Marc Crothall CEO – Scottish Tourism Alliance Prof Susan Deacon – Assistant Principal External Relations, University of Edinburgh and Chair, IoD Scotland Jayne-Anne Gadhia – Chief Executive, Virgin Money Jo Macsween – Vistage Group Chair and ex MD Macsween of Edinburgh Prof. Graeme Roy – Director, Fraser of Allander, University of Strathclyde Louise Smith – HMT Fintech envoy Scotland and Head of Design, Personal and Business Banking RBS Douglas Smith – Chairman – Scotland, CBRE Neil Sims – VP, Expro – North Sea Chris Van der Kuyl – Chairman, 4J Studios Ellis Watson – Executive Chairman DC Thomson Media Will Whitehorn – Chair, Scottish Exhibition Centre and Clyde Space Brian Wilson – Chair, Harris Tweed Hebrides The Scottish Business Taskforce of economic and business leaders came together today, Friday 27 April, to discuss ways to support some of Scotland’s most important sectors.The taskforce, announced by Scottish Secretary David Mundell last year, aims to exert a positive influence on the development of UK Government policy and in turn, advance Scotland’s interests.Today the panel, chaired by former UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop, met in Edinburgh and discussed ways to unlock the provision of long term finance to grow innovative firms. The participants provided expert insight on how the British Business Bank might work in Scotland to maximise its economic impact.Also on the agenda was a discussion of priorities for the UK Government’s export strategy and opportunities for women in leadership positions, including a proposal to establish a National Women’s Business Centre of Excellence in Scotland.Taskforce chairman, Andrew Dunlop, said: “We know that Scotland’s economic performance lags behind the rest of UK, and we need to close that gap. These meetings are crucial for gathering expert advice and guidance as to how best to improve Scottish productivity, performance and promote strong economic growth.“As we prepare the leave the EU, the conversations on helping innovative firms grow, boosting trade and promoting women in leadership positions are timely and valuable. The UK Government is working hard to release Scotland’s full potential through the ambitious Industrial Strategy and the insight of the taskforce will help to ensure policymakers deliver for Scottish businesses.”The next meeting of the taskforce will take place in July 2018.The taskforce comprises:
5 Oct 2016 BB&O and Lancashire to go head to head in title decider The battle of the champions will unfold tomorrow as BB&O and Lancashire go head-to-head in the title-deciding match at the English Senior Men’s County Finals.BB&O (Berks, Bucks & Oxon) are the defending champions, while Lancashire were the 2014 winners – and they’re practically neck and neck so far in this year’s championship finale at Chipping Sodbury Golf Club in Gloucestershire.After the first two days of the round robin tournament they each have two wins apiece, with BB&O beating Worcestershire 7-2 today, while Lancashire defeated Devon 5.5-3.5.Lancashire hold a slender advantage, having won 14 games to BB&O’s 13 and that detail will come into the reckoning if they tie tomorrow. But both will be targeting an outright win.“We are delighted to beat Worcestershire and set up a shoot-out with Lancashire,” said BB&O captain Ashley Brewer. “We are looking forward to having the opportunity to defend our title at the last hurdle.”Lancashire manager Mike Gray commented: “Devon are very worthy opponents, they gave BB&O a tough game and they gave us a tough game. I am very glad we came through.” Looking ahead to tomorrow, he added: “It will be a good tussle, bring it on!”Today’s golf was played in a strong and swirling breeze which made club selection and putting difficult. Tomorrow, the wind is again predicted to be a factor.However the conditions clearly had little impact on BB&O’s Andrew Stracey. After teaming up with David Niven to contribute to the team’s 3-0 scoreline in the morning foursomes, the former England international sped off to win his singles by 8/7.The team’s win was sealed by Scottish international Malcolm Reid who made a good start with a couple of early birdies and signed off 4/3. “It was really difficult to judge the wind and we got it wrong a number of times, but I probably just chipped and putted a bit better,” he said.He was followed by Tim Whittaker, who also won 4/3, and Adrian Donkersley, who won the last two holes to finish 2up.Afterwards Brewer noted, with a smile, that his game plan for the day meant: “I had the nerve to drop a Scottish international (Reid) this morning and an England international and county champion of champions (Niven) this afternoon! We are a team of eight.”The match between Lancashire and Devon was a close fight, although the northerners always held the edge. They led 2-1 after the foursomes, but at the halfway stage of the singles, were leading in two, down in one and all square in three.The game between Lancashire’s international Ian Crowther and Tim Aggett of Devon was among those which reached the turn all square. But Crowther edged ahead on the 13th and put the first singles point on the board when he birdied the 16th to win 3/2. “The wind was such a big factor,” he said. “It was swirling and circling around and it threw both of us, but I had a couple of good holes and a birdie to finish.”Behind him Trevor Foster was fighting to hold on to his lead. The Lancashire player was four up after 10 but, as he struggled to hole the telling putts, his opponent pulled him back to just one up after 15. Foster missed a five-footer on 17 which would have given him the win, but he slotted a 6ft putt for his point on the last – then headed straight for the practice green, vowing to return tomorrow with a different putter.Andrew Westwell (image © Leaderboard Photography) provided Lancashire’s third and crucial singles point with his 4/3 win. He won four holes in a row from the ninth and, after a bogey on the first, played the next 13 holes in two-under.Westwell, who has been having lessons with England coach Graham Walker, said: “This is the best I’ve played for a while, I didn’t make any mistakes and gave myself lots of birdie chances. I was really pleased in this wind.”Lancashire’s score was completed by the half of Alan Gillespie who was relieved when his charging putt on the 18th hit the hole and died inches away from the cup.Click here for full scores
In this April 29, 2014 file photo, Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez sits in the dugout after pitching eight innings against the Atlanta Braves, in Miami. (AP Photo/File)All of baseball is focused on a most precious 2 1/8 inches — the average length of the ulnar collateral ligament.This year, more than a dozen major league pitchers already have undergone Tommy John surgery — which involves replacing the elbow ligament with a tendon harvested from elsewhere (often the non-pitching elbow or forearm) in the patient’s body. All-Stars Patrick Corbin, Josh Johnson and Matt Moore have had the surgery, and NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez was scheduled to have his operation Friday.“It’s a problem. There’s no question about it,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said. “I’m almost afraid to pick up the paper every day because there’s some bad news.”The surgery forces a player to miss at least a full season, but many power pitchers — including Chris Carpenter (2007), Stephen Strasburg (2010) and Adam Wainwright (2011) — threw as hard with their repaired elbows as they did before. Matt Harvey is still recovering from surgery last year.The league hopes it can find ways to protect these million dollar elbows before surgery is required.Dr. James Andrews, one of the world’s top orthopedic physicians, will be meeting with a research committee Monday at Major League Baseball’s headquarters.“We’re going to put together a research project to help figure this out. We don’t know quite what to say at this point,” he said. “But, yeah, it’s got everybody’s attention.”A 2013 survey showed 25 percent of big league pitchers and 15 percent of minor leaguer pitchers had undergone the procedure.“This does not include the guys who didn’t make it back. These are the success stories,” said Glenn Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute, who conducted the survey with Stan Conte of the Dodgers.With the advent of high-tech scans such as MRIs, doctors usually can pinpoint exactly what’s wrong. And with pro pitchers under the watch of radar guns whenever they throw, the slightest drop in velocity triggers scrutiny.But for more than a century, pitchers came up with “sore arms” and “dead arms,” trying to pitch through pain.“Back then, you could be on your deathbed and you never told anybody because if you said, ‘God, my arm hurts,’ there were 15 guys waiting to take your place,” Tommy John said. “So I kept my mouth shut and just kept pitching, kept pitching, kept pitching.”UCL reconstruction has increased 10-fold in the first decade of the 21st century, Andrews and Dr. Jeremy Bruce wrote in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, citing a paper by J.R. Dugas. Experts think young pitchers throw far more often now than they did a decade or two ago.“Baseball, once considered a seasonal sport, has become a year-round event in some regions of the United States, with increased team travel play and sponsored tournaments,” Andrews and Bruce wrote.An ASMI study published in 2011 examined 481 pitchers ages 9-14, and then checked with them 10 years later. Those who threw more than 100 innings in a year were 3.5 times more likely to need elbow or shoulder surgery or were forced to stop playing baseball.New York Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek says he’s performing the procedure more often among teenagers, who are not as strong as professionals and are trying to impress with high velocities.“When you’re throwing year-round, you don’t have much time for all this fitness stuff,” Altchek said. “So you’re fitness gets sacrificed, Your arm is overloaded. That’s a recipe for disaster.”The USA Baseball Medical/Safety Advisory Committee recommends limits of 50 pitches per game and 2,000 pitches per year for 9- and 10-year-olds, and 75 pitches per game and 3,000 per year from 11-14. The limit rises to 90 at ages 15-16 and 105 for ages 17-18, with no more than two games a week.Looking back, Harvey said he ramped up his arm for events as a teenager.“At 16 how much strengthening or throwing are you really doing in between those tournaments before you have to go blow it out again?” he said.Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s medical director, said the sport has been collecting data on injuries and lengths of layoffs in both the major and minor leagues since 2010. However, innings and pitch counts as amateurs aren’t tracked. Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, MLB’s director of research, is heading the probe.“We’re looking at it in terms of the demographics: Can we predict who is going to get this injury? Is there something in their training? Is there something in their biomechanics?” Green said.Fleisig concluded “how much you pitch and how hard you throw are the dominant factors.”After Dr. Frank Jobe’s pioneering operation on John in 1974, there were no more than four similar operations annually until a spike to 12 in 1996, according to research by Jon Roegele, who writes for the Hardball Times and Beyond the Box Score. The figure rose to 43 by 2003 and 69 in 2012 before dropping to 49 last year.Tom House, the former big league pitcher and pitching coach, has advocated strengthening muscles in the kinetic chain involved in throwing. John thinks the opposite approach should be taken.“These guys today, they spend more time in the weight room than they do on the mound. Strengths and weights are fine, but if that was everything, then Arnold Schwarzenegger would be a 20-game winner,” John said. “They just get so big and strong that there’s very little elasticity in their arms.”___AP Sports Writers Mike Fitzpatrick, Jon Krawczynski and Paul Newberry contributed to this report.