Tributes pour in for rugby legend Jack Kyle, who has died at the age…

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Tributes pour in for rugby legend Jack Kyle, who has died at the age…

first_imgDuring a distinguished career, Kyle became the first Irish captain to win a Grand Slam in 1948.He also won Five Nations titles in 1949 and 1951. The Belfast man won 46 Ireland caps, and was also a member of the 1950 Lions, playing in all six tests on the tour of Australia and New Zealand.last_img

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Lone Survivor being played at Wellington Regent Theater this weekend

first_imgThis week at the Regent Theater: “Lone Survivor” (Movie trailer is below).When: Friday 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m.Rated: R Time: 2 hoursMovie Synopsis: LONE SURVIVOR, starring Mark Wahlberg, tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. Based on The New York Times bestseller, this story of heroism, courage and survival directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) also stars Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. (c) Universal Pictures Rotten Tomatoes rating (movie critics collective approval ratings): 74%. Audience review: 90% approval.Movies ahead at Regent Theater: Feb. 7 – Nut Job.Feb. 14 – Ride Alonglast_img read more

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Play More Golf’ fund launched to boost participation

first_img England Golf has launched a new ‘Play More Golf’ fund, offering grants of up to £1500 for projects which encourage people to play the game more often and which promote club membership.The grants, which start at £500, are available to all affiliated clubs and to driving ranges which have been awarded the RangeMark.The money must be spent on activities, coaching programmes or offers which encourage regular participation and lead to club membership. They should include follow-on opportunities and could range from:•    Supporting new adult players or returners to golf to play regularly•    Sessions to attract women and girls, with emphasis on the social aspect of golf•    Regular, structured coaching, playing and competitive opportunities within clubs for juniors, both members and non-members•    Sessions to encourage disabled people to play golfRichard Flint, England Golf’s Club Services and Development Director, commented: “We are making a substantial investment in this fund to work with clubs and ranges to attract more players and to encourage more members and stronger golf clubs.”All activities will be promoted on the Get into golf website – www.getintogolf.org -and ‘Play More Golf’ promotional materials will be available to download.The ‘Play More Golf’ fund supports the emerging England Golf Strategic Plan which sets out to inspire people of all ages to make golf a part of their life. Its ambitions include reversing the trend of declining club membership.The fund is also supported by the England Golf Partnership, which brings together England Golf and the Professional Golfers’ Association to grow the game with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sport England National Lottery funding.The launch of the fund is part of an industry-wide drive to increase participation in golf which includes National Golf Month in May. This is a major campaign to offer opportunities to beginners and 100,000 lapsed golfers to try the game and offers in  England will be featured on the Get into golf website which directs visitors to great value coaching courses with PGA professionals. National Golf Month is an initiative from the Bauer Media Group and the British Golf Industry Association. More details at www.getintogolf.orgApplications for the ‘Play More Golf’ fund must be made by 31 May 2014. All applications will be assessed on a number of factors including value for money and overall strength of project plan. Submission of an application form does not guarantee funding. 17 Apr 2014 Play More Golf’ fund launched to boost participation last_img read more

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Fleury emerging as top star for Pens vs. Rangers

first_imgPittsburgh Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury, front left, covers the puck as teammates Brooks Orpik, left, Paul Martin, front right, and Columbus Blue Jackets’ Brandon Dubinsky look for the rebound during the second period of a first-round NHL playoff hockey game Monday, April 21, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)NEW YORK (AP) – Before this Eastern Conference semifinal series, the one spot where the New York Rangers seemingly had a clear advantage over the Pittsburgh Penguins was in goal with Henrik Lundqvist.The King has been good for three games, but Penguins counterpart Marc-Andre Fleury has gone from shaky question mark to star of the series with shutouts on consecutive days.Suddenly Pittsburgh is dominating all over the ice, and its 2-1 series edge feels a whole lot wider.“He is 10 out of 10,” defenseman Kris Letang said Tuesday. “For the guys in the dressing room, Flower has always been our go-to guy that shows up every night and gives us a chance to win.“Since the playoffs began, he has been our best player.”Letang is hardly alone in that assessment.Since a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1, Fleury has been perfect. He stopped 22 shots in Pittsburgh’s 3-0 home win in Game 2 on Sunday and followed that with a stellar 35-save performance in the Penguins’ 2-0 victory at Madison Square Garden on Monday.“I felt good out there. Confident,” Fleury said. “We didn’t want to give them much, and we didn’t.”Forget about the guy who faces constant criticism, or the one who seemed to be crashing and burning during the first round against Columbus when no leads were safe.Through it all, Fleury – the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NHL draft and a Stanley Cup champion with the Penguins in 2009 – keeps bouncing back.“I have won a lot of hockey games with Marc-Andre Fleury in net,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “There are questions from when he was 17, 18, whatever. They have been asking those questions for a long time, and he has done nothing but answer those questions.”That wasn’t the case a year ago when Fleury had a miserable first-round series against the New York Islanders and lost his starting job to veteran Tomas Vokoun.Vokoun went 6-1 after taking over and led the Penguins to the Eastern Conference finals, where they were swept by the Boston Bruins.After a summer away from it all, and time with a sports psychologist, Fleury regained his starting spot. Now he is the biggest reason the Penguins are two wins away from a return trip to the conference finals.“To see your goalie confident like that, on top of his game, you see everyone is calm,” said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, whose first goal of the playoffs made it 1-0 in Game 3. “(The Rangers) get a chance, he makes a save, and we move on.”Bylsma has a theory about how Fleury is able to shake off the naysayers.“Right now, it’s from a lot of practice,” he said. “Questions have been asked for 100 days in a row. He knows the answer only comes on the ice and winning hockey games.”Lundqvist has been sharp for the Rangers in the three games against Pittsburgh, but has just one win to show for it. The Penguins attacked him in waves in Game 2, and Lundqvist’s play was the sole reason the Rangers trailed only 1-0 in the third period.Rangers coach Alain Vigneault relayed a scouting report given by former Penguins star and current team owner Mario Lemieux to current Rangers assistant coach – and former teammate – Ulf Samuelsson.“Like Mario Lemieux told Ulfie yesterday, anything Fleury can catch he will catch,” Vigneault said Tuesday during a conference call. “Maybe if we stay away from that middle a little bit, our chances might become better.”Anything is worth a try. The Rangers hadn’t been shut out in consecutive playoff games since the 1937 Stanley Cup finals against Detroit.“(Fleury) has been pretty much great from when we first started the season,” Penguins forward Brandon Sutter said. “Last year he obviously faced a lot of postseason critics. He is kind of the same old guy that is pretty goofy, pretty loose around the room. I think that helps him with dealing with all the pressure. He just goes out and plays.“We’re up 2-1 now because our goalie probably stole one for us. We need that this time of year. It’s not always going to be pretty.”While the Penguins held an optional practice, Vigneault gave his players a full day off. They needed it after a stretch of five playoff games in seven days. Game 4 is Wednesday.“We know it’s a challenge. We know it will take our best game. That’s what we’re trying to put on the ice,” Vigneault said. “I don’t sense at all any frustration on our part.”last_img read more

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NBA players union elects female executive director

first_imgThis undated handout photo provided by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP shows Michele Roberts. (AP Photo/Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP)Michele Roberts has watched basketball for as long as she can remember. It was an easy choice growing up in a home with one TV and two older brothers.When she saw an interview last year with an NBA player and noticed how passionately he talked about trying to improve his embattled union, she wanted to be more than a fan. She wanted to be involved.Now the Washington trial lawyer is the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union.Roberts was elected Tuesday as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, and she’s eager to provide the leadership it needs after a few difficult years.“They were looking for, not a man, not a woman, they were looking for a personality,” Roberts said in a phone interview. “I think I’m that personality and I intend to be what I have been in my entire practice, singularly devoted to this union. And that’s what they were looking for.“Someone, whether it be a boy or a girl, who understood that this was their union, and they intended to run it, and they were looking for someone who appreciated that and was not going to deviate from that.”Roberts received 32 of 36 votes at a meeting of players in Las Vegas, defeating tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote.It capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February 2013. Roberts was one of the finalists initially offered to the rank-and-file during All-Star weekend in February, but the process was re-opened under another search committee at the urging of some players and agents.More than 100 players reconvened in Las Vegas this week, and after some tense moments leading up to the vote, Roberts emerged as the winner.“Obviously, I would’ve preferred that it happen sooner rather than later, but I completely understood when there were questions raised about the process,” Roberts said. “Frankly, I would not have wanted them to ignore those questions and not affirmatively address those concerns. I wanted the job in February, but I wanted the job where there would be no questions about the fairness or the process, so I completely endorsed the executive committee to address these questions, and they did and now best I can tell they’re very pleased.”The players considered more than 300 candidates during their 17-month search before picking Roberts, who has been called the finest trial lawyer in Washington by “Washingtonian Magazine.” She said her new job will feature straight, honest talk, just like she delivers to a jury, and the strategizing that made her such a successful lawyer.The search to replace Hunter, who led the NBPA from 1996 until a review of the union was critical of his business practices, leaves players with less than two years to prepare for the next potential collective bargaining talks. Either the union or the league can opt out of the current agreement in 2017.The union has struggled for years with in-fighting and a lack of organization, and the players took a significant cut in their guarantee of basketball-related income — 57 percent to about 50 percent, a drop of hundreds of millions annually in salary costs — in the contentious lockout in 2011. League revenues are on the rise, a new TV contract is set to be negotiated in 2016 and franchise valuations are skyrocketing.“As far as I’m concerned, preparations for CBA negotiations started yesterday,” Roberts said. “It’s at the top of my list of things that I’ve been instructed to begin the process of preparing for, and sure it’s a lot to do, but I’ve never been shy about hard work and long hours, so we’ll get it done. We’ll be ready.”NBA Commissioner Adam Silver congratulated Roberts in a statement, saying he looked forward to working with her “to ensure the continued health and growth of our game.”“The partnership between our players and teams is the backbone of the league, and we are eager to continue working with the Players Association to build this relationship,” Silver said.The fallout from the lockout and the Hunter ouster left the union reeling. But it also made Roberts want to get involved, which will bring the New York native back home.“The more I thought about it,” she said, “the more I thought that would be a great opportunity to do something really important.”___AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report.last_img read more

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