A climate made for sport

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A climate made for sport

first_img20 May 2004Many factors need to combine to produce peak performances from athletes. Some things can be controlled, others are beyond human control. Weather is one of those things.Having the right training equipment, having the right facilities, having the right mental approach to sport helps athletes to excel. Having ideal conditions for sport is another huge factor in determining how successful an athlete will be.South Africans have a great advantage because the country’s climate is a wonderful advertisement for the outdoor lifestyle. In recent years, top athletes from far afield have begun to discover how good it is, too.Athletics stars like Maria Mutola, Kelly Holmes, Gabriela Szabo, Michael Johnson, Tim Montgomery and Frank Fredericks have used the country as a winter training base, and it has served them well.The country’s climate encourages its people to get outside, to be active, to participate in some sort of sporting challenge.And the list of available sports goes well beyond the country’s “big three” (rugby, soccer and cricket): try archery, angling, baseball, biathlon, bowls, canoeing, climbing, cycling, duathlon, equestrianism, freediving, inflatable boating, lifesaving, orienteering, polocrosse, rowing, snow sports, softball, swimming, triathlon, volleyball, waterskiing … the list goes on.There’s enough variation in South Africa’s climate to allow for cold weather sports to be practised. The real winner, though, is definitely the country’s sunshine.Some years back, when Alex Braun was media liaison manager for the Springboks, I managed to sit down with him and have a long chat. Braun is an Australian, and at that time Australia was, it seemed, winning nearly everything worldwide in a wide variety of sports.I asked Braun why this was; his answer was that it lay in the sunny conditions Down Under. It made the people tough and hardnosed, he said, perfect attributes for top sportspeople.Recently, while researching golf tourism in the country, I telephoned people at golf clubs around the country to find out what was attracting golfers to South Africa’s shores. One answer was given without fail: the country’s weather.Golf estates have taken off in recent times, and especially in the coastal regions foreigners have been quick to snap up prime properties located alongside top class courses.Top sports stars have got in on the act too. Golfing superstars Ernie Els and Nick Price own properties on the southern Cape coast, while Mount Edgcombe in Kwazulu-Natal is well known as home to many of rugby’s Sharks players.It’s obvious: sport and the South African climate go hand-in-hand. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Research to boost rooibos exports

first_imgRooibos is indigenous to the Cedarberg region, north-west of Cape Town. This is the only place in the  world where Rooibos grows naturally. (Image: SA Rooibos Council) The rooibos industry is a major employer in the Cederberg and surrounding areas. The industry is labour-intensive and provides about 4 500 jobs. (Image: SA Rooibos Council) MEDIA CONTACTS • Soekie Snyman  SA Rooibos Council   +27 21 552 8845RELATED ARTICLES • South Africa develops rooibos flavour wheel • Cookies with a cause in SA • South African olive oil is the best, study shows • Online ad help for small business • Amarula cream a global market leaderWilma den HartighThe South African Rooibos Council is participating in an international project to improve the export competitiveness of rooibos, one of the country’s most well-known products.The project is a combined effort between the SA Rooibos Council and the International Trade Centre – a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and the UN. Funding for the project is provided by the government of The Netherlands.“We are delighted that international funders see the potential to take the rooibos product further,” says Soekie Snyman from the Rooibos Council.South Africa is the world’s only producer of rooibos, which is a unique selling point of the product. Classified as a herb, rooibos is part of the fynbos family of plants found in the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of only six recognised floral kingdoms of the world.Used mainly as tea but available in a wide variety of other products, rooibos is indigenous to the Cederberg region north-west of Cape Town and will only grow in this area. The region’s hot and dry summers, winter rainfall and coarse sandy soil provide ideal growing conditions for the hardy rooibos plant.According to the SA Rooibos Council, 72% of South African households buy rooibos tea and sales are increasing at about 5% a year. While the value of exported tea has increased by an average 26% year-on-year between 2005 and 2009, more than 90% of rooibos is exported in bulk, with little value added.In 2007 the world’s largest flavour company Givaudan named rooibos as one of the flavours to watch in its annual FlavourVision forecast. Since then, rooibos has gone from being a flavour to watch to a local and international beverage of choice.Thinking creatively about rooibosThe research initiative will help the industry to think more creatively about marketing the sought-after herb.“To sustain the growth we’ve achieved over the past 12 years we have to continue developing the domestic market as well as assess new opportunities to expand exports,” says Martin Bergh, chairman of the SA Rooibos Council.The research project will help the industry to better understand rooibos’s export potential, explore ways to increase current production, sustain jobs and boost the value of exported tea.Currently about half of the 12 000 tons of rooibos produced annually is exported, mostly to Germany. According to Snyman, Germany buys and sells the largest quantities of herbs such as rooibos. “It is the international herb trading capital of the world,” she says.Rooibos is exported to more than 30 countries. Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, the UK and US are the biggest importers.In addition to the opportunities for value adding, the rooibos industry is a major employer in the Cederberg and surrounding areas. The industry is labour-intensive and provides about 4 500 jobs.The South African government has recognised this as one of the focus areas in its Industrial Policy Action Plan – by promoting the exports of added-value rooibos products, jobs in the sector will be better protected.Taking these factors into account, the goal of the initial six-month project is to conduct an in-depth analysis of the structure and pricing of the German rooibos market. The findings will help the industry to identify new opportunities and market segments.In a statement Lilia Naas, programme manager at the International Trade Centre, explained that the research forms part of the inception phase of the project. Should the results prove encouraging, a second phase of the project would implement activities to improve the positioning of rooibos in international markets.Value adding potentialSnyman says that rooibos is a versatile product that is used extensively in the manufacture of products such as pet skincare ranges, alcoholic liqueurs, rooibos-smoked butter, salad dressings, yoghurt, jams, jellies and biscuits.Rooibos is also a favourite ingredient in experimental cuisine. At the Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town, which recently made it onto the Condé Nast Traveler Magazine listing of the 80 best new hotels in the world, you can enjoy rooibos ice-cream as part of their fynbos-inspired menu.Although value adding is important, Snyman says that the main focus of the industry is still tea. “There is a growing market trend for speciality teas. In South Africa, the speciality tea market is still small, but it’s growing fast,” she says.South Africa’s unofficial national drinkBesides its sweet flavour, another reason for the increasing popularity of rooibos is the proven health benefits.The SA Rooibos Council has invested more than R2-million (US$252 000) in independent scientific research to determine the benefits of rooibos. It is funding six projects at several local universities and science councils, focusing on how rooibos can counter cancer and stress as well as the link between rooibos and exercise. A project on rooibos and obesity is also underway.A recent collaborative study by scientists at four international research facilities found the first clinical evidence that drinking rooibos tea significantly increases the antioxidant capacity in human blood, boosting the body’s natural defences.last_img read more

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Marathi actors have close brush with death on Mumbai-Pune Expressway

first_imgPune: Popular Marathi actors Aniket Vishwasrao and Prarthana Behre had a narrow escape after their car rammed into a divider near Lonavla on the Mumbai-Pune expressway on Monday morning.The actors, along with Ms. Behre’s companion, were heading to Kolhapur to promote their upcoming film Maska when the driver of the vehicle, in a bid to avoid colliding into a parked tempo, hit a divider near the Lonavla exit.While Mr. Vishwasrao and the driver escaped unhurt, Ms. Behre, who was seated at the back, received injuries on her right hand while her companion suffered a concussion in the head, said medical sources. They were rushed to the Yash Hospital at Valvan (near Lonavla) where they are undergoing treatment.“The tempo suddenly appeared in our sights as our car turned on the bend. Unfortunately, in a bid to avoid it, our driver swerved and lost control. However, we had our seat belts on and the protective airbags deployed. So, all of us are safe,” said Mr. Vishwasrao, speaking after the mishap.The front of the vehicle — a black colour Toyota Fortuner — was badly mangled in the accident.last_img read more

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Lawyers protest arrest of Nagpur advocate Surendra Gadling

first_imgLawyers from the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers have expressed their concern over the arrest of advocate Surendra Gadling from his house in Nagpur, alleging an attack on lawyers who are fighting cases of marginalised people.Mr. Gadling has been arrested in relation with the violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune when Dalits congregated to celebrate the British victory over Peshwas with the help of Mahar soldiers.Addressing the media here on Thursday, IAPL vice-president Sudha Bharadwaj said that the sudden arrest was part of a pattern where “people’s lawyers” are being targeted, in violation of the widely-held norm that “being a lawyer of a political prisoner is not a crime”.A release by the IAPL said that this is part of a larger pattern: advocates Upendra Nayak of Odisha, Murugan of Tamil Nadu and Satyendra Chaubey of Chhattisgarh “have all been implicated in the cases of their own clients, which is absolutely unacceptable as per United Nations principles on the role of lawyers”.“In the morning of June 6, 2018, the Pune Police arrested senior advocate Surendra Gadling from his house in Nagpur at 6 a.m. The arrest has been made in connection with an FIR registered on January 8, 2018 at Vishrambaug PS in Pune. The FIR originally alleged inciting communal harmony at the Elgar Parishad program organised on December 31, 2018 to commemorate 200 years of the victory of Mahar soldiers over the Peshwa in the Bhima Koregaon battle,” the release said. “In March 2018, the case was converted into a criminal conspiracy. On April 17, 2018, though the FIR did not originally name advocate Gadling, the police raided his house and office and confiscated all possible CDs, hard disks, computer systems – including the family’s devices. Yesterday he and other intellectuals and activists were arrested in the same case, by adding several sections of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which ensures long detention and difficulty in obtaining bail.”Apart from Mr. Gadling, head of the English department at Nagpur University Shoma Sen, Marathi poet Sudhir Dhavale, Rona Wilson of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners and anti-displacement activist Mahesh Raut have also been arrested.“The bias of the state is all the more obvious when the leaders of Hindutva organisations named in many complaints and FIRs as instigators of the Bhima Koregaon violence – Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide – whose anticipatory bail applications have been refused by even the Supreme Court, still roam free,” the release said.last_img read more

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World Cup 2018: Messi takes Argentina to last-16, Peru sign off on a high

first_imgLionel Messi and Argentina finally got things going at the World Cup.Messi scored an exquisite 14th-minute goal to give the two-time champions the lead in a must-win game against Nigeria on Tuesday, but it wasn’t until Marcos Rojo’s 86th-minute strike that Argentina was assured of a place in the round of 16 with a 2-1 victory.Victor Moses scored from the penalty spot in the 51st minute for Nigeria, putting Argentina in danger of being eliminated without winning a match in Russia.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEIt took an unlikely goal by Rojo – a center back – to save Argentina with a cushioned volley into the corner.The win gave the Argentines second place in Group D and allowed the soccer-mad nation to forget about the 3-0 loss to Croatia last week that sparked days of soul-searching within the squad and back home.READ REPORTCroatia on the other hand ended Iceland’s chances at the World Cup and helped out Argentina at the same time.Ivan Perisic capitalized on a defensive error to score a 90th-minute winner Tuesday, giving Croatia a 2-1 win over Iceland and first place in Group D on Tuesday.READ REPORTIceland could have finished second in the group with a victory because Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 at the same time.Instead, the Croats will face Denmark on Sunday in Nizhny Novgorod and Argentina will take on France on Saturday in Kazan.WORLD CUP DAY 13 – HIGHLIGHTSFrance and Denmark produced the World Cup’s first 0-0 draw at the 37th attempt amid boos and whistles from fans on Tuesday.advertisementThe slow-paced game was out of step with a vibrant tournament. But it advanced both teams to the round of 16 unbeaten, with the bonus of no players suspended and no serious injuries.READ REPORTThe draw would always have ensured that outcome, and became inevitable in the second half. Events elsewhere in Group C made this game all but irrelevant.Back at the World Cup for the first time since 1982, Peru isn’t leaving Russia empty handed.WORLD CUP 2018 – FIXTURES | POINTS TABLEThe Peruvians failed to score a goal in their opening two matches, but the team finally gave its fans a reason to celebrate when it ended Australia’s hopes of advancing to the knockout round with a 2-0 victory on Tuesday.READ REPORTThe Australians had to beat Peru and hope Denmark lost to France in the other Group C match, but neither result occurred. France and Denmark drew 0-0 in Moscow.Andre Carrillo’s 18th-minute goal – a half-volley from inside the area – was Peru’s first in a World Cup since its last appearance 36 years ago. Peru hadn’t won a World Cup match since defeating Iran in 1978. France-Denmark play first goalless draw of World Cup 2018As France took on Denmark, Didier Deschamps equalled Raymond Domenech’s record tally of 79 games as France manager.He named Presnel Kimpembe in the starting XI, as he became the fourth to make his first start with France in a World Cup match, after Franck Ribery (2006 vs Switzerland), Morgan Schneiderlin and Lucas Digne (2014 vs Ecuador).But after 90 minutes (and added time), France and Denmark produced the first 0-0 draw in this edition of the World Cup. The goal-less draw ended a record 37-game streak of not having a goalless draw. Peru win a World Cup match since 1978Andre Carillo’s opener (first since 1982) gave Peru the lead in a World Cup game for the first time since 1978, when they had lead against Iran. That match was also the last time they had managed a win (4-1) in the tournament, which is the fourth longest gap between victories in the competition.Paolo Guerrero, who scored the second goal, became the first No.9 to score for Peru at the World Cup and also at the age of 34y 176d became the third oldest South American player. Only Uruguay’s Obdulio Jacinto Varela (36y 279d) and Argentina’s Martin Palermo (36y 227d) are older.Tim Cahil also became the first Australian player to appear at four separate World Cups. Diego Maradona gets Argentine crowd going at World CupArgentina fans broke out into spontaneous chants of “Diego! Diego” when Diego Maradona was shown taking his seat at the St. Petersburg stadium before the Argentina’s World Cup match against Nigeria.The 57-year-old Maradona briefly danced with a woman in the stands as fans took photos of him. He was also seen displaying a banner of himself in the stands. As Messi gave Argentina the lead he was seen thanking the Gods.advertisementBut Maradona appeared to need assistance to walk as a man was seen helping Maradona stay on his feet as he was led away from his seat overlooking the pitch and into an adjacent room in the video posted by Fernando Schwartz, a well-known sports journalist in Mexico.A photograph also posted on Twitter appeared to show two medical staff attending to Maradona.The Argentine website of sports broadcaster ESPN said Maradona was taken to hospital but newspaper La Nacion said he was treated for low blood pressure in the stadium and was able to leave the stadium normally shortly afterwards. Messi reaches century as Argentina qualify with their oldest ever XIArgentina have won all four of the games they have played against Nigeria at the World Cup.Argenita named their oldest ever team for a World Cup game – with the average age being 30 years and 189 days. In goal was Franco Armani, aged 31, become the 17th different goalkeeper to start for Argentina in the World Cup. No country have had more goalkeepers.Lionel Messi scored with his 13th shot of the 2018 World Cup, after 662 minutes of football, with his last previous World Cup goal came against Nigeria as well in the last edition.His 14th minute goal from Messi was the 100th of this edition of the World Cup and also his 100th in a different stadium (including club and country).Other’s hwo have scored the 100th goal of a World Cup are Andres Iniesta (2010) and Neymar (2014).READ MOREMessi also became only the third Argentinian after Diego Maradona (1982, 1986, 1994), Gabriel Batistuta (1994, 1998, 2002)to have scored in score in three editions of the World Cup, in 2006, 2014 and 2018. The goal was Messi’s 6th World Cup goal, and also the first he has scored with his right foot.Marcos Rojo scored with Argentina’s only shot on target in the second half, which was only his third goals for his national team. He had scored in the 2015 Copa America, and both of his World Cup goals have now come against Nigeria. Iceland’s poor record against Croatia continuesBefore the start of the match, Iceland had beaten Croatia only on one occasion and after the game their record read 1 win, 1 draw, 5 losses.Mateo Kovacic became the first outfield player at the 2018 World Cup to play at least 80 minutes in a single game without misplacing a pass.Croatia have now won three consecutive World Cup games for the first time in their history. With the loss, Iceland also crashed out, meaning both the debutants in this edition went out in the group stage.(With inputs from AP)last_img read more

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First North AmericaBuilt LNG Bunker Barge Delivered

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Conrad Industries US shipbuilder Conrad Industries has delivered the Clean Jacksonville, the first LNG bunker barge built in North America.The Clean Jacksonville, which was constructed at Conrad Orange Shipyard in Texas, conducted safe and successful gas trials in Port Fourchon, Louisiana.The vessel will enter service for TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico in the Port of Jacksonville, where it will bunker two Marlin Class containerships operating on LNG fuel between Jacksonville and San Juan, Puerto Rico.“It is the first LNG bunker barge built in North America. It is the first time the GTT membrane system has been installed in a non self-propelled barge in the U.S. It is the first time an LNG bunker mast of this type has been built. The list goes on,” Johnny Conrad, President and CEO of Conrad Industries, said.“The use of LNG as a maritime fuel results in tremendous environmental benefits – including air and water quality improvements – and this barge is the final critical component of our LNG program in Jacksonville,” Tim Nolan, President and CEO of TOTE, said.last_img read more

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France Télévisions has struck an agreement with pr

first_imgFrance Télévisions has struck an agreement with producers that will enable it to exploit content exclusively on its own free and subscription digital packages.The deal will enable France Télévisions director-general Delphine Ernotte to make good her ambition to withdraw series financed by the pubcaster from Netflix and other third-party platforms ahead of the planned launch of Salto, the OTT joint venture between France Télévisions, TF1 and M6.Delphine ErnotteUnder its new deal with producers, the broadcaster will be able to distribute content it has ordered across linear TV, catch-up, video-on-demand and subscription video-on-demand, enabling it to decide on its own distribution strategy. Hitherto, producers retained the rights to sell content purchased by the pubcaster to third-party SVOD platforms.As a trade-off, producers have secured the concession that the period of linear broadcast exclusivity required by France Télévisions will be reduced from four years to three, or to 30 months for single-episode telefilms. The pubcaster has also agreed to up the quotient of its production guaranteed for independent producers from 75% to 82.5%, while also upping the quotient allocated for internal production from 12.5% to 17.5% and eliminating the 12.5% previously allocated on a flexible basis.Ernotte has for some time been proselytising the benefits of French broadcasters retaining exclusive rights to their own content in order to “protect French fiction”, citing the example of Disney deciding to retain its own US rights rather than license content to Netflix.France Télévisions, TF1 and M6 Group teamed up last June to announce their plan to launch joint national OTT TV platform Salto, with a promise that it would “actively participate” in the creation of French and European original content.last_img read more

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