What’s inside the May 2020 issue of Rugby World magazine?There’s nothing like a global pandemic to put sport in perspective. Usually sport can be a welcome distraction, an escape from more serious happenings in the world. This is not to say it allows us to ignore those situations, merely that it can provide some light relief.While watching live rugby is not an option right now, we’ve compiled a range of engaging articles, from the Lions to LA, in the latest issue of Rugby World magazine to keep you entertained in these uncertain times.If you can’t get to the shops to buy a copy, you can find out how to download the digital edition to your tablet here. We also have incredible subscription offers, including three issues for just £5 – find out more here.Here’s what’s inside the May 2020 issue of Rugby World magazine…British & Irish Lions 2021RW columnist Stephen Jones turns selector to pick his playing squad to take on world champions South Africa next year – will you agree with his choices?Badge of honour: The Lions line-up for the first Test in New Zealand in 2017 (Getty Images)State of the nationsThis year’s Six Nations may have been fractured but there was still plenty for former England fly-half Stuart Barnes to glean. He gives his verdict on the teams and predicts how the tournament will play out – should it be completedProfessional v amateurModern-day pros are bigger, faster and stronger than ever before, but how far away are amateurs from hitting similar heights? Rugby World used GPS data to compare the two, with fascinating resultsWales centre Nick Tompkins“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.” The Saracens centre opens up on opting for Wales instead of England and reflects on an eventful seasonCentre of attention: Nick Tompkins makes a break against England (Getty Images)Rugby in a war zoneIn the darkest corners of a conflicted world, RW’s Alan Dymock discovers how rugby has created a bit of lightHow to fix the Women’s Six Nations“A tournament should never just be a two-horse race.” Wasps Ladies director of rugby Giselle Mather gives her verdict on the championshipIreland half-backs Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton have been Ireland talismans for a decade, but who will be next to wear the nine and ten jerseys? RW’s Tom English investigates Top pairing: Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton have been highly successful for Ireland (Getty Images)Should South Africa join the Six Nations?Rugby World gets views from both the northern and southern hemisphere on this hotly-debated topicBenjamin Kayser columnThe former France hooker gives his thoughts on les Bleus’ Six Nations campaign and how the team are shaping up for RWC 2023Downtime with… Poppy CleallThe England Women’s second-row talks bare bottoms, coach tricks and Champagne moments in our offbeat Q&APower surge: Poppy Cleall scored a hat-trick against Wales in the Six Nations (Getty Images)My life in pictures… Mathieu BastareaudFor a decade the French centre was one of Europe’s brightest stars and now he’s part of MLR in the US. He reflects on his amazing journeyDOWNLOAD RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE’S DIGITAL EDITION HEREClub hero Jono RossThe back-row is a star performer for Sale Sharks, but why are England overlooking him? RW’s Alan Pearey speaks to those who know him bestScotland lock Scott CummingsThe Glasgow second-row on learning from various mentors to become a regular for his countryHigh standards: Scott Cummings wins a lineout against Ireland (Getty Images)Northampton scrum-half Alex MitchellThe Saints nine and England apprentice talks garden cricket, rugby league and cancelled holidaysLA SevensWith the USA leg of the World Sevens Series in Los Angeles for the first time since 2006, Rugby World headed to the City of Angels to go behind the scenes TAGS: Highlight Show of support: USA fans dressed as Eagles during the LA Sevens (Getty Images)Plus, there’s all this…Glasgow wing Ratu TagiveTop tips on how to vary kick-offsIreland Women’s captain Ciara GriffinEx-England centre Tom May on his latest charity featAnalysis of Edinburgh’s attackJames Hook talks about writing a children’s bookThe Secret Player on rugby in FranceAustralia Sevens captain Nick MaloufA rugby rant on ‘project players’Rising stars Kayleigh Powell and Amelia HarperInside the mind of… Shane WilliamsThe Secret Referee on deliberate knock-onsThe May 2020 issue of Rugby World magazine is on sale until 4 May 2020.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS From the Lions to LA, the latest edition has plenty to keep you entertained during these uncertain times
Image source: DEMEDEME Group today announced that their newly-built trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) River Thames has been successfully launched at the PaxOcean shipyard in Batam, Indonesia. The 2,300m³ River Thames is the first of two new trailing suction hopper dredgers joining DEME’s fleet in 2020.“The compact vessel, with a small draught and offering high maneuverability, is perfect for dredging in shallow waters,” said DEME.The vessel is designed to maintain sea and inland waterways, as well as perform land reclamation. It is equipped with the latest electronic system to improve positioning, sounding and execution of dredging work.To minimize environmental impact during dredging, the vessel is equipped with the latest innovation in the field of overflow – the IHC Plumigator.The vessel is expected to be delivered in 2020.Image source: IHC
Voters in Antigua and Barbuda are casting ballots on Tuesday to decide whether or not to replace the London-based Privy Council as the island’s final court.Prime Minister Gaston Browne has urged citizens to exercise their franchise and said he is pleased he had done all he could to ensure that nationals were in a position to make a reasonable judgement on the issue.Antigua and Barbuda would need a two-thirds majority of those casting ballots to ensure that the Privy Council is replaced by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-member regional integration movement, CARICOM.Only Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana are full members of the CCJ that was established in 2001 even though the majority of the CARICOM countries are signatories to the Court’s Original Jurisdiction.“I have discharged my responsibility to make the option of transitioning from the Privy Council to the Caribbean Court of Justice available to the people of Antigua and Barbuda. I think it is a great opportunity for them.“ I urge them to go out and vote “yes” …and in any event whatever the decision I will be guided accordingly, but as far as I am concerned I have delivered in the responsibility to make this very important option available to the people of Antigua and Barbuda,” Prime Minister Browne said.The main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) has said it is not supportive of the move to replace the Privy Council and has urged supporters to vote their conscience.Electoral officials warn that the rules which apply to the holding general elections would be enforced and that anyone contravening the laws could face up to six months in jail and or a fine of EC$500.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — As the Dodgers look to try to replace Brandon Morrow, while being hamstrung by a luxury tax that makes spending big money on the bullpen dicey, the best solution would be to find the next Morrow.The Dodgers signed Morrow to a minor-league deal late last January, guaranteeing him a modest $1.25 million if he made the team. Morrow became one of the team’s best relievers, parlaying his season into a two-year, $21-million deal with the Chicago Cubs.Asked what the Dodgers saw in Morrow that allowed them to make something out of nothing, General Manager Farhan Zaidi confessed.“We got lucky,” Zaidi said Wednesday, another quiet day for the Dodgers at the winter meetings. “That’s not the whole story, but it’s a fairly big part of it. … We should have probably given him a longer deal if we knew he was going to be that good.” Zaidi said it’s been puzzling to watch.“To some degree the relief market is a beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” he said. “Different teams are looking for different things. Someone who might be a one-year deal for one team is a three-year deal for someone else. I think it’s probably the area where teams vary most in their evaluations and their willingness to pay.”PEDERSON’S FUTUREOne of Joc Pederson’s missions this winter is to get in better shape, Zaidi said.“He has as much ability as anyone on our team,” Zaidi said. “He’s shown that in stretches. It’s just going to be a matter of conditioning and consistency. He knows what he needs to do. He’s in as good a frame of mind as he’s been in the last three years.”Pederson, 25, made a splash in the big leagues as an All-Star in his rookie season in 2015, but by last season he had lost his center field job to Chris Taylor. One of the issues, Zaidi said, was his body, which cost him some speed on the bases and in the outfield.“Baserunning and defense, some of those things you need a little more explosiveness,” Zaidi said.Although Zaidi wouldn’t get into specifics about the goals for Pederson, he said he’s confident that Pederson has the frame of mind to regain his status with the team.“He has a great sense of what he needs to do,” Zaidi said. “Having the success he had in the playoffs (three home runs in the World Series) has been a really good springboard for him this offseason.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error If the Dodgers are going to get lucky again, they could try to follow a similar blueprint to the one that brought them to Morrow.“The starter conversion story is pretty compelling,” Zaidi said, referring to Morrow spending the bulk of his career as a starter before flourishing out of the ’pen.A year earlier, the Dodgers did the same with Joe Blanton.“It’s kind of proven over and over that guys’ stuff plays up, and guys can have more success going from one role to the other,” Zaidi said.While the Dodgers have mostly been sitting out the relief market, they have watched a handful of relievers sign significant deals in the past couple days, from Tommy Hunter (two years, $18 million) to Pat Neshek (two years, $16.25 million) to Juan Nicasio (two years, $17 million).
During apartheid, Somalia took in South Africans fleeing from an oppressive government. In recent times, South Africa has had to pay back the favour, taking in Somali refugees running from a civil war. In Johannesburg, particularly, Somalis have found a home in a bustling neighbourhood where their entrepreneurial spirit can thrive: Mayfair.Ebrahim Alli in his coffee shop in Little Mogadishu. His walls are adorned with art, crafts and pictures that remind him of Somalia. (Image: Sinikiwe Mqadi)Sulaiman PhilipSomalia offered South African activists safe harbour during the liberation movement. Now, a small section of Johannesburg’s Mayfair neighbourhood offers sanctuary to Somalis fleeing the war in their country.Little Mogadishu is a three-block wide slice of Somalia. Its streets are lined with restaurants and Somali-owned shops offering money transfers, travel and clothing. Spicy aromas from Somali restaurant kitchens and boisterous chat from their communal tables follow you as you walk down Eighth Avenue.Turn left onto Somerset Road and you find yourself at Qaxwo Coffee Shop, Ebrahim Alli’s coffee and juice store. Alli has been in South Africa since 2000 and has witnessed the best, and worst, the country has to offer.Ebrahim Alli has found a home and success in Mayfair. (Image: Wits)“This is a welcoming place,” he says of Mayfair. By his own estimate, there are between 60 000 and 70 000 Somalis in the diaspora. Spread across South Africa, they all see Mayfair as the heart of their displaced community. “Somalis have true affection for South Africa. A real love despite the anxiety we sometimes feel.”Alli lost his business in the violence that targeted foreign nationals in 2008. A successful panel beating business, it was stripped before being torched. He found himself in Mayfair among other disheartened Somalis, a place they saw as a refuge. Alli was determined not to be cowed.“We Somalis are inspired by two decades of hardship to be entrepreneurial. We have learnt to persevere in spite of hardship,” he says. He bought two flasks and began selling coffee on the street. Slowly he rebuilt his life and is now a leader in the Somali diaspora.“I believe we can benefit from each other. South Africans are skilled and educated. We Somalis are entrepreneurial. South Africa offers us opportunities to start businesses. This freedom is not available to us in Europe and the US.”The Somali civil war has made it difficult to hold on to his country’s history, but Alli works at it. He collects memorabilia, art and crafts and shares Somalia’s history with his children – who were born outside his homeland – and people who visit his store. “It’s important to me to preserve our culture, to help my children recognise an identity they don’t know.”Alli’s story is mirrored in the people you speak to on the street in Little Mogadishu. People like Mohammed Jama, the owner of Towakal 2 supermarket. His shelves are stocked with familiar products in unfamiliar packaging. “My customers want a little piece of home; they want products they are familiar with. So I sell rice from India and Pakistan, dates and juice from Saudi Arabia and pasta from Italy – products we know from home.”By the time he was 22, Jama was the breadwinner for his family. His father was long dead and his mother and younger siblings depended on him to provide. In a country where death was always present his options were to join a militia or flee. Jama fled, hoping to build a better, safer life for his family. “For one month I drove and walked towards South Africa. When we got close to a border I would walk, try to find a place where I could cross. I have no passport, so even today I can’t go back.”Jama is old enough to remember Somalia before the troubles. There are days when Johannesburg reminds him of home. “I like the stability of South Africa – the chance you have to make something with your life. Somalia was like that.”Opportunity is the reason so many Somalis make the foot of Africa their home. Shops along Eighth Avenue are crammed into every little space. The shop fronts are adorned with bright billboards advertising the goods on sale inside. Competition is stiff, but friendly. Store owners stand at their doors enticing passers-by, strangers and friends, to come inside.“I own this supermarket,” Jama begins. “This is possible in South Africa. Here, there is opportunity. I think this [is what] we can teach South Africans; how to build their own business. This is what we want to teach. We are tired of fighting and fear. South Africa has opened her borders for us and we want to give back.”A young Somali man who fled to South Africa to escape the violence of Somalia. (Image: Wits)In some of the restaurants you will still find bananas on the tables. Traditionally, the fruit is served at the end of every meal. At Qaxwo Coffee Shop the pavement tables are occupied by men intently discussing the day’s events or arguing about the performance of their favourite sports team. Thick Somali coffee washes down treacly sweet coconut biscuits or spiced meat pies. As the day wanes the argument becomes familiar. Who will have the honour of paying the bill?“When people here argue, it is about the honour of being the host. At the shop it is usually the person who sat down first who wins the argument. Being welcoming to friends and strangers is a very important part of the Somali culture. We enjoy sharing company.”i’ve been praying,/ and these are what my prayers look like;dear god/i come from two countriesone is thirsty/ the other is on fire/ both need water.later that night/ i held an atlas in my lapran my fingers across the whole worldand whispered/ where does it hurt? – Somali poet Warsan ShireWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
In tabling the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan revised South Africa’s economy growth for 2016 down to 0.5%, citing various reasons for his prediction. However, he said he expected it to rise to 1.7% next year.Brand South Africa reporterThe country’s economy had been revised to grow at a rate of 0.5% in 2016, said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), tabled on Wednesday in Cape Town.But Gordhan expected South Africa’s economic growth to rise to 1.7% in 2017. “If we do the right things to support investment and confidence, our economic recovery will be more rapid,” he said.Growth in different sectorsThe National Treasury said growth in real output remained moderate in the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2015.Growth in the mining sector declined and the agricultural output weakened as a result of the drought.In addition, growth in transport and telecommunications, as well as in electricity, gas and water, fell on weak demand. However, manufacturing output strengthened following a contraction in 2015, while finance, real estate and business services remained buoyant.“To achieve the goal of economic transformation and build an equitable society, South Africa requires higher growth.“Without decisive action, a protracted period of low growth will set back the country’s ability to realise the constitutional vision to ‘improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person.’”Global and regional conditionsThe National Treasury also said that the outlook for sub-Saharan Africa was marked by low commodity prices and falling export revenues, which had led to foreign currency shortages.The 2016 growth forecast for the region has been revised down from 3% in April to 1.4%, with large economies such as Nigeria and Angola hard hit by low oil prices and disruptions in production.“Slower growth in the region and global trade weakness limit South Africa’s export potential.“Greater economic integration with the rest of the continent would enable export-orientated South African firms to capitalise on stronger pockets of growth and increase their share of African trade.”Its economic forecast, said the National Treasury, incorporated the outlook for 15 major trading partners, as presented in the October 2016 World Economic Outlook, published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).“Average growth of 4.1% is forecast for these economies in 2017.”Meanwhile, the National Treasury said that over the short term, the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU, South Africa’s traditional trade partner, would remain a source of financial volatility, alongside concerns about the health of major European banks.Brexit’s long-term effects, including on South Africa, depended on timing and the nature of trade and investment treaties to be negotiated with the EU, it said.Source: South African Government News Agency Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
During the seemingly unending IPL fixing probe in the last one year, one of the most noticeable things observed by experts is that BCCI officials have interpreted court orders/observations with impunity to suit themselves.Depending on which side of the fence they are, officials – like seasoned law experts – have been repeatedly explaining the “real” meaning of the many courts orders/observations made ever since the 2013 IPL betting-fixing scandal broke out with the arrest of Sreesanth and a few other players on May 16 last year.BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel has stated that the AGM cannot be convened without a BCCI president.Some of these officials have gone on-record giving interpretations, at the risk of being pulled up by judges, which fortunately hasn’t happened so far. Judges might have observed these interpretations appearing in the media, but if they haven’t passed any strictures it’s probably because there are other, far more important cases to handle than the increasing and endless sports related litigation.Not just the court orders, but Board officials have also been taking pains to explain what the BCCI constitution says in different situations, knowing full well that the sacred booklet containing rules and regulations is not available in public domain. Take for example, the case of the move to postpone the BCCI AGM on the pretext that the elected president, N. Srinivasan, can’t sign the balance sheet and accounts, as the Supreme Court has barred him from Board affairs for being one of the 13 persons being probed in the IPL scandal. While barring Srinivasan, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices AK Patnaik and FMI Kalifulla made it abundantly clear in its order of March 28 that the interim BCCI president Shivlal Yadav will have all powers of an elected president.advertisement”We make it clear that with regard to all other matters of BCCI, the senior most vice president of the BCCI, Mr. Shivlal Yadav, will discharge the functions of the president of the BCCI,” the bench had said. Moreover, the learned judges seem to have strictly and properly gone by the BCCI constitution while giving charge to former India player Yadav till the Mukul Mudgal Committee probe continues.Even Justice TS Thakur, who replaced Patnaik after his retirement in June, reiterated on July 18 that Yadav “will continue to exercise the powers of the president of the BCCI as per our order dated 28th March, 2014”.However, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel has his own interpretation. On Sunday, after an informal meeting of Srinivasan’s loyalists in Chennai, he quite audaciously announced: “Currently, there is no president in the BCCI. Mr Srinivasan has stepped aside from handling the Board’s day-to-day affairs as per the directives of the Supreme Court. The president has to sign the balance sheet before the meeting [AGM] gets underway and, currently, there’s nobody to do that.How can we convene the AGM?” If the Supreme Court decides to take cognisance of Patel’s comments and points to ‘Rule 13: Powers and Duties of Office-bearers’ in the BCCI constitution that clearly gives the secretary the power to convene the AGM, it could cause much embarrassment to him.So far the signing of the accounts and the balance sheet is concerned, Yadav, a staunch Srinivasan supporter, can do the needful, if he feels like, conforming to the Supreme Court orders. Even though there is no mention of ‘interim president’ in the constitution, the bigger question is: Can any law institution be bigger than the Supreme Court? So, why not obey its orders?”Clearly, the court has relied on the BCCI constitution while appointing Shivlal,” said Maharashtra Cricket Association president Ajay Shirke. On the various analysis of court orders by BCCI officials, former Board treasurer Shirke told MAIL TODAY: “It’s all interpretation by convenience – a classic case.”And when officials don’t find a clause in the rulebook that suits them, they tell you that the rules are “silent” on such and such issues. It then becomes easier for them to interpret the rules. All this shows that the BCCI constitution – often quoted but never seen – is perhaps the most abused set of rules and regulations in Indian sports.Not just the BCCI, but almost all Indian sports federations haven’t put up their constitutions on their websites. And this is one of the biggest undoing of Indian sport. Is anyone listening?EXPOSES HARMING SPORTSA NEW, but disturbing, trend has started in India sports. Some of the national federations have started sharing with the media their correspondence with the government.advertisementThere is a sudden surge in the number of letters that have been written using poor language. This trend doesn’t augur well for Indian sports, which is hardly in the pink of health, barring a few medal-winning disciplines like shooting, wrestling and boxing.In some of the cases being fought via the media, the offensive is thankfully from one side only, with the other side avoiding tit-for-tat. Imagine the day when both warring parties start firing at each other. Since India, anyway, has a long way to go in becoming a force to reckon with in sports, everyone will be better off without resorting to such tactics.SOCCER STAR MOVES INTO HYDERABAD CRICKETIN THE Arshad Ayub-led panel that swept the biennial election of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), held in Hyderabad on Sunday, there was an unusual winner – Victor Amalraj, a former India football international. The 50-year-old footballer, who captained the ‘Big Three’ of Kolkata football, East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting and Mohan Bagan, has been associated with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) cricket team that competes in the Hyderabad league. This is the first time that he has become part of the HCA set-up.”I was encouraged by Arshad and Shivlal Yadav to contest the election this time. Shivlal and I were together in school,” Amalraj, Assistant General Manager (PR) with FCI, told MAIL TODAY. “It’s a huge responsibility. The Hyderabad Ranji team didn’t perform well in the last two years. So, we will have to ensure that it improves its performance this season.”ARMY BEST BET TO CUT RED TAPESome years ago, after yet another disastrous Indian performance at a multisport competition, an idea was mooted that the Army should be given the reins of administering sports. That idea ought to be implemented now as it is perhaps more relevant now than it was when it was floated, maybe as a knee-jerk reaction to another flop show.One recalled the idea, as currently red tape has been wrapped around the Asian Games files so tightly, that the concept of clarity has been deleted from the files being shunted between the sports ministry and the Sports Authority of India (SAI). These files pertain to the Indian contingent that would go to Incheon, South Korea, starting on September 19.With litigation in Indian sports on the rise – a spate of court cases are on in virtually all major federations – India urgently needs tough rules and tougher people to implement them. Just think of it, the Indian men’s and women’s football teams are stranded in China, where they had gone on an exposure trip, and here the government/administrators cannot make up their minds on whether they should be competing or not.Or, are they deliberately delaying a decision due to some reason? If that is not the case, it’s all the more reason that officials/babus to think of the country first and either clear the contingent as quickly as possible. They must realise that India has once again become the laughing stock globally.advertisementFor bureaucratic delays such as these, it is the urgent need to bring in the Army to manage Indian sports. That seems our last hope to instill discipline and fear in the minds sports administrators/bureaucrats who handle sports files, beside athletes.
Touch Football Australia announced the induction of three new members to the prestigious Hall of Fame during the 2007 National Touch League.Dean Russell, Stacey Gregory, and Gary Lawless were honored for their record of long and distinguished service to the sport in Australia in a ceremony during the Open and 20 Years NTL Finals day. All three have been outstanding contributors and servants to the sport over an extended period of time and have been appropriately awarded with one of the highest honours that can be bestowed on an individual in the game in this country by the parent body.The trio’s induction swells the number of members in the Hall of Fame to nineteen. There are thirteen men and six women, all of whom are regarded as champions of the game.Gary Lawless who has represented Australia at five World Cups across the Men’s Open, Men’s 30s, and 35 Years divisions, has 41 World Cup caps to his credit and 6 Test matches, giving him a total of 47 appearances in the green and gold.‘Ginger’Lawless is revered as one of Australia’s best ever players. A master tactician, he was renowned for his toughness, skill level, and intelligence in both attack and defence and played a pivotal role in raising the standard of touch in the Australian Capital Territory during the 1980s and 1990s.He continues to be involved in the sport, coaching and playing in the 2007 Southern Suns Men’s 40s team at this year’s Senior NTL.Stacey Gregory has attended four World Cups across the Mixed Open and Women’s 30s divisions from 1988-2003. She played 38 World Cup games and 9 Test matches, posting 47 games for her country.Many keen observers of the game rate her as the best Mixed player to have ever represented Australia. A hard working and industrious middle, Gregory was also blessed with exceptional ball skills and vision, and fantastic leadership that left many people in awe of her ability to marshal teams and direct them around the park.Dean Russell has attended five World Cups and made 56 appearances for Australia, comprising 43 World Cup games and 13 Test Matches as a player, coach, or assistant coach.Russell has had an exceptional 2007, being granted the honour of being Australia’s joint Flag bearer at the 2007 World Cup, alongside four time Australian Women’s Open World Cup player, Amanda Judd.He assistant coached the Australian Women’s Open team in Stellenbosch South Africa in January where they reaffirmed their position as Australia’s most successful Women’s sporting team at World Cup level by maintaining a 19 year 55 Game winning streak in six pristine World Cup campaigns.Dean Russell and Stacey Gregory have been teammates at club, regional, State, and National Mixed level since 1989 and it is fitting that the two close friends have been inducted into the Hall of Fame together.Dean Russell reflected on the trio’s induction into the TFA Hall of Fame.“It’s a huge honour, a tremendous accolade. Gary Lawless would be in my top three of all time great Open Men’s players in this country – he literally carried ACT on his shoulders for a lot of years. Stacey is the best female Mixed player ever – full stop. To have played with her for so long and to have us both inducted at the same time makes the honour even more special. I’m just humbled by it all. Leading Australia out with the flag in the World Cup was tremendous, and this on a par with that overwhelming sense of pride.” Dean said.The induction of the three luminaries to the Hall of Fame filled Russell with pride.“It’s not a selfish pride, it’s pride that we are recognizing our history and building tradition. Lots of younger players were asking who Gary Lawless was, and this helps us piece together our history and gives young people something to aspire towards – it’s just unbelievable to think of your name being mentioned in the same breath as giants of the game like Karen Smith, Mark Bolland, Terry Jacks, and the rest. You hope some young kid sees that and would one day want to be acknowledged in a similar way” Dean said.The full list of the Touch Football Australia Hall of Fame Members is:Terry Jacks 1988Karen Smith 1988Lisa Neal 1991Ray Lawrence 1990Kerry Norman 1991Glenys Woolcock 1991Ron Wall 1991Mick Mc Call 2003Mark Boland 2003Scott Notley 2003Craig Pierce 2003Katrina Toohey 2003Bob Brindell 2003Peter Mc Neven 2004Peter Bell 2004Rick Borg 2004Gary Lawless 2007Stacey Gregory 2007Dean Russell 2007 2003 2003 2003 2003 004 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2004 2004 2003 2003 2004 2004
ADJUNTAS, Puerto Rico – Ten months after Hurricane Maria, Adjuntas still loses power any time a heavy rain or wind pounds the rickety power lines feeding this town high in the central mountains of Puerto Rico.That leaves its 20,000 people once again in the dark, without light, fresh water or air conditioning — except for a handful of homes and businesses glowing in the night thanks to solar energy.The people of Adjuntas call those places “cucubanos,” an indigenous Puerto Rican firefly. They’re part of a small but growing movement to provide the U.S. territory with sustainable, renewable energy independent of the decrepit power grid.A scattering of hardware stores, barbershops and corner stores across the island are embracing solar energy, trying to wean themselves off a state-owned power company that remains heavily dependent on imported petroleum. The numbers remain small — a few dozen or hundreds out of millions of power users — but power industry officials and environmentalists are closely watching this as a test of whether Puerto Rico can make a large-scale switch to renewable, off-grid energy.Currently, renewables represent 4 per cent of generation at Puerto Rico’s power company, against a U.S. national average of 15 per cent, so it likely will be years before solar could account for a significant share of Puerto Rico power.Even so, “Puerto Rico can be an experimental workshop for solar and wind,” Rep. Darren Soto, a Florida Democrat, said at a congressional hearing Wednesday.While Adjuntas is dotted with solar-powered islands, a community of 12 homes in the mountain town of Las Piedras still lacks central power and is operating exclusively on solar energy provided by Tesla, the high-tech maker of electric cars and other power products. It installed 160 solar panels on a plot of land owned by resident Jose Santana.Santana, an electronics technician, said he loves the smartphone app that lets him monitor the solar-charged Tesla batteries. He said the government should consider going solar and dumping the current “archaic” power grid.“This can pull us out of the mess we’re in,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with having a vision of the future. It’s time to start making changes.”As in Las Piedras, some solar users are relying on corporations and non-profit groups to donate the expensive equipment. Others have become so exasperated with continuing outages that they are taking it upon themselves to install their own systems.“I’m a musician. I have a salsa orchestra. I know nothing about electricity,” said Felix Torres, who recently installed nine solar panels on the roof of his home, perched on a mountain in the eastern city of Caguas. “I was afraid of getting electrocuted and damaging equipment worth thousands of dollars. … But we should not depend so much on the government. They already have their hands full.”Torres recently joined nearly two dozen other people at a three-day workshop to learn about the costs and lifespans of solar systems, the equipment required and precautions they need to consider. The clip-clop of horses interrupted their chatter as the sun set on hills where electricity returned several months ago.Many at the workshop pulled out their power bills along with pens and notebooks as they made comparisons and shared their frustrations. Among them was Jose Barreto, who set up a makeshift solar system at his house in the mountain town of Guavate.“It hasn’t collapsed because God is merciful,” he said, grumbling that his wife insists on washing and ironing at night, sucking up precious battery life. “I tell her, look, this is a lifestyle that runs on daytime hours.”A few hundred Puerto Ricans still haven’t recovered electricity service since Hurricane Maria hit Sept. 20, and millions suffer periodic outages. Crews are trying to fortify the unstable grid in the middle of this year’s hurricane season. When the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl passed through in early July, up to 47,000 customers were left without lights, although most of the power was restored the same day.In Las Piedras, Blanca Martinez, a retired school bus driver who is married to Santana, started to weep as she described the happiness of having a solar-powered home.“It’s sometimes hard to explain,” she said. “When you’re a person who is in need, who is suffering, this comes along and you have light without having to worry whether a wire fell.”Another corporation, German-based sonnen, helped donate and install at least 15 solar microgrids across the island to help power laundromats, schools, community centres and medical clinics.Adam Gentner, the company’s director of business development and Latin American expansion, said the aim is to create a resilient system that can operate regardless of weather conditions.This week, Siemens published a report in which it envisions the construction of 10 mini-grids across Puerto Rico that would depend on renewable energy. Unlike microgrids, officials said, mini-grids are bigger and can use the current distribution infrastructure.In Adjuntas, the non-profit environmental group Casa Pueblo has installed solar systems at two hardware stores, a barber shop and several small stores that activists hope will serve as power oases where people can charge their phones and store medications during a storm if needed. In upcoming months, some 30 homes also will be fitted with the system.Wilfredo Perez said he can now open his barbershop 11 hours a day, six days a week thanks to the new system.“Since it was installed, it hasn’t failed me,” he said, adding that he hasn’t had to switch over to the power company’s system. “The electricity in Puerto Rico doesn’t work.”Federal officials are growing more worried about the turmoil at Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, which has seen five directors since Hurricane Maria. A U.S. House committee held a hearing Wednesday on the company’s troubles.Officials have stressed the need to depoliticize the company, create an independent regulator and resolve its $9 billion public debt as it prepares to privatize power generation and award concession for transmission and distribution.None of this worries Arturo Massol, associate director of Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas.“Let them do what they want over there,” he said. “We’re taking control of our energy destiny.”
Prince George, Peace River Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer also did the same in Ottawa.A draft report is supposed to be finished Friday, but the PRRD says it could take longer as significant additional data was forwarded to them by provincial agencies on Wednesday.The draft report will then be shared with an independent geotechnical firm who will conduct a peer review of the data.All recommendations from the report will undergo a legal review and will then will be weighed carefully by the Regional Board.FUNDRAISER FRIDAYThis Friday night, there will be a Halloween Party in support of the Old Fort residents affected by the landslide. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – While residents of the Old Fort wait for a draft geotechnical report from Westrek Geotechnical Services, local politicians shared the story of the Old Fort Landslide in Victoria and Ottawa.Peace River North MLA Dan Davies stood in the Provincial Legislature Thursday. This event is co-sponsored by St. John Advertising and Promotions and Casey’s Pub.Julie Roach-Burns, general manager of St. John Advertising and Promotions said, “It will be admission by donation and all of the money raised is going towards the Old Fort evacuees”.Roach-Burns added, “There is going to be door prizes throughout the night and we’re going to have a live auction starting at 10:00. We’ve got some nice big ticket items donated that will be auctioned off”.The Old Fort Fundraiser Halloween Party is taking place this Friday at Casey’s Pub. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with live entertainment by guest band Adam Winn starting at 8:00 p.m. If you would like to help out by donating auction items or have any questions, you can contact Casey’s Pub at 250-329-9716.