Volunteers: World Cup’s unsung heroes

first_img21 June 2010While the on-field action draws the crowds, it is the thousands of hard-working volunteers busy in the background, making sure that each match runs with operational precision and professionalism, that should also be awarded a trophy.Close to 70 000 people applied for volunteer positions when applications first opened last year, and while only 18 000 got the job, the extraordinary number of applicants shows South Africa’s enthusiasm for lending a helping hand for the historic tournament.Having gone through the rigorous selection process and the training sessions, the eager volunteers are now able to show that they mean business with the World Cup now in full swing.Working in various fields such as transport, hospitality, media, accreditation and marketing, it is the World Cup volunteers – drawn from both South Africa and abroad – that are at the true heart of South Africa 2010.Rustenburg volunteer, Obakeng Mosetlhe, explains how it feels to be involved.“It’s great to be a volunteer because you are an ambassador for your country, so everything you have to do you have to do it perfectly and with a smile. It’s a great thing to spend my time here. I think the volunteers are doing well here in Rustenburg, and especially in my department, hospitality.”Obakeng is stationed close to the turnstiles, where he waits eagerly to do his job. “I work with VIPs, I have to welcome them and show them where to go and where they have to sit during the game.”Kokestso and Liyanda are two students who entered the volunteer programme together. The girls talk excitedly of how they came to apply.“We were sitting fooling around in class and we came across the Fifa website. We saw them advertising volunteer applications so we decided to do it. At that point it was for fun, we weren’t sure if they were going to reply. We looked at all the divisions and were considering hospitality because we’ve done hospitality before.“But then we saw that they were looking for media volunteers and we thought that is what we want to do,” said the two students, whose job it is to ensure that the media covering the tournament are given the best service possible.Kokestso and Liyanda work inside the media centre tent and stay there for long hours. Despite this, they look forward to coming to work every morning.“You know with all jobs you get your ups and downs, but most of the time it’s fun. If anything it gives us a lot of experience, and I can put it on my CV. We went into it for the experience.”And while they may not know it, the large number of visiting spectators are noticing their strong contribution to the World Cup.Graham Long travelled from New Zealand to be to take part in the World Cup. Looking quite at home in the nippy weather, he explained how he has experienced the World Cup volunteers.“This is the third time I am attending a match,” Long said. “I have been to one at Soccer City, one at Loftus, and now here in Rustenburg. The volunteers at all of them have been outstanding. They all seem very happy. They always have a smile on their face.“They should be proud of themselves for helping to make this World Cup as successful as possible.”Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

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Nutrients for Life Foundation selects Margo Long as representative for Ohio

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Nutrients for Life Foundation announced the selection of Margo Long as regional representative in Ohio. Long will provide grassroots educational and public awareness services in the state of Ohio. Her primary role will be to work with primary and secondary educators in the school system to promote the Foundation’s plant and soil science curriculum, Nourishing the Plant in the 21st Century. She will also work with industry members to share the Foundation’s core programs and enhance community relations. Long began her duties on May 1.“We are thrilled Margo has joined the Nutrients for Life team. Her passion for agriculture education and extensive knowledge of the industry makes her an excellent representative to implement our vision in Ohio,” said Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer.  “In the short time she has been with us, she has hit the ground running to provide educators and students with soil science education and Nutrients for Life resources.”Long joined the Nutrients for Life team in May as the first Ohio Regional Representative. She is currently the director of communication and member education for the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. Long joined OABA’s team in January of 2014 and coordinates the association’s education programs, OABA’s annual conference and other events. She also helps coordinate OABA’s social media and communication strategies. In 2014, she was assigned the role of executive director of the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Program. Before joining OABA, Long was an extension educator with Purdue University and is working toward a master of agriculture in agricultural education from Oklahoma State University. Long also holds a bachelors of science in agriculture communications from The Ohio State University.“With Nutrients for Life’s educational resources, this position will allow me to share my passion for agriculture in Ohio schools,” said Long. “The hands-on curriculum is enjoyable for students and teaches plant and soil science in a manner that is easy to understand.”With successful regional representatives based in California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Louisiana and Washington, the Foundation is now expanding their reach into Ohio, implementing “on-the-ground” educational resources. The expansion into Ohio is made possible with support from the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, the leading advocate for Ohio agribusinesses.“The partnership with the Nutrients for Life Foundation provides ample opportunity for OABA to be involved in the education of students across Ohio,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “With our association’s interest in topics like water quality and fertilizer, the curriculum matches well with the message we want to convey.”For more information about the Nutrients for Life Foundation visit www.nutrientsforlife.org. Long can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone (614) 326-7520.last_img read more

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Ohio Crop Progress — Oct. 15, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Temperature Cooled Down as Harvest Heated UpTemperatures cooled down and the State received small amounts of rain last week according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending October 14. The rain stopped long enough for combines to get into the fields and pick corn as the harvest continued to outpace the 5-year average. Soybean harvest moved ahead 13 percentage points although it was still lagging behind the 5-year average. The wet conditions were reportedly affecting grain quality in a few areas. Corn condition dropped slightly from 83 percent rated good to excellent condition last week to 82 percent this week. Soybean condition moved a bit more from 84 percent rated in good to excellent condition last week to 79 percent this week. Other late season crops, like vine vegetables and tobacco, were being harvested but faced quality issues where fields were oversaturated. Winter wheat planting continued slightly behind the 5-year pace and hay producers continued cutting and baling as fields allowed. The average moisture content of corn harvested last week was 19 percent and the average for soybeans was 14 percent.Click here to read the full reportlast_img read more

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Tour Diary Men’s 50’s

first_imgAfter victory over the Kiwis in Game 2 on Saturday and taking the series the team completed our ice baths and headed back to the hotel for a swim and relax, followed by a team dinner. There was still some concern in our camp for our winger Pete Knowles  who was knocked out in game one and still feeling quite poorly. After dinner the team, minus Pete, headed out to catch the Cowboys versus Raiders NRL match as guests of  former ACT and Australian Touch Footballer turned Cowboys coach Neil Henry. After the match the players did a bit of mingling with the Raiders who were guests at the accommodation for dinner. A tired bunch of the players then went  to their rooms to watch a bit of World Cup Soccer action, but most didn’t make the kick off. On Sunday we had an early breakfast, and final preparations for the remaining match. There was some concern for a few injured players but nobody was going to miss an opportunity to represent their country and assist in a clean sweep of the tournament. It was a great start to the game for the Aussies, shooting out to an early 3-0 lead. The Kiwis kept coming and pulled back one touchdown to leave us with a 5-1 lead at half time. A solid and equal second half from both teams had the final score at 8-3. Coach Budgie  gave the boys a post match debrief, and stalwart Mick McCall informed his team mates he has played his last game  of Representative Touch (retirement should be kind). At three games to nil, it was a job well done for the Men’s 50’s, and we now prepare to celebrate the victory with the Australian function tonight.Garry Lawless – Men’s 50’s Captainlast_img read more

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13 days agoMan Utd insist Pogba can make Liverpool clash

first_imgMan Utd insist Pogba can make Liverpool clashby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United aren’t panicking over Paul Pogba’s toe injury.The Sun says he is winning his race to be fit for Manchester United’s huge clash with Liverpool after the international break.The French World Cup winner has played in just two of United’s last seven games.Reports in France have suggested Pogba also has a cracked toe picked up in the Carabao Cup game against Rochdale although manager Solskjaer made no mention of that when discussing his injury.United will desperately need him for the Old Trafford date with Premier League leaders Liverpool a week on Sunday. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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Soulpepper loses 375K of planned federal funding in wake of sexual harassment

first_img Twitter Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment A planned increase in federal funding for Soulpepper Theatre has been voted down by the Canada Council for the Arts’ board of directors.On Thursday, the council’s board voted to rescind an increase of $375,500 the theatre company was set to receive. That was on top of a $184,500 “core grant” which the company will still collect this year and again next year, Canada Council said in a statement sent to CBC Toronto.After four civil suits were launched against former artistic director Albert Schultz in January, the granting agency placed Soulpepper on “concerned status” and conducted a review. READ MORE Advertisement Login/Register With: Soulpepper loses $375,000 from grant over Schultz sexual harassment allegationsSoulpepper Theatre Company will not receive $375,000 from a half-million dollar grant previously promised by the Canada Council for the Arts following allegations of sexual harassment against one of its founding members.Albert Schultz, the group’s founding artistic director, was accused in January by four women of sexually harassing them repeatedly during their time at Soulpepper. Schultz resigned in early January as a result of the allegations.“It’s very important to the Canada Council, as a public arts funder, that the organizations we fund provide a work environment that’s free of harassment, sexual misconduct or abuse of power,” the Canada Council for the Arts said in a statement provided to the Star Friday night. READ MORECanada Council for the Arts rescinds planned grant increase for SoulpepperThe Canada Council for the Arts has rescinded a planned $375,000 raise in its annual grant to Soulpepper, an exceptional increase that would have tripled what the embattled theatre company received from the federal arts funding agency and transformed it into the best-funded not-for-profit theatre in Toronto.On Thursday, Canada Council’s board of directors voted to keep the base grant of the theatre company – currently being sued by four past employees alleging sexual harassment – at its previous level of $184,500 this year and next, instead of the $559,500 a peer-assessment committee had recommended in the fall.As with all grants over half-a-million dollars, Soulpepper’s had to be voted on by Canada Council’s board, and the funding agency had put its earlier decision regarding the theatre company under review as soon as four civil lawsuits were filed on Jan. 3 against it and founding artistic director Albert Schultz, alleging that Mr. Schultz was a “serial sexual predator.” READ MORE Facebooklast_img read more

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Whats Wrong With Stephen Curry

1992Michael Jordan59.734.75.08.326.4 1985Larry Bird54.023.08.35.018.4 2016Stephen Curry58.916.05.04.38.7 1987Magic Johnson63.127.78.014.032.2 2008Kobe Bryant54.530.04.75.019.9 2000Shaquille O’Neal58.938.718.73.031.7 1991Michael Jordan62.532.78.011.330.7 1989Magic Johnson56.711.73.78.013.0 1997Karl Malone48.026.712.72.318.5 2001Allen Iverson47.635.37.04.321.4 2013LeBron James44.116.712.37.316.2 1993Charles Barkley53.329.014.34.322.7 1984Larry Bird55.427.011.33.321.0 YEARPLAYERTS%PTSREBASTGAME SCORE 1996Michael Jordan58.731.05.35.023.7 1986Larry Bird55.325.710.310.326.0 1994Hakeem Olajuwon50.924.79.34.019.7 TS% = True Shooting PercentageSource: Basketball-Reference.com Best performances by regular-season MVPs through 3 games of the NBA Finals (1984-present) PER-GAME AVERAGE 2015Stephen Curry52.724.05.36.314.4 1998Michael Jordan53.031.33.72.321.1 2012LeBron James55.730.310.34.022.5 As bad as the Cleveland Cavaliers looked going down 2-0 against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, the tables were turned in Cleveland’s 120-90 Game 3 rout. Just about everything that had gone poorly for the Cavs in the series’ first two games — from horrific shooting to porous defense — reversed itself, proving once again how hard it is for one NBA team to dominate another consistently at this stage of the playoffs.The Dubs probably shouldn’t fret too much over the 30-point loss; our prediction model still gives Golden State a 77 percent chance of winning the series in the end. But if there is a source of concern for Warriors fans, it might be the ongoing struggles of the team’s best player, league MVP and offensive demigod Stephen Curry.During the regular season, Curry averaged a Game Score (John Hollinger’s method for gauging a player’s performance in any given outing) of 24.6, which led all NBA players. He cracked a Game Score of 20 — and I should note that the scale for Game Score is a lot like points per game, so 20 (games like this or this for Steph) is the benchmark for a good performance — 57 times in 79 appearances, and was held below 10 (like this) only four times.In these NBA Finals, however, Curry is averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 30.7 minutes per game, and hasn’t broken 20 in Game Score even once, though he’s dipped to single digits twice in three games. In fact, his 8.7 average Game Score for the series is easily the worst three-game start to an NBA Finals by a league MVP since at least 1984:1That’s the first season for which Basketball-Reference.com has Game Score data from every game. 2003Tim Duncan55.524.016.05.323.7 The Cavs are slightly better than the typical finals opponent that an MVP faces — at least according to the Elo ratings, our pet metric for estimating team strength — but strength of schedule only explains a fraction of Curry’s statistical downturn.In the finals thus far, Curry’s famous ability to create and make shots he has no business knocking down has been on the fritz. First, he’s “only” shooting for an effective field goal percentage (eFG%) 9 points higher than we’d expect based on the quality of his shots, a subpar showing by his usual standards. (He hit for an eFG% 13 points higher than expected during the regular season, tops in the NBA.) And about that shot quality: According to player-tracking data, the Cavs’ defense has also forced Curry into his fifth-worst three-game stretch of shot selection all season long.Curry’s game revolves around his shooting, so any dip there will have an outsize impact on his effectiveness. But perhaps more than the drop-off in shot making and shot quality when Curry’s number does get called, the Warriors have suffered because he simply hasn’t been able to make many plays for himself or others these past three games. Curry has seen both his usage and assist rates drop precipitously in the finals, and his turnovers are through the roof — more than double his regular-season average, on a per-possession basis.Is it all about Cleveland’s D? Well, Curry has been guarded most frequently by Kyrie Irving, one of the weakest defensive guards in the league, but the Cavs have also switched Irving off of Curry on plenty of screens, in favor of more capable defenders such as LeBron James, Iman Shumpert, Richard Jefferson and even Tristan Thompson (at least on one memorable contested step-back in Game 3). But just as much of Curry’s weak performance in the finals thus far can also be pinned on his own poor decision-making and a lack of support from teammates, like on this ill-fated drive:The good news for Golden State is that Curry has bounced back from games worse than Wednesday night’s in these very playoffs. And Game 3 aside, the Warriors have often been well-rounded enough in these finals not just to beat Cleveland but to rout them, despite down performances from Curry. But even if it’s just with an eye towards the series MVP derby — will Steph really post two league MVP-NBA championship doubles with zero finals MVPs? — it’s an open question whether Curry will be able to regain his usual form down the home stretch of the series.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

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Is Vegas Underrating The Warriors

2013Heat66-16✔ 1997Bulls69-13✔ 1987Lakers65-17✔ 2011Bulls62-20 1994Sonics63-19 1992Bulls67-15✔ 2004Pacers61-21 2008Celtics66-16✔ Our NBA playoff projections, which are based on a version of Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi’s Real Plus-Minus ratings (RPM), give the Golden State Warriors a 48 percent chance of winning the NBA title. Other statistical systems hold the Dubs in similarly high regard: The playoff probabilities at Basketball-Reference.com give them a 47 percent chance of winning a ring, and John Hollinger’s playoff odds put their chances at 38 percent.Gambling markets are more skeptical of Golden State. According to PredictWise, which compiles odds from Betfair and removes the “vig” (house cut), bettors have the Warriors with a 27 percent chance to win the title. And a number of sportsbooks consider LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers to be the title favorites.So here’s a gut-check. The Warriors, with a 67-15 regular-season record, are the top overall seed and will have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. How often does the top overall seed1That is, the team with the best regular-season record, plus whatever tiebreakers apply. win the title?The answer — since the NBA expanded the playoffs to 16 teams in 1984 — is 45 percent of the time, almost exactly the chances RPM assigns to the Warriors. The top seed has won 14 titles in 31 attempts. 2012Spurs50-16 2001Spurs58-24 2000Lakers67-15✔ 2006Pistons64-18 YEARTEAMREGULAR-SEASON RECORDWON TITLE 2005Suns62-20 1990Lakers63-19 1991Blazers63-19 2003Spurs60-22✔ 2007Mavericks67-15 2002Kings61-21 2010Cavaliers61-21 1986Celtics67-15✔ 1998Jazz62-20 1984Celtics62-20✔ 1989Pistons63-19✔ And the Warriors, with 67 wins, are better than your average top seed. Since 1984, nine other top seeds have finished within two games of the Warriors’ regular-season win total (somewhere between 65 and 69 wins). Those teams went 7 for 9 in winning titles. In contrast to the single-elimination NCAA basketball tournament, the best-of-seven format in the NBA playoffs has historically allowed elite teams to rise to the top.We certainly do not recommend you naively trust statistical systems ahead of the handicappers. Vegas is really tough to beat. Gamblers can account for all the information in systems like RPM — plus whatever other data they think is relevant, like postseason experience or how teams match up with one another or the San Antonio Spurs beating the odds again and again.Still, we’re a little more likely to give credence to complex systems like RPM when they’re also able to pass simple gut-checks like this one. 1985Celtics63-19 1996Bulls72-10✔ 2014Spurs62-20✔ 1988Lakers62-20✔ 1999Spurs37-13✔ 1995Spurs62-20 2009Cavaliers66-16 1993Suns62-20 read more

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Ohio State womens volleyball looking to end Wisconsins winning streak

OSU sophomore outside hitter Luisa Schirmer (5) during a game against Purdue on Oct. 16 at St. John Arena. Credit: Christopher Slack, Lantern PhotographerThe first time the Ohio State women’s volleyball team took on Wisconsin this season, it was looking to get even after falling to the Badgers in the NCAA tournament last year.This go-around, the No. 16 Buckeyes (22-7, 11-6) are looking to end No. 10 Wisconsin’s (21-6, 13-4) nine-game winning streak — which began nearly a month ago on Oct. 23 — in Madison on Sunday at 2 p.m.The Badgers have been particularly tough on their home floor, boasting an 11-2 record in the Wisconsin Field House this season.“We’ve got to remind ourselves that we’re pretty good,” OSU coach Geoff Carlston said. “But on the road in the Big Ten, you have to find another level and really circle the wagons together.”A number of players have helped fuel Wisconsin’s hot streak, but at the center of it all is junior setter Lauren Carlini, a 2014 first-team All-American and a preseason all-Big Ten selection.Carlini currently ranks first in the conference and seventh in the country in assists per set (11.78). The last two weeks, she’s been named the Big Ten’s setter of the week, an award she’s won six times in her college career.Sophomore outside hitter Luisa Schirmer said simply hitting the ball at Carlini can be effective in getting the Badgers out of rhythm.“A lot of times, you think of playing it at her, taking them out of system, taking her out of being able to set the ball and run the offense,” she said.The Buckeyes also want to “serve tough and get them out of system so we can read her easier,” sophomore defensive specialist Kalisha Goree said.Getting better at the service line has been a point of emphasis for Carlston’s team in recent weeks, and he’s starting to see some improvement.“We’re having moments, we’ve just got to do more of them and be a little bit more consistent,” he said.Carlston’s squad will not only have its hands full in dealing with one of the nation’s top setters but will also have to defend against one of the better blocking teams in the country, led by freshman middle blocker Tionna Williams (1.32 blocks per set) and junior middle blocker Haleigh Nelson (1.27).Against the third-best blocking team in the conference, Carlston is looking for some better play from his offense, which has gone through cold spells at times during the last month.“We’re getting a little predictable in terms of where we’re hitting the ball,” he said. “We’ve got to change up our shots and mix up what we’re giving teams.”Building postseason momentumIn the latest RPI rankings, OSU came in at No. 10, which leaves it in good standing to be one of the 16 teams to host the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament.With only three games left in the regular season, OSU is trying to close the season out strong, not only to get home-court advantage in the first two rounds of the tournament but also to build some momentum going into the postseason.“Every single team in the country is trying to do that right now and just figure themselves out before going into the tournament,” Goree said.The Buckeyes have won just four of their last nine matches, but they’re hoping Wednesday’s road win over Iowa is what they needed to get back on track.“We’ve had a little lull, but I think we’re building it up and we’re getting our team confidence back,” Schirmer said.What’s next?OSU is set to play its final regular season game away from St. John Arena when it travels to meet Big Ten-leading Minnesota, which defeated the Buckeyes in five sets in each team’s conference opener on Sept. 23. The Wednesday match is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. read more

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