‘Fan card’ project handed over to CFA

first_imgBy Constantinos PsillidesTHE Cyprus Football Association (CFA) will be taking over from the Cyprus Sports Organisation (CSO) on the issue of the fan card.The decision was made on Thursday night at a meeting of the two, which concluded that CSO couldn’t cope with the financial aspects of its implementation.Opposition political parties had expressed fears over personal data protection, even going as far as to accuse police of trying to indirectly keep tabs on fans.They insisted on the CSO handling the project – an identity card without which no one will be allowed to buy a ticket to any sporting event- since the CFA is a private organisation run by representatives of the football teams. The CSO on the other hand is a semi-government organisation and under the scrutiny of the Auditor-general. The competent authority will also have to pay for the installation of CCTV cameras and face-recognition systems in all stadiums used by a top league football team, along with a card reader to verify that the owner of the fan card can be allowed in the grounds. The estimated cost is around €2 million, which the CSO can’t cover.Kleanthis Georgiades, deputy head of CSO, told the Cyprus Mail that the organisation delegated authority to the CFA so the legislation could be implemented by January 1, 2015, as it was originally declared by the government. “If we took it up on ourselves to cover the cost, it would take forever. Our annual budget doesn’t include this expense so we would have to draft a request for additional budget, take it to the finance ministry and then have it approved. That would take us up to the end of October. Then and only then we would be in position to open a tender process for the equipment. I can assure you that it would take us the better part of the football season to do that,” said Georgiades. He said the CSO has included a clause stipulating that the organisation must be involved in every decision CFA makes.“We would be informed on the tender process, on the expected cost, everything. Anything that has to do with the fans card CFA has to run by us to ensure transparency.”Besides jurisdictional problems, the CFA will also have to deal with infrastructure issues. According to Georgiades, currently only three stadiums have efficient CCTV systems in place, which is a requirement for the face-recognition software. The CSO deputy-head clarified that even if the face-recognition software and the card-readers were not up and running by January 2015, fans would still have to produce a fan card to purchase tickets to any sporting event and to be allowed in the grounds.last_img read more

Ostapenko stems errors in time to reach third round

first_imgFrench Open champion Jelena Ostapenko battled her misfiring game and stubborn qualifier Francoise Abanda before securing a 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3 win to reach the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday.For the second match running the 13th seed’s level fluctuated wildly but she finally made her extra firepower count to see off the Canadian as darkness descended on Court 12.Fans could have been excused for wondering what all the fuss was about as Ostapenko, who blazed to the Roland Garros title last month, flailed forehands high and wide in a scrappy first set against her fellow 20-year-old.The Latvian was three points from defeat in the second set tiebreak but world number 142 Abanda wavered with a nervy double-fault and Ostapenko seized her chance to level the match.Yet more unforced errors handed Abanda a 2-0 lead in the deciding set but a fired-up Ostapenko won six of the last seven games to move through to a clash with unseeded Italian Camila Giorgi who knocked out big-hitting American Madison Keyslast_img read more

Policymakers and youth

first_imgYouths make up the larger part of the population of almost every country in the world. This presents certain challenges for policymakers to develop, implement and maintain programmes and activities which must be economically and socially oriented to satisfy their (youth) desires.It is also well known that the absence of well-thought-out programmes with respect to youth development impacts negatively on our young people, and sometimes even lead to them resigning themselves to lawlessness and other anti-social behaviours that are damaging to society.Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque recently stated that the majority of victims as well as perpetrators of crimes reported by the Police are young males 18 to 35 years old. He pointed to the fact that there are a number of socio-economic determinants of crime; the least of which is the high youth unemployment in the Region of 25 per cent in 2017 – that is three times the average and the highest. This is surely reason to be concerned as right away one would begin to worry about the kind of future these persons would have, and the contribution they would make to their societies, if any at all. Certainly, this is enough reason to cause governments and policymakers to take a closer look at what is happening in their individual countries and take steps to remedy the situation.Certainly, there is a great need for intervention in order to combat the current challenges facing young people. In order to prepare young people for workplace success, job training programmes need to go beyond technical instruction and also teach “life skills,” such as communication, reliability, and teamwork. This push for teaching youth life skills has been validated by employers who have consistently reported that, above all, they want to hire employees who possess workplace-ready skills, such as communication, teamwork, motivation and responsibility. Technical skills, they say, can be learned on the job.In addition to teaching youth the life skills employers look for, there is need to also introduce complementary life planning activities in this component. These activities help youth in assessing who they are, their aspirations for the future, and define realistic steps toward achieving these goals.Guyana has a number of programmes geared towards equipping young people with various skills for the world of work etc. This is commendable, but more focus needs to be placed on combining teaching life skills with the various academic or technical subjects. Meaning, these programmes should include assessment and identification of ways to build competency and skills supportive of healthy behaviours to help young people as they mature into adulthood.Additionally, institutions such as the family and religious bodies need to take up their roles more seriously as happened before. Historically, the older generation had managed to transmit their beliefs, values, traditions, customs and institutions to the younger members of their societies. This was achieved largely because of the impact of agencies of socialisation, such as the family, religion and the schools. Today, the impact of these institutions has been challenged and undermined by new forces, particularly television and the internet, and the pop culture as a whole.Further, the role of the Private Sector should never be underestimated. There is need for funding for many crucial programmes aimed at creating better opportunities for young persons here. Such programmes, once effectively implemented, would see our young people become well equipped with the necessary skills to develop themselves and in turn contribute to the overall development of the country. The Private Sector is one of the main beneficiaries of an educated and skilled workforce and it should seek to invest in; and help to build the pool of talent it wishes to draw from.It is well accepted that progressive countries in the world have strong systems for engaging youth in policy formation and in creating or altering programmes designed to support youth. We believe that if our young people are to make more mature and responsible judgments and engage in activities that are the hallmark of a socially productive adulthood, certain support systems for development must be present in the environment, teaching life skills is a good way to start.last_img read more

Opposition Leader’s statement on CJ ruling

first_imgI have noted press reports of the ruling of the Honourable Madam Justice Roxane George S.C. CCH, Chief Justice (ag.) in the matter filed by Marcel Gaskin.The Leader of the Opposition was named as a party to those proceedings by theOpposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoApplicant. As a result, my Attorneys-at-Law were invited by the Court to make submissions for the purpose of assisting the Court in determining the important questions posed to the Court by the Applicant in respect of, an interpretation of Article 161(2) of the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. In compliance with the Court’s request, my lawyers duly submitted copious legal submissions supported by dozens of case law authorities in respect of each of the questions which were posed to the Honourable Court.Having read excerpts of the ruling carried in the Press, I am happy that the Honourable Chief Justice has clarified many of the issues which seemed to have caused deep confusion in the minds of the Attorney-General and the President.The Honourable Chief Justice’s ruling has clarified the following issues:(i) that the list of names which is to be submitted by the Leader of the Opposition to the President for the appointment of a Chairman of GECOM can comprise of judges, former judges, any person qualified to be a judge or any other fit and proper person;(ii) that there is no preference of one category over the other;(iii) that any person from each category can be appointed;(iv) that the list can consist of six judicially or legally qualified persons, or six fit and proper persons;(v) that there is no requirement that a judicially qualified person must be on any list;(vi) that any fit and proper person must have the characteristics of honesty, integrity, impartially and independence from political or other control;(vii) that the President is obliged to provide reasons for deeming each of the six names on the list submitted to him, as unacceptable;(viii) that the Constitution contemplates only one list but that list can be amended with names added and removed from it;(ix) that the President’s actions and decisions are justiciable in a court of law;(x) that the finding by the President that one name is unacceptable does not render the entire list unacceptable;(xi) that so long as a single name is acceptable to the President, he ought to appoint that person.All of the above vindicate the position we have adopted on this matter from the inception.However, I am informed that in the course of her ruling, the Honourable Chief Justice is interpreted to have said that if the President deems every name on a list as unacceptable, then the proviso to Article 161 applies. If this report is correct, we respectfully take issue with this aspect of the Chief Justice’s ruling. We maintain most resolutely that the proviso only applies when no list has been submitted. That once a list has been submitted, the proviso has no applicability.It is public knowledge that a list has been submitted several months ago. The first six names on that list have been rejected and a second six set of names have been substituted therefor. The second set of names has been rejected and a third set of names has been submitted- all upon the invitation of the President.More significantly, the proviso to Article 162 of the Constitution was not placed before the Court for its interpretation, nor was it part of any of the questions posed to the Court, nor was it the subject of any legal submissions, either from the Applicant’s, nor the Guyana Bar Association’s nor my Attorneys-at-Law. It is therefore rather strange that such a proposition appears to form part of the ruling in the case. In any event, I am advised that if the Honourable Chief Justice made such a statement, it constitutes obiter dicta and is not binding.I await a copy of the written decision and if that statement is in fact in the written decision, then I will have no alternative but to join Marcel Gaskin in filing an appeal against it.last_img read more

Mid-morning sirens a false alarm

first_imgWorried someone may be crushed underneath, they called 9-1-1. RCMP Corporal Jodi Shelkie explains that in fact, the driver of the vehicle had swerved to miss a deer, and ended up rolling his vehicle over. Luckily uninjured, he got out to go get help, due to the lack of traffic on the road. Upon his return, he was clearly surprised to see so many people en scene.- Advertisement –last_img

Money Grows on NC Wind Farms

first_imgBELVIDERE, N.C. – Money may not grow on trees, but it does on wind farms in North Carolina.This month, the Amazon Wind Farm paid the two counties it calls home – Perquimans and Pasquotank – $640,000.The tax revenue makes the farm, powered by Avangrid Renewables, both counties’ largest taxpayer.While much of the focus on wind power is clean energy, Paul Copleman, Avangrid Renewables’ communications manager, says local economies also are winning in the wind game.“What sometimes can get lost is the fact that it’s an extremely successful economic development story, particularly in the communities where wind farms are located,” he points out. “You start there, but you also look at the supply chain, you look at all the different companies in North Carolina that supply the wind industry.”Copleman says during the two years it was being built, the project generated more than 500 construction jobs, and now employs 18 people.In addition to paying taxes, the wind farm makes more than $600,000 a year in lease payments to landowners.The Amazon Wind Farm project involved more than 30 other North Carolina companies and resulted in the construction of 62 miles of new roads.Copleman says the gains seen in eastern North Carolina aren’t unique to the region.“When we are the largest taxpayer in two counties – and we certainly hear that that’s a boost for the community – and that’s a pattern that repeats itself where wind farms are located throughout the country,” he states.Copleman says the Amazon Wind Farm will power the equivalent of 61,000 homes.The energy generated supplies the current Amazon Web Services Cloud data center.last_img read more

Marshfield wrestling routs Merrill, improves to 3-0 in WVC

first_imgTigers earn four pins, four forfeits in road winBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMERRILL — Marshfield won 11 of 14 matches to defeat Merrill 59-15 in a Wisconsin Valley Conference wrestling dual meet Friday night at Merrill High School.The Tigers are now 3-0 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference this season, and Merrill falls to 2-2.Marshfield won four matches by forfeit and four others by pin to cruise to the victory.Caden Dennee needed just 56 seconds to earn in a pin at 113 pounds, and Anthony Kanable (139), Payton Young (152), and Sam Mitchell (170) also had pins for Marshfield.Nolan Hertel earned a 19-5 major decision at 145 pounds, and Tanner Kanable (120) and Brayden Richardson (126) also won by decision for the Tigers.Marshfield hosts D.C. Everest in another WVC dual meet on Thursday.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Marshfield 59, Merrill 15106: Shane Westerhausen (MAR) won by forfeit.113: Caden Dennee (MAR) pinned Alex Gehrke in 0:56.120: Tanner Kanable (MAR) def. Hayden Smith 5-0.126: Brayden Richardson (MAR) def. Holden Smith 6-5.132: Devon Schultz (MER) def. Caden Pearce 7-2.138: Anthony Kanable (MAR) pinned Brenden Leder in 3:13.145: Nolan Hertel (MAR) won by major decision over Brody Gehrke 19-5.152: Payton Young (MAR) pinned Bradley Leiskau in 5:32.160: Bentley Ostermann (MAR) won by forfeit.170: Sam Mitchell (MAR) pinned Jake Spoehr in 3:37.182: Brody Zocher (MER) pinned Ben Gust in 1:43.195: Conner Peterson (MAR) won by forfeit.220: Sam Bauman (MAR) won by forfeit.285: Noah Bolling (MER) pinned A.J. Leonhardt in 1:36.last_img read more

SA romp to Hong Kong Sixes title

first_imgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Seventeen sixesUltimately, South Africa finished with 17 sixes in their innings of 142. That left Pakistan requiring 28.4 runs per eight-ball over, or 3.55 runs per ball! Early on, the Pakistanis were up to the required run rate, but having to maintain such a pace took its toll and they lost wickets where South Africa, by contrast, had seen three batsmen retire. Opening batsman David Miller made it look easy with a knock of 33 not out from only nine balls, with one four and four sixes, one maximum less than Ingram, while Robbie Frylinck smashed 31 from just seven deliveries and Dillon Du Preez weighed in with 31 off 11. Kamran Akmal as the last man standing in the Sixes form of the game finally fell to Frylinck, caught by Ingram, and South Africa claimed a convincing victory. Openers Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal led the way with 37 off 11 balls and 51 off 15 respectively, but Ingram claimed three wickets to put the skids under their batting effort. He removed Awais Zia for five, Hammad Azam for one and Yasir Shah for 10. He struck an unbeaten 34 off only six deliveries to help South Africa to 142 for 2 in their five eight-ball overs, and he was not alone in clearing the boundaries of the small ground. ‘Awesome event’After receiving the winners’ $40 000 cheque (approximately R347 000), he said: “It has been an awesome event. The guys really enjoyed themselves and each other’s company and we just stuck to what we had done all week, which was to bowl tightly and field well, and our batting clicked as well. South Africa won the Hong Kong Sixes tournament for the second time in four years on Sunday after a 37-run victory over defending champions Pakistan in the final. In a hard-hitting contest, captain Colin Ingram led the way with an astonishing innings.center_img “This tournament grows in prestige all the time and Asia is a very important area in which to grow the Protea brand. It fully justifies our decision to send the strongest possible team to Hong Kong and I would like to thank our franchises for their support in this regard. 29 October 2012 Australia won the Plate competition, defeating the Netherlands, who had shocked England in the semi-finals. “It was really pleasing to see our boys play the final so well and they were in command throughout,” Faul concluded. “I had wobbly knees for the ball seemed to take ages to come down, but thankfully it was a clean catch,” Ingram said of the catch that ended the match. “The Pakistan team that we played in the final included experienced internationals in Kamran and Umar Akmal, as well as Junaid Khan. Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO Jacques Faul paid tribute to the Sixes winning team in a statement, saying: “Full marks to coach Vinnie Barnes, captain Colin Ingram and the rest of the players for an excellent achievement that saw them win all their matches on the final day, including beating Pakistan twice.last_img read more

Exploring Standard Bank’s glass-fronted green building

first_imgStandard Bank’s new R2.5-billion building, completed in late 2013, has been given a five-star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa.Standard Banks new ‘green’ building will house 5 000 of the bank’s staff. (Image: Standard Bank)Lucille DavieYou know you’re the most important person in the building when you’re the only one with a formal office, in an 11-storey, five-star-rated green building.The innovative environment-friendly new Standard Bank building on Baker Street in Rosebank, Johannesburg, is set for full occupation by 5 000 employees at the end of March. Its 65 000 square metres will have only one individual office, for bank chairman Ben Kruger. The rest of the building is entirely open plan, supplemented with dozens of meeting rooms and quiet nooks where staff can gather to discuss business.The R2.5-billion building, completed in late 2013, has been given a five-star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa. The council is an independent, non-profit company formed in 2007 to lead the greening of South Africa’s built environment. Construction experts work with industry bodies, leaders, government departments and professionals to develop green solutions for the property industry. It is one of 92 members of the World Green Building Council.The council rates the sustainability of buildings according to four, five and six stars. Four stars are for “best practice”, five for “South African excellence”, and a six-star rating for “world leadership”. Standard Bank had targeted a four-star rating, so were pleased with the five stars the building received, says Rob Gravette, the head of project management at the bank.Open to the publicStandard Bank has created an attractive public dimension to the place – a green piazza the size of a rugby field open to the people of Rosebank, overlooked by the glass-fronted building. There it has planted 422 trees, all indigenous, as well as flower beds which by next summer will be bursting with blooms. In 2009 the bank cut down a number of established exotic trees on the site, including planes, pin oaks, palms, poplars, jacarandas, and the only indigenous tree, a white stinkwood, which caused a public outcry at the time.A green piazza the size of a rugby field open to the people of Rosebank (Image: Standard Bank)The public can enter the building from the piazza, and grab a meal at the ground floor restaurant. The foyer soars into the sky, with a set of escalators moving quietly up and down, offering views into the striking atrium with its huge hanging Marco Cianfanelli Africa-shaped sculpture, called The Seed, made of plywood stained with different earthy colours.The bank’s head office remains in the Johannesburg CBD, at the southern end of Simmonds Street, which houses 15 500 employees in 200 000 square metres. The dispersed business units have moved into the Rosebank building, although the eighth floor executive level is still to be occupied. This is where the chairman will find his desk.Sustainable constructionConstruction began in May 2010, and by mid-2013 the first bank employees started moving in. The finishing touches are still being applied, but it seems from the relaxed atmosphere inside that people are happy to be there, especially if they’ve come from the cavernous head office in the CBD.Massive triple-glazed glass walls go up 11 storeys, an area equivalent to 50 tennis courts, making optimal use of natural light and giving workers stunning views over the green trees and gardens of Rosebank.The building is in two parts: a nine-storey east wing and 11-storey west wing. And it ticks all the correct green boxes, of course. It has the usual dual-flush toilets, low-flow shower heads and tap aerators. Rainwater is harvested from the roof, reducing potable water demand by 56%. Water flowing into the basement – there are five levels of parking underground – is used for the gardens. There are bicycle lock-up slots for employees who cycle to work, with showers.An energy-saving gas-powered trigeneration plant, installed at a cost of R40-million, runs the building’s lighting, heating and cooling. “Standard Bank Rosebank’s trigeneration plant is South Africa’s second and, at a production capacity of one megawatt of energy, it will significantly reduce the building’s carbon footprint,” the bank said in a statement. There are also five generators, providing the building with full backup power, if needed.A cutting-edge digitally addressable lighting system, or Dali, has been installed in 99.26% of the building. This allows light fittings to be programmed according to use: lights automatically dim or switch off if an area is empty or receiving more sunlight. Lights near windows are dimmer than those towards the middle of the office, where less sunlight penetrates. Each light is linked to a computer, which tracks its performance. “Every light has an IP address,” says Gravette.One of the most impressive features is the windows’ triple-layered glazing, with a shading blind between the layers. The blinds automatically open and close as the outside light changes, taking the glare off surfaces inside the building. More than 65% of the exterior of the building is glass. The system took two and a half years for German experts to develop, says Gravette.Over 60% of the steel used in the building is recycled, while 50% of the timber has been sourced from Forest Stewardship Council certified suppliers. The council is an international not-for-profit organisation established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests.At least 20% of the bulky materials used in the construction were sourced from within 400 kilometres of Rosebank, reducing carbon emissions in transporting the materials to the site.And, of course, throughout the building there are recycling bins for office consumables, and others for kitchen and restaurant waste.A studious atmosphereThe large offices themselves have a studious atmosphere, with stacks of white cabinets at the end of each long desk, labelled with the names of those sitting at the desk. Storerooms for files are discreetly tucked away, while air-con grids push out cool air at spaced intervals along the carpeted floor. Light streams in, wherever you sit.Each floor is colour coded, with communal work tables, café-style seating, armchairs and high-backed fabric seating, which is almost sound-proof, allowing for confidential discussions and alternative work spaces.“It’s different, and more relaxing,” says one employee, “I like the view and the office space allows for more interaction. I like to have people close.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more