The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) and the World Shipping Council (WSC) have welcomed the adoption of a General Approach on the proposal for a European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe) by Transport Ministers.“With the adoption of this General Approach, the Member States agreed to facilitate, simplify and harmonise the reporting to be done and take a step towards a real internal market for shipping,” Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General, commented.European co-legislators have been working intensively to reduce the administrative burden shipping faces. This burden stems from today’s unharmonized and inefficient reporting obligations and mechanisms within the EU.“The shipping industry is looking to the EU Institutions to deliver a European Maritime Single Window environment that remedies the deficiencies and costs that arose from the original Directive and its lack of a common blueprint for implementation by Member States. Because of those experiences it is even more important to make sure the agreed legal framework provides what’s needed to bring about real and tangible benefits to Europe’s maritime commerce,” John Butler, CEO and President of the World Shipping Council said.ECSA and WSC said they are pleased to see in the Council’s text a clear commitment to establish a harmonized data set, which is essential to reach real trade facilitation. The Council has agreed that the data elements must be kept to only the essential reporting information that is required and that additional temporary requirements are only added in exceptional and duly justified circumstances.“This is a very necessary addition, as we must be sure that once the spring cleaning of the reporting obligations is completed, this will not be undone the next day by allowing authorities to request without restrictions, any additional information in parallel to the EMSWe harmonised data set,” Dorsman added.As informed, the European Parliament Transport Committee is also making important improvements to the proposal. Both the draft report of MEP Ms Clune, the rapporteur, as well as several of the amendments tabled by her fellow MEPs are in line with requests from the industry to simplify and harmonize, not only the data, but also the reporting mechanism.“On this last element, the ‘how’ to report the data or the so-called ‘reporting interfaces’, we stress the need to make sure these interfaces are truly harmonised and common, both for system-to-system reporting and manual reporting using websites. We very much welcome amendments from MEPs that look at providing a single access point at EU level and harmonisation of the manual reporting tools (the Graphical User Interface). We stress this would not replace existing well-functioning reporting mechanisms, provided by some port community systems and national single windows,” Dorsman noted.“However, we should not forget these do not exist in all ports and Member States. We cannot miss this unique opportunity to bring all EU ports to an advanced level by providing a common baseline standard, to the benefit of trade in general and short sea shipping in particular,” he further said.
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
A very interesting debate is taking place on the Liberian football landscape – one that could determine whether the face of Liberia changes or remains the same.Liberian Football Association (LFA) Chair Musa Bility has decided that youths who are not actively enrolled in institutions of learning will not be allowed to take part in the annual county meet.Mr. George Weah, an internationally acclaimed Liberian soccer legend, has disagreed with Bility. Weah’s position is that young people whose parents cannot afford to send them to school should be given the opportunity to make something of themselves, even as he (Weah) himself did.Both men have valid points. Bility’s position could change the face of Liberian, yea African football. Having a squad of educated men on the national football team could make for increased discipline, something Liberian football has been sorely lacking. It would also send the important message across Africa that education and football are not mutually exclusive. That means that a player does not have to – and must not – choose between football (or any sport for that matter) and education.As many former American basketball stars have learned, a sports career is not a substitute for education. A young man can sign a multi-million dollar contract today, suffer an injury on the court and lose his career in six months.Due to lack of education and discipline, a talented young man with money who knows nothing about investing can follow the wrong crowd, spend his money on drugs, drinking, material possessions and women, and have nothing to show or leave to his children by the time his life is over.Mr. Weah may have been very fortunate to have had strong personal discipline as well as good mentors who gave him sound financial advice and taught him how to invest. Today, long after his sports career is over, he is not begging for scratch cards and living off women.Even so, however, Mr. Weah will admit that with all of his wealth, he himself has twice hit the glass ceiling that has stood between him and the one dream that constantly seems to evade him – the Liberian presidency. With no shortage of campaign financing, Mr. Weah twice lost the presidential elections to a woman whose education opened the door for her to acquire the requisite experience voters looked for in a president. That education and experience enabled her to speak for her country on an international stage, which earned Liberia’s credibility in the comity of nations and hence a seat at the table of decision making. Has she made mistakes? A ton. But Liberians were more willing to take the risk with education and experience than without. By contrast, the majority of those who voted for the less-educated candidate were themselves mostly uneducated. We have to change that dynamic so that the entire voting population is able to make educated choices and decisions.Notwithstanding, Mr. Weah, clearly has a heart for the less fortunate, which stems from his own experience. The only problem is that his experience was more the exception than the norm. We cannot have a whole generation of children thinking they can all grow up to be King Pele. Out of a population of 3.5 million, everyone cannot play for AC Milan. We need to disabuse our children of that notion. We need to disabuse them of the notion that football is their only ticket out of poverty.The wonder of education is that it gives a man/woman options. If he breaks his leg today, once it heals, he can go into business. Education also gives a man the keys to his own destiny. Without it, he cannot even read his own contract. Only his managers know exactly how much he is really worth.Weah has proposed that if only youths enrolled in schools are to be allowed to participate in the inter-county meet, then school should be free for all children. We disagree. The point is for our children not to lose focus on their education every time the meet comes around. They must understand that there are no short cuts to success.A young man from Paynesville grew up with a natural talent for soccer. He became a rising star and a member of the Lone Star’s U-20 team. One day, the coach announced that a select number of the group would be traveling to Greece. Elkhart Davis, as this young Liberian came to be known, was one hundred percent sure he would be selected. He would go to Greece and become a star. In the final lineup, the coach chose his son, a far lesser player. Elkhart Davis became a drunkard. All of his eggs were in the soccer basket that crashed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A HSE worker in Co Donegal earned an extra €128,000 from a separate delivery and repair service, a Freedom of Information Act release to a newspaper reveals.The audit of aids and appliances, such as wheelchairs, in community services in Killybegs found the home’s work had never been properly put out to tender, the Irish Independent’s health correspondent Eilis O’Regan found during an investigation.She reports the money was earned over five years and was in breach of HSE rules which ban employees from seeking contracts for the supply of goods and services for their own benefit. The report also alleged “the bulk” of the employee’s work took place on a Friday when the employee was also allowed to start and finish work early to accommodate the separate business.The report is here: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/health-worker-was-paid-128k-for-work-never-put-out-to-tender-30413211.html#sthash.RwKKw3yH.dpuf DONEGAL HEALTH WORKER EARNED EXTRA €128,000 – REPORT was last modified: July 8th, 2014 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:Community HospitalHSE REPORTinternal auditKillybegs
It was the responsibility of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena to provide a stable government for the people of Maharashtra, senior Congressman and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Tuesday. In the event that the BJP-Sena power-sharing talks fail and the Sena approaches the Congress with a proposal on government formation, it would place the matter before the Congress high command and discuss it with its allies, said Mr. Chavan.“These are ifs and buts… in case we do receive such a proposal from the Shiv Sena… To the best of my knowledge, no such proposal has come to us,” said the senior Congressman, speaking to reporters in Karad in Satara.Mr. Chavan said he wondered how the saffron allies could form a government given the mutual distrust between them at the moment. “It appears that there is a major hitch in their government-formation talks. On the one hand, the Sena leadership is talking of a 50:50 power-sharing deal having been settled with [Union Home Minister] Amit Shah. Now, it seems that there is a wide gap between the Sena’s understanding and Chief Minister Fadnavis’ statements that no such secret deal was cut,” he said. “Both parties [Sena and BJP] should hold a press conference to tell the voters of the State what was decided between them in order to end this confusion.”Mr. Chavan had won a stiff three-way fight in the Karad South Assembly segment and defeated his rival, the BJP’s Atul Bhosale, despite high-decibel campaigns by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Karad and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Satara.The Leader of Opposition (LoP) would be elected from the NCP in the event the BJP and the Sena succeeded in forming the government, he said. For the first time in the State’s political history, he said, the Congress will not have an LoP from its own ranks.Mr. Chavan acknowledged that the Congress had fallen short in formulating a clear poll strategy and that it was dogged by leadership crises. Still, he said, people had responded to their campaigns highlighting the BJP’s government’s hollow assurances and severe shortcomings. He also said the Congress-NCP coalition had suffered in at least 25 Assembly segments owing to Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), which queered the pitch for both the opposition parties and again benefited the BJP-Sena alliance.“We were willing to enter into an alliance with the VBA ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Had we fought together, then not only Mr. Ambedkar, but perhaps six to seven VBA leaders would have been returned as MPs,” Mr. Chavan said. refuting the VBA’s allegations that the Congress had not allowed the party to grow.
Every sporting champion needs a break from time to time to recharge the batteries ahead of the next challenge. Shotgun ace Ronjan Sodhi is no different and wishes he could have a few more days off to spend time with his family.Asian Games double trap gold medallist Sodhi has been on a break since he got back from Guangzhou, and finally picked up a gun for the first time on Friday, in preparation for the upcoming national championship, to be held in the Capital in January.”For sure, I wanted to take a longer break because the last two years have been very busy for me. But with the Nationals coming up, I was also itching to get back to the range. I know that from now till the London Olympics in July 2012, I won’t be able to take a break. But double trap is a very competitive event nowadays so I have to prepare myself accordingly,” he told M AIL TODAY from Jaipur, where he is training for the Nationals.The next year is going to be crucial for all shooters, with quota places for the Olympics up for grabs. The four ISSF World Cups will give two quota places each, while the Asian Championships and World Championships will also carry a few spots.”My target is to grab a quota place as early as possible and, with the first World Cup in March, the months of January and February are very, very important for me. I’ve been lucky to have had a sustained run of form in the last two years, where in 19 competitions, I’m averaging 141.2 (out of 150).advertisement”But I don’t want to let up on my preparations because shooting is always about your scores relative to those of your competitors and, no matter what score I shoot, I want that quota place,” Sodhi said.”Once I get that, I plan to train at the London Olympics range, or some other range near London if that is not ready, around the month of August to get used to the conditions we are going to get at the Olympics.” Dwelling upon the reasons for his unprecedented success this year, Sodhi said: ” I think once you are confident about your technique, you become mentally stronger too. Which is why the training that we got thanks to the Commonwealth Games ( CWG) was amazing, because the government allowed us to train abroad whenever we wanted. We got access to all sorts of conditions and machines, which made a difference because shotgun is an outdoor event. I feel I have grown a lot as a shooter in this past year.” Asked which of his victories tasted sweetest, Sodhi made a startling choice.”The World Cup Finals would be a logical choice, but my favourite moment was winning the Lonato World Cup because that is the Mecca of shotgun shooting.”Italy is the home of shotgun and the audience there is special – with all the major gun manufacturers and ammunition makers in attendance – and that’s why all the biggest names in the world compete there,” Sodhi said.The attention Olympic sportspersons are now getting in this cricket- mad country is something that pleases Sodhi.”I think it’s high time Olympic sportspersons got the recognition they deserve. Look at sports like wrestling, boxing and badminton – people are drawn to the sports because of our athletes’ success. The CWG was definitely a great boost in that regard,” he said.Sodhi had dedicated his Asiad gold to his son, Suryaveer, and wants to see him take up a sport when he grows up.”He is just two- and- a- half now but is fond of guns – they are his favourite toys. I’m not going to push him into shooting, though if he does take it up, he will have more facilities than I did growing up. If not shooting, I really want him to take up any sport because that teaches you a lot of things you need in life to grow as a person,” he said.
“It changes everything,” she said. “It means everything to me.”Evans became the first woman ever drafted into the NBA 2K League on Tuesday night, going in the fourth round to Warriors Gaming, which is operated by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. A former college and semipro basketball player, Evans is now the esports league’s first female pro, one of the 126 players who will make between $33,000 to $37,000 per season, plus benefits and team housing.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View comments The league also monitored communication between players more carefully at this year’s combine, removing several players for sexist remarks.That kind of harassment isn’t new to Evans, or women in esports in general. One of the biggest challenges for women is finding teammates for games that rely so heavily on teamwork. Female gamers can try to ignore an offensive, trash-talking opponent — and there are plenty of those in the 2K community.But just like in real life, you can’t defend a pick-and-roll if your teammates aren’t willing to communicate.Evans has done most of her competitive gaming with a coed team — right now, five of its 12 players are women — and that’s helped her thrive as a shot-creating small forward.Her experience when gaming outside that team — with both teammates and opponents — hasn’t always been as rosy.“I’ve had sexual remarks put towards me,” she said. “I get told I should be back in the kitchen. ‘2K is not for women,’ I’ve had that. There’s no question about that.”Evans also got loud pushback on social media when she announced last month — on her 30th birthday, no less — that she’d qualified for the draft.“That’s the only time that it’s been discouraging for me,” Evans said. “In that moment, because it was a great moment for me, and I felt like people ruined it.”Other gamers at Tuesday’s draft were eager to welcome Evans and Novin.“Male, female, dog, cat, frog, I don’t care,” said Alexander Bernstein, a returning player with 76ers Gaming. “If you’re the best in the world, I feel like you deserve to be able to play.” PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy LATEST STORIES MOST READ Chiquita Evans poses for photographs with Brendan Donohue after being selected as the 56th pick overall by the Warriors Gaming Squad at the NBA 2K League draft Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in New York. Evans is the first woman selected in the esports league. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK — After over three hours of sitting, waiting and stressing, Chiquita Evans heard her name called. She stood, smiled and put on a Warriors cap, striding to the stage backed by the loudest applause of the night.Someone put a microphone in front of her and asked her how it felt. That’s when she finally choked up.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Evans was one of two women who qualified for the 2K League draft this year through the league’s online combine. The other, Brianna Novin, was not selected but could still sign as a free agent.The NBA runs the league in coordination with 2K game publisher Take-Two Interactive, and it did not have any women for its inaugural season. Prior to last year’s draft, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called the lack of gender diversity “a disappointment for all of us so far.”The league set out to solve that problem by holding focus groups with top women gamers to spot potential barriers. One key problem: Data showed that male players weren’t passing the ball to their female teammates — something that wasn’t accounted for when the league analyzed players to build the 2018 draft pool.“It made us put more emphasis on how good a player was when they got the ball in their hands,” said 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue. “That’s the only part of it they can control.”ADVERTISEMENT P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed That doesn’t mean the women won’t face extra skepticism. Kimanni Ingram, another draft-eligible player, has played with Evans and respects the way she has navigated blowback from male gamers.But even his compliments Tuesday came with a qualifier.“She has the basketball IQ for a girl,” Ingram said. “Most people would be like, ‘I’m playing with a girl. She’s not going to know what to do.’ She knows what she’s doing. You can tell.”News of Evans’ selection traveled fast. Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked about her prior to a game against Boston.“I think that’s really cool that she’s passionate and inspired and broke a barrier,” Kerr said. “That’s awesome.”“Esports has become a huge thing now,” said Kevin Durant, Evans’ favorite player. “More people who enjoy the game might get an opportunity to be professionals and make some money for themselves and make some money. I think it’s cool.”Female gamers have had difficulty breaking into pro esports. Among the most popular circuits, League of Legends Championship Series and the Overwatch League have each had just one female player. Those women both received ample praise and criticism on social media.The NBA wants to help Evans and Novin manage that. The 2K League has a transition program based on the NBA’s rookie symposium, and it added sessions specifically for Evans and Novin to help them navigate their potential barrier-breaking roles, including help with social media.One item 2K hopes to change soon: The video game still does not include any female players. Unlike EA Sports’ NBA Live series — which includes WNBA rosters and the ability to create female players — NBA 2K is still male-only. Donohue says 2K is working to add women to future versions of the game.That’s not bumming out Evans right now. She’s already building out her to-do list for her new home in Oakland. James Harden scores 35, Rockets beat Raptors No more sessions as a trainer at Planet Fitness. The Chicago native is heading to the Bay Area.“It feels surreal,” she said. “I’m going to see if I can do a real-life shooting competition with (Stephen) Curry,” Evans said. “That’s what I was known for. See if I can shoot with the best.” Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem
DiversityRelationship management and support is a key element of the role Megan and Mel fulfil for Touch Football Australia, whether itâ€™s ensuring the leading Referees are in a worry free environment to facilitate best performance, or a first time referee that requires that little extra bit of care, Megan and Mel have an innate ability to manage and respect the most diverse of people. Fantastic ambassadors for the sport, Megan and Mel epitomise the respect and understanding required to embrace the diversity of our sport President â€“ 2010 to 2012Treasurer â€“ 2012 to currentGeneral Committee â€“ 2008 to 2010Referee Director â€“ 2009 to 2012Benâ€™s long time commitment to start back in 2001 when he made his Open Debut for Fremantle, a commitment carried through until 2011 where he filled roles as a player, coach and manager for Menâ€™s and Mixed Teams at various times. In 2015 Ben was made a Life Member of Fremantle for he continued contributions to the affiliate whilst being involved in the game elsewhere on much larger scale.At a State Level Ben has once again shown his commitment in all areas of the game. Ben has previously been a player, manager, selector and referee. After being a player in the 2002 WA Under 18â€™s Boys Team he was then Team Manager for the 18â€™S Boys in 2009, NTL Mixed Open Manager in 2011 and Selector in 2012.Over the past two months, ben has been active in driving change in two key areas of our sport that have had a significant impact on the sport and engagement with our members in WA. In February, this year Ben sought election to a position on the WA State Operations Panel â€œto give back to the sport that I enjoy being involved inâ€. Ben felt that as a player, referee, coach and local volunteer I thought that I had a wide range of experience across the sport that I could help contribute back to the future direction of Touch Football in WA.Post the Annual Meeting in February, Ben further nominated himself to Chair of the SOAP to help set targets and realise the achievements possible for Touch Football in WA towards our 2020 goals. The SOAP in WA had been fairly inactive in WA for a period of time and Benâ€™s enthusiasm, passion and leadership have helped create a new level of engagement with this panel which has set the sport up for a period of long term success.The other vital role which Ben had undertaken was with the Lead Role at the 2016 WA Junior State Championships. With the WA Referee Panel in transition and a number of key members unavailable Ben volunteered to take on this key role at the WAâ€™s premier junior touch football event. Benâ€™s leadership, integrity, professional and excellence in this role enabled this key part of our sport to operate successfully ensured a quality event experience for referee, participants and spectators through his operation in this role. Ben even managed to referee a few games himself where needed across the weekend. Benâ€™s previous work as a Referee at State Events since 2000 and being part of the Referee Coaching Team since 2015 held in a good stead to undertake this position.What consistently is shown in Benâ€™s work is his embodiment of the TFA Values and this has been the key to being such a successful contributor across all facets of our game for a long period of time. Benâ€™s contributions over the last twelve months have highlighted his passion to see the ongoing success of Touch Football in WA which, under his leadership and guidance will be achieved for many years to come. Other nominees will continue to be posted through the week.Related LinksVolunteer of the Year Award Excellence Consistently looking at ways to improve the experience for Referees and event participants, Megan and Mel have played a significant role in the development and ongoing improvement of the Referee Experience for Touch Footballâ€™s major events, their pursuit of excellence and quality experiences is second to none.Megan Harapa and Mel Jones have completed the same role in unison for Touch Football Australia for many years now, they as a team and individuals are at the core of the sports success and growth of the Referee Program, and individually or collectively would be a worthy recipients of the 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award. Graeme Clancy QueenslandGraeme is the founder of Touch Football Specialised which gives participants with special needs the opportunity to play Touch Football.The countless amount of volunteer hours Graeme has contributed has seen substantial growth in Touch Football Specialised and the programs now available for participants.The QLD Special Education Championships were held for the third successive year in 2016 with seven new schools attending, an additional thirteen teams and ninety six new participants.Graeme has also created a prototype competition for special needs athletes which will see athletes compete in a regular form of competition over multiple weeks. These competitions will be held at difference affiliated associations in South Queensland for the first time in season two of this year.He has also developed resources and modified equipment to allow the game to be accessed and played by numerous participants. These resources and aids have allowed schools and all ability organisations to self-deliver programs of their own.The countless hours Graeme has continued to put in has seen the organisation create a new partnership with the Gold Coast Titans and a continually growing ambassador group which now includes Olympic Athlete Michelle Jenneke.Queensland Touch could not be prouder of the contributions Graeme has made to the special needs and Touch Football communities through his initiative. He has single handily given children and adults with special needs opportunities through our sport which have never been there before. Klaire Carrick TasmaniaKlaire is the current assistant coach for the Under 18 Tasmanian NYC team and has significantly contributed to the success of our touring teams. She has been a part of Touch Football for a number of years and has previously volunteered as a coach before. Kliare exhibits TFAs core values every time she volunteers, often going the extra mile especially when it has come to fundraising and organisation of her team. She has done an exceptional job in reducing team levies for her players. Her commitment to the team is undeniable, from writing to local government to running two separate Bunnings BBQâ€™s, she has shown maturity and professionalism beyond her years. While balancing a university degree, part time work and her own playing, she has never missed a training session and is constantly asking how she can do more to help the team and Touch Football Tasmania.Klaire is seen as a role model and leader amongst the team and other volunteers, she was asked to increase her role and take on more responsibility as a coach and has successfully transitioned into taking full training sessions by herself and developing her skills as a coach. We are lucky to have such a dedicated volunteer here in Tasmania and this nomination is highly deserved.Benjamin Dempsey- Western AustraliaBen has been a long time contributor to Touch Football in Western Australia. Benâ€™s contribution covers â€“ playing, refereeing, referee coaching and also administration at both an affiliate and State level. In WA, Ben is a key driver of the TFA Values and these are consistently showcased in his work throughout Touch Football. At Benâ€™s affiliate, Fremantle Touch Association, he remains as treasurer on the committee, after previously holding the following roles: Integrity, Leadership and Professionalism The National Touch League, National Youth Championships and particularly the Touch World Cup, present many unique experiences â€“ from extreme weather conditions to first time referees â€“ in the face of any obstacle, Megan and Mel have maintained complete professionalism and integrity at all times.The leadership and cultural alignment which Megan and Mel vest into all members of the Referee community is second to none, they have a complete understanding of the various elements and considerations needed to ensure optimal culture development and positivity from Referees and the wider Touch Football community both on and off the field. Touch Football Australia is lucky to have countless volunteers who have made significant contributions to the Touch Football landscape over the past 12 months and beyond.To celebrate and recognise these contributions for the second year running Touch Football Australia will award the Volunteer of the Year Award to one of our highly valued volunteers. â€œThe opportunity to recognise and say thank you to our volunteers is one that we as a sport do not take for grantedâ€, CEO Colm Maguire speaking on the importance of volunteers in our sport.â€œWe are excited to again be able to recognise many of these fantastic individuals, who are all deserving of being awarded this prestigious honour, for the great work they have done in their local community and the sport at largeâ€.Each State and Territory were asked to nominate one individual to be considered for the TFA Volunteer of the Year for 2016, as well as two nominees from a National Level.Nominations were to be considerate of their exceptional service to the sport and have made a notable and measurable contribution and difference in their respective communities.The nominees all will have demonstrated the Touch Football Australia values of:LeadershipIntegrityProfessionalismDiversityExcellenceThe Touch Football Australia Board of Management has reviewed all nominations and voted using a 3, 2, 1 system to determine the 2016 Touch Football Australia Volunteer of the Year.â€œOur Board was absolutely overwhelmed by the calibre of nominees from across the country,â€ Maguire, continues, â€œAnd has found it particularly difficult to determine this yearâ€™s recipient from an extremely deserving groupâ€.â€œWhile itâ€™s always difficult to choose a winner, the flipside is, what a great position to be in – so many wonderfully talented and dedicated people in our sport. The nominees are a shining example of the valuable volunteers in our sport. We wouldnâ€™t exist or be anywhere near as successful without them. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport – the TFA board, and this award, recognises in no small way, the generosity and commitment of all of these people- not just the state representatives or winnersâ€ TFA Chair Anita Hagarty adds.Over the next four days, each nominee for the Touch Football Australia Volunteer of the Year will feature on Touch Football Australiaâ€™s website and social media channels, with the winner to be publically announced at 3pm on Friday 30th September 2016.All nominees will also receive a plaque of recognition and a small gift to say thank you for the tremendous work they have done for the sport of Touch Football.Keep an eye out below for your locations nominee, as Touch Football sayâ€™s thank to them, and all volunteers in our sport. NominationsGreg Mason VictoriaGreg Mason is a highly committed individual to the sport of Touch Football in Victoria, sitting on a variety of volunteer committees, heavily involved in the VT League and coaching at the State Level.Greg has sat on the VT League committee for 5 Years now, a trusted leader in the community and always willing to go above and beyond. Gregâ€™s greatest strength is his ability to separate his club affiliations from the bigger picture, always giving his thoughts and opinion on what is best for Touch Football in Victoria, not just the Melbourne City Lions. However, he has strongly lead that Melbourne City Lions for the past 6 years in the Presidents Role. The benchmark team in the competition, it is known for its professionalism and excellent administration, most of which is attributable to Greg.In 2014, when a VT League club withdrew from the competition only two weeks out, Greg was instrumental in supporting the TFV Office and working on a recovery strategy, creating the â€œSouthern Phoenixâ€, ensuring that the season was able to run with a fifth club. Greg was quoted as saying â€œI just wanted to give everyone the chance to play if they wantedâ€¦ at the end of the day, thatâ€™s all that matters, not politics and clubsâ€.When TFV were unable to construct a â€œstandalone committeeâ€ for the Southern Phoenix, Greg was once again called upon to run the club in 2015, which he did, undertaking all administrative equipmentâ€™s including apparel, finances, organising training etc. The South Phoenix is now being run be a separate volunteer committee, which Greg took upon himself to recruit.Greg was a member of the State Executive Council for five years, providing advice and support to the TFV Office. Despite living in Lake Dewar, he was a regular attendee at meetings, driving the three hour return trip each quarter, and doing so with a smile on his face.Greg has the unenviable task of being a long standing member of the TFV Disciplinary Panel, which unfortunately is created when an on field indiscretion requires further sanctioning. Given his experience in the game and personal contacts, he is often required to sit on panels and make tough decisions about people he knows personally. He does this with respect and sincere honesty, always ensuring due processes are followed. As previously mentioned, his ability to put the good of the sport fist, above his personal relationships, is without doubt his strongest character, particularly given the smallness of the Touch Football community in Victoria.Greg has been the Coach of the Under 18â€™s NYC Victorian Touring Team for the last two years. His coaching ability may not be the best in the State, but the respect his team holds him in, and the manner in which he conducts himself is without doubt the best of all Victorian Coaches.He is also heavily involved with Ballarat Touch Association, in which he is a player, referee and team manager. If called upon, he also referees at the VT League as often as requested. In fact, he goes above and beyond, heading into the Referee Room at the start of each round and ensuring he has offered his services and made his presence known as a possible â€œback upâ€ referee.Lastly, Greg has a strong understanding of the role of a volunteer, and how they can work closely with the TFV Office, as they are there to provide support and assistance when required and help with some of the â€œheavy liftingâ€ to keep the sport moving forward.He is one of the most trusted and esteemed members of the community, and for all these reasons has been nominated for this prestigious award. Sean Harvey Australian Capital Territory Sean commenced playing Touch Football in South Australia in 1981. In 1988, Sean moved to Canberra where he became a member of the Woden Eagles Touch Club. Since joining the club, Sean has made an invaluable contribution to the clubâ€™s sustainability through his leadership, integrity, professionalism, diversity and excellence.Sean has assisted TFACTâ€™s competitions through his work with the Woden Eagles club by his continued involvement as a player, coach, referee and a key administrator since 1988.Sean has shown strong skills in both leadership and integrity through organising and managing six adult Woden Eagles teams to compete in the 2015/2016 TFACT Summer Domestic Competition and 2016 TFACT Winter Competition.During the summer competition, Sean also coached a junior team in the 2015 Junior Competition, while assisting other volunteers of the club to coach junior teams to maintain the clubâ€™s involvement at a junior level. His level of involvement at both a junior and senior level shows his commitment to the sustainability of the sport within the ACT. Sean has displayed his flexibility and willingness to be involved in multiple programs including being a coach in TFACTâ€™s AusSquads Junior Development Program. He has assisted in the programs delivery since its inception in 2015.Sean is currently a general member of the TFACT Sport Operations Advisory Panel (SOAP) and has displayed professionalism in all aspects of his role. He makes timely and valued input both verbally and written in regards to all SOAP matters discussed and implemented. Sean has displayed excellence at a club level over the past year and for this he was awarded the Woden Eagles 2015 Volunteer of the Year. His excellence is not limited to his work at the club, however as he works with the TFACT staff to ensure the sustainability of all programs within the ACT and assists where he can especially in regards to refereeing and coaching.Sean has been an invaluable member of TFACT since 1988 with a positive and respectful attitude to all those he interacts with regardless of the role he is undertaking. Ben Cooper New South WalesBen is an outstanding individual and one whose values and integrity bring leadership to a small touch footballing community and stamp him as an outstanding candidate for the Touch Football Volunteer of the Year. Benâ€™s passion and drive has seen him as the driving force in the rebuilding of Young TA. Through his leadership and professionalism he has helped build and deliver a better product in the community and gas done this with a view to fostering development of the game in all aspects. In the last few years, helping to build and develop the game in the Young Area. Benâ€™s excellence has been awash over several integral positions on the Young Committee. He has been President, Treasurer and is currently leading the charge through his position of secretary.During the period of Benâ€™s involvement he has overseen the growth of the competition and acceptance of the competition in the local community. Under his tenure the Young TA competition has grown tenfold. He aided in introducing the highly successful ladies only â€œChampagne and Crackersâ€ competition which secured great community interest and buy in.His background in teaching has also seen him play a large role in bringing juniors into the sport of Touch Football. He has ensured that Young High School supports several NSWTA school events across the State and further develops their all-round skills by undertaking Referee Accreditation Courses with the student body.This area of Referee Development isnâ€™t just limited to the student body and through these efforts many students and adults have helped Young TA build their Referee numbers and develop their skills in the game to help develop Young TA.Ben has also engaged with NSWTA to run development days and clinics to update training sessions at schools right across the Young area. Through this practice Ben has assisted developing the game across the whole community.It was through Benâ€™s drive that saw Young TA enter in their first Junior State Cup in 2014 where he was the jack of all trades. Coach, Manager, Tour Leader and Travel Agent. He is now looking at getting Young to participate at their first Senior State Cup in 2016.With the amount of time Ben devotes to Young TA we are at a loss to understand how he finds to for his other roles â€“ High School Teacher and Deputy Lord Mayor of Young. It goes without saying that the qualities that Ben displays in all aspects of his like easily transcend into why the Young community he is such a well-respected individual.His commitment to our sport is shown in the great pride, professionalism and integrity that he delivers our product with. It is a benchmark for others to emulate. He would be not only a worthy winner, but already is a worthy ambassador for our game. Megan Harapa and Melissa JonesMegan Harapa and Melissa Jones are vital members of the Touch Football Community, particularly at the National Level aligned to Referee Support and Major Event Delivery. For the past 7 years Megan and Mel have acted a Referee Managers at all National Touch Football Events, as well as the 2015 Touch World Cup, held in Coffs Harbour.Both have also made countless contributions to the support of Referees at State (NSW) and lower levels for many years, prior to and in conjunction with her work at the National Level.Recognised for their ability to manage complex relationships and the rigors of major events, Megan and Mel are consistently a beacon for everything that Touch Football Australia looks for in a volunteer, as an organisation we are extremely grateful for the commitment and time they have provided so many people for so many years.
New Delhi,: Hours after a Bihar court granted him bail in a poll code violation case for making controversial remarks against the Muslim community, Union minister Giriraj Singh Tuesday made another provocative statement. In an apparent reference to the controversial Malayalam movie, the minister said anybody can make a film like “Sexy Durga” but nobody has the courage to make one on Prophet Mohammed or Fatima. Giriraj Singh was addressing a public meeting in support of BJP’s South Delhi candidate Ramesh Bidhuri. At the rally, Bidhuri also used a Hindi slur against Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and accused him of stalling the prosecution of former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case. Giriraj Singh, who is the BJP candidate against Kanhaiya Kumar for Bihar’s Begusarai seat, charged that Kejriwal is part of the “tukde tukde gang”. Earlier in the day, the minister surrendered before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Begusarai and was granted bail in the poll violation case. The Election Commission had issued a show cause notice to Giriraj Singh over his anti-Muslim remarks at an election rally. “I didn’t say any such thing in Begusarai, still a case was registered against me. I just said that the slogan Vande Mataram made India independent. I said the country will show the door to any person who can’t chant Vande Mataram, he said at the meeting in Delhi. “The Hindus were abused in Begusarai. Some people said Hindus eat beef and drink liquor at night. I informed the Election Commission, but it too didn”t take action,” the minister said. “Abusing Hindus has become a habit for some people,” he said. Referring to the movie that was later released as S Durga, he said if he would send to hell anyone who referred to his mother or sister in such terms. The Union minister also mentioned the burqa ban in Sri Lanka after the recent terror attacks there. Giriraj Singh claimed that the United Nations declared Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist because “people in India gave power to Modi”. The minister said he “feared” that the “tukde-tukde gang” might ask the United Nations to furnish evidence to prove it declared Masood as a global terrorist. Attacking Mamata Banerjee, he said the West Bengal chief minister “gets angry and slaps people who say ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Let’s see who will slap us”. A video has surfaced on social media, where Banerjee can be purportedly seen stopping her car at a place in West Midnapore district when people chanted “Jai Shri Ram” slogan as her convoy was passing the area. The people fled the spot as soon as she got out of her car.