Women’s Resource Society looking for food donations

first_imgThe Women’s Resource Society is looking for the public’s help.Spokesperson Emily Goodman says the society is looking for non-perishable items to re-fill the shelves of the food bank.[asset|aid=1474|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=6b24cd1bc70de958407cd0e4bb302b71-Goodman 1_1_Pub.mp3]- Advertisement -Now, in addition to the food bank, the Society offers programs to women in need, including a 12-unit shelter for women and children called Sky’s Place.Goodman says the society has a legal advocate, who offers services to both men and women. There is also an outreach store, where women can get free clothing and necessities.She also says the Women’s Outreach Society’s food service differs from other food banks in the area.Advertisement [asset|aid=1475|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=2d1c1a0b506faad94c043d662d7f708d-Goodman 2_1_Pub.mp3]Anyone interested in donating food can drop in at the Centre, located at 10051 – 100th Avenue.For more information on the Women’s Resource Center, visit www.FortStJohnwrs.ca. Click on the attachment below for a list of non-perishable items that the Women’s Resource Society will be accepting. Advertisementlast_img read more

22 golfers to represent Guyana in Suriname Open

first_imgAhead of the upcoming Guyana Open Golf tournament, local pros will get ideal preparation in the rivalry between Guiana Shield countries, which is slated to run on October 6-7th in Suriname. Twenty-two of Guyana’s best are set to wing out to Suriname to participate in this tournament.Guyana will be hosting its major tournament of the year on November 3-4, followed by French Guiana completing the tour on November 10-11.The Lusignan Golf Club has a proud history of sending its best players to represent Guyana; and this year is no different, as the selected 22 players will take their talents to Suriname in the hope of bringing home as many honours as possible.In the ‘A’ Division, current 8-time Guyana Open Champion Avinash Persaud will be joined by a seasoned bunch that would include Munaf Arjune, Kalyan Tiwari,Avinash PersaudAlfred Mentore and Club President Aleem Hussain.The ‘B’ Division will feature another crop of pros, namely Pur Persaud, Max Persaud, Lakeram Ramsundar (Panko), Videsh Persaud, Brian Hackett, Patrick Prasad, Jax Harry, Aasroodeen Shaw, Jerome Khan, Paton George, and John Tracey.Former Guyana Open Women’s champions Joann Deo and Shanella Webster will represent the female team.The ‘C’ Division would be represented by ANSA McAL executive Troy Cadogan, Dino Bissessar, Dr Philbert London and Eon Blue.The Suriname tournament is an invitational event, whereas the Guyana Open is the grandest of all events, as 100 players from more than 12 countries are expected to show up in attempting to wrest the title from Guyanese hands.Several major companies have already expressed support for the Guyana Open, among which are Builders Lumber Yard, Giftland OfficeMax, Banks DIH, ANSA McAL, Kissoon’s Furniture, AR Printery, DDL El Dorado, 2017 main sponsor Ganesh Parts, Assuria General, Hand-in Hand Mutual, Chetsons, Foodtown Restaurant, New Trend Auto, and Trans Guyana Airways/Baganara Resorts.It is expected that more than 65 companies would support the Guyana Open tournament, and fans would be eligible to win more than $500,000 in giveaways on tournament days.The activities kick off next weekend at the Giftland Mall, where persons will have a chance to try their hand at pulling to win free tickets and beverages courtesy of Banks DIH, or simply by shopping at any Giftland Mall store.last_img read more

Boulders penguins’ promised land

first_imgAfrican penguins are not restricted toBoulders’ breeding beach. They oftenhang out on the main swimming beachwhere they can waddle down to the seaand bob about in the calm, protectedwater, checking out the tourists.(Image: South African Tourism)MEDIA CONTACTS• Boulders Beach+27 21 786 2329• Cape Town and Western CapeInformation Centre+27 21 405 4500Jennifer SternCape Town’s Boulders Beach, part of the Table Mountain National Park, is home to a much-photographed, much-loved and much-maligned colony of African penguins. Previously called Jackass penguins because their raucous cry resembles the sound of a tortured donkey, these flightless birds have not always had a good relationship with people – and they’ve almost invariably come off second best.Ever since the first European ship sailed its tentative course around the Cape to the fabled spice islands of the east, penguins and penguin eggs have been sought-after additions to the decidedly unimaginative menu of inadequately fed seamen – and they didn’t have to work hard for their supper.Like their less fortunate cousins, the flightless dodos that were hunted to extinction on Mauritius in probably the mid-17th century, penguins were easy prey. But unlike the dodos that really were sitting ducks wondering aimlessly around the beaches nibbling on fruit, lazing in the sun, and waddling trustingly up to predatory humans, penguins can swim. And it is probably this – and the fact that they have a healthy natural distrust of all other life forms – that saved them from the fate of the dodo.While the penguin colonies were initially plundered solely for their eggs and meat by hungry sailors, it wasn’t long before European industrialists realised the immense value of guano – bird droppings. Before the age of synthetic chemical production, guano was the principle ingredient of the fertilisers essential to the expanding agricultural economies of Europe and the Americas.And don’t let the word “droppings” fool you. Penguins had been roosting on offshore islands for years and years and years, so we’re not talking about a few little blobs here and there. The accumulation of guano was enormous. On Ichaboe Island, off the coast of Namibia, it was estimated to be about 27m thick.The guano rushThat was before the guano rush – a surge of maritime fortune hunters more ruthless, tougher, and infinitely more smelly than any badlands diamond or gold prospector in 19th-century Kimberley, Johannesburg, California or the Klondike.At the peak of the rush between 1843 and 1845 there were up to 460 boats anchored off the tiny island, heaving around and dragging their anchors in the wild and exposed Atlantic Ocean. Every day about 6 000 rough, bearded men fought each other for the best digging sites, swinging shovels and picks at anything that got in their way.It would seem that penguins could quite happily do without their waste, but all that guano has a purpose – it’s where the birds make their nests. They dig deep into the soft, yielding guano to form cosy burrows sheltered from the boiling sun, and incubate their two eggs, of which only one usually survives.Penguins mate for life, so these are not temporary digs: monogamous pairs usually return to the same burrows year after year. So the destruction of the guano was the destruction of the penguins’ homes. Not to mention the simultaneous robbing of nests and wholesale slaughter of adult and juvenile birds to feed the rapacious mob of miners.The guano rush didn’t last long, but it was enough to destroy the once-perfect habitats of Ichaboe, the nearby Neglectus Islet, and almost every other island breeding site of any significance.New threatsThat was the 19th century, but for most of the 20th century African penguins faced entirely different threats. Declining fish stocks due to overfishing made it increasingly difficult for the birds to find food.Penguins are spectacularly good swimmers. Using their flippers – which in other birds would be called wings – they glide through the water easily maintaining an average speed of about 7km an hour for up to 100km in a single fishing trip. They regularly dive to depths of about 30m in search of prey, but can go to over 100m if they need to. And with a little shot of adrenaline courtesy of a hungry shark or seal, or a rapidly escaping anchovy, they can reach speeds of anything between 20km to 25km an hour.With competition from commercial fishing vessels, penguins have to work much harder for every fish. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the 20th century had something far more deadly to throw at the beleaguered little birds – oil.Passing tankers and other ships that succumb to the notoriously stormy oceans off southern Africa leak thousands of tons of oil into the oceans, onto beaches and on offshore islands. Once a penguin has swum through that oil its feathers lose their natural insulation and waterproof coating, and the bird can’t swim. And if it can’t swim it can’t fish, so it stands around on the shore, shivering with cold, and starves.Luckily, most people find penguins utterly engaging so, when they are threatened, as happened in 2000 with the sinking of the MV Treasure off Melkbosstrand, there is help at hand. On that occasion, thousands of Capetonians of all walks of life volunteered anything from a couple to a couple of hours to a couple of days a week for 10 weeks to care for injured, oiled and sick penguins. In all, over the 10-week period volunteers worked 45 000 shifts, most of which were cold, strenuous, wet and uncomfortable.The Boulders settlersEven more heartening that the penguins themselves are taking steps to ensure their survival – holding their future firmly in their own two flippers. In 1983, an adventurous breeding pair found a really nice little beach, called Boulders, near the coastal suburb of Simons Town in Cape Town, and set up home. The word seemed to have spread, and over the next few years more and more penguin couples came to nest on or near Boulders Beach.There was no thick layer of guano in which to burrow, but there were convenient bushes under which to scrape out shelters they eventually turned into cosy nests. Some penguins found fantastic nesting sites in suburban gardens – with varying degrees of welcome. Some residents were delighted to have these lovely birds on their properties, while others found their incessant braying and, of course, laying down of a good guano base not conducive to a happy home and immaculate garden.That may seem picky, but those first few pairs of penguins have now grown into the thousands, and can do a lot of damage to a nice garden – and set up quite a noise and quite a smell. As the conflict between homeowners and avian residents hotted up, the local human community broke into two distinctly opposite camps – pro-penguin and anti-penguin.The impasse was settled when South African National Parks stepped in and incorporated Boulders into the Table Mountain National Park. The penguins now have their own breeding beach, the residents have fences to protect their gardens, and tourists have a visitor’s centre, comfortable viewing platforms and boardwalks.The penguins are not restricted to the breeding beach. They often hang out on the main swimming beach where they can waddle down to the sea and bob about in the calm, protected water, checking out the tourists. They wander through the car park, they’ve colonised nearby rocky coves, and they delight passing kayakers and other boaters as they swim out to sea in small groups, their tidy black and white bodies undulating through the water with graceful ease.A visit to the Boulders Beach penguins is an obligatory stop on any tour of Cape Town, and fits in well with a visit to Cape Point.last_img read more

Unique program spotlights the evolving role of women in agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Just as rural communities are the backbone of America, farm moms play a vital and integral role on the farm, with their families, in their communities and across the entire agriculture industry. To honor the significant contributions these women make in their communities and beyond, the America’s Farmers Mom of the Year Contest program, sponsored by Monsanto, will help some of the most outstanding farm moms make an even bigger difference in their communities.In 2017, the program will focus even more on the communities in which these women live and work by providing financial support to nonprofit organizations these moms are passionate about.“Looking at our previous Farm Mom of the Year winners, one commonality stood out – their dedication to their communities,” said Tracy Mueller, Monsanto marketing communications manager. “This year we’ve enhanced the program to further highlight farm moms’ efforts in their local communities and provide financial support to nonprofit organizations they care about.”March 1 through March 31, an eligible person can nominate an eligible exceptional farm mom for the chance to be named America’s Farmers Mom of the Year. A panel of judges from American Agri-Womenwill judge the nominations based on published criteria and Monsanto will select five regional winners based on the judges’ decisions. Each of the regional winners will receive $2,000 to direct to an eligible nonprofit organization of her choice, as well as $3,000 for her personal use. Among the five regional winners, one woman will be named America’s Farmers Mom of the Year based on public voting and receive an additional $2,000 to direct to an eligible nonprofit she cares about in her community.To nominate your favorite farm mom, an eligible person can visit AmericasFarmers.com and complete an online entry or print a form for mailing by March 31, 2017. Nominations are limited to 300 words and should include details about the nominee’s contributions to her farm, family, community and the agricultural industry. For the Official Contest Rules, including a complete list of program rules and eligibility information, please visit AmericasFarmers.com/community-outreach/farm-mom-program-rules/. More information on the America’s Farmers Farm Mom of the Year program can also be found at facebook.com/AmericasFarmers. “It’s so humbling to read about all of the amazing farm moms who give so much of themselves and ask for nothing in return,” said Doris Mold, American Agri-Women President “It’s their selflessness that makes our job to judge the nominations extremely difficult, but also so rewarding.”last_img read more

An In-Depth Look at 2017’s Best Director Oscar Nominees

first_imgWho are you rooting for? Which of these directors deserves the Oscar? Share your thoughts in the comments below. This year’s nominees for Best Director brought their A-game and then some with the most visually arresting, engaging films in recent memory.Top image via Paramount Pictures.2017’s Oscar nominees for Best Director come from wildly different backgrounds, and they tell stories in completely different ways. Experts in their field, these artists have truly demonstrated what it means to have a vision. Each of this year’s nominated films overcame many different challenges on their way to the box office. Let’s take a look at their creators.Denis Villeneuve — ArrivalImages via Paramount Pictures.Some would say Quebec native Denis Villeneuve is long overdue for a Best Director nomination. Last year’s Sicario garnered worldwide acclaim — as did its predecessor, Prisoners. Villeneuve’s work ethic is admirable, to say the least. However, his recent successes span only a small portion of his career.Cosmos, Villeneuve’s first dip into feature territory, is an anthology film featuring five other directors, shot entirely in black and white, that landed a spot at the Cannes Film Festival in the Directors Fortnight category. It’s available in its entirety at YouTube here (check it out while you can).His first full-length feature, August 32nd on Earth, premiered at Cannes in 1998, then eventually came to the U.K., France, and Germany. Villeneuve’s directing career took off after the success of his second feature-length film, Maelstrom, in 2000. Villeneuve grabbed everyone’s attention when his film Incendies earned a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, and he quickly became a director to watch.Until very recently, Villeneuve has had to work with relatively small budgets, even on large film projects. Yet, each film comes off in the end like an epic. He’s spoken in interviews about dealing with a small budget and the importance of preparation (with one of his usual DPs Roger Deakins), as well as knowing everything you want to get out of each shot before you begin production. This precision and cutthroat editing attitude has produced some truly stellar films.“When we work, every shot we are making, its important for Roger [Deakins] to understand if it is important in the movie and if it will stay in the movie … thats why when we are trying to shoot in a very economic way, each shot has its own importance and is crucial. Editing is a cruel process. Sometimes the shot doesn’t make it in the end.”Villeneuve recently spoke with DP/30 about his Oscar-nominated film Arrival and the magic of working with cinematographer Bradford Young. The two are a perfect match, and they created mysterious, hopeful, and engaging environments that are breaking new ground for Villeneuve both commercially and critically.Villeneuve has recently signed on to direct the latest adaptation of Dune. Given his recent foray into sci-fi, this is certainly not a surprise. For now, we’ll simply have to be content watching the Blade Runner 2049 trailer for the twentieth time. Villeneuve’s films are tense, heavy, and masterfully crafted, and they have successfully established him as the next great auteur.Mel Gibson — Hacksaw RidgeImages via Lionsgate.As far as Hollywood superstars go, Gibson topped the list for the majority of the early ’80s and ’90s in classic franchises like Mad Max and Lethal Weapon. Gibson has stated that working with directors like George Miller and Peter Weir were major influences on the type of director he would eventually become.His first at-bat, The Man Without a Face, demonstrated his ability to direct and act at the same time. His next project, Braveheart, launched him into the box office stratosphere and earned him Oscar glory. It was almost a decade after Braveheart before Gibson’s controversial return with 2004’s Passion of the Christ. When asked about taking the reins and assuming responsibility for dozens — if not hundreds — of people on set, Gibson had the following to say:When you step into that arena, you find pretty quickly that your daily task is to solve about a million problems a day — or maybe only 50-60 problems a day, it seems to be. You have to be very judicious in your choices, and you have to make choices, and you have to make them fast. You have to solve a lot of problems, like how do we get around this one, because they present themselves in battalions. As an artist, you’re supposed to shove the boundaries. You’re supposed to do stuff that’s out there, to do stuff that makes people uncomfortable. That’s your job.In a recent hour-long interview with DP/30, Gibson discussed the struggles of his latest effort, Hacksaw Ridge, an epic war movie that had a $30 million budget and a limited production window. They had to shoot all three battle sequences in nineteen days, so Gibson personally bought a couple Blackmagic Pocket cinema cameras.I said to the financiers, ‘We need a few more days!’ but they said ‘Nope. You have to make things work.’ It really puts you on your mettle to say, ‘I need to get the best bang for my buck. How do I do it?’ Even to the point where I went and bought two cameras, like little $1,500 Blackmagic digital cameras, and we were shoving them under rocks and up people’s shirts. There’s a lot of those shots in there because there’s stuff going off, and the cameras have been placed in interesting places, near explosives with guys flying over the top. It’s interesting what you come up with.Gibson embraces the unknown and accepts the challenges of limited resources. He demonstrates that even A-list Hollywood status can’t always guarantee good funding. Gibson claims to have multiple projects in the works, but only time will tell if these get off the ground anytime soon.Barry Jenkins — MoonlightImages via A24.Starting out in film school at Florida State University, Jenkins worked on short films and commercials. His debut feature in 2008, Medicine for Melancholy, had only a five-person crew, a fifteen-day shoot, and a $15,000 budget. Jenkins reflects on that project fondly, as the (relatively) low stakes afforded him the luxury of a production with little pressure.After the attention Medicine for Melancholy garnered, Jenkins became the announcer for film screenings at the Telluride Film Festival. Jenkins had attended the festival for years through a student program that allowed young filmmakers to attend Q&As with some of the industry’s biggest directors. Jenkins praises this opportunity to learn from long-admired directors like David Cronenberg and Lynne Ramsay.While introducing 12 Years a Slave in 2013, Jenkins met with distribution and production company Plan B, which would later go on to back Moonlight. Jenkins is a quintessential example of improving one’s craft by seizing every available opportunity and establishing good relationships in the film community.Recently Jenkins sat down for Apple’s Meet the Filmmaker series for a conversation about the making of Moonlight, working in the industry, and where the future will lead. When asked about the dynamic between himself, his DP, and the actors, Jenkins praised the openness and improvisation he experienced on the set:I trust the people around me, and they know every now and then I’m going to spring some sh*t on them, and they know they gotta be ready to jump with that spring. Its not an adaptation; its a collaboration, I think. I’m not beholden to what I have in my head because its usually going to be much better to get this thing out of these people in front of me.On top of the many accolades and praise that Moonlight has garnered in the past few months, one of the standout features of the film is its look and feel. Jenkins decided to shoot with the ARRI ALEXA XT Plus with his DP James Laxton:Tarell and I wanted to make this movie very lush. Our memories of our childhood are this very beautiful place. My first film, Medicine for Melancholy, it traffics in the absence of color or sort of the removal of color. Whereas I love when I watch that scene — the trees behind Mahershala are just popping, but that’s Miami you know. The colors just pop. The chlorophyll is very present.Jenkins had options to shoot the film in New Orleans or Atlanta, where he could expect favorable tax incentives, but Miami was always the only option for him. A filmmaker who recognizes the importance of time and place to this degree will always make wise decisions when it comes to choosing projects. His work speaks for itself, and I personally can’t wait to see which film he chooses to work on next.Damien Chazelle — La La LandImages via Lionsgate.Damien Chazelle is everywhere. As I write this, he just won the Directors Guild of America award and is the current front runner for the upcoming Oscars. Chazelle has been in producers’ sights since his breakout feature about two jazz musicians, Guy and Madeleine on an Park Bench, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009. Chazelle filmed the majority of the project while he was at Harvard University with a borrowed 16mm film camera on an off-and-on shooting schedule for a couple of years. Chazelle stuck with these musical themes for his next passion project, Whiplash.Starting out as a short film (primarily shot to impress investors), the feature would premiere at Sundance, where it won the Grand Jury Dramatic Competition Award. It went on to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, and Best Sound Mixing — as well as earning a Best Picture nomination. Chazelle sat down with DP/30 after Whiplash premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, and he discussed funding, writing from your experiences, and overcoming fear.After the wild success of Whiplash, Chazelle’s “passion project” La La Land went into production during the late summer of 2015. The film is unique in today’s cinematic world, given the nostalgic yet original aspects that set it apart from other musicals. Working with DP Linus Sandgren, Chazelle decided to shoot with a Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 on a 2.55:1 aspect ratio — just like 1954’s A Star Is Born.The film is a wonderful combination of comedy and drama that sustains a feeling of inspiration, which is exactly what Chazelle wanted. While discussing the necessity of maintaining a consistent tone throughout the musical, Chazelle noted the following:It’s harder to find the tone. Within any given week of shooting, we’d be doing Ryan and Emma sitting at a table fighting, and the next day they’re literally doing their hilltop duet dance, and they have to be the same people; it has to be the same movie, so they and I and everyone else in the cast and crew were always talking about [how] it has to be the same movie no matter what part of the movie we’re shooting — the camera has to move the same way, it has to respond to the actors the same way, the sense of color has to be the same. It couldn’t be a movie that was just sort of veering between two completely opposite pulls that never really coexisted.Musical themes aren’t the only motifs in Chazelle’s work, and his range has only broadened with La La Land. Though nothing has been announced, his next project will surely have critics and audiences lined up to see what he will accomplish next.Kenneth Lonergan — Manchester by the SeaImages via Amazon Studios.The voice behind many of your favorite movies has established himself as one of the next great directors with Manchester by the Sea. Starting out with screenplay credits on films like Gangs of New York, Analyze This, and You Can Count On Me (which he also directed), Lonergan developed his unique voice but had yet to stand out as a director. Primarily considered a screenwriter and a playwright, Lonergan holds that screenplays are meant to be filmed, meaning that, as standalone pieces of work, they are genuinely uninteresting. You Can Count On Me, which gained Lonergan a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination, gave him the opportunity to hone his skills behind the camera before his sophomore feature Margaret in 2011.In Lonergan’s dense screenplays, dialogue is everything, and he’s said multiple times in press junkets how important it is to give each character (no matter how small) their own voice. Bringing those performances to life was tricky:The idea is not to follow the script as though it’s a piece of literature, but to embody it and to feel [the actors’] way through it. But occasionally, you have to respect the pauses because they’re as meaningful as — you know — we don’t just express ourselves with words. We express ourselves with silences and with difficulty in finding words. And so there’s only one way to write that down.Making his rounds promoting Manchester by the Sea, Lonergan stopped by The Film Society of Lincoln Center to discuss the pains, processes, and procedures of directing his latest masterpiece.Lonergan isn’t your typical director. He’s soft-spoken, unsure of the future, and brutally honest. His films are tough, intimate character studies that pack an emotional punch and will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come. Though still relatively new to directing, Lonergan’s work comes across like he’s been doing this his entire life.For more on this year’s Oscar nominees, check out PremiumBeat’s recent coverage of cameras and editing:Insight From 2017’s Film Editing Oscar NomineesThe Cameras and Lenses Behind 2017 Oscar-Nominated Filmslast_img read more

Ind vs WI: Chanderpaul frustrates India with a defiant century

first_imgShivnarine Chanderpaul struck a defiant century to frustrate India’s victory march as West Indies reached 294 for eight at lunch on the fifth day of the third and final cricket Test here on Sunday.The veteran left-hander was batting on 105 at lunch, his 23rd Test century and sixth against India, and kept glued to one end as West Indies stretched their overall lead to 151 runs at the break.India, who have already taken an unbeatable 1-0 lead in the three-match series, will have to remove the two batsmen quickly at the post-lunch session if they are to win 2-0 for the first time in the West Indies.Chanderpaul reached his century by flicking Ishant Sharma for two and his milestone arrived in 356 minutes off 255 balls, inclusive of five fours.The Guyanese batsman frustrated the Indians with his 38-run ninth wicket stand with Fidel Edwards (16 batting) as the pair batted for nearly two hours and 22 overs together.West Indies, resuming at 224 for six, lost the wickets of overnight batsman Darren Sammy (17) and Ravi Rampaul (1) and both the dismissals generated heat among a seizable crowd at Windsor Park, the newest Test venue of the Caribbean.Sammy was given out caught at forward short leg off Harbhajan Singh when the ball had clearly gone off the pads.The West Indian skipper had looked good to play his first substantial innings of the series and put on 33 runs with Chanderpaul when umpire Richard Kettleborough intervened.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Major Raj Manchanda wins 28th National Squash Championships for fifth consecutive time

first_imgManchanda: Strikingly relaxedMajor Raj Manchanda is to Indian squash what Bjorn Borg is to international tennis: a machine. Last fortnight he won the 28th National Squash Championships for the fifth consecutive time. Before that he had won the Services championships in Dehra Dun for the ninth time, a record. He,Manchanda: Strikingly relaxedMajor Raj Manchanda is to Indian squash what Bjorn Borg is to international tennis: a machine. Last fortnight he won the 28th National Squash Championships for the fifth consecutive time. Before that he had won the Services championships in Dehra Dun for the ninth time, a record. He also won the Rajasthan and the Delhi state championships this year.The most surprising part of Manchanda’s triumphs is that he’s no spring chicken but 37 years old, which in squash terms is aged; and he’s beating opponents over a decade younger than him. In the recent nationals he beat 22-year-old Ananth Nayak convincingly in three straight sets (9-5, 9-2. 9-1). From the spectators’ gallery his game looks deceptively simple and easy with looping parallel shots but for those who get into lue court with him it is one of high precision and matchless timing. He kept his young opponent dancing round the court forcing him to make mistakes.Relaxed Player: His manner on court is cool and relaxed to the point of belying the flashes of speed he is capable of. For a game in which fitness is everything, the soft-spoken self-effacing champion lacks the ultra athletic look – obviously, what he lacks in fitness he makes up in technique. However, he still runs four to five miles interspersed with 400-metre sprints a day for building up speed. Says Manchanda: “Both technique and stamina are very important but knowing the opponent is most important.”In India squash champions tend to reign for several years at a stretch. Before Manchanda, Anil Nayar was champion for six successive years; before Nayar, K S. Jain was champion for six years, and R.K. Narpat Singh was champion for 10 years from 1946 to 1955. Says Manchanda about the tenacious hold of squash champions: “Upsets in squash are not easy to come by. If you are in good form and even have a little edge over your opponent, the little gap helps.”Unfortunately, India ranks very poorly in international squash. The main reason for this seems to be that in India the game is part-time for amateurs as compared to Pakistan. There seems little hope for India to make any dent on the international squash map unless promising players are given a chance to devote all their time to the game.Strong Rivals: The next season may see a new champion as Manchanda says he’s played his last season: hot favourites for the titles are Nayak from Maharashtra and Lt Narjit Singh of the Services. In fact, the old warhorse seems to be losing his grip on the game. Nayak won the Western India trophy by defeating Manchanda 5-9, 3-9, 9-2, 9-5. 9-4, and earlier had defeated the national champion in the finals of the Maharashtra Squash tournament. Manchanda also lost to Narjit Singh in an invitation tournament in early January which featured the 16 best squash players in India.Manchanda’s rivals, however, take his declaration of retirement with a pinch of salt. saying that “he says that every year”. Perhaps they are right: champion squash players, like old soldiers, don’t retire, they just fade away.advertisementlast_img read more

ADHM organisers hoping for favourable verdict from HC

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) Unfazed by the notice issued by the Delhi High Court on a petition seeking to postpone the Delhi Half Marathon on November 19, the organisers today said they would present their case with “full facts” and hoped the HC would give a verdict in their favour.The HC issued the notice by taking cognisance of a letter written by Indian Medical Association to Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal, seeking postponement of the marathon as the air quality in the national capital was poor and unsafe.A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notice to the Delhi government, police, the pollution control panel DPCC and the organisers of the event and sought their reply by November 16, the next date of hearing.Head of Procam International, the event organisers, said they were going ahead with the preparations in full swing with the hope that they would be able to convince the court.”We have not received the notice yet, but well present our case with the points and full facts that we have and what we are trying to do. We hope to convince the court the sensitivity that we have and the amount of preparation that has gone into holding this event,” Vivek Singh, Joint Managing Director of Procam International told PTI.”This is a participatory sport and not a spectator sport. For the last four months we have been preparing for this event and we have made a lot of sacrifices. An athlete would know how much he or she has put into to prepare for this particular race day. To me it is not practical (to postpone),” he added.advertisementThe organisers are also wary that a postponement may result in top stars like world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui and womens 10,000m Rio Olympics winner Almaz Ayana skipping the event, which has recently been granted the status of a Gold Label Race by the International Athletics Federation.They said a postponement may disrupt the whole preparation, including raising of funds for charity. This year, Rs 5 crore has so far been raised to be used for philanthropic purposes.”30,000 people have been training for this race. They have stopped intensive training two weeks back, their training has tapered now in preparation of the race. I dont know what will happen to them if the race is postpone or cancelled,” Singh said.”As of now everything is going on full swing. All the international and Indian elite athletes are coming, the event ambassador is coming. There has not been any change from what we have planned. This commitment from the athletes give us the strength to move ahead,” he said.Singh has earlier expressed hope that the air quality would improve before the race day. He had said that the issue of poor air quality was there last year also. He said salt mixed with effluent treated water will wash the course to absorb the particulate matters.Meanwhile, the organisers said the race has till date raised over Rs. 5 crore, thanks to the efforts of the NGOs and support from the philanthropy partners — India Cares Foundation. Currently, 90 teams fielded by 62 corporate entities have registered to run comprising of more than 2500 employees from these companies. 54 Care Champions are raising an average of Rs 2.50 lakh each.Over 300 individuals, children as young as nine year olds and retirees, too, are raising funds for the participating CSOs working in all causes, the organisers said. “India Cares, the events Philanthropy Partner, engaged 24/7 with CSOs, companies, and individuals from as early as July and will continue working weeks after Race Day, to communicate the work and impact of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to the rest of the Society,” the organisers said in a release. “In 2016, over 8817 donors, 71 companies contributed the generous amount of Rs 6.67 Crore via the 90+ Civil Society Organisations (CSOs/ NGOs). It has had direct impact on the quality of 49,943 lives during the year, while the work of the CSOs also touched 35,260 people indirectly, through camps and outreach programmes, besides the families of these 85,000+ individuals.” PTI PDS AH AHlast_img read more

Aamir urged me to do Nagraj Manjule’s ‘Jhund’: Bachchan

first_imgMumbai, Sep 27 (PTI) Amitabh Bachchan Thursday said his “Thugs of Hindostan” co-star Aamir Khan asked him to take up Nagraj Manjule’s next “Jhund”.Bachchan will play the role of a professor who builds a soccer team with street kids in “Jhund”, which is the “Sairat” helmer’s first Hindi directorial.”I remember, when I discussed that with Aamir, he told me I must do this film. And you know what happens when Aamir endorses something… So I am doing that,” Bachchan told reporters.”We will start working on the film from November. It is a real life story. It is about underprivileged children and those staying in slums, a sporting team is made with these bunch of actors,” he added.The actor was speaking at the trailer launch of “Thugs of Hindostan”.”Thugs of Hindostan” brings together two powerhouse performers – Bachchan and Khan on screen for the first time.The duo were earlier supposed to star in “Rishta” years ago, but the project never took off.Aamir said, “We had a film together that Indra Kumar was going to make called ‘Rishta’, it was announced very long back. But due to several reasons it could not be made.”Since then I was waiting to get an opportunity to work with him in a film. I am glad it happened now. I don’t have the guts to say ‘no’ to a film with Amit ji.”Bachchan also heaped praises on the “Dangal” star, calling him “a brilliant actor and a marketing genius”.advertisementHe also suggested Khan to direct him in a film.Also featuring Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh, “Thugs” releases November 8. PTI KKP RDSRDSlast_img read more