Foster’s Fairplay | Coaches deserve better

first_imgThe Rio Olympics athletes celebration and awards package was announced by Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange last week. It was rolled out as a three-day event, most appropriately slotted into the National Heroes weekend and would have its climax in western Jamaica, of which the Jamaica National 5K Run/Walk was a constituent. The first affair – a reception for the athletes – hosted by the prime minister, happened on the lawns of Jamaica House last Friday. Then the actual presentation of tributes and prize monies took place at the Rio Sports Gala on Saturday at the National Indoor Sports Centre. The culmination of the celebratory activities took place at the Melia Braco Village in Trelawny. One is not sure how coincidental this is, as the athletes function mirrors the prestige of the Merritone Reunion weekend’s 26th anniversary, taking place simultaneously at the resort venue, formerly known as the Grand Lido. Also announced at the press conference was the Government’s intention to recognise and pay homage to four of the country’s most outstanding athletes in recent times by commissioning statues in their honour. Those named for this lifetime tribute were Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the worldwide acknowledged legend in his time, Usain Bolt. There was an outcry from certain quarters that triple world record-holder Powell was not deserving of this accolade. Looking at his lack of success by not having a single gold medal at global events after a multiplicity of making final rounds, the youngest of a family of sprinters was even called a failure. Another situation coming out of the minister’s address was the cash incentives afforded all participants in the Rio spectrum, which included the often disrespected Paralympians. The range of amounts presented was from US$10,000 for individual gold medallists through to US$2,500 each to those who merely made the team, but not a final, to the lowest on the cash rung, an amount of US$1000 to coaches and officials. Foster’s Fairplay will not dignify the suggestion that Powell should not have a lasting monument to his performances by dwelling on it. Not to so reward him should be considered the closest thing to track and field vulgarity, if such a distasteful word can be borrowed from other less-than-decent exploits. To even contemplate omitting the man whose pioneering role in the nation’s sprinting prowess is so significant and seminal in charting the way to 9:58 (Bolt’s current world record) is in stark conflict with sanity. Where this column has a real issue with the minister is the bottom-of-the-ladder allotment to the coaches – a meagre US$1,000. It is indicative of a perception that those professionals do not really matter. Officials, for the most part, if not all, have their nine-to-five. They do not – and there is opening for dissent here – seek to remunerate themselves for the time they take off to represent their country. Coaches are different. This is what they do, at home or on overseas assignments. Untold and unrewarded are the sacrifices they make to hone that primary-school-recruited talent and nurture and escort it to national focus and attention, that can lead to the professional level. At that stage, that unfortunate coach and the important developmental role played are sometimes forgotten, as the new players and the now well-tuned athlete reaps all the benefits. Thankfully, the hitherto sidelined coaches are now ‘smelling the roses’. They share the high-school training facilities with adult coaching sessions as they seek to have a slice of the bigger cake. In all this, Foster’s Fairplay is not speaking to the Rio contingent of coaches, a portion of whom have already seen the light and have stepped up a notch. The argument is an overall assessment of the thinking from above, that it is an arena where athletes alone rule supreme and those who prepare them to get the ultimate recognition are of little or no moment. Perish that thought. Coaches deserve and must get greater respect. A paltry US$1,000 cannot cut it. Feedback: Email REAL ISSUElast_img read more

Nimba Senatorial Debaters Share Platform

first_imgFour of Nimba County’s senatorial aspirants who took part in the 28th November 2014 debate in Ganta are said to have given more priority to  education as the only means of eradicating unemployment and violence among the youth.Deliberating on their respective platforms to the audience, the four senatorial candidates, including Cllr Yarmie Quiqui Gbeisay of the Congress for Democratic Change, Mrs. Edith Gongruo Weh of Liberty Party, Dr. Joseph Korto of National Coalition Party and Mr. Peter Weato of Alternative National Congress, told the audience of their desire to develop the youth through education.The issue of educating the youth for self sustainability and employment remains cardinal among their priorities as senator if any of them is successful in unseating Senator Johnson.When the moderator asked, looking at the backwardness of the education, electricity, water and infrastructural systems of Liberia, what they would do if elected?Cllr. Gbeisay replied, “I will pass a law that will prioritize education based on entrepreneurship for self employment because the government is unable to employ everybody.”“Education takes us from backwardness and so training the youth with skills will be my target,” said Edith Weh.The former Education Minister, Dr. Joseph Korto, stressed that as an educator, he will make sure that all public high schools in Nimba have computer labs to prepare the students for today’s job market, in which computer skills remain the key priority.The political crisis in Nimba is said to be deepening with the youth being divided among the politicians who are finding their ways to the senate come December this year.Beside education, the issue of the distribution of the budgetary allotment made by the government in county development funds was also among the questions the organizer asked.But in the response to this question, the views were varied.  Dr. Korto said he would want the distribution of the county funds to be done on the basis of population; while Edith wanted the funds to be given to all Nimba.For Mr. Weato, he said, he would travel all over Nimba to ascertain all the shortcomings and then allot funds according to the needs. Cllr. Gbeisay said he believes in equity; therefore when he becomes senator of Nimba, he will advocate the reduction of budget in terms of salary, so everybody can get something to carry. There was some resentment among the audience over the failure of the moderator to allow the aspirants to cross examine one another so the public could know their ability in representing the people.After four minutes each of self introduction and declaring their platforms, the moderators asked three questions, giving each aspirant two minutes to respond. Five persons were selected from among the audience to ask a question to any candidate of their choice, but there was no room for the candidates to critique one another about their past performances either in government or the private sector.Two of the candidates, Senator Prince Johnson and ex-AFL General John Tiah, were not present at the debate and no reason was given for their absence.  But Senator Johnson’s late arrival in Ganta after the debate overshadowed the entire political activity in the county.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Parker’s US$1.2M Bond Hearing Today

first_imgAs it stands, suspended National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Matilda Parker and her Comptroller, Christina Kpabar-Paelay, could spend some time behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison, if Criminal Court ‘C’ today agrees with the government that the defendants’ US$1.2 million bail is defective.The criminal appearance bond was filed on behalf of Parker and Paelay by the Family Dollar Universal Insurance to prevent the pair from going to jail, until they could exonerate themselves from a US$837,950 theft allegation levied against them by the government.Unfortunately, prosecutors are claiming that the insurance company failed to show any evidence from legal authority that it possesses assets sufficient to cover the obligation they are undertaking.They also argued that the bond does not conform to the requirement of law; therefore, it should be set aside and the defendants remanded to the Monrovia Central Prison until their bond is made sufficient to secure their appearance before court.They further argued that the insurer’s tax clearance, which was issued in March and was valid for only 90days, has expired.These are some of the issues Judge Peter Gbeneweleh will be hearing and to establish the validity of their bond.Both Parker and Paelay were accused of designing a criminal scheme whereby they awarded two sole-source contracts without the approval of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) to co-defendant Deneah M. Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise on behalf of the NPA from 2011 to 2012.The alleged contracts were for co-defendant Flomo to remove wreckage from the port of Greenville, Sinoe County, and the provision of security consultancy at the ports of Monrovia, Buchanan, Grand Bassa County and Greenville at the agreed priced of US$500,000 and US$300,000 respectively.The accused further made fraudulent payment of funds from the NPA’s accounts to defendant Flomo for expertise, which amounted to US$837,950.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Education Month signature event postponed until 2019

first_img…Ministry says planning team was “busy” with strikeA signature event to celebrate this year’s Education Month, which is observed in September, has been called off, since the planning officers were “busy” addressing the teachers’ salary woes.This was explained to Guyana Times on Thursday by one of the Ministry’s Public Relations Officers, Murtland Haley.According to Haley, the planning officers were engaged with the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) and were unable to make the necessary plans for the exposition, which was dubbed the signature event.Haley explained that the expo was supposed to be hosted at D’Urban Park from September 14-16, and was being held with the intent of providing an opportunity for patrons to get a better understanding of how the Education Ministry functions. He said persons would have been able to enter the expo and make queries amongEducation Minister Nicolette Henryother things.Additionally, the Expo would have seen the participation of international partners such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).The organisations would have had the opportunity to highlight the work they have been doing in Guyana, as well as actively engage those visiting the event. The idea of the exposition is to “touch every Guyanese and make them aware of what is happening in education,” Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson said during a recent interview. He noted that the inter-agency participation is necessary since education is not about a person but rather it about everyone.The expo was eliminated from the list of activities to celebrate this year’s Education Month, which is being held under the theme “Education for A Good Life Through Innovation and STEAMS” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Spirituality).Nonetheless, the first Education Month activity is slated for tomorrow in Region One (Barima-Waini), where hinterland children will engage in a Career Guidance, Science and Mathematics Fair at the Regional Education Office in Mabaruma.A number of other activities are also scheduled to commemorate the month, which includes a career extravaganza, educational fairs and steel pan school performances among others, across the country.last_img read more

Bert Bowes Jr. Secondary School still without water

first_imgPhoto: Work continues on the broken water line at the Bert Bowes Jr. Secondary School – Christine Rumlesie/Energeticcity.caWater has still not returned to the Bert Bowes Jr. Secondary School in Fort St. John. Principal Ray Asai says crews found the problem and they expect the water to be restored later today.- Advertisement – [asset|aid=897|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=eef764c674d035866308a1b4d82b84b0-Ray Asai 1_2_Pub.mp3] The school closed yesterday when a water line broke, resulting in water leaking into the girls and boys changroom. Water was turned off in the school to prevent any damage. Students were sent home yesterday and have the day off today.Advertisementlast_img

Preliminary Fort St. John Hospital work to begin soon

first_imgIn the coming days, there will be an increase in truck traffic to allow vehicle access the site to deliver some equipment and machinery. Traffic control personnel will be on site throughout this period to direct traffic and provide safe passage for motorists and pedestrians. The public is asked to be vigilant when traveling in the area, and requested to watch and obey the directions of traffic control personnel.For more information about the Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care Project or this bulletin, email or visit the project website – Advertisement – Preliminary work will begin shortly on the new Fort St. John Hospital.Northern Health is advising Fort St. John residents who travel roads and walking trails in the area of 8407 – 112th Avenue that some preliminary site work will get underway for the Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care project.last_img read more

Library to host book sale this weekend

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John Public Library is hosting a book sale this upcoming Saturday.On April 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a wide variety of books and DVDs will be for sale outside the entrance of the Library at the Cultural Centre.The items range from $1 to $3, plus a member’s special every hour.- Advertisement -Memberships will also be available to get at the sale.last_img

Mauricio Pochettino wants Tottenham to continue fighting on all fronts after FA Cup win

first_imgMauricio Pochettino thinks his Tottenham squad have shown they can compete for silverware on all fronts this season after watching his team end Leicester’s FA Cup hopes.A much-changed Spurs side, Pochettino swapped eight players, were never really troubled by an equally unfamiliar Foxes line-up as they finally got the better of Claudio Ranieri’s men this season at the fourth time of asking – reaching the fourth round with a 2-0 victory.Having drawn 2-2 in the original tie and with Leicester winning the Barclays Premier League meeting in north London last week, Tottenham triumphed in the final part of the 10-day trilogy courtesy of goals from Son Heung-min and Nacer Chadli at the King Power Stadium – the scene of a 1-1 draw in the league in August.Spurs, fourth in the Premier League and just five points behind leaders Arsenal, will travel to League One strugglers Colchester in the next round at the end of the month before resuming their Europa League challenge against Fiorentina in February.Pochettino said: “I am very pleased with the performance, it was a fantastic victory against a very good team. We dominated the game from the beginning to the end.“The FA Cup is an important competition for us and we showed we have a squad that is good enough to compete in every competition.“We have also the Premier League and Europa League and I think it is very important to keep the squad fit and working hard, and the FA Cup is very important for this. We are having a fantastic season, we are at a fantastic level.“It is difficult to be fair to players but there is fantastic spirit in the changing room and in the training ground.“I don’t like to speak about change. For me, when you have 24 or 25 players they all work very hard and some players deserve to play and can’t – you can only pick 11 and seven on the bench.”last_img read more

‘What about my pre-match curry?’ – Hull fan rages at FA Cup replay kick off time

first_imgThe FA Cup fifth round replay between Hull City and Arsenal has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 8 but it is the kick off time that had one Drivetime caller particularly riled.The game will kick off at 7pm due to rules not allowing games to kick off at the same time as Champions League games on European nights.This had Richard, a Hull City fan, very annoyed as it meant he would not have time for his pre-match curry, a tradition that has stretched back 14 years.Drivetime co-host Darren Gough had no sympathy for Richard, telling him to have the meal after, to which he replied “it’s not the same!”Listen to the hilarious phone call above!last_img

Commuter bus links Santa Clarita, Valley

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – A commuter bus linking Santa Clarita and the San Fernando Valley will begin service today, transit officials said. The Route 8 bus will have daily service from the McBean Transfer Station at McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard in Valencia to the Sylmar Metrolink Station. It will be operated by Santa Clarita Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “Linking two hubs of transportation is key to allowing riders the most options in terms of jobs, health care, schools and shopping,” said Dianna Boone, Santa Clarita Transit manager. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Weekdays, Route 8 will depart every 30 minutes from 5:50 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. On Saturdays, the bus will run from 6:20 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. and on Sundays from 7:20 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. The fare will be $1 each way, or $25 a month with a Santa Clarita Transit monthly pass. Metro’s EZ Transit monthly passes will also be accepted. “As Santa Clarita and the surrounding area continue to grow, links between it and Metro’s Los Angeles transit options will become increasingly important to maintaining a high quality of life for Santa Clarita residents, many of whom work in Los Angeles,” said MTA chief executive officer Roger Snoble. Bus schedules are available at read more