BAME Representation in RugbyZainab Alema has a vivid memory of sprinting down the wing for Ealing U18. She was so delighted to have scored a try that she didn’t realise her headscarf had come off during the run. These days she wears a scrum cap over the top to keep it in place, with leggings and a long-sleeved top also forming part of her rugby kit to observe her Muslim faith.She admits that when she first played rugby – to complete a practical element for her A Level in PE – she wasn’t sure if she belonged, but ten years later the sport is now a huge part of her life. She has gone on to play for the University of Hertfordshire, Millwall and Barnes – “the friendliest rugby team in London” – and has even set up a rugby charity, Studs in the Mud, to help provide boots and equipment for girls’ and women’s teams in Ghana and Morocco.Family values: Zainab Alema with her children after a Barnes match“At the beginning I felt uncomfortable and didn’t know how I fitted in,” reflects Alema, who moved from centre to No 8 two years ago. “The girls had their legs out, but what was I going to do? In Islam you cover up and I thought I would have to compromise my beliefs to be part of this sport. Then I found out the laws had changed to add that you could wear a headscarf for religious reasons. To know rugby accommodated that, I felt welcome and took it more seriously.“My dad wasn’t too keen at the start and my mum was worried I’d get injured. With my African background, further education was okay but sport wasn’t so common for African women, Muslims especially. I think my dad was scared I would change and I wouldn’t be the same person, but now he can see how much I love it and knows it makes me happy. I’d say playing rugby has even made me a better person. It’s rugby’s values – respect, discipline.”Alema enjoys rugby so much she was back playing early this year, just two months after giving birth to the youngest of her three children last November. However, she wants to see more people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities playing the sport. Alema believes parents can be apprehensive about their children, particularly daughters, playing contact sport but would encourage them to go to watch a game. England’s squad shows diversity but are BAME communities under-represented elsewhere in the game? Rugby World investigates… Diversity: England’s players perform the anthem at RWC 2019 (Getty Images) “I know two other Muslim BAME people playing rugby and that’s shocking,” says 27-year-old Alema. “At the top level there are a few BAME players but significantly there aren’t many Muslims. It goes back to when I first played and didn’t think I belonged, didn’t think it was the sport for me. Watching Maggie Alphonsi when I was younger was a massive help; someone to look up to who looks like you.“Things are changing but changing slowly. I’d definitely like to see more people (from BAME communities at elite level) but it’s easy to say that. We need to encourage more people at grass-roots level so they filter through. It’s a two-way thing – at the top and at grass roots.”“Watching Alphonsi was a massive help; someone to look up to who looks like you”The importance of role models is a common theme. It goes back to the idea that ‘you have to see it to be it’. That is why there has been a huge push to put women’s sport on television. The same applies to ethnic diversity. Ugo Monye grew up idolising Ian Wright, a black footballer who played for his local club, Arsenal. Maro Itoje has spoken of looking up to Monye and Topsy Ojo when he was coming through the rugby ranks. They played different positions to him but they were two of the few black professional players at that time. Seeing yourself represented and reflected in elite sport can be inspirational.Monye says: “Ian Wright looked like me, had a similar upbringing to me. You look at television and build an affinity with people you relate to.”More than a third of England’s 2019 World Cup squad come from BAME backgrounds and that diversity could be hugely significant for the sport. London Irish wing Ben Loader says: “Seeing so many different faces in that England team is pretty powerful. Young kids, wherever they’re from, can see a face in that team and think, ‘That could be me’.“Seeing an England team with so many different backgrounds and races is really inspiring and shows what’s possible if you have ambition and drive.”GRASS ROOTSThe ‘see it’ element looks to be improving, in England at least, but what of ‘be it’? How easy is it for those kids inspired by watching Itoje or Kyle Sinckler or Anthony Watson to get into rugby? Is the sport accessible?Premiership Rugby’s Project Rugby aims to increase participation by those from BAME communities as well as those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and disabled people. It introduces young people to the sport, with every Premiership club running programmes in their area. Andy Keast, the London Irish Foundation chief executive, talks about the initiative “breaking down a lot of barriers”.“Seeing so many different faces in the England team is powerful”Alema has participated in Project Rugby events, too, saying: “I did a speech to kids at Allianz Park. I’d been watching them play tag but they didn’t realise I was a rugby player, so it was a bit of a shock when I did the speech. A few Muslim girls from one school were intrigued and happy to see someone BAME up there talking to inspire them.“Seeing is believing. If it’s a white, middle-class guy coming into the school, they might not listen because it’s hard to see the connection. If I’d seen someone like me, a black woman playing rugby, coming into school when I was 17 I’d think, ‘I can do that’.”Monye believes schools are the key to increasing rugby’s diversity, particularly in cities. He’s hoping to work with the RFU on a scheme to introduce the game as an after-school activity and says: “It can be hard to get involved in the game at inner-city schools and I think there’s more to be done to expose groups at a young age, to say rugby is a game for all shapes and sizes and everyone is welcome.“Not everyone will be the next Owen Farrell or Maro Itoje but I believe, without sounding self-righteous, that the values you learn in rugby are transferable to life – communication, confidence, discipline, hard work, enjoyment.“I’d love to get more people at a younger age playing in inner cities, where there is the most diversity of faces and backgrounds. It starts in schools, then through the kids families get involved and then through families they take their kids’ friends to the local rugby club too. Everyone buys in.” This article originally appeared in the June 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine. Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. TAGS: long-read Sinckler, who started out at Battersea Ironsides, is also launching a foundation, R3cusants, and says: “My biggest thing is when you hear city kids haven’t had the opportunities to succeed in sport. I want to use the platform I have now to give people who haven’t had a fair crack at it an opportunity.”That might be as simple as providing someone with an Oyster card to get to training. For while there are initiatives to introduce children to rugby, the crucial part is retaining those who engage with the sport – pointing them towards their local clubs and ensuring they can get there, getting parents and families on board, making sure they have access to boots and kit.Wing man: Ben Loader scores for London Irish against Wasps (Getty Images)Loader grew up close to Reading Abbey RFC and his parents were happy to take him and brother Danny, now a striker at Reading FC, to participate in various sporting activities. He says: “A lot of it is to do with access to facilities. I was lucky but a lot of people don’t have the same access and rugby isn’t one of those sports you can play on your own to pick up. It’s not easy to do tackling practice on your own whereas football is a game everyone is aware of and it’s easy to go and kick a ball about.“Projects like Project Rugby get people involved, take rugby to people, to kids who haven’t been exposed to it before, and then they can decide whether they like it or not.”COACHINGCollin Osborne, for a long time the only black coach to have worked in the Premiership, brought through the likes of Monye and Sinckler, amongst many others, at Harlequins. While he admits to being something of a cynic when it comes to diversity programmes, suggesting they can be box-ticking exercises with little legacy built before moving on to the next one, he does think 4G pitches and improved junior set-ups at community clubs mean rugby is more accessible.On the ball: Collin Osborne coached at Harlequins for many years (Getty Images)He also believes the lack of diversity in coaching set-ups should not yet be a big concern. He certainly doesn’t think rugby needs to introduce something similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule, where American Football teams are required to interview BAME candidates when coaching roles become available.“In rugby union, to get into coaching at a senior level, you need to have played at a reasonable level to have credibility,” says Osborne. “When you look at the sport’s age profile, it went professional in 1995 so it’s 25 years. The generation who have got a playing background at a professional level, the crop who grew up knowing rugby as a professional option, are only just graduating to coaching and they need to gain experience before becoming head coaches or directors of rugby when they’re a bit older.“I expect it’ll happen to someone like Topsy Ojo. Kyle Sinckler will be an excellent coach when he hangs up his boots and has done a lot of coaching at Guildford already. Rugby has always been a profession for them and there’s a natural progression to coaching. At the moment I don’t think we’ve reached the critical mass of (BAME) people who have come through the game, out of the game and into coaching. It’ll take time but I’m pretty confident it will happen.“When guys like Anthony Watson and Maro Itoje finish playing, I’d like to think there will be opportunities for them in coaching if that’s what they want to do.”REPRESENTATIONAre BAME communities under-represented in rugby? It’s the crucial question and one that is so hard to answer. Traditionally the answer would be yes, but if you look at the current England squad it’s hugely diverse – more diverse than the country itself. The 2011 census showed that 14% of the population of England and Wales are ethnic minorities, while BAME players – 11 of 31 – represented 35% of the England World Cup squad last year.The other home nations don’t have as much diversity in their squads as England but the populations of those countries are also less diverse, with less than 8% from BAME backgrounds.Yet what is so difficult to know is the breakdown of ethnicities playing at grass-roots level. It’s not a statistic the RFU collates and it is hard to source meaningful data. Around 200,000 people from across the country take part in Sport England’s Active Lives survey and figures from that suggest no black participants from that group took part in rugby union even once between November 2017 and November 2018. However, the number of black pros seems to undermine that data.‘Maggie the Machine’: Alphonsi on the attack for England (Getty Images)“Are BAME people under-represented in rugby? It’s not a straightforward question,” says Osborne. “You want representation to reflect the country. There’s no way to get any real hard numbers. In some ways it’s a good thing – if we’ve come as far as we think we have, it shouldn’t be a question any more. If, say, 10% of the population are BAME I’d like to see a similar-level figure in rugby or any walk of life.”While there is growing diversity in rugby, which is reflective of society with ethnic minorities in the UK increasing between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, there still appear to be very few Asians playing the game, particularly at the top level. Marcus Smith, who was born in the Philippines to a Filipina mother and English father, is probably the most high profile, but that lack of visibility could limit growth amongst the largest of the ethnic minorities in the UK and Ireland.Tajiv ‘Tosh’ Masson is thought to be the only Sikh to have played professional rugby, for Quins in the late 2000s, and believes the sport is missing out on an opportunity to broaden its audience.“Growing up I looked for professional British Asian sportsmen to look up to. Harpal Singh played football for Leeds – he didn’t even make a first-team appearance but was someone I could look up to because I could relate to him. Role models let you see that it’s possible.Centre point: Tajiv ‘Tosh’ Masson during his Harlequins days (Getty Images)“I don’t know whether the RFU and the clubs are actively doing things to encourage British Asians to play rugby or whether they think it’s an issue, but they’re missing out on bigger diversity in terms of players and audience. A lot of British Asians would watch rugby if British Asians were playing. If a club like Quins in West London marketed and pushed an Asian player, they could get another 2,000 fans.”Masson was so determined to make it as a pro that he persuaded Quins to let him join the academy and not get paid. Six months later he had a contract and was playing in the first team.“It’s about raising awareness. Someone reading this could be the next pioneer, could take the baton on”He used to think that the reason there were so few Asian players was down to parents not valuing professional sport as a career, but his experiences since have changed that view. He may not have been a “household name” in his rugby-playing days but he is now regularly contacted by the parents of Asian players asking for advice on how their child can progress towards a pro career. He points to an initiative by Chelsea FC, who run a football tournament called Asian Star for Asian children, and suggests that rugby could do something similar.“I used to shy away from the fact I was Asian – I didn’t want it to be a thing and wanted to concentrate on rugby,” he says. “The next generation of Asians can inspire other players. We’ve identified this gap and someone reading this could be the next pioneer, could take the baton on. It’s about raising awareness.”It may be hard to get definitive figures on BAME participation in rugby but it is easy to see how much the people we’ve spoken to from those communities – just like any other – derive enjoyment from the sport and would like to see more people taking part. Alema talks of the friendships formed and values learnt, but it’s this message that provides an apt way to end: “The beauty of rugby is you don’t have to change who you are.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
Published on January 30, 2018 at 11:11 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer You can usually find three of Syracuse’s players on the offensive end of the court. Guards Frank Howard and Tyus Battle roam the perimeter, either with ball in hand or waiting for it to get there. The center — Paschal Chukwu or Bourama Sidibe — will be somewhere along the baseline.SU’s forwards, Oshae Brissett and Marek Dolezaj, will be all over. Brissett typically plays on the wings or waits in the corners, alongside the guards. Dolezaj frequently stands on the opposite side.But both will take turns occupying the same area: the high post. The two forwards go about it differently, though, as defenses change their methods based on each player’s skill set.Dolezaj was almost always left wide open from the high post on Saturday against Pittsburgh. The Panthers knew he’d look to pass, so the zone spread out to try and clog passing lanes.When Brissett had it in the high post, Pitt became hyper-aggressive. Guards pushed forward to double team SU’s ball handlers on the perimeter as the center stepped up to mark Brissett. The Canadian freshman is a more capable shooter and slasher, so the Panthers tried to deny him the ball.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“You’ve got to have somebody in (the middle of the zone) making plays,” Boeheim said after the Jan. 16 Pittsburgh game. “… Marek seems to be the only guy in the middle of the zone that has an idea of what he’s doing in there. Our other two freshmen (Moyer and Brissett) don’t, and that hurts us against a zone.”Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said it’s unlikely forward Matthew Moyer will play against the Yellow Jackets and that “he’s out for a while.” In his absence, the Orange (15-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast) is left with only Dolezaj and Brissett who consistently play forward. SU needs those two players to operate effectively out of the high post, with the role only increasing in importance when Syracuse faces Georgia Tech (10-11, 3-5), a team that plays mostly zone regardless of opponent, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Atlanta.The Orange’s zone spreads out to meet 3-point shooters. But that’s not the zone Syracuse faces when it’s on offense. With SU struggling to hit from deep (its 32 percent mark from behind the arc is the second-worst mark in the ACC), opponents just clog passing lanes.“Our zone you can drive against because we’re more spread out and we cover more on the perimeter,” Boeheim said after that Jan. 16 Pitt game. “When they’re as tight as they are in there, it’s difficult.”Kevin Camelo | Digital Design EditorBoeheim has praised Dolezaj’s intelligence throughout the season, but attributed his struggles and overall minutes decrease from nonconference play to the ACC because of his 180-pound frame as a forward against the league’s physicality. Yet, when he’s on, Dolezaj has found a way to contribute by playing in the space of the high post. Teams have sagged off him, daring him to shoot the mid-range jumper that refused to fall for much of the early going this season.At times, Dolezaj’s issue is that he hasn’t been able to make opponents pay for leaving him open. In the first half against Pittsburgh, Dolezaj was in the mid-post and scanned the floor. He noticed his teammates all guarded and went to shoot. He didn’t look comfortable and neither did a single part of his form, as he ended up shooting the ball almost one-handed, hitting the side of the rim and missing badly.But he’s also shown signs of improvement, like when he scored a career-high 12 points against Boston College. He made an in-game adjustment against Pitt on Jan.16, too. On the first play of the second half against Pitt, Dolezaj looked for Brissett on the wing. Noticing him blocked off, Dolezaj turned right toward the basket, rose up and knocked a jumper down.The coaching staff changed Dolezaj’s shooting form when he arrived in Syracuse this summer, and Boeheim credited his now “perfect form” for revolutionizing his game.“He couldn’t do that earlier in the year,” Boeheim said.Boston College wasn’t as physical with Dolezaj as some teams were, but if he continues hitting that shot, the freshman will put defenses in a bind on whether or not to play up on him because if they overplay, he can drive.“Marek changed the game,” said point guard Frank Howard. “With him flashing and cutting, making the hockey assists. I don’t think he gets enough recognition, the little dump-offs, hitting the open guy. He’s a smart player.”Dolezaj’s fellow freshman, Brissett, seems to represent an opposite case, with his physicality overcoming positional unfamiliarity. He’s added strength and proven a knack for bullying opponents with his body, as seen through his team-leading 9.2 rebounds per game, masking any schematic struggles teammates see.That added strength, along with his ability to shoot, is why he’ll often be marked right away from 15-feet out. If he can get the ball in that scenario, though, Brissett sees it as an advantage.“Usually that’s a big guy in there, slow-footed,” he said. “I feel like I can beat a lot of guys around there. Once I get around, I’ve got to find different ways to get it up.”Kevin Camelo | Digital Design EditorStill, Brissett never played the role at Athlete Institute (Canada) Prep, simply because opponents didn’t run zone, he said. And although Brissett is confident he can create out of the high post, it seems like getting the ball there is the bigger issue.When SU’s three-guard lineup was out and Pitt ramped up its aggressiveness, Brissett tried to rotate along the high post to wherever the ball was and free himself up. A lot of times he ended up in spots where the guards still felt like they couldn’t get him the ball. Struggling to find that right spot comes with the inexperience.“It’s kind of hard,” point guard Howard Washington said after the Pitt game. “Because sometimes coaches tell guys to flash to a certain spot, and sometimes that’s not the spot that’s open. So guys like Oshae and Marek, it might not be that spot, it might be a couple of steps a lower, and then they catch it and they score from there.”Still, just like Dolezaj, Brissett showed the ability to make in-game adjustments. In the second half he caught the ball at the post and drove right past the center tagged to guard him. Brissett whipped a pass over to Bourama Sidibe just as the Pitt player responsible for that part of the zone rotated over to help, and Sidibe easily slammed it home.When asked about Brissett in the high post, Boeheim didn’t address his play there and instead insisted the freshman normally played the “4” position. Brissett also can play the “3,” Boeheim said, but he usually prefers Dolezaj or Moyer at the spot.For now, it’s clear that Brissett won’t be used in the high post in three-guard sets since Howard Washington was ruled out for the Georgia Tech game on Tuesday afternoon. Still, he was given looks there even with Dolezaj on the floor.With Howard Washington now ruled out for GT, SU is down its three-guard lineup option and a capable 3-point shooter. With that, Brissett and Dolezaj will take on an even bigger responsibility to try and create offense out of the soft spot in the zone. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
FA Cup holders Arsenal won the Community Shield for a second season in a row as they beat Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley.Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the winner with a powerful drive into the top corner with his weaker left foot.Ramires headed wide unmarked from Loic Remy’s cross as Chelsea failed to hit the target before the break.Eden Hazard skied a chance over the bar before Oscar’s free-kick was parried wide by Arsenal debutant Peter Cech.It was the first time the former Chelsea goalkeeper had been called into action – after 68 minutes of play – and soon after he comfortably held on to Kurt Zouma’s header.Arsenal went close late on through Santi Cazorla and Kieran Gibbs in a match where both sides looked rusty a week before their Premier League opener. Relive Arsenal’s win over Chelsea.Wenger finally beats the ‘Special One’Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger finally had reason to celebrate against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea having failed to win in any of his previous 13 attempts.In February 2014 the Chelsea boss called his opposite number a “specialist in failure”, and then in October the Gunners boss shoved his rival during a heated touchline quarrel.Oxlade-Chamberlain’s stunning strike was Arsenal’s first goal against Chelsea for 506 minutes, a run that stretched back to 2007, as the Gunners ended the Blues’ eight-match unbeaten run against them.Chelsea though can argue they are a week behind Arsenal in terms of preparation, with Italian side Fiorentina visiting Stamford Bridge in their final pre-season match in midweek. Man of the match – Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainThe England international looked dangerous on the ball every time he was in possession, on the right of a three behind the lone striker. His goal was a stunning strike with his weaker foot.Who is ready for the Premier League?Arsenal ended last season with 20 wins from 27 matches in all competitions, a win ratio of 74% compared to Chelsea’s 58%, and continued where they left off on Sunday.The Gunners, who have already won two pre-season tournaments, have only added goalkeeper Petr Cech to their ranks this summer but his calm defensive presence will boost hopes of ending their 11-year wait for the title.Both sides struggled to create a lot going forward at Wembley, although Olivier Giroud’s introduction for Theo Walcott in attack after the break saw Arsenal look more of a threat offensively.Chelsea, without last season’s top scorer Diego Costa due to injury, were also toothless before the break with Loic Remy not threatening as the lone striker. Last season’s Premier League champions are yet to win a game in pre-season but will believe second-half substitute Radamel Falcao, making his debut, and Costa will improve their attacking threat.Manager reactionArsenal boss Arsene Wenger, speaking to BT Sport: We have suffered physically today and the pitch was not great.”But overall it’s good because in pre-season we have been solid defensively. Pre-season has gone quite well.”We have no big injuries at the moment apart from Jack Wilshere who we lost yesterday.”Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on BT Sport: We were the best team. We had more initiative, we controlled the game by having ball possession. Arsenal defended with 10 players, they put everybody in front of their own line and they had good organisation, congratulations to them. “They had a couple of chances in counter attacks but we had ours in organised football. They played their game tactically and found themselves one goal in front without any reason.”This season the Premier League title is very difficult but it is very difficult for everyone. The way other teams are spending they have big power in the hands while we are the same as last season. And with that we are going to try.”The stats you need to knowArsenal have now scored in all eight of their games at the new Wembley.Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s opener was his 13th goal for Arsenal but his first away from the Emirates.Theo Walcott made only three passes in the opposition’s half, one of them providing Arsenal’s goal.Olivier Giroud (3) had more shots than any other Arsenal player, despite coming on as a second-half substitute.The last two times Chelsea had won the Community Shield, they went on to win the title.It was the first time Chelsea have failed to score at the new Wembley in 14 games.’The end of the hoodoo’Pat Nevin, ex-Scotland international on BBC Radio 5 live: “It was a hard-fought match. It certainly meant a lot to the players, as to what it will mean over the season, time will tell, but Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have finally broken their Jose Mourinho hoodoo.”Psychologically, you need to win trophies. For a long time Arsenal did not win enough. But now they are used to victories at Wembley. There was very little between the two teams but in the end, Arsenal won it 1-0. That’s not a scoreline you would have thought of a while ago.”
None of this was quite registering. It was as if we were in some kind of weightless state, waiting for gravity to return.The vague terms used Thursday afternoon was something about a “medical procedure” that 87-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully needed. So he’d have to go quiet during this postseason.So now that this is apparently real, do we have a plan on how to navigate the rest of this playoff contest? The rest of this series? The rest of the winter?For a quick diversion earlier in the day, we picked up the comic section of the paper. There was Kevin Fagan’s “Drabble.”The topic was Scully. The game arrived at 6:45 p.m. The radio was flipped on. The volume on the TV was turned down.And there was no Vin.Of course, we had all been properly warned that this would be the reality of Friday’s Dodgers-Mets NLCS Game 1 from Dodger Stadium.We still had to check. And then, check our pulse. Ralph Drabble is telling his youngest son, Patrick, how he’ll listen to Scully do the game on the radio but that five-second delay between what he said and what happened on TV was kind of a problem.The son responds: “Wow, he must really be good.”“I can’t figure out how he does it,” Ralph says amazingly of Scully.When we had the radio humming on Friday night, that delay between what was said by Charley Steiner and Rick Monday and what occurred on the TBS coverage was tolerable at best. But then came the reminders.Between the first and second inning, Scully’s voice came on with a sponsored “This Date in Dodgers History.” It was by a Scully Farmer John commercial.It was comforting and confusing. And then confounding when his voice came on one more time: “And now back to Rick and Charley in the Mercedes-Benz broadcast booth.”Nothing so much against Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling and Cal Ripken Jr. on the TV feed — as they occupied the same booth Scully uses as a second home.But Blue October has already begun in L.A.. And not even the funny pages could soften the blow.On Twitter, some needed a platform to vent sadness, concern, and even some anger over how Scully has been silenced to some degree by the two-year slog involving the SportsNet L.A. channel launch.Dick Enberg tweeted out: “No Vin Scully for playoffs is NO playoffs. Good thoughts, our friend!”Jon Weisman, the Dodgers’ director of digital and print content, put up a piece on the Dodger Insider MLB.com blog that Scully wrote as a guest columnist for the L.A. times 50 years ago. The words were Scully lyrical describing how he was waiting out a rain delay in Pittsburgh and coming “face to face with the biggest enemy on the road … TIME.”It’s time for Dodgers playoff baseball. Steiner even said so as Friday’s game started. Thanks for trying, but …During a moment after a KLAC-AM station identification break in the first inning, Steiner wished Scully “nothing but the best” because “he’s on our minds and on everybody’s mind.”But not on our radio. And we still can’t get our ears, or hearts, around that. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Refreshments will be available with proceeds going to the ongoing park development fund (donations welcomed).The well-deserved celebration will be on deck at the park starting at Noon and go to 4 p.m. – rain or shine.Fun contests and photo snapping and filming opportunities will abound all afternoon.Official Schedule of events:Noon Official Opening1 p.m. PRO demos2 p.m. Skate with the Pros3 p.m. Open Skate4 p.m. Event close Saturday Mother Nature is expected to shine down on the official opening of the All-Wheel Park located in Rosemont.The Official Opening Ceremony concludes a 12-year odyssey by the local skateboarding advocates, Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skatepark Society (KLOSP) and Daybreak Rotary.The ceremony begins with local dignitaries conducting the official opening at noon before Tribute, a major local sponsor for the day, offers up Pro skaters from all over the country.Highlighting the afternoon is a performance by local Nelson product Drew Summersides, who has been featured in the current Concrete Skate Mag.There will also be a Pro Demo and Skating with the Pro’s thereafter, all to the tunes of DJ Digs.
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Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Frank Eliason, the man behind the ballyhooed Twitter account @comcastcares, announced his resignation from giant cable and internet provider Comcast this afternoon. Companies interested in social media, and that’s just about all companies these days, have watched @comcastcares very closely.Eliason was named Senior Director in National Customer Operations at Comcast just one year ago and has only been at Comcast at all for less than 3 years. Stardom can be built up fast in the young world of social media, however, and as a widely studied ground-breaker Eliason could likely now get a job at almost any company in the world. A specific but unnamed opportunity to do social media work in the financial services industry, where Eliason has worked for years before, is next on his agenda, according to his blog post on the Comcast site.While “the man behind the curtain” has been a dominant metaphor for magic for many years, Eliason was instead the man in front of the curtain at Comcast. Working behind him were a team of people with personas like @ComcastBill and @ComcastBonnie. There was also a substantial amount of new social media tracking technology powering the ostensibly personalized customer care the company grew famous for.If you tweet about problems with Comcast, someone responds. Quickly. And they stick with you. It’s not just because you’re special though, or even just because they are. The Comcast customer service team uses the latest and greatest social media CRM (customer relationship management) software, behind the scenes.We described that technology in detail in April 2009, (This Machine Eats Tweets: The System Behind @Comcast and Others) at a time when the field of social media CRM was less widely adopted and discussed. Eliason and his team built an incredible amount of goodwill and industry admiration through their customer service work on Twitter. @ComcastCares will long be a case study taught in schools. Comcast hasn’t traditionally been a much-loved company and Eliason really made an impact on the public’s perception. (Was his resignation motivated by having been one-upped by the Old Spice guy this week and needing to do something new to regain his crown? Imagine if that were the case!)Can Eliason do something as marvelous in financial services? That’s no small challenge, and his next gig won’t be the first of its kind in the same way. It will, however, be interesting to watch.Starting today, you can follow Frank Eliason on his new Twitter account, @FrankEliason. Tags:#news#web Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
At 18, Shiva Thapa showed his potential by becoming the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics in 2012. He fell at the first hurdle there, but went on to become Asian champion a year later and followed it with a quarter-finals appearance at the World Championships.But the youngster has not had much ring time this year, and going into the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, he only has two bouts in the World Series of Boxing in the United States under his belt.Thapa is seeking a medal in Scotland but it won’t be easy, as he has England’s Sean McGoldrick, 2010 CWG champion, and a few other top European boxers as strong contenders in his weight category (56kg).”The Commonwealth Games is going to be a tough competition; as boxers from countries like England and Northern Ireland are toughest in my category. So, I can’t take things lightly. But I am also the best here, so I am not intimidated by them and ready to take them on any time,” Thapa told MAIL TODAY before the Indian men’s team’s departure for Glasgow on Wednesday. “This is my debut CWG and a good performance here will give me a boost ahead of the Asian Games, which follow soon after,” he added.The Assamese boxer is not breathing easy despite 2012 Olympic gold and silver medallists Luke Campbell of England and Northern Irishman John Joe Nevin turning professionals and being ineligible for the 2014 CWG.”If somebody’s out, some good boxer is in, it works as a cycle. In competitions like CWG, people are desperate to make their mark by winning medals. So the absence of big names is just one factor and I have to give my 100 per cent to win a medal,” Thapa said.advertisementThe suspension on the Indian boxing federation resulted in fewer competition invites for Indian boxers. The situation came to a point that they couldn’t participate at the Chemistry Cup in Germany in May due to visa delays. Thapa says the competitions would have benefited the Indians but feels their preparation at the national camp will stand them in good stead.”It’s true that the boxers should have got build-up tournaments ahead of the CWG, but all of us have played at international events and know the level of competition there.” The Indian men’s boxers will participate in all categories other than 52kg and 60k. The boxing competition at the CWG starts from July 25.
Mourinho names Ronaldo Nazario as greatest player of all-timeby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJose Mourinho has named Ronaldo Nazario as the greatest player of all-time.Having enjoyed a glittering managerial career, which has seen him take charge of Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United, Mourinho knows a thing or two about talented footballers. “Ronaldo, El Fenomeno, Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have had longer careers, they have remained at the top every day for 15 years,” Mourinho told LiveScore.“However, if we are talking strictly about talent and skill, nobody surpasses Ronaldo [Nazario]. When he was at Barcelona with Bobby Robson, I realised that he was the best player I’d ever seen take to the field.“Injuries killed a career that could have been even more incredible, but the talent that that 19-year-old boy had was something incredible.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
CHAPEL HILL, NC – JANUARY 05: Players of the North Carolina Tar Heels wear a patch on their jersey to remember ESPN anchor, Stuart Scott, who recently passed away from cancer and was an alumni of the University of North Carolina before their game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Dean Smith Center on January 5, 2015 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)The basketball edition of College GameDay is attempting to make Jay Williams its version of Lee Corso. This season, Jay has been making his pick for the games the crew travels to by unveiling a jersey from under his suit at the end of the broadcast. Today, GameDay went to South Bend for Notre Dame vs. No. 2/1 North Carolina. Williams, a former Duke point guard, wouldn’t go so far as to pick the Irish to make the upset, but he also refuses to wear UNC gear, so he called a bit of an audible for his jersey choice.North Carolina is embracing the pick anyway.Apparently, @RealJayWilliams got the #OneCarolina memo.#GoHeelsGoPanthers #KeepPounding pic.twitter.com/ZEGjZmo52x— UNC Tar Heels (@GoHeels) February 6, 2016That seems like a fair compromise.