Federer to skip French Open and focus on Wimbledon

first_imgRoger Federer has pulled out of this month’s French Open as he feels he needs to avoid playing on clay this season in order to prolong his career, the 18-time grand slam champion said.The Swiss, who defied logic to win the Australian Open in January after being out of tennis for six months, will skip the May 28-June 11 claycourt major for the second year running after missing last year’s edition through injury.“I’ve been working really hard, both on and off the court, during the last month but in order to try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come, I feel it’s best to skip the claycourt season this year and prepare for the grass and hardcourt seasons,” world number five Federer, who won his sole Roland Garros title in 2009, said on his Facebook page.“The start to the year has been magical for me but I need to recognise that scheduling will be the key to my longevity moving forward.“Thus, my team and I concluded today that playing just one event on clay was not in the best interest of my tennis and physical preparation for the remainder of the season.”Federer, 35, has already won the three biggest titles of the year to date as he followed his triumph in Australia with wins at Indian Wells and the Miami Open.After that stunning run, Federer, who missed the second half of last year recovering from knee surgery, said that he would likely skip the European claycourt season except for the French Open.The former world number one’s announcement came a day after Rafael Nadal won his third consecutive claycourt title of the season ahead of the French Open, where the Spaniard will be bidding for his 10th Roland Garros title.Federer will now focus on being in top form for Wimbledon, which begins on July 3 and where he is a seven-times champion.last_img read more

Ellen Accepts Legal Advisor’s Resignation

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has with deep regret accepted the resignation of her Legal Advisor, Cllr. Seward M. Cooper, to enable him to pursue continued national service in the private sector and international affairs, the Executive Mansion has said. Cllr. Cooper, according to an Executive Mansion release, will be available for consultancy services.He served as President Sirleaf’s legal advisor for nearly six years.The scholarly legal wit described the opportunity to serve the country with an experienced, intellectually sound, and internationally respected leader as professionally satisfying. “I enjoyed working through the years with a diverse Cabinet on matters that could help transform our country in positive ways,” Cllr. Cooper said in his letter of resignation.While in private practice, the release said, Cllr. Cooper will focus on corporate, commercial, and international legal matters. He is currently chairman of the African Legal Support Facility, an international organization closely aligned to the African Development Bank (AfDB).Cllr. Cooper’s extensive experience as a corporate and international lawyer has seen him navigate the legal practice in Liberia, the United States, the UK and international organizations including the AfDB where he served as the first Chief Counsel for Governance and later as the first head of the AfBD’s Integrity and Anti-corruption Office. To his credit, he has written and edited numerous articles and books on law. Cllr. Cooper is a graduate of the prestigious University of Wisconsin Law School, which also produced Liberia’s Angie Brooks Randolph, the first African woman president of the United Nations General Assembly. He has been admitted to plead before the Supreme Court of Liberia and the United States of America. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Pressure fuels Blue Eagles’ rise to the top

first_imgThe Blue Eaglets eventually weathered the Bullpups and took the next two games to claim the title.“Before the season, there already was pressure put on us and now going to the finals it’s even bigger but we won’t back down,” said Matt, whose Blue Eagles are gunning for a third straight championship. “Actually we want the pressure more because it builds character.”“Coach Tab won’t ever allow us underachieve, we’ve learned our lesson from before, and I think we won’t ever take a rest during this time before the finals,” said Mike. Matt said their practices and film sessions are as intense as any other, maybe even more than some of the teams, since it’s the time when head coach Tab Baldwin hammers them with every tiny mistake they make.It’s in these daily sessions that Baldwin builds the pressure up for his team and that it’s his players’ responsibility to live up to it and play with it.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4“We always say that it’s the pressure that builds us. During practice and our film sessions you could only imagine the pressure coach Tab puts on us every time we make mistakes,” said Matt after the Blue Eagles ripped University of the Philippines, completing only the second sweep since the Final Four era was introduced.“This really is the result [the 14-0 sweep] and that’s why we’re here and it’s all because of the pressure. We don’t back down from it, we always think that we should play the right way and that’s the most important thing.” 2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bust Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Lack of experience hampered young Adamson squad, says Pumaren ‘Gago’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacuees MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo completed a historic sweep in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament, and twins Matt and Mike said the road to history began in the very confines of the Blue Eagles’ training venue.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img View comments Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano PLAY LIST 01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown MOST READ Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study ‘People evacuated on their own’ Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee Mike said that for them to keep their intensity and focus, Baldwin promised them that he would add schemes to their already brutal system—a system that allowed them to dismantle teams with methodical ease.Ateneo only had three games decided by a single digit and its average winning margin of the elimination round is 18.1 points and its 71-70 win over University of Santo Tomas was its only cardiac game of the season.The Blue Eagles have a 16-day break from UAAP competition and it’s in this time frame that Baldwin plans to inject more to his system heading into the finals.“Actually we really don’t know what coach Tab will add so we were surprised when he told us that,” said Mike. “Knowing coach Tab, and how his mind works, I’m sure he’s loving the sweep, but we’ll be back to work immediately.”This may be the first time that the Blue Eagles swept the eliminations in the Final Four era, but the Nieto twins have already experienced heading into the championship round unscathed but they lost Game 1 of the finals against National University 76-72.ADVERTISEMENT 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientistlast_img read more

NFL: Steelers’ season ends in heavy rain and with sea of mistakes

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges, right, and Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Matt Judon watch the ball after Hodges fumbled it during a strip sack by Judon during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Baltimore. The Ravens recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)BALTIMORE — How appropriate that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season ended on a soggy, ugly Sunday when they couldn’t move the ball or stop the Baltimore Ravens on offense.Even if they beat the Ravens, the Steelers weren’t going to the postseason. Tennessee’s win over Houston finalized that outcome. But to conclude the season with a 28-10 loss to a team that rested seven starters was pretty tough to take.ADVERTISEMENT Lonzo Ball career-high in 3s helps Pelicans past Rockets Leonardo DiCaprio, Taika Waititi, other stars react to Oscar nominations View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Microsoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday “I’m looking forward to Ben hopefully coming back healthy,” receiver Diontae Johnson said. “So it can get back to the way it used to be.”Coach Mike Tomlin had no interest in dissecting the season just a few minutes after it ended.“We’re not going to assess it too much to make broad statements. We will have time for that in the days that follow,” he said.Pittsburgh struggled in almost all phases of the game. The Steelers couldn’t generate any offense and failed to contain backup running back Gus Edwards as he rolled to a career-high 130 yards. A late special teams breakdown resulted in a Baltimore touchdown.There were paths to the postseason even if Pittsburgh lost, but depending on other teams is never a good option. Sure enough, Tennessee’s win over Houston dashed the Steelers’ hopes.ADVERTISEMENT NFA assures ample rice supply in ashfall, eruption-affected areas LATEST STORIES Having already clinched the top seed in the AFC, the Ravens rested quarterback Lamar Jackson and were without top running back Mark Ingram, who sat out with a calf injury. But Pittsburgh was unable to slow the Baltimore ground game, which rolled up 223 yards, including 50 by backup QB Robert Griffin III, who was making his first start since 2016.“We didn’t do a good enough job today defensively at stopping the run,” Barron said. “So I’m sure there’s some mistakes being made somewhere, because when you see people having success at the run, somebody’s probably out of place.”Aside from running back Benny Snell, who ran for 91 yards, the Steelers had trouble sustaining any offense. Their lone touchdown came in the second quarter on a 4-yard run by Snell that capped a 75-yard drive engineered by Devlin “Duck” Hodges.Hodges went 9 for 25 for 95 yards.“Going home in January is not fun,” he said. “This is my first year, so I am sure it hits the older guys a lot different.”Asked to analyze the problem with the Steelers on offense, Hodges was succinct.“Execution,” he said. “Got to be better. Execution. Turning the ball over. Just little things, little things in the game that will cost you.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee “We didn’t finish the way we wanted to finish,” safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said. “There were a lot of things we could have done better.”Before the Steelers (8-8) get around to doling out the blame for their shortcomings, they will first look in the mirror introspectively to determine exactly what went wrong during a three-game skid that cost them an invitation to the postseason party.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4“Not going out and winning these last three is most definitely frustrating because we had a chance to make the playoffs,” linebacker Mark Barron said. “It hurts, but it is what it is. It’s on us. We got to point the finger back at ourselves because we just didn’t make plays.”Sure, losing veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to injury early on made it tough on Pittsburgh. The Steelers were 1-4 before using a 7-1 streak to get back into it, but the final three weeks left them on the outside looking in at the playoffs for a second year in a row. No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist ‘People evacuated on their own’ Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends PLAY LIST 08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:05Miserable Christmas Day: ‘Ursula’ pummels Visayas; 10 dead01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown01:54MMDA deploys rescue team to Batangas following Taal eruption Thailand reports case of coronavirus from China MOST READ When Pops met Martin’s son Santinolast_img read more

Motorsports Etc.

first_imgNASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, a Washington native, was rooting for the Seattle Seahawks to make it to the Super Bowl. He was even at Soldier Field to see the Chicago Bears beat his Seahawks. As a result, he will begrudingly be rooting for the Bears to win the Super Bowl. “I really don’t want to see it,” Kahne said. “The only reason why is because I went to Soldier Field and cheered them on and they played great, the Bears played great and the Bears beat them. I feel like the Seahawks may be in the Super Bowl if the Bears didn’t take them out. But it should be a good game. I feel like Peyton Manning, it’s his time. He’s been so good, so clutch, so on top of it for a long time; he’s going to be tough to beat in the Super Bowl.” … Sarah Fisher and Buddy Rice will be drivers for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the Indy Racing League, the team’s owners announced Tuesday. Rice won the Indianapolis 500 while driving for Rahal Letterman Racing in 2004. “I’m looking forward to being back in competitive race cars and at the Indy 500,” Rice said. “It’s the biggest race in the world, and I was fortunate to win it before, and I’d like to do it again.” Fisher, who began her career in 1999, has started 50 IndyCar Series races, including two for Dreyer & Reinbold last year. She won a pole position at Kentucky Speedway and has three top-five finishes in her IRL career. Her deal with Dreyer & Reinbold is not presently full-time. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Seeing the world through a teen can be eye-opening

first_imgThen there’s the sudden advent of flag football, a sport that must be closely watched by all parents if it is watched at all, if you have any heart at all. That’s because if I don’t watch the game – if only for a moment I should talk to some mom about the wonderfully scandalous behavior of another mom occupying a chair just out of earshot – my son will make the play of his life and I will miss it. And should I miss it, we won’t be able to analyze his moves, combing through them like airplane wreckage, until they come to resemble in the retelling something as sublime and beautiful as a ballet. I don’t know exactly why we do this but it might have something to do with how we are both males and victims of the sports we have adopted to take the place of hunting, gathering and the once holy passing of seasons. Somewhere in this glut of activity, when I think that I am not ready to do it all again, it occurs to me that this is the last time I will do this, the 4last new year at this school, my last year with a 13-year-old boy going on as only a boy his age can about pro and college players that weigh in like circus elephants. Now back to the poem, which I quote here in selected snippets with permission of the author and quote at all because there is still something endearing about these last passing days of boyhood. It begins, “I am a liberal because I like being different from everyone else.” OK, so he’s my kid, but I didn’t know that he thought of himself as a liberal or thinks of being liberal as something distinctive. After all, Hillary Clinton is a liberal and all she does is try to convince conservatives that she isn’t. He continues, “I wonder why we don’t try harder to save the planet we live on.” Then, and this is the kind of statement that soon won’t come easily, “I cry if I think about the night my dog Cymbre died.” I wasn’t, however, ready for this line: “I understand that love exists and that it is just the greatest feeling and that it’s one of the very few true things in the world.” I’m surprised because most men spend decades getting to the nature of true things. That is, if they ever get there at all. And this: “I dream that one day I will be married to a beautiful woman, a smart and funny woman who loves me and that we will both love each other more than the day we met. I dream that we have two boys” (the above-mentioned ones). Then “I try to be a nice brother, friend and son. I hope that I will get into a good college and get a good job that I like and make enough money doing it.” He concludes, “I am a liberal and like being different.” Only he’s not so different in all the longing that goes with being 13 and all the desires that go with being a human being. With these coming amid the popcorn, cookies and all the other things that dilute us and wind up making dreams of our dreams. I want to hear your comments. Connect with me at john.bogert@dailybreeze.com, call 310-543-6681 or send a letter to Daily Breeze/John Bogert, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077. Hear my podcast at www.dailybreeze.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Van Helsing is, of course, the fictional vampire hunter while Mantle is The Mick and Brady is the New England Patriots QB. But more on these fictional sons and fictional wife later. Now back to back-to-school week, Catholic school style. Which is to say, the school needs money, as always! Actually, they need it all at once. Within the next few days, I know from long experience, I will receive information on the coming jog-a-thon, a yearly tradition that generates more money than a McDonald’s franchise. There also will be announcements for the sale of the following items: See’s Candies, Cub Scout popcorn, Girl Scout cookies and God forbid I should start a year without a letter warning me that my son also will be selling Sally Foster gift wrap, which is more costly than the costly skin of a new BMW. Every year we buy six rolls of the stuff, which means that for the past 14 years one or another of our offspring have trundled out a single paltry box of wrapping paper on pickup day while other kids have their parents back in SUVs to carry away their orders. But best of all is the announcement for the annual back-to-school gray-meat-burgers-on-wet-bread dinner. Every year we go and sit at long folding tables on the playground and make small talk with far younger parents who always seem to be talking about having second and third kids or buying new BMWs with lacquered skins as smooth as their own, as smooth as Sally Foster gift-wrap. I’m neck deep in back-to-school week. On top of that my 13-year-old eighth-grader asked me to proofread a poem assigned to him on the first day of English class. The first day! The poem was titled “I Am” and in reading it I discovered that he’d someday like to have two sons and live across the street “from where I used to live when I was a kid.” Which, of course, is the house he currently lives in because he is still that kid. Oh, and he wants to name his sons Van Helsing and Mickey Mantle Bogert. “If my wife and I have a third son, we’ll name him Tom Brady Bogert,” he wrote. last_img read more


first_imgLetterkenny businessman Mairtin Kelly certainly likes a challenge.An avid deep-sea diver, the owner of Kelly’s Centra at Mountaintop is now planning a skydive.But as usual other people will benefit form Mairtin’s adventurous streak. Mairtin and six of his staff will take to the skies above Donegal on August Bank Holiday weekend for a sponsored skydive.The group are hoping to raise €2,000 with four charities set to benefit.The charities include SNAP (Special Needs Accessible Park), MS Donegal, The Little Angels School and Temple Street Children’s Hospital.Other skydives will also take place across Ireland and it is estimated that more than 100 divers will take to the skies at the same time. Anyone interested should contact Shane on 086 1063132 or by logging onto charityjump@hotmail.comGood luck Mairtin!    THE SKY IS THE LIMIT FOR MAIRTIN AND STAFF! was last modified: April 30th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CentraMairtin Kellyparachute jumplast_img read more

Kenneth Graham rises from ashes of devastating fire to win €10k HSI bonus

first_imgA YEAR after a devastating fire at the his yard resulted in the death of two horses, Donegal show jumper Kenneth Graham collected a cool €10,000 win bonus at the weekend.Graham won the Horse Sport Ireland International Show Jumping Challenge after he won the 2019 Cavan Equestrian Centre International Grand Prix.It brought him full circle, almost exactly a year after a blaze tore through Lenamore Stables in Muff. Two horses died in the blaze, caused by an arson attack. Five more were saved by his girlfriend, Megan McGettigan, his groom, who won a €1,000 bonus at the weekend.“It was tough to come back,” Graham said.“We had a lot of great friends and family to thank for getting us back to where we were. We got back up and running as quickly as we could.“We were all determined to get back. It was hard for all of us.  “It was nice to win a year on from that. For Megan, too, as she had to go in and take the five horses out. She got burned in the fire and had to get treatment. She saved a lot. Ten more minutes and all of the horses could have died.The damage caused by the arson attack at Lenamore Stables. (North West News Pix)“She works so hard in the yard. She got the Groom of the Year award a little while after that, which she deserved. It was nice for her at the weekend to be rewarded too.”Graham revealed that the damage – said to have been in excess of €100,000 – by last year’s inferno could have been much worse, but for the quick intervention.He said: “Ten minutes more and we could have lost much more. There were seven horses in there and two of them died. At the far side of the shed, there were 60 bales of straw. The whole place could have gone up.”Graham won on the aptly named Beir Bua (be victorious) in Cavan. He was the only rider eligible for the bonus – awarded for three podium places at the four Grand Prix meetings – and he did it in style aboard the nine-year-old grey. “There was a lot of pressure for the weekend,” he said. “You don’t get to jump for that kind of money too often. “That was Beir Bua’s first time at that level, too. Anything could have happened during it. I went into the lead half way through the jump off. The three before me went clear and when I was in the lead I was fairly sure that I would finish in the top three. There was a lot of talk and banter in the build-up to the weekend.”He needed one more podium place to get the bonus. Earlier in the year, he came third at Mullingar and won in Millstreet. Those podium places were earned on board George, owned by his father, Willie Lapsley from St Johnston.“We had a great year,” he said. “Beir Bua is a nine-year-old, but doesn’t have much experience. It was nice to do it on a horse that we produced. That was Beir Bua’s first international grand prix.“We spend a lot of time with the horses, training them and producing young horses.“That’s the season over now. It was a great year in the end. The bonus is a new thing that has started and it’s brilliant to keep riders competing. It won’t be won too often I’d say because you need three podiums from the four events.”He was a late-comer to the sport although he always helped out with his mother, Geraldine, at the Lenamore yards. “I wasn’t very keen, but once I got into it, I got the bug,” he said.Graham paid tribute to his family and friends for their support and also hailed the influence of Swiss pair Regula and Haymbert Wassmer, from Zurich, who have been invaluable.Now, he’ll take a break from competition over the winter but has earmarked an event in Spain in March. He said: “We always try and get away to compete two or three times a year. With everything else we had going on we didn’t go this year, but definitely we want to get on the road again in 2020.”Kenneth Graham rises from ashes of devastating fire to win €10k HSI bonus was last modified: November 12th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Beir BuaGeraldine GrahamHorse Sport Ireland International Show Jumping ChallengeKenneth GrahamLenamore Stablesmufflast_img read more

Margaret Helen Campbell, age 67

first_imgShe married Robert Earl Campbell, Sr. on September 26, 1976 who passed away January 19, 2016 .Survivors include: Daughters: Rhonda (Craig) Smith of Salem, Indiana, Cheryl (Kenny) Callahan of Scottsburg, Indiana and Tammy Bauernfiend of Austin, Indiana; Stepsons: Robert E. Campbell, Jr. of Scottsburg, Indiana, Ricky (Debbie) Campbell of Madison, Indiana and Carl (Lisa) Campbell of Hilliard, Ohio; Step-daughters: Janet (James) Griffith of Scottsburg, Indiana, Carol (Jim) Gullett of Columbus, Indiana, Kathy (Allen) Parrott of Hope, Indiana and Debra Crady Campbell of New Ross, Indiana; a brother: Gerald (Dana) Gammon of Shoals, Indiana.Numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, a stepson, Ronnie Campbell; two brothers, Lester and Robert Gammon; a sister, Wilma Stroud; and a step grandson, Danny Bibb.Funeral Service: 11:00 am Thursday at Collins Funeral Home with Rev. Johnny Bowling officiating. Visitation: 4 to 8 pm Wednesday and after 9 am Thursday at Collins Funeral Home.A Graveside Service will be held at Pleasant Valley Cemetery near Shoals , Indiana at 1:30 pm.Online condolences: www.collinsfuneralhome.net Margaret Helen Campbell, age 67 of Lexington, Indiana passed away Saturday, June 11, 2016 at her residence.Margaret was born on July 14, 1948 in Shoals, Indiana, the daughter of the late Roman and Margaret Irene (Terrell) Gammon.She was a homemaker and retired Dietary Director at the Hanover Nursing Center in Hanover, Indiana, where she worked for 39 years. Margaret lived most of her life in Scott County, Indiana and enjoyed crocheting, quilting and puzzles.last_img read more

Youth Month focus on empowerment

first_imgRay Maota The 16 June 1976 uprisings are partof the reason South Africa has anintegrated education system wheredespite race, creed or gendereveryone can enjoy the sameeducation.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) The Hector Pieterson Memorial inOrlando West, Soweto, is situated  astone’s throw from where a youngHector was shot by police during thepeaceful march that culminated inwhat is now known as “Youth Day”.(Image: Soweto.co.za)MEDIA CONTACTS• Zanele MngadiCommunications: Union Buildings+27 12 300 5431 or +27 82 330 1148RELATED ARTICLES• Youth month marked in SA• New youth agency for South Africa• LoveLife to empower SA youth• Aviation, maritime careers for youthJune is celebrated as Youth Month in South Africa, paying tribute to the school pupils and ordinary citizens who lost their lives during the 16 June 1976 uprisings in Soweto. This year marks the 35th anniversary of that fateful day.The month was launched at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 31 May 2011 under the theme “Youth action for economic freedom in our lifetime”.The South African government has declared 2011 the year of job creation, which fits in well with Youth Month’s focus of empowering young people and encouraging their participation in the country’s socio-economic activities.“This theme is befitting and consistent with the struggles of all young people in South Africa and abroad, which are poverty and unemployment,” Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said at the launch.“It is consistent with the government’s commitment of meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth towards the total eradication of poverty and towards the development of the South African community.“This year’s Youth Month programme therefore seeks to retrace how far we have gone in realising the ideals that the 1976 generation fought and died for,” he added.Chabane also spoke about the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), which was launched by President Jacob Zuma in 2009, and its success as part of the government’s commitment towards the development of young people.The NYDA was formed through a merger between the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission with the aim of developing young people so they can reach their potential and live sustainable lives.“Youth Month is a significant time for reflection on youth development, including progress made in the development of young people,” NYDA chairperson Andile Lungisa said at the launch.“The theme for this year’s Youth Month talks to the urgency of youth development to ensure that young people achieve economic freedom. Economic emancipation is indeed the biggest challenge facing today’s youth,” he added.Grooming future entrepreneursThe South African parliament is hosting a number of events to celebrate Youth Month.Youngsters from various organisations will be invited to attend a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces on 8 June to debate the topic of “A caring parliament that advances youth development to achieve economic freedom”.During June members of parliament will also pay visits to the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre in Faure and to the Johannesburg Prison in Meredale in the south of the city.The City of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng will host a youth summit and later a career expo in recognition of Youth Month.The two-day summit will run from 3 to 4 June, while the expo will take place after Youth Month from 6 to 8 July. Both events will be held at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.The summit will highlight opportunities available to young people in the region and the expo will inform high school pupils, unemployed youngsters and graduates about career opportunities.Zweli Dlamini, the City of Ekurhuleni’s spokesperson, said: “We have compiled a programme that is aimed at educating the youth within the region on matters pertaining to development, including access to employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.“This programme will be implemented under the theme ‘Together building better youth through access to economic opportunities’.”Significance of 16 June 1976 On 16 June 1976 thousands of pupils from Soweto, a township in south-west Johannesburg, had organised a mass demonstration against the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction at their schools.More than 15 000 youngsters between the ages of 10 and 20 converged at Orlando West Secondary School in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, with the intention of marching peacefully in their school uniforms to the nearby Orlando Stadium.But before the march began, police entered the township and instructed the students to disperse – this was met with resistance.The police sprayed the crowd with teargas and the students retaliated by throwing stones at them. Then police started firing live bullets.The first documented fatality of the day was Hector Pieterson, a 12-year-old pupil who was shot by police. He was picked up by Mbuyisa Makhubo, a school mate, who ran with him in his arms to Phefeni Clinic, with Pieterson’s sister, Antoinette, running next to him.The image of Makhubo with Pieterson in his arms and Antoinette running next to them was caught on camera by Sam Nzima, a photographer for The World newspaper, and became the international visual of the day – and the ultimate symbol of the student uprising.Chaos reigned in Soweto for the next two days, with students looting and torching anything associated with the apartheid government such as council offices and government buses.On 18 June 1976 all schools in Soweto and Alexandra, another township in the north of Johannesburg, were closed indefinitely.According to the June 16 1976 Foundation, about 23 pupils and 200 residents were killed that day.The senseless, violent backlash to what was to be a peaceful march caught the attention of the international community – and after this, many countries imposed sanctions on South Africa to force the apartheid government to ease its repressive rule.last_img read more