Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell said they have been paying close attention to the various health and political issues affecting Brazil ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and that they were pleased with the precautions and countermeasures being taken. The Zika virus outbreak in Brazil has been a major cause for concern going into the 2016 Olympic Games. The virus, which the World Health Organization has declared an international public health emergency, has created great uncertainty and has left many doubting whether or not they should attend the games in the South American country. There is also the issue of an impeachment in congress for the country’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, while there are also concerns with water pollution. Noting that he hopes that the political situation can be resolved before the games commence on August 5, Fennell said he was comfortable with the situation at this point. “In Rio, there are a number things we have to deal with. Everyone knows there is a public health problems with the ZIKV, but we are quite comfortable with the arrangements that have been made for the protection of the athletes, officials and other people, so we are satisfied Brazil has taken all the precautions that are necessary and we are monitoring that carefully,” Fennell said. He also believes it would be best if the country’s leaders resolve the uncertain political situation ahead of the games. “What has not directly impacted the games but will affect the nation is the government situation in Brazil. The president of the country is facing impeachment, and that always presents a challenge when you have political uncertainty. We just have to wait and see how it unfolds, but it would be best if that is sorted out before the games not, just for Jamaica, but for the whole world.” he continued. Meanwhile, the long-serving JOA boss believes that the Olympic Games today plays an even greater role in enhancing the careers and reputation of sportsmen and women right across the globe. “The demand for a place on the Olympic team is even greater than ever before because it is such an important event in the life and career of any sports person. It’s the ultimate achievement, representing your country at the Olympic Games. This has been enhanced even more for those athletes, who are following careers, as representing your country at the Olympic Games opens up doors for professional contacts later on, and if you medal it even goes much further … it’s a tremendous thing for the athlete,” added Fennell. NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS
26 October 2006South Africa collected five medals to finish fourth out of 33 countries at the 2006 ISA World Surfing Games at Huntington Beach in California on the weekend, with Jordy Smith scoring a sensational victory in the men’s open division.Smith wasn’t South Africa’s only gold medal medal winner, either, with Matthew Moir emerging victorious in the longboard division.Rosanne Hodge secured a bronze in women’s competition, while the SA tag team picked up bronze behind Australia and Brazil.The team’s performance saw them being awarded the copper medal in the team event, with Australia winning for a record eighth time, followed by Brazil and the US.The stuff of legendSmith’s victory was the stuff of legend. Previously he had won the under-16 world title in 2003, and finished second in the under-18 division earlier this year in Brazil. At Huntington Beach, he was forced into the repechage rounds on the first day, where one slip would mean elimination.However, he fought his way through an incredible 10 rounds of competition, eliminating 2001 world champion CJ Hobgood along the way, as well as a number of World Championship Tour competitors.By the time it came to the final, there was no stopping Smith. Turning on the style, he crushed the challenges of Luke Stedman, Pat O’Connell and Armando Daltro with a high-flying display.“I’m really happy that I could do this for South Africa, my sponsors, all my friends and for myself,” Smith said afterwards. “It’s crazy to win a gold medal, it’s something you always dream of.”Dominating longboard victoryMoir’s gold in the longboard event was achieved with far greater ease as he dominated the competition from the start. Starting on the opening day, he recorded the highest scores, and from then on, through four rounds, he won by record scores each time out.Hodge had no problems reaching the qualifying final of the women’s event, but once there she managed only a third-place finish, which meant she would have to go through a repechage round to reach the grand final.Showing excellent poise and determination, she held off a strong challenge from two Australians to advance with the USA’s Julia Christian to the main event.In the final, Christian pulled off a home victory, narrowly ahead of Jacqueline Silva of Brazil, with Hodge finishing in third. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) has empowered the poor and improved lives of people in about 300,000 rural households in Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, an official statement said. Under this project, 10,462 boys and girls have been trained in various job skills and 5,494 of them are employed today, it said.Launched in 2012, the NERLP is a World Bank aided, multi-state ₹683 crore project under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). Implemented in 11 districts of Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, the project aims “to improve rural livelihoods especially that of women, unemployed youth and the most disadvantaged, in four North Eastern States“.The NERLP has empowered rural poor and improved livelihoods in about 300,000 rural households in 1,645 villages under 58 development blocks across the 11 districts of four states of Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, the statement said. The project has focussed on five development strategies — social empowerment, economic empowerment, partnership development, project management and livelihood and value chain developments, it said. It has impacted the lives of about 18,00,000 people with the creation of common economic assets worth around ₹136 crore, it said. These include community projects executed by 1,114 Community Development Groups with the total outlay of ₹105 crore and 176 rural infrastructure projects under the Model Livelihood Cluster and Value Chain Development with a total investment of ₹31 crore, the statement said. Community Development Group (CDG) comprises three members of every family with the major role to develop Community Development Plan (CDP) with project funding of up to ₹10 lakh, it said. The activities under CDP include reclamation of wasteland, construction of check-dams, plantation, horticulture projects, provision of village electrification through hydrogen, provision of solar lighting, spring water harvest to mitigating water needs for homestead farming, animal rearing, health and sanitation, it said.“The CDPs are impacting the villages in big ways since village communities – members of the CDGs – have selected what is most pertinent for their own progress and development,” the statement said. Across the project districts, livelihood activities pursued by Self Help Group (SHG) members have increased considerably, thus increasing family incomes, it said. Women have become more knowledgeable and expressive, and they display better leadership qualities, it said. The NERLP intervention has brought many positive changes as one SHG leader has become a Cabinet minister in the state legislature in Tripura, and many SHG leaders are panchayat leaders today, the statement added.