The Wright View | Foreign expertise has failed us

first_imgI have long held the belief that international sport should be the best of ours against the best of yours. Modern eligibility rules have made a mockery of my hope as national teams, in a fervent desire to win-at-all-costs, select athletes to national sides who have very little knowledge of, or loyalty to, their new country. Development of any sport by a nation demands that the natives of that country who live in and play the game in the land, are given opportunities to represent their homeland and learn (and develop) the skill and nous of playing and performing at the elite level where international sport is supposed to be played. Countries, like Jamaica who select foreigners with what are really tenuous ties to their new home, may have initial success. But over time, as the desire to maximise earnings trump the joy of national representation and the excuses for not being available for games and practices become thick and fast it eventually forces the country to come to grips with the stark reality that “development begins at home”. The Jamaica Football Federation seems to have realised (for the first time, at last) that development of football begins with giving locals the opportunity of national representation. STRANGE OFFER LEARNING PHASE The new selection criteria for the senior side will see us losing some matches, but with time and patience, better must come. Similarly, with administration and coaching, once the sport has moved past the learning phase, local expertise must be given a chance. In netball, our Sunshine Girls have proven time after time that the level of skill and talent available locally is among the best in the world, yet in international competition, they remain sometimes third, most times fourth. Foreign expertise has failed us. Local expertise has been kept out of the loop by the misguided belief that a man will coach the Sunshine Girls when a woman coaches the Reggae Boyz. Thankfully, we have gone past that unfortunate philosophy, and a local coach (Ms Reynolds) recently took a team to England and defeated them in a ‘Test’ series. Inexplicably, the successful local coach promptly resigned on returning home, leaving frustrated fans to have all kinds of speculation as to why. But the good news was that local expertise that was always available proved that the job can be done. So the search for a replacement began. One successful local coach, whose upward climb had been stymied by a lack of coaching credentials, went to Australia, one of the two top netball nations in the world, and obtained a Level 3 certificate. Armed with this piece of paper and an impressive rÈsumÈ of coaching experience, she applied for the vacant post. She was one of three, (eventually reduced to two by the technical team assessing the applicants) who were interviewed for the job. One was an Englishwoman (of Jamaican parentage), who holds a Level 2 coaching certificate from the United Kingdom, who in world netball terms are “sometimes fourth, most times third”, the other, our own Connie Francis, with a Level 3 coaching certificate from Australia. “The board, after deliberating, concluded that both candidates had strengths and weaknesses and recommended that both work as co-coaches for a period of 4-6 weeks with a view to making a final decision at the send of that period.” Yes, you read right, the previous sentence is a direct quote from the board. Our own Connie, should work alongside her rival for the job, for six weeks, presumably helping her rival look good while our Sunshine Girls are preparing for international competition. When Ms Connie Francis declined this strange offer, board member and media relations officer Wayne Lewis, in a style obviously learnt from studying Kelly Ann Conway, came out swinging against the statements emanating from a very disappointed coach Francis. Connie Francis will continue to be a successful coach, somewhere, she is frankly too good to be kept away from coaching jobs that may become vacant, and Jamaican netball fans will sigh and support our new coach in the desperate hope that a top two finish in international competition will materialise. Till then, my advice to local coaches is to continue improving your craft and upgrading your resume, but more importantly … develop a foreign accent when applying for local jobs.last_img read more

PBA: San Miguel snaps losing skid, overpowers Phoenix

first_imgLATEST STORIES View comments San Miguel put a stop to its three-game skid and crushed Phoenix, 117-100, in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT The Beermen got into an intoxicated 21-7 run across the third and fourth quarters to take a 92-77 on Marcio Lassiter’s layup with 8:21 left.Things, however, got heated with 4:11 left in the game when Calvin Abueva and Kevin Murphy got tangled up in the baseline near the Phoenix bench.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThis scuffle caused a momentary delay in the game as both benches exchanged verbal jabs during the break in action and these resulted to three technical fouls called against the Fuel Masters.Technical fouls were called against Phoenix head coach Louie Alas, team manager Paolo Bugia, and big man Doug Kramer after the scuffle while Murphy was called with a flagrant penalty 1. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Anthony, NorthPort backed into a corner: ‘We can’t afford to lose one game’ ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:50Trending Articles03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. San Miguel’s 105-88 lead before the altercation proved to be enough for the Beermen as the Fuel Masters couldn’t muster enough fight to close the gap.The Beermen stayed at the eighth seed while the Fuel Masters settled for a 6-2 record at the fifth spot.“Well we’re so thankful for this win because this was a crucial one for us and I think the players proved that we can play defense because we’re often criticized that we’re not a good defensive team,” said Beermen head coach Leo Austria.“We were able to dictate the tempo of the game and I have to give credit to these players because they had a sense of urgency and we’re in a better position to get to the next round.”Christian Standhardinger once again filled in for the injured June Mar Fajardo and put up 29 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks for the Beermen.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Murphy finished with 26 points and seven rebounds while Marcio Lassiter had 26 points, six rebounds, and eight assists to support San Miguel’s offense.Eugene Phelps led Phoenix with 37 points, 26 rebounds, six assists, and four blocks.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

Native tools unearthed at nursery site

first_imgOnce the camp was uncovered, construction was diverted and the six-week excavation was done to a depth of more than 6 feet. A draft analysis determining the age of the artifacts will be done through carbon samples taken from a hearth made of manos that was found along with residue from the food-preparation tools. The report is expected to reach the Azusa City Council by mid-July. The camp, measuring 120 feet by 220 feet, is believed to have been a food-processing center, said archaeologist Sherri Gust of Santa Ana-based Cogstone Resource Management Inc., an archaeology firm hired by the city. “We found hundreds of \. Lots and lots of manos,” Gust said. Legally, the artifacts belong to the property owner, Azusa Land Partners, but under an agreement with the city, Azusa has the first right of refusal. No human or animal bones were found at the camp, Dunlop said. “Fortunately, we were there to find what we did,” Dunlop said. He’d like the artifacts to become part of a future Gabrielino Indian museum. “If the \ wishes to donate to our tribe, that would be a wonderful thing,” Dunlop said. “My concern is that the artifacts be available and accountable to whoever has control of them.” (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AZUSA – Hundreds of pieces of prehistoric artifacts found at an ancient village during the grading of a new-home development go on display Saturday. About 50 manos, or hand tools, nutcrackers and other grinding-tool relics used by the Tongva/Gabrielino Indians in the village known as Ashuukshanga will be on public view at the Azusa Public Library, 729 N. Dalton Ave. Ashuukshanga, where Azusa derived its name, was one of the larger villages where the aboriginal people lived in thatched concave enclosures and circular huts. The artifacts were unearthed in December by an archaeology firm hired by the city to monitor the grading of Rosedale, a 1,250-home neighborhood on the former Monrovia Nursery property below the Angeles National Forest. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Sam Dunlop, an archaeologist and member of one of three Los Angeles County Gabrielino tribes, was at the site below the Angeles National Forest when artifacts from the prehistoric village were uncovered again. The village was first unearthed in 1962 by the UCLA Archaeological Survey, so the area was known to be sensitive. Monitoring by Native Americans began at Rosedale once grading reached the area found by UCLA, Dunlop said. “The archaeologist and paleontologist were on-site from the beginning,” Dunlop said. Dunlop said it was necessary to have three Native-American monitors because different areas were being graded at the same time. last_img read more

Out of the shadows Canadas special forces face unique mentalhealth challenges

first_imgOTTAWA – Retired Sgt. Toby Miller can easily remember the day he was injured by an improvised-explosive device in Afghanistan. It was April 2, 2011 — his 41st birthday, and the beginning of the end of his military career.Miller returned to duty a short time later, but he knew something wasn’t right. When a comrade noticed that he wasn’t doing well and suggested he seek help, Miller decided that might be best.“I went into that meeting and it was abundantly clear to the psychologist that I was probably in no shape to still be doing the job,” Miller recalled during a recent phone interview from his home in Comox, B.C.“I was eventually diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. There are three dark spots on the left side of my brain that indicate some likely dead spots. And PTSD. I had nightmares for a long time. I still do.”Seeking help for PTSD and even leaving the military are hard enough for many service members, especially those who have never known anything else but life in the Canadian Armed Forces.But Miller faced some unique challenges. That’s because he was a member of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, or CSOR, one of the country’s elite special forces units.Canada’s special forces often operate in the shadows, meaning many of their deeds may go unnoticed and unrecognized this Remembrance Day.But when the government unveiled its plan to combat suicide and improve the mental health of military personnel and veterans last month, it included four initiatives specifically aimed at the special forces.It was a public acknowledgment that Canada’s elite soldiers have different needs than the rest of the Armed Forces.The Canadian military currently has only about 2,000 special forces personnel divided among six different units, including Joint Task Force 2, CSOR, and a unit that responds to biological, chemical and nuclear incidents.The unique demands placed on that small community include continuous training; an emphasis on secrecy, even with family and friends; frequent deployments; and zero tolerance for failure.“You’ve got this higher tempo, you’ve got this smaller team dynamic, and the sense of self-expectation is extremely high,” said retired lieutenant-general Mike Day, a former commander of Canadian special forces.“All of that combines to make it a pretty stressful environment.”The military has established an elaborate selection process to identify those who can handle the demands and stress of a career in the special forces, which includes psychological testing and other screening.There is also already training to help special forces operators, as they are known, deal with potential stressors, and ready access to psychologists and other mental-health services.But Brig.-Gen. Peter Dawe, deputy commander of Canada’s special forces, acknowledged there was room for improvement, which is why the suicide prevention strategy included plans to study and improve resiliency.“We have an obligation that before we send our people into harm’s way, that we’ve given them the tools … to process what they’re seeing, what they’re doing in that kind of a stress environment,” he said in an interview.The military also plans to take a closer look at the unique challenges that special forces members face when they leave the Forces — either by choice or because of medical conditions — to ensure there are no gaps.For Miller, those challenges included the fact that he could not speak openly about his experiences as a special forces operator, even with other military personnel and family members.“It took a very long time for my wife to get everything out of me, and she was in the military,” he said. “So when you’re trying to go to counselling with a group of soldiers, you can’t just speak your mind.”Many of Canada’s special forces soldiers have done multiple tours to Iraq over the past three years, and between that and various other lesser-known missions, they have been busier than ever.That is part of the reason the government plans to add another 600 members to the command.Dawe acknowledged his soldiers are being worked very hard, but he said commanders are monitoring their people closely. And the new initiatives included in the suicide prevention strategy should help make the special forces even stronger.“Because,” he said, “we know that ultimately, the success of this command and the success of this institution are dependent on the welfare of our troops.”last_img read more