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ISSA hits back at coaches

first_imgPRESIDENT of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), Dr Walton Small, has hit back at high-school athletics coaches, saying that proposed changes for the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships were based on their own complaints about watering down the event.Small has also said that ISSA governs school sports, and that the issue of recruitment, as it relates to academics, is the purview of the Ministry of Education.ISSA’s Technical Committee will vote on Friday on several changes to the annual high-school track meet. One change would see track athletes being restricted to two individual events, as well as two relays.The proposals have been met with opposition from the Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association (JATAFCA).Last week, a post on JATAFCA’s Facebook page pointed out that despite adjustments to the rules, 454 fewer athletes competed in Champs in 2016 than in 2010.”They (ISSA) are presiding over a period of decline. They need to pause and do the analysis in terms of the decisions being made,” JATAFCA President David Riley told The Gleaner.Small said coaches were instrumental in those changes.”When I hear that, I wonder if they have memory lapse, because we made those changes because of their suggestions … from the coaches and other experts in the field that what we were doing was bringing student athletes to Champs that did not merit the quality of the meet; that we should be displaying the best of the best. It was because of that suggestion why we increased the standards, and if we increase the standard for qualification, you are going to automatically get fewer people,” Small said.”Every year after Champs we do a review and we have a technical committee that is made up of very knowledgeable people and they advise us based on reactions, and one of our things is looking to just cutting down on the workload of students because one of our aims is to ensure that we do not expose our students to undue stress and pressure.”These rules that we have made are because we are listening. It must not be said that ISSA was insensitive to the health of the students,” he added.Small conceded that Champs athlete numbers were getting smaller, but said that it was because the quality had improved, thereby weeding out athletes who were not up to scratch.A bone of contention for Riley was that the practice of recruiting student athletes needed to be regulated.Small, however, said ISSA has rules governing how recruited athletes can participate, but that he could not stop the schools.”We are not into the business of regulating where students go. That is the business of the Ministry of Education. However, so as not to have wanton movement, we have put in rules. Yes, there are the pros and cons of transfer, (but) not all good athletes move from their school,” Small said.A number of student athletes, with and without Jamaican familial connections, have participated at Champs, and while the argument was made that they are being developed at the expense of Jamaican students, Small again said he had no control over their movements.”If a child comes to Jamaica, we cannot stop them. Once you are a student you have a right to participate in ISSA sports,” he noted.Small said a clearing house system had been instituted with the intent of regulating how students are recruited.The clearing, house, he said, prevents one school from recruiting a student without the knowledge of his or her current school administration. A registration system also identifies any student moving from one school to the next.last_img read more

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Demonetisation: Auto industry gears up for slowdown as footfalls fall and 2-wheeler sales stall

first_imgOn November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcement that the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 rupee notes will cease to be legal tender from midnight. This sent the nation in a tizzy. Some called it a big move towards curbing black money, corruption and terror, some hailed it to be terrible farce. Love it or loathe it, but you can’t get away from it. Such is also the case of the auto industry. So how will, or how has, the demonetisation affected this particular industry?Also Read:Toyota working towards increasing sales of hybrid vehicles in IndiaFirst and foremost, the ones primarily affected are the two-wheeler manufacturers. A dealer of a prominent motorcycle manufacturer told us that most of their sales come in the form of cash. This mainly comprises of entry level two-wheelers sporting a pricetag of upto Rs 65,000. This segment can also be hailed as the ‘bread and butter’ segment on which most manufacturers rely. This segment relies very little on finance and seem to have been hit the hardest. Two-wheelers above this price bracket move into the ‘financed’ lot and hence are not affected that much by huge margins. The only catch here is the fact that the use of cheques and plastic money in making the down payments has seen a rapid increase.Also Read:Corolla, Toyota’s car for the masses, turns 50As far as four-wheelers are concerned, the problem isn’t that serious. According to a prominent web portal, the research of new and used cars dropped sharply by up to 30 per cent thus indicating a slow down. However, dealers claim that although there have been problems in customers being able to make the down payment, thanks to flexible finance options, things have not gone out of hand. This does not come as a surprise as up to 80 per cent of the vehicles sold in our country are financed.advertisementAlso Read:Bajaj Chetak to make a return as a premium scooter?But the rural market is where the damages are more prominent thanks to the fact that it is mostly cash driven. Considering that 35 per cent of the total car sales and 50 per cent of two-wheeler sales are rural market driven, the industry is going to witness a slowing down and there is likely to be a long-term damage to the industry due to the government’s demonetisation move.Also Read:Maruti Suzuki to soon introduce ISOFIX mounts on the CiazLast, but not the least, the used car market has also witnessed a sudden slump. While exact figures are not available, the used car market in mostly cash driven. Used car dealers have reported lower foot falls and are offering heavy discounts to move their existing stock. Overall, there is bound to be a negative effect on the auto industry due to demonetisation. The exact damage done to the industry will be evident when the official sales figure come out and a month-on-month comparison is done. Stay tuned.Also Read:Upcoming launches: New cars that will be launched in India by March 2017last_img read more

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Protesters torch parliament building in Indonesias Papua

first_imgManokwari: Thousands of protesters in Indonesia’s West Papua province set fire to a local parliament building on Monday in a violent protest against the alleged insults and arrests of Papuan students, officials said. The angered mob torched the building and set fire to tires and twigs on several blocked roads leading to a seaport, shopping centers and offices in Manokwari, the capital city of West Papua province, said Vice Gov. Mohammad Lakotani. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”The city’s economy has been paralyzed by the demonstrators,” Lakotani said. “Negotiations between protesters and the authorities are currently underway to end the riots.” Television footage showed orange flames and gray smoke billowing from the burning parliament building. Lakotani said the demonstration was sparked by accusations that Indonesian police, backed by the military, arrested and insulted dozens of Papuan students in their dormitories in the East Java cities of Surabaya and Malang a day earlier. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsPolice stormed a dormitory in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, on Sunday after Papuan students staying there refused to be questioned by police over allegations that they had intentionally damaged the national red-and-white flag in the dormitory’s yard. Amateur video showing police, backed by soldiers, calling the Papuan students “monkeys” and “dogs” circulated widely on the internet, sparking anger in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua. East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said 43 students were detained but released hours later, after no evidence was found that they had damaged the flag. Several thousand protesters also staged rallies in Jayapura, the capital city of the neighboring province of Papua, with many in the crowd wearing headbands of a separatist flag. An insurgency has simmered in Papua since the early 1960s, when Indonesia annexed the region, which is a former Dutch colony.last_img read more

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