first_imgWho’s that with our Mark?LAST year he had his hands on the Sam Maguire.This All-Ireland weekend Donegal star Mark McHugh was in equally good company….with Grainne and Sile Seoige.And after getting a kiss off one of them, and his picture taken with both of them McHugh declared: “Sure what else would you be doing?” The player was also getting behind the Ladies GFA world bandana record attempt at the Ladies Finals next Sunday at Croke Park.Money raised will go towards the Irish Cancer Society. Bandana ManFORGET SAM! DONEGAL STAR MARK GETS HIS HANDS ON THE SEOIGE SISTERS! was last modified: September 23rd, 2013 by John2Share 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:DONEGAL STAR MARK GETS HIS HANDS ON THE SEOIGE SISTERS!Grainne SeoigeLadies GFAMark McHughSile SeoigeWorld record attemptlast_img read more

Reviving sports in SA schools

first_imgThe recent South African Democratic Teachers Union festival aimed to bring back a love of sports in schools. (Image: The South African Teachers Union (Sadtu) recently held a three-day national festival in Bloemfontein, which offered training for school teachers who are determined to bring back a love of sport in the country’s schools.Sadtu media officer Nomusa Ncembi said the union is deeply concerned about the current lack of physical activity in schools. It’s hoping that through this event it can inculcate a passion for sport among teachers who will take it back to their learners.The festival, which ran from 7 to 10 October 2009, attracted close to 1 100 teachers and 100 Sadtu officials from all nine provinces who competed in various sporting codes such as soccer, rugby, netball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, pool, softball and chess.Lebogang Sithole, a Johannesburg teacher who competed in volleyball at the festival, said he had learnt a lot and planned to take what he could back to his school.“We don’t always have the resources and training to teach sports at school, but by being at this festival we have learnt a lot from each other, and are motivated to go back and use the knowledge and the resources that we have to teach and ignite the passion of sports in our learners,” he said.Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the union believes sport, art, and culture are crucial to learner development and should not be treated as extra-curricular activities.“For Sadtu sport is not only for fun, entertainment and competition, but it is one of the most effective unifiers of people of different races, cultures, sex and creed. We also see sport as one of the best promoters of health and wellness,” he said.Over the past few years there has been a slow decline in learners participating in school sport, and the union wants to re-emphasise the need for sport to be taken seriously at schools, and treated like any other subject, he added.“We therefore call upon the Department of Education to provide sporting facilities, trained personnel and time to engage in sport in schools – more especially in rural areas,” Maluleke said.Learning through sportAlthough the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) and the Department of Education state that every school should have a compulsory physical education period of at least 45 minutes per week and offer at least two different sporting activities, many schools say they cannot do this as they lack resources and suitably trained teachers.To get around this, the departments advise poorly equipped schools to make use of facilities at a nearby community centre or team up with a neighboring school. For example if one offers netball, and the other cricket, a partnership will enable learners to participate in both.“There is ample evidence to show that participation in physical activity has significant advantages. Besides the obvious benefits to health, it is shown that participation in sport can contribute to improved academic performance, as well as to an improved self-image and sense of general well-being,” said Department of Education director general Duncan Hindle.He added that his department, together with SRSA, views school sport as an important vehicle for promoting social cohesion and transformation.“We believe that if all schools were to offer a comprehensive programme of curricular and extra-curricular physical activities, we would see a dramatic decline in the incidences of risky behaviour, including substance abuse, sexual activities and crime. Sport channels the enormous energies of our youth in positive directions.”Vernon Petersen, SRSA director general, believes a well-organised and planned programme of school sport, including physical education during the school day, should facilitate the creation of safe and caring schools, and allow for quality teaching and learning.“The starting point is to ensure that besides the compulsory programme of physical education, every school introduces at least two sporting codes for each school term – for both boys and girls. These may be for recreational purposes, aimed at mass participation, as well as for more competitive purposes, involving events with other schools.”Petersen added that through such sport activities, key values of hard work, respect for authority and team loyalty can be developed.“To win and yet be modest; to lose but with dignity – these are some of the most important lessons of life, and they are best learnt on the sports field,” he said.last_img read more

Cape Town celebrates a thousand new homeowners

first_img11 March 2015About 1 200 Breaking New Ground units have already been handed over to beneficiaries of the Pelican Park integrated human settlements development in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, according to the city.The city is working with its partners to build homes and communities in “continued efforts to increase the delivery of housing opportunities as a means of enabling redress”, it says.It is expected that more than 700 subsidised houses will be handed over by December 2016, marking the completion of the state-funded portion of the project. The total cost of this development is approximately R700-million, which includes state funding and private investment. Power Construction is the contractor overseeing the engineering and construction.“We are sparing no effort to ensure that this development is completed on time,” says the city’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen. “With our partners, we are making progress possible and this project shows that we cannot forever rely only on [the] government to fund the large-scale delivery of housing opportunities to our marginalised residents.“We must draw in the private sector to balance the dynamics of the housing market and we have to devise new ways to ensure delivery of scale. The city cannot do this alone. The increased delivery of housing opportunities to our vulnerable residents must become part of the mainstream conversation.”AffordabilityPelican Park, a World Design Capital 2014 project, is integrated in terms of affordability: there are 2 024 totally subsidised homes (Breaking New Ground) being built alongside 760 starter homes (gap housing) selling for R320 000, and 360 higher value homes (bonded) valued from R480 000 to R700 000.Provision has been made for two new schools and a regional clinic to be built respectively by the Western Cape department of education and Cape Town’s department of health. Two properties have been zoned as places of worship.A commercial precinct was opened in November 2014 to bring economic opportunities for the residents. “There are generous open spaces within the development itself and safe courtyards encircled by houses,” says Cape Town.Pelican Park fronts on to the False Bay Ecology Park, which overlooks Zeekoevlei. It is open during the day for bird watching and picnicking.“So many of our residents were denied home ownership under the apartheid regime. Receiving the opportunity to own an asset is key to the empowerment of our previously disadvantaged residents and to the transformation of our city in general,” says Van Minnen.A total of 71 of the subsidised homes were built during the Habitat for Humanity International Nelson Mandela Build Week in 2014, from 14 to 18 July.A new community“We are building a whole community, a whole neighbourhood,” crew leader Simone, who lives in neighbouring New Horizon, said at the time.Beneficiaries of homes were required to help the developers and the private sector to build the houses. One of them, Desiree Andrews, said: “I feel joy unspeakable to be here.”Husband and wife team Shamiema and Nizaam Kherekar were just as delighted. “To have helped on this build is fantastic.”The beneficiaries are drawn from various places, and are determined to build a community together: “We are building a neighbourhood. It is great to be building one our own homes. It gives a sense of ownership and achievement,” said Renee Rhode.Speaking at the end of the Mandela build week, Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela pointed out the scale of the housing needs in the country, as well as the limitations on the government. There were 6 million taxpayers in the country, of 52 million people. The housing backlog was at 2 million, but the budget only stretched to 200 000 houses – just 10% of the need, he said.The Pelican Park greenfields project is the only fully integrated housing development in Western Cape. It will be a new town, with all the facilities needed to live, work and play.SAinfo reporter and City of Cape Townlast_img read more

Google Africa sets up mentorship programmes for tech designers, entrepreneurs

first_imgGoogle Launchpad and Google Play South Africa were launched in November 2017 to boost African technology start-ups and develop a unique African design aesthetic.Google’s Africa operations partner with several tech hubs across the continent to help local start-ups thrive. (Image: Google Africa)CD AndersonThe two initiatives will be based entirely in Africa, including in South Africa, and will offer budding and experienced tech entrepreneurs and designers hands-on and direct access to the Google brain trust, which will help them develop their ideas.Google LaunchpadThe Google Developers Launchpad Africa Space was opened on 13 November in Lagos, Nigeria. It will interact directly with tech entrepreneurs in that country, as well as offer support and software tools to help build sustainable tech business ideas from the rest of Africa.The Lagos operation is the first of its kind to be established outside the United States. The programme is accepting applications for its first onsite and online courses, beginning in early 2018.Applications are open to tech start-ups with their own seed funding from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Those chosen to participate in the three-month programme will receive more than $3-million (R42m at today’s exchange rate) in equity-free support, working space, travel and public relations support, as well as access to Silicon Valley tech business experts over three years.Google’s sub-Saharan Africa regional manager, Andy Volk, said Google had been looking for ways to get more involved in African tech businesses for a number of years. With an increasingly favourable tech business climate and a surge of unique technology ideas coming out of the continent, the time was right to begin building business relationships.“Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations,” Volk told IOL News. “[Google’s small-scale engagement with African start-ups so far] has been able to tackle everything from healthcare, education and streamlining e-commerce to improving the food supply chain.”It was now time, he said, to step that up and open opportunities to more African ideas: “We are looking forward to welcoming the first cohort of innovators for Launchpad Africa and continuing to work together to drive innovation in the African market.”One example of the Google effect on African tech innovation is the South African start-up Jumo, a financial services platform aimed at emerging markets. The company was the first and so far most successful start-up to go through the Launchpad accelerator.Company founders and some staff attended an intensive two-week boot camp at Google headquarters in California in July 2017. The two weeks were aimed at building the business and developing tools that would increase its footprint in offering easy-to-use financial services on mobile platforms.The company received a $50,000 funding boost, and benefits from ongoing support and mentorship.For more information about the Google Developers Launchpad Africa Space, click here. Opening Google Play to South African designersGoogle’s online app store, Play, this month opened to South African app developers and designers, no matter how small or inexperienced.In addition to gaining a virtual marketplace for their apps, designers are able to access Play’s development and commerce tools that will help them to monetise their products and access a market of millions of global users.Apps for Play are limited to Android operating systems, but unlike competitors Apple, Google Play accepts all types of apps, with the aim of helping to develop and streamline app design for the benefit of the consumer and designer. This means that even the most novice and rudimentary app idea has access to and can get help from the global Google brain trust.Developers in South Africa can get started right away by signing in to Google’s Developer Console and setting up a Google merchant account. If existing apps are already published as free, designers can choose to monetise them by adding in-app products or subscriptions.Armed with fully developed apps and in-app products, developers can price them in any available currencies, publish, access financial and marketing data, and get pay-outs in South African rand.“There have been plenty of amazing apps built in South Africa,” Luke McKend, director of Google South Africa, told IOL News at the announcement of the programme, “[but] the process of monetising them was never as smooth as we knew it could be.“By allowing local developers to monetise their products on the Play Store, we’re underscoring how serious we are about digitally empowering South Africans.”While the programme is currently limited to South African app development, success in this first stage of the project may lead to expansion into the rest of the continent over the next few years.For more information about accessing Google Play and the Google Developer Console, click here.Source: IOL News, AFK Insider, Google AfricaWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Punjab Class XII pass percentage down

first_imgThe Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Class XII results, which were declared on Saturday, saw a dip of 14 per cent in pass percentage as compared to last year. The overall pass percentage this year stood at 62.36 as compared to 76.77 in 2016. Moreover, the merit list of students in 14 districts out of the total 22 districts in the State remained less than the double-digit figure. A total of 3.14 lakh students had appeared in the exams, out of which 36,376 students failed as against over 16,000 last year. While 62,916 and 18,822 students got compartment and re-appear respectively, the cases of 380 students were withheld by the PSEB.Girls’ pass percentage The girls’ pass percentage stood at 72.59 as against boys’ 54.42, dropping sharply from 71.12 from last year’s result. Similarly, the girls’ pass percentage also saw a drop of 7.44 as against 84.03 recorded last year. About 37 per cent of students, who appeared for the examination, either failed or got reappear or compartment. Ashima Arora, student of RS Model Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, topped the exams by scoring 98.44% marks. The second position was bagged by Prabhjot Joshi, student of BCM Senior Secondary school, Ludhiana with 98.22%. Riya, student of Tagore Centenary secondary school, Gurdaspur, with 98% secured the third position, an official said. Of the total 350 students in the merit list, the maximum — 139 — were from Ludhiana district. Many schools in 14 districts, including Muktsar, Fazilka, Mansa, Moga, Pathankot, Barnala, whose students were in the merit list, could not even cross the double digit pass percentage. The highest pass percentage of students in the State was in Gurdaspur at 76.14, followed by Amritsar district at 71.08. The lowest pass percentage was in Rup Nagar district at 53.53. Incidentally, Rup Nagar was the Assembly constituency of former Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema in the SAD-BJP government. Notably, the overall pass percentage in 2014 and 2015 stood at 81.09 and 76.24, respectively.last_img read more

Lodha panel reforms: BCCI to accept age cap, end of N Srinivasan’s innings?

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) special committee on Saturday accepted the 70 years age cap and number of selectors in the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel reforms. The seven-member committee has narrowed the reservations down to four — one state one vote, cooling off period for BCCI office bearers, cooling off for apex council and demarcation functions of professionals and official bearers. The committee will meet again in another emergent meet before the Supreme Court hearing on July 14.If all goes well, the likes of N Srinivasan, Sharad Pawar and Niranjan Shah will make their way out as all the former BCCI officials are over 70 years of age.”Earlier, there were reservations against seven points but we wanted to reduce it to three or four. The committee has decided that the four points needs more consideration of the Supreme Court. One state one vote, cooling off period for BCCI office bearers and not association, functions as set out between office bearers and professionals review, cooling off for apex council also to be reviewed,” Amitabh Choudhary said.He further said, “the committee is okay with number of selectors and 70 years age cap for an office bearer.”The seven-member committee was named to analyse the few contentious Lodha panel reforms which are being opposed by the Board’s state units is headed by senior BCCI official Rajeev Shukla. The committee also comprises of former India captain Sourav Ganguly, TC Mathew (former Kerala Cricket Association president), Naba Bhattacharjee (Meghalaya Cricket Association Secretary), Jay Shah (Gujarat Cricket Association secretary and son of BJP president Amit Shah), BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary and acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, who is also the convener of the committee.advertisementEarlier in a landmark judgment on July 18, 2016, the Supreme Court accepted major recommendations of Justice R.M. Lodha-led panel on structural reforms in the BCCI and had given six months deadline to the board implement the recommendations.On October 1, the board had accepted many of the “significant recommendations” of the Lodha Committee, but excluded the important ones which have been a bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.(With inputs from ANI)last_img read more

PM Trudeau meeting with Indigenous leaders premiers in March

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to meet with Indigenous leaders and premiers in Vancouver early next month to discuss climate change, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement posted on its website.Trudeau is scheduled to meet with Indigenous leaders representing Inuit, Metis and First Nations, in Vancouver on March 2.The prime minister is then scheduled to meet with provincial and territorial premiers the next day in the city.“Canada’s Indigenous peoples have a sacred relationship with the Earth. Their unique perspective will help guide us in developing policies that ensure our land, air and water are protected for future generations,” said Trudeau, in the statement.The PMO release stated that the planned meetings are a “follow up to the commitments made on climate change” during the Paris conference which finalized a global deal on curbing greenhouse gasses in hopes of slowing down the planet’s warming.The meetings will discuss developing a “pan-Canadian framework” to grow the economy while meeting emission reduction targets.last_img read more