A SELECTIVE LIFE

first_imgShe’s sitting on the plane…it’s just five hours until the first manager’s meeting of the 2004 National Touch League begins. It’s just five hours until team registration sheets, selection availability sheets and statutory declaration forms begin to pile up on the desk in front of her. It’s just five hours until the questions begin, the excuses for missing forms begin, the unsigned sheets and the general chaos hits home….no need to continue. The thought is just way too daunting. It’s just five hours until…wait, what’s the air hostess doing to her? Man, it’s hot tea, spilled all down the front of her nice clean skirt. And so it begins… It’s the 2004 NTL’s and National Director of Selectors Cathy Gray is looking forward to 10 days of full time selection for National teams and squads. There’s selection for the Youth World Cup 20 years squads, the Australian Talent Identification Program (TIP), National Training Squads (NTS) and Australian Seniors teams. Everyone sees and knows the final outcome of the work that Cathy and her team of 22 other selectors and TI panel here, will do throughout the tournament. What no one really understands is exactly what these incredibly dedicated people will do to reach that final outcome. The selectors, along with tournament officials, will be the first at the fields every day. They will also be the last to leave. And when they get home, they might cook themselves some dinner and sit down with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, but their folders will come back out and they’ll get back to work. Over the next 10 days these selectors will together watch around 500 games of touch, see around 1600 different players, fill out around 1000 assessment forms, lose around 100 pens, drink at least 2000 cups of coffee, get itchy legs from sitting on the grass, get sunburnt or drenched by rain (possibly both) and just sick of answering the same questions again and again and again. But they love it. And they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t. Just like players wouldn’t play, coaches wouldn’t coach and referees wouldn’t ref. Cathy Gray has been selecting for touch football since 1991, around 13 years now. She describes her journey to the position of National Director as sort of accidental. “I just sort of fell into selecting, they needed someone one day and I was there”, she says. “I ended up on the NSW selection panel, was invited to apply for the ATA selection panel, applied for the position of National Director and then I ended up here.” “The team of selectors we have are very positive and we have great working relationships with each other and the national coaches. There is a lot of trust on both sides.” It’s important for everyone to realise that for these selectors, this isn’t their only job. “We all have other jobs too, just like the players and coaches. Between touch selection and my teaching job I haven’t had a day at home in six weeks”, says Cathy. “The day after NTL’s finish I will be on a 6:30am flight home, I’ll be back just in time to teach my classes at Cheltenham Girls High school.” Despite the crazily hectic lifestyle that being a selector seems to throw at these guys, Cathy admits to absolutely loving what they get to do. “We love to do this, there’s a lot of great personalities in our group and in touch football in general and we enjoy each other’s company”, says Cathy. “To be honest, we just absolutely enjoy it. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding. Seeing the way the Australian teams performed and what they achieved at the last World Cup makes all the hard work worthwhile. It was just such an honour to be there and be a part of everything.” So when you’re thinking about your NTL players this week or wondering how they’re doing, send up a quick prayer for our selectors who are working away behind the scenes. They deserve it. Rachel Moylelast_img read more

Video: Watch Arizona’s Football Players Do Their First Haka War Dance Of The 2015 Season

first_imgArizona players watch as teammates perform their first Haka dance of the season.Arizona Haka DancePregame routines don’t get much more intimidating than Arizona’s “Haka” dance. The dance, a traditional Maori war dance from New Zealand, has become a tradition for the Wildcats. Arizona’s football players have performed the first Haka of the season. It’s pretty awesome. First Haka of the Year #HardEdgeCamp #BearDown pic.twitter.com/BpIvKAUEXe— Matt Dudek (@AZ_Matty_D) August 23, 2015That’ll get you fired up. Arizona opens its 2015 season Sept. 3 against UTSA.last_img

Kashmir on edge Security beefed up restrictions imposed many leaders detained or

first_imgSrinagar: Kashmir remained on edge as the authorities stepped up security at vital installations and in sensitive areas, suspended mobile internet services and either “arrested” or “detained” several leaders in fast-paced developments on Sunday night. Officials said restrictions on movement of people would come into force in Kashmir Valley at the crack of dawn. The officials said former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti would not be allowed to move out of their respective house in view of the restrictions, while Congress leader Usman Majid and CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami claimed to have been arrested around midnight. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details However, no official confirmation of the arrests was immediately available. “I believe I’m being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight & the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I’ll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store,” National Conference leader Abdullah tweeted. “To the people of Kashmir, we don’t know what is in store for us but I am a firm believer that what ever Almighty Allah has planned it is always for the better, we may not see it now but we must never doubt his ways. Good luck to everyone, stay safe & above all PLEASE STAY CALM,” he said in another tweet. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Reacting to the development, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba said, “How ironic that elected representatives like us who fought for peace are under house arrest. The world watches as people & their voices are being muzzled in J&K. The same Kashmir that chose a secular democratic India is facing oppression of unimaginable magnitude. Wake up India.” Responding to Abdullah’s tweet, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, “You are not alone @OmarAbdullah. Every Indian democrat will stand with the decent mainstream leaders in Kashmir as you face up to whatever the government has in store for our country. Parliament is still in session & our voices will not be stilled.” “What is going on in J&K? Why would leaders be arrested overnight while having done no wrong? If Kashmiris are our citizens &their leaders our partners, surely the mainstream ones must be kept on board while we act against terrorists & separatists? If we alienate them, who’s left?” he said in another tweet. Mobile Internet services have been suspended in Kashmir Valley, the officials said, adding that satellite phones were being provided to police officials and district magistrates. The government imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPC in Srinagar district with effect from midnight. As per the order, there will be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed. There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order. After the Jammu and Kashmir administration curtailed the Amarnath Yatra and asked pilgrims and tourists to leave the valley at the earliest on Friday, anxious residents continue to throng markets to stock on essentials and serpentine queues have been visible outside shops and fuel stations. The Anantnag district administration, in view of “panic stocking”,ordered all fuel station dealers not to sell petrol or diesel without permission from the district magistrate or an authorised officer. Various educational institutions in Kashmir Valley also directed their students to vacate hostels. The authorities in Jammu and Udhampur district also ordered closure of schools and colleges as precautionary measures. The University of Jammu will remain closed on Monday and all scheduled examinations have been postponed. The authorities have imposed night curfew in Kishtwar, Rajouri districts and Banihal area of Ramban district. Additional paramilitary forces, which arrived in Kashmir in the past few days, have been deployed across the city and in other vulnerable areas of the valley, the officials said. The strength of the security personnel has been increased around vital installations such as the civil secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various central government establishments in the city, they said. Barricades have been erected on many arterial roads, including the entry and exit points to Srinagar, the summer capital of the state. Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby in some areas where apprehension of law and order disturbances is more, the officials added. In Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with top security officials on Sunday and is believed to have discussed the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. The hour-long meeting was attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other senior officials. Political parties in J-K had expressed apprehensions about such action after the Centre deployed additional troops and curtailed the Amarnath Yatra. Jammu and Kashmir Governor S P Malik had earlier dismissed speculations that the Centre might be planning to do away with Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives exclusive rights to the state’s residents in government jobs and land. The parties on Sunday unanimously resolved to fight any attempt to abrogate the constitutional provisions that guarantee it special status or any move to trifurcate the state or “unconstitutional delimitation”, NC leader Farooq Abdullah said. The meeting was also attended by Mehbooba, Omar Abdullah, Taj Mohiuddin (Congress), Muzaffar Beig (PDP), Sajad Lone and Imran Ansari (Peoples Conference), Shah Faesal (J&K Peoples Movement) and M Y Tarigami (CPI-M).last_img read more

The price of silence

first_imgThe small municipal town of Pollachi in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district has numerous first generation learners. It is easier to soft-target women in such a situation, as precisely has happened in the small town. The apprehension of few accused at the end of February brings more than a semblance of justice to the victims; it brings to highlight the prevalence of normalised sexual abuse of the vulnerable to appalling extents. This has snowballed into a major scandal with the emergence of local reports that at least a few hundred women in the town were victims of organised racket of sexual abuse, blackmail, and extortion. The reports state that just one survivor has filed a complaint despite that fact that many have confirmed on police helpline that they have suffered abuse, blackmail, and extortion at the hands of predators. The apparent reason for them not putting in a written complaint is the pervading culture of victim-shaming. Further, among the accused was a member of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (who was subsequently removed from the party), and Opposition parties allege that the case involves those much higher in the State’s ruling party leadership. What we see here is that the crumpled social fabric is losing focus from the issue at hand and instead, this incident is pushed towards unnecessary politicisation. The case was subsequently handed over to CBI upon the Governor’s consent, but this does not address the reasons that led to such disgrace. Also Read – A compounding difficulty Sexual abuse, assault, misconduct are much more prevalent than perceived but hardly spoken about due to social apathy in general for such things. The price of not speaking up is enormous – and is paid collectively. Young women from the town are expressly avoided for matrimonial consideration by neighbouring regions and communities. Apart from taking a toll on their self-esteem and self-worth, higher education of women is severely threatened. They are encouraged to enroll in correspondence courses instead of regular ones. This is a very retrograde trend whereby education is a mere formality or socially acceptable method of biding time (until marriage) and not valued for its intrinsic quality. If women are not free to go out and get education, they are virtually incapacitated to go out and do anything on their own. Legal intervention is only the first step in setting things right. Ultimately it is a social issue that must be addressed by a concerned civil society. Silence must be actively discouraged. Survivors must be supported.last_img read more

13 killed in South Africa church collapse

first_imgJohannesburg: At least 13 people have died and many injured in South Africa after a wall collapsed at a Pentecostal church at the start of an Easter service, authorities said. The incident happened on Thursday night in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal and emergency medical services spokesperson Robert McKenzie linked the tragedy to heavy rainfall in the area, South Africa’s online news publication News24 reported. Authorities said 29 people were rushed to hospital after the collapse of the wall at the front of the Pentecostal Holiness Church and six of them were seriously injured. Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the area experienced a storm and heavy winds which are believed to have resulted in the incident. People were sleeping in the church when the brick wall collapsed, she added. Following the incident, a special prayer service was held in front of the church on Friday, according to local eNCA TV station.last_img read more

Eerie Easter

first_imgNearly a decade after the 26-year long civil war in Sri Lanka came to a long-awaited close, the people of the island nation were crudely jolted with a series of coordinated attacks on churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday. Other nationals killed in the dastardly attack include Indians, Japanese and of USA. In solidarity with Sri Lanka, other nations and world leaders extended their condolences the grieving nation. On a day of worship and cheer, memories of the civil war were wrenched back in a flash. Faraz Shauketaly, a prominent journalist, spoke about the Sri Lanka Civil War and its connection to Sunday’s attack, reiterating that in Sri Lanka, the ethnic conflict began approximately 40 years ago and finished 10 years ago. The 3-decade long war was perpetrated by mainly a group of terrorists who claimed to want independence in the northern part of Sri Lanka, is a tiny island, about 240 miles long and 140 miles wide. May 18, 2019, will mark the 10-year anniversary of the end of the nation’s civil war fought between the Sri Lanka government and its Sinhala Buddhist majority and the Tamil Tigers minority ethnic group. Warning of more attacks in Sri Lanka, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented that the United States will keep fighting “radical Islamic terror” in the wake of the Sri Lanka attacks. This comment very easily labels the mishap with a colour and a community that is otherwise vulnerable on the global stage. These attacks come in line with notorious attacks on churches, the latest being the fire that ravaged Notre Dame. The leaders of Sri Lanka, however, showed remarkable grit and insisted that the national suffering must not become a political game.last_img read more

OSUs Marder catching on with professional league

For the Ohio State softball team, the season is over. But one senior will trade away her Buckeyes uniform to represent a new team.Catcher Sam Marder, Ohio State’s all-time home run and RBI leader, will suit up for the Akron Racers this summer in the National Pro Fastpitch league.Marder was the seventh overall pick and first selection for Akron.“I’ve been watching her play for four years and her work ethic and athleticism is unbelievable,” said Joey Arrietta, president and general manager for the Racers.Though Marder is known for her hitting, Arrietta considered that a bonus when she drafted the two-time All-American.“To make your pitching staff the best it can be, you need a great receiver on the other end,” Arrietta said. “I looked first at the catcher she was. You need to allow the pitcher to throw every type of pitch in her repertoire. I think we have a solid pitching staff and my job was to get the best catcher out there to help.”Marder will face difficult competition as big names like Jennie Finch, Cat Osterman and Jessica Mendoza all play in the league. In fact, 10 out of the 17 players for the 2010 USA national team will be playing in the NPF.Though Marder is facing tougher competition, Arrietta expects nothing less than a stellar performance this year from her starting catcher.“I expect her to make a great transition from the collegiate game to our level,” she said. “I think she has had a significant amount of experience and I expect her to be part of that starting lineup and make an impact in our lineup.”The league features four teams: the Chicago Bandits, Tennessee Diamonds, USSSA Pride and Akron Racers.With four teams in the league, the five-round draft set-up only allows teams to pick the best seniors in college softball.Marder will play under two-time Olympic Gold medalist Crystl Bustos. Bustos, who retired from the Racers this past summer, has agreed to be the field manager.Marder will also have a chance to reunite with former OSU player Jamee Juarez. The combo played together in the 2006-2007 season.Though Marder could not be reached to comment, she said earlier this season she is excited for the opportunity to play professional softball.The excitement between Marder and the Racers is mutual.“Four years ago I didn’t know if we were going to be able to get her into a Racers uniform,” Arrietta said. “Now that she is, I am extremely thrilled and can’t wait to see what she does for us.” read more

Carrick believes Mourinho nurtures young players

first_imgThe Manchester United long-standing tradition of bringing through young players has continued with the Portuguese managerEnglish Premier League giants Manchester United have always been seen as one of the best clubs for a young player to develop.And former Red Devils midfielder Michael Carrick believes one of the positive sides of Mourinho’s tenure at United is his development of young talent.“He does get the history,” said Carrick to Sky Sports.“For the manager to put him [Rashford] in and play him… and Scott [McTominay] last year… and give them games, big games as well.”Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“The manager has to take a lot of credit for that. That’s the constant challenge though, isn’t it? That’s what everyone wants to see, that next one,” he added.“They say it’s getting harder. But that’s a challenge for us as a club and for English football – you might not get tens and twenties, you might get five or six players – but it’s got to keep happening.”“At the end of the day, the academies are there to produce players and to give kids a chance of getting in first teams. Especially at United; you can’t ignore the history and traditions,” he continued.“When people ask me: ‘What’s my role now [at the club]?’ That’s a big part of the club. You can’t just neglect the history of the club and what it stands for. And bringing players through is a huge part of that. It’s always been that one, two, three, four – more players in some eras.”last_img read more