Crouching striker, hidden talent

first_imgI keep being told that Peter Crouch is surprisingly good on the ground (for a big man). But wasn’t Emile Heskey a great team player (for a striker) and didn’t Nicky Barnby have a surprisingly good left foot (for a right footer)? Crouch was considered among the top two available strikers for England against Austria on Saturday afternoon. This would be funny, if it wasn’t the cold truth. It’s certainly no small feat that the 6ft7in Liverpool target man made the team considering he has yet to score this season. His unorthodox looks and running style make him easy to mock. Arsène Wenger called him a basketball player last season and he was cruelly ridiculed by the crowd for his clumsy play, but he did complement Owen quite well with his famed knock-downs and compared well with the other relative newcomer, Luke Young. With no disrespect to Crouch and Young they are not in the class of Rooney and Neville and maybe more realistic options should have played – Defoe with Carragher at right back. Lampard’s penalty success, after Beckham’s three consecutive misses, was a big help and with Owen sharp the team should easily be capable of picking up their game when it becomes necessary.The pub crowd, powered by the Crouch sized pint-and-a-half beer glasses, seemed happy with the result, though perhaps it was more at the relief of not being Scottish (as in, not having to support their football team). England did after all qualify for the World Cup finals with this result, although necessarily in tandem with Holland beating the Czech Republic, and England can be a side with new impetus when the summer comes.England’s direction seems to have blurred in the last few months. It all had been going well for them since the previous match against Austria. The emergence of Robinson as a reliable goalkeeper has been a relief for fans after the desperate years of Seaman and James, and Joe Cole’s surfacing as an exciting left winger has been comforting, if not ideal.  The loss to Northern Ireland has been dissected to the bone and lessons have been learnt but the Lampard-Gerrard centre-midfield issue does have to be thought about.If both players start displaying the same form as they do for their clubs, England would be driven by goals and searing runs from the middle of the field – before teams could work out a way to stop them without hampering their own style, we would have collected the Jules Rimet trophy and EasyJetted home to celebrate for another 40 years. I love the idea of playing Michael Carrick behind those two, in the Makalele role, and making Lampard and Gerrard the focus of the team in place of Beckham. Beckham plays consistently well for England but gets an unjustly high proportion of the ball and he needs to work out that his crosses (which are effective for the Brazilians at Real Madrid) fly over the heads of Rooney and Owen (though not, admittedly, Crouch). The sending off, however, was clearly quite harsh and the quality of his crossing and set-pieces remain enough for Beckham to retain his place on the team.Dropping Joe Cole to the bench would make the team unbalanced but Gerrard was more inspiring left of the three centre midfielders than when overly burdened with defensive concerns. It worked in the previous World Cup with Nicky Butt, and Carrick is a better player than Butt, though somehow Tottenham team mate (and defender) Ledley King is ahead of him in the pecking order. The next England manager, if there is going to be less of Sven, is a dilemma. The cautious Steve McLaren is as uninspiring as he is tainted with the association of Erikson’s rule.  Desperately, he is currently the 5-4 favourite, and Erikson’s real choice, but there is something to dislike about the toadying inside track he is taking to become ‘the obvious successor.’ Sam Allardyce is a good man but is perhaps too Mike Basset to be the first choice. Someone should put some money on the talented Wenger, realistically an outsider as a foreigner, but he probably needs some support with Paddy Power already paying out on Mourinho’s Chelsea for the league.Despite Saturday’s melodramatic headline in the Guardian – ‘Five days to save a manager’ – this should be a discussion for 2008. We all hope, fortunately with some reason, that Erikson’s England will shine this World Cup – in player terms he believes that he has 10 of the top 50 in the world, and adding Beckham gives a full team that need not be fearful of anyone. Holland, Brazil and Argentina are great to watch but lack England’s all-round strength- I would rather play them than the always-menacing Germany. No comparison to the Ashes is helpful: the World Cup always brings out its own excitement, though it should be noted that Australia are only a play-off away from qualifying…ARCHIVE: 1st week MT 2005last_img read more

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WHO to Latam: Don’t lower COVID-19 guard, deaths could quadruple by October

first_imgThe toll from COVID-19 could rise to 438,000 deaths in Latin America by October if prevention measures are not kept up, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Americas Carissa Etienne warned on Tuesday.Fatalities so far in Latin America have reached 113,844 or almost one fifth of the number of people who have died globally, according to mapping by Reuters.The Americas is the world epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic and the toll for the whole region could almost treble to 637,000 by Oct. 1, the WHO official said, though she cautioned that mathematical model projections should not be taken literally but only as planning guides. Topics : Under current conditions, the pandemic is expected to peak in Chile and Colombia by mid-July, but in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru not until August, and Costa Rica will not flatten its curve of infection until October, she said.Countries, states and cities that relax restrictions too soon can be flooded with new COVID-19 cases, Etienne and other directors of the WHO’s regional branch, the Pan American Health Organization said in a virtual briefing from Washington.”Complacency is our enemy in the fight against COVID-19,” she said, adding: “The battle is tough but it’s far from lost.”In the United States, Washington state and New York are seeing very low numbers of new cases and deaths, but 27 other states are reporting exponential growth, Etienne said.center_img Several Caribbean countries and territories were able to curb transmission completely and have reported no new cases for several weeks, but they need to remain vigilant for months to come, Etienne said.This past week Manaus, in Brazil saw its first day without reporting new deaths from COVID-19, after weeks of dealing with high mortality in the largest city in the Amazon.Brazil has the second most fatal and widespread outbreak in the Americas after the United States and WHO directors said they have repeatedly asked the South American country to increase testing and have a consistent message to population.Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the gravity of coronavirus and criticized quarantine and social distancing measures adopted by states and cities, sending a confusing signal to Brazilians, public health experts say.Countries must be prepared to adjust course quickly if the epidemiological situation changes, the WHO director said.Reopening is not merely a question of suspending travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders. It requires ample testing and adequate contact tracing to quickly detect and control new outbreaks, she said.The Americas region as a whole reported 5.1 million cases and more than 247,000 deaths due to COVID-19 as of June 29.last_img read more

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Clippers roll past Dwight Howard, Rockets

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Jordan finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.Houston also had six players in double figures but had subpar games from James Harden (15 points on 6-for-16 shooting) and Howard, who had 13 points and nine rebounds. Howard entered the game averaging a league-best 17 rebounds.Omri Casspi had 19 points off the bench for the Rockets and Chandler Parsons and Francisco Garcia each had 14 points.The Clippers had four players in double figures by halftime, and Crawford had nine at that point. Their 78-point outburst was the most in club history for a half since moving to Los Angeles. The San Diego Clippers scored 87 in a half against Utah in 1984.But they only led by 12 against the 3-point happy Rockets, who got a boost from Casspi off the bench. He hit three 3-pointers in the first half to help keep the Rockets, who trailed by as many as 17, within striking distance.Led by Dudley’s three 3-pointers, the Clippers hit 15 for the game and held Houston to 7-for-24 from distance.And to think Rivers’ No. 1 concern heading into the game was the frontcourt duo of the 6-foot-11 Howard and 7-0 Omer Asik.“They’re big. They’re huge,” Rivers said. “They don’t play that way the whole game but it presents a major problem. When they start their five and then they start their (reserve) five, that’s a problem. “We have to rebound as a team, we have to gang rebound and we have to create a pace tonight because if we get in to their pace it will be a tough night.”The Clippers now head out on the road for three games to play Orlando, Miami and Houston. It’s been all about the defense for the Clippers this season, but even they know what an efficient offense can mean.So they went out and tied the L.A. team record for points in a half and matched Houston’s firepower to take a 137-118 victory over Houston on Monday night at Staples Center.It was the return of Dwight Howard to Los Angeles after his disappointing season with the Lakers, but he only had a peek at the first half after picking up three fouls in the first quarter and sitting out the entire second period.It was a chance for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan to test his defensive acumen against that of Howard, but that was a mere subplot for two of the rising contenders in the Western Conference.center_img “I don’t talk about it,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of the center matchup. “I didn’t mention it once today other than ‘DeAndre, you have Dwight.’ Other than that I didn’t say much about it. They know. I just leave it at that.”Howard was booed continuously by Clippers fans who clearly see this version of Superman as a villain.But they also had plenty of offense to enjoy as the teams went bombs away. Rivers would have been a little more worried if the centers were involved in the point-scoring binge.It started with J.J. Redick scoring 15 of his season-high 26 points in the first quarter and then turned into another showcase for Chris Paul, who had 23 points and 17 assists as the Clippers (3-1) handed the Rockets (3-1) their first loss of the season.The Clippers had six players reach double figures and backup center Byron Mullens added nine. Jamal Crawford had 21 points, Blake Griffin had 18 points and seven rebounds and Jared Dudley had 15 points.last_img read more

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Pitt signs Dixon to extension through 2022-23

first_imgby Will GravesPITTSBURGH (AP) — Jamie Dixon isn’t going anywhere but back to work.The Pittsburgh head coach signed a 10-year contract on Saturday that could keep him with the Panthers well into the next decade. The deal comes after speculation surfaced USC was targeting Dixon, a Southern California native, for its open job.“Pitt and Pittsburgh are home,” Dixon said in a statement. “My family and I feel blessed to be part of such a great institution and wonderful city. It is the people who truly make a place special. I could not be surrounded by better players, staff and administration.”Dixon is 262-86 in 10 years at Pitt and has the highest winning percentage of any coach in Big East history. The Panthers went 24-9 this season including 12-6 in their final year in the league before heading to the ACC this summer.Despite the gaudy conference record, Pitt was given a No. 8 seed by the NCAA selection committee, the school’s lowest since 2005.While the players expressed dismay over the seeding, Dixon pressed onward. Still, the Panthers were thoroughly outplayed by Wichita State in a 73-55 loss, the program’s worst in the tournament in 20 years.The defeat marked Pitt’s third straight early exit from the NCAAs. Dixon is 11-9 in the tournament but the Panthers — who missed the NCAAs entirely last spring — have not advanced past the opening weekend since 2009, when they lost to Villanova in the regional finals. Dixon expressed disappointment in his team’s play but optimism about the future in the immediate aftermath. Pitt loses just two players to graduation and has one of the most promising big men in the country in freshman center Steven Adams.Having Adams in the middle and Dixon on the sideline should help Pitt in its transition to the ACC. Dixon has been diplomatic about the move and joked earlier this month he didn’t have any family in Greensboro, N.C., the frequent home of the ACC tournament.Still, Dixon also understood the reasons behind Pitt’s decision and can now focus on how to elbow aside Duke and North Carolina for ACC supremacy much the way the Panthers have done to the likes of Syracuse and Connecticut over the last 12 years in the Big East.Dixon came to Pitt as an assistant under Ben Howland in 1999 and then took over in 2003 when his mentor left for UCLA. All Dixon has done is lead the Panthers to two Big East regular-season titles and a Big East tournament championship.Though Dixon has done nothing but continue to deepen his roots in Pittsburgh, he understands that his name is floated out whenever a high-profile job opens. He called it an annual rite of spring, earlier this week.Still, Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson acted aggressively to make sure Dixon remains as the face of one of the nation’s most consistently competitive programs.“In order to maintain and build upon our past success, it was important to our university and athletic department that we make a strong long-term commitment to Jamie,” Pederson said in a statement. “He has been far more than a basketball coach at Pitt and we are fortunate to have such a high-caliber person representing our university. I look forward to continuing to work with Jamie as he leads our program into an exciting new era in the ACC.” STAYING AT PITT–Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon shouts to his team during a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament against Wichita State in Salt Lake City, March 21. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)last_img read more

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Harris Dreams of College Golf

first_imgWhile confident of making the national team for a sixth-consecutive time, junior female golfer Kei Harris, also has her sights firmly set on playing golf overseas in college, and hopefully transitioning to the professional circuit. The 17-year-old has represented Jamaica in regional tournaments a number of times, as well as on the international stage. Harris is ranked third by the Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) in the 2016-17 season so far, at 290 points courtesy of two wins, and one runner-up finish from three local tournaments. “It’s a game I have loved since nine years old. I want to live my dreams, play college golf, and professional golf after,” the former Campion College student said. She considers herself a determined person, passionate and committed to the game of golf. “I don’t expect it to be easy, but I intend to work hard at it, and practice makes perfect,” she continued. Though not playing all five matches in the recently completed JGA Juniors series last weekend, Harris finished runner-up in the White Tees category behind Luke Chin. She was the only female player in her class, and said competing against boys helps to push her game. This August, Harris will be looking to enrol in a university on a full golf scholarship in the United States. Her preferred choice is Alabama State University, with the aim of continuing her golf development there. “I am aiming to shoot around the same scores my friends in Puerto Rico and other parts of the region are shooting so I can reach and maintain a certain level of competition,” she told The Gleaner. She will be looking to head back to the range for an upcoming charity game, and national trials in March.last_img read more

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GAA NEWS: LETTERKENNY GAELS U14’S DEFEATED BY ST EUNAN’S

first_imgLetterkenny Gaels Club Notes. Letterkenny Gaels are pleased to announce that we will be presenting the Monday night Bingo in Arena 7 from next Monday night on. The Jackpot is €1500. Doors from 8pm. Eyes down 9pm.  The senior and reserve footballers had no game last weekend and make the journey to take on Downings this Saturday evening. Throw in times are 5.15pm (reserve) and 6.45pm (senior). All support welcome. Gaeltacht scholarships for Colaiste Aoidh Mhic Bhricne are available and could be won by young Letterkenny Gaels members. The deadline for applications is 29th April. Please see Club Facebook for more details. The underage football training continues every Sunday morning at Pairc na nGael from 11am to 12 noon. Please bring water and a mouth guard. New players are always welcome. The U-14 footballers played neighbours St. Eunans on Monday evening past and came up short in a high scoring game. They are away to Termon on Monday evening. All players are asked to return to training this week. Training is on Wednesday evenings.  The U-16 football training is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at 5.15pm.Outdoor Hurling training for U-6, U-8 & U-10 resumes this Thursday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Hurls and helmets provided. New players welcome. U-12 to U-18 hurling continues every Tuesday evening from 6.30pm. The Senior Ladies Footballers circuit training continues every Wednesday night in the clubhouse from 7 to 8pm. U-12 girls football training takes place at the pitch every Sunday morning from 11am-12noon. All welcome. This year we will have Ladies and Girls football for u-12, u-14, Minor and Senior.  Michael Murphy Sports are currently stocking a range of Gaels Club merchandise including jerseys, training tops, hats & scarfs.Camogie Training continues at Pairc na nGael every Monday from 6pm-7.30pm for U12s, 14s, 16s & 18s and Friday evenings from 6-7.30pm for U8s, 10s, 12s & 14s.  The U-14 Camogs played their first match away to Carndonagh and despite missing number of experienced players the younger girls did brilliantly with a very close 2 point defeat. We are hosting an U12 blitz this weekend and the U12 league commences next Monday with a home fixture against Carndonagh. New  members always welcome. Contact 086 8163505 for more details. For regular club updates and photos see our club web page, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @LetterkennyGael GAA NEWS: LETTERKENNY GAELS U14’S DEFEATED BY ST EUNAN’S was last modified: April 5th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GAALetterkenny GaelsSportlast_img read more

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Kader Asmal hailed as fighter for justice

first_img23 June 2011 Tributes have been pouring in for Kader Asmal, South African struggle veteran, human rights activist, academic and politician, who passed away on Wednesday. The former education minister died in the Constantiaberg Mediclinic in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, after suffering a heart attack. Asmal also held the position of minister of water affairs and forestry before taking on the education portfolio in 1999, a post that he held for five years. On behalf of the government and all citizens of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma offered his condolences to Asmal’s family. “Professor Asmal made a sterling contribution to the struggle for liberation and sacrificed a lot in his life to ensure the attainment of freedom and democracy,” said the Presidency statement. “In the dawn of freedom he served in government, making a noticeable mark in the water and education portfolios in Cabinet.” Asmal would be remembered for his “energy, forthrightness, efficiency and commitment to making this country a better place”. His passion for upholding human rights was also a hallmark of the life he lived, said Zuma. Achmat Dangor, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, hailed Asmal as a lifelong fighter for justice and freedom, who devoted decades of his life to bringing down the apartheid system. His aim was always to see the establishment of a democratic South African society and government, where everyone would be treated as an equal. Dangor referred to a letter written by Mandela to Asmal on the latter’s 75th birthday. “While serving in our Cabinet we often referred to you as the ‘Minister of all portfolios’”, wrote Mandela. “Although we did so in a humorous way, there was truth to it.” Mandela paid tribute to Asmal’s knowledge and experience in many areas, and thanked him for his friendship. “The role that you played will remain in our history books forever.” South Africa’s national cricket board also praised the stalwart, commending his love for sport, and cricket in particular. In addition to his Cabinet duties, Asmal was legal adviser to the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee. “He did a lot of significant work for cricket,” said Cricket South Africa CEO Gerald Majola. “Perhaps his greatest contribution was the work he did with the then finance minister Trevor Manuel to recognise sports that had credible development programmes and allow them to get tax rebates so that the money could be ploughed back into amateur and grassroots level sport.” Majola expressed his appreciation for Asmal’s firm support, saying that he rarely missed a game at Newlands, and was always there to support the national team in international games. He was also a qualified umpire, and was committed to strengthening the amateur sector of cricket, as he felt that this was crucial for the advancement of the professional game. “On a personal note I will miss him and always appreciate the wise advice he gave me in many areas of cricket,” said Majola. “Asmal was far more than a politician. He represented the best of a generation of struggle heroes who made unimaginable sacrifices to realise a democratic South Africa,” said Helen Zille, Western Cape premier and leader of the Democratic Alliance. Teacher, lawyer and humanitarian Born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal, Kader Asmal originally qualified as a teacher at the Springfield Teachers’ Training College. A childhood encounter with Chief Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize laureate, left him with a deep respect for human rights, which remained with him all his life. Asmal taught in KwaZulu-Natal schools until 1959, when he emigrated to London and qualified as a lawyer at that city’s School of Economics and Political Science. He was a founding member of the British anti-apartheid movement and later started the Irish branch when he took up a teaching post in the law school at Trinity College in Dublin. In the meantime, he passed bar exams in London and Dublin in 1963 and 1975 respectively. He remained at Trinity College for 27 years as a professor of law, specialising in international and labour law, and human rights. Between 1980 and 1986 he was the dean of Trinity’s humanities faculty. Asmal returned to his homeland in 1990, the same year that Nelson Mandela was released from prison. He became a senior member of the African National Congress and served on the party’s executive committee for many years. He resumed his teaching career, as professor of human rights at the University of the Western Cape, and was a visiting professor at Princeton and Rutgers Universities in the US and at Christ’s College in Cambridge, UK. In May 1994 he became a member of South Africa’s first democratic government, as the minister of water affairs and forestry. He was appointed as education minister after the second democratic general election in 1999, but resigned from Parliament in 2008 because he felt it would be unethical of him to vote for the dismantling of the Scorpions, an elite and successful crime-busting police unit. During his distinguished career Asmal received numerous honours, including the Unesco Prize in 1983, the Agfa Award for conservation from the University of Chile in 1997, and the Stockholm Water Prize in 2000. In 2005, he received France’s Order of the Legion d’Honneur. He was an honorary fellow of the London College of Economics and Political Science and Ireland’s Royal College of Surgeons, and an honorary member of the Southern African Water Institute. The academic also garnered seven honorary degrees from universities in South Africa and Ireland. As well as being a prolific author, Asmal served in various South African and international associations, including the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University, African Association of International Law, the Independent World Commission on the Oceans, and the World Commission on Dams, which he chaired. MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporter – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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South African firms ‘cutting emissions’

first_img26 November 2012South Africa’s top 100 listed companies have materially reduced their reported greenhouse gas emissions, according to the 2012 Carbon Disclosure Project’s sixth annual report for the South African business sector.“Total reported direct (scope one) emissions for 2012 decreased from 137-million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in 2011 to 132-million tCO2e in 2012,” the London-based organisation said in a statement on Thursday.The CDP surveys more than 5 000 companies worldwide on behalf of 655 institutional investors (CDP signatories), representing US$78-trillion in assets.Indirect (scope two) emissions reduced from 98.4-million tCO2e in 2011 to 86.6- million tCO2e in 2012.South Africa’s direct greenhouse gas emissions were still dominated by a few carbon-intensive companies, including Sasol with reported annual direct emissions of 61.4-million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent gases (CO2e).Arcelor Mittal South Africa recorded emissions of 10.9-million tons of CO2e, BHP Billiton 3.2-million tons, Anglo American 3-million tons, and Sappi 2.8-million tons.Eskom’s carbon dioxide emissions for the year ending March 2012 reached 231.9- million tons of CO2e, while Transnet’s total greenhouse gas emissions for 2011/12 were reported at 4.3-million tons.Together with Eskom, CDP respondents accounted for two thirds of South Africa’s total emissions, estimated at 521-million tons of CO2e.Long-standing partnershipThe CDP in South Africa is a long-standing partnership between the London- based non-profit organisation and the National Business Initiative (NBI).It is supported by auditing firm KPMG as the lead sponsor, Element Investment Management, the Industrial Development Corporation and the SA Post Office.Companies are ranked on two levels.A Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) rated companies in terms of the levels of transparency and quality of disclosure of their greenhouse gas emissions and a Carbon Performance Leadership Index ranked the companies in terms of their emission reduction targets and progress in meeting them.Twelve companies qualified for the 2012 CDLI. Exxaro Resources was the local leader, with 100 normalised points, followed by Gold Fields with 99 and Harmony Gold with 98.Gold Fields was the winner the previous year, with 98 points.Corporates leading on climate changeThe energy and materials sector achieved the highest average disclosure score, followed closely by industrials and health care.The number of companies qualifying for the CPLI had increased, with six qualifying in 2012. They were: Anglo American, Barloworld, FirstRand, Gold Fields, Mondi, and Woolworths.Last year, only two companies qualified – British American Tobacco and Gold Fields.The number of companies with greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets continued to increase, with 43 companies this year compared to 40 in 2011.KPMG director Neil Morris said corporates were leading the way on climate change.“Whilst a global deal on climate change at the upcoming COP18 at Doha remains worth fighting for, the real momentum for action on climate change comes from the increasing groundswell of corporate initiatives reflected in this year’s CDP results,” he said.“In the context of challenging economic conditions and weak political resolve in international negotiations, we can take a lot of heart from the leadership shown by South African companies in driving positive action on climate change.”Anticipating, responding to climate change issuesSouth Africa’s CDP results showed a trend of increasing engagement by the business sector in anticipating and responding to climate change issues, the CDP said.The average carbon disclosure score of all publicly responding companies was 82, up from 76 in 2011, 74 in 2010, and 62 in 2009. This compared favourably with the average disclosure score of 77 for the Global 500, which is the CDP survey of the world’s 500 largest companies.This acknowledgement of climate change as a genuine business risk reflected positively on South African companies, said the report.NBI head Joanne Yawitch said South African transparency and performance in an investor-led initiative was a shining light.“It would appear that South African businesses have also entered an implementation phase and have been focusing on practical steps to improve disclosure and are also addressing performance.”Climate change was also only one aspect of sustainability, she said. “We need a holistic, participative approach as we consider how to transition to a green and sustainable economy.”“The South African CDP response rate of 78 percent is the second highest internationally by geographic region reaffirming local business as a global leader in terms of their participation,” the CDP said.This compared positively to other developing countries such as Brazil with a 65% response rate, China 23% response rate, India 26%, and Russia 8%.“The comparative leadership being demonstrated by South African business parallels the leading role that it is seen to be playing internationally on issues such as corporate governance standards, sustainability and integrated reporting,” the CDP said.Sapalast_img read more

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Riding on a board of hope

first_imgSkateboarding is a free-spirited activity often associated with rebellious youth, but in Skateistan, it is being used to grow a sustainable organisation locally and globally, and that will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth. The aim is to use skating as a hook, and deliver quality programmes that will help to create leaders who change the world. (Image: SkateistanZA) • Skateistan [email protected] www.skateistan.org • Thundafund makes crowd-funding rain in South Africa • Cheesekids help the less fortunate • Adopt a Trashcankid • Embrace tattoos to fight cancer • Playing a part to help the elderlyMelissa Jane CookFour wheels and a board – that’s all it is – but it is being used as a tool for empowering the youth, creating new opportunities and encouraging change.Skateboarding is a free-spirited activity often associated with rebellious youth, but in Skateistan, it is being used to grow a sustainable organisation locally and globally, and that will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth. The aim is to use skating as a hook, and deliver quality programmes that will help to create leaders who change the world.Through a partnership with the city of Johannesburg, Skateistan has identified some of the most at-risk communities in the city of gold that will benefit the most from its quality youth education programme. Skateistan runs skateboarding sessions twice a week for youth at a previously abandoned bowl in the suburb of Troyeville. With the help of local youth, Skateistan cleaned and restored the bowl, and then celebrated with over 200 neighbourhood residents by painting the bowl with a map of their area, complete with houses and schools. The bowl is now being skated and maintained by more than 50 youngsters each week. They also participate in regular music and arts programmes.Skateistan plans to build a high-quality skate park and education facility in the Maboneng Precinct in central Johannesburg, on land provided through a rent-free land lease partnership with the urban development company, Propertuity. It should be up and running by early 2015. Funding for the project comes from the Danish Embassy in Pretoria, the Tony Hawk Foundation and The Sk8room.With a strong emphasis on girls, street-involved children and marginalised youth from the ages of five to 17, Skateistan South Africa aims to provide youth leadership opportunities, access to education, a safe environment to build friendships and trust, as well as teach life skills and encourage freedom of expression – all done to help break cycles of poverty and exclusion.The originsSkateistan began as a grassroots Sport for Development project on the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan in 2007. It is now an award-winning, international non-governmental organisation with projects in South Africa, Afghanistan and Cambodia. Skateistan is the first international development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes. It is non-political, independent, and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds.It works with young people from five to 18, about half of whom are street-working children; 40% are girls. Its programmes, according to the founders, provides access to education, focuses especially on girls and working children, develops leadership opportunities and builds friendship, trust, and social capital.Skateboarding in AfghanistanFrom the moment Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich dropped his board in Kabul in 2007 he was surrounded by eager children of all ages who wanted to be shown how to skate. Stretching out the three boards he and a former girlfriend and aidworker had brought with them, Ollie, as he is known, dedicated himself to the creation of a small non-profit skate school in Afghanistan.A group of Afghan friends, who were naturals at skateboarding, shared the three boards and quickly progressed in their new favourite sport – and so skateboarding hit Afghanistan. The success with the first students prompted Ollie to think bigger: by bringing more boards back to Kabul and establishing an indoor skateboarding venue, the programme would be able to teach many more youth, and also would be able to provide older girls with a private facility to continue skateboarding.Then, at the end of October 2009, Skateistan completed the construction of an all-inclusive skate park and educational facility on 5 428m2 of land donated by the Afghan National Olympic Committee. The indoor section was built by IOU Ramps.Skateistan is Afghanistan’s first skateboarding school, and teaches boys and girls. It has built the two largest indoor sport facilities in Afghanistan, and hosts the largest female sporting organisation in its female skaters. Skateistan believes that when youth come together to skateboard and play, they forge bonds that transcend social barriers. Furthermore, through creative education classes they are enabled to bring change to issues that are important to them.Keep Skateistan Rolling in 2014 – Madina’s Story (Afghanistan)Looking forwardSkating is simply the hook for engaging with hard-to-reach young people. Skateistan’s development aid programmes work with growing numbers of marginalised youth and give them new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment. The organisation has expanded its activities to include skateboard aid projects and skate parks for Cambodian youth, a grassroots street-level programme in Pakistan, and a state-of-the-art learning and skateboarding centre in Mazar-e-Sharif, northern Afghanistan.In Kabul, Skateistan’s participants come from all of the country’s diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and include 40% female students, hundreds of street-working children, and youth with disabilities. In its skate park and classrooms they develop skills in skateboarding, leadership, civic responsibility, multimedia, and creative arts, exploring topics such as environmental health, culture and traditions, natural resources, and peace, says the organisation. The students themselves decide what they want to learn, and they are then connected with a safe space and opportunities to develop the skills that they consider important.Since Skateistan began in 2007, the founders have discovered that youth of all ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds love to skateboard. Skateistan brings them together, equipping young men and women to lead their communities toward social change and development.“In Afghanistan and Cambodia, we have been able to use skateboarding as a hook to address complex social issues faced by youth. Skateistan is doing the same work in South Africa to address barriers such as social inequality, youth unemployment, gender discrimination, poverty and lack of education opportunities,” concludes Percovich.last_img read more

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