Pro rugby contracts on offer to Pacific youth

first_imgThe five day training camp which concludes today in Fiji comprised 30 under 23-year-olds from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, who played in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge.The association’s Aayden Clark said the combine taught players how to deal with contracts, agents and life as an overseas based professional.He said the association is advising the players about the contracts on offer.”There’s some good ones too. Fantastic opportunities for the players. Thats the process that we are working through now as they show interest and also the next week or two will be critical for that,” said Aayden Clark.”It is not just a financial decision for the players. It is a whole raft of factors around whether its going to be the opportunity that they should take or not.”Mr Clark said young players from the Pacific often take overseas contracts without doing their due diligence.”At the moment we spend a lot of time and resource supporting players who have done that and found themselves in a bit of a sticky situation,” said Mr Clark.”There is a long list of things that can happen in an environment where a player feels a bit isolated, gets injured or is just lacking the usual support that they have from their family,” he said.”We have young players who leave overseas on a promise that they got on Facebook messenger with nothing really solid around what is going to be happening once they arrive in a differrent part of the world, so that is a big concern for us”.”This is the opportunity for us to try and prevent having to put in the intensive work later on down the track.”World Rugby in partnership with the Pacific Rugby Players Association are running the combine its general manager Peter Horn says the selected players have been identified by overseas rugby unions and clubs.”We are helping them connect with those clubs and World Rugby is providing a relocation package which supports the player to engage with the club and a relocation allowance to support them to have a soft landing,” Mr Horn said.”So one key thing that we are worried about is ensure that a player from a Pacific Island heritage integrates really well in the right club the right environment,” he said.”They can then actually develop as a rugby player, go on to higher honours in the future, potentially playing for the national program again and going to the world cup.”Peter Horn said the combine model has been borrowed from professional sporting codes in America.last_img read more

National County Meet: The Perfect Opportunity for Football Recidivism

first_imgFootball is incontrovertibly the biggest unifier in our country and, to a larger extent, plays a bigger role uniting global citizens. No wonder FIFA has demonstrated that the only universal language we all speak is football. My grandfather told me that during the 60s & 70s, this game was so popular that it became a national predilection where the entire citizenry would pulse for moment glue to their radio in firm anticipation for the team of their likings to triumph at the sound of the final whistle. On the streets, young men and women kibitz about the match of the day and the prospects of winning the league, while in the offices, it was impractical to hold a discussion without mentioning or an overture about the beautiful game.National zealousness about the game didn’t only provide satisfaction to the denizens from where a particular team originated, but to its many jubilating and die-hard fans. This was the single, most desirable, and nationally appropriate approach for reconciliation and recreation. Growing up in the late 80s, I remembered vividly when Invisible Eleven (IE) or Might Barrolle scored a magical goal; their lunatic fans went wild, roaming the local streets. As a little boy, I would join the crowd just for the fun of it not realizing that such excitement would be cut off from my teenage life or made seasonal only when the national team is “lucky” enough to display spectacularly. Was it the civil war that completely eradicated this enthusiasm from the game or it was poor management of the league and the local teams? The answer may be found in another paper.Fast forward to the status quo, the only games with attractive power to pull thousands of Liberians to the SKD and millions glue to their radio are the national county meet and, minimally, the senior national team matches. For the purpose of this paper, focus is on the national county meet. I commend the administrators who decided that the county meet would only feature non-top-flight division players. Based on my personal experience from the games between Nimba and Grand Gedeh and Bassa and Bong respectively, I couldn’t agree more with pundits that there should be a national discussion on how to extend the league to ensure that we don’t miss out on this national buy-in and zealousness associated with the tournament.No game develops without the support of the fans and our biggest opportunity lies clearly within the county meet. In most parts of Europe and elsewhere, the game evolved and developed from the communities establishing strong sense of ownership and social bond. That is why you have traditional clubs in most European cities today including Real Madrid (from the Spanish Capital), Barcelona (from Catalonia), Liverpool fc (from Liverpool), Manchester United (from Manchester), New Castle United (from New Castle) etc. Although the focus of the game has shifted to profit making (economic), those traditional teams still maintain their bond; even our local league has adopted the economic model.  I have listened to ideas about apportioning each national league club to a county for the purpose of establishing the bond which is seen in Europe and other parts of the world. Sincerely, I disagree with such approach because it won’t yield the expected results. The reason is simple. If we apportion each team to a county, do we have the authority over these clubs to assign counties? Will the county authorities have control over the management of the teams or its original owner? Wouldn’t FIFA frown against “nationalizing” club football in the country? I think we already missed out (from 1960-1989) to adopt this approach when the game had a different focus other than economic benefits.Improvement Tips for the CompetitionIf you ask any football lover about the extension of the county meet, considering the huge euphoria, mouth-watery and eye-catching performances, and exciting display of talents associated with the games, the answer will undoubtedly be yes! The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) must definitely start a conversation on how to restructure the competition since our best opportunity to develop the game is glaringly shown within the tournament. Currently, the teams are organized in different zones based on region and the top two teams qualify for the quarterfinal which is played at the SKD. Although one of the primary objectives of the tournament is to develop (promote) talents within the county, this process only last for 30-40 days.As a recommendation, authorities at MYS can adopt a new model wherein the league is extended over an eight-month period.  The model follows similar approach in the LFA first division where all counties will play each other in a round league. That means each county will play 28 games on a home-away basis. The team top eight counties on the county meet table will automatically qualify for an eight-team quarterfinal showdown at the SKD.One would argue that this model takes away the essence within the LFA 3rd and 4th division league. Definitely, that will be the ultimate goal. If a county can put its 22 or 30 players on salary (even 1000LD per month) for the entire 8 months, many young players will be extremely willing and audacious to play for the counties. Let’s make this point that predominately, only 3rd and 4th division players are eligible to play in the current tournament in addition to 1 (or 2) 2nd division player. The LFA doesn’t require 3rd division clubs to pay their players so the 1000LD salary will be a big boast for the young players. Ultimately, the idea is to make the county meet a facsimile 3rd and 4th division league where all the excitements will be experienced. Players will even be compared to reside in the counties thereby abolishing the concept of choosing Monrovia-based players for the current tournament.While this idea may not be the only option to improving the game, a national discussion should be opened with all football stakeholders as a mean of reviving the game in our country.Indeed, this is our beautiful game!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Copa to begin operations in Suriname in July

first_imgCopa Airlines, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, SA, and member of the global Star Alliance network, on Thursday announced plans to begin service to Paramaribo, Suriname twice weekly commencing on July 6.This new route will make Suriname the 81st city to which the airline connects with the rest of its network of destinations through the Hub of the Americas located at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City.“We are pleased to announce this direct flight to Paramaribo, a city that will benefit from the connectivity offered by our extensive network of destinations, providing access to the 32 other countries Copa serves. We are confident that this new route, which will commence on July 6 of this year, will promote greater opportunities for commercial and tourist activity in this unique and attractive country,” Copa Airlines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pedro Heilbron related.Once operations between Panama City and Paramaribo begin, Suriname will be quickly and efficiently connected to 32 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean through the Hub of the Americas, providing passengers with shorter connection times, the service of sending checked baggage to their final destinations and the possibility of completing their flights without the need for customs or immigration procedures.“We are very proud to state that the efforts of our team, the team of Copa and the routes development experts, have finally resulted in Copa Airlines to add PBM [Paramaribo] to their route network. This new route brings Suriname closer to the rest of the Americas, which contributes to our strategic vision to reach one million passengers in 2033. We invite all the people from the Americas to visit our beautiful country with its untouched nature, where you can taste a great variation of cultures. We wish Copa Airlines many safe flights and hope to grow as partners,” CEO of Airport Management, operator of the Johan Adolf PengelAn aerial view of part of SurinameInternational Airport, Vijay Chotkan said.Flight CM318 will initially operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing at 09:17h from Panama (local time) and arriving at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport at 15:45h (local time). The Boeing 737-700 airplane has capacity for 12 passengers in business class and 112 in the main cabin.The return flight, CM319, will depart on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Paramaribo at 17:52h (local time), arriving in Panama at 20:28h (local time).Copa Airlines currently operates an average of 350 daily flights through the Hub of the Americas connecting 81 cities in 33 countries of the continent.last_img read more

Govt admits ‘property evaluation’ exercise for local organs failed

first_imgOver the past few years, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has cited the low rates and taxes payment as the major reason for its lack of funding for major and necessary works throughout Georgetown, thus, the relevant authorities embarking in a ‘property evaluation’ initiative but this has not proved to be successful.Caretaker Communities Minister Ronald BulkanThis was according to caretaker Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, who recently admitted to the media that the initiative, which his Government and the M&CC believed would have alleviated the financial burdens of City Hall, has not been able to do so.“Work has started in direction. Unfortunately, it has not reached the stage that we hoped to. Of course, the interim status of the Administration has not really helped us in this regard.”He stated that after the upcoming General and Regional elections on March 2, 2020, it is expected that the Government of the day “picks up the pieces” in this regard and continue along the path that was already paved in the property evaluation drive.“…and to allow that initiative to go forward which in large measure will help to ensure that the fiscal independence of Councils is guaranteed. And that they are not overly reliant on the central government. (This) can pose the hazard of possibly compromising their independence and authority,” the Minister added.According to Bulkan, the issue of revenue base of all Councils in the capital town is the “single most important” issue which affects and ultimately constrains the ability of local democratic organs to discharge their manifold responsibilities.City Hall, Georgetown, Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica)“It is an issue that the central government has been working with our Councils. It is one that we intend to see to its finality to enable the autonomy that local organs enjoy ensures that the central government is not the funder or the principal funder of local organs. But rather than their own revenue base to strengthen to a point, that will allow them to have the required level of finances to effectively discharge those responsibilities and to result in conditions you would have referred to.”It was expected that the valuation exercise requires at least 12 to 18 months and the Government, in this regard, had engaged with a Canadian institution, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), which does property evaluations for the state of Ontario and other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.However, almost two years later, the initiative has not reaped the successes it was touted to have achieved.The M&CC had often said that the re-evaluation of properties in Georgetown would significantly aid the cash-strapped municipality in providing key services to the city.Earlier in 2018, Minister Bulkan had told reporters that the valuation system countrywide needed to be reformed and that the new, updated system would “re-value properties to be able to provide realistic values which have not been done for over two decades; which will ‘wean’ them off of central Government’s subventions and allow them to exercise greater autonomy”.last_img read more

Prep wrestling: Highland of Palmdale can’t hang with Ventura wrestling squad

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Randy Wallerstein gave Highland a win by pin in the meet-opening match at 140 pounds, Ryan Gifford (152) and Josh Purpus (125) added victories by major decision, and Jerry Galaviz (135) and heavyweight Jesus Lopez contributed decision wins for the Bulldogs against a quick Ventura team that improved to 11-4. “They scrapped and they didn’t give up,” Young said of his team, “and you’ve got to go against teams that are better in order to raise the bar for your team.” Young was especially pleased with the way Galaviz wrestled in extending his strong first season with the varsity. “He’s a really steady kid,” Young said. “He’s got 24 wins now as a sophomore and 13 pins. He just keeps getting better and better. He wrestles like a senior. He’s going to be really something special in the future. He’s something special now.” The win by Ventura, ranked No. 7 in Southern Section Div. III, evened the Cougars’ recently started series with Highland at 2-2 – Ventura winning two in a row after Highland won the first two in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, when the Bulldogs went on to win Southern Section Dual Meet titles. VENTURA – Highland of Palmdale held its own with the best wrestling team in Ventura County on Wednesday night, but coach Mike Young’s Bulldogs didn’t have enough to topple host Ventura in an annual nonleague meeting matching top programs. Paced by season-long leaders Shaun Hastie and Jacob Frye, the Cougars won nine of the 14 weight classes to improve to 11-4 while dropping three-time tournament champion Highland to 30-7. Hastie, 32-3 and state-ranked at 103 pounds, wrestled at 112 pounds and posted a 15-0 technical fall over Carlos Newman. Frye won another technical fall at 171 pounds, defeating Jason Duarte, and Ventura notched pins or major decisions in three of their other seven wins. “They were better than us, but I was proud of the way my kids wrestled,” Young said of his Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 4 among Daily News-area teams and No. 3 in Southern Section Div. V. center_img Ventura coach Mike Gacha said he would be willing to have his team wrestle any time against a team coached by Young, who increased his state-leading career wins total to 601 during the Bulldogs sweep of their own Bobby Loughridge Tournament on Saturday. “Coach Young, 600 wins, that’s so impressive,” Gacha said. “I have so much respect for him.” Familiar with Young’s coaching success – which has produced a combined eight Southern or City Section titles, at Highland and Franklin of Highland Park – and awaiting a tough Channel League match with Dos Pueblos next week, Gacha admitted to being somewhat concerned his team might be looking ahead. “This was one we might have been overlooking,” he said, “and I was worried about it – I was worried more than they were. But they came through again. They wrestled hard.” The win for the Cougars was their second in a row over a ranked Southern Section team. Ventura defeated Royal of Simi Valley 47-22 last week. Royal is ranked No. 1 by the Daily News and No. 1 in Southern Section Div. V. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgAre you ready for the Warehouse Bar and Kitchen?After months of extensive renovations at Gallaghers Hotel, Main Street, Letterkenny, the McGettigan Group have announced a new dining and entertainment concept, Warehouse Bar + Kitchen, which will open its doors to the public this Wednesday.The McGettigan Group is a family-run business of hotels, bars and restaurants. Founded by Letterkenny native, Jim McGettigan, the group is headed up by Jim’s son and CEO, Dennis McGettigan.Located in the centre of Letterkenny – at the site formerly known as Milan nightclub – the venue is spread across two floors, and 9,000 square feet. “The timing of our launch couldn’t be better. There is so much happening in Letterkenny and Donegal over the summer. We have amazing bands and live music lined up, catering to all tastes from rock, to pop and old school classics,” says McGettigan Group CEO, Dennis McGettigan.The venue’s interior design takes its inspiration from industrial factories and warehouses from bygone years. Pipes and ceilings are left exposed to create a real industrial feel, shelves are filled with vintage beer bottles while huge wooden ale barrels are scattered throughout.A large steel-iron staircase leads up to an open rooftop garden area which features a retractable roof to suit all weather conditions. Guests can enjoy their drinks and enjoy a bird’s eye view of all the hustle and bustle of the main street. The bar will feature an open-air kitchen where patrons can watch the culinary staff in action, which will serve a tapas-style menu, designed by the group’s brilliant executive chef Derek Flynn.“I wanted to create food that lends itself to a good time, dishes that can be shared amongst friends. There’s no reason why the food can’t be as good and complex as a high-end restaurant, even though it is served in more casual surroundings and at an affordable price,” says executive chef Derek Flynn.A key focus of Warehouse Kitchen + Bar, is its impressive cocktail menu which has been designed by bar manager, Mark Kelly who has an extensive background in mixology. Hailing from Dublin, Kelly brings over 14 years experience with him having worked in some of Ireland’s finest nightlife venues. The menu has been designed with a focus on classic cocktails that are loved internationally – reflecting tastes at home and abroad. Drinks such as daiquiris and Mojitos will be on offer as well as signature creations.“Our team has created an impressive selection of innovative drinks, that use premium spirits and fresh ingredients. We offer a range of classic choices, but also focus on more unusual concoctions,” says Warehouse bar + Kitchen’s manager, Mark Kelly.Over the coming months, customers can expect to be entertained by top artists from all around Ireland, DJs and up-and-coming bands.The McGettigan’s Group are proprietors of the Clanree hotel in Letterkenny which is home to McGettigan’s bar as well as hotels and bars in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and further afield in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, New York and Singapore. JOBS BOOST FOR LETTERKENNY AS NEW WAREHOUSE BAR AND KITCHEN OPENS THIS WEDNESDAY was last modified: July 3rd, 2016 by StephenShare 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:donegalletterkennyMcGettigan’sWarehouse Bar and Kitchenlast_img read more


first_imgThe late Seamus Doherty.A man has been arrested in connection to the murder of Churchill man Seamus Doherty.Mr Doherty, 67, was found dead at his home at Drumacanoo, Churchill on June 17th, 2012. An autopsy later showed that Mr Doherty had died in suspicious circumstances and a murder investigation was launched.A number of people were arrested in relation to the death but nobody has ever been charged.Last night Gardaí at Milford arrested a 52 year old man in connection with the death.The man was arrested in the Raphoe area and is expected to appear before Buncrana District Court today.Investigations are continuing.BREAKING NEWS: MAN TO APPEAR IN COURT IN CONNECTION WITH MURDER OF SEAMUS DOHERTY was last modified: January 14th, 2016 by StephenShare 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:ChurchilldonegalmurderSeamus Dohertylast_img read more


first_imgResults Round 3 U 14 hurling league.Carndonagh 3.8 Letterkenny Gaels 3.3.Dungloe/Gaothdobhair 7.5 Four Masters 3.1. Mc Cumhaills 3.10 Aodh Ruadh 2.4.St Eunans 4.10 Setanta 0.3.Burt 3.7 Buncrana 3.4  HURLING: MINOR BOARD U14 LEAGUE RESULTS was last modified: April 8th, 2015 by StephenShare 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)last_img


first_imgBREAKING NEWS: Independent councillor John Campbell is to be elected the new chairman of Donegal County Council.An all-party inclusive agreement will see the Mountcharles man elected to the position.It had been reported that Sinn Fein’s Jack Murray was to be the new chairman but this is not the case. Nicholas Crossan from Buncrana has been selected as the vice chairman of the council.All 37 councillors are currently meeting at County House in Lifford for the first meeting of the newly-formed council.Cllr Ciaran Brogan of Fianna Fail said he was pleased with the selection of Cllr Campbell and said he hoped the make-up of the new council would be a fruitful one for the people of Donegal.  INDEPENDENT COUNCILLOR JOHN CAMPBELL CHOSEN AS NEW MAYOR OF COUNTY COUNCIL was last modified: June 6th, 2014 by StephenShare 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:Cllr John Campbellcounty councildonegallast_img read more

Will Klay Thompson, Draymond Green make the NBA All-Star team?

first_img* * *Subscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book* * *WASHINGTON D.C. – The shots uncharacteristically fell short any time Klay Thompson released the ball from his fingertips, setting up two prolonged shooting slumps that clouded most of his season.Lately, though, Thompson has shot as efficiently as he has done during a stretch that led to three NBA championships in four Finals appearances and four All-Star …last_img