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September 29, 2012

Canberra Capitals beat Chinese women\’s national B basketball team in pre-season

Canberra Capitals beat Chinese women’s national B basketball team in pre-season

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory —

Michelle Cosier goes for the ball
Image: Laura Hale.

Wednesday night, the Canberra Capitals defeated the Chinese women’s national B basketball team 75–64 at the Belconnen Basketball Centre in a pre-season warm up game before the start of the Women’s National Basketball League in October.

Several new players joined the Capitals this season, including Samantha Norwood, Valeria Ogoke, and Tessa Lavey, while Natalie Porter, Carly Wilson, and Marianna Tolo are not with the team this season.

Playing before a packed crowd, the game started with both teams’ national anthems played, followed by the Capitals giving their guests mini-basketballs. Canberra started with Nicole Hunt, Jessica Bibby, Samantha Norwood, Ogoke, and Michelle Cosier on the floor. China’s starting lineup included Liang Jiamei, Ma Xueya, Cui Xiaoxue, Huang Hongpin, and Shen Yi.

The Capitals led early in the first with a score of 6–2 and then 6–4, before Jiamei made a three pointer to put China ahead 6–7 by the time there was 6:33 left in the first. Both teams made a number of substitutions in the first quarter and tried to shoot 3-point shots that they did not land. The Capitals could not keep their hands on the ball, turning it over several times in the first. Playing a zone defense, the Chinese team appeared to have better control on their side of the court when playing zone defense on that side of the court, while the Chinese offense frustrated the Capitals who were playing man-to-man and appeared to lose the woman they were marking. The Chinese were also quick to foul, allowing Canberra to go into bonus. The quarter ended 13–19 thanks to a last minute shot by Hunt.

The second quarter started with a Canberra possession, where they turned over the ball to China before they were able to get a shot up. Ogoke managed to steal the ball back before China could capitalize on the turnover. The Chinese bench started making noise on the bench, cheering and chanting to support their teammates on the court. The Capitals coach, Carrie Graf, was very animated on the sidelines. Chinese fouls sent Canberra to the line several times, with Norwood scoring a pair with 1:41 left in the half. Dombkins made a pair of baskets in the remaining time to bring the score to within two by end of the quarter.

At the end of the first half, with the score 31–33 in favour of China, Norwood led the Capitals in scoring with 11 points and was the only team member in double digits. Mikaela Dombkins and Hunt both had 6 points, with six total Capitals players having gotten points on the board. On the Chinese side, Sun Mengran led her team in scoring with 12 points. Jiamei was second with 5 points, and seven other players also scored.

Contrasting half time styles saw the Capitals go into the locker room, while China stayed on the court and practice shooting baskets. When the second half got under way, Ogoke scored for Canberra to tie up the game. China scored to go up again, but Cosier then drew a foul, went to the line and made a pair of baskets to tie the game again. Ogoke scored again and the Capitals went ahead by two. Bibby quickly added to the lead with another 2 points. Following a Chinese time out, China took advantage of a free throw opportunity to narrow the score to 39–37. Canberra fell apart a bit, with Cosier turning over the ball and Bibby missing a pass because she was out of position. Thee Capitals were not marking players, leaving the Chinese shooters open, but they could not get the ball in the net. A 3-point shot by China had them ahead by one. With 5:27 left in the third, Canberra was leading by three. By the time there was 1:18 left, Canberra led by 53–46 with China in foul trouble and the Capitals sitting there with four. Four seconds later, Bibby drew a foul and was all smiles before going to the line. Once there, she put her game face on and scored a pair of free throws to put the Capitals up by 9. With 50.6 seconds left in the third, Cheng Feng fouled out and sent Bibby to the line again, where Bibby scored another pair of three throws. Graf was yelling at her team to push down the court, and Hunt did, scoring 2 points to put her team ahead by 13. With 5 seconds left in the quarter, the Capitals turn the ball over and the quarter ends 59–46.

Hunt, Bibby, Norwood, Ogoke and Cosier started the fourth for Canberra, while Ma Xueya, Sun Mengran, Jiamei, Shen Yi and Huang Hongpin started for China. China continued to play zone defense in this quarter and their bench continued to support their on court players. With the Caps ahead 61–50, Graf yelled at Hunt to shoot, and Hunt did, making a 3-point shot. Later in the quarter, Hunt shot an airball and Brigitte Ardossi did a good job keeping in play, getting the ball back to Hunt who failed to score on the next shot. Hunt would finish the half 2 of 4 from 2 point range. With 4:52 left in the game, China took a time out. On the bench, Xueya had her fingers buddy taped, despite not starting the game with her fingers that way. Following the time out, Graf had to yell at Bibby several times. On the next opportunity to bring subs in, Bibby was subbed out of the game. China kept trying to score 3 points but was unable to capitalise. By the time there was 2:09 left in the game, Hunt was trying to slow play down. When Hunt was subbed out, the game sped up again. With 24 seconds left, China scored a 3 pointer to bring the score to 75–64 where the score remained unchanged in the remaining time.

The game ended with Jessica Bibby leading in scoring for her team with 16 total points, 1 point ahead of Norwood who had 15 and 2 points ahead of Hunt who had 14. 6 of Bibby’s points came from a pair of 3-point shots in the second half. The only other player for her team to score a 3 pointer was Hunt. Only Tessa Lavey, who played only 2 minutes and 12 seconds and the returning Alice Coddington who played 13 minutes and 56 seconds failed to score for the Capitals. Dombkins led her team in rebounding with 8, while newcomer Ogoke had 7.

The Canberra Capitals regular season starts on October 5, with first home game to be played on October 20, which will be Lauren Jackson‘s first game with the team.


Sources

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September 28, 2012

Wikinews interviews Australian Glider Amanda Carter

Filed under: 2012 Summer Paralympics — admin @ 5:00 am

Wikinews interviews Australian Glider Amanda Carter

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Friday, September 28, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

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Listen to the interview
Image: Hawkeye7.

Amanda Carter
Image: Australian Paralympic Committee.

Melbourne, Australia — Monday, following her return from London, Wikinews talked with Amanda Carter, the longest-serving member of Australia’s national wheelchair basketball team (the Gliders).

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png You’re Amanda Carter!

Amanda Carter: Yes!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And, where were you born?

Amanda Carter: I was born in Melbourne.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It says here that you spent your childhood living in Banyule?

Amanda Carter: City of Banyule, but I was West Heidelberg.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay. And you used to play netball when you were young?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you’re an occupational therapist, and you have a son called Alex?

Amanda Carter: Yes. It says “occupational therapist” on the door even. And I do have a son called Alex. Which is him there [pointing to his picture].

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Any more children?

Amanda Carter: No, just the one.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You began playing basketball in 1991.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And that you’re a guard.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And that you are a one point player.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you used to be a two point player?

Amanda Carter: I used to be a two point player.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When were you first selected for the national team?

Amanda Carter: 1992.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And that was for Barcelona?

Amanda Carter: It was for a tournament prior to then. Australia had to qualify at a pre-Paralympic tournament in England in about April of 1992 and I was selected for that. And that was my first trip overseas with the Gliders.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did we go?

Amanda Carter: We won that tournament, which qualified us for Barcelona.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And what was Barcelona like?

Amanda Carter: Amazing. I guess because it was my first Paralympics. I hadn’t long been in a wheelchair, so all of it was pretty new to me. Barcelona was done very, very well. I guess Australia wasn’t expected to do very well and finished fourth, so it was a good tournament for us.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Did you play with a club as well?

Amanda Carter: I did. I played in the men’s league at that point. Which was Dandenong Rangers. It had a different name back then. I can’t remember what they were called back then but eventually it became the Dandenong Rangers.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The 1994 World Championships. Where was that at?

Amanda Carter: Good question. Very good question. I think it was in Stoke. ‘Cause 1998 was Sydney, so I’ve got a feeling that it was in Stoke Mandeville in England.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Which brings us to 1996.

Amanda Carter: Atlanta!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Your team finished fourth.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Lost to the Unites States in the bronze medal game in front of a crowd of 5,000.

Amanda Carter: That would have been about right. It was pretty packed.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That must have been awesome.

Amanda Carter: It was. It was. I guess also because it was the USA. It was their home crowd and everything, so it was a very packed game.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They also have a fondness for the sport.

Amanda Carter: They do. They love basketball. But Atlanta again was done very well. Would have been nice to get the medal, ‘cause I think we sort of had bigger expectations of ourselves at that point, ‘cause we weren’t the new kids on the block at that point but still finished fourth.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They kept on saying in London that the Gliders have never won.

Amanda Carter: We’ve never won a gold, no. Not at World’s or Paralympics.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So that was Atlanta. Then there was another tournament, the 1998 Gold Cup.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was the World Championships held in Sydney.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did we go in that?

Amanda Carter: Third.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png But that qualified… no, wait, we didn’t need to qualify…

Amanda Carter: We didn’t need to qualify.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You were the second leading scorer in the event, with thirty points scored for the competition.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was unusual for a low pointer.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In basketball, some of the low pointers do pretty well.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, but in those days I guess it was more unusual for a low pointer to be more a scorer.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I notice the scores seem lower than the ones in London.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I think over time the women’s game has developed. Girls have got stronger and they’re competing against guys. Training has got better, and all sorts of things. So teams have just got better.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How often do the Gliders get together? It seems that you are all scattered all over the country normally.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I mean we’ve got currently three in Perth, four in Melbourne, four in New South Wales, and one in Brisbane out of the twelve that were in London. But the squad is bigger again. We usually get together probably every six or eight weeks.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That’s reasonably often.

Amanda Carter: Cost-wise it’s expensive to get us all together. What we sometimes do is tack a camp on to the Women’s League, when we’re mostly all together anyway, no matter where it is, and we might stay a couple of extra days in order to train together. But generally if we come into camp it would be at the AIS.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I didn’t see you training in Sydney this time… then you went over to…

Amanda Carter: Perth. And then we stayed in Perth the extra few days.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 2000. Sydney. Two Australia wins for the first time against Canada. In the team’s 52–50 win against Canada you scored a lay up with sixteen seconds left in the match.

Amanda Carter: I did! That was pretty memorable actually, ‘cause Canada had a press on, and what I did was, I went forward and then went back, and they didn’t notice me sitting behind. Except Leisl did in my team, who was inbounding the ball, and Leisl hurled a big pass to almost half way to me, which I ran on to and had an open lay up. And the Canadians, you could just see the look on their faces as Leisl hurled this big pass, thinking “but we thought we had them all trapped”, and then they’ve looked and seen that I’m already over half way waiting for this pass on an open lay up. Scariest lay up I’ve ever taken, mind you, because when you know there’s no one on you, and this is the lay up that could win the game, it’s like: “Don’t miss this! Don’t miss this!” And I just thought: “Just training” Ping!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That brings us to the 2000 Paralympics. It says you missed the practice game beforehand because of illness, and half the team had some respiratory infection prior to the game.

Amanda Carter: Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You scored twelve points against the Netherlands, the most that you’ve ever scored in an international match.

Amanda Carter: Quite likely, yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png At one point you made four baskets in a row.

Amanda Carter: I did!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The team beat Japan, and went into the gold medal game. You missed the previous days’ training session due to an elbow injury?

Amanda Carter: No, I got the elbow injury during the gold medal game.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png During the match, you were knocked onto your right side, and…

Amanda Carter: The arm got trapped underneath the wheelchair.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Someone just bumped you?

Amanda Carter: Tracey Fergusson from Canada.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You were knocked down and you tore the tendons in your elbow, which required an elbow reconstruction…

Amanda Carter: Yes. And multiple surgeries after that.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You spent eleven weeks on a CPM machine – what’s a CPM machine?

Amanda Carter: It’s a continuous passive movement machine. You know what they use for the footballers after they’ve had a knee reconstruction? It’s a machine that moves their knee up and down so it doesn’t stiffen. And they start with just a little bit of movement following the surgery and they’re supposed to get up to about 90 degrees before they go home. There was only one or two elbow machines in the country, so they flew one in from Queensland for me to use, to try and get my arm moving.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You’re right handed?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So, how’s the movement in the right arm today?

Amanda Carter: I still don’t have full movement in it. And I’ve had nine surgeries on it to date.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You still can’t fully flex the right hand.

Amanda Carter: I also in 2006 was readmitted back to hospital with another episode of transverse myelitis, which is my original disability, which then left me a C5 incomplete quad, so it then affected my right arm, in addition to the elbow injury. So, I’ve now got weakness in my triceps, biceps, and weakness in my hand on my right side. And that was following the birth of my son.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How old is he now?

Amanda Carter: He’s seven. I had him in July 2005, and then was readmitted to hospital in early 2006 with another episode of transverse myelitis.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So that recurs, does it?

Amanda Carter: It can. And it has a higher incidence of recurring post pregnancy. And around the age of forty. And I was both, at the same time.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you gave up wheelchair basketball after the 2000 games?

Amanda Carter: I did. I was struggling from… In 2000 I had the first surgery so I literally arrived back in Melbourne and on to an operating table for the ruptured tendons. Spent the next nine months in hospital from that surgery. So I had the surgery and then went to rehab for nine months, inpatient, so it was a big admission, because I also had a complication where I grew heterotopic bone into the elbow, so that was also causing some of the sticking and things. And then went back to a camp probably around 2002, and was selected to go overseas. And at that point got a pressure sore, and decided not to travel, because I thought the risk of travelling with the pressure sore was an additional complication, and at that point APC were also saying that if I was to go overseas, because I had a “pre existing” elbow injury, that they wouldn’t cover me insurance-wise. So I though: “hmmm Do I go overseas? Don’t I go overseas?”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Did they cover you from the 2000 injury?

Amanda Carter: Yes. They covered me for that one. But because that had occurred, they then said that they would not cover if my arm got hurt again. And given that the tournament was the Roosevelt Cup in the US, and that we don’t have reciprocal health care rights, the risk was that if I fell, or landed on my arm and got injured, I could end up with a huge medical bill from the US and lose my house. So I decided not to play, and at that point I guess then decided to back off from basketball a little bit at that point. But then, after I had my son, and I had the other episode of transverse myelitis, in 2008, I just happened to come across the coach for the women’s team…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who was that?

Amanda Carter: It was Brendan Stroud at the time, who was coaching the Dandenong Rangers women’s team. I just happened to cross him at Northland, the shopping centre. And he said: “Why don’t you come out and play for Dandenong?” I was looking fit and everything else, so I thought “Okay, I’ll come out to one training session and see how I go.” And from there played in the 2008 Women’s National League. And was voted MVP — most valuable one-pointer, and all-star five. So at that point, in 2009, after that, they went to Beijing, so I watched Beijing from home, because I wasn’t involved in the Gliders program. I just really came back to do women’s league. In 2009, I received some phone calls from the coaching staff, John Trescari, who was coaching the Gliders at that point, who invited me back in to the Glider’s training program, about February, and I said I would come to the one camp and see how I went. And went to the one camp and then got selected to go to Canada. So, since then I’ve been back in the team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Back in the Gliders again.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And of course you got selected for 2012…

Amanda Carter: Yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png My recollection is that you weren’t on the court a great deal, but there was a game when you scored five points?

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Within a couple of minutes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That was against Mexico.

Amanda Carter: Yes. That was a good win, actually, that one.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The strange thing was that afterwards the Mexicans were celebrating like they’d won…

Amanda Carter: Oh yeah! It was very strange. I guess one of the things that, like, I am in some ways the backup one pointer in some ways, but what gives me my one point classification, because I used to be a two, is my arm, the damage I received, and the quadriplegia from the transverse myelitis. So despite the fact I probably shoot more accurately that most people in the team, because I’ve just had to learn to shoot, it also slows me down; I’m not the quickest in the team for getting up and down the court, because of having trouble with grip and stuff on my right hand to push. I push reasonably quick! Most people would say I’m reasonably quick, but when you at me in comparison to, say, the other eleven girls in the team, I am not as quick.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The speed at which things move is quite astonishing.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, and my ability is more in knowing where people want to get to, so I aim to get there first by taking the most direct route. [laughter]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Because you are the more experienced player.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And now you have another silver medal.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which is great.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png We double-checked, and there was nobody else on the team who had been in Sydney, much less Barcelona or Atlanta.

Amanda Carter: I know.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Most of the Gliders seem to have come together in 2004, the current roster.

Amanda Carter: Yes, most since 2004, and some since 2008. And of course there are three newbies for 2012.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you still playing?

Amanda Carter: I’m having a rest at this particular point. Probably because it’s been a long campaign of the training over the four years. I guess more intense over the last eighteen months or so. At the moment I am having a short break just to spend some time with my son. Those sorts of things. ‘Cause he stayed at home rather than come to London.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You would have been isolated from him anyway.

Amanda Carter: And that’s the thing. We just decided that if he had come, it would have been harder for him, knowing he’d have five minutes a day or twenty minutes or something like that where he could see me versus he spoke to me for an hour on Skype every day. So, I think it would have been harder to say to Alex: “Look, you can’t come back to the village. You need to go with my friend now” and stuff like that. So he made the decision that he wanted to stay, and have his normal routine of school activities, and just talk to mum on Skype every day.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Fair enough.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! But I haven’t decided where to [go] from here.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngYou will continue playing with the club?

Amanda Carter: I ‘ll still keep playing women’s league, but not sure about some of the international stuff. And who knows? I may well still, but at this point I’m just leaving my options open. It’s too early to say which way I’m going to go.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is there anything else you’d like to say about your record? Which is really impressive. I can count the number of Paralympians who were on Team Australia in London who were at the Sydney games on my fingers.

Amanda Carter: Yes!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Greg Smith obviously, who was carrying the flag…

Amanda Carter: Libby KosmalaLiesl Tesch… I’ve got half my hand already covered!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What I basically wanted to ask was what sort of changes you’ve seen with the Paralympics over that time — 1992 to 2012.

Amanda Carter: I think the biggest change has been professionalism of Paralympic sports. I think way back in ’92, especially in basketball, I guess, was that there weren’t that many girls and as long as you trained a couple of times a week, and those sorts of things, you could pretty much make the team. It wasn’t as competitive. This campaign, certainly, we’ve had a lot more than the twelve girls who were vying for those twelve positions. The ones who certainly didn’t make the team still trained as hard and everything as the ones who did. And just the level of training has changed. Like, I remember for 2012 I’d still go and train, say, four, five times a week, and that’s mostly shooting and things like that, but now it’s not just about the shooting court skills, it’s very much all the gym sessions, the strength and conditioning. Chair skills, ball skills, shooting, those sorts of things to the point where leading in to London, I was doing twelve sessions a week. So it was a bigger time commitment. So the level of commitment and the skill level of the team has improved enormously over that twenty years. I think you see that in other sports where the records are so much, throwing records, the greater distances, people jump further in long jump. Speeds have improved, not just with technology, but dedication to training and other areas. So I think that’s the big thing. I think also the public’s view of the Paralympics has changed a lot, in that it was seen more as, “oh, isn’t it good that they’re participating” in 1992, where I think the general public understands the professionalism of athletes now in the Paralympics. And that’s probably the biggest change from a public perspective.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png To me… London… the coverage on TV in Britain, but also here, some countries are ahead of others, but basically it’s being treated like the Olympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Yeah. There wasn’t a lot of difference between.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Huge crowds…

Amanda Carter: Huge crowds! We played for our silver medal in a sell-out crowd… you couldn’t see a vacant seat around the place.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I was looking around the North Greenwich Arena… And that arena! The seats went up and up and up! And as it was filling on the night, you could see that even that top deck had people sitting in it. I guess in 2000 even, to fill stadiums, which we did, we gave APC and school programs, a lot of school kids came to fill seats and things. We didn’t necessarily see that in London. They were paid seats! People had gone out and spent money on tickets to come and see that sport.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I saw school groups at the football and the goalball, but not at the basketball.

Amanda Carter: No. Which is a big difference also, that people are willing to come and pay to watch that level of sport.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I was very impressed with the standard of play.

Amanda Carter: The standard, over the years, has improved so much. But the good thing is, we’re looking at development. So we’ve got the next rung of girls, and guys, coming through the group. Like, we’ve got girls that weren’t necessarily up to selection for London but will probably be right up there for Rio… Our squad will open, come January, for the first training camp. That will be an invitational to most of the girls who are playing women’s league and those sorts of things, and from there they’ll do testing and stuff, cutting down and they’ll select a side for Osaka for February, but the program will remain open leading into the next world championship, which is in Canada.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What’s in Osaka?

Amanda Carter: The Osaka Cup. It’s held every year in February, so that will be the Gliders’ first major tournament…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png After the Paralympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah. So everyone’s taking an opportunity now to have a bit of a break.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And then after that?

Amanda Carter: It’s the world championships in 2014 in Canada. So that will be what they’re next training to.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How many tournaments do they normally play each year?

Amanda Carter: We’ve played a few. And you often play more in a Paralympic year, because you’re looking to see the competition, and the other teams, and those sorts of things, so… This year we did Osaka, which Canada went to, China went to… Japan, and us. We then went to — and we’d previously just been to Korea last November for qualification. We’ve been over to Germany. We’ve been to Manchester. So we’ve had a few tournaments where we’ve travelled. And then we’ve had of course a tournament in Sydney about three weeks before we went to London. And then of course we went to the Netherlands, before we went on to Cardiff in Wales.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You played a tournament in the Netherlands?

Amanda Carter: Yes. Of four nations — five nations. We had Mexico at the tournament… GB… Netherlands… us… and there was one other… There were five of us at the tournament. It was a sort of warm up going in to… Canada! Canada it was. Canada was the fifth team. Because Canada stayed on and continued to train in the Netherlands. So they were good teams. Mexico we don’t often get a look at so it was a good chance to get a look at them at tournaments and things like that. And then flew back in to Heathrow and then in to Cardiff to train for the last six days leading in to London.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you very much for that.

Amanda Carter: That’s okay!



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Singer Andy Williams dies at 84

Singer Andy Williams dies at 84 – Wikinews, the free news source

Singer Andy Williams dies at 84

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Andy Williams in 2006.
Image: Rizan.

Singer Andy Williams has died at 84 years old on Tuesday. He had been fighting bladder cancer for a year. He died in his home in Branson, Missouri.

Williams recorded eighteen gold- and three platinum-certified albums. He owned the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Williams had a variety show on television called “The Andy Williams Show” from 1962 to 1967 and 1969 to 1971. Williams also hosted Christmas specials.

His songs included Moon River, Can’t Take My Eyes off You, and Christmas song It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan said Williams’ voice was “a national treasure”.

Williams was born Howard Andrew Williams on December 3, 1927 in Wall Lake, Iowa. His older brothers Robert, Donald, and Richard and he formed the Williams Brothers, a singing quartet. He married Claudine Longet in 1961 and they divorced in 1975. In 1991, he married Debbie Haas.



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September 26, 2012

Rockets, mortars fired from Syria land in Israel

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Rockets, mortars fired from Syria land in Israel

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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In the past two days, at least two rockets fired from Syria have landed in northern Israel, according to the Israeli military. Both rockets landed in the Golan Heights neighborhood of Israel, which shares its border with Syria. At least two mortar shells also hit the same area yesterday.

No damage to buildings was reported and no one was injured in any of the incidents. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) believe that the rockets and mortars were strays intended for “villages inside Syria and are part of the ongoing internal conflict.”

An official of the Syrian government denies knowledge of fighting with rebels so close to the Israeli border and says “the Syrian army does not fire rockets against the rebels.”

Earlier this year, Wikinews reported the Syrian army fired several rockets or mortar shells at residences, near the position of a citizen journalist in Homs, Syria. The attack injured or killed an unknown number of civilians and badly damaged several homes.

The IDF has filed a formal complaint about the incidents of the past two days with the United Nations.



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September 23, 2012

U.S. President creates Chimney Rock National Monument

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U.S. President creates Chimney Rock National Monument

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

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Friday saw U.S. President Barack Obama issue a proclamation making the south-western Colorado site of Chimney Rock a national monument. This the third national monument Obama has created, without an Act of Congress, using authority granted to the President under the 1906 Antiquities Act.

As the newest of country’s 103 national monuments, Chimney Rock consists of the 4,726-acre (19 km2) Chimney Rock Archaeological Area of San Juan National Forest in Archuleta County, Colorado. It will continue being managed by the United States Forest Service. In Friday’s proclamation, Obama said the site “incorporates spiritual, historical, and scientific resources of great value and significance”.

U.S. Representative Scott Tipton introduced House Bill 2611 last year, attempting to designate the area a national monument; his bill passed in the House of Representatives, but stalled over election-year politics in the Senate. Fiscal conservatives in the Senate blocked the measure, fearing it could increase administrative costs. Supporters insist any additional costs would be negligible. The President’s action has met with bipartisan support from within the swing state of Colorado; although national Republican leaders have criticised presidential use of the 1906 act, citing concerns that where mineral, or fossil fuel, resources may be present such action “locks them up”.



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Scottish police arrest man over child sexual assault in Clydebank supermarket

Scottish police arrest man over child sexual assault in Clydebank supermarket

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

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Strathclyde Police have arrested a 19-year-old man in relation to a reported incident of a boy, aged four, being sexually assaulted in the toilet of an Asda supermarket in the town of Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. The suspect is being held in police custody and has an appearance scheduled for Tuesday at Dumbarton Sheriff Court.

Police were initially alerted to the incident at 31 Britannia Way in Clydebank approximately 1355 BST (1255 UTC) Tuesday. According to Sky News, the boy’s mother had given him permission to enter the toilet by himself as she waited outside. Police said the incident took place in the minutes following the boy’s entrance into the toilet; upon his departure, the boy raised the alert.

“This is an isolated incident, nevertheless, one that has caused significant stress to the young child and his family,” said Detective Inspector Graham Cordner, who said the child was not injured and is at home with his family.

Police said that they had taken one whole day to interview the child and an additional day to have initial investigations into the incident. All supermarket staff have been questioned and CCTV video has been examined.

“We have taken this report very seriously”, said a spokeswoman for Asda. “We alerted the police and are supporting them fully in their investigation.”



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September 22, 2012

Pennsylvania courts to decide on controversial voter ID law

Pennsylvania courts to decide on controversial voter ID law

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
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The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania voted Tuesday to send back to the state’s lower courts a case that may decide the future of a law that requires voters to show photo ID in order to vote in the November elections.

Supporters of the law claim it is needed to prevent voter fraud. Critics charge no such voter fraud has been shown and the real reason behind voter ID laws is the disenfranchisement of minority and poor voters. Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai told his fellow Republicans the voter ID law was “going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania”.

The decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court instructed the lower court to consider whether, regardless of the possible constitutionality of the law in the long term, it may be impossible to implement it for this fall’s election without disenfranchising voters who do not yet have the required ID. Two out of six Supreme Court justices said there was no need for the lower court to consider this because disenfranchisement would obviously occur.

Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican state representative from Butler County, Pennsylvania, who sponsored the voter ID bill said in a radio interview Wednesday that those unable to get identification documents are “lazy”: “we have 40-something percent of the people that are living off the public dole, living off of their neighbor’s hard work and we have a lot of people out there who are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID they need. I mean if individuals are too lazy, the state can’t fix that”.

Laws of this sort in both Pennsylvania and other states have led to activists and groups such as the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation running campaigns to alert residents and help them get the relevant ID.

The Pennsylvania courts are to decide by October 2.



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September 21, 2012

Hailemariam Desalegn sworn in as Ethiopia\’s prime minister

Hailemariam Desalegn sworn in as Ethiopia’s prime minister

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Friday, September 21, 2012

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Hailemariam Desalegn in 2011
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The Ethiopian Parliament has today sworn in Hailemariam Desalegn as the new prime minister following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on August 20, 2012. Hailemariam has been Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

Hailemariam was named chair of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) last weekend. The EPRDF currently controls Ethiopia’s parliament.

Mr Hailemariam said he is “happy” to become prime minister, according to Agence France-Presse.

Ethiopia has been perceived as an east African ally of the U.S. on security issues. Hailemariam has said he would continue his predecessor’s “legacy without any change”. In addition, David Shinn, the U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia from 1996 to 1999, has agreed that it is likely U.S.–Ethiopia relations will not change greatly with Hailemariam as prime minister.



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September 19, 2012

George Entwistle becomes new BBC director general

George Entwistle becomes new BBC director general

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

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George Entwistle became the new Director-General of the BBC Monday. He replaces Mark Thompson, who had held the position since 2004.

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Thompson said Sunday the corporation was “getting very, very close to the edge” following recent sixteen per cent real-terms budget reductions. “When you look around the operation, it’s very hard to see what more you can cut,” he said.

Negotiations about the UK’s licence fee are a prominent issue for Entwistle to deal with between 2015–2016. The licence fee in the country currently stands at £145.50 (about US$236 or 181) per house. Two years ago, Thompson froze this fee for six years, causing BBC funding to decrease by sixteen per cent in real terms.

Thompson is due in November to become the chief executive officer of The New York Times Company.

Entwistle is a former director of BBC Vision, thereby being responsible for the television output of the corporation.

“There’s no question that we’ve seen over the last eight years, not just with the BBC but with the whole of public life, a real change in attitudes to these things [re licence fees], and we’ve tried to respond to it,” said Entwistle. “I think the BBC will continue to wrestle with that challenge. How do you get the best sports rights, the best presenters, and the best creative leaders, and do that in a way that is acceptable to the public.”

The salary of Entwistle, who is scheduled to meet with programme creators and staff at the BBC this week, will reportedly be £450,000 (US$730,000 or €560,000), considerably less than that of Thompson who, in his final year, made £622,000 (US$1,009,000 or €773,000). While he was in office, Thompson’s salary dropped by approximately a quarter.

“I think [Entwistle] cares deeply about the BBC”, said Michael Grade, once chairman of the BBC. He further told BBC Radio 5 Live‘s Stephen Nolan: “I think he’s intelligent enough to know how difficult the job is — some would say the job is like being Prime Minister; it’s almost impossible. But I think his whole life has been a preparation for this and I think he will carry the respect of the staff because editorially he’s accomplished. I think he’ll be a huge success.”

When the decision was announced to appoint Entwistle in July, Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, said of him: “His experience of making and delivering great programmes that audiences love — built up through many years of working for the Corporation — will prove invaluable as he and his team work to ensure the BBC remains the greatest broadcaster in the world.”



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September 18, 2012

T20 World Cup Live

Filed under: Asia,Cleanup,Cricket,Cricket World Cup,Disputed,Sports,Sri Lanka — admin @ 5:00 am
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The much awaited battle of the cricketers in the most popular cricket format of this century is scheduled to kick start on the 18th of September 2012 in Sri Lanka. The 2012 ICC World Twenty-Twenty an international event will be completely organized by Sri Lanka.

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