.”  

Last July, he was a member of Team Canada at the first World Under-18 Jewish Hockey Championships in Israel. Fainman has won numerous city and provincial hockey honours.

“The things I love most about hockey are the extreme amount of skill involved in the game and how players can stick handle and make plays so expertly. As well, I enjoy the physical demands of the sport,” Fainman explained.

When asked who his greatest supporter is, Fainman answered, “My father has rallied around me the most. Always pushing me and telling me to try harder.”

When asked about his aspirations, Fainman responded, “I hope to further my hockey career playing junior next year as I am trying out for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL and the Winkler Flyers of the MJHL.”

LAUREN SERA-SOCCER PLAYER

When asked to comment on her win, the  twenty three year old 5'7' Sera  told the Winnipeg Jewish Review, “It was surprising to win. It was very exciting in front of all those people at the Sports Dinner, especially Cal Ripken Jr. It was a big honour for me.”

Sera, the daughter of Hart Sera, principal of Gray Academy  and Donna Milovitch, is a graduate of Grant Park high school, where she earned four varsity letters in soccer, basketball and volleyball, and two in golf. She is a three-time team soccer and volleyball MVP and earned team basketball MVP honors twice. She was a provincial high school soccer all-star and given the Winnipeg School Division Athlete of the Year. She was also a member of academic honor roll and received a citizenship award. She played in the Jazz Band (trombone) throughout high school and also four years in University.

In 2005, Sera went to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks on a soccer scholarship to study physical therapy. She has been the starting goaltender for the UND women's soccer team from 2005 to 2009. For the past five years at UND, she has earned not only many sports recognitions, but academic awards as well. She  has been volunteering in the Pediatric Physical Therapy Department at the Grand Forks Hospital for the past  three years.

Sera says, “I have been playing soccer since I was 11 years old and began coaching when I was about 16. I began to get more involved in coaching when I moved to Grand Forks. Here, I started coaching high school girls’ soccer. I currently coach 12 year old girls’ summer soccer and starting in the fall, I will be assistant soccer coach at the University of North Dakota."

“What I like most about the game of soccer is that it is never repetitive and it is unpredictable. Many things are always going on around different parts of the field. I am a goal keeper, which I think is one of best positions to play. I especially enjoy diving for balls and being the only player on the field who can use their hands.”

When asked how she decide to commit to playing soccer after being successful in so many sports, Sera replied, “I choose to play soccer because I love how the game was always changing. I like to learn new things all the time and in soccer, you can do that. I like that soccer is a team sport and everyone plays not just for themselves, but for the other ten players that are out on the field. I also enjoy how soccer is so physically demanding."

Sera  added, “My parents have always been my greatest supporters. They drove me to every single practice and all my games. They never missed coming to a home game in Grand Forks.”

Sera is not sure whether she will live in North Dakota after University. She is hoping to travel and is open to living anywhere exciting.

Last year's winner of Jewish Athlete of the Year was Sera's sister, Liz Sera, a wrestler with the Western Ontario Mustangs.

 
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