Monday, November 30, 2009

Contenders for BBC Sports Personality award revealed

Sports Personality of the Year
: Sheffield Arena Date: Sunday, 13 December Time: 1900 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Sport website.
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year top-10 shortlist has been revealed.
It features Formula One champion Jenson Button, cycling star Mark Cavendish, world champion diver Tom Daley and Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.
Athletics is represented by two more world champions, heptathlete Jessica Ennis and triple jumper Phillips Idowu.
Heavyweight boxer David Haye, England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, tennis ace Andy Murray and world gymnastics champion Beth Tweddle make up the 10.
The 10 nominees will be put to a public vote on the night of the live show, which will be broadcast from Sheffield Arena at 1900 GMT, Sunday 13 December on BBC One.
The public will be able to vote for their BBC Sports Personality of the Year by telephone and details of the numbers to phone will be given out during the programme which will be presented by Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Jake Humphrey.
Before the big event there will be an Inside Sport preview show this Wednesday, 2 December, at 2245 GMT on BBC One.
All the contenders made a big impact in the sporting arena this year.
Button won six of the season's first seven grands prix and held on to his lead to become Britain's 10th F1 world champion, while on two wheels Cavendish became the first Briton to win six stages in one Tour de France.
Sheffield's Ennis swept aside the opposition to win the heptathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, where Idowu finally realised his full potential by taking triple jump gold.
Another first-time world champion was 15-year-old Daley, who won the 10m platform event in Rome, while Tweddle tumbled her way to World Championship gold in the floor event at London's O2 Arena.
Tennis star Murray continued where he left off in 2008, reaching a career-high ranking of two at one point in a year where he won six tournaments including two Masters events.
Strauss led from the front to finish as leading run-scorer as England reclaimed the Ashes, while Giggs, who turned 36 on Sunday, was crowned the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year as he won his 11th Premier League title with Manchester United.
The shortlist was put together by a panel of 26 sports editors from national and regional newspapers and magazines.
Carl Doran, editor of Sports Personality of the Year, said: "I think you'll agree it's an outstanding list and underlines what an exceptional year it has been for British sport.
"Overall there are nine sports represented and for the first time since Steven Gerrard in 2005 we have a footballer on the list in Ryan Giggs.
"You only have to look at those who just missed out like Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton, Tony McCoy and Andrew Flintoff to see how strong the line-up it is. British sport is in tremendous shape as we get closer to the 2012 Olympics."

He added: "We've our best ever line-up and some amazing surprises for our biggest ever show in front of 11,000 people at the Sheffield Arena.
"We have some very special awards that are likely to bring the house down, in particular our Lifetime Achievement Award which will honour a true world superstar.
"There'll also be live performances, surprise appearances and the greatest collection of sporting talent you're likely to see in one place. Not forgetting one of the closest races for the main award for years."
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: "The reaction of viewers and those members of the public who have been able to attend the event in the last three years has been fantastic and we hope this year in Sheffield will continue that trend.
"It's been another great year of sport and the event promises to be another show to remember.
"It's a tremendous cast list and a great experience for the audience in the venue, and we hope this year will be a classic."
Last year's event at Liverpool's Echo Arena was watched by a television audience of 9.8m, with triple Olympic cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy beating Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and double Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington to the honour.
The other awards to be presented on the night will include:
- Team of the Year
- Coach of the Year
- Overseas Personality
- Young Personality
- Helen Rollason Award
- Unsung Hero Award
- Lifetime Achievement
Watch a full preview of this year's top 10 on Sports Personality of the Year: The Contenders, BBC One, Wednesday 2 December 2245 GMT Read More......

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advocating for Girls’ Sports With a Sharp Tongue

HAVERFORD, Pa. — Few girls who play sports in suburban Philadelphia would recognize Robert H. Landau, but many coaches and athletic directors know that spotting him in the bleachers could spell trouble.
With a sharp tongue, a refusal to compromise and a well-honed sense of injustice, Landau is that familiar breed of community activist with a knack for pushing public officials over the edge. His specialty is girls’ sports, and his targets are usually wealthy public schools from the Main Line suburbs that pride themselves on being progressive and fair in offering a rich array of opportunities.
No slight to girls is too small for Landau to take on. His victories range from the momentous to the less obvious, like forcing his daughters’ school district to provide more athletic choices, pressuring leagues to showcase their title games and getting a school mascot to perform at their games.
Landau’s complaint against Haverford High School — over issues like publicity for and scheduling of boys’ and girls’ basketball games — has upset even those who would otherwise support him.
“I am like: ‘Buddy, you know what? You just threw the wrong punch,’ “ said Bobbi Morgan, the women’s basketball coach at Haverford College, who used to coach the girls’ team at Haverford High School. “I never worked anywhere where it was better.”
School officials declined to comment because the case was still open, although some elements have been resolved.
“Quite frankly, I shouldn’t have to do this,” Landau said. “But it’s there. What possible argument is there that I’m wrong?”
Landau estimated he had filed at least 30 complaints, most contending unfair treatment of girls, with the Office for Civil Rights, the division of the federal Education Department that enforces the gender-equity law known as Title IX. His work has led to a change in practices at the school and district level in suburban Philadelphia.
Landau, who owns a lighting business, started as a parent activist and never stopped. Now 63, he has two daughters who have been out of school about 20 years and four grandchildren.
Local administrators say Landau keeps them on their toes.
“He has challenged schools and challenged the leagues to reflect on their practices,” said Scott Eveslage, the principal of Welsh Valley Middle School in the Lower Merion School District. Eveslage was once the athletic director at two high schools in leagues Landau had singled out.
Although Landau has not always won — the Office for Civil Rights found insufficient evidence to pursue at least two of his allegations — his frequent filings have been effective. The civil rights office does not reveal the names of complainants, but officials confirmed that they had investigated several school districts that Landau takes credit for bringing to their attention.
Landau is a rabid fan of Cheltenham High School girls’ basketball, and his commentary during games often turns heads. The coach, Bob Schaefer, said, “He’s yelling things that you might be thinking, but he just belts it out.”
When it comes to speaking out about unfairness, Landau can be just as passionate. He boasts that athletic directors regularly hang up on him, and relishes the time he made a cheerleading coach cry.
Some wonder if this confrontational style works against him. Filing a complaint without building relationships can lead to hard feelings, said Carol Tracy, the executive director of the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia.
“Since the vast majority of schools are out of compliance with Title IX, realistically none of us are going to sue every one of them,” she said.
Landau’s activism began in 1989, when his daughter started playing field hockey at Cheltenham. “Karen kept coming home saying she had a different coach every day,” he recalled.
Landau learned that many of the boys’ coaches had full-time jobs as teachers in the district, but the girls’ coaches did not. “In my own limited way, I somehow realized this was not good,” he said.
He also found that the girls had few options. “It used to be that you either played field hockey or tennis,” his daughter Karen Bleznak said. “And in the winter, you played basketball.”
A neighbor who worked for the Office for Civil Rights encouraged Landau to file a complaint. He did, and the school district eventually added girls’ soccer and volleyball, and built softball fields. Rich Marburg, who was Cheltenham’s director of student services from 1985 to 2004, said that high turnover also affected boys’ teams, and that the school district probably would have improved its girls’ programs without prodding.
“We just did some things that we were going to do anyway,” Marburg said.
Soon, parents at other schools enlisted his help, and Landau continued to spot unfair treatment.
Girls typically played basketball in the afternoons, and the boys in the evenings. Cheerleaders performed only at boys’ games. Boys played their title games at arenas like the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania, and girls were relegated to school gyms. His complainted have helped eliminate those inequities.
Landau’s interests have never been limited to girls’ sports. Early in his advocacy, he sued his daughters’ school district in federal court, contending that it did not provide adequate help to Karen, who has a learning disability. Although he lost the case, he said the district later expanded its offerings to students with learning disabilities. In the 1990s, Landau also successfully pressured the district to increase its hiring of minority teachers.
Landau said he was happy to bear the brunt of criticism to protect parents who do not want their complaints to reflect poorly on their children.
“A lot of people would complain about him, but if there was a problem, of any kind — sports, or if it grew into other things — they called him,” his wife, Jane Landau, said.
Landau has never been paid for his advocacy, but it worked in his favor in 1996, when he faced federal charges of defrauding a commercial loan company as the owner of a janitorial supply business. Landau repaid the $120,000 he owed the loan company, and later pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Although Landau was facing prison, the judge, citing his local involvement, sentenced him to time in a halfway house and under house arrest, according to news reports.
“I made a business mistake, I got snagged, and that was that,” Landau said. “I have no excuse. It makes me human. More human than most.”
This year, Landau filed a federal disability law complaint against Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. A student with disabilities, he said, told him the college could not accommodate his limitations. A report by the Office for Civil Rights found that many of Landau’s allegations had merit. In September, Moravian reached an agreement with the civil rights office to set up a timetable to make its facilities accessible.
Landau, who has filed similar complaints against other colleges, said he could envision a day when he no longer investigated high school sports.
“We’ve about fixed everything in the Philadelphia suburbs,” he said. “If I see something, I’ll complain. But at this point, most people have acquiesced to doing the right thing.”Read More.....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Child crushed to death on sports field

A six-year-old Auckland girl died on a sports field this afternoon, crushed to death apparently by a scrum machine.
The girl died at Auckland's Tamaki College while her family was enjoying a touch tournament.
A Northern communications spokesman declined to say what the sporting equipment was but TV3 News said the girl was killed by a scrum machine.
The girl suffered extensive injuries and ambulance personnel were unable to revive her.
"Family members at the scene are understandably very distraught by the tragic circumstances," police said.
The Labour Department and police would investigate.
The girl's family had asked for privacy during their grieving period.
A St John Ambulance spokesman said the girl was dead when they arrived at the scene. Read More.....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Four years' jail for raping sleeping woman

A man raped a sleeping woman months before he went on to commit a series of indecent assaults during schoolies week.
Tomas Getachew, 26, was jailed in the Victorian County Court today for raping a 25-year-old woman he met at a social function in June 2007.
Getachew had attacked the woman at a friend's house while she was sleeping and intoxicated.
She awoke to find him assaulting her, the court heard.
A jury found him guilty in April of rape.
Judge Duncan Allen jailed him for four years and nine months.
He must serve a minimum two years and nine months.
Five months after committing the rape, Getachew, formerly of Clayton, assaulted several victims during schoolies week at Lorne in Victoria's south-west.
He was working as an unlicensed bouncer at a hotel when he followed the victims down to the beach and assaulted them.
He was jailed in the Geelong Magistrates Court for one year on several charges, including three of indecent assault.
He has already served his sentence on those counts.
The court heard Getachew migrated to Australia in 2002 as an Ethiopian refugee.
Judge Allen took into account his severe psychiatric illness and the impact this had on his lack of remorse and denial of guilt.
The judge described the rape as opportunistic, "ugly and vicious" on a vulnerable woman.
But he said Getachew's state of mind reduced his moral culpability.
Judge Allen said Getachew would have a good chance of rehabilitation if he received proper treatment.Read More.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Five-Time Olympic Speedskating Champion Loses Blood-Doping Appeal

Germany’s most successful winter Olympian will miss the Vancouver Games. Claudia Pechstein, the five-time Olympic speedskating champion and winner of nine medals, lost her appeal against a two-year ban for blood doping. Interestingly, she never failed a drug test.
The punishment stems from blood samples taken at the World Allround Championships in Hamar, Norway, last season. Pechstein’s blood profile had included abnormal levels of immature red blood cells or reticulocytes, which the BBC reports suggest she had a blood tranfusion.
”It remains unimaginable for me how I could get banned for one single indication that is also very contested scientifically,” Pechstein said, according to the Associated Press.
But the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in issuing its delayed ruling, said Pechstein’s blood levels ”could not be reasonably explained by the various justifications submitted by the athlete nor by a congenital medical condition.”
The 66-page C.A.S. ruling (a full version can be downloaded here) indicated the panel could not find any signs of blood disease or anomalies that would account for the unusual levels.
”The panel finds that they must, therefore, derive from the athlete’s illicit manipulation of her own blood, which remains the only reasonable alternative source of such abnormal values.”
In rejecting Pechstein’s appeal, the court set her suspension date at February 8, 2009, meaning she will not be able to compete until February 2011, quite possibly ending the 37-year-old Pechstein’s skating career. Her lawyer said he would take Pechstein’s case to the Swiss supreme court.Read More.......

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Girl helped organise gang rape of classmate

A 14-year-old girl in the US may face criminal charges after allegedly helping to organise the gang rape of a classmate.
The teenager, who cannot be named, has told media that she and her 14-year-old classmate planned to have consensual sex with the three alleged attackers, aged 16, 17 and 20, at a house in Monroeville, Alabama, last Monday.
But local prosecutor Tommy Chapman said the teenager, who is in a relationship with one of the three men, was now being investigated as an accomplice in the assault.
"The victim told police that the attack did begin as consensual contact," Mr Chapman told local newspaper the Press Register of Mobile.
"But when all three suspects began to join in, she told them no repeatedly, but they did not stop."
The girl was injured so badly she required surgery and had to spend three days in the intensive care unit.
Police allege the girls and the alleged attackers — Steven Scott, 20, DeShon Riley, 16, and Justin Williams, 17 — left school early on the day of the attack and walked to the house.
When they arrived at the house, police allege Scott, Riley and Williams took turns to rape one of the girls.
The other girl now under investigation has told police the three then tried to rape her, but that nothing happened.
The alleged attackers are being held on charges of felony rape.Read More........

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gut Punch: Immediate Analysis Of Houston Texans Loss To Tennessee Titans

Coming off of a bye week and two weeks of hype after a close loss to the Colts, the Houston Texans returned home to face a 3-6 Tennessee Titans team. A home game against the last place team in your division should be as good a get well recipe as grandma's chicken soup.
But, alas, it was not meant to be. The Titans came into Reliant Stadium on Monday Night Football and found a way to win 20-17.
Let's just get this part out of the way. Vince Young might not be the best passer, but he does win games. (Question: What is uglier? Vince's passing attempts or his post game brown suit with buttoned shoulder flaps? You decide.) Young is now 22-11 as an NFL starter and 2-0 in Houston. Sure, he was 11-22 for 116 yards, but he scrambled for 73 yards and picked up what seemed like every third down conversion.
Only the most delusional Young supporter would argue it was the sexiest game, but quarterbacks are ultimately measured by victories and Young came away with yet another close victory. You really can't argue with that.
When the Titans got the ball back after a late fourth quarter punt, it seemed like this was the type of game Vince Young was made for. Tie game, three minutes to go. That's VY's time. It simply cannot be argued. It might be frustrating as all get out for Texans fans, but at the end of the day, VY led his team to victory.
But, did the Titans win or the Texans lose? In my mind, there is a difference. Let's first see if the Titans won the game (clearly, they did win the game but this analysis is slightly different).
The Titans most dangerous weapon is Chris Johnson and he ran for over 150 yards. Granted, nobody has really slowed Johnson down this season, but the Texans consistently led him pick up handfuls of yardage time and time again.
In the passing game, there were only a handful of attempts that Young threw down field. The longest completion was 27 yards to Bo Scaife. No receiver had more than 4 catches or more than 42 yards. But Young was able to scramble and run options plays for first downs time and time again.
Nothing pretty, nothing fancy, but the Titans did enough to get a victory. But, is that winning or not losing? Let's continue our analysis.
On the other hand, Steve Slaton was not only a non-factor in the running game (5 carries for 21 yards) but he dropped a key third down pass from Matt Schaub in Titan's territory.
That play occurred was on third and ten, and it's not a given Slaton could have gotten the first down, but a fourth and three or four at least leaves the option of going for the conversion on the table. Fourth and ten equals punt. That is a catch that must be made. Houston punted and Young and Johnson did enough to get a field goal attempt.
Second, and perhaps most egreiously, Kris Brown missed two field goals. Yes, neither was a gimme attempt. But a kicker isn't paid over $1.4 million to miss two field goals on home against a hated rival on Monday Night Football. Kicking is a results-oriented profession, and Brown has looked, in a word, bad recently.
All this season I have railed against running back Chris Brown. I've said he's not tought enough and he's not good enough to play for the Texans. Look like I might have not have been broad enough in my vitriol against players named Chris or Kris Brown.
Kris Brown has cost the Texans two chances to tie games late with missed field goals. That is inexcusable. Chris Brown has cost the Texans two chances to tie games by failing to score touchdowns. That too is inexcusable. Look for left tackle Duane Brown to be the only player sir-named Brown playing for the Texans next season.
Third, is there any question Dunta Robinson is a shadow of the former Pro Bowl player? He gave up Young's only touchdown pass when he simply could not cover rookie Kenny Britt on a crossing pattern. He was flagged for defensive holding. Robinson missed tackles on Young and couldn't cover a single Titan effectively. Guess Rick Smith got lucky that Dunta foolishly didn't sign a long term contract.
If you ask me, the Texans did more to lose the game than the Titans did to win the game. Is that just a matter of semantics? Perhaps. Does it make me or any other Texan fan feel any better? No, not really. And, in the end, doesnt Tennessee get another victory at the expense of the Titans? Again, yes.
Look, I know there were some cheap shots by the Titans that were not penalized. Courtland Finnegan took some swings at both Brown and Slaton in pile ups. Kyle Vanden Bosch catapulted himself helmet first at Matt Schaub numerous times. Schuab was driven to the turn a number of times by Titan defensive linemen.
Yes, none of these were flagged, but whining about the refs blowing this game might make you feel better but is only masking the real problem. This is football and the Titans plays a certain way. The Texans play a certain way. At the end of the day, however, all that matters is the win or the loss.
Is all hope for the season lost? No. Houston remains in the playoff race at 5-5. James Casey played well in the absence of Pro Bowl caliber tight end Owen Daniels. But that's for another day. All that matters today is the devastating and deflating loss to the Titans in a game the Texans lost more than the Titans won.Read More.........

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Olympic chief slams 'missing' minister

Australian Olympic chief John Coates has slammed the Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis, claiming she has "gone missing" since the release of the Crawford report which rejects calls for increased Olympic sports funding.
Coates, who initially labelled the report "disrespectful" and "insulting" to Australia's Olympic achievements, has been disappointed by the lack of response from Ellis since she released the report last Tuesday.
"I don't know if she is taking it seriously," Coates told Network Ten today.
"She certainly hasn't engaged with us since she's become the minister on this issue."
The report dismissed the Australian Olympic Committee's calls for an extra $100 million a year for 10 years for elite sports, saying that money would be better spent elsewhere.
It also rejected the AOC's goal of reclaiming "top five" status on the medal table at the 2012 London Olympics and future Games as not sensible and not an appropriate measure of Australian performance.
The report had 39 wide-ranging recommendations now open to public debate and Ellis said last week the government would likely deliver its response early next year.
However, Coates believed she should be talking to the AOC about the issues and he took a crack at her for taking time to arm-wrestle professional wrestler Hulk Hogan last week.
"In the week that she's released the report she has been arm-wrestling with steroids while we're out there taking it seriously," he said.
"We will certainly come back and respond professionally to this report.
"We want to have a debate with her, but she has gone missing."
While, it did not recommend cutting Olympic sports funding, the Crawford report suggests more should be done for the grass roots of popular sports to ensure greater participation at a time when the nation faces a growing obesity problem.
It also said there was no evidence big events like the Olympics inspired children to take up sport.
Coates disagreed, and said more funding was needed at both the elite and grassroots levels of sport.
"We acknowledge that more needs to be done to address obesity through the department of health through additional funding, but not at the expense of funding directed to people who are our role models," said Coates.
"When Cathy Freeman won in Sydney, Little Athletics memberships went through the roof.
A spokeswoman for the Minister of Sport said: "John Coates and the AOC are important stakeholders in Australian sport."
"In line with this, the Minister has had two direct conversations with Mr Coates since the Government received the Independent Sport Panel report and the Minister has requested to sit down with Mr Coates and discuss the recommendations."
"There is a history of kids who take up basketball because of Andrew Gaze, kids who are swimming because of Kieren Perkins and Ian Thorpe.
"All of our sports provide those role models. We just have to put the two together."Read More....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kings owner will no longer operate WNBA franchise

SAN FRANCISCO The Sacramento Monarchs folded on Friday, a shocking and disappointing development for the WNBA and one of its original eight franchises.
The decision was largely based on the Maloof family's desire to focus all its energy and efforts on the NBA's Sacramento Kings. Maloof Sports & Entertainment had owned both teams.
Now, the WNBA is left scurrying to try to find a new owner for the organization and a suitable market: with the most logical place being the Bay Area, perhaps in Oakland or San Jose.
League president Donna Orender said in a statement Friday that the league is in discussions with potential investors to relocate the Monarchs to the San Francisco area in time for next season.
The Monarchs franchise was one of the league's original eight teams and it won the WNBA championship in 2005 and the Western Conference title the following season.
The Monarchs' Web site - - for most of the day carried a message reading, "PICTURE YOURSELF as a 2010 MONARCHS Season Ticket Holder." It was changed by the afternoon, when the site carried only Orender's statement.
While it was difficult to reach anyone in the franchise's offices Friday, the team said it would not comment on the situation further and directed inquiries to the WNBA. Some employees work for both the Kings and Monarchs, so it was unclear how many jobs might be affected.
"We enjoyed our time with the WNBA and the Monarchs," co-owner Joe Maloof said in a statement. "We are extremely proud of an amazing run that included six straight playoff appearances and the 2005 WNBA Championship. All of our resources are now dedicated to bringing the Sacramento Kings back to championship caliber form."
Sacramento had several familiar faces when it comes to women's basketball in the area: former Stanford star Nicole Powell, Olympic gold medalist Kara Lawson, and Courtney Paris, the former Oklahoma star from nearby Piedmont, Calif.
The franchise is scheduled to have the second pick in the 2010 WNBA draft.
"The Bay Area has been a desirable market for the WNBA and the availability of the Monarchs provides an opportunity to move a well-known franchise and broaden its fan base within Northern California," Orender said in the statement. "Maloof Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Monarchs, has deemed it essential to focus all of its resources on the Sacramento Kings at this time. We understand this decision was a difficult one for them and appreciate the vision, leadership, and support of the Maloof family over the past 10 years."
Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, which runs the NHL's San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion - a potential WNBA venue - could be an option explored by the WNBA. The Oakland-based Golden State Warriors are in support of the idea of a WNBA team playing in Oakland, but would not affiliate themselves with a franchise. That would have to be worked out with the City of Oakland and Alameda County. The Warriors play at Oracle Arena.Read More......

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Semenya will compete again, says sports minister

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's sports minister said overnight he believes that world 800-metre champ Caster Semenya could compete again in women's athletics, after a storm over testing to determine her gender.
"In my view Caster Semenya's future is in her hands. She can decide to run as a girl, which she is," Makhenkesi Stofile said, according to the Sapa news agency.
The ministry said earlier in a statement that Semenya's lawyers, South Africa's government and the world athletics governing body IAAF had reached "total agreement" on her title won amid a storm over her gender at the Berlin championships in August.
The parties also agreed that scientific tests into her gender will be remain confidential, but their statement have no clear details on the runner's competitive future.
But the IAAF said Wednesday that gender testing was not yet complete for the athlete, a first year sports science student who grew up in a rural village in northern South Africa.
Her rapid speed gains this year prompted questions about the gender of the runner, who has a deep voice and a muscular physique.
Leaked test results said Semenya was a hermaphrodite, sparking anger from the South African public and government, who have rallied behind the athlete.
The IAAF has numerous options when it considers the results of her testing -- they could ban her from competing again, require that she undergo surgery, or take no action.
The entire board of Athletics South Africa (ASA) was suspended by the national Olympic committee this month over its handling of the Semenya row, after ASA boss Leonard Chuene admitted he knew about gender tests conducted on the athlete prior to the world championships.
ASA has apologised to the nation for the debacle, after a damning investigation by the ruling African National Congress.Read More....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Olympic dreams hit for six by funding row

THE long-awaited Crawford report into sport says Australia has to stop being an international over-achiever and learn to be satisfied with a ''realistic'' top 10 Olympic result.
In 39 controversial recommendations to the Federal Government, the businessman David Crawford says Olympic success is expensive and funding would be better directed to big professional sports and those which reflect the national psyche.
The report drew immediate criticism from the president of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, who said Mr Crawford, who is on the board of BHP Billiton and Lend Lease, and his panel were not qualified to comment on elite and international sport. The report rejected a plea from Olympic and Paralympic sports for an immediate injection of $100 million to halt the recent funding decline.
The report says the money could be better spent on sports with stronger participation, such as Australian rules, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, football and netball.
''The panel strongly believes the public needs to be educated to think differently about what constitutes Olympic success,'' the report says.
''This will mean more explicitly defining elite sporting success in the context of prioritising those sports which capture the country's imagination and represent its spirit and culture. These are the sports where our performance on the national and world stage is important to our sense of success as a nation.
''There should be debate about which sports carry the national ethos. Swimming, tennis, cricket, cycling, the football codes, netball, golf, hockey, basketball, surfing and surf lifesaving are among the most popular sports in Australia, a part of the national psyche.''
Mr Crawford did not mention track and field, which has strong Olympic memories through Herb Elliott, Marjorie Jackson, Betty Cuthbert, Cathy Freeman and Steve Hooker. He criticised funding of sports such as canoeing, taekwondo and archery.
The report says that based on attendance, ratings, sponsorship and participation, cricket, Australian rules and rugby league deserve more funding.
But Mr Coates said the report was disrespectful and ignorant. The big professional sports already accessed the public purse through superior sporting infrastructure and benefited financially from big crowds at games and broadcast revenues.
''Is Mr Crawford saying that BHP and Lend Lease should not aspire to be number one and they should close down their overseas operations and concentrate on aspects of their business that are the bits publicly supported in Australia?'' Mr Coates said.Read More.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

San Diego’s World Cup bid hopes for boost from petition drive

A petition drive was launched Monday in support of San Diego’s bid to be one of the cities where World Cup matches would be played if the United States is selected to host the soccer tournament in 2018 or 2022.
San Diego’s World Cup push was announced by Mayor Jerry Sanders at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. He was joined by officials from the San Diego Sports Commission, San Diego Lodging Industry Association, San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association and San Diego Surf Soccer Club.
The link to the petition to potentially bring World Cup matches to San Diego can be found on the front page of the city’s Web site at Online Sports News . By 2 Monday afternoon, more than 2,500 people had signed the petition.
The City Council is scheduled to make San Diego’s World Cup bid official during its meeting Tuesday.
San Diego is one of 27 cities being considered to host World Cup matches if the tournament comes to the U.S. The U.S. Bid Committee, a consortium of American soccer organizations and supporters, has been established to try to convince the Federation Internationale de Football Association that the U.S. should host the tournament in 2018 or 2022.
The U.S. Bid Committee will narrow the number of cities where World Cup matches would by played to 18 by the end of next month. FIFA is scheduled to announce the host countries for 2018 and 2022 in December 2010.
If San Diego is selected, it would have to agree to offer the use of a stadium, hold a festival and pay for public safety. The cost for each city hosting World Cup matches is estimated at $12-$15 million.
The World Cup, the world’s most widely viewed sporting event, is held every four years and is comprised of 64 matches played by 32 international teams in more than a dozen cities throughout the host nation.
According to a report to the City Council, holding a World Cup in the U.S. would generate a $350-$550 million economic benefit for each host city and a $6.4 billion economic impact nationally.
The last World Cup was held in Germany in 2006. The 2010 World Cup is being held in South Africa. It then goes to Brazil in 2014. The tournament was last played in the U.S. in 1994.Read More.....

Wii may provide actual exercise: study

The new active Wii video games from Nintendo may be creating a healthier generation of couch potato, according to a new study.
Some of the Nintendo Wii sports games and activities included in the Wii Fit series, both of which require video-game enthusiasts to get up off the couch, may increase energy expenditure as much as moderate intensity exercise without ever leaving the TV room, researchers said at the American Heart Association (AHA) scientific meeting in Orlando.
"It's a very easy and fun way to start exercising," said Motohiko Miyachi, head of a physical activity program at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo, who led the study.
The Nintendo-funded study found that about one-third of the games and activities included in the Wii sports and Wii fit packages require an energy expenditure of 3.0 METs or above, which is considered to be moderate intensity exercise, according to AHA exercise guidelines.
METs are metabolic equivalent values -- a standard method of estimating energy expenditure, researchers said.
While this study does not prove health benefits of these games, Miyachi speculated that increased time spent playing them "may contribute to prevention of cardiovascular diseases."
The most effective exercise in the study was the single-arm stand featured in the Wii Fit, which came in at 5.6 METs -- just shy of vigorous activity defined as 6.0 or greater.
If that too closely resembles actual exercise for the calisthenically challenged, then the Wii sports boxing game is the way to go with an energy expenditure of 4.5 METs.
Both the Wii tennis and baseball games produced moderate intensity expenditures of 3.0 METs. But would-be golfers looking to get exercise are still going to have to walk the course as the video version produces only 2.0 METs.
Miyachi, who said he enjoys the Wii tennis and baseball games, hopes to measure the physical activity expended playing the new Wii resort games and called on other video game makers to develop more active entertainment.
Noting the growing obesity epidemic in the United States and Japan, Miyachi said some physical activity, even of the video variety, is better than none.Read More.....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Children's Day SMS to exchange greetings

Children's Day celebration begins in India on November 14 to mark the birth anniversary of country's first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.Not only in India, several other countries in the world also observe November 14 as Children's Day.To celebrate the spirit of children and their talent and to promote kids' welfare, the UN General Assembly in 1954 recommended that all countries around the world set aside a day for this purpose on a date they considered appropriate. The day would be seen as a symbol of worldwide fraternity and understanding.After introduction of technologies in the daily life, the celebration of all the festivals and important days become cheaper and easier.As entire country has been geared up to celebrate the birth anniversary of Chacha Nehru as Children's Day, people are also looking for text SMS to exchange the greetings.Several website are available on internet in this regard. Here are Some Childre's Day SMS for you:Pt Jawaharlal Nehru ke janam divas aur cricket me Sachin Tendulkar k shandar 20 years. Is historical din per aap sabhi ko hardik badhaiyan.Teacher Teacher, aaj naa kuch kehna humkoAaj hum khoob mauj udayenge,Saal bhar toh aapki humni suni…Aaj hum baate aapko apni batayenge..Happy Children's Day Teacher!Chacha ka hai janamdivasSabhi bacche aayengeChacha ji ke phool gulab se..Hum bache sama sab mehkayenge!Happy Children's Day Read More....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sky to cry foul as Ashes and football qualifiers set for return to free TV

The England team celebrate after winning the Ashes at The Oval. Photograph: Paul Harding/Action Images
A furious backlash from sport's governing bodies will greet tomorrow's recommendation that the Ashes and international football qualifiers be added to the list of events reserved for live broadcast on free-to-air television.
The proposals, which, if adopted by the government, would represent a serious blow to Sky, could become the latest ammunition in the escalating battle between Rupert Murdoch and No 10, and lead to claims from sports that they are being used as a political football – or cricket ball.
The independent review panel strongly rebuts any suggestion that the government has influenced its thinking during its 10-month review, but the temptation to hit Murdoch's bottom line in retaliation for the Sun's switch in support from Labour to the Tories will inevitably be seen as a factor in the government's deliberations over whether to accept its conclusions.
But the move will be cheered by the majority of viewers and free-to-air broadcasters including the BBC and ITV, which say that more than eight in 10 people support the principle of protecting events.
As revealed in the Guardian on Monday, the whole of Wimbledon fortnight is also likely to be added to the list of protected events, along with Open golf and rugby union internationals in Wales.
The Epsom Derby and the rugby league Challenge Cup final are expected to be dropped from the list. It is also believed that the B-list of events that must be shown in highlights form on freeview TV will also be axed.
Governing bodies will claim that the recommendations of the independent panel, chaired by former FA executive David Davies, will hit their revenues by hundreds of millions of pounds, reducing investment in grassroots sport and potentially damaging the government's post-Olympics sports participation targets.
Those who campaigned against the controversial removal of live Test cricket from the list of protected live events in 1998, a move they say harmed the visibility of the sport, will cheer the move to relist the Ashes. They point to figures showing that 7.4 million people watched the climax to the 2005 series on Channel 4, while fewer than 2 million watched the jubilant scenes from the Oval this year on Sky.
In 2005 Sky signed an exclusive deal to cover all domestic and international cricket, later renewing it until 2013 at a cost of £300m. Cricket authorities claim that money has been invested in a range of projects that have boosted participation at clubs, in schools and among women.
The Davies panel is a mix of broadcasters, sports figures and academics including Eamonn Holmes, Colin Jackson and Dougie Donnelly. The key qualifying characteristic for protection they alighted upon is that of "national resonance", which is understood to have led to the conclusion that international football qualifiers in each of the home nations should also be listed.
The Scottish FA has railed against such a move, claiming it would hit revenues by £12m a year, while the financial consequences for the English FA would also be dire. The FA is already facing the need to cut its cost base as a result of the collapse of its £150m contract with Setanta last June for the broadcast of live FA Cup and England matches, the repayment schedule on loans taken out to finance the new Wembley stadium, and the need to fund a faltering bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
The sports bodies will attempt to convince culture secretary Ben Bradshaw and sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe, who will put the issue out to a 12-week consultation once they have examined the review's conclusions, that it has been too narrow in its scope and failed to take account of the financial impact on sport.
The review was ordered last year by the then culture secretary Andy Burnham, who was keen to examine the issue in the wake of the success of the Beijing Olympics on the BBC, which was watched by more than 41 million people.
The ECB is likely to call for an independent economic analysis of the impact of the decision, arguing that an estimated £120m-£150m of the value of its contract with Sky is driven by the exclusivity premium around the Ashes.
It will also argue that the BBC did not bid for live rights in 2005 or 2008, citing scheduling issues, and even claim that listing the Ashes could damage the future of Test cricket if Sky chooses to invest in other forms of the game instead.
The length of existing contracts means any changes will only come into play following digital switchover in 2012.Read More.........

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MUMBAI: The cyclone over the Arabian Sea on Wednesday was "likely to intensify further"

MUMBAI: The cyclone over the Arabian Sea on Wednesday was "likely to intensify further" and cross the Indian coast between north Maharashtra and
south Gujarat in the early hours of Thursday, says the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Now named Phyan, the cyclone was about 250 km directly west of Goa at 2:30am Thursday, the IMD said on its website, even as it it issued an "orange" alert. That is one step below the red alert put out for a really severe cyclone. At that hour, Phyan was 420 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 670 km south-southwest of Surat in south Gujarat.

"The system is likely to intensify further and move north-northeastwards and cross south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coast between Mahuva and Dahanu by early hours of Nov 12," the website reported. Fishermen have already been asked not to go out to sea, and oil rigs in Bombay High were battening down, according to local media reports. The IMD expects that maximum sustained surface wind speed under the influence of Cyclone Phyan will be 70-80 kmph around 11.30pm on Wednesday, gusting up to 90 kmph. The weatherman said Wednesday morning that the cyclone will lead to "rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy fall (over or equal to 25 cm) over Konkan and Goa and Madhya Maharashtra during next 36 hours". "Rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places is likely over coastal Karnataka during next 24 hours. Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (over or equal to 25 cm) is likely to commence over south Gujarat from today (Wednesday) afternoon". "Squally winds with speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph are likely along and off Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra coasts during next 36 hours. Sea condition will be very rough over along and off Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra coasts. Squally wind speed reaching 55-65 gusting to 75 kmph is likely to commence along and off south Gujarat coast from today afternoon."Read More.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deepika Yuvraj reunited

Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone, who has been in news for her reported break up with current beau Ranbir Kapoor, was apparently reunited with her ex-beau Yuvraj Singh... not in real life but on stage. The dusky beauty was performing at the Sahara Indian Sports Awards in Mumbai where the entire Indian cricket team was present. Read More....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Officials announce plans for National High School Sports museum in Easton

Calling the Lehigh Valley the “biggest high school sports area in the country,” Robert Ferraro Sr. formally announced plans to bring a High School Sports Hall of Fame museum to Downtown Easton to bolster the corridor as a tourism destination.
“The Lehigh Valley is unique in its support from the community for sports,” said Ferraro. “You’ll read in Texas where you’ll have 20,000 people for a high school football game, but none of them will come to a volleyball game.”
Ferraro Sr. is an Easton native and former head wrestling coach at Bucknell University who founded the National High School Coaches Association in 1989.
The city will raze the former Perkins restaurant and Marquis movie theater to make way for a 350-space parking deck, 36-space surface lot and eight-bay bus terminal on the South Third Street location.
The city tentatively plans to front the intermodal facility with a shell building for the bus ticket office and space that it will lease to the NHSCA for offices and the hall of fame museum.
Ferraro Sr. says his organization will privately raise the money for the interior, which he said will be constructed by Tuskes Homes.
While the NHSCA would welcome state funding, Ferraro isn't counting on it.
“If we had public money, that would be great, but we’re not depending on it,” he said.
Plans for the interior include areas for memorabilia as well as a theater and training facility. Ferraro hopes that the museum could follow along with the scheduled opening for the intermodal facility in late 2011.Read More......

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No, really: Onion, Comedy Central team on TV pilot

NEW YORK (AP) - ESPN had better watch its back.Comedy Central has ordered a pilot from the satirical news magazine The Onion.The prospective half-hour scripted series will be based on The Onion's Sports Network, an online video series that parodies sports shows - especially those on ESPN.Onion News Network director Will Graham says in a statement to expect "the most intense sports coverage humanity has yet witnessed."A spokeswoman for Comedy Central says the pilot constitutes the first collaboration between the two comedy institutions.The Onion, founded in Madison, Wis., was long famous for its mock headlines when it launched the "ONN" in 2007. That's its online video department.Read More...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pinnacle of the Past, Just $2.1 Million

MY mission today is to offer my clear-eyed take on the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. But the price keeps getting in the way. This removable-roof version of the Veyron coupe costs 1.4 million euros, or roughly $2.1 million. I say roughly, because the Bugatti’s price can fluctuate about $14,000 a day simply from one-cent adjustments in exchange rates.
For that price, a rare species of car owner gets a rocket that gleams across the planet’s surface faster than any true production automobile that has come before. The Bugatti shifts occupants around like a Star Trek transporter: from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds, to 125 m.p.h. in just over 7 seconds and on to a top speed of 253 m.p.h. — though 401 kilometers per hour has a better bullet-train ring to it.
Particulars include 1,001 horsepower, 16 cylinders, 8 liters of engine displacement, 4 turbochargers, all-wheel drive and a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Only 150 Grand Sports will be built, tacked onto 300 editions of the Veyron coupe, making the Bugatti the automotive equivalent of a FabergĂ© egg. A $450,000 deposit gets that egg rolling at Bugatti’s atelier in Molsheim, France.
As a fast-car fanboy, this is where I should need a squeegee to wipe the drool off the page. But while the Saudi sheiks who’ll buy the Grand Sport want my advice as much as they want electric cars, the Bugatti ultimately doesn’t do it for me.
Though I generally test cars for a week, I was granted barely an hour’s audience with the Bugatti. But as with my previous test of the coupe, my impression was of a car so overqualified for public roads that even the ultra-rich would be better off with a more approachable sports car.
Bugatti’s main achievement was making a car that weighs nearly 4,400 pounds — 1,100 more than a Corvette or Porsche 911 — accelerate and handle so well. The second achievement, and no small feat, is how a midengine exotic with more power than a Formula One racer manages to feel comfortable and pliable even in city traffic. With just a little instruction, your grandmother could drive this car at 150 m.p.h. while knitting a Nomex racing suit.
Press the gas pedal, thwack the paddle shifters and the next thing you know the aero wing emerges from the rear deck — a sign that you’ve already crested 137 m.p.h.
To run safely at speeds above 233 m.p.h., drivers must insert a second, special key that lowers the body and closes the front diffuser flaps Batmobile-style. That key, I might add, stayed hidden in the pocket of John Hill, Bugatti’s American market manager, who rode shotgun with me.

The convertible buttresses the lost roof with reinforced doors and carbon-fiber bracing, including supports in the roof-mounted air intakes to bolster rollover protection. With near-zero storage space (and nary a cup holder), the removable transparent hardtop must be stashed in a garage, perhaps on a chinchilla throw. The carries a flimsy canvas roof for sudden downpours, but it’s not recommended above 100 m.p.h., lest it fly off like a bad toupĂ©e.
I definitely prefer the targa-top Grand Sport to the Veyron coupe, because it lets you hear the 16 cylinders churning behind your head, along with the quad turbochargers slurping air and burping off the excess.
The car comes with a great cocktail-party boast: if your Veyron, at rest, were passed by a $500,000 Mercedes McLaren SLR doing 100 m.p.h., you could floor the accelerator and still reach 200 m.p.h. before the Mercedes could match its speed.
That kind of physics-textbook problem is where my issues begin. At speeds where cars from a $40,000 Nissan 370Z to a $90,000 Porsche 911 become your wingmen, delivering pure blasts of driving joy, the Bugatti feels bored to death. The artillery-shell acceleration is diverting, but the Bugatti leaves you nowhere else to go, except directly to jail.
Many Bugatti buyers surely have access to racetracks, yet I’m equally sure that 90-some percent of them won’t have nearly enough driving talent to exercise this car. Mostly, I picture Euro-poseurs needing valet assistance to back up the Bugatti in Monaco, while jaws drop and the owner barks orders into his diamond-encrusted cellphone. When your car makes a Lamborghini seem tasteful, there’s a problem.
As with the New York Yankees or most Picasso paintings, I respect the Bugatti as an engineering exercise and a conglomeration of overpriced talent. Yet I might argue that any $2 million car should be powered by hydrogen, electricity — even nuclear fusion — not a gas engine blown up to overkill proportions. The Bugatti isn’t the future of the fast car; it’s the past writ in extra-large type.
I try to avoid the pointless game of adding up the many cars you could have for the price of one exotic. The truth is that the exotic-car buyer is quite proficient at math. He wants what he wants, and he can afford it.
But this time I’ll make an exception. For half the Bugatti’s price, one could buy four genuine exotics that I find better looking and more rewarding: the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8 V-10 and Aston Martin DBS. That would still leave $1 million for a 10-car garage filled with classics like a Jaguar E-Type and a Corvette Sting Ray fuelie.
But once again, why would a Bugatti prospect care what I think? I’d be the guy tracking exchange rates on the Veyron, hoping to save enough to get a free Hyundai.

INSIDE TRACK: Right at home on a richer planet.Read More....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Australia beat India by three runs in fifth ODI despite Sachin Tendulkar's heroics

A magnificent 175 from Sachin Tendulkar overshadowed a maiden century from Shaun Marsh, but it was Australia who came out triumphant by three runs in the fifth one-day international against India in Hyderabad.
Marsh was twice dropped but made the most of those reprieves as he powered to 112, while opening partner Shane Watson (93), Cameron White (57) and Ricky Ponting (45) all made substantial contributions to power Australia to a massive 350 for four.
Tendulkar replied in style and, aided brilliantly by Suresh Raina (59), brought India within sniffing distance of victory, but Australia kept their heads as India were bowled out for 347 with three deliveries to spare.
The win gave Australia a 3-2 lead in the seven-match series.
The visitors began well, with Watson getting them off to a flyer as he smashed the new-ball bowlers around.
He blasted first-change bowler Munaf Patel for a four and a six in his second over to quickly close in on a half-century and clobbered Ashish Nehra for another four and six to reach the milestone off just 40 deliveries.
Watson motored along nicely once past the 50 mark, completely dominating an opening stand with Marsh worth 145.
Australia's free scoring was finally curbed with the introduction of Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, the two bowling accurately in tandem and asserting a degree of control.
But a ragged performance from India in the field stalled the breakthrough as Marsh, who had begun unconvincingly, was dropped on 29 by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Harbhajan, the wicketkeeper failing to grasp a top-edge chance.
Watson was dropped by Yuvraj off his own bowling on 90, but did not last long thereafter as he fell short of a century, slog-sweeping Harbhajan straight to Ravindra Jadeja at deep midwicket.
Marsh was again reprieved just after reaching his half-century with Virender Sehwag making a mess of a fairly straightforward chance at cover.
Ponting was then bowled by Praveen Kumar, but Marsh began to score fluently from then on - his second 50 came off just 41 deliveries - and celebrated exuberantly once he reached his century.
He fell while trying to up the scoring, but White and Michael Hussey (31 not out) provided the flourish at the death.
White was snared off the last ball, but the Victorian had done the damage, putting on 80 off just 43 deliveries for the fourth wicket with Hussey.
India's reply began in usual sprightly fashion with Sehwag providing the initial thrust.
The opener had clubbed 38 off 30 deliveries when Doug Bollinger, who had grassed him earlier when the batsman was on 21, held a splendid catch running back from short fine-leg to send back the opener.
Debutant seamer Clint McKay then struck vital blows in the top order, sending back Gautam Gambhir and Dhoni cheaply, while Yuvraj was snaffled by Watson as the home side slipped to 162 for four.
Tendulkar, who had needed seven runs at the start of the innings to reach 17,000 in ODIs, was tentative at first, but once he passed that milestone he opened up to play another superb innings.
Tendulkar was joined by Raina, the left-hander providing excellent support as the match swung India's way under their charge.
Tendulkar, who had smashed Nathan Hauritz for consecutive sixes in an over, reached his 45th ODI century off just 81 deliveries and continued to flay the bowlers around as India closed in on the target.
Australia too were far from flawless in the field, White spilling Raina while the batsman was on zero proving costly.
Raina went on to add 137 for the fifth wicket with Tendulkar, reaching his 12th ODI half-century with a towering six of McKay.
The match turned again with Watson snaring the left-hander and his replacement, the feisty Harbhajan, in the same over.
India had needed 52 from 45 deliveries at the dismissal of Raina, but Jadeja (23) kept the chase on course until he lost Tendulkar, McKay's third victim.
India then unravelled with Jadeja run out and Nehra going quickly.
Eight were needed from the last over, but Praveen Kumar was run out while attempting a second run, the wicket handing Australia victory. Read More.......

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Team India to overtake Man United

The BCCI’s latest money-spinning ploy might even leave one of football’s biggest brands, Manchester United, behind. Daily sports news
According to a report, the BCCI, which has invited fresh bids for Team India's logo sponsorship, might overtake Manchester United, as far as jersey-sponsorship deals go. The Red Devils' current T-shirt sponsorship deal is for approximately Rs 650 crore for four years, whereas BCCI is offering 170 international matches for the next four years starting January 1, 2010 and expecting around Rs 800 crore. online sports
Putting Twenty20 on par with ODIs and Tests, the Board is asking for a minimum reserve price of Rs 3 crore for each India game. In comparison, Sahara India, who have been the sponsors for the last 10 years, have paid a little more than Rs 400 crore in the last four years.
The fresh bidding process already has Sahara in two minds. Sahara's spokesperson Avijit Sarkar, when asked if his company would bid again, told The Times of India, "We have not decided yet."
The Board is also looking to raise at least Rs 25 lakh for each under-19 fixture, while the target for the women's team is Rs 10 lakh each for all three formats. Rights holders will have to give a bank guarantee of the entire bid money.
Sources told the newspaper that if the bidders are buying logo rights for the men's team along with under-19, India-A and women's teams, they are expected to deposit a security amount of Rs 50 crore by November 22, two days before the actual date of submitting the tenders. If bidders just want the senior men's team rights, the security amount payable will be Rs 48 crore. Read More....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sports projects given £5.5m boost

Sportscotland has announced £5.5m towards three major new sporting projects in Tayside and Fife ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
A new centre, complete with a 50m swimming pool, is to be built in Dundee to replace the city's Olympia Centre and will receive £3m of the cash. online sports
A further £1.5m will go towards the creation of a new leisure centre in Glenrothes.
In Kirkcaldy, £1m will be given to help build a new sports hall and 25m pool. Daily sports news
The projects follow a Scottish Swimming report earlier this year which found a need for more pools in the region that were suitable for use as training centres for performance swimmers.
In Glenrothes, the new centre will include an eight-lane 25-metre competition pool, training and teaching pool with moveable floor, as well as a teaching/remedial pool.
'Real differences'
An 85-station fitness suite will also be created with an eight-court sports hall and a purpose-built aerobics studio.
The new centre in Kirkcaldy will also feature a 25m main swimming pool, smaller teaching pool with moveable floor, health suite, full-size sports hall, play centre, and 60-station fitness suite.
In Dundee a replacement centre will be built to replace the Olympia and will feature the new 50m pool, dive pool, fitness suite and cafe.
The projects were announced by Sports Minister Shona Robison and sportscotland chair Louise Martine CBE.
Ms Robison said the new facilities would help create healthier communities.
She added: "With the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow in 2014 we have a once in a lifetime chance to make a real difference to the lives of all our communities.
"I am passionate and determined that the legacy is accessible to all, so that long after the event the benefits of a more modern, healthy and inclusive Scotland are clearly visible and enjoyed by all." Read More......

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ponting hails 'outstanding' Bollinger

Ricky Ponting has credited his bowlers, and particularly Doug Bollinger, with rescuing Australia in Mohali to level the series 2-2. The Australians appeared to be in trouble when India were 78 for 1 in the 15th over, chasing 251 for victory, but in his fifth ODI Bollinger grabbed three wickets to set up Australia's triumph. online sports
"I thought Bollinger was outstanding," Ponting said after the match. "He came on and his wickets probably brought us back into the game."
Bollinger finished with 3 for 38 from his nine overs and helped restrict the scoring while his fellow left-armer Mitchell Johnson leaked runs. Shane Watson grabbed three wickets in the lower order when India were threatening a late fightback, and combined with two sharp run-outs from Ponting it added up to a strong performance in the field.
"It was good to get a couple of run-outs," Ponting said. "Yuvi and I had a chat in the field and he called me a little bit slow, but I got one back on him tonight. We have worked hard on our fielding and I thought it has been at its best in the whole series tonight. Daily sports news
"It's surely a good win for us, coming up short with the bat, but bowling and fielding very well. Peter Siddle got only five overs in the game which means we thought things out really well. The series is level again, it has been up and down all the way through and no team has been able to grab the momentum."
Ponting said it was disappointing that Australia had failed to make the most of a strong start with the bat - four of their top five scored 40 or more. However, nobody else reached double figures and the innings fell away dramatically, with the final wicket falling for 250 in the 50th over.
"We felt we had missed out on a few runs out there with the bat," he said. "At one stage it looked like we would get close to 300, but we didn't capitalise on the Powerplay. We lost a few wickets leading up to our powerplay again and that's been a bit of a problem for us through the series so far. But the boys bowled exceptionally well tonight."Read More......

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cricketers’ ’surprise’ outings, Chandigarh police complains

Chandigarh, Nov 1 (IANS) Chandigarh police Sunday complained to the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Sunday about the “surprise” outings of Indian cricket players from the hotel where they are staying here. Daily sports news
“First Yuvraj Singh, breaking all the security barriers, stepped out of Taj Hotel at around 7.30 p.m. He went away in a friend’s car. Not only this, after sometime, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh also went out of the hotel without informing anybody,” Superintendent of Police (Security) H.S. Doon told IANS late Sunday evening.
“I have got a report from Deputy Superintendent of Police Roshan Lal, who is in charge of the players’ security. On the basis of the report, I have written a complaint to PCA president seeking action against these players,” he said. online sports
“In order to ensure foolproof security of players, we want cooperation from them. But such incidents make things really difficult for us,” Doon added.
Police sources told IANS that Chandigarh police is also planning to write to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), raising this issue of breach of security cover with them.
Hotel staff said that Yuvraj had gone out with a friend to meet his father Yograj Singh, who lives in the city.
The Indian team had reached hotel Taj here Sunday evening. They will play the fourth match, of the ongoing seven-match Hero Honda Cup, against Australia at the PCA stadium in neighbouring Mohali town, around 10 km from here, Monday. [LM1]Read More.....
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