Tensions rise as AstraZeneca, EU spar over vaccine delays

first_imgBRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and drugmaker AstraZeneca sparred Wednesday over a delay in coronavirus vaccine deliveries as the deepening dispute raises concerns about the increasing competition for limited supplies of shots needed to end the pandemic. AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot addressed the dispute for the first time, rejecting the EU’s assertion that the company was failing to honor its commitments. Soriot said vaccine delivery figures in AstraZeneca’s contract with the 27-nation bloc were targets, not firm commitments, and they couldn’t be met because of problems in rapidly expanding production capacity.last_img read more

Shadow Productions wins six VAB awards

first_imgShadow Productions,At a recent awards show, Burlington-based multimedia marketing company Shadow Productions received six Vermont Association of Broadcasters Commercial of the Year prizes. The awards were given at the Vermont Association of Broadcasters (VAB) conference, held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier in May.  Among the awards Shadow took home were BEST PRODUCED RADIO COMMERCIAL, AGENCY-PRODUCED; FUNNIEST RADIO COMERCIAL, AGENCY PRODUCED; and FUNNIEST TV COMMERCIAL, AGENCY PRODUCED.  Each member of the Shadow Team took home at least one award for writing or production, including producer Rob Ostrander, whose material was entered in the show for the first time this year.Managing Partner Matt Dugan said: Even after almost two decades in business, we get great satisfaction out of producing creative and fun ads for our clients.  364 days of the year, we re busy strategizing, producing, monitoring and assessing and radio, TV and web campaigns. But the other day of the year the VAB awards show we sit back and enjoy it.  There were over 160 contest entries from radio stations, television stations and advertising agencies from around Vermont.  Shadow Productions producer Alex Ball said, We re really proud to win these awards, but it is an even greater honor to be at the show with other professionals from the broadcast industry.  When you hear all the award-winning commercials and meet the people who produced them, it s exciting to think about how much talent we have right here in this state.The complete list of award winners, along with pictures from the event can be found on the VAB website.  http://www.vab.org/awards.htm(link is external)About Shadow Productions:  Founded in 1990, Burlington s Shadow Productions offers the full range of multimedia electronic marketing services, including animation, TV and radio ads, music, copywriting, and web production.   Shadow Productions can be reached at (802) 863-2076 or www.shadowprod.com(link is external)last_img read more

Vermont ranks among lowest in obesity rate

first_imgAdult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, and declined only in the District of Columbia, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010, a report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). More than two-thirds of states (38) have adult obesity rates above 25 percent. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent. Vermont had one of lowest rates at 22.8 percent to rank 46th.The report highlights troubling racial, ethnic, regional and income disparities in the nation’s obesity epidemic. For instance, adult obesity rates for Blacks and Latinos were higher than for Whites in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia; 10 out of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity were in the South – with Mississippi weighing in with highest rates for all adults (33.8 percent) for the sixth year in a row; and 35.3 percent of adults earning less than $15,000 per year were obese compared with 24.5 percent of adults earning $50,000 or more per year.”Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges the country has ever faced, and troubling disparities exist based on race, ethnicity, region, and income,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH.  “This report shows that the country has taken bold steps to address the obesity crisis in recent years, but the nation’s response has yet to fully match the magnitude of the problem. Millions of Americans still face barriers – like the high cost of healthy foods and lack of access to safe places to be physically active – that make healthy choices challenging.”    The report also includes obesity rates among youths ages 10-17, and the results of a new poll on childhood obesity conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and American Viewpoint. The poll shows that 80 percent of Americans recognize that childhood obesity is a significant and growing challenge for the country, and 50 percent of Americans believe childhood obesity is such an important issue that we need to invest more to prevent it immediately. The survey also found that 84 percent of parents believe their children are at a healthy weight, but research shows nearly one-third of children and teens are obese or overweight. Obesity rates among youths ages 10-17 from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) also were included in the 2009 F as in Fat report. Data collection for the next NSCH will begin in 2011. Currently, more than 12 million children and adolescents are considered obese.”Obesity rates among the current generation of young people are unacceptably high and a very serious problem,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., RWJF president and CEO. “To reverse this national epidemic, we have to make every community a healthy community. Americans are increasingly ready and willing to make that investment.”Additional key findings include:Adult obesity rates for Blacks topped 40 percent in nine states, 35 percent in 34 states, and 30 percent in 43 states and D.C.Rates of adult obesity for Latinos were above 35 percent in two states (North Dakota and Tennessee) and at 30 percent and above in 19 states.Ten of the 11 states with the highest rates of diabetes are in the South, as are the 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension.No state had rates of adult obesity above 35 percent for Whites. Only one state—West Virginia—had an adult obesity rate for Whites greater than 30 percent.The number of states where adult obesity rates exceed 30 percent doubled in the past year, from four to eight—Alabama,Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.  Northeastern and Western states had the lowest adult obesity rates; Colorado remained the lowest at 19.1 percent.The report found that the federal government and many states are undertaking a wide range of policy initiatives to address the obesity crisis.  Some key findings include that:At the federal level:The new health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, has the potential to address the obesity epidemic through a number of prevention and wellness provisions, expand coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, and create a reliable funding stream through the creation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund;Community Transformation grants have the potential to help leverage the success of existing evidence-based disease prevention programs;President Barack Obama created a White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity,  which issued a new national obesity strategy that contained concrete measures and roles for every agency in the federal government; andFirst Lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” initiative to solve childhood obesity within a generation.And at the state level:  Twenty states and D.C. set nutritional standards for school lunches, breakfasts and snacks that are stricter than current United States Department of Agriculture requirements.  Five years ago, only four states had legislation requiring stricter standards.Twenty-eight states and D.C. have nutritional standards for competitive foods sold in schools on a la carte lines, in vending machines, in school stores, or through school bake sales.  Five years ago, only six states had nutritional standards for competitive foods.Every state has some form of physical education requirement for schools, but these requirements are often limited, not enforced or do not meet adequate quality standards.Twenty states have passed requirements for body mass index screenings of children and adolescents or have passed legislation requiring other forms of weight and/or fitness related assessments in schools.  Five years ago, only four states had passed screening requirements.To enhance the prevention of obesity and related diseases, TFAH and RWJF provide a list of recommended actions in the report. Some key policy recommendations include:Support obesity- and disease-prevention programs through the new health reform law’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provides $15 billion in mandatory appropriations for public health and prevention programs over the next 10 years.Align federal policies and legislation with the goals of the forthcoming National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy.  Opportunities to do this can be found through key pieces of federal legislation that are up for reauthorization in the next few years, including the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act; the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and the Surface Transportation Authorization Act.Expand the commitment to community-based prevention programs initiated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through new provisions in the health reform law, such as Community Transformation grants and the National Diabetes Prevention Program.Continue to invest in research and evaluation on nutrition, physical activity, obesity and obesity-related health outcomes and associated interventions.  The full report with state rankings in all categories is available on TFAH’s Web site at www.healthyamericans.org(link is external) and RWJF’s Web site at www.rwjf.org(link is external). The report was supported by a grant from RWJF.STATE-BY-STATE ADULT OBESITY RANKINGSNote: 1 = Highest rate of adult obesity, 51 = lowest rate of adult obesity. Rankings are based on combining three years of data (2007-2009) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to “stabilize” data for comparison purposes. This methodology, recommended by the CDC, compensates for any potential anomalies or usual changes due to the specific sample in any given year in any given state.  States with statistically significant (p1. Mississippi*** (33.8%);2. (tie) Alabama (31.6%); and Tennessee*** (31.6%);4. West Virginia (31.3%);5. Louisiana* (31.2%);6. Oklahoma*** (30.6%);7. Kentucky* (30.5%);8. Arkansas* (30.1%);9. South Carolina (29.9%);10. (tie) Michigan(29.4%); and North Carolina*** (29.4%);12. Missouri* (29.3%); 13. (tie) Ohio (29.0%); and  Texas* (29.0%);15. South Dakota*** (28.5%);16. Kansas*** (28.2%);17. (tie) Georgia (28.1%); Indiana* (28.1%); and Pennsylvania*** (28.1%);20. Delaware(27.9%);21. North Dakota** (27.7%);22. Iowa* (27.6%);23. Nebraska (27.3%);24. (tie) Alaska (26.9%); and Wisconsin(26.9%);26. (tie) Illinois* (26.6%); and Maryland (26.6%);28. Washington*** (26.3%);29. (tie) Arizona (25.8%); and Maine** (25.8%);31. Nevada (25.6%);32. (tie) Minnesota (25.5%); New Mexico*** (25.5%); and Virginia (25.5%);35. New Hampshire* (25.4%); 36. (tie) Florida** (25.1%); Idaho (25.1%); and New York (25.1%);39. (tie) Oregon (25.0%); and Wyoming (25.0%);41.California* (24.4%);42. New Jersey (23.9%);43. Montana*** (23.5%);44. Utah* (23.2%);45. Rhode Island* (22.9%);46.Vermont*** (22.8%);47. Hawaii** (22.6%);48. Massachusetts* (21.7%);49. District of Columbia. (21.5%);50. Connecticut(21.4%);51. Colorado (19.1%).Source: WASHINGTON, June 29, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —last_img read more

ESG – What is it and how does it pertain to me?

first_imgESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance: These are the three central pillars utilized by investors on measuring the social and sustainability (non-financial) factors of entities in which they invest. Investors who focus on ESG incorporate these social and sustainability factors, along with financial factors, to assess risk and performance. Until recently, ESG has been implemented mainly by investors, but recently has moved more into the main stream with attention both at the state and federal level.    On September 20, 2019, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 4329, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2019.  The bill addresses environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures and would require issuers to describe the link between ESG metrics and long term strategy, in which ESG metrics would be included in disclosures. The bill does not seem to have momentum to become law under the current administration, but is being addressed at the state level.  While the Federal government is remaining on the sidelines, states are embracing and passing ESG laws. Rather than a single Federal approach like in Europe and Japan, the U.S. approach is being determined at the state and local level.  The approach is expanding beyond Congress’ bill which pertains to issuers to include all institutions in which pensions or political subdivisions are investing. The individual approach leads to each state and locality having individual requirements, creating an endless set of rules and regulations.  This approach is going to be more expensive and less efficient to manage, but that is the direction at this point.  California, amongst other states, has embraced ESG into regulations into the investing of pension funds.  Other states include Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington; not to mention localities such as Boston, Chicago, New York City and Seattle.Illinois is among the leaders to sign into law the Sustainable Investing Act, also known as HB 2460, which became effective in January 2020. The biggest difference from the others is that the new law requires all public or government agencies involved in managing public funds to “develop, publish, and implement sustainable investment policies applicable to the management of all public funds under its control.”This is the point at which to question, how does it pertain to my financial institution? Governmental entities are now required to implement sustainable investment policies in which anyone participating in the investment of public funds (which includes financial institutions) will need to address. Financial institutions, in addition to issuers, will need to consider ESG criteria and be able to defend when soliciting funds that fall under the ESG requirements. SourcesINSIGHT: States Take Lead on ESG Investment Regulations While Feds Stand StillBloomberg law, Ali ZaidiPending Federal ESG Legislation Could Yield Significant and Step-wise ChangeBloomberg law, Ali ZaidiEnvironmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) CriteriaBy JAMES CHENReviewed By GORDON SCOTTUpdated Feb 25, 2020ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2019Congress.gov 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,James Lutter D. James (Jim) Lutter is the Senior Vice President of Trading and Operations at PMA Financial Network and PMA Securities where he oversees PMA Funding, a service of both companies … Web: pmafunding.com Detailscenter_img Co-author: Todd A. Terrazaslast_img read more

Imagination knows no bounds

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Frost appears on Mount Bromo as temperature drops

first_imgOfficials of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS) have reported extreme cold weather on Mount Bromo, where the temperature has dropped to minus 3 degrees Celsius.The park recorded the temperature drop on Sunday, national park spokesman Syarif Hidayat said. He said frost and frozen dew were detected in one area in Cemorolawang. “We have yet to see much frost around here but there are many signs that the situation will lead to that,” he said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.Read also: BMKG predicts droughts in several regions across IndonesiaHe explained that the frost appeared due to extreme weather in the current dry season.Unlike in previous years, tourists are unable to witness the frost this year as the national park remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.“The park is still restricted for tourists,” Syarif said. (dpk)Topics :last_img read more

Shaw sticks with Saints

first_img “Lloyd has shown a great deal of potential during his early years with the club, and he deserves this new contract in recognition of the hard work he puts in,” manager Mauricio Pochettino told Southampton’s official website. “He has impressed me in his performances for the Under-21s and with his attitude on the training ground, having taken part in first-team sessions regularly last season. “He now has the chance to demonstrate at senior level the qualities he has shown during his time with the academy and development squad.” A breakthrough season last time out earned him many plaudits and a call-up to the Under-21 European Championship, although injury ruled him out. He was linked with a move away as a result of his form, but the club celebrated Shaw’s 18th birthday by announcing the deal with 29 first-team appearances already to his name. “I’m very pleased to have finally signed it,” Shaw told his club’s official website tonight. “I committed myself back in January, and I’m glad everything has been sorted out. “I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my future, but all of the Saints fans will have known that I committed my future in January. “I’ve been here since I was eight and I’ve loved every single moment of it. I want to stay at this club, and signing this contract means I’m here for another five years.” Like Shaw, Isgrove also broke through last season after making his debut in the Capital One Cup at Leeds. The 20-year-old was named in the squad for the final two Barclays Premier League games of last season and has today signed a fresh contract. Saints have announced the news on their official Twitter feed, making the 18-year-old the second of their players to pen a new deal on Friday. Lloyd Isgrove earlier signed a one-year extension, but it is the renewal of Shaw which will please the club’s fans all the more. Southampton’s highly-rated full-back Luke Shaw has signed a new five-year deal with the club. Press Associationlast_img read more

GSA boys down Fort Kent, Fort Fairfield for 3rd straight Northern Maine title

first_imgBANGOR — They go by a motto: “Business as usual.”From Blue Hill to Bangor and anywhere else they go, members of the George Stevens Academy boys’ basketball team approach every matchup this way. Whether it’s a home game against a conference opponent or a do-or-die playoff game on the biggest stage, the Eagles have the mentality it takes to rise up to the challenge every step along the way.“‘Business as usual,’ that’s what Coach [head coach Dwayne Carter] always tells us,” junior Percy Zentz said. “It’s just about going into every game with the same mentality and treating no game as bigger than any other. That’s what we’ve done every time, and it’s worked for us.”It takes that sort of mental fortitude to have such consistent success on a stage as large as the state basketball tournament, but GSA has proved over and over again to have such a mindset. The result has been a tournament that’s seen trophy after trophy handed to the boys from the Blue Hill Peninsula.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textGSA won its third straight Class C North championship over the weekend by beating Fort Kent in the regional semifinals Friday and Fort Fairfield in the Class C North championship. The decisive victories marked yet another milestone for a program that’s made winning look easy over the past three years.George Stevens Academy’s Caden Mattson (second from left) and Andrew Szwez defend against Fort Kent’s Jace Rocheleau (left) and Caleb Delisle during the first half of a boys’ basketball playoff game Feb. 23 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. GSA beat Fort Kent 76-53. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLEven after struggling to open the game against fifth-seeded Fort Kent in the semis, GSA turned an early deficit into a double-digit lead in a matter of minutes with clutch baskets from seniors Taylor Schildroth, Stefan Simmons and Max Mattson. After eight straight points to start the fourth quarter, the Eagles cruised to a 76-53 win.Carter said the top-ranked Eagles were more tense than usual in the buildup to the game. That resulted in Fort Kent (16-5) leading for much of the first half before GSA was able to take control.“The vibe was a little stressful early on, and it took us a little bit to get into a rhythm,” Carter said after the win. “I think we’ll come out tomorrow and play a lot better.”Against Fort Fairfield, that was exactly what happened. From the moment the Eagles took the floor, Saturday’s outcome was never in doubt.After winning the opening tip, GSA got off to a flying start to the game. In the opening minute, the Eagles got a 3-pointer from Caden Mattson and layups from Percy Zentz and Taylor Schildroth to take a 7-0 lead early. Fort Fairfield called a timeout to regroup, but GSA continued to overpower the Tigers throughout the first quarter and took a 24-11 lead into the second with the help of 14 points from Schildroth.GSA’s Taylor Schildroth prepares to shoot as Fort Fairfield’s Malcolm Langner rushes on to defend during the first half of the Class C North boys’ basketball championship game Feb. 24 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The Eagles defeated Fort Fairfield 62-39 to win the regional title for the third season in a row. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLThe Eagles continued their run in the eight minutes before halftime with stout defense. Fort Fairfield didn’t score for the first 6 minute, 46 seconds of the second quarter, and Max Mattson’s post presence on the offensive end sparked the Eagles to a 12-0 run en route to a 38-15 advantage at the break.A barrage of 3-pointers in the second half brought second-seeded Fort Fairfield (18-3) to within 16 points, but that was as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way. GSA responded with a 9-0 run of its own that put any hint of a comeback out of reach and coasted from there to claim another regional title.As well as the Eagles (20-1) played offensively, it was their performance on the other end of the floor that made the difference. GSA’s 62-39 win marked the lowest offensive output of the season for Fort Fairfield, which hadn’t scored fewer than 50 points all year.“It all starts with defense,” said Schildroth, who led all scorers with 30 points against Fort Kent and 29 against Fort Fairfield. “We mix it up well. We go through half-court, full-court, zone and man [defenses], and we just try to get people to turn it over. … We get a lot of fast-break layups off of good defense.”GSA’s Caden Mattson defends against Fort Fairfield’s Isaac Cyr during the second half of the Class C North boys’ basketball championship game Feb. 24 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Mattson held Cyr, who had scored a combined 51 points in Fort Fairfield’s tournament wins against Piscataquis and Mattanawcook Academy, to just 14 in the Eagles’ 62-39 victory. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLA major part of that defensive effort came with the help of Caden Mattson. The sophomore guard held Fort Fairfield leading scorer Isaac Cyr, who had scored a combined 51 points in the Tigers’ quarterfinal and semifinal victories, to just 14.“I just knew I had to not let him touch the ball or at least let him touch it as little as possible,” Mattson said. “If he can’t have the ball in his hands, he can’t score.”Even as GSA players, coaches and fans celebrated after the win, the words “one more” could also be heard reverberating throughout the arena. The Eagles will face Class C South champion and No. 1 seed Hall-Dale (20-1) in the state title game at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the Augusta Civic Center.Adding one more Gold Ball would make GSA only the second Class C boys’ team to win three in a row. Win or lose, the legacy the team has left over the past three seasons will be a lasting one all across the state.“The success we’ve had, that sort of thing just doesn’t happen,” Carter said. “It’s been amazing for the players, the school and all the fans, and I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. Maybe that will happen when it’s over, but for now, we have to enjoy it while it lasts.” Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. Bio Latest Postscenter_img Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

Cricket News Ben Stokes Takes Legal Action Against ‘The Sun’ Newspaper Over Article On His Family’s Past

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Ben Stokes and his mother have reportedly launched legal action against ‘The Sun’ after the UK newspaper published a front-page story with sensitive information about the all-rounder’s family. The Sun had last month published a story which described in detail events of more than 30 years ago involving the deaths of members of Stokes’ New Zealand-based family. Over a month after the incident, Stokes and his mother Deborah have filed proceedings against ‘The Sun’ for invasion of privacy. Their lawyers will argue that the story breached the family’s privacy by bringing up an issue that had been largely forgotten, The Guardian reported.Stokes had slammed The Sun, an English daily, for a report on the cricketer’s “secret family tragedy”. The newspaper’s report claims that his mother’s two children were killed by her ex in 1988, a few year’s before the cricketer’s birth.Also Read | WATCH – After Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes takes ‘catch of the tournament’ in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash vs Pakistan”Today The Sun has seen fit to publish extremely painful, sensitive and personal details concerning events in the private lives of my family, going back more than 31 years,” the cricketer’s statement read. The all-rounder called the publication “heartless and immoral” for their reportage and stated that their reporter went down to New Zealand to question his parents about this “incredibly upsetting topic.”Also Read | ‘That wasn’t my best catch’: Modest Stokes produces World Cup gem”For more than three decades, my family has worked hard to deal with the private trauma inevitably associated with these events and has taken great care to keep private what were deeply personal and traumatic events. On Saturday, the Sun sent a ‘reporter’ to my parents’ home in New Zealand to question them, out of the blue, on this incredibly upsetting topic. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Sun thinks it is acceptable to sensationalise our personal tragedy for their front page,” the statement added.Stokes said that it is not acceptable to use his name as a public figure to dismantle the privacy of his family. “To use my name as an excuse to shatter the privacy and private lives of – in particular- my parents, is utterly disgusting. I am aware that my public profile brings with its consequences for me that I accept entirely. But I will not allow my public profile to be used as an excuse to invade the rights of my parents, my wife, my children or other family members,” Stokes said.”This is the lowest form of journalism, focussed only on chasing sales with absolutely no regard for the devastation caused to lives as a consequence. It is totally out of order. The article also contains serious inaccuracies which have compounded the damage caused. We need to take a serious look at how we allow our press to behave,” the statement adds.last_img read more

GBA receives US$15 000 from GOA for boxers’ training stint in Cuba

first_img… Ninvalle says the largest amount under his watchBy Faizool DeoTHE Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) has contributed a whopping US$15 000 (over G$3.1M) to the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) to offset expenses of four boxers and two coaches who are scheduled to leave this Sunday for a three-month training stint in Cuba, with the ultimate hope of qualifying for next year’s Olympics.Although a Guyanese boxer has not qualified for the Olympics since 2006, all parties involved are optimistic that this current crop will lead Guyana to glory.The boxers are Keevin Allicock (a two-time current Caribbean champion), Desmond Amsterdam and Colin Lewis (former Caribbean champions) and Dennis Thomas (a Caribbean two-time silver medallist).The quartet will display their skills learnt from Cuba at the Olympic Qualifiers, which is scheduled from March 26 to April 3, 2020, in Argentina.To send the four boxers and two officials (Terrence Poole and Sebert Blake – awaiting release from GPL) on the three-month spell, the GBA had to raise approximately US$31 000 (over G$6.4M). Fortunately, GOA and National Sports Commission were fully on board with the venture. Earlier this month, NSC, through its Director of Sport Christopher Jones, handed over a cheque of $1M to the boxing association with the promise of a further $1.5M either in January or February, while president of the GBA, Steve Ninvalle, noted that the boxing association would contribute the rest of funds needed.At a simple press conference yesterday, at the Law Offices of K.A. Juman-Yassin, the GOA president noted that he was impressed with Allicock’s improvement after his time in Cuba earlier this year and he and his executives felt that it was the correct move to assist in sending the four boxers for training. “In going to Cuba, the exposure will be immense, the range and variety of sparring partners; we don’t have that in Guyana. The discipline, the medical checkups, everything about the programme is much better than what we have here.”Yassin added that he is confident that the three-month training stint would help the boxers.  He noted that from the inception he was supportive of local coaches travelling with the boxers.  He said that the coaches would be able to enhance their skills and hopefully implement what they have learnt, which in the long-run should enhance the sport locally.   “In this exercise for three months, two of our senior coaches will benefit and no doubt that benefit will pass on to the youngsters … Once they (the four boxers) work hard and make that sacrifice, I sincerely believe that they will be successful.”According to Ninvalle, the cheque of US$15 000 is the largest contribution received under his watch as GBA head.“In my tenure, it would have been the largest contribution that we would have received from anyone, from any entity, any supporter. I want to say heartfelt thanks to Mr Yassin.”Ninvalle also indicated that the GOA president, through his insightfulness and knowledge of the sport, has been instrumental in bringing the Caribbean Developmental Championships to fruition – an event that has evolved into the Caribbean Championships.“It is through his initiative, through his support, his urging and his pushing that we have been able not only in Guyana, but also in the Caribbean, to see boxing move to higher heights of development.”Yassin, who has served as head of the GOA for over two decades, highlighted the importance of collaboration and thanked the NSC for its support. “It has to be a combination of resources, resources from the government, resources from the private sector, resources from the GOA and resources from individuals … it is also the aim for the GOA to work with the government, regardless of which government is in power….”Vice-president of the GOA, Dr Karen Pilgrim and Technical Director of the GOA Poole also spoke of the importance of the venture and their confidence in the boxers.Guyana has been outstanding in boxing at the regional level, but Michael Parris’s 1980 bronze medal at the Moscow Olympics remains our only medal to date at the top sporting event.last_img read more