Tony Becca: A New year of hope

first_imgThe New year is just a few days old, and despite all the problems in West Indies cricket – the abandoned tour of India; the defeats at the hands of Australia; Sri Lanka, and Australia again; the crisis facing the Board; and the fact that no West Indian made it into Test cricket’s Top Ten at the end of the year – we wish all those in the fraternity all the best for 2016. The only saving grace last year was the wonderful and thrilling victory at Kensington Oval, the one which handed the West Indies a draw against England and which filled every West Indian with excitement and with plenty hope. Although that hope ended only in wishful thinking, my wish, despite my feeling that things will remain the same, in spite of the huffing and puffing by the toothless CARICOM governments, is that the gloom of 2015 will be replaced by a little light in 2016. I love cricket, and I am passionate about Melbourne, Jamaica, and West Indies cricket. Indeed, most people, those who know me and know me well, especially my family, will say that I eat, sleep, and drink cricket. Last year, the West Indies brought down the curtain with an embarrassing and humiliating performance against Australia. They did nothing right. They were terrible in batting, bowling, and fielding. Indeed, with the exception of Darren Bravo, Kraigg Brathwaite, and a few others, they looked like novices. This year, however, the West Indies are scheduled to play one or two series, and based on results of the recent past, things are hardly likely to be any better. In fact, every year it has been the same. Despite the utterances about improvements and little gains, nothing has changed; nothing at all. Looking at the team, which, despite its weakness, includes a few questionable selections, looking at the management team, which allows inexperience and non-performing youngsters to speak on behalf of the team, and looking at the people who consistently talk glowingly about what to expect from the players despite defeat after defeat, it is easy to write off the players – especially as it appears that nothing is really being done to remedy the situation. Despite all the talk, the huge entourage surrounding the team on every tour, the money reportedly being spent on West Indies cricket, and the outreach in West Indies cricket, nothing is really happening. The West Indies need a system to develop their young players into productive players. They need to play the game regularly, to train regularly, and not only when it is ordered and supervised. They need people, good people, checking on them regularly, and not only to sympathise with them and to pat them on the back like nice guys whenever they fail. They need people, coaches or whoever, who will also say something or do something constructive at such times, which, at this time, is most times. COMMITTED PLAYERS The West Indies need to look also for players, good players, who are also proud people, committed people, and people who, although there is not one, respect the flag. And those kinds of players are necessary, very necessary. It makes no sense, or very little sense, to have the most talented players who, at the first sign of adversity, sulk and withdraw themselves from the game, sometimes, most times, affecting other players on the team. The West Indies need players who believe in one for all and all for one, and also players who, even though it is not true, believe, like a journalist, that he, or she, is as good as his, or her, last story. It is folly to fail, and fail, after one or two good performance and to stroll around the ground, to swagger, like the proverbial “cat’s pyjamas”. It is just as bad to treat one who has failed and failed after one or two good performances like royalty. My wish for 2016 is that these things will change. West Indies cricket has been through the good and the bad. It started promisingly, it had its watershed in 1950, it had its ups and downs, it became the best in the world, and now it is back at stage one. The return to the glory days, or near to them, must come back, hopefully, if not quickly. West Indies cricket basically has good, young players. They, however, need to commit themselves to the game and to the West Indies, to train hard and to play hard, and to remember who they are, where they are from, and that although it may not be the best in the world, although players from India, England, Australia earn more money than they do, those from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South Africa are not. The West Indies players are paid what the West Indies can afford. It is as simple as that. My wish for the new year is that from all the few basically talented West Indies players some can be found with the class to carry West Indies cricket through these parlous times. The West Indies need players who can bat, bowl, field and know how to play the game. The West Indies need batsmen who can do more than reel off a pretty stroke here and there, bowlers who can really bowl and who can get good batsmen out, and fielders who can really field. My wish for this year is that the West Indies will see the light and realise that their cricketers are nowhere nearly as good as those of yesteryear, that their cricketers will also face that fact, that their cricketers play Test cricket two or three years too early in most cases, that our administrators will end their insularity, tighten up on West Indies cricket and make it stronger, and that they need to train and practice until they hear a voice say practice no more. West Indies cricket also needs to see less swagger in the cricketers, less cheerleaders, for whatever reason, among those who should guide, and among those guide technical development, and more people who can inspire and motivate rather than simply tell how to bat and bowl.last_img read more

Afrique du Sud : Le paradis de l’aventure

first_imgL’Afrique du Sud offre 3000 kilometres de cote et des montagnes a vous couper le souffle, souvent tres proches. Le terrain varie du pays, associe a un climat ideal pour les activites en exterieur, en fait un terrain de chasse riche pour les chercheurs de sensations fortes.L’Afrique du Sud propose de l’escalade, du surf, de la plongee, des randonnees, des safaris a dos de cheval, du mountain bike, du rafting de niveau mondial et toutes les autres activites extremes que vous pourriez citer, toutes encadrees par des organisateurs devoues.L’Afrique du Sud offre les lieux d’escalade les meilleurs et les plus varies du monde. Les falaises sont enormes, sauvages et restent a decouvrir. Le Cap est particulierement bien dote mais l’action est loin de se limiter a la region du Western Cape.Les voyages fluviaux vont d’une balade agreable a un veritable passage en machine a laver en eau douce de niveau 5. L’art du canyoning, connu sous le nom de kloofing en Afrique du Sud, est une autre proposition excitante et appreciee que ce soit seul ou avec un guide.Il existe plus d’une centaine de sites de parapente ou de deltaplane, et beaucoup d’autres moins connus, avec des ecoles dans chaque centre. Toujours dans les airs, vous aurez de nombreuses occasions de faire de l’helicoptere, de la montgolfiere, des acrobaties aeriennes, du parachutisme ou du vol en ULM.Des milliers de kilometres de sentiers de randonnee traversent le pays par le desert, la foret, la montagne ou la zone cotiere, la plupart offre des pistes de mountain bike.Il existe des sentiers pour de merveilleuses balades a cheval a travers les vignes, sur la plage ou dans les montagnes et, pour les plus audacieux, des safaris a dos de cheval dans les reserves naturelles du pays.Et si vous recherchez l’altitude, le pont de Bloukrans de 216 metres de haut a la frontiere entre les provinces d’Eastern Cape et Western Cape qui est le lieu de saut a l’elastique commercial le plus haut du monde.Vous pouvez aussi descendre en rappel au dessus des brisants a la pointe oust de Knysna, vous suspendre a un kilometre au dessus du Cap, associer la descente en rappel et le canyoning dans les gorges du fleuve Storms, ou faire du saut en rappel le long des immeubles a Durban ou Johannesburg. La gravite gagne du terrain de façon spectaculaire en Afrique du Sud.SAinfo reporter, incluant des documents de l’Office du Tourisme d’Afrique du Sudlast_img read more

South Africa ranks 30 for worldwide innovation influence

first_img3 February 2016South Africa has ranked number 30 out of 56 countries in terms of its domestic policies supporting global innovation.The global technology think tank, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released the data in its report, called Contributors and Detractors: Ranking Countries’ Impact on Global Innovation.“More innovation will be the determining factor in achieving greater progress,” stated the report, released on 20 January. “Countries’ economic and trade policies can either help or hurt global innovation.“In contrast, policies such as export subsidies or forced localisation harm global innovation. If nations increased their supportive policies and reduced their harmful policies, the rate of innovation worldwide would significantly accelerate.”How does South Africa compare?South Africa and Kenya were the only African countries to have been featured. Kenya ranked at 51.South Africa’s BRICS partners ranked as follows: Brazil came in at 41, Russia 42, India 54 and China 44.The top spots were taken by Finland, Sweden, the UK, Singapore, Netherlands, and Denmark, respectively.The authors of the report looked at various aspects that supported innovation locally, but which had a global effect, such as supportive tax systems, investing in the work force, and research and development.“Robust innovation is essential for economic growth and progress,” said co-author Stephen Ezell, ITIF’s vice-president for global innovation.“As countries increasingly vie for leadership in the innovation economy, they can implement policies that try to benefit only themselves but harm the production of innovation in the rest of the world. Or they can implement ‘win-win’ policies that bolster their own innovation capacity while also generating positive spill-overs for the entire global economy. For innovation to flourish around the world, we need a system that is doing much more of the latter.”According to technology news site IT Web, South Africa’s National Development Plan is the blueprint for “the national system of innovation to function in a coherent and co-ordinated manner, with broad objectives aligned with national priorities.“It seeks to improve the governance of the innovation system, especially by ensuring the alignment of science and technology innovations activities across government and by co-ordinating public funding.”To read the full report, click here.Source: IT Web and SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Report shows South Africans have many reasons to be hopeful

first_imgA new report called Life in South Africa: Reasons for Hope from the Institute of Race Relations shows the country has come a long way since the 1980s and 1990s. Overall, lives have improved vastly, amid the challenges.John Bostock, researcher at the Institute of Race Relations releases a report called Life in South Africa: Reasons for Hope on 8 November 2016 in Johannesburg. (Image: Priya Pitamber) (Image: Priya Pitamber)Priya Pitamber South Africans are faring much better today compared to the 1980s and 1990s, revealed a report from the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) released on 8 November 2016 in Johannesburg.Titled Life in South Africa: Reasons for Hope, it showed that lives of South Africans had improved economically and politically over the past two decades.IRR hosting a media briefing on a recent #Reasonsforhope report titled: life in South Africa Reason For hope. pic.twitter.com/dQuGjPKRv0— IRR (@IRR_SouthAfrica) November 8, 2016It acknowledges the challenges faced by the country, but also focuses on the strides made.“But amidst the turmoil, IRR analysts see the story of a young democracy that has made a vast amount of progress in fields ranging from the economy and employment to living standards, poverty, education, healthcare and crime,” it reads.IRR researcher John Bostock said it showed what has gone right since 1994. “Our society has normalised since 1994, to some extent,” he said. “It is important for the public to have perspective on the state of the country.“We look at how we are doing ourselves, we start with ourselves and then we look at our neighbours and our friends. We need to separate our personal state with how the country as a whole is doing.”The numbersIn 2015 real per capita GDP was 33% higher than in 1994.Disposable income growth per capita increased from R23,686 in 1994 to R33,660 in 2015, an increase of 42%. “That’s very encouraging, I would say. It shows that people are better off,” Bostock said.The total number of people with jobs has doubled from 7.9-million in 1994 to 15.6-million in 2015.Access to formal housing has increased by 131.3% from 1996 to 2016. “That translates to 1,042 formal houses built every day,” reads the report. “When looking at informal housing, for every shack erected after 1994, approximately 10 formal houses have been built.”University enrolment rates have increased by 281.4% from 211,756 in 1985 to 807,663 in 2014.There’s been a decline in the number of new HIV infections from 646,806 in 1999 to 321,497 in 2015.There’s been a 62.5% increase in healthcare professionals in the public sector between 2000 to 2015.The murder rate has fallen by 49.3% since 1994.The report concluded that life in South Africa was better today compared to 20 years ago.“Good analyses of South Africa are those that are able to read the good with the bad and tolerate the apparent contradictions to reach conclusions that say: ‘Yes, we have problems, but we have also made remarkable progress that serves as a foundation upon which we can build a much better country.’Click here to read the full report.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Edmonton mayor encourages citizens to learn about Aboriginal people

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe mayor of Edmonton is addressing fears among business people and others in his community about the city’s rising urban Aboriginal population.Edmonton is poised to become the largest Aboriginal community in Canada.As Keith Laboucan reports, the mayor’s message is people best get used to it.last_img