Relaxed Groves unfazed by Froch – trainer

first_imgGeorge Groves’ clash with local rival James DeGale was a bigger test of his nerve than this weekend’s world title fight, according to the Hammersmith man’s trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick.Groves, then 23, upset the odds by edging a close points decision against Olympic gold medallist DeGale in front of a sell-out crowd at the O2 Arena in May 2011.And Fitzpatrick believes that experience is partly why the unbeaten challenger is unfazed by being the underdog ahead of Saturday’s showdown with super-middleweight champion Carl Froch.“Here’s a dude who is very composed and very at peace with where he is,” Fitzpatrick told West London Sport.“He’s been on the big stage far before Carl Froch was in his career. In only his 12th fight he fought on pay-per-view [against DeGale] in front of 20,000 people.Groves is convinced he will overcome Froch.“And this fight is easier emotionally than that one. Then he had to fight a fellow Londoner from the same district, the same amateur gym.“Emotionally that is very testing and trying and he’s proven that he can keep it together.“Don’t forget out of 31 experts before that fight, 29 had him losing, so opinions don’t mean anything.“You can be in a room and when someone walks in you can pick a vibe up from them.“I think anyone around George at the moment would pick up the vibe of a man who is very much relaxed about where he is right now.“He’s already proved to himself that he is ready emotionally for this stage and he’s proved technically in all his fights that he’s ready. Now he’s got to show everyone.”Irishman Fitzpatrick stepped into the breach after it was announced in September that Groves was no longer being trained by Adam Booth.Fitzpatrick had previously been part of the Groves camp and was an obvious person for the former British champion to turn to.Booth’s absence has raised eyebrows ahead of his protege’s step up to fight a man with considerable top-level experience who is widely fancied to successfully defend his WBA and IBF belts.But Groves and his team point to weaknesses of Froch which were exposed in defeats against Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler as well as a questionable points win against the slick Andre Dirrell and a last-gasp stoppage of a fading Jermain Taylor.“By nature we’re pretty much all sheep. You get one man in a crowd who nods and then they all nod,” Fitzpatrick added.“Carl has had two years now with Eddie Hearn where he’s been promoted wildly and he is a warrior – he’s top drawer.“So when you have somebody who is proven against somebody who is coming through, there will always be the question about whether he’s ready.“When the champion is a strong champion they usually say [about the challenger] that it’s too soon and he hasn’t done anything yet.“But you can’t have done it until you do it. Carl did it in his 24th fight, Joe Calzaghe in his 23rd, Andre Ward in his 19th and now George will do it in his 20th.”See also:Confident Groves squares up to Froch after final press conferenceHearn predicts Groves will go on the attackGroves: Froch is wrong, I’m ready for himFroch claims Groves will be ‘annihilated’Groves stays cool at tense weigh-inGroves reveals his plan to beat Froch in Saturday’s world title clashFroch v Groves: Live updatesGroves says Froch ‘has 48 hours to readjust’ after gameplan is revealedGroves’ trainer reveals he had reservations about fight 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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South Africa’s political parties

first_imgSouth Africa has a vibrant multiparty political system, with 13 parties represented in the National Assembly of Parliament.South Africa’s  parliament in Cape Town. (Image: Wikipedia)Brand South Africa reporterThe African National Congress is the majority party, with 264 of the 400 National Assembly seats. The party also controls eight of the country’s nine provinces, with the exception of the Western Cape, where the Democratic Alliance won the majority in the 2009 elections. The ANC also controls five of the six metropolitan municipalities. Nonetheless, South Africa’s opposition parties remain robust and vocal.South Africa’s Parliament is made up of two houses: the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. The National Assembly is the more influential, passing legislation and overseeing executive performance. Its members are elected for a term of five years. All South African citizens over the age of 18 eligible to vote, if they register to do so. So far, South Africa has had fully inclusive democratic elections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009. Before 1994 only white South Africans were allowed to vote for the national government.A controversial feature of the South African political system, now abolished, was floor crossing. Members of political parties appointed to the national, provincial and local legislatures had two opportunities during their term, two weeks long and spaced two years apart, to cross the floor and join another party.This was controversial as party delegates are not directly voted into their positions; instead, votes are cast for the party itself, which then appoints representatives. It also created political parties in Parliament – currently three – that never stood for a single election.In August 2008 Parliament abolished the practice, in time to prevent the current term’s second floor-crossing window, which was due to begin on 9 September. SOUTH AFRICA’S POLITICAL PARTIES Party % votes cast 2009 Seats in National Assembly 2009Seats in National Assembly April 2004 Seats in National Assembly Sept 2007*African National Congress65.9%264279297Democratic Alliance16.66%675047Congress of the People7.42%30––Inkatha Freedom Party4.55%182823Independent Democrats0.92%474United Democratic Movement0.85%496Freedom Front Plus0.83%444African Christian Democratic Party0.81%374United Christian Democratic Party0.37%233Pan Africanist Congress0.27%131Minority Front0.25%122Azanian People’s Organisation0.22%111African People’s Convention0.2%1–2National Alliance–––1Federation of Democrats–––1National Democratic Convention–––4New National Party––7– * After floor-crossing  PROVINCIAL ELECTION RESULTS 2009 Province    ANC       DA   Cope   IFP   ID   UDM   FF+   ACDP   Others Eastern Cape 69.79%9.97 13.32% 0.09%  0.45%  3.95%0.23%0.59%1.61% Free State 71.99% 12.11%11.12%0.21%0.17%0.32%1.61%0.70%1.77% Gauteng64.83% 21.29%7.78%1.47%0.57%0.39%1.37%0.89%1.41% KwaZulu-Natal64.07%10.35%1.55%   20.55%0.20%0.21%0.18%0.59%2.30% Limpopo85.37%3.71%7.22%0.05%0.09%0.33%0.54%0.63%2.06% Mpumalanga  85.90%7.60%2.89%0.54%0.12%0.23%  0.83%  0.51%  1.38% Northern Cape61.18%  13.09%  15.96%0.14%4.73%0.12%1.19%0.98%  2.61% North West73.96%8.71%8.44%0.15%0.44%0.51%1.43%0.74%5.62% Western Cape32.89%48.83%9.07%0.06%4.49%0.77%0.86%1.62%1.41% A sitting of elected representatives from South Africa’s political parties, as elected by the people, at Parliament in Cape Town. (Image: South African Government Communication and Information System)About the parties The following is a summary of the history and policies of South Africa’s major political parties.African National Congress Democratic Alliance Congress of the People Inkatha Freedom Party Independent Democrats United Democratic Movement Freedom Front Plus African Christian Democratic Party United Christian Democratic Party Pan Africanist Congress Minority Front Azanian People’s Organisation African People’s Convention South African Communist Party New National Party Parliament of the Republic of South AfricaFor a list of all South African political parties registered with the Independent Electoral Commission, visit the Independent Electoral Commission website.African National Congress (ANC) 264 seats in the National AssemblyThe South African Native National Congress was founded in 1912 with the aim of bringing Africans together to defend their rights and fight for freedom. In 1923 its name was changed to the African National Congress (ANC).Following the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, the party was banned by the Nationalist government. From 1961 organised acts of sabotage began, marking the emergence of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC. The ANC was to be an underground and exiled organisation for the next 30 years.In February 1990, the government unbanned the ANC and released Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. The ANC was again able to openly recruit members and establish regional structures.In the historic 1994 elections the ANC won 62% of the vote. Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president. In the 1999 elections the party increased its majority to a point short of two-thirds of the total vote. A two-thirds majority allows a party to change the constitution. Thabo Mbeki succeeded Mandela as president of the country.ANC policy is to increase economic growth and reduce poverty. The Freedom Charter remains the party’s basic policy document. Adopted in June 1955 by the ANC and its allies, the charter lists principles upon which a democratic South Africa should be built.In 1994 the ANC adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) as a policy framework to guide it in transforming South Africa from a divided society to one that provides equal opportunities for all its citizens. The four main principles of the RDP are:meeting the people’s basic needs, such as housing, water and electricity;developing the country’s human resources;building the economy; anddemocratising state institutions and society.In 1996 the ANC adopted the Growth, Employment and Redistribution macroeconomic strategy, or Gear. This is a strategy for rebuilding and restructuring the economy in line with the main principles of the RDP.In the 2004 elections the party retained its two-thirds majority (69.7%), but lost it in the 2009 elections, when its majority fell to 64.9%.Also see the South African Communist Party and the New National Party, below.African National Congress website Back to top Democratic Alliance (DA) 67 seats in the National AssemblyThe Democratic Alliance, formerly known as the Democratic Party (DP), espouses liberal democracy and free market principles. The party’s forerunner was the Progressive Federal Party (PFP), whose veteran politician Helen Suzman was its only representative in the white Parliament for many years. Suzman upheld liberal policies in the apartheid-era legislature and spoke out against apartheid laws.In the 1980s the party increased its Parliamentary seats to seven. Among the new MPs was Tony Leon, who became DP leader in 1996, introducing a more aggressive approach to opposition politics.The DP’s campaign slogan for the 1999 elections – “Fight Back” – gained it a substantial number of white voters who were disillusioned with the New National Party. It increased its share of the vote from 1.7% in 1994 to about 10% in 1999 (as the former DP), 12.4% in 2004 and 16.6% in 2009.In 2000 the DP joined forces with the New National Party to form the Democratic Alliance (DA). But the NNP withdrew from the pact in late 2001, and was disbanded in 2004. Leon resigned as party head in 2007, to be replaced by Helen Zille, who was also executive mayor of the Cape Town metro. Zille has since become the premier of the Western Cape, and was replaced as mayor in April 2009 by Dan Plato.The DA seeks to promote:a prosperous, open-opportunity society in which every person is free and equal before the law;a spirit of mutual respect, inclusivity and participation among the diverse people of South Africa;a free enterprise economy driven by choices, risks and hard work; anda vigorous, critical and effective opposition that is loyal to the constitutional order and promotes the well-being of the country.Democratic Alliance website Back to top Congress of the People (Cope) 30 seats in the National AssemblyThe Congress of the People (Cope) is a new party that contested its first in April 2009, winning 7.42% of the vote. It was formed by breakaway ANC members dissatisfied with that organisation’s decision to “recall” then-President Thabo Mbeki in September 2008 and replace him with Kgalema Motlanthe.Cope was launched in early November 2008 at the November Convention held in Johannesburg. Its prominent members include Mosiuoa Lekota, the former minister of defence who resigned from Cabinet after Mbeki stepped down, as well as former Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa, former Congress of South African Trade Unions president Willie Madisha, and Barney Pityana, the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of South Africa.At the November Convention, Cope adopted the following principles in its declaration:Supremacy of the ConstitutionBuilding social cohesion based on values we can all defendFreedom and equality before the lawParticipatory democracyCongress of the People website Back to top Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 18 seats in the National AssemblyThe Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, draws its support largely from Zulu-speaking South Africans. Its strongholds are the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal and the migrant workers’ hostels in the metropolitan areas of Gauteng.Buthelezi has led the IFP since he founded it as the Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement in 1975. His political career dates back to the 1940s, when he joined the ANC Youth League while studying at Fort Hare University.In 1953 he took up a position as chief of the Buthelezi clan, and in 1970 was appointed head of the KwaZulu Territorial Authority in terms of the apartheid-era Bantu Administration Act. He became the homeland’s chief minister in 1976.Inkatha was transformed into a political party in July 1990, championing federalism as the best political option for South Africa.The IFP supports the government’s Gear macroeconomic strategy, but argues that it has been introduced in too tentative and piecemeal a manner. The party argues for revitalising the economy through a “re-prioritisation” of economic policy, based on four pillars:attracting increased levels of direct fixed investment;facilitating the competitive development of business in South Africa;managing the high expectations and demand for social delivery; andintroducing more cost-effective fiscal management in government.The IFP also believes in integrating traditional leadership into the system of governance by recognising traditional communities as models of societal organisation. Buthelezi heads KwaZulu-Natal’s House of Traditional Leaders, which advises the government on issues relating to traditional leaders.Since the 1994 elections, members of the IFP have occupied Cabinet positions at national level. Since the elections of 2009 the IFP is one of six parties in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature, where it holds 18 seats to the ANC’s 51.Inkatha Freedom Party website Back to top Independent Democrats (ID) Four seats in the National AssemblyThe Independent Democrats (ID) is one of South Africa’s newest mainstream political party, formed in March 2003 under the leadership of Patricia de Lille. De Lille is a former trade unionist and a long-time member of and MP for the Pan Africanist Congress, which she left to form the ID.De Lille has gained massive support for her forthright stand against corruption. A 2004 survey revealed her to be South Africa’s favourite opposition politician.With the motto “Back to Basics”, the ID’s policies are fairly centrist. The party is at one with the ANC on the economy, health and jobs, although De Lille outspokenly differed with the ANC’s earlier policies on HIV/Aids.“We are not going to be branded communist, socialist or capitalist. We are going to be constitutionalists,” De Lille said at the party’s launch. The ID claims a signed-up membership of 13 000.In the 2004 survey, De Lille was found to be the most trusted politician among coloured voters and was second favourite in the white and Indian communities. The ID is seen to have attracted former DA supporters, people disillusioned with that party’s ill-fated alliance with the NNP.Back to top United Democratic Movement (UDM) Four seats in the National AssemblyThe United Democratic Movement (UDM) was formed in 1997 by Bantu Holomisa, who was expelled from the ANC after accusing a top party official of corruption. Holomisa, the former military strongman in the former homeland of the Transkei, teamed up with Roelf Meyer, a former Nationalist Party Cabinet minister, to form a new party. Meyer later left politics to pursue other interests.The UDM sees itself as a contender for power with the ANC. Holomisa says his party is aiming to become an alternative government. His party campaigns around issues which it believes the government is handling badly.United Democratic Movement website Back to top Freedom Front Plus (FF+) Four seats in the National AssemblyThe Freedom Front was formed in 1993 by Constand Viljoen, the former chief of the South African Defence Force. Viljoen came out of retirement to lead a group of Afrikaners who wanted to form a political party.As head of the Afrikaner Volksfront, Viljoen was instrumental in convincing conservative Afrikaners to participate in the new dispensation, through which, he argued, the issue of self determination should be taken up.The new Freedom Front Plus, headed by Pieter Mulder, has four seats in the National Assembly and single provincial seats in Gauteng, the Free State, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and North West.Freedom Front Plus website Back to top African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Three seats in the National AssemblyThe African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) was formed in December 1993 with the aim of representing South African Christians in Parliament. It won two seats in 1994 and six in 1999.The ACDP was the only party in the National Assembly that voted against the adoption of the Constitution in 1994, citing moral and Biblical objections to some of the document’s clauses – particularly the rights of gays and lesbians.According to its manifesto, the ACDP stands for “Christian principles, freedom of religion, a free market economy, family values, community empowerment and human rights in a federal system”.African Christian Democratic Party website Back to top United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) Three seats in the National AssemblyThe United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) was formed by Lucas Mangope, head of the apartheid-era “homeland” of Bophuthatswana. Mangope was among the first homeland leaders to accept so-called independence for his scattered country for the Setswana-speaking people. The UCDP was the only party allowed to operate in the territories under his control.United Christian Democratic Party website Back to top Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) One seat in the National AssemblyThe Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was formed in 1959 as a breakaway from the ANC. Influenced by the Africanist ideals of Kwame Nkrumah, it promotes the return of the land to the indigenous people.The PAC was outlawed with the ANC in 1960 after the Sharpeville massacre. Its leaders were exiled or detained for long periods. These included Robert Sobukwe, its founder and leader, who was incarcerated in Robben Island until 1969 and then placed under house arrest until his death in 1978.The party’s support has been steadily eroded since 1994, with voters favouring the ANC. A major blow was the 2003 defection of PAC MP Patricia de Lille to form her own party, the Independent Democrats. Another was the September 2007 floor-crossing of PAC deputy president Themba Godi and former secretary-general Mofihli Likotsi, who left the PAC to form the African People’s Convention, leaving the party with a single seat in the National AssemblyBack to top Minority Front (MF) One seat in the National AssemblyThe Minority Front is led by the maverick Amichand Rajbansi, and claims to represent the interests of the Indian community. Apart from its two seats in the National Assembly, the party is also represented in the Durban metropolitan council.Back to top Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) One seat in the National AssemblyThe Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) preaches the philosophy of black emancipation and black consciousness, a philosophy popularised by Steve Biko, who was killed in police cells in 1977.Azanian People’s Organisation website Back to top African People’s Convention (APC)  One seat in the National AssemblyThe African People’s Convention Azanian People’s Convention was created out of the 2007 defection of two prominent PAC members of parliament. It was the only party created by floor-crossing to contest the 2009 elections.African People’s Convention websiteBack to top South African Communist Party (SACP) The South African Communist Party (SACP) is not officially represented in Parliament, but a number of its members occupy seats by virtue of their dual ANC membershipThe party was relaunched as an underground party in 1953 after its predecessor, the Communist Party of South Africa, was banned in 1950.Formed in 1921, the Communist Party of South Africa was predominantly white, but later on attracted black intellectuals, who in turn recruited black workers into its ranks. In 1946, one of its leading members, JB Marks, led 100 000 black miners in a strike that contributed to the party’s banning in 1950.The SACP has had a close working relationship with the ANC since the 1960s, when anti-apartheid organisations were forced to operate from exile. Members of both organisations held dual membership and served in the structures of both bodies.The party’s membership overlaps with those of the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), its partners in what is known as the tripartite alliance. It has significant representation in the ANC and government, from the executive down to local government structures.The party believes in the establishment of a socialist society, which it says should be characterised by democracy, equality, freedom, and the socialisation of the predominant part of the economy.The SACP and Cosatu have openly disagreed with the government’s macroeconomic strategy, Gear, and the privatisation of state assets, arguing that the policy has failed to create jobs.South African Communist Party website Back to top New National Party (NNP) The New National Party (NNP), formerly the Nationalist Party, ruled South Africa for the 40-plus years of the apartheid era, from 1948 to 1994. The second-largest party after the first democratic elections in 1994, its voter base has largely abandoned it in the years since.In the 1994 elections the NNP, led by FW de Klerk, gained 20% of the vote, making it the official opposition to the ANC government. It also won a majority of votes in the Western Cape province, giving it control of the provincial legislature.The NNP, along with the IFP, joined Nelson Mandela’s government of national unity after the 1994 elections. De Klerk was one of two executive deputy presidents, the other being the ANC’s Thabo Mbeki, and NNP members occupied important Cabinet positions. This ANC-NNP coalition also extended to the Western Cape, where the two parties shared executive posts.The NNP, however, withdrew from the government of national unity in 1996, leaving the ANC and IFP as the only partners in Cabinet.Marthinus van Schalkwyk took over the leadership of the NNP in 1997, at a time when the party was facing an organisational crisis as well as increasing defections to opposing parties.After suffering heavy losses in the 1999 elections, the NNP joined forces with the DP and the Federal Alliance to form the Democratic Alliance in July 2000, making the NNP and DP the ruling coalition in the Western Cape.Just over a year later, in October 2001, the NNP withdrew from the Democratic Alliance, throwing the Western Cape political situation into turmoil. The province is now controlled by the ANC.In August 2004 the NNP’s national executive took a unanimous decision to disband the party. Most of its former representatives now belong to the ANC.The party’s former leader, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, is now minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.Back to top Useful links Parliament of South Africa Parliamentary Monitoring Group Independent Electoral Commission South African Government Online South African Government Services South African Government Info Political parties African National Congress Democratic Alliance Inkatha Freedom Party United Democratic Movement Independent Democrats African Christian Democratic Party Freedom Front Plus United Christian Democratic Party Minority Front Pan Africanist Congress African People’s ConventionAzanian People’s Organisation South African Communist Party Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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PPC cement mill to boost capacity

first_img15 July 2011 Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) expects its new US$102-million (R699-million) mill in Pretoria to increase capacity by 30 percent, Business Report reported on Friday.The news followed even as the firm battled flagging sales due to an industry-wide slump.PPC, South Africa’s biggest cement maker, is under pressure in its home market, where the construction industry is struggling to bounce back after a 2009 recession.Managing director of the company’s cement operations, Salim Kader, said that PPC, which has the capacity to produce eight-million tons of cement, expected the new mill at its Hercules plant to boost capacity by 30 percent.The mill was commissioned last year.PPC, which said in May that it was eyeing expansion elsewhere in Africa to compensate for weak sales at home, said it would upgrade its other plants within three to five years.South African Press Associationlast_img read more

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SA to host MTB Masters World Champs

first_imgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Cycling South Africa has pulled off another coup by winning the rights to stage the 2013 Mountain Bike (MTB) Masters World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, a week before the 2013 MTB World Championships at the same venue. SAinfo reporter The awarding of the Masters Worlds to South Africa is significant on a number of levels. The Masters Worlds has for the last five years been held in Brazil, and in 2013 it will for the first time be a precursor to the Elite World Championships. Being the season-opener in an Olympic year adds extra significance to this year’s event. Many of the world’s leading MTB riders will also use the World Cup to scout the Cascades MTB Park set-up ahead of next year’s UCI MTB World Championships. “Pietermaritzburg’s vision is to become a globally recognised centre of excellence for cycling, and a hospitable and top class host of world class events,” said Lenferna, the man behind the city’s successful hosting of previous UCI-endorsed events. The announcement, which was made at an International Cycling Federation (UCI) management committee meeting on Friday afternoon, confirmed that the Masters’ event will be bolted onto the World Championships at the Cascades MTB Park next year. Pietermaritzburg has previously successfully hosted the BMX World Championships and Supercross, the MTB World Cup, and the Msunduzi Road Challenge leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour. This year it will host the MTB World Cup and the final of the UCI World Cycling Tour.center_img ‘A fantastic opportunity’“It will be a fantastic opportunity for local MTB riders over 30 years of age to ride in the Masters World Champs,” said event director Alec Lenferna. The biggest and most prestigiousThe MTB World Championships, to be hosted in the city in 2013, is the biggest and most prestigious event in the sport. 30 January 2012 The RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg takes place at the Cascades MTB Park from 16 to 18 March. “More than that,” he added, “it is a major vote of confidence in Cycling SA and Pietermaritzburg as a premier cycling destination. “Hosting events like the BMX Worlds, the MTB World Cup and the UCI World Cycling Tour finals really puts Cycling SA on the global map.”last_img read more

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Former No. 1 Andy Roddick announces he’ll retire after US Open

first_imgThe 2003 champion at Flushing Meadows and former No. 1-ranked player decided to walk away from the sport whenever his U.S. Open ends, making the surprise announcement at a news conference on Thursday, his 30th birthday. “I’ll make this short and sweet: I’ve decided that this is going to be my last tournament,” said Roddick, wearing a black T-shirt and baseball cap with his clothing sponsor’s logos. “I just feel like it’s time. I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event.” The 20th-seeded Roddick is scheduled to play 19-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia in the second round Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I think I wanted an opportunity to say goodbye to people, as well. I don’t know how Saturday going to go, and I hope it goes well, and I’m sticking around,” Roddick said. He was, by turns, in reflective and joking moods while speaking to reporters about his decision. “If I do run into some emotions tomorrow or in four days, I don’t want people to think I’m a little unstable. Or more unstable,” Roddick said with a chuckle. “So that’s why I came to this decision.”His title in New York nine years ago was the last time an American man won a Grand Slam singles title, and Roddick spoke wistfully – as he often has in the past – about coming to the U.S. Open with his parents as a present when he turned 8.advertisementHe said he’s “been thinking about (retirement) for a little bit,” and knew for sure that the time now after his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 first-round victory over 21-year-old American Rhyne Williams on Tuesday.”I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament,” he said, “and when I played the first round, I knew.” In addition to winning his U.S. Open trophy, Roddick also played in four other Grand Slam finals – three at Wimbledon and one at the U.S. Open, losing to 17-time major champion Roger Federer each time. That included a 16-14 defeat in the fifth set at the All England Club in 2009, when Roddick was saluted by spectators who chanted his name at the end of the match. Buoyed by a booming serve – he used to hold the record of 155 mph – and big forehand, Roddick is 610-212 (a .742 winning percentage) with 32 titles, including two this year at Atlanta and Eastbourne, England. He also helped the United States end a 12-year David Cup drought by winning the 2007 title. “Look, he’s been our best player for many, many years. Do we love to have a guy like that out there? Sure. Was it great that he’s American? Sure,” said U.S. Tennis Association CEO Gordon Smith. “We could use another dozen Andy Roddicks, and we’re grateful for all he’s meant to American tennis, to the Davis Cup, to the U.S. Open.”Roddick’s announcement came one day after four-time major champion Kim Clijsters played the last singles match of her career, a second-round loss to Laura Robson at Flushing Meadows.”I haven’t done this before. I’m sure it’ll be very emotional. I’m sure I’ll still be nervous,” Roddick said, looking ahead to facing Tomic. “I don’t know.”He’s been dealing with a series of injuries over the past few seasons, and in February dropped out of the top 20, then slid to No. 34 in March, his lowest ranking since 2001.A hurt right hamstring forced Roddick to retire during his second-round match at the Australian Open in January, and he lost in the first round at the French Open and third round at Wimbledon.”With the way my body feels, with the way that I’m able to feel like I’m able to compete now, I don’t know that it’s good enough,” Roddick explained. “I don’t know that I’ve ever been someone who’s interested in `existing’ on tour. I have a lot of interests and a lot of other things that excite me. I’m looking forward to those.”He mentioned the youth tennis and learning center that his foundation is building in his hometown of Austin, Texas, and a radio show he appears on. The latter would seem to be a natural second career for Roddick, known for a sharp, often sarcastic, wit. He’s never been shy about showing his emotions on the court – whether tossing a racket or insulting a chair umpire or line judge – or sharing his opinions off it.advertisementRoddick grew up in the spotlight and the world watched him morph from a brash, Gen-X kid with plenty of `tude to something of an elder statesman in the game.He has spoken out about tennis players perhaps needing a union to fight for their rights the way athletes in U.S. team sports do, and he emerged as a mentor to younger Americans.Up-and-coming players such as Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison have thanked Roddick publicly for his help, whether it’s offering advice about dealing with life on tour or inviting them to come train with him in Austin.”I was a little shocked. I think he kept it a very good secret,” the 20-year-old Harrison said about Roddick’s retirement.”Honestly, there were a lot of things he taught me, but probably the most important thing on the tennis front was the consistency of every day – every day, working, being out there, putting in time and effort. It’s 100 percent. … If you’re going to do it halfway, there’s no point in doing it at all. That’s what he taught me,” Harrison added. “That’s what he’s done throughout his career and that’s what he’s all about.”Constantly confronted with questions about why his generation wasn’t as successful as previous groups of American men – like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi in the 1990s, or John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors before that – Roddick did his best to keep adapting his game to try to keep up with Federer, in particular, as well as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.He improved his fitness. He added a better backhand. He worked on his volleys.Eventually, though, he found it too hard to stay at the level he once reached.”I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home,” Roddick said. “I had plans to play a smaller schedule next year. But the more I thought about it, I think you’ve either got to be all in or not. That’s more kind of the way I’ve chosen to do things.”last_img
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Jets Buzz Dolphins, 38-20

first_imgEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Ryan Fitzpatrick was razor sharp while lifting the New York Jets to their best offensive showing of the season.Beard trims and big performances certainly seem to go together for the veteran quarterback.Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes, two to Brandon Marshall, and the Jets routed the Miami Dolphins 38-20 Nov. 29 to gain traction in the AFC wild-card race. It came a few days after Fitzpatrick had his bushy facial hair neatly cropped for his 33rd birthday on Nov. 24.“It was just a little long,” Fitzpatrick said. “I need it to grow in a little more. I kind of miss it.” Not so fast.Last year, Fitzpatrick got a similar shave for his 32nd birthday — and followed it up with the best game of his career while with Houston: 358 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-21 victory over Tennessee.“The beard should never, ever come back,” declared Marshall, who had nine catches for 131 yards.Added wide receiver Eric Decker: “We’ll pitch in for a weekly trim.”Whatever it was, it worked for the Jets (6-5), who had lost four of their last five. That slump had New York go from early season sensations after a 4-1 start to a team that was watching its postseason hopes fading fast.“I think we are a playoff team,” Marshall said. “You’re seeing a lot of ups and downs, but we also know that we’re capable of getting the job done.”Fitzpatrick, in his 100th career start, went 22 of 37 for 277 yards and also connected for TDs with Devin Smith, the rookie’s first NFL touchdown, and Decker in New York’s fourth win in the last five meetings with the Dolphins (4-7).“We needed to right the ship,” Fitzpatrick said. “This was an important one for us.”(DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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The eight best quotes from that Mike Gundy interview

first_imgMike Gundy is ready for another decade. (USATSI)Mike Gundy is ready for another decade. (USATSI)Mike Gundy “give-a-you-know-what” meter has been broken and it doesn’t look like anyone will ever be able to fix it.From “fire him” to “give me 10 more years” in the span of five months.We knew Gundy was back, but on Tuesday he gave some quotes to Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World that were bordering on Spurrier of the Midwest territory.Let’s take a look (there’s a lot going on).• “Sometimes, you think the grass might be greener, but I’ve always been happy at Oklahoma State.”He was talking here about Tennessee and Arkansas but said he also had two interviews with a NFL team after the 2011 season.NFL openings after the 2011 season: Oakland, Kansas City, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa Bay and Indianapolis.• “I don’t think there’s any question that we would have won by three touchdowns. … We could score with anybody.”This was about playing LSU in the title game in 2011. I mean, that’s a real quote. It’s not satire, it’s not my hyperbole. It’s Mike Gundy straight trashing Les Miles and Jordan Jefferson.I love it.• “The smartest coaching move that I’ve made.”Guess who (not Mike Yurcich).• He said we’re getting 10 more years of him in Stillwater. Only Frank Beamer (28 years) currently has more than 16 years at his current institution. Gundy actually currently ranks No. 8 in longest-tenured coaches at their head coaching positions.• “Whenever I’m finished coaching, then I’ll really comment on what I feel. … We should be doing cartwheels, really.”This was about the SI scandal.• “You’re asking me how many would turn out as clean as us? Less than 20 percent.”Zero. F’s.• “That’s been the most disappointing game of my career as a coach. We couldn’t function. I really felt bad for Oklahoma State players and fans. We could have won that game, but we were terrible. They should erase that game from the history of college football.”Not Iowa State, believe it or not. This was the “we gained 259 yards where is Brandon Weeden why is he not playing what is going on” game.It ranks No. 122 out of 128 games coached by Mike Gundy in total yards gained by OSU.• “Dana is intelligent and has a way of doing things. He was a headstrong person, but I was the head coach. I don’t know if he could have lasted here three years. Being a head coach now, he would probably see things like I do.”That’s who he was talking about.• “There’s more pressure on a coach when you’re winning than when you’re not winning.”Oh yeah?Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 2.42.12 PMAll in all, the entire thing was amazing to read. I don’t know which Gundy we’re getting this fall but if this is a preview, I can’t wait.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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More Jobs Created in Local Film Industry

first_imgStory Highlights For the 2016/17 financial year, some 2,571 jobs were created by the film industry, compared to 1,406 in the previous year. Film Commissioner at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Renée Robinson, says the country has been reaping benefits from development of the local film industry with steady increases in jobs and earnings. The Commission is mandated to promote the Jamaican film industry through facilitation of activities that increase investment, export and employment in the sector. Film Commissioner at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Renée Robinson, says the country has been reaping benefits from development of the local film industry with steady increases in jobs and earnings.For the 2016/17 financial year, some 2,571 jobs were created by the film industry, compared to 1,406 in the previous year.Ms. Robinson told JIS News that the Commission tracks the various international productions that come into the island and the local personnel and services that they utilise for their projects.“A film production can hire anywhere from 30 people all the way up to 800, so it really makes a significant difference when we have large productions that are coming into the island and hiring Jamaicans,” the Film Commissioner said.She added that the multiplier effect is massive, as “it is not just the hiring of the production manager or the camera folks, but they hire caterers, drivers, security personnel… (and) if there is a scene at a pool, they hire a lifeguard… . Ambulances are needed on set to ensure that medical attention is available, so there is a lot of spin-offs in jobs for the productions that are happening on the island”.As it relates to capital expenditure from the local film industry, the Commission identifies and tracks the investments that local production entities bring into the island.“So, when a Phase Three, Television Jamaica or other entities bring in production equipment, we track the value of that equipment, which is being invested in the economy,” Ms. Robinson explained.The past financial year saw $300 million worth of capital expenditure from investments by the creative industries.In terms of linkages, which relate to the value of the production budget that comes into the island to offset the services rendered, figures show that for the 2016/17 fiscal period, some $674 million was allocated.The Jamaica Film Commission was established in 1984 and operates alongside the Creative Industries Unit within JAMPRO.The Commission is mandated to promote the Jamaican film industry through facilitation of activities that increase investment, export and employment in the sector.last_img read more

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