Blue-liner quietly continues to shine in senior season

first_imgMEGHAN CONLIN/Herald Photo”Offense sells crowds, but defense wins games,” Badger defenseman Joe Piskula said, mimicking the commonly heard sports axiom. This season the Badgers have managed to fill the stands with their offense (3.48 goals per game), something that has come as a bit of a novelty in the Mike Eaves coaching era.As always, though, Wisconsin has continued to win its games with stellar defense, starting at the top with senior blue-liner Tom Gilbert.Gilbert’s emergence last year as one of the league’s top defensemen gave the gritty Badger defense a face. Even now, followers can easily spot when the senior is on the ice by the long locks protruding from underneath his helmet. More than that, they can recognize the controlled ferocity with which he plays.”He’s such a competitor,” assistant coach Mark Osiecki said. “He is probably one of the most, if not the most, competitive guys on our team.”That spirited play put Gilbert on the map last season, when coaches gave him more responsibility due to a large amount of underclassmen defensemen and the loss of Ryan Suter, who left the team to pursue a career in the NHL. Gilbert helped the team hold opponents to 2.2 goals per game for the season.”Something happened in the second half of last year where he was given more responsibility, it was a necessity thing, and he just blossomed,” Eaves said. “Then his confidence grew, and he’s continued to play that way.”Gilbert has gone nowhere but up since that time. This season, as his team climbed the ranks to No. 1 in the country, Gilbert led a defense that at one time was ranked first in the country. He also emerged as one of the top scoring defensemen in the WCHA, as he currently ranks second in defensemen scoring in the WCHA with 18 points.While his feats on the ice continue to rack up, his status in the media has been put in neutral. Although he was the face of last year’s stingy defense, this year the media has focused on the play of goaltender Brian Elliott.It is hard to ignore a netminder that is leading the country in every viable goaltending statistic, but it’s also hard to ignore a 6-foot-3 defenseman who creates the outer wall around the net. “A lot of people look at us as a one-player team, and that’s Brian Elliott,” Osiecki said. “Obviously, he’s done very well, but I think it does steal a little bit away from how gifted Tom Gilbert is.”Whatever the attention level, the assistant captain has continued to go about his job and has done it better than almost anyone at his position. He and defensive partner Piskula have anchored the best team defense in the WCHA, with the Badgers allowing only 1.83 goals per game this season.The pair have also become paramount to the team’s offensive success, as evidenced by plus / minus ratings of +23 for Gilbert and +24 for Piskula — by far the two highest ratings on the team. Not only are teams not scoring when those two are on the ice, but the Badgers also become more effective on offense.”He’s a very good offensive defenseman,” Piskula said of his defensive partner. “He knows when to jump in the rush and when to find that line in the offensive zone. It’s good to watch him and see the stuff he does.”Piskula has watched, and he has learned. He has scored 11 points of his own this season, a personal best and significant improvement from last season’s total of six points. Most of that learning has been done by observing the way Gilbert plays.”He’s more of a leader by example,” Piskula said. “He tries to do everything to a tee and just lead that way.”Gilbert’s effectiveness on offense can be attributed to his expanded role. He is the quarterback on one of the team’s power play formations, and he often times acts as a fourth offensive player when the Badgers are on the attack. His increased role has led to a career-high 22 points this season.When Gilbert is not helping his team score, he is doing the little things that help his team win. He cuts off shooting lanes, blocks shots with the best of them and he makes very few mistakes.What the future holds for the rangy defender nobody knows. The Edmonton Oilers hold rights to Gilbert when he turns professional after they traded Tommy Salo and their 2005 sixth-round draft pick to get him from the Colorado Avalanche. His coaches believe his career won’t end in college.”I think he’ll play,” Osiecki said of Gilbert’s chances in the NHL. “He’s going to have a chance to play, and once he gets his chance, he’s going to stay and play very well.”For now, though, Gilbert will continue blocking shots for Wisconsin. The NHL will have to wait.last_img read more

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Hoosiers rebounding prowess concern for Badgers

first_imgWhile Taylor Wurtz paces the Badgers, sophomore Morgan Paige will need to score if the team hopes to have a consistent offensive output in both halves.[/media-credit]It’s been a rough stretch of games for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team.Losers of five straight and struggling with consistency, the Badgers (8-18, 4-10) will find themselves paired with another struggling team Thursday night as they take on the Indiana Hoosiers (5-22, 0-14) in Bloomington, Ind.Despite their winless conference record and current 14-game losing streak, the Hoosiers have battled opponents like Illinois, Michigan and Northwestern down to the wire.While the Hoosiers look like the doormat of the conference record wise, the team has a surprising amount of competitiveness. Indiana is currently the Big Ten’s third best rebounding team, averaging 42 rebounds a game despite losing their best rebounder, senior double-double threat Georgie Jones, to a season-ending ACL tear.This could pose a danger to Wisconsin, a team that has struggled to contain and box out opponents on the boards throughout the season.“If I’m [Indiana] and I’m looking at tape and seeing that in certain games we’ve given up 21 and 23 offensive rebounds, I’d say ‘Hey, last game at home, everybody rebounds,’” Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “I’d be saying they aren’t going to box you out because we haven’t proven we can. Until you prove it, why would they not attack us”?Besides being outrebounded in every game during their five-game losing streak, the Badgers have given up a combined 69 offensive rebounds in that span, good for an average of almost 14 a game.It’s no mystery that the Badgers fate against the Hoosiers will be tied to the battle of the boards.“They’re a good rebounding team, they don’t have just a good rebounder, they have a good rebounding team,” senior forward Anya Covington said. “So we all have to box out, and we’ve been lacking in that area. It all comes down to discipline, but I know we can do that and box out.”The Badgers will also need consistent offensive production from their guards. While junior guard Taylor Wurtz’s offensive dominance has been well documented, the rest of the conference has caught on. Opponents’ best defenders have flustered Wurtz or double-teamed the star guard in the second half of the conference season, leading to Wisconsin’s struggles in maintaining a consistent scoring output.If the Badgers want to play the spoilers on the Hoosiers’ Senior Night at Assembly Hall, guards like Morgan Paige will have to step up like she did Sunday against Nebraska. Leading the team with 15 points in a losing effort, Paige showed her ability to do it all for Wisconsin, scoring on jump shots as well as on the drive.“My percentage is really high, and the scouting report for other teams probably says contest hard and make her put the ball on the ground,” Paige said. “I think as soon as I hit an outside shot, they came out harder on me. My favorite thing is to put the ball on the ground. I love to use pump-fakes, so when I get to go straight line to the basket for wide-open layups it’s always a great opportunity for us.”The Badgers will need everything Paige can muster Thursday night, as the matchup against the Hoosiers will feature the two worst scoring offenses in the Big Ten. While the Badgers have shown glimpses of offensive greatness against the conference – highlighted by a 79 point outburst against Iowa on Feb. 2 – the Badgers have only mustered on average 59.2 points per game this season.For Kelsey, the Badgers just need someone to step up during crunch time to help give the team some consistency on the offensive end.“This is not a group that’s used to having close games,” Kelsey said. “None of them have had to do that in their careers here. They’ve never been put in those situations where someone has to be the closer.“I mean, who is that? We have a hard time sometimes, identifying one. Taylor can close, but when she gets double-teamed who else? … It’s hard to not have that veteran experience of someone that’s been in that situation before.”last_img read more

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Training bust up in Newcastle

first_imgIn a heated exchange, manager Steve McClaren and his coaching staff accused a number of senior players of showing a lack of determination and character. Newcastle sit just above the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.last_img

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Bermuda’s Jessica Lewis Wins 400 Gold at Parapan American Games

first_imgLIMA, Peru, CMC – Bermudian wheelchair sprinter Jessica Lewis made a scintillating start to the Parapan American Games on Saturday, storming to victory in the women’s T53 400 metres final ahead of two Americans to win gold.Lewis executed the perfect race, making a flying start and finishing in a time of one minute, 05.95 seconds, a second faster than Yen Hoang, of the United States, who came second in 1:02.95. Kelsey Le Favour, of the US, placed third in 1:02.97.Lewis is eyeing a sweep of medals in all three of her events in Lima and will return to action in the 800 final on Monday.“It’s such an honour to bring home a gold medal again to Bermuda,” said Lewis, the reigning Parapan Am T53 100 champion.“I felt like I had a great chance of winning the race, but I knew that it was going to be a fight with the US girls. I am quite thrilled that I managed to be that far ahead of them.”The gold medal represents a major breakthrough for Lewis, as she has often struggled for sustained power at the longer distances and believes her switch to a harder pair of gloves has made a huge difference.“I have transitioned into using the hard gloves which have definitely helped me get stronger in the longer-distance events,” she added.“I had the best start I have ever had in these gloves, so everything just came together for the race.”Lewis’ main race, the 100, will take place on Wednesday, with the 26-year-old hoping to shatter her Parapan Am record time of 17.67, which she set in Toronto in 2015.last_img read more

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Lejla Tanovic among the 100 Best Cyclists in the World!

first_imgThe best BH cyclist, Lejla Tanovic, member of the Sarajevo Club “Puls“ and the professional team Salcano from Turkey, achieved a ranking of her career by reaching the 99th place at the UCI list of the World Cycling Federation.Thus, Lejla achieved the best success and placement for B&H and became the first cyclist with such success.“This is a remarkable success for B&H, and it is a great honor for us to represent our country at the international competitions. That was our plan from the beginning of the season and we have worked hard to achieve that. Lejla proved her quality at the renowned UCI races and deserved placed in the top 100 cyclist of the world, which is the first time for B&H“, said the coach Amar Njemcevic.Points for the UCI list are being collected at one-day and staged UCI races and thanks to them, norm for the Olympic Games is being achieved. The election period for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 are currently in progress, so every point is extremely valuable.In the forthcoming period, one more UCI race of the class C1 in Samobor awaits for Lejla, and after that she will be preparing for the road race at the first European Games in Azerbaijan. Besides European Games, Lejla will participate at the European Championship in the Italian city Lamossano.(Source: nap.ba/ Photo: oslobodjenje.ba)last_img read more

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Sarah-Jane seals English title triumph with birdie

first_img16 May 2013 Sarah-Jane seals English title triumph with birdie Cornwall’s Sarah-Jane Boyd birdied the last hole to seal a two-shot victory in the English women’s amateur championship at Kings Norton Golf Club, Worcestershire.She beat English stroke play champion Alex Peters, who made a spirited sub-par charge over the closing holes, while Gabriella Cowley took third place.Sarah-Jane, (image © Leaderboard Photography) finished the 72-event on two over par and adds this success to the British stroke play title which she won last year. She said: “I feel so good, it’s so nice to win a second one because it proves the first wasn’t a fluke. It’s a stamp of authority.“It’s really special to me to win the English, it’s a real privilege to win it and I’m over the moon.”Sarah-Jane, 21, started the final round with a five-stroke lead, but she had to withstand the late charge of Alex Peters, who played the back nine in four-under par and, at one stage, reduced the deficit to just one.Alex birdied both the 16th and 17th and her putt on 18 came within a whisker of dropping. But, in the group behind, Sarah-Jane was playing with great determination and holing demanding putts for par when it counted, notably on the short 14th and the tricky 16th where water is a daunting feature.Her brother, Alex, caddied for her and helped to keep her focussed: “He kept saying ‘I know how determined you are, prove to me how much you want it.’“I kind of knew I always had the upper hand. I was never behind and it was a matter of keeping it together and playing the percentages.”She did exactly that on the par five 18th: “I thought I had a two-shot lead but then I discovered it was only one and that I had to make a par to win. I played it as a three-shot hole, hit my third from 130-yards to 7ft – and holed it! It was amazing.”The final day was blessed with sunshine – in marked contrast to the earlier rounds – and produced a host of sub-par scores. In the morning’s third round four players returned one-under 71: Chelsea Masters of Sussex and England international Amber Ratcliffe went on to finish joint fourth, Jo Hodge of Gloucestershire added a second 71 in the afternoon and finished 7th, while Charlotte Thompson of Essex was eighth.Alex Peters and Samantha Meese of Staffordshire also beat par with 71s in the afternoon.Leading final scoresPar 72 CSS 76 77 76 76290 Sarah Jane Boyd (Truro) 73 70 72 75292 Alex Peters (Notts Ladies) 71 77 73    71295 Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall) 71 73 76 75296 Samantha Meese (South Staffs) 75 76 74 71; Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) 75 77 71 73; Chelsea Masters (Highwoods, Bexhill) 75 76 71 74297 Joanne Hodge (Kendleshire)    79 76 71 71298 Charlotte Thompson (Channels) 79 76 71 72300 Samantha Fuller (Roehampton) 77 73 77 73302 Rachael Goodall (Heswall) 78 79 73 72, Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) 77 74 76 75, Emma Tayler (Saunton) 77 69 80 76last_img read more

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Phoenix partnership excites Doyen

first_imgSimon Oliveira, the managing director of leading entertainment and sporting agency Doyen Global, says its partnership with local football academy Phoenix will help it make the next step in transforming the academy into a world-class institution.Oliveira, who spoke via Skype at the press launch to announce plans by Phoenix to build a state-of-the-art football academy – based on the model of French club Lille – on 14 acres of land in Trelawny at the Spanish Court Hotel yesterday, told the gathering that they were very excited about the partnership.incredibly fortunate”We are all very excited about the new partnership. We have a great partner in Craig (Butler). Now we are looking forward to the academy and growing into something good. This is incredibly fortunate, not just for the community. It’s a standard-bearer, which will shine a light on how things should be done and taught anywhere in the world, so we are very excited at Doyen about going the distance,” he stated.”Craig has partnered with Doyen Global for years, and we have stayed with the process until it became a reality. What we have done to professional sport in Europe is bring superior guidance to players and managers in the right way, and our partnership with Craig and the academy is a next stage, and we are proud of this,” he added.Butler is confident that the internationally renown agency, which has managed the affairs of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Alvaro Morata, David Beckham, and Novak Djokovic, among others, will help them make that next step.”Doyen has the experience, and at this time, to be able to partner with Doyen and its partners is helping us make the next step. We have a minimum of 20 elite players, and I myself cannot give them all that they need in terms of management, so we have Doyen,” he added.last_img read more

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Guyana Chronicle hatch-job on Jagdeo a shameless attempt to influence the CCJ third-term decision

first_imgDear Editor,In the Chronicle’s editorial of June 22, the editor proceeded to do a hatch-job on the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo. Not content with what Khemraj Ramjattan, Basil Williams and others have been pontificating that the CCJ will rule against Jagdeo, it appears that the government is shamelessly using the Guyana Chronicle to make a last-ditch effort to adversely influence the third term decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which will be announced on Tuesday. In any event, even if the CCJ disallows a third term, Bharrat Jagdeo will remain the Party’s General Secretary to ensure a PPP victory at the polls in 2020, and will play an active role in the next government.The irony is, that after more than three (3) years into this APNU/AFC Administration, the People’s Progressive Party is still being blamed for everything that goes wrong in Guyana.During the run-up to the 2015 general and regional elections, Guyanese were asked to vote for the Coalition because they will fix everything that was wrong with the country. The APNU/AFC campaigned on getting rid of corruption; restoring accountability and transparency. They promised to improve the economy and to create jobs for our young people. They also promised to reduce crime and to get rid of the drug trade. But most importantly, they promised every Guyanese the “good life”. They have failed miserably.In his address to the National Assembly almost two years ago, President Granger said his government “entered a depressing financial landscape in May 2015… Economic mismanagement was accompanied by huge debts for unpaid international obligations and court judgements.” He added that the absence of a policy to provide employment opportunities for youth and to reduce extreme poverty and the failure to energise the manufacturing sector helped to weaken the economy (Guyana Times, October 14, 2016).But compared to the bankrupt economy the PPP inherited from his party, the PNC in 1992, the APNU+AFC inherited US$670 million (G$134 Billion) in Foreign Exchange Reserves from the PPP/C in May of 2015 (source: theGlobalEconomy.com). This amount is in addition to the approximately $150 Billions this government inherited in recurring revenues and the $35 Billion from semi-autonomous agencies. In addition, Granger inherited an economy with the lowest debt payment in the entire Caribbean with only 4 percent as compared to 153 percent of revenue that went to service foreign debt in 1992.The new government inherited an economy that was growing on an average of 4.5 percent for the preceding eight years.Our President was being less than truthful in his address when he claimed to have inherited a “depressing financial landscape”. For in fact, the APNU/AFC inherited a buoyant economy; good international reserves; a big revenue base; small debt-servicing; and an inflow of foreign direct investments of about US$400 million a year with ExonMobile spending hundreds of millions already; and from the two new gold mines that have already started large scale production. The APNU/AFC coalition is yet to attract a single foreign investor.The economic crisis facing the nation and all Guyanese has nothing to do with the PPP, it is the economic mismanagement of the Granger Administration, led by a runaway spending that is responsible.In his campaign speech to the people of Berbice, Khemraj Ramjattan said, “The propaganda you are hearing that the APNU/AFC coalition is going to ground both industries (rice and sugar) to the dirt is all lies. We are not going to in any way, close the sugar industry.” Now that the APNU/AFC government has indeed closed four sugar estates putting an estimated 12,000 sugar workers and their families on the bread-line, the Chronicle editorial shamelessly blames Jagdeo for causing the “demise” of GUYSUCO.The Guyana Chronicle editorial made reference to an article that appeared earlier in the Kaieteur News, accusing Jagdeo of evading media questions “as to sums of money that oil companies had paid to the state for oil-exploration activities, prior to 2015.” The editorial asks, “How can Jagdeo still refer to the $18MU.S. signing bonus, as among his “bigger concerns’’ when this government has already accounted for such sum? In typical Jagdeo evasive style, he deprecates the sums paid to his former administration, inferring that they are small sums in comparison. Again, Jagdeo should be reminded that accountability is about every sum, of any amount, that is paid into the state’s coffers, and that includes the sums paid to the PPP/C under his stewardship, by those oil and gas companies as reported.”Well, the US$18 million is still not deposited in the consolidated funds, and senior government ministers denied receiving it for over a year until the lie was exposed. In comparison, Bharrat Jagdeo made it clear that every cent of the estimated US$100,000 his government received as licensing fees from the oil companies, was accounted for, and this information could be found at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission. The Guyana Chronicle should stop parroting the government’s propaganda and do some investigative journalism to determine the facts before publication.Was the PPP responsible for the 50%-100% pay raise President Granger approved for his Ministers? Did the PPP increase the amount of Government Ministers from 17 under the Ramotar Administration to the 26 Ministers now in government?Was the PPP responsible for setting up new ministries at an enormous financial burden to the Guyanese taxpayers? And could anyone in their right mind hold the PPP responsible for the astronomical amounts of $500,000 and $1.5 million that this government pays to accommodate Ministers? And what about the $12.5 million it’s costing taxpayers every month to rent a drug bond from a PNC financier? Remember, had it not been for the PPP, these APNU/AFC scandals and corruptions would never be known to the Guyanese people. So much for transparency and accountability.But this “blame Jagdeo and the PPP” syndrome is not only propagated by the government, it is aided and abetted by a few Jagdeo-haters, the likes of Dr. David Hinds; Dr Eric Phillips; Lincoln Lewis; Freddie Kissoon; and Adam Harris. All of whom have their own ax to grind with the former President and the People’s Progressive Party.You would never hear them giving credit to Jagdeo and the PPP for all the good they have done for Guyana and the Guyanese people.David Hinds and Eric Philips were both cut from the same bolt of cloth. They are only interested in the welfare of certain Guyanese, and brands the PPP as a racist party. Adam Harris is frustrated and feels betrayed by the many failures of the incompetent government he supports. Yet he can hardly write a critical editorial of this government without some comparison to the PPP/C that suggests the PPP/C may have done the same thing or worst. And the Dem Boys Seh column in the Kaieteur News can hardly mention Jagdeo’s name without the words “that scamp” preceding it.Lincoln Lewis is a known Jagdeo-hater. His venom came about years ago when he took a personal loan of over US20,000 from the bauxite company Omai, to buy a car at the time he, as head of the bauxite union, was representing the interest of the bauxite workers at Linden. When his duty free concession for the car was cancelled, he blamed it on Jagdeo who was at the Ministry of Finance at that time.Everyone knows Freddie Kissoon has his own selfish motive for hating Jagdeo and the PPP. He blames the PPP for his dismissal at UG. But the truth is, at the time of his dismissal, he had passed the age of retirement, and never published anything of substance to keep his job, a basic requirement of an academic.Kissoon also blames the PPP for the “dismissal” of his wife from Go-Invest. In fact, Freddie’s wife served well into the Jagdeo tenure, and took an early retirement from her government job with full honours and gratuities after that agency was restructured.Freddie Kissoon despises former President Bharrat Jagdeo for revoking his privilege from swimming at the Castellani swimming pool. But this was only done after it was discovered that Kissoon was using the venue to eavesdrop on the conversations of other pool guests, and was using the information he was getting clandestinely to write his Freddie Kissoon columns in the Kaieteur News.Some time ago, Kissoon complained that after a meeting with the former President to discuss getting duty-free concession for a car, Jagdeo was so harsh with him that he lost his sight temporarily when he went out on the road.But despite his known hatred for Jagdeo, Freddie Kissoon always had access to the former President: In the swimming pool at Castellani, and in his office to ask for duty-free concession. I wonder how much access he has now with a President he helped put in office.No one mentions about the positive things the PPP has done to bring about economic growth and prosperity in Guyana from a bankrupt nation in 1992, but the “blame Jagdeo and the PPP” syndrome continues.Jagdeo was accused of giving away land to the owner of the Two-Brothers gas station. That is, until the businessman Shiraz Ali himself refuted this claim as preposterous, as he was never friendly with the PPP Administration given his well-known support of the People’s National Congress (PNC) long before Jagdeo even held a ministerial position.Jagdeo was accused of giving away 11 radio licences to “family, friends and cronies of the PPP”, but no one mentions the names of the others that were given radio licenses.Jagdeo again was accused of giving away all of Guyana’s forest and off-shore oil blocks until those too were proven to be lies. Yet no one in the government has the decency to apologise to the Leader of the Opposition.It is time that the Granger Administration accept responsibility for the management of our nation. They can no longer blame Bharrat Jagdeo nor the PPP for their incompetence, ineptitude, and the sufferings of the Guyanese people. They are in government now. Whatever needs fixing, they must fix it now before their remaining two years run out.Sincerely,HARRY GILLPPP/C Member of Parliamentlast_img read more

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Activa, LNP Collaborate to Promote Road Safety

first_imgACTIVA CEO, Gbalazeh making presentation to LNPCommissioner for Public Safety, Miekee Gray-Insurance company donates office equipment to LNP Traffic DivisionOne of the leading Insurance Companies in Liberia  has joined the Liberia National Police (LNP) in a collaborative effort intended to boost road safety through traffic education and improving road users output. ACTIVA International Insurance Company (Lib) Limited, a Pan-African Insurer, has reached an agreement with the Traffic Section of the LNP to sponsor its activities across the country.At a brief ceremony held at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP), ACTIVA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Atty. Gbalazeh, and LNP Commissioner for Public Safety, Miekee Gray sealed a deal intended to provide sponsorship of Traffic and Road Safety Education of the LNP Traffic Section.Under the arrangement, the company has obligated itself to provide funding for all of the LNP road safety workshops and other education programs. Gbalazeh wants businesses and entrepreneurs to collaborate with the LNP as a way of giving back to the communities. The company also made a donation of electronic office equipment at the ceremony.“Vehicular and other forms of traffic accidents have been increasing tremendously in the past years and we thought to find a way to collaborate with the traffic section of the LNP to see how we can help to address serious national crisis,” Atty. Gbalazeh saidRoad traffic accidents (RTAs) continue to be an important public health issue which needs to be tackled from various fronts. But the rate of RTA injuries and deaths is becoming alarming and, according to the ACTIVA boss, the number of fatal and disabling road accidents taking place is increasing day by day and is a real public health challenge for all the concerned agencies to prevent it.“We are willing to collaborate with the LNP traffic division, through sponsorship, to address some of these issues,” he said.Gbalazeh noted that awareness creation, strict implementation of traffic rules, are needed to prevent this public health catastrophe.According to the United Nations, injuries and deaths due to RTA are major public health problems in developing countries.  1.2 million People are killed on roads every year and up to 50 million more are injured.Few years ago, the UN, through its General Assembly, launched RTA as a worldwide initiative aimed to establish action plans to reduce the alarming 1.3 million fatalities and the alarming injuries and disability related crashes worldwide. These casualties, the UN said, will increase if action is not taken.The ACTIVA CEO making brief remarks at the ceremonyIt is against this backdrop that Atty. Gbalazeh and his company are endeavoring to see an innovative coalition that would bring together the private sector (business houses and companies) and the government (LNP) that would come out with innovative measures to ensure road safety. “It will simply be these businesses’ way of giving back to the society and the various communities within which they operate,” he said.“Public safety is a shared responsibility; therefore partnerships between law enforcement and community stakeholders are essential.”  The Community Oriented Policing (COPs) Office — a systemic use of partnerships and problem solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues — could be a good start.Atty. Gbalazeh said ensuring road safety is in line with the government’s pro-poor agenda because it seeks the protection of the masses, many of whom are victims of the traffic fatalities.“The highest burden of injuries and fatalities is borne disproportionately by poor people, as they are mostly pedestrians, cyclists, and passengers of buses and minibuses and these are the people this government seeks to protect.”A high prevalence of old vehicles that often carry many more people than they are designed to carry, negligence of safety belts and helmets, poor road design and maintenance contribute to the high rate of crashes in less developed countries. Reducing risk through the avoidance of dangerous situations helps maintain driving safety on the road, he noted.“There are solutions to the road safety problem,” he added. “A wide range of effective interventions exist, and experience in countries with long histories of motorized travel has shown that a scientific, ‘systems approach’ to road safety is essential to tackling the problem.”LNP officers at the ceremonyThis approach, he said, addresses the traffic system as a whole and looks at the interactions between vehicles, road users and the road infrastructure to identify solutions—with an integrated approach that addresses vehicles, the people who use roads, and the road infrastructure, roads can be made safer.“This is why we want to work with the LNP. This is our own way of giving back to the communities within which we operate. We do not just come here to make project, but we should in return invest some of what we have made into the communities to make it a better place for all of us. This is what we stand for at ACTIVA.”Mr. Gray lauded the ACTIVA family for the collaboration and called on others to join in helping the LNP in ensuring safety in the country. “We are faced with numerous challenges and we highly appreciate this intervention. We hope others would emulate your good example,” Mr. Gray noted.Meanwhile, ACTIVA is the originator of the Globus Network, which is a grouping of 40 well-positioned and dynamic insurance companies in 40 African countries. The Globus Network is the largest of its kind in Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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