The NRL and Touch Football Australia (TFA) are delivering free non-contact footy skills sessions to inactive kids in regional areas around Australia, thanks to a participation grant from the Australian Government’s lead sports agency, Sport Australia, as part of their Move It Aus ‘Find Your 30’ campaign.The partner organisations are delivering four skills sessions to both primary and high school kids, with a focus on those aged 13 to 18, and girls in particular. Once the participants have completed their four sessions, they’re provided the opportunity to take part in a gala day competing in games, to put their new skills into practice.NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg said the program would provide children with the opportunity to engage in their communities.“This program not only encourages healthy lifestyles, it provides a pathway for kids to transition into structured Rugby League and Touch Football competitions, which promote teamwork and a real sense of community,’’ he said.The programs are being delivered in regional areas of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.The NRL and TFA launched this program at Broome Touch Association on Thursday 24th October.TFA CEO Jamie O’Connor says that although the positive impacts of footy on individuals and communities all around the country are powerful no matter where you are in Australia, the impacts are even more significant in regional communities like Broome, Katherine, Mt Gambier and Griffith, which are just a few of the places where the program’s being run.“Passing or kicking a footy around helps you ‘Find Your 30’ minutes of physical activity a day, but in regional towns especially, footy can be the glue that draws the community, people of all ages, together in a healthy activity that brings benefits for physical and mental health,” he said.“The beauty about non-contact footy is that anyone can play – any age, gender, body shape and skill level – and everyone can play together, girls and boys, the young and old, family members, friends.”Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck said the Move It Aus Participation Grants program was about encouraging moreAustralians to get moving and make Australia the world’s most active and healthy nation.“The Morrison Government is pleased to support this partnership between the NRL and Touch Football Australia, which aims to encourage up to 4,000 Aussie kids to get involved in non-contact footy,” Minister Colbeck said.“We know some kids tend to drop out of sport and physical activity in their mid-teens so this is a fantastic initiative to reach children in regional Australia and give them fun opportunities to be involved in sport.”These programs are being delivered now up until June 2020. For details about where programs are currently running, or to register interest, go to playrugbyleague.com/play/move-it-aus/
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say REVEALED: Arsenal chief Kroenke only Prem owner never to spend on their clubby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveStan Kroenke has not spent a penny of his personal fortune on Arsenal, it has been revealed.The Sun says he is the only Prem club owner not to dig into his own pocket to fund the team over the past decade.Arsenal owner Kroenke sits on a massive personal fortune of £7billion but has been unwilling to spend any of that money on the club.Instead the 71-year-old has restricted the Gunners to only using money the club brings in itself – leading to them falling behind their Premier League rivals.Arsenal’s business model means that, unlike the rest of the Prem, their spending was entirely funded from self-generated revenues – through television, sponsorship and marketing income, plus prize money.
Liverpool boss Klopp won’t consider releasing Lallana for loanby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp won’t consider releasing Adam Lallana for loan.Sky Sports says Klopp has no plans to let Lallana leave on loan.The England international hasn’t had as many minutes as he would like since recovering from injury.There had been talk of him moving to Europe on a short-term deal with Besiktas reportedly making enquiry.But there is no chance of him going anywhere else to get match action this month.Lallana remains a key member of Klopp’s squad and the Liverpool boss has no plans to let any more of his players depart this month. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick: The key to early season formby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick admits a lack of Europa League football has worked in their favour this season.The Clarets are seventh in the Premier League table after an impressive start to the campaign. “We’ve progressed but I think last year was a bit different,” the midfielder said.“I know it was frustrating for us as players and maybe the fans, staff and everyone.“At the start of the season, with the games we had, it was difficult, it was tiring.“I was talking to my friend at Wolves when we played them and I said, ‘How are you getting on with the European football?’ and he just said he’s constantly tired.“Without even knowing, the travelling does take it out of you and that’s what happened with us last year.“Even when we were out of that, we tried to pick the performances up, but it didn’t work.“Eventually we sat down, we all got on the same track and the performances started to pick up and we got some points on the board, which we did need at the back end of last year.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Leicester boss Rodgers happy with win against Burnleyby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City boss Brendan Rodgers was delighted with their win against Burnley.City fell behind just after the first half’s midway point, as former Fox Chris Wood nodded in Dwight McNeil’s cross to give Sean Dyche’s men a 1-0 lead, which looked to be intact heading into the break.However, a fine piece of play from Harvey Barnes resulted in his delivery finding Jamie Vardy, whose header – his sixth goal in nine Premier League outings – levelled matters on the stroke of half-time. Youri Tielemans put the Foxes ahead in the 73rd minute.“It’s a very good three points without us being anywhere near our best,” Rodgers told LCFC TV. “I thought that we started slowly and we weren’t aggressive enough. Too many players probably felt that we could just play with the ball and not without the ball.“At this level, you can’t do that against a good team like Burnley who haven’t been beaten away from home since the beginning of the season. You have to earn the right, and we didn’t do that.“Thankfully, we got a goal just before half-time. It was a great cross and wonderful leap by Jamie [Vardy] and finish. But we had to be more aggressive in the game, it was too timid. Like I say, we didn’t want to do the other side of the game.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
The all-day event will commence at 9:00 a.m., with persons being screened and counselled for major ailments. This is part of the school’s effort to partner with the communities, according to Principal, Marlon Campbell. More than 3,000 residents in the St. John’s Road area of Spanish Town are expected to benefit from the St. Catherine High School annual health fair, to be held on Friday, March 15. Story Highlights More than 3,000 residents in the St. John’s Road area of Spanish Town are expected to benefit from the St. Catherine High School annual health fair, to be held on Friday, March 15.The all-day event will commence at 9:00 a.m., with persons being screened and counselled for major ailments.This is part of the school’s effort to partner with the communities, according to Principal, Marlon Campbell.He told JIS News that some years ago they experienced almost three break-ins each year, but through the fair and other outreach initiatives by the school with the surrounding communities, over the last four years there has been no such incident at the institution.“We have never felt so close to the community, and it is things like this that we have done that pull the communities so close to us. It tells me that the partnership is rich and real,” Mr. Campbell said.The Principal added that the school wants to uplift the area in the same way that it elevates its students. “We appreciate our communities and they must remain the eyes and ears of the school,” he said.For his part, Coordinator of the event, Jermaine Johnson, said the health fair serves as an educational forum for students, who engage in various sessions throughout the day.He noted that the fair’s theme is ‘Fit Life: Body and Mind’, and the focus will be on encouraging adults and children in the school and the surrounding communities to establish and maintain a healthy physical, spiritual and financial lifestyle.“The aim of our event is to help with primary care, and we want to ensure that we are making a mark in that area, because education is not just about making people ‘bright’ but to ensure that persons are well-rounded,” Mr. Johnson said.He said that the school embraces Christian principles, and is high on caring for others, and this initiative will help in achieving this.Mr. Johnson told JIS News that in addition to the medical entities that will have teams on the school grounds for the event, financial institutions will have representatives present to “guide persons in managing their money”.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is looking to identify more arable lands on which to cultivate sorghum, a crop currently being tested as a substitute grain for animal feed. This was disclosed by portfolio Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, while speaking to journalists today (April 19), following the harvesting of a pilot sorghum crop in Hill Run, St. Catherine. The Caribbean Broilers (CB) Group undertook the test project at its facility, to grow sorghum locally for feedstock as a replacement for imported corn. The Minister noted that lands have already been identified at Amity Hall in St. Thomas at one of the nine agro parks being developed across the island, aimed at enhancing food security and cutting the country’s food import bill. He informed that the CB Group will be undertaking this planting exercise and that the land is currently being prepared. “We’re targeting in that agro park, some 1,700 acres. They (CB Group) are moving now to put in 800 (acres)…and we’re trying to identify more lands. They have asked for some 6,000 acres…so the sustainability is there and we are determined to put whatever idle lands we have into production,” the Minister said. Sorghum is a genus of numerous grass species, some of which are raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants. The plants take three to four months to reach maturity and are cultivated in warm climates around the world. “We are not only dealing with sorghum. We are dealing with other crops. We are going to be doing probably over 600 acres of onions. We are already moving with Irish potatoes – a whole slew of things that we’re doing (to utilize arable lands),” Mr. Clarke said. The Minister said he is pleased with the impact that growing the sorghum locally “will have on our importing grains for our animal feed”. “This was just an experimental plot, but the yield has been significant in terms of international standards and it’s just the beginning. This is just a start. What (CB Group) has learnt here is what will help them to improve in production and productivity as we go along,” he stated. Manager, Corporate Affairs, CB Group, Dr. Keith Amiel, informed that 60 per cent of the corn that goes in feedstock is imported, hence the need to create a local substitute. “The idea is to try to see how much of what we’ve been importing we can produce locally….We are going to try to make use of the unused land…it would take us about 6,000 acres to produce 10 per cent of the (crop) locally and of course, we can go up to any amount using the land that’s available,” he said. Agriculture Consultant, Johnny Haer, noted that sorghum is a dry land crop that is grown all over the world, because of its hardiness in drought and dry weather. He pointed out that this “is one of the reasons why we felt like it would do so good here in Jamaica…I don’t see why sorghum is not going to adapt very well to the Jamaican climate.” He noted that the crop harvested from the 300-acre plot, is estimated to “probably end up yielding…roughly 3,000 pounds per acre or 1.5 tonnes per acre.” CONTACT: ALECIA SMITH-EDWARDS
HAMILTON – The Hamilton Spectator newspaper says it’s rolling out a new version of the paywall system on its website on Tuesday.The daily publication says in a notice on its website that starting Nov. 7, non-subscribers will have access to five locked articles per month.After reaching the limit in a 30-day period, users must subscribe for full access to thespec.com.Customers who receive the newspaper at home will automatically get online access, while digital subscriptions alone will cost roughly $1 for the first month, and $9 per month afterwards.The Spectator is one of several publications owned by Torstar Corp. which also publishes the Toronto Star and Waterloo Record and holds a stake in The Canadian Press.The company reported a $6.6 million loss in its third quarter amid continued declines in print advertising revenue.
VANCOUVER – Big Blockchain Intelligence Group Inc. says it has hired a former U.S. Homeland Security special agent to head its forensics division.The Vancouver-based company says Robert Whitaker, a former Homeland Security Investigations supervisory special agent, will serve as its director of forensics and investigations.Whitaker’s responsibilities will include the global rollout of the company’s QLUE.io product, which allows clients to access information they require within any blockchain.The company says Whitaker’s U.S. government agency and other relationships will help increase market penetration and increase the number of early adopters of the new technology.CEO Lance Morginn says in a statement that Whitaker is an obvious fit for the position and he’ll provide the company the opportunity to become the industry leader.Big Blockchain develops blockchain technology solutions, search and data analytics.
Wimbledon00.00.0 Leicester City10.20.1 CHANCES OF … TEAMACTUALEXPECTED UNDERPLAYOFF SYSTEMEXPECTED UNDERXG SIMULATIONS Manchester United137.5-5.5 West Ham United00.00.0 Newcastle00.9+0.9 SEEDTEAMMAKING SEMISMAKING FINALWINNING FINAL Tottenham Hotspur00.6+0.6 Queens Park Rangers00.00.0 Aston Villa00.4+0.4 Southampton00.1+0.1 The final weekend of the English Premier League is upon us and the league has scheduled all 10 matches simultaneously on Sunday in order to maximize excitement. The problem is that there’s not much excitement left — and there hasn’t been for awhile. Chelsea has been the runaway favorite to win the title for a few months now, and the team officially clinched a week ago. This isn’t uncommon. Even Leicester City’s shocking run to a league title last year, one of the most exciting outcomes in league history, was clinched two weeks before the end of the season. And in the 2014-15 season Chelsea clinched the title a full three weeks before their final match. Awarding the EPL trophy to the team atop the table at season’s end eliminates most of the debate about England’s best team, but it also can eliminate fun.It doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine for a moment that after this weekend’s mostly meaningless matches,1 we were headed for the inaugural round of Premier League playoffs to decide the league champion. What would happen if more than a century of English soccer tradition was thrown out in favor of a shamelessly Americanized format?As an experiment, I set up a mock six-team playoff for the Premier League and forecasted the results using our SPI ratings. There are a variety of playoff formats that could be used, but six teams feels right; it’s a small enough number that teams would have to compete to get in, but big enough that it would widen the pool of potential champions. Also, to reward teams that do well during the regular season, the top two teams in the table would be awarded byes. The next four teams would be seeded and would play one other team in a home-and-home aggregate, similar to the Champions League. From there the semifinals would follow the same format. Also similar to the Champions League, the final would be played as a single match at a neutral site such as Wembley.If you applied that playoff set-up to this season’s standings, the playoffs would give us two more Manchester Derbies in the first-round and would pit Liverpool against Arsenal. Chelsea and Tottenham would be waiting to play the winners.Chelsea would still be favored to win the playoffs — their first round bye and top seed helps quite a bit — but every team would have a reasonable shot at the title. Here’s how it would look: Ipswich Town00.00.0 Arsenal01.11.4 TEAMACTUALEXPECTED UNDER PLAYOFF SYSTEMCHANGE Liverpool00.40.6 Nottingham Forest00.1+0.1 Chelsea54.4-0.6 Bolton00.00.0 Arsenal34.8+1.8 6Manchester United36146 Leeds United00.6+0.6 Impact of playoff system on league titles, 1992-93 through 2016-17 TITLES Assumes the order of the top six teams will not change during the final weekend of matches. This playoff structure has six teams, with the top two seeds receiving byes. Tottenham Hotspur00.50.3 Newcastle00.00.0 Expected titles under playoff system vs. xG simulations, 2010-11 through 2016-17 Southampton00.10.1 1Chelsea✓70%38% NUMBER OF TITLES 4Liverpool58198 5Arsenal42114 Chelsea21.51.3 Includes all teams that would have qualified for the playoffs since 1992-93. This playoff structure has six teams, with the top two seeds receiving byes.Sources: ESPN, James Curley 2Tottenham Hotspur✓5226 Manchester City22.1+0.1 3Manchester City64%3418 Everton00.2+0.2 Liverpool02.6+2.6 Norwich City00.00.0 Manchester City22.02.6 Mock 2016-17 Premier League playoff forecast Blackburn10.5-0.5 Leicester City10.2-0.8 Everton00.10.0 Chelsea’s chances of winning the league would drop from 100 percent to 38 percent, and the five other teams that have been eliminated from the title race would still have hope.I also set up playoff forecasts to see how our system might have affected the number of titles won by each Premier League club since 1992-93. Liverpool and Arsenal would likely have benefitted the most, while Manchester United likely would have won fewer than their league-leading 13 titles in that time span. Includes all teams that would have qualified for the playoffs since 2010-11.This playoff structure has six teams, with the top two seeds receiving byes.Sources: ESPN, Opta Manchester United21.20.7 Playoffs, of course, inject luck into a championship but there are indications that a team still needs a significant amount of luck to win the league outright.You can see how luck infiltrates league titles by looking at teams’ goal tallies. Goals scored and conceded will get a team to the top of the standings but they aren’t necessarily the best indicator of a team’s underlying talent, nor are they the most predictive of future performance. Expected goals, a metric we use in our SPI ratings, are a better gauge of each team’s quality of play. We can also use expected goals to approximate how likely each team was to win the league based on the shots it took over the course of the entire season.2These expected goal simulations indicate that Manchester City have been unlucky not to win the title this year; if we rerun the season thousands of times, they win the league 61 percent of the time given the shots they took and conceded. Last year’s Leicester City team was fortunate to win the league according to these simulations; they only had a 9 percent chance of winning the league based on their expected goal numbers.Finally, if we look at the projected number of titles won over the past seven seasons3 based on these expected goal simulations, the number of titles each team is projected to have won is quite similar to the number of titles we expect them to have won if the league had playoffs. In other words, this implies that there may be just as much luck involved in winning the league outright as there would be in a playoff system. Players have incredibly busy schedules already with some juggling league and cup play, the Champions League and their international team responsibilities, so any playoff system probably shouldn’t add more matches to their already packed schedules. Perhaps the size of the league could be reduced by a team or two, or some regular season matchups could be a single match on neutral ground rather than home-and-away to allow for the extra playoff matches.I don’t know if playoffs are the right thing for the Premier League. I do know that I haven’t watched many matches during the second half of the season, but I’d watch these playoffs.Check out our latest soccer predictions.