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September 20, 2013

Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series begins in Sydney

Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series begins in Sydney

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Friday, September 20, 2013

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Cathedral Square, Sydney, Australia — Wikinews attended the Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series in Cathedral Square, Sydney, ongoing from Wednesday. This is the first time an international wheelchair rugby event has been held outdoors, and in this arena. Three nations are competing: the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

America’s Josh Wheeler
Image: Jeff Crow Australian Paralympic Committee.

Left to right: Chuck Aoki (US), Andrew Harrison (Aus), Cameron Carr (Aus), Jeremy Brown (US), Ryan Scott (Aus), Derrick Helton (US)
Image: Jeff Crow Australian Paralympic Committee.

Wheelchair Rugby in Cathedral Square, Sydney. Hyde Park and the Centrepoint Tower can be seen in the background.
Image: Hawkeye7.

United States National Wheelchair Rugby team
Image: Hawkeye7.

Justice Crew performs
Image: Hawkeye7.

Premier of New South Wales Barry O’Farrell and CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee Jason Hellwig
Image: Hawkeye7.

The venue is Cathedral Square, Sydney, which is adjacent to Hyde Park. The Sydney Central Business district is on the other side of the park. An outdoor stadium has been constructed specifically for the tournament, which is believed to be the first time an international wheelchair rugby tournament has been held outdoors. This choice was validated by the fine and warm weather. Free sunscreen was given to the crowd.

The Opening Ceremony was officiated by Australian Paralympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Jason Hellwig. In attendance were the Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, Robyn Kemmis, and Paralympic swimmer Matthew Cowdrey. A large crowd, mostly consisting of school groups, was entertained by boy band Justice Crew singing their hit Best Night.

Each team is to play the others two twice, on Wednesday September 18 and Thursday September 19. Finals are to be held on Friday. All three teams are highly ranked internationally. The United States team is ranked number one in the world. It won bronze at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, gold at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, and bronze at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, and is the current world champion. This is its first visit to Australia since the 2000 Summer Paralympics.

The Australian team, known as the Steelers, is ranked second in the world. It won silver in Beijing and gold in London. The team is almost unchanged from the one that won in London. Greg Smith has become the assistant coach.

The first game, held immediately after the Opening Ceremony, was between the United States and Australia. The United States proved the better team, forcing errors and turnovers. Three turnovers in the first quarter were especially costly for the Steelers, who lost 56–43.

The second game was held at 17:30 under lights. The crowd was small, but there were a number of New Zealand fans in the crowd, including a few Maori. Two of the New Zealand players are also Maori. The well-disciplined United States team proved too good for the Wheel Blacks as well, who lost 58–40 in an entertaining contest.

The third game was at 19:30, between Australia and New Zealand. The Australians led the whole game, which was nonetheless entertaining to the last. In the dying seconds of the game, Australia’s Ryley Batt shunted a stalling New Zealand player across the line to force him to score, then threw the ball to team mate Chris Bond, who raced for the line at high speed but was beaten by the buzzer. Australia won 61–48.

The New Zealand team, known as the Wheel Blacks, is ranked tenth in the world. It won gold in Athens.

Highlights of the tournament are scheduled to be shown on Foxtel Sports in Australia on September 28 and 29.



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September 7, 2007

Australian comedians \”could have been shot\” during APEC prank

Australian comedians “could have been shot” during APEC prank

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Friday, September 7, 2007

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According to the highest ranking police officer in New South Wales, the cast and crew of Australian TV show, The Chaser’s War on Everything could have been shot during a prank staged in Sydney where they breached APEC security.

The comedians staged a fake motorcade to gain access to the APEC restricted area in Sydney’s CBD. It is believed that the motorcade was waved through security checkpoints on Macquarie Street and ended up just metres from the hotel where United States President George W. Bush was staying. Police moved in on the group when one of the pranksters emerged from a vehicle dressed as Osama bin Laden.

Police commissioner Andrew Scipione said the prank could have resulted in someone being injured. “The reality is… (they) put security services in a position where they might have had to take an action no one would want.”

“We have snipers deployed around the city. They weren’t there for show, they mean business, that’s what they were there for,” said Mr Scipione.

Cquote1.svg I’m angry, I’m very angry that this stunt happened, it was a very dangerous stunt. Cquote2.svg

—Andrew Scipione, police commissioner

Mr Scipione was annoyed that the stunt had been carried out. He said “I’m angry, I’m very angry that this stunt happened, it was a very dangerous stunt.” The commissioner also said that the comedians had already been warned about carrying out pranks during APEC. “The people that were involved were told – we told them, we sent them maps, … We made it very clear that they shouldn’t do stunts, particularly those that were going to be dangerous,” said Mr Scipione.

Neil Fergus, senior executive for Intelligent Risks and former intelligence chief for the Sydney Olympics spoke out against those responsible for the prank. He reinforced that the prank could have ended up in someone being hurt and commended the police for dealing with the situation in the way they did.

“People can talk over each other on radios and there can be confusion, so the police response – I think – was terrific,” he said.

“And thank God it was what it was. You’ve only got to look at the experience that a very professional police service had in London when a young Brazilian was tragically shot by anti-terrorism forces.”

“So I think the police are to be commended with the professional way that they did identify the incursion, the restraint that they showed in handling it and the fact that what we’re talking about today is a bad and irresponsible joke, instead of a more tragic set of circumstances.”

The show’s executive producer Morrow denied placing anyone in danger.

“Was it irresponsible? I wouldn’t think so. Hard to say,” he said.

“No, no. We had no intention of harming anyone. Sorry guys … Lucky it was us and not Al Qaeda.”



Related Wikinews

  • “Australian TV show The Chaser breaches APEC security; 11 charged” — Wikinews, September 6, 2007

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August 15, 2006

Heavy hailstorms leave Sydney appearing snowed in

Heavy hailstorms leave Sydney appearing snowed in

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Extent of hailstorms in suburbs

Street covered in unmelted hail

Recent heavy hailstorms occurring at approximately 4 o’clock in the afternoon today left parts of Sydney with the appearance of being snowed in, with thick blankets of hail covering streets and sidewalks with layers of hail.

The hail was observed in the Central Business District of Sydney, where cars were observed — possibly sheltering from the worst of the downfall — under awnings on Paramatta Road, and areas in the Inner West.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Sydney Harbour weather station recorded a drop in temperature with the storm: at 4pm the temperature was 17 degrees Celsius, while the temperature reached a low at 11 degrees half an hour later.

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August 25, 2005

Protestors want \’carnival not confrontation\’ at Forbes conference

Protestors want ‘carnival not confrontation’ at Forbes conference

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

30A Protest – Forbes CEO Conference
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The 30A network has said that it wants to create a carnival atmosphere while protesting at the Forbes Global CEO conference. The protest, which starts on August 30, is expected to attract up to 2,000 protesters. Similar events in the past often had instances of violent confrontations between police and some of the activists. The 30A network is a loose affiliation of groups and individuals co-ordinating the protest.

30A spokesman Bruce Knobloch, of the International Socialist Organisation, made the call for a peaceful protest in a press release last week.

“We want a safe community action showing that people in Sydney oppose Howard¹s plan for a US-style wages system, the war in Iraq and his kow-towing to global corporate chiefs. We pose no threat to the Opera House or the millionaire delegates, or to other users of east Circular Quay,” Mr Knobloch said.

The conference will be held at the Sydney Opera House. The Forbes website says that at the event “senior figures from the world’s leading companies and institutions will discuss the best ways to nurture and capitalize on innovation and reveal the latest global trends.” It was recently announced that George Bush Sr will be attending the conference, along with former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Prime Minister John Howard, and former NSW Premier Bob Carr.

Mr Knobloch described the attendees as “a few hundred neo-conservative corporate chiefs”.

The protesters have been denied access to the Opera House forecourt for the duration of the conference. Mr Knobloch believes that this decision is unjustified. He also accused the police of deliberately creating the conditions for confrontation.

“The police seem intent on creating chaos and confrontation, which is the last thing we need. We’ve urged police to build a barrier in front of the Opera House proper and to allow us to use the public space in the forecourt. By pushing us out into the CBD the police are going to create problems for commuters and business owners,” he said.

30A protestors this week organised a media conference outside Surry Hills Police Station, requesting a meeting to negotiate an agreement. According to an article on Sydney Indymedia, police at the station were unable to discuss the issue, but told 30a representatives that they would be contacted to organise a meeting.

“Minimising the protesters right to peacefully rally dramatically increases police powers and strikes at the heart of protesters’ democratic right to peaceful assembly,” the article said.

ASIO has assessed the conference to be “medium risk”, and this has been used by the police and government to justify the increased security.

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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