#ThisGirlCan – Why Sport England’s new campaign is spot on

first_imgEmbracing the blood, sweat, tears and toil is helping transform attitudes to women’s sport. Middlesex Women’s cricket captain Izzy Westbury explains why a new campaign is hitting back at the Pride and Prejudice generation….“How can you be so silly,” cried her mother, “as to think of such a thing, in all this dirt! You will not be fit to be seen when you get there.”It’s England in the early 19th century. The carriage isn’t available and there are no horses to be had, so Elizabeth Bennet, determined and thoughtful, resolves to walk through the wet fields to visit her ill sister.Fast forward two centuries later and this scene from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice could easily be replayed today, albeit without the horse and carriage.In an age where the finished, final, airbrushed and photo-shopped image is the one on which women are judged in society, Sport England’s new ad campaign ‘#ThisGirlCan’ – which premiered on TV on Monday – is one helluva breath of fresh air.“You were queen bee if you could skive PE and get your nails done while you were at it.”“Horses sweat, gentlemen perspire and ladies feel the heat,” is how the old saying goes. Well guess what, world, things have moved on since Jane Austen’s time and ‘This Girl Can’ is here to show us just that.I’ve found it difficult to relate to many of the past ad campaigns encouraging women to get active. You know the ones – filled with prim and proper ladies dressed more for a Friday night out than a gym session, lathered in make-up still perfectly in place and not a drop of sweat in sight.Is this realistic? No. Did I care how I looked? No. But society seemed to. Luckily for me, I lived in blissful ignorance. At school the choice was simple; you were either a girl dressing up as a fairy princess or a boy playing football in the school playground.Did I want to be a boy? I don’t think it particularly crossed my mind. But did I want to kick a ball around every minute of the day and be the next Alan Shearer? Hell yes. And the only way that I, aged seven, could see of doing this was to be a boy. And so I conformed.Cricket, oddly, arrived much later on the scene and ironically was a direct result of not having the opportunities as a girl to play football. Football, to my mother’s bewilderment, was my first love. As a south of the Watford gap, middle-class, well-to-do young girl with an accent straight out of Buckingham Palace, naturally Newcastle United was my Mecca and Alan Shearer my god. It’s a long story…I rose through the ranks at my local football club as the only girl in the team and thrived on it. The boys accepted me as one of their own and there seemed no reason that I could not aspire to play the game professionally like the rest of the boys.On reaching the age of 13, however, the dream ended. Girls were no longer allowed to play competitive football in mixed teams. There was no active girls team in the area and the only other option was playing in a team full of strangers 10 years my senior.The solution? Cricket. With no rule against girls playing with the boys I quickly adopted this new sport as my way of beating the boys at their own game. That was what I wanted to do and the only change was through the medium with which I was going to do it.“The world has moved on but attitudes are yet to catch up.”I was an anomaly. That much is easy to see. For the boys, you were kingpin if you were the star striker in the football team. For the girls, you were queen bee if you could skive PE and get your nails done while you were at it.In 2012, an American study claimed that 40 per cent of women avoid exercise because they don’t want to mess up their hair. Mud, sweat and tears just wasn’t ‘girly’. In a world where rising obesity levels are crippling our health service, we just can’t afford to have these barriers. ‘This Girl Can’ is trying to change a perception, and society knows all too well that perceptions count.“I jiggle therefore I am.”, “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox.”, “Damn right I look hot.” – these are among the slogans Sport England have chosen to accompany shots of regular women pushing themselves to the limit in the gym, in the pool or on the pitch.This is the reality of sport, of hard work and of freedom. Train like Medusa to look like Helen of Troy, because you’re sure as hell not going to get there if you reverse those roles.Society judges people against the standards it sets. Those standards find their roots in a world where women couldn’t vote, where they couldn’t leave the house without another man and the idea of walking a couple of miles across a field could put paid to your marriage ambitions.The world has moved on but attitudes are yet to catch up. ‘This Girl Can’ is revolutionary and inspiring precisely because it shows real women, experiencing the realities of exercise in real life.And you don’t have to be a boy to do that.See also:Westbury vows to learn from testing first year as Middlesex captainFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Big 5 shines on day one of Lakin tourney

first_imgThe opening round of the Charles Lakin Humboldt-Del Norte League Tournament was a good day for the Big 5 — Eureka High and Arcata to be exact — as the conference swept all four first-round games against its Little 4 opponents, Tuesday in Arcata.Baseball — Eureka 3 Ferndale 0Pitcher David Vagle produced a complete-game shutout win for the Eureka High baseball team as it blanked Ferndale 3-0 in the first-round of the Lakin Tournament, Tuesday night at the Arcata Ball Park.Vagle recorded eight …last_img read more

Husband of Jaipal Reddy’s niece arrested for her ‘murder’

first_imgThe Hyderabad Police on Wednesday arrested the husband of Union Minister Jaipal Reddy’s niece Kiran Reddy on charge of the latter’s murder. The 26-year-old dermatologist was found dead inside her home in the Jubilee Hills area of Hyderabad on Saturday. Her parents had accused her husband Chaitanya Reddy and the in-laws of killing Kiran, who was the daughter of Petroleum Minister’s elder sister. The police had initially registered an FIR of accidental death, but changed it to a murder case after a complaint from Kiran’s father who alleged that her death was unnatural and accused Chaitanya and his family members in his complaint. Kiran and Chaitanya had got married about five years ago. For more News, click here.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

Drinking coffee linked to lower risk of gallstones

first_imgDrinking coffee may be associated with a reduced risk of developing gallstones, a study claims. Among 104,493 individuals, those who drank more than six cups of coffee per day had a 23 per cent lower risk of developing symptomatic gallstones compared with people who did not drink coffee, according to a study. Drinking one extra cup of coffee per day was associated with three per cent lower risk, said researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainIndividuals with certain genetic variants that have been linked to increased coffee consumption had a lower risk of gallstones, they said. Although the study only uncovered correlations, the researchers highlighted several mechanisms by which coffee consumption might help prevent gallstones from forming. In observational analysis, those with coffee intake of over six cups daily had 23 per cent lower risk of gallstone disease (GSD) compared to individuals without coffee intake. The estimated observational odds ratio for GSD for one cup per day higher coffee intake was 0.97, equal to three per cent lower risk, researchers said.last_img read more

NAFTA Why the US wants a deal within weeks and whether its

first_imgThe United States is suddenly proposing a sprint to the finish toward a new NAFTA deal within about four to six weeks — a jet-fuel pace that aims to soar past political obstacles and procedural hurdles.Is it doable?Count veterans of NAFTA 1.0 among the skeptics. In interviews Tuesday, the top Canadian negotiator in the original NAFTA and the top American trade official who completed the pact under Bill Clinton expressed their doubts.”I don’t think so,” said John Weekes, Canada’s chief negotiator in the original deal.”These are complex things… These aren’t the sort of things you can just decide bang, bang… (It) has to be a good agreement that makes sense for all three countries — and not taking short cuts, and not agreeing to a bad deal.”The stated reason for the hurry now is simple: It’s the U.S. argument that political events beyond the spring could make it harder to finish a deal and get final ratification votes. In a few months, the Trump administration could face a more hostile Congress, and a more combative Mexican president.The U.S. argues that there are just two months left to get a deal this year — otherwise procedural rules, including more than six months required to ratify an agreement in the U.S. Congress, will make a final vote impossible before 2019.A more realistic timetable in Weekes’s mind would be a deal by December. That’s similar to the estimate offered by his former American counterpart Mickey Kantor — Clinton’s first U.S. trade czar foresees at least six months more of negotiating.”It’s going to take time,” Kantor said. ”Trade agreements don’t end before their time… There are a number of issues on the table — they have to be resolved.”Compare the current and past timetables.The original NAFTA took 14 months to negotiate. Lawyers then combed the text for errors, Clinton was elected and insisted on new labour and environmental side-deals, and then there were ratification votes — in the end, it took about 30 months.The current negotiations are into their seventh month. Of the roughly 30 chapters to complete, six are done so far. That’s not fast enough, current U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer said at the close of a round in Mexico City.”Now our time is running very short,” said Lighthizer, who described the four-to-six-week horizon in a chat later with American media.But the NAFTA veterans suspect something else is afoot.They believe the Trump administration is trying to squeeze the neighbours: ”I think they’re trying to pressure the Canadians and the Mexicans into a quick deal,” Kantor said.“I believe that Lighthizer thinks, and what President Trump thinks — if he understands this, which is debatable — is that the steel and aluminum tariff pressure will cause Canada and Mexico to fold.”That theory was bolstered this week when the threat of tariffs was dangled over the negotiating table. Lighthizer suggested that if Canada and Mexico sign a quick NAFTA deal, that could void any tariffs before they take effect.Weekes offers two bits of advice to the Canadians.The first is to nod politely, agree to the sped-up timetable — and then just keep doing whatever they need to do to get the best possible deal: “I would be inclined not to (admit my doubts about the timetable)… I’d say, ‘We’re prepared to proceed very, very fast… Speed — we’re prepared to go very, very quickly.’”His second suggestion is to show a counter-threat on the steel and aluminum tariffs.Weekes suggests mapping out a longer-than-necessary list of products, potential retaliatory targets, where tariffs would create maximum political damage for American politicians, but the least economic damage.He would make that preliminary list public, in the hope that it scares a few people in Washington. He would hope never to have to use it. And he would ignore the Economics 101 lectures about tariffs being mutually destructive.“I think we need to do something to make sure we don’t look like we’re pushovers,” Weekes said.“If we roll over, we’re basically saying, ‘Come after us anytime. Be my guest.’”It’s unclear whether Trump’s tariffs will ever actually hit the neighbours.On the one hand, a new poll says they’re unpopular — just 28 per cent of Americans want a trade war and 31 per cent want tariffs, according to a Quinnipiac survey. Already the administration says the penalties might never come into effect for Canada and Mexico if there’s a new NAFTA.The idea of tariffs on Canada is even becoming a political liability for the administration: for those Americans bashing the steel and aluminum plan, the notion of a trade war against Canada has actually become a favourite talking point.On the other hand, the most powerful pro-trade advocate in the White House is quitting. News late Tuesday of the departure of former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn stoked suspicions he’d lost in a tug-of-war over tariffs.President Donald Trump promises more details in a formal announcement within about a week, coinciding with a big congressional election March 13 in the steel-producing state of Pennsylvania.On Tuesday, the president indicated he would be delicate in imposing tariffs: “We’ll do it in a very loving way,” he said, standing next to the prime minister of Sweden.last_img read more

Tilray US brand group partner on cannabisinfused retail products

first_imgNANAIMO, B.C. — Licensed producer Tilray Inc. has teamed up with the U.S. company behind brands such as Juicy Couture, Aeropostale and Nine West to develop and sell co-branded consumer cannabis products.The Nanaimo, B.C.-based company today announced the long-term revenue sharing agreement with Authentic Brands Group, to whom Tilray will initially pay US$100 million in cash and stock, or more depending on certain milestones.Tilray says it will receive up to 49 per cent of the net revenue from these products bearing names from ABG’s portfolio of more than 50 brands, with a guaranteed minimum payment of up to US$10 million annually for 10 years.Under the deal, Tilray would be the preferred supplier of active cannabinoid ingredients, such as CBD and THC, for ABG’s cannabis products.Its chief executive, Brendan Kennedy, says potential products include Nine West CBD foot cream or CBD-infused muscle wraps under the tennis brand Prince, but the brands to be used in the initial rollout are not yet set.He expects products to be on the market within 12 months on both sides of the borders, as allowed under U.S. and Canadian regulations.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

ND Tiwari’s son was smothered to death: Cops

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Police on Thursday lodged a case of murder in connection with the death of ND Tiwari’s son Rohit Shekhar. The investigating agency said that the autopsy report pointed to unnatural death caused by smothering. According to police, the case was transferred to the crime branch for further investigation. They are questioning Rohit’s family members, including his mother Ujjwala and his uncle’s son. The investigating agency will also question Rohit’s wife in the case. “We are probing whether the pillow was used for smothering,” said sources. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe investigation is focussing on the role of Rohit’s family members behind his murder as after the incident none of them lodged a complaint. Earlier on Wednesday DCP (South) Vijay Kumar said that the family members do not suspect any foul play in his death. The probe also revealed there are CCTV cameras installed in Rohit’s house which are being scanned. Police have registered a murder case under section 302 of the IPC against unknown people. See P4last_img read more

Varun has shown a great career graph: Anupam

first_imgMumbai: Veteran actor Anupam Kher on Thursday praised his “Judwaa 2” co-star Varun Dhawan, saying he has grown into a “big hardworking star”. Varun recently paid a visit to Anupam at his acting school here. Sharing a glimpse of the meeting, Anupam took to Instagram and wrote a post for him along with a video. “I have seen my friend David Dhawan’s son Varun since he was a small child. So to see him grow into this big hardworking star/actor is such a wonderful feeling. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger “He has shown a great graph from his first film to now. It was gracious of him to drop in at our school. In fact, his own school,” Anupam wrote. In the video, Varun, an Actor Prepares alumnus, is also seen praising Anupam. He called him his “family member”. “I have not seen him for sometime but he came and had breakfast with me when I needed the inspiration… more than anything, I needed a family and a family member and he was there. Thank you so much,” said Varun, who has also worked with Anupam in “Main Tera Hero”.last_img read more

How Pervasive Is Homophobia In US Sports

A new study estimates that 83 percent of gay male youth athletes in the United States are keeping their sexual orientation hidden from some or all of their teammates. Lesbian athletes in the same age group (under 22 years old) were more willing to be public about it — 63 percent said they were hiding their orientation.The reason for the secrecy — even in an age when polls show that acceptance has been increasing — is often fear. Nearly half of gay men and 44 percent of lesbians around the world who kept their sexual orientation hidden said they did so in order not to be bullied. In addition, fear of discrimination from coaches or officials was mentioned by 32 percent of gay men and 28 percent of lesbians.The survey found that 80 percent of the respondents, both gay and heterosexual, had witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports.Titled “Out On The Fields,” the report was based on a survey of nearly 9,500 gay, bisexual and heterosexual people and claims to be the largest-ever study on homophobia in sports. (The questions only related to sexual orientation, not gender identity, so the study offers no information about transgender athletes.)After publicizing the anonymous online questionnaire through various media outlets,1 They included Outsports, Gay News Network, Star Observer, Same Same, Fairfax Media, The Guardian, ESPN, EILE Magazine Ireland, Gay NZ, GayStar News, Daily Xtra and Pink News UK. the researchers received answers from several English-speaking countries. The highest numbers of responses came from Australia (3,006), the United States (2,064), the United Kingdom (1,796), Canada (1,123), New Zealand (631) and Ireland (501).The United States received the lowest overall “inclusion score” of all the countries analyzed, with a high number of respondents saying the U.S. was not accepting of gay athletes. (Though because of the small sample sizes for respondents from New Zealand and Ireland, it isn’t necessarily fair to say that the U.S. ranks worst.)In a phone interview, the survey’s lead author, Erik Denison, said attitudes about privacy among athletes are often related to the perception of homophobia in sports.“I made that decision myself when I kept in the closet,” he said. “Implicitly it is about discrimination, though. The straight men can talk openly in conversations about what you did at the weekend, the women they met. If you’re gay though, you either have to make up stories or be excluded. It’s not the same.”The large scale of the survey, though, doesn’t mean that it is the definitive word on homophobia in sports. Even in countries that had a high number of respondents, it can be difficult to tease out more detailed trends because the subgroups are far too small. Responses were split into youth and adult sports (i.e. under age 22 and over age 22) but also broken out by sports played and the sexual orientation of the respondents.What’s more, not everyone even said they played sports — among U.S. respondents, for example, 81 percent of gay women and 75 percent of gay men said they participated in youth sports, while 63 percent of gay women and 42 percent of gay men said they participated in adult sports. As a result, the finding that 83 percent of gay male youth athletes keep their sexuality hidden from teammates is based on just 114 individuals.Denison and his co-author, Alistair Kitchen, both members of Australia’s first gay rugby team, said they were are aware of those limitations. Their international approach was partly informed by the fact that past smaller-scale studies on homophobia in sport have been dismissed for being too limited in scope. The final methodology and findings were reviewed by seven academic experts prior to publication.Overall, these results should be treated as estimates in an under-researched area filled with speculation, rather than definitive numbers about gay athletes.Gay respondents were more likely than heterosexual ones to say that homophobia was more common in team sporting environments than in general society. But LGB athletes also related positive reactions to revealing their orientation to their teammates. In its write-up of the report, the gay sports site Outsports.com acknowledged many of the issues cited by respondents but added that “people in sports behave very differently when an athlete actually comes out,” often welcoming the LGB athlete and apologizing for language used in the past.Denison also described what he called “the snowball effect” — the notion that the more LGB athletes there are who are open about their sexual orientation, the more accepted gay athletes will become in sports. As evidence for that, Denison pointed to the higher share of lesbian athletes in the U.S. who are open about their sexuality with their teammates and the fact that lesbian athletes around the world are more likely to say teams offer them a “supportive and safe environment.”Because of their visibility, LGB professional athletes are likely more influential than amateurs in getting the snowball effect rolling, but few seem comfortable speaking publicly. The survey allowed respondents to submit detailed stories about themselves — around 1,600 did so. Denison said that about three dozen of those who provided narrative accounts were professional athletes, including at least two on their respective countries’ national teams.Last year, after the professional football player Michael Sam told ESPN and The New York Times that he is gay, he said he received messages from many fellow athletes who “had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out.”So far, Sam’s decision has not created a snowball effect in the U.S. — partly because there will need to be other outspoken gay athletes before the sport reaches what Denison describes as “a critical mass.” read more