The Butt Drama Circle hosted three wonderful evenings of drama by local primary schools in the Balor Theatre, Ballybofey recently. Over two hundred children took to the stage for the Annual Primary Schools Drama Festival. The theatre was filled each night with proud parents and teachers as the talented school children experienced their first moments in the spotlight.The festival opened on June 11th with S.N. Taobhóige’s production of “Sabháil an Domhan.” This charming play was performed beautifully by children aged 4-8 and expertly directed by their teacher Ms. Ní Bhriain. Sixth Class from Woodland N.S. then performed “The Holiday Show”.This presentation was particularly impressive as the class performed an original script written by their teacher Ms. Mc Hugh.St. Mary’s N.S., Stranorlar opened the evening on June 12th with their production of “School Daze” The school’s two Sixth Classes joined forces to present a hilarious comedy reminiscing on their years in primary school. The cast of 46 children were directed by Ms. Moy, Ms. Duffner and Ms. Mc Nulty.The evening was brought to a close by Scoil an Linbh Íosa, Killymard with their play “Peggy Wright.” This innovative play was written by one the pupils and directed by Ms. O’Toole. The final night of the festival belonged to St. Eunan’s N.S., Raphoe. The talented children from Junior and Senior Infants performed “Caterpillar Boogie” directed by Ms. Crawford.Senior Infants and First Class then took to the stage to present a colourful production of “The Clown Who Couldn’t Smile” directed by Ms. Gallagher.The much-loved story of “Beauty and the Beast” followed. This was directed by Ms. Keeve and starred Third and Fourth Class.The festival was brought to a close by an original script written by Ms. Daly and performed by her Fourth and Fifth Class.Maura Logue was the adjudicator of the festival and gave insightful commentary and feedback to the schools at the end of each evening. Every child was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for their performance and each school received a commemorative plaque.Run annually by the Butt Drama Circle, this event provides a unique opportunity for young children to have the experience of performing in a real theatre in front of a live audience.The adjudicator paid tribute to everyone involved- festival director Teresa Mc Nulty, the parents, teachers and schools who make such a memorable experience possible for the children.Picture Special: Local primary schools perform at annual Drama Fesitval was last modified: July 22nd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
At last week’s meeting in Sacramento, the California Fish and Game Commission accepted a petition to list Upper Klamath-Trinity River Spring Chinook Salmon as endangered, starting the process of a status review to be completed by the CDFW. The one-year review will determine if a CESA listing by the Commission may be warranted. After reviewing the best scientific data available, CDFW will either make a recommendation to the Commission to list the springers as either endangered or threatened. …
18 September 2007Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has announced a R500-million project, funded by the National Energy Efficiency Agency (NEEA), to make South Africa’s national parks more energy efficient over the next three years.Speaking at the launch of National Parks Week at the Kruger National Park’s Skukuza rest camp on Monday, Van Schalkwyk said the investment would ensure that all South African National Parks (SANParks) facilities were “exemplary energy efficient showcases for local and international visitors”.He said the energy efficiency project would complement the R574.9-million allocated to SANParks by the National Treasury for infrastructure upgrades at all its camps over the next three years.“The NEEA will provide ‘top-up’ funding for each upgrade to buildings and other facilities within SANParks, to finance the specific technology improvements that will ensure a sustainable and energy-efficient compliant installation,” Van Schalkwyk said.As an example, he said that if SANParks’ current plan and budget made provision for conventional electric geysers in accommodation units, the NEEA would fund the additional amount required to install energy efficient solar water heaters instead.Likewise, where conventional lighting systems have been specified, the NEEA will fund the difference between the current inefficient technologies and compact fluorescent lamps.NEEA operations manager Barry Bredenkamp said the upgrades would deliver twin benefits of actual energy savings for the camps, while showing the rest of the world that South Africa was pursuing the path of energy efficiency.“The NEEA is delighted to be assisting SANParks improve the energy economy of it’s lodges both through financial support and the agency’s expertise, which will demonstrate to millions of energy conscious visitors that SA is committed to combating climate change,” he said.Furthermore, black economic empowerment (BEE) companies in the energy industry will be used to carry out energy audits and implement energy efficient components, as part of the NEEA’s capacity building drive.Additional jobs will also be created through the training of local energy advisors in areas close to the relevant parks. Preliminary upgrades and comprehensive energy auditing will begin before the end of 2007, and implementation will carry on until the beginning of 2010.“The value of promoting these facilities as energy efficient and sustainable, will also go a long way in marketing the country as an environmentally-conscious country and will furthermore contribute to off-setting the carbon footprint that will possibly arise as a result of activities leading up to 2010,” Van Schalkwyk said.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
South African students writing thenational matric exams in 2010 managedto score a 67.8% pass rate – a 7.2%improvement on the previous year’s result. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) Shouts of joy echoed through many of South Africa’s poorer communities on the morning of 6 January 2011 as the previous year’s national matric results were released. Several matriculants in these areas – with little or no family income, scant classroom resources and lack of transport – managed to rise above the odds and pass the exams convincingly, significantly boosting the profiles of the schools they attended.Countrywide, there have been pass rate increases of between 10% and 50%, making matriculants’ families, schools and communities extremely proud.Eddie Sebaya, principal at Raphela Secondary School in Johannesburg’s Orange Farm township, was chuffed after receiving his school’s results. “It’s really a dream come true for us to achieve these results. From the first term of the year we started working to ensure we improved our pass rate,” he said.Despite Orange Farm being hit hard by poverty and HIV/Aids, the school managed to up its pass rate from 45% in 2009 to 89% in 2010.Education the key to a better life“Education is the only way we can fight poverty and improve lives in our community,” said Raphela school matriculant Noluthando Khumalo.“With a good matric pass, we can study further or get a good job and improve our families, and then our community. It was not easy, but we did it. We hope our results inspire those who follow us to do even better.”Sebaya said his pupils had overcome many obstacles to achieve such good academic results. “This is a very poor community and our school has very few resources to work with.”Key to the school’s success was making a few changes to help pupils study and grasp the subject matter.“We asked the students to start coming to school earlier in the first term. This was to give them a chance to read and go through their work before classes started. They would then ask questions on anything they did not understand before starting on the new work of that day. The students committed to this and it clearly proved successful,” Sebaya said.But this is only the beginning, the principal added. “The real hard work starts now, we have to maintain this kind of result, we cannot drop below 90% now. The community will expect us to keep up this kind of result and increase from here.”Parent involvement vitalLethukuthula Secondary School in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg, grew its pass rate from 61% in 2009 to 97% in 2010. “Im really proud of the students’ achievement this year,” said principal Doctor Ngobese.“We were determined from the beginning of the year to achieve this kind of pass rate. With the help of our governing body, who are the parents of the students, we realised our goal.”Langeberg High School in Robertson – a farming area in the Western Cape – increased its pass rate by 35%, achieving an 87% average in 2010. Principal Dr Adriaan Landman said hard work helped bring about the good results.“The learners worked hard throughout the year. They were very motivated. Parent involvement played an important role in ensuring the learners did well,” he said.‘Worth every step’Thandi Hlogwane from Lugaju High School in Impendle, rural KwaZulu-Natal, said she had to walk vast distances to get to school, but it was worth every step. “I walked very far every day to get to school. There are no high schools near my house, so I had to walk for about two hours to get to school. I would leave home early to ensure I was at school by at least 6am, so I could start studying and going over my school work.”Hlogwane got a distinction in mathematics and physics, and hopes to study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year.“Waking up early every morning and studying over the weekends while my peers hung out was all worth it. My dream is to be a doctor and I’ve achieved the academic results to realise that dream. Now my next step is to secure a bursary.”
Four female entrepreneurs shared their journeys at the Lionesses of Africa’s monthly event on Thursday 25 May 2017. As business owners, they shared lessons they learned.Fatuma Abdullah is the founder of the black doll, Akiki. Abdullah also self-published children’s books, Akiki’s Stories, where the main character is modelled after her daughter. (Images: Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanThere are mentors you do not have to pay, advised Suzana Moreira, founder of moWoza, to attendees at a Lionesses of Africa event on Thursday 25 May 2017.The Lionesses of Africa Lean In Breakfast was held at the Standard Bank Incubator in Rosebank, Johannesburg, at which Moreira was a speaker.Moreira said she got mentors through networks she associates herself with. “For example there are tons of virtual networks out there. [I also got mentors through] academics and accelerator meet-ups.“Entering competitions to pitch your business is important. Sometimes, someone might call you and be interested in your business. If they don’t give you money, you can ask for mentorship.”She said the ladies she met through accelerator programmes are mentors too. “We hold each other accountable.”Suzana Moreira says her role model as a child was her aunt, a businesswoman. “She and her husband, who is blind, had a successful business in Europe.“I learned your circumstances don’t set what you want to become.”MoWoza, based in Maputo in Mozambique, provides informal cross-border traders in Southern Africa with a mobile information service on pricing and access to goods.Originally from South Africa, Moreira moved to Mozambique three years ago to launch a mobile commerce platform, moWoza.Other lessons Moreira learned in her entrepreneurship journey includes:• Entrepreneurship happens in practice.• When you’re getting a developer, know what you’re getting yourself into. Have a contract in place, she advises. Her first developer told everyone about what they were planning to do. Another developer disappeared.• An investor in Europe is different to one in America. “We got overvalued,” said Moreira.• You need the right mindset. You’re not going to have a nine to five job.• You need to be super brave to be an entrepreneur.Lionesses building new generation of businesswomenMelanie Hawken, founder of Lionesses of Africa, said on its YouTube Channel the initiative is about sharing, connecting and inspiring. “It’s about creating a community of like-minded women entrepreneurs from across the African continent who can get together, share ideas, share inspiration, and ultimately build a powerful new generation of women entrepreneurs in Africa.”Melanie Hawken:“Make a conscious decision and support another women entrepreneur” #LionessLeanIn pic.twitter.com/FsUkDqudsy— Community Centre JHB (@ComCentreJHB) May 25, 2017She added that the aim is to create a new economic future for the continent.Once a month, Lionesses of Africa hosts a Lean In Breakfast event for women entrepreneurs to come together. It’s an opportunity for them to share entrepreneurial stories and network.On Thursday, 26 women entrepreneurs, who took part in the first Lionesses of Africa accelerator programme, were introduced to the audience. They graduated in April 2017.The accelerator programme, in partnership with Liberty and Standard Bank, focuses on business development and access to resources.Congratulations to the first graduates of @lionessesA #SBIncubator business acceleration programme ?? pic.twitter.com/b9y5o3D5up— Clare Appleyard (@KatannutaGems) May 25, 2017‘Being an entrepreneur allows me to make a difference’Edith Venter of Edith Unlimited says that as an entrepreneur she learned you have to let your employees go, because some of them might want to expand or grow elsewhere. “Remember, you helped to make them a better person.”Edith Venter of Edith Unlimited told the audience that she had been in corporate for a very long time – before she started her own events management business. She described her entrepreneurial journey as amazing.The mother of two boys said when she started her own business because she wanted to do something for herself. “I wanted to do something that will make a difference.”The lessons Venter learned in business are:• Networking and trading business cards is very important.• Never say you cannot do anything. “You say yes and you go figure it out. You can also find someone to help you,” she said.• As someone in the events management business, you have to realise that you are holding a client’s dignity in your hands.• Have your contract checked out.• Be mindful when going into partnerships. “There are promises made but not all with the right heart. In business look deeper than that,” she advised.• Don’t over promise, but over deliver. “I always try to keep things simple because it works.”• Don’t be greedy.Conscious parentingAbdullah shared how she started making dolls and writing children’s books. She said her daughter was two years old when she started looking for a doll for her. Abdullah wanted to find something that looked like her daughter.“I kept saying ‘I can’t find a doll for my daughter’. Then my colleague said ‘Why don’t you create one?’ But at the time I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind [to do that].”Three years later, when her contract at a former job ended, she started working on creating the Akiki doll. “I didn’t want her to have a size 0 doll. I created a doll with a childlike figure.”Her daughter was surprised when she got the doll and said: “She looks like us”.#LIONESSLEANIN Our 3rd speaker is Fatuma Abdullah, founder of Akiki Dolls – building positive self-image in our children #SBIncubator pic.twitter.com/cGq2U6TikH— Lionesses of Africa (@lionessesA) May 25, 2017Later, because of conscious parenting, Abdullah decided that she will create books for her two children that have characters who look like them. Even though she had never written children’s books, she went for it. Abdullah said most of the books are about values and things they can relate to.“I can’t write about a Gogo fetching [water] at the river. I know the question on my children’s mind would be ‘why doesn’t she just open a tap?’”One of the stories of Akiki is when she got lost in a mall. “I always tell my children to look for a person in a uniform if they ever get lost in a mall. You must know mommy’s name, not just as ‘Mommy’ but my full names and my number.”The lessons Abdullah learned is:• Do your research if you walk into an industry you know nothing about.• Use social media as an entrepreneur. “I was not a social media person. Someone said we need to know you exist,” she explained.• When you are trying to find a route and it doesn’t work, find another route.• You have to keep moving.• Never take anything personal in business and don’t make assumptions.Watch an episode of the Lionesses of Africa’s television magazine show:The audience shared what Anna Shilina, author of the ‘The Business Tango’ book, said in her talk:Anna Shilina, author of the Business Tango stresses relentless resilience, asking difficult questions and being courageous. #LionessLeanIn pic.twitter.com/fb9tqR5Bhw— gemboreeshop (@gemboreeshop) May 25, 2017“Don’t for inspiration. I followed my frustration ?” – @annashilina @lionessesA #lionessleanin #SBINCUBATOR— Clare Appleyard (@KatannutaGems) May 25, 2017“Entreneurship is a lot about moving from one level of incompetence to the next, always learning” – @annashilina #Lionessleanin— Clare Appleyard (@KatannutaGems) May 25, 2017A good character of entrepreneurs is that they are relentlessly resourceful #lionessleanin @annashilina— LDR Consulting (@ldrconsultingsa) May 25, 2017Sources: Lionesses of Africa, Radio 702, Standard Bank and Lionesses of Africa, YouTube Channel.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material
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The Delhi High Court on Friday quashed a Delhi government circular giving preferential treatment to city residents over others at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in east Delhi as a pilot project.A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V.K. Rao said it led to the creation of a “class within class” of identically placed citizens which was “impermissible”.No justification The Bench also rejected the State government’s defence that the decision was taken due to lack of facilities, saying that the State “cannot avoid or shirk away” from its constitutional obligations on account of financial constraints or lack of infrastructure and manpower.The court did not approve of the State government’s decision to classify patients as Delhi residents and non-residents based on their voter identity cards, saying such a classification “was based on no reasonable justification”.Soon after the verdict, State Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the government will challenge the decision in the apex court.The court decision came on a petition by NGO Social Jurist, filed through advocate Ashok Agarwal, challenging the October 1 circular issued by the State government regarding commencement of the pilot project.Quashing the circular, the court said it classifies identically situated persons differently for the purpose of granting them medical facility “without any rational basis” and therefore, it cannot be upheld.The Bench said the circular proposed to achieve the goal of decongestion and avoid situations like assault on doctors, but to do that the government was practising a classification which was prohibited under the law. The Bench noted that as per the circular, non-resident Delhi patients were given a light-blue coloured OPD card and facilities of free medicines, pharmacy and investigations were denied.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 1, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Photographer Mark Tuschman was recently in Northern Nigeria on behalf of the Packard Foundation to look at maternal health and family planning. For the seventh post in his series of “Nigerian Chronicles,” he visited various hospitals in the region and was able to document experiences of women seeking treatment through powerful images.Nigerian Chronicles VIII also has a maternal health aspect to it, documenting the work of Traditional Birth Attendants at a wedding ceremony. Some of the TBAs he mentions work for the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), an organization working on an MHTF-supported project in India.Share this:
Crushers Women’s Open captain Kate ‘Golden Boots’ McCarthy nudged me in the ribs and pointed to a group of players excitedly gathering on the end of field six as the hum of the floodlights provided a low key soundtrack to the festivities unfolding on a perfect summer’s evening.‘Golden Boots’ and I were on the walk back to the car park after watching the 2011 BCTA Cobras Cup Women’s Open Grand Final between undefeated minor premiers Southern Storm and three time champions and hot favourites Caboolture Colts who had been shooting for a record breaking fourth straight title.It is history now that Southern Storm removed the monkey, no make that, the giant sized Gorilla that was on their backs for over a decade when they triumphed 8-5 over the benchmark team of the prestigious BCTA Cobras Cup, Caboolture Colts, on Saturday night at the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association’s Whites Hill complex.I smiled at ‘Boots’ and said, “Our time will come mate, this is one of the hardest competitions to win.” Testimony to this is the fact that it took Caboolture Colts eight semi-final appearances in a row to even make the Grand Final, and that Storm has waited 10 years to win this competition since their last premiership in 2000.Kate and I paused for a moment to watch and admire and definitely envy the Storm girls congregating on field six and even though we were a distance away, the happy faces, the sheer joy, the overwhelming relief, the light-hearted banter, the spot of drunken shenanigans, and the pure bond of friendship that only playing in a team and achieving a special shared goal such as this breeds, was crystal clear.“I want to do that again too,” I said.My mind wandered back to 12 months ago, same team, same scenario, but a very different result.Storm had been the first team through to the Grand Final last year and had been considered favourites for the title as Colts had struggled to overcome a determined and in-form Crushers line up 4-3 the night before in the preliminary final.Inexplicably Storm, top heavy with representative superstars and a very talented coaching staff, failed to produce the level of performance required to win the Grand Final and Colts collected their third title in a row.The Storm girls gathered sadly in their circle on field six last year and no doubt felt the agony of a second successive loss that cut deep. I remember I was hanging around waiting to have a consoling word to Kirsty Quince, a Storm girl for life and a player who I work a lot with and count as one of my best mates on the planet. When we win or we lose on the field or in the game of life we are there for each other the Quince and I, it’s just how we roll. Quince didn’t say much, and that always means she’s hurting. She headed over to her team huddle and the disappointment was etched on each girl’s face I saw. I have known my share of losses, in fact, have made a bit of an art form of it, so I was well qualified to provide an empathetic ear. I felt the Storm girls’ pain but I also knew that it was something they needed to deal with as a team. I don’t know what was said in that huddle, but I do know there was lots of alcohol consumed because I received a 2.00am text saying ‘Karrllsss, come out???’ from Quince so I smiled and went back to sleep secure in the knowledge my little mate was ok and figuring it had been a really galvanising night for the Storm girls and whatever happened in that huddle would be very important to their team going forward in season 2011.I am positive that the happy circle Kate and I spied after Southern Storm’s wonderfully professional and clinical performance to claim the title Saturday night would not have been possible without a searching examination of the past and a commitment to being their best for each other in the future.The catchcry for the Storm girls Saturday night was ‘it’s our time’ and in everyway this team invested in every department to make the dream a reality.As expected this game had more twists and turns than all the waterslides put together at Wet n Wild on the Gold Coast.Caboolture Colts are the toughest team mentally and physically in the competition and they are proud of their sustained period of excellence at the top of the tree in Women’s Touch in South East Queensland. If Storm wanted to be premiers, there was no way it would be gifted to them and they would have to produce a near perfect game and an unwavering commitment to their game plan to make it happen. And that is precisely what happened.The game began at a cracking pace with both teams chancing their arm early. Colts tap off move came to naught, and for first five minutes both sides entered into an expansive arm wrestle, seeking to move each other around like pawns on a chess board, searching for the move that would produce the chink in the armour and checkmate a pathway towards a coveted early lead.There were some early errors on both sides of the half way line, which is only to be expected given the big match occasion and excited jumble of expectation and nerves that accompany a Grand Final appearance. Even though these two battled hardened combatants were facing off against each other for the third successive year, the butterflies were still fluttering fiercely in the stomachs of both line-ups who both had so much at stake in this game.Like two Queen Bees fighting for control of the hive, the thrust and parry of the opening exchanges was intense and neither team gave an inch.Storm came out full of running and after probing the Colts line and some thoughtful composure from 2011 Australian World Cup Mixed Open winner and Storm captain, Sarah ‘Sez’ Spacie, and partner in attacking crime, Australian Women’s Open World Cup champion, Kirsty ‘Mud’ Quince, the Storm girls ran their pet play ‘the special’ for the mercurial Emilee Cherry. ‘Chez’ split hard to the open side, Spacie ran a perfect angle to scythe between defenders, then gave a quick ball to Cherry who on cue, when the Colts defence collapsed, rifled a stunning left to right long ball that the lightning fast Tracy Hill latched onto to dot down in the corner for an early 1-0 lead.Storm have run this play countless times during the season and in particular unsettled Colts with the identical play in the last fixture round of the season proper two weeks earlier, and so no doubt Colts would have been disappointed with the defensive effort on this occasion, given that they knew the play was coming and coach Morrow would have planned strategy to minimize Storm’s pet attacking play.In the next five minutes Colts looked to get back on level terms with Savannah ‘Sweet cheeks’ Pratten and the ever-improving Emma Blanch driving strongly and featuring prominently for the defending champions. Storm were not backing down though, and kept driving directly and seemed to make easy metres through the usually granite-like ruck area of the Colts defence.The ‘human plough’ physicality of the Colts combination is renowned, and dare I say, feared by many teams in this competition, and it is fair to say in previous Grand Final showdowns the Storm girls have become intimidated and dominated in the field position battle of attrition, but Saturday night it was evident early that the Southside girls were not going to surrender meekly and that if Colts wanted to bash and barge then the premiers would have to be prepared to take as good as they gave.Colts were stung into action after Storm’s initial bright start to proceedings and their big guns, wonder twins, Gemma and Nikki Etheridge, did what they do best and drove the ball deep into Storm territory, earning their team a much needed relieving penalty.So often the saviour for Colts, two time World Cup winner, Peta Rogerson, stamped her undeniable class on the contest soon after by crafting a touchdown off a static play for her good friend and fellow Australian World Cup winner and long serving Colts captain, Mary ‘Pasher’ Steele in the 12th minute. At 1-all it was game on and both teams lifted their intensity again with power rucking and strong defence the order of the day from both sides.So often the game can turn in a twinkling of an eye and Colts will look back on the set of six at the 14th minute mark and wonder just how the next touchdown was conceded.Storm were rucking off their own line and frankly, the set of six was going to hell in a hand basket for them, with Colts bustling defenders controlling the set nicely after working hard to knock off four touches in good field position.Special players have a happy knack of doing the most extraordinary things at precisely the right time. That girl, Emilee Cherry, adjusted the super girl cape on the sideline and swept on left to right from the sub box, seemingly with not much doing. She shaped to run the ball out towards the right link then at the last moment propped inside and used that freakish acceleration she possesses to step inside both middles on an angled sideways run. She then beat her link for speed and drew the winger in down a narrow sideline corridor. The always clever and ever present Kristy ‘Kmart’ Brennan held her wing line brilliantly to skip clear a few steps, then with the inside Colts defenders converging, the Australian 20’s lynchpin delivered the perfect inside ball to a grateful Cherry who finished off the opportunistic play and ensured it was nothing but hi-fives and backslaps all the way back to the Storm sub box for the Storm girls who were chuffed with their 2-1 lead.The happier than a girl spotting a shirtless Sony Bill Williams feeling didn’t last long though for the Stormies who were reminded of the fight and pride and sheer talent that exists in the Colts line-up.Colts worked down to the opposition score line and were unlucky not to score off a well-worked middle/link ‘A’ pop out play featuring their attacking powerhouse Peta Rogerson. ‘Skeet’ gave the link the ball in some space and the link had the winger open but unfortunately didn’t release the ball and a touchdown may have gone begging. Fortuitously, Colts received a repeat set and that was always going to spell trouble for the Storm girls.If the ‘special’ has been the flagship play for Storm over the last two seasons, then ‘Zonda’ must surely be the equivalent play for the Colts girls. The angled hit wrap and step out between the two middles and either give the wrap, hit outside runners, or the ball player having a crack at the line themselves, are all options the Colts girls have perfected over the last few years.Rogerson called the play and ran the ball out unselfishly and engaged the correct middle. Bec Lapraik then got to half and wrapped around the impressive Emma Blanch who had played wing for most of the season but had recently moved into the middle to cover the loss of Colts outstanding middle Emily Reed, who was in England watching her brother Jack star for England overnight in the Four Nations Rugby League final against Australia.Ironically, the ‘Zonda’ with the step and go with a slidey dive yourself option is a well known pet play of Reed’s, so it was fitting that the girl replacing ‘Reedy’ ran a perfect line and did it all herself to score at the feet of the Storm defence to square the ledger at 2-all with 16 minutes gone on the clock.In the aftermath of the touchdown, Storm defender Lizzie Campbell disputed the decision and was sent for a period of time for dissent, leaving her team five on six for an extended period before half time. This situation was potentially a make or break one for both teams.Storm coach Swain Rovelli later revealed that the handling of the period of time by Campbell and the rest of the team was crucial in them maintaining their focus.“Last year we would probably have stewed over the decision and become distracted. The experienced girls like Rach Noble, Sez (Sarah Spacie) and Quincey (Kirsty Quince) refocused the girls and we played the time we had to endure with five players particularly well. We slowed the play up and gave Colts not too many opportunities to get their hands on the ball and that was a real bonus for us. To then get back to the full complement just before half time and put another touchdown on them I think really broke their backs,” Rovelli said.Campbell spent the better part of three minutes and 30 seconds cooling her heels ‘in the bin’ and her teammates dug in for her and each other. The entire Storm camp remained composed and the maturity and discipline shown under pressure was a real sign of the growth this team has made and the lessons learnt over the last few years when inexperience and lack of belief were key stumbling blocks to them achieving their potential.Strangely Colts did not seem to press Storm or bustle them defensively in that period of time when they had the one player advantage, and it was perhaps a hint that the Colts girls were a little off their game that is usually characterised by assertive defence and confident option taking.With 30 seconds left in the half, ‘Lizard’ Campbell was saved the brainwork of masterminding a prison break and granted a thankful release from Alcatraz in time to see her teammates put together a well-worked play to ensure they went to oranges with a precious onetouchdown advantage.The experienced Rach Noble, who is Storm royalty, is the sole survivor from Storm’s last premiership winning team in 2000 and she used all her experience and undeniable guile to move the ball to the right and work a clever switch into phase with Candice Humm and Anna Hicks. Hicks phased the ball for the enigmatic Humm, who happily for Storm fans, was having one of the games of her life. Humm released quickly off the deck to a running Emilee Cherry who sent a pinpoint missile in the direction of reliable finisher Chelsea Brigginshaw, who gleefully dotted down for a crucial 3-2 lead to Storm on the stroke of half-time.With the Foo Fighters committed to a previous engagement in Europe, and just out of the budget capacity of BMTA, the half-time entertainment consisted of the a few of the Coastal Suns Open Women’s team (average age 16) doing their best Justin Bieber, and despite it being a resounding ‘yes from me’, they may have to play second fiddle if Snow Patrol are secured for next year’s half time extravaganza. Just sayin’….Half-time in both camps was a pretty controlled planet to be on. In Storm central, coach Rovelli implored their players to make touches in front and continue to commit to the drive and their ruck defence by muscling up and pushing out on the line. Whilst in Coltsville, Craig Morrow reasoned that there was no need to panic and that the game was still there for the taking if his girls got some rhythm and stayed controlled. “The game was still very much in the balance at that point. The touchdown right on half time was a tough one to take. We were guilty of ball watching a little in the first half with a couple of their set plays and we resolved to get back on track with our defensive intensity in the second half and be a bit more patient with the ball in hand. I was always confident we could bridge a deficit of a couple of touchdowns, and it wasn’t through lack of effort, we just weren’t as mentally across everything as we needed to be at that point, but I knew if a few things went our way we could get back into it,” Morrow said.The game resumed at a frenetic pace in the second half with a variation of the ‘special’ play almost hitting the jackpot off the tap off for Storm. Colts, to their credit weathered the storm and went close at the other end of the field, but after some resolute defence and inspired driving from Lizzie Campbell, Tracy Hill and Kirsty Quince, Storm established field position quickly to have the Colts defence in trouble early in the second stanza.On the fifth touch of an industrious set, a fantastic piece of individual brilliance by Candace Humm to come up with a one on one snap of her opposite defender pushed the Storm girls out to a 4-2 lead and a two touchdown buffer that allowed coach Rovelli to breathe a little easier and the Storm girls to start to believe that there 10 year wait for a premiership was finally within sight.You never write off champions and Colts were a long way from dialling 911, and in the next 60 seconds proved why they are such a great team who have been the benchmark of this competition for the last three years.Off the tap, the Colts girls went back to the ‘old faithful’ Zonda play and with Peta Rogerson again running the A line out and engaging the correct middle, the classy Lauren ‘Harry’ Potter, produced a little wizardry of her own that her much vaunted namesake would have been happy to claim. Her angle was inch perfect and her wrap release to Savannah Pratten gave ‘Sweet cheeks’ Pratten the space and opportunity to rip a magnificent long ball to Colts veteran winger Kate Barker who did the rest to help the Colts girls bridge the deficit to 4-3 and stay within striking distance of claiming their fourth straight premiership.The game ebbed and flowed for the next few minutes as each team searched for the crucial break that would give their team the ascendency.The defining moment of this game was upon us when Colts Gemma Etheridge, who has been in stellar form all season, and recently won the Player of the Final playing for runners up South West Queensland in the Women’s Open division at the QTA State Championships, chanced her arm on an open side raid.Etheridge ran a drifting angle out of acting half and was looking to play some phase, but unfortunately for her, good mate and fellow SWQ Swan, the irrepressible Emilee Cherry was lying in wait and like a thief in the night she pounced on the Etheridge pass and intercepted cleanly to race the length of the field and score a game breaking touchdown to take the Stormies out to a 5-3 lead.Colts threw their best attacking shots at Storm in the next set with big names Rogerson and Gem Etheridge challenging Storms’ key middles and Queen Bee middles in Quince and Campbell who both withstood the deadly ‘sting’ and along with veteran Storm champion Rach Noble stood up brilliantly making some inspiring touches to save a couple of certain touchdowns.Storm trucked the ball down the other end of the field with Charlotte ‘Classic’ Caslick featuring prominently. Storm received a penalty late in the touch count in good field position and this next touchdown would have had coach Rovelli beaming from ear to ear and each of the players involved in its successful execution lining up for an end of season $10 bonus for scoring off a set play. The ‘special’ play variation that nearly netted Storm a touchdown off the half-time resumption tap was run again, but this time the line running was perfect with Stevie-Lee Thompson, who was having a wow of a game, splitting off the ball to the open side and young gun Anna Hicks picking up from half and going short side splitting the middle defenders before a slick inside ball found touchdown hungry captain, Sarah ‘Sez’ Spacie, hitting between the middles to score a touchdown that took her team out to an impressive 6-3 lead. Like the true champions they are, Colts were never going to go quietly into the night and off the resumption, long serving captain Mary Steele showed her truly inspirational qualities to work in tandem with Lauren Potter to press the Storm line and work for some phase. ‘Pasher’ picked up out of half and went open side then stepped in and dished to Potter who drove in close to the line. Steele gave a precision passing class 101 on the run to the big crowd on the ‘Hill’ as she hit a diving Gemma Etheridge who spliced the angle as only she can to score between the link and wing to get the Colts girls back in the game at 6-4.Off the restart Storm were building again and once again it was courtesy of their pet play ‘special’ that they made an instantaneous reply to Colts hit back. Fittingly it was master organiser Kirsty Quince, the on-fire Candice Humm, and the amazing Emilee Cherry once again combining to conjure up another variation off the set play that Colts will have nightmares about. Fittingly, it was 12-year Storm veteran Rach Noble who dived over in the corner to grab a ‘meat pie’ in what would be a very satisfying moment for the girl who has given such outstanding service and loyalty to the club she joined as a 16-year-old girl, playing division two then working her way into Division 1, playing for Queensland and Australia along the way and sticking with her team through the good times and the tough times.At 7-4 up Storm were rolling down the field with certainty and as the game reached the 10 minute mark, every passing minute was drawing one team closer towards a memorable victory and the other team towards a disappointing defeat.Disaster struck for Colts soon after when Gemma Etheridge was given a period of time for an over vigorous touch. Whilst Etheridge watched proceedings from the end of the field, her teammates were unable to halt the Storm juggernaut with just five defenders. Good phase play by that girl Cherry and Candice Humm, and great initiative by Stevie-Lee Thompson and the dangerous Charlotte Caslick, allowed Tracy Hill to snare a double for the Grand Final and extend the Storm lead to 8-4.Colts kept trying desperately hard to penetrate the Storm line but resolute defence from middle bookends Kirsty Quince and Lizzie Campbell and Rach Noble and the determined Kristy Brennan foiled Colts at every turn.With five minutes left in the contest, Colts got a hard earned touchdown with the old firm of Gemma Etheridge and Mary Steele combining again, this time it was Etheridge delivering the pinpoint ball for Steele to dive low and beat the defence to ground the ball to peg the score line back to 8-5.To Colts credit they kept chancing their arm to the final whistle and Storm did not clock off, still searching for a final touchdown to end the game on a high.At full-time the relief and satisfaction for the Storm team was palpable. After 10 year of heartbreaking near misses they finally got their game together in the most perfect of ways to claim a memorable victory.The Storm girls were buzzing after the victory and the feeling in the camp was best summed up by their veteran champion Rachel Noble, a 12 year player for the Southside club, who reflected on the last few years of struggle and disappointment and paid homage to the coaching staff at Storm for the role they played in the memorable victory.“Winning this year after so many losses to Colts in the last couple of finals was so much sweeter. It was a great game to be a part of. Being the oldest in a team of young and talented players I knew what my role was and loved playing this year with the Storm girls and to do it undefeated makes it even better. The hard work, dedication and endless effort our coaches’ put in at Storm year after year has finally paid off. I’m glad we could give them the victory they so deserve. Thank you to Swain and Wayne and also to their families for believing in us and it’s just an awesome feeling to have again,” Noble said.Colts coach Craig Morrow was philosophical about the loss and paid tribute to the Storm girls for the quality of Touch they produced and the clinical nature of their performance.“Full credit to Storm, they played near perfect Touch tonight. They played well and have overcome a lot of adversity over the years to finally get it right. From our perspective the touchdown before half-time killed us and the intercept was hard to take. We had prepared well for their set plays at training but we ball watched too much in the moment and mentally we were not across everything like we should have been. To give them eight touchdowns was a little disappointing, but I always thought we could come back. Losing Gem for a period of time probably sealed our fate, but everyone tried hard and did their best and we probably need to look at training more for next season as well. It was the best I’ve seen Storm play so at least it took their very best to beat us,” Morrow said.For Storm coach, Swain ‘Swingers’ Rovelli, this Grand Final win with this team has been eight years in the construct. Rovelli coached division two for five years before three years ago stepping into the vacant division one coaching position at the club and the dedicated mentor has been building the Storm girls game slowly but surely ever since. Blessed with big name players who have talent to burn, particularly when they are very young, can be a tough gig and Rovelli and the Storm club have done remarkably well to be patient and learn the times to cuddle and the times to criticise their players efforts, but at all times help them grow into better people and better players.Rovelli was awarded the Brisbane Cobras Coach of the Year at the BCTA Grand Final breakfast on Saturday and his efforts in coaching the Storm girls to an undefeated premiership in the wake of the loss of key personnel from his division one team in 2010 such as Australian Women’s Open superstars Emily and Sam Hopkin and Ali Brigginshaw, makes his coaching performance all the more metorious.Rovelli was understandably excited and very relieved when the full time siren sounded and was full of praise for his troops who produced a stellar effort under pressure.“It’s such a great feeling. Very happy and very relieved that we could finally do it. We talked about it in the warm up that we wanted to be remembered as a great side that won – not be remembered for our near misses. We did play very well tonight. We started well and just built into the game. The biggest difference for us this year is our composure. It started last week when we were 2-0 down early to Crushers and we stayed patient. We did that again tonight and kept our heads on for 40 minutes and that was most satisfying. We got exposed in our semi-final and we nearly didn’t get to the Grand Final and knew we could do better so we were committed to being really true to ourselves and our game plan and thankfully everything worked out. The box was really positive and composed which hasn’t always been that way in the past. Full credit to the senior players for making our culture what it is. We are a training club and we work hard for our success and this is our reward for doing all the little things right. We said it was ‘our time” and tonight the girls decided as one and showed it in the way they played that they really wanted to step up to the mark and win this premiership,” Rovelli said.Both teams had numerous standout players who created the standard of a game to remember. For Colts, captain Mary Steele led by example and played courageously and cleverly to keep her team in the hunt. Steele was well supported by the always dangerous Gemma Etheridge who was everywhere for Colts and played her heart out for her team. Young gun Emma Blanch stepped up nicely to the big time and stamped herself as a player of the future. Australian Women’s Open superstar Peta Rogerson had touches of brilliance, but unfortunately for Colts was not in the sort of freakish form she has been in when Colts annexed their hat-trick of grand final triumphs over the last three years. Savannah Pratten and Lauren Potter never stopped trying for Colts and veteran winger Kate Barker, at the tail end of her career, produced a game she can be proud of and if she is finishing up she can be very satisfied with her stellar record of service to the Colts team.For the winners, each player stepped up to the mark and produced an amazing level of cohesion and clinical execution of the game plan and the teamwork and commitment to the goal was outstanding.Senior middles Lizzie Campbell, Sarah Spacie and Kirsty Quince were towers of strength all over the park in attack and defence and their intelligent direction, big match experience, individual contributions and support allowed the likes of Charlotte Caslick and Anna Hicks to play with confidence and produce some inspired and mature touches of class that smacked of a happy marriage of talent and temperament at the right times.Stevie-Lee Thompson, Tracy Hill, Rachel Noble and Kristy Brennan were tireless and produced their own sparks in attack to complement their team’s efforts. These four girls produced terrier like defence and helped set the tone against a physically imposing team who needed to be taken on at their own dominating style of game play. The Storm defence proved harder to crack than the Da Vinci code and was one of the foundation blocks that led to this famous breakthrough victory. The strength of this Storm team is their unselfish ability to play their roles and work for each other. Just as they did last week in their desperately close semi-final against Crushers, the team worked hard to give their game-breaking champion, Emilee Cherry, the field position and set-ups so she could impart her considerable influence over the game when it was needed most. Cherry was exceptional again Saturday night and again proved to be the point of difference for her team at crucial stages of proceedings. JK Rowling may have got it very wrong given the quantity and quality of magic this once in a generation player continues to conjure from her bag of tricks almost on cue. We’re pretty sure if you check Chez’s forehead for a scar, it’ll reveal who the real ‘chosen one’ is. 2011 has been a stellar year for the Roma product who was an integral part of Australia’s seventh straight Women’s Open triumph at the FIT World Cup in June and over the last month has been in rare form playing some of the best Touch ever witnessed in this competition for many a day. For the last three years we have been blessed to witness Colts’ Peta Rogerson weigh in consistently with her individual pieces of brilliance that have proved to be key in her team’s domination of the competition and now Cherry is producing a similar rich vein of form that makes her the most valuable player in the Cobras Cup.The modest champion who incredibly, along with teammate Lizzie Campbell, was in camp playing a tournament with the Australian Women’s Rugby 7’s team and had to rush back to play in the Cobras Cup Grand Final, was rewarded for her performances this season with the ‘Player of the Series Trophy’ as well as the prestigious Sally Urquhart ‘Memorial Player of the Final’ Award. The Sally Urquhart Memorial Award commemorates the contribution of Sally Urquhart, a Cobras Cup premiership winner and life member of the Crushers club. Sally represented Brisbane City at Women’s Open and Mixed Open level and Queensland in the Mixed Open division. She was universally adored and revered by teammates and opponents alike for her talent, selflessness, determination, courage, and sportsmanship. Sally, a law graduate and police officer was tragically killed in the Lockhart River air disaster in 2005 and BCTA/BMTA struck the Player of the Final award to commemorate a young life of great strength and integrity that upheld the finest sporting ideals on and off the field of play. Cherry joins an illustrious group of players to win this award that include Kylie Hilder, Jarah Jennings, Teena McIlveen, Peta Rogerson (twice) and Hayley Maddick.Cherry was chuffed to receive both the Player of the Series and Player of the Final awards and as always displayed her trademark humility and modesty when accepting the awards, traits that confirm her as not only a champion player, but more importantly, a champion person.“It’s just been a really good year. There are so many good players, so to be judged the Player of the Series is a very humbling experience. To win Sally’s award is very special, and I’m very honoured to receive it, it means a lot and it will be something I will treasure,” Cherry said.So that’s it, another season in the Cobras Cup dusted. But what a season it’s been!The Cobras Cup competition is undergoing a restructuring with a heavy emphasis on club development, but hopefully the 2012 tournament will bring with it more action, drama, and intrigue than all the ‘Underbelly’ series’ put together. Can Storm go back to back? Can Colts avenge this year’s defeat? Will Crushers finally make the grand final after finishing one touchdown out of the decider for the second year running? Will Uni-Rebels make a charge for the title? Or can the chasing pack that includes Coastal Suns and Eagles make a bold run at the premiership?Should Emilee Cherry, Kate McCarthy and Catherine Sargent be assigned speed limits to give every other player the chance to catch them on the field?Can Kelly Jones simultaneously maintain an excellent standard of Touch and the title of most beautiful hair in the game, or will Charlotte Caslick steal the crown? Will Sarah Spacie lose her headband fetish? Will Coastal Suns young gun Chloe Crotty manage to play even one game without borrowed shoes? Will BMTA rename the common fields at ‘the Hill’ after Eagles stalwart Renee Fraser because she spends so much time training there? Can Sharyn ‘Billy’ Williams produce another show stopping injury moment that brings the ambulances, if not the crowds back to Touch? And can any of the coaches fill out the game cards correctly and sign in all the right places?The answer to this and all the other hard-hitting issues will be revealed in time. Stay tuned for next year’s Cobras Cup, reserve seating on ‘the Hill’ is selling fast so just sayin’, I’d be investing in a season membership to avoid disappointment.Thanks to all the players and coaches for their input into this article.When in doubt throw the flick pass, or if you’re Emilee Cherry snap the whole team…Written by Karley Banks. 21.11.2011Touch Football Australia would like to thank Karley Banks for providing the article content.
Twitter/@RPreslanEvery year, ESPN college basketball analyst Joe Lunardi is tasked with putting together what he thinks will be the exact bracket that the NCAA selection committee will release on Selection Sunday. And given the Worldwide Leader’s influence, many fans take what he produces as fact. Sometimes it slips your mind that what he says isn’t actually official.To his credit, Lunardi has nailed all 68 (or 64, previously) teams a number of times. So how did he do in 2015? Well, Lunardi actually missed two teams this year. He had both Temple and Colorado State in the field, and omitted Indiana and UCLA. Of course, the Hoosiers and the Bruins were by far the most controversial inclusions this year.Lunardi got all four 1-seeds correct, and all four 2-seeds. He had Baylor as a 4-seed, with Maryland as a 3-seed, which in the real bracket, was reversed. Overall though, he did an incredible job. Almost every team in his field was within one seed line of where it actually wound up. Here’s his bracket. You can see the real NCAA Tournament bracket here. So yes, Joe Lunardi, is still good at his job. Now we just have to figure out what’s going on with his hair.