Maradona checks in with South Africa

first_img20 January 2010 From legendary football players in their own right to young and aspiring sportsmen and women, the arrival on Monday of one of the world’s greatest football players of all time, Diego Maradona, caused a wave of excitement among South Africans. Former South African football great Mark Fish, who helped his country to its African Cup of Nations victory in 1996 and who took part in the 1998 Fifa World Cup, has certainly met some well known sportsmen in his time, but his meeting with Maradona at the High Performance Centre (HPC) at the University of Pretoria on Monday afternoon is one he will never forget. “When I met him now I was lost for words, I literally had goose-bumps all over. This really is a dream come true – his football ability was second to none,” said the former South African national player. “My friends and I often talk about who is the greatest player of all time, but I know who it is, I now know I have met the greatest football player,” said said, with Maradona jokingly responding: “Yes my mother also thinks so,” as the two compared their Che Guevara tattoos.Argentina base camp As the Argentinian base camp for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, Maradona was at the HPC to tour the facilities and check up on the progress of the refurbishments ahead of the “Albicelestes” taking occupancy for their 2010 campaign. As a centre of excellence for South African sportspeople, Maradona ran into a number of well known sporting personalities at the HPC, including South African swimmer Roland Schoeman, who was amazed to meet one of his own sporting heroes. But it was Maradona who heaped the praise on Schoeman when he found out that he was an Olympic gold medalist, showing much enthusiasm in his sporting accomplishments in the pool. They might not have been old enough to watch him play, but for the youngsters at the HPC they certainly knew all about the legend and clamoured for a picture with Maradona as he handed out shirts and caps to the University of Pretoria first division football team, who are based at the centre.‘It is amazing to meet him’ “It is so great to meet the legend, we all love him and the way he played,” said one ecstatic young player who plans to frame his cap he received from Maradona to prove to his friends that he actually met the Argentinean great. For Matthew Russki, he never though he would see such a world renowned player right here in South Africa. “It is such a great feeling to have the greatest footballer of all time in our own back garden,” said the young football player who cannot wait until the world’s top footballers arrive in South Africa for the World Cup in June this year. But it was nine-year-old Pablo Mckenzie who stole the show when he asked Maradona for an autograph. The young boy from Tshwane/Pretoria got more than he bargained for when the Argentinian coach bent down for a hug and continued to walk with him as they chatted about football. “It is amazing to meet him, I have heard so much about this man,” said the youngster, who has high hopes of achieving his own fame on the field, being named after Argentinean football player Pablo Aimar.Inspection tour During his whirlwind visit to the Argentinian World Cup base camp, Maradona also had business to attend to as he inspected the facilities that would form the base of his team’s World Cup campaign as he was taken on a tour of the centre by the chief executive officer of the HPC, Toby Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe is confident that the Argentinians will be practicing with the best facilities possible come the World Cup during their stay at the HPC, which is currently hosting the Swedish Olympic swimming team and the Russian rugby team. “A lot of planning has been taking place since September,” Sutcliffe said. “The main field has been totally relaid and they have also requested three additional fields for recreational purposes. On top of this we are busy installing additional facilities such as Plasma televisions and Playstations for the players as requested by the team for their downtime.” Maradona was obviously happy with what he saw, feeling confident of Argentina’s chances in the World Cup. “We are very confident [with the facilities], we don’t have anything to complain about,” Maradona said. “We hope to get as far as possible [in the World Cup],” he added. “We know we are not the favourites, but we have a great desire. We want to break the curse after 24 years that we have not been given [the World Cup]. The desire never goes away. The hope never goes away.” Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

Tusker research goes social

first_imgElephant lovers can get closer to their favourite jumbos through the new Amarula Facebook elephant tracking app.(Image: Luke Harwood) Elephants are not hurt during the fitting procedure, and they rejoin their herds shortly after being woken up.(Image: Save the Elephants) These jumbo-sized GPS collars weigh about 10 kg each – they were fitted to elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park.(Image: Amboseli Elephant Trust)MEDIA CONTACTS • UKZN School of Biological andConservation Sciences+27 33 260 5104• Programme officerIUCN African Elephant Specialist Group+254 20 890 605 12RELATED ARTICLES• Addo’s elephant fence comes down• Amarula project uplifts SA women• Going wild in Southern Africa• African tusker now two speciesJanine ErasmusConservation-minded folk can participate in the Amarula Elephant Research Programme (AERP) through a new Facebook app that allows them to track their favourite jumbo, learn more about its habits, and share its movements with others, thereby raising awareness of the importance of protecting the magnificent beasts.The AERP was established in 2002 with the aim of providing research that will boost African elephant (Loxodonta africana) conservation and enhance current management practices. It’s funded by the Amarula Trust to the tune of over R4-million (US$436 000) so far, and is run by the University of KwaZulu-Natal under the guidance of renowned conservation biologist Prof Rob Slotow.In the 11 years since the AERP came into being it has delivered valuable information regarding the habits of elephants. This data is used by a range of people, from land owners wanting to introduce new elephants to their area, managers of elephant reserves who want to set up effective management plans, and conservation students, to the general public.The AERP gathers data from female elephants living in the Kruger National Park, particularly the Skukuza, Lower Sabie and Satara areas.App users can adopt any of six females, each wearing a GPS-GSM collar that pinpoints their coordinates using GPS and transmits it via a GSM network. The collars are fitted to the animals under sedation and once they’re safely released, researchers get up-to-date information on their movements at 30-minute intervals. This information is collected on a website and is used to plot their seasonal migration routes, how they react to fences or even how they choose which trees to eat from, all of which is useful information for conservationists.The six females are all between 20 and 30 years old.Once activated, the app allows users to name their chosen tusker, follow its movement through the bush via mapping, images and video footage, share information through their own social network connections, compare similarities and differences between their animal and those of their friends, and help to raise awareness around elephant conservation.For instance, the AERP team discovered that elephants don’t like to linger near fences, which is contrary to what they had expected. Research showed that the animals move faster and forage less when near a boundary. “This means that adverse effects on indigenous vegetation are not marked around fencing but concentrated deeper into the reserves,” said Slotow. “It’s probably because elephants associate fences with risk.”In addition, elephants take time to get used to the removal of a boundary – up to a year – and to move into the new area. This is especially true of females, said Slotow, probably because their maternal instincts make them more wary of danger.Special conservation needsAmarula is a cream liqueur made from the fermented pulp of marula fruits, a favourite of elephants, says parent company Distell. The elephant is the symbol of the brand.Elephants pose special challenges for conservation officials, because of their size, their vast eating requirements – one animal can eat up to 450kg of vegetation every day – and their social nature, which means they move around in family herds of females, led by a matriarch. There are about 10 females in a group on average, plus calves. Males tend to form groups with other males.The matriarch, usually the oldest female in the group, is an asset to the herd as she has the benefit of years of life experience and brings leadership and decision-making skills to the group.Elephants, both Asian and African, are a priority species for the global World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), while for the South African chapter the focus is on rhinos for the moment.However, elephants have also come under fire from poachers in recent years – they are killed mainly for their ivory, despite a global ban in its trade by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, but also for their meat and hides. According to WWF, this happens especially in countries where conservation authorities are under-funded and unable to maintain proper standards of vigilance.Habitat destruction is another real threat to the survival of the great animals, and the spread of human populations sometimes cuts off their ancient migration routes. This means that when the animals travel along that route, they encounter the human settlement, which can lead to death for both man and beast.Elephants are also drawn to agricultural crops, which they find tasty. Small-scale farmers, said WWF, can lose their whole livelihood in one elephant raid, which again causes conflict and ill-feeling. Various humane measures have been tried with general success, including growing chilli peppers around the edges of fields, attaching bee hives to fences, and fitting the animals with collars that are triggered into sending a warning text message when the elephant comes near a farm, giving rangers time to get to the scene and chase it away.Over the last century, according to WWF, the total population of African elephants has shrunk from between three- and five-million to somewhere between 470 000 and 690 000. The animal is listed as vulnerable on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which has its own African elephant specialist group.Research helps us to better understand how and when elephants eat and sleep, how they interact with individuals from their own herd and other herds, how they respond to climate change and the intrusion of tourists into their living space, and more. All of this research yields expert knowledge which becomes the foundation of conservation strategies.last_img read more

Trouble mounts for Azam Khan, 27 FIRs over land grab for university

first_imgAs many as 27 FIRs have been lodged against Samajwadi Party leader and Lok Sabha MP Azam Khan in the last one month on the allegation that he grabbed farmers’ land for his university in Rampur, police said. Khan, who was a cabinet minister in Uttar Pradesh during the Akhilesh Yadav-led regime, is the founder and Chancellor of the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University which came into being in 2006.“Since July 11, over two dozen farmers have approached the police with allegations of encroachment of their land for the university. We have registered 27 FIRs in these cases and investigations are underway,” Superintendent of Police, Rampur, Ajay Pal Sharma told PTI. Largely, he said, these cases have been registered under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 447 (criminal trespass), 389 (putting a person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation).“Some farmers have claimed of land grab of one bigha, some two, some much more. Altogether, so far, complaint for 0.349 hectare land encroachment has been lodged and necessary action is being taken,” Sharma said.“Punishment in these cases could be arrest and imprisonment up to 10 years besides monetary penalty,” the officer said. The Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, which has enrolled over 3,000 students, is spread over an area of 121 hectares, according to its website. Besides the land grab FIRs, the Rampur Police had lodged a criminal case against university authorities on June 16 on a complaint by the principal of the 250-year-old Rampur-based Oriental College, earlier known as Madrasa Aliya, that over 9,000 books were stolen and taken to the library of the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University.last_img read more

10 months agoFulham plot sensational triple swoop on Chelsea

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Fulham plot sensational triple swoop on Chelseaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFulham are being linked with a sensational triple swoop on Chelsea.The Daily Star says Maurizio Sarri has a bloated squad with a number of first-team players on the fringes under the Italian tactician.Gary Cahill, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses are the three most high-profile players to have been frozen out.Cahill – out of contract at the end of the season – has been limited to seven appearances in all competitions, Drinkwater has not featured since the Community Shield defeat to Manchester City while Moses has started once all season.SW6 neighbours Fulham have been linked with the trio, who will be allowed to leave in the mid-season sales. last_img read more

10 months ago​Chelsea midfielder Kante hungry to continue trophy streak

first_img​Chelsea midfielder Kante hungry to continue trophy streakby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante wants to win more trophies.The French midfielder has enjoyed a dream few years, winning two Premier League titles, the World Cup and other trophies.But he wants to win another FA Cup, after triumphing with the Blues in the competition last season.He is quoted by the Evening Standard as saying: “Does winning all those trophies give me the hunger to get more this season? Yes, of course. The last few years have provided some beautiful memories for me. “There have been beautiful achievements of winning titles with my team-mates. I hope to continue in the same way. “Even if we had ups and downs with Chelsea last year, because we didn’t get into the top four, we finished well with the FA Cup. “Following that, by winning the World Cup with the national team was a beautiful way to end 2017-18. I don’t know if if’s going to be my best year in football but for sure it will be something I will not forget.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

John Calipari Tweets Response To Pelicans Story: “I Have No Interest In The Pelicans Or Any Other Job”

first_imgJohn Calipari's press conference after close win vs. LSU.YouTubeIt didn’t take long for John Calipari to shoot down reports that he may be interested in the New Orleans Pelicans opening. Just minutes ago, we shared a report by’s John Reid, which said that Calipari “may be interested” in coaching former players Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans. Calipari didn’t waste any time in addressing it.Even though Anthony and Tyreke are in NOLA, I have no interest in the Pelicans or any other job. I have a great job and I’m happy at UK.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 19, 2015Coaches have made similar statements and still taken those jobs in the past, but considering the talent that Calipari brings in every year, and the recent reports of a generous contract extension, we fully expect Calipari to stay put.last_img read more

ZoomerMedia takes a zig into live theatre

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement They are working together on Late Night, a new play by Sandler set during the taping of a fictional Letterman-like talk show, being performed in the new Zoomer Live Theatre, a converted TV studio in Znaimer’s Liberty Village entertainment complex. During performances, the onstage cameras will be running, capturing the TV-show-within-a-stage-show for potential later airing on Znaimer’s VisionTV.Karen Knox, part of the four-person theatre team working on the project, calls it a “weird dual meta, meta, meta thing.” Sandler says it’s “an updated bizarro Noises Off happening on TV.” And for Znaimer, it’s “a theatre piece that looks like the real thing and then becomes the real thing,” the gauge for reality for him clearly being that which can be televised. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img The seeds for this encounter were sown a couple of years ago when Znaimer — co-founder of City TV and MuchMusic — started seeing shows on the indie theatre scene. “I became an admirer,” he explains. “Indie theatre’s very visual, very smart and clearly influenced by video in ways that previous generations hadn’t been.” Advertisement She’s an indie theatre darling, an effervescent 30-year-old writer and director who greets her interviewer with a hug even though we’ve never met before.He’s one of Toronto’s most influential media moguls, a senior presence in TV, music and radio whose current company, ZoomerMedia, focuses on entertainment for the 45-plus set.On the surface they may seem unlikely creative partners, but Kat Sandler and Moses Znaimer have found a common interest in making performances that cross back and forth between live and recorded media, and a belief in following their instincts. Advertisementlast_img read more

Directive issued to Northern Pulp after ash leak earlier this month

first_imgHALIFAX – An ash leak at the Northern Pulp mill earlier this month prompted a cleanup directive from Nova Scotia’s Environment Department on Tuesday.The directive says the mill, located at Abercrombie Point near Pictou, must submit a plan to prevent further discharges of power boiler ash slurry into a ditch northwest of the facility’s power boiler ash pond by June 29.Environment Minister Iain Rankin said Tuesday the spill was “small” and “low risk to the environment.”“The actual material itself, the fly ash, is not toxic,” he said. “So … we were basically comfortable with the directive and happy that they self-reported it to the department.”Under the directive, the mill must also inspect its Pictou Harbour shoreline bi-weekly and clean up any boiler ash and submit bi-weekly reports on its activities.In an email, Kathy Cloutier, communications director with the mill’s parent company Paper Excellence, said a leak occurred in the mill’s ash line that sent wood ash to a ditch in front of the mill on Feb. 9.Cloutier said the cleanup began the same day and the mill also notified the Environment Department.“This line takes a mixture of wood ash and water from the power boiler to the ash pit located on the mill’s property. Immediate action was taken to remove the line from service.”Cloutier said the line had since been repaired, inspected and returned to service.“To avoid any wood ash reaching the ditch in the future, Northern Pulp will redirect the trench carrying the line under the employee parking lot directly to the ash pit when weather permits,” Cloutier said.last_img read more

Montrealarea home sales in April up 10 per cent from year ago

first_imgMONTREAL – The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board says area home sales in April were up 10 per cent compared with a year ago as they recorded their highest mark for the month in eight years.The board says there were 5,432 home sales in April, up from 4,957 a year ago, based on the real estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.Condominium sales climbed 18 per cent compared with a year ago. Meanwhile, sales of single-family homes and plexes, which include two to five units, both gained six per cent.The median price of single-family homes across Greater Montreal was $317,000 last month, up four per cent year-over-year, while plexes reached $500,000, a three per cent increase.As for condominiums, the median price was up two per cent compared with a year ago, with half of all units selling for more than $245,350.The increase in sales came as the number of active listings fell 17 per cent to 25,466, compared with 30,735 a year ago. New listings fell two per cent to 6,584 compared with 6,728 in April 2017.last_img read more

Chambers of Commerce meets with government to discuss issues affecting businesses

first_imgMontgomery says furthering discussions with the government on regional issues is an important part of the Chamber’s mandate to ensure they are advocating on behalf of their members.“Furthering our discussions with government about the regional issues that affect ourbusinesses and our local economy are an important part of our Chamber’s mandate to ensure we are advocating on behalf of our members.”The consultations were created to enable the B.C. Chamber network to communicate directly with the government and propose legislative and policy solutions that will better support the economy. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Five Northeast Region chambers of commerce met with 12government representatives, on Thursday, September 19, to discuss both local and pan-provincial issues affecting businesses in the region.Some of the pan-provincial issues discussed during the meeting included taxation, transportation, and housing.According to Executive Director of the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce, Cheryl Montgomery, infrastructure investment required for upgrades to the TaylorBridge and Taylor Hills, primarily the south hill, was brought up as a local issue.last_img read more