15 January 2014Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy was on hand on Wednesday to open the newly built Palm Ridge Secondary School – one of 17 new schools to open on the first day of schooling for the year in South Africa’s most populous province.“This school is hot off the press,” Creecy said. “I think the constructor is still applying finishing touches to the outer perimeter. We have already got over 500 Grade 8 and Grade 9 learners in the school. Textbooks have been delivered, teachers and learners are here, and teaching has already started.”The school has 25 classrooms, two laboratories, two multi-purpose rooms and a computer room. The school’s acting principal, Charles van Zyl, said the school was offering Grade 8 and 9 to start with, and aimed to be offering Grades 10, 11 and 12 by 2017.“We are very pleased that although it was tight, we were able to occupy the building today and that learning and teaching has started,” Creecy said.She added that the school was needed in the area, east of Johannesburg, because other schools in the vicinity were battling to accommodate with growing learner numbers.She said it was important because it was in an area that was plagued by social challenges such as drug abuse, crime and child-headed homes.‘Put partying on hold for a year’After the opening of Palm Ridge Secondary, Creecy paid a visit to nearby Eden Park Secondary School, where she told a Grade 12 Life Sciences class to work hard and abstain from partying because their matric certificate was a very important document.“Just remember that you are going to feel stressed, and what’s important is that even now, start to get your study buddies, people that you can work with in the evenings and on weekends.“But also, if your study buddy is partying too much, you need to remind them: ‘Not this year, not this year’. That little piece of paper at the end of the year matters. So start early, cut down on the partying now,” Creecy said.While South Africa’s overall matric pass rate for 2013 was 78.2%, its highest in 19 years, Gauteng province achieved an 87% pass rate, up from 83.9% in 2012 – while Eden Park Secondary’s matrics recorded a pass rate of 94.9%.Eden Park Secondary principal principal Bennie Louw attributed this success to tracking learner performances from the lower grades.He said teachers were asked to focus on a specific number of learners at a time, mentoring them from Grade 11, with quarterly meetings being held with both learners and parents to discuss their performance.The school, a no-fee school with about 1 400 learners, also has to deal with teen pregnancies, child-headed homes and drug abuse. It gets in tackling drug abuse from the Gauteng Community Safety Department, which conducts regular searches with the consent of the parents.Source: SAnews.gov
The Local Sporting Champions program was recently expanded to provide more young Australians opportunities to receive funding to attend sporting events.New championships which young athletes, coaches or officials can now apply for funding to help attend include international competitions as well as state school championships.The grants are available under the Local Sporting Champions program, an Australian Government initiative aimed at helping sportspeople aged 12–18 to attend recognised sporting championships.Successful applicants will receive a one-off individual grant of $500 or team grant of $3000 to help fund the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment when competing, coaching, umpiring or refereeing.With the inclusion of these competitions, the Local Sporting Champions program will recognise some of Australia’s most talented young athletes and provide them with financial assistance to participate in sport and represent their country at an international level.Criteria for fundingTo be eligible for a Local Sporting Champions grant, individuals aged 12–18 years (inclusive) must be competing in an Australian Sports Commission-recognised national sporting organisation (NSO) state or national sporting championships, a national or state school sport championships or be a member of an official Australian team endorsed by an ASC-recognised NSO or School Sport Australia travelling to an international competition. Please note that eligible sportspeople can only receive one Local Sporting Champions grant per year.Candidates can complete the Local Sporting Champions application form online before their championship event. More information on eligibility for a grant is available at www.ausport.gov.au/champions.Applications are open all year. Round 1 of the 2012–13 Local Sporting Champions grant allocation closes on Saturday, 30 June.
Ohio State sophomore safety Isaiah Pryor (12) takes to the field in the first half of the game against Rutgers on Sept. 8. Ohio State won 52-3. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorRedshirt junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones remembers how the Ohio State defense lined up on what ended up being a historic play for the group in the second quarter against TCU. Originally a base call for the group, Jones said he was in his gap and a blitz was not called. He said junior defensive tackle Robert Landers moved over and, when the ball was snapped, he tried to do what he always does: get around the offensive lineman in front of him and get into the backfield. After starting the drive with an incomplete pass, TCU sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson handed the ball off to junior running back Darius Anderson. Finding a hole through the A-gap on the left side of the line, Anderson was off, flying past junior linebacker Malik Harrison in the middle to get out into open space.The only player with an opportunity to get to the Horned Frogs running back was sophomore safety Isaiah Pryor. After the ball was snapped, Pryor began to move toward the right side of the field, forcing him to turn around at a bad angle to chase Anderson in the open field. Pryor almost got to the running back, attempting a shoelace tackle when Anderson ran down the sideline. Instead, the safety missed the tackle and Anderson scored on a 93-yard run, the longest touchdown any Ohio State defense has allowed in school history. For the secondary, this has been a problem before. In the season opener against Oregon State, Ohio State allowed two touchdown runs of at least 75 yards to junior running back Artavis Pierce. In his first Big Ten Coaches Teleconference on Tuesday, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said plays like this need to be addressed and corrected. “On defense, too many big plays, and that’s just obvious,” Meyer said. “Get aligned and get the guy down if he makes the second level.”For junior safety Jordan Fuller, a team captain in the Ohio State secondary, these types of plays have never been the expectation of a group of this caliber. “I’ll say that’s definitely not our standard,” Fuller said. “We are doing everything we can to erase those.”He said, as an aggressive defense, some plays are going to be misread, especially in the passing game. He also said the big plays by opposing offenses are a combination of many little things that need to be improved — schematically and experience-wise. However, that does not mean that Fuller is placing blame on any particular member of the secondary. “I definitely don’t like people saying that ‘Isaiah should have gotten it, [redshirt sophomore safety Jahsen Wint] should have gotten it right there.’ There’s still 11 guys on the defense too,” Fuller said. “Sometimes it’s that narrative. I don’t like that.” Fuller said both Pryor and Wint played solid, with each player getting more comfortable by the game. But there are always things to work on. However, after a play of that magnitude, a 93-yard touchdown run, the longest touchdown run in TCU history, Fuller said he did what the defensive back unit does as a whole: pick up the player who is down. “Obviously, you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t competitive, didn’t get upset when you had bad plays and stuff,” Fuller said. “But we all rally around each other and pick each other up.” Fuller said Pryor handled the aftermath well. The sophomore safety ended the game with four tackles, including three solo tackles. Even with the encouragement from other members of the defense, Jones said this is a glaring issue that needs to be fixed soon before a touchdown like this costs them more than just a place in the history books. “We just got to work. We got to find a better way to fix those little issues because eventually those little issues become bigger and we end up losing,” Jones said. “We have to find a way. I don’t know exactly what the point of emphasis to change that, but we have to work together as a unit.”
Ahead of their trip to Bournemouth on Wednesday, Watford boss Javi Gracia says his side needs no extra motivation to beat Eddie Howe’s side at the Vitality Stadium.Gracia saw his side lose 4-0 at home to Bournemouth in their first meeting in the Premier League in October.As they prepare to travel to Bournemouth on Wednesday, Gracia wants his side focused on the tactical and technical aspects of the game, and not on revenging their 4-0 defeat.“I don’t think my players need the motivation to do our best,” he told the club’s official website.“I know my players and I know in all the games without exception they give their best. They don’t need extra motivation to play against Bournemouth.”In the October clash between the two teams, Watford had a player sent off after Bournemouth took the lead.Joshua King then scored a brace after Christian Kabasele was shown red and the first half ended 3-0.Callum Wilson completed the scoring two minutes into the second half to make it a humiliating 4-0 home defeat for Javi Gracia’s side.What to expect from Watford V Arsenal? Taimoor Khan – September 8, 2019 Arsenal are set to take on Watford this weekend and the game is definitely going to be quite a peculiar contest between two sides…“It was a very, very tough game for us,” Gracia said, recalling the events of the game.“After the sending off, it was difficult to play with ten players and losing 2-0. It was tough for us. I saw the game many times, not only the period against ten men.“I saw when we played with 11 and that was for around 30 minutes. In that moment, I think we conceded one goal and I think we didn’t play badly.“We could have done many things better but we kept a good level in that 30 minutes. After that it was a bad game, maybe I made some decisions, like playing Capoue as a center-back to see if able to have more options.“There were different situations, decisions like that. But I am sure it will be different. We know it will be demanding against a good team, but I am sure we compete in the same way as in other games, we have options.”