Bower Trading Market Strategy Report: Growing World Market Good for Ag…

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News Bower Trading Market Strategy Report: Growing World Market Good for Ag Futures Bower Trading Market Strategy Report: Growing World Market Good for Ag FuturesJim BowerLast week we saw the US economy and the world market continue to show signs of rapid growth, yet the commodity markets stayed quiet and calm.  U.S. jobs and salary data out last week showed the economy is heating up. Energy and equity markets were volatile, and the dollar began to recover from recent lows.  Jim Bower, with Bower  Trading, says world economic growth is red hot which will, in time, straighten corn, soybean, and wheat prices, “For the first time in history, we have the top 50 world economies all with a growing GDP.  That is why I think commodities at this price point are well balanced and will be purchased by these economies in larger amounts that most people think.”Meanwhile, weather continues to be a factor. Winter kill and very dry conditions in the western wheat areas are keeping the market nervous, “If they don’t get some moisture soon, this situation with the hard red winter wheat crop could get serious, and we could see a very dynamic market by spring.”Finally, the situation in South America is stabilizing with Brazil expected to have a bumper soybean crop, “Some people are talking a Brazilian soybean crop as large as 115 million metric tons, that would be a new record.” But Argentina is another matter. Dry conditions there may cut production, and that could be a short term market factor to watch.For more market strategy information, contact Bower Trading at 800-533-8045 or bowertrading.com.This material has been prepared by a sales or trading employee or agent of Bower Trading Inc and is, or is in the nature of, a solicitation. This material is not a research report prepared by Bower Trading Inc. By accepting this communication, you agree that you are an experienced user of the futures markets, capable of making independent trading decisions, and agree that you are not, and will not, rely solely on this communication in making trading decisions.DISTRIBUTION IN SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY BE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW.  PERSONS IN POSSESSION OF THIS COMMUNICATION INDIRECTLY SHOULD INFORM THEMSELVES ABOUT AND OBSERVE ANY SUCH PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTIONS.  TO THE EXTENT THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION INDIRECTLY AND SOLICITATIONS ARE PROHIBITED IN YOUR JURISDICTION WITHOUT REGISTRATION, THE MARKET COMMENTARY IN THIS COMMUNICATION SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A SOLICITATION. By Gary Truitt – Feb 4, 2018 Bower Trading Market Strategy Report: Growing World Market Good for Ag Futures Facebook Twitter SHAREcenter_img Facebook Twitter The risk of loss in trading futures and/or options is substantial and each investor and/or trader must consider whether this is a suitable investment. Past performance, whether actual or indicated by simulated historical tests of strategies, is not indicative of future results. Trading advice is based on information taken from trades and statistical services and other sources that Bower Trading Inc believes are reliable. We do not guarantee that such information is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such. Trading advice reflects our good faith judgment at a specific time and is subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that the advice we give will result in profitable trades. Previous articleDoud Nomination Hold LiftedNext articleISDA Creating Agricultural Asset Maps to Assist with Economic Development Gary Truitt SHARElast_img read more

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No ceilings

first_imgMuriel Payan ’08Concentration: GovernmentGrowing up in California, Payan dreamed of college, but knew she’d need a scholarship in order to attend. She applied to nearly 20 colleges, and even when Harvard offered her a full scholarship through HFAI, she hesitated to move across the country. Her mother, an immigrant from Nicaragua, wanted her to stay close to home.“It wasn’t until she started telling her co-workers that I got into Harvard and saw their reactions that she realized this was a big deal,” she said.At Harvard, Payan discovered what it means to be a global citizen, interning at the Pentagon, studying in Paris, spending a summer working for a human rights organization in India, and using spring breaks on service trips to Malaysia, New Orleans, and Dubai.After graduation, Payan took a one-year fellowship at the American University in Cairo, working in the Office of Institutional Planning, Assessment, Research, and Testing. She then took a similar position at the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. She plans to earn a master’s degree in business or public policy and would like to spend her career working with developing countries.“I do miss home,” she said. “But I feel like there’s still so much to see and do in the world.”Rachel Culley ’07Concentration: Women, Gender, and SexualityRaised by parents who were part of the back-to-the-land movement, Culley grew up in a home with no electricity or indoor plumbing, and was homeschooled until seventh grade.Culley first set her sights on Harvard as a child, when she and her father drove to Cambridge from their home in Maine to deliver a load of firewood. While in the area, they took a tour of the campus, and Culley knew that’s where she wanted be.“It was an amazing place,” she said. “There were so many buildings and opportunities. It seemed wonderful.”The day she learned she had been admitted was “the best day ever,” she said. “When I got to campus, I was interested in learning as much as I could.”She wrote a thesis on class issues, got involved with the group Strong Women Strong Girls, wrote for Diversity and Distinction magazine, and worked with students from areas of conflict through Seeds of Peace. On graduation, she brought flowers to the financial aid office.“They enabled me to do everything that I wanted,” she said.Now a third-year law student at the University of Michigan, Culley plans to pursue public interest and civil rights work, a choice she said HFAI made possible.“Without it, I wouldn’t have had as much freedom to choose a public interest career,” she said. “I don’t have college debt and I have a Harvard education. That’s incredibly powerful.”Neeraj “Richie” Banerji  ’06Concentration: EconomicsWhen Banerji mailed his Harvard application from balmy Calcutta in the winter of 2001, he thought his academic dreams were treading between fantasy and wishful thinking —  the price of going to Harvard was many times his family’s annual income. Even if he got in, his father warned that the family might not be able to send him.His acceptance, and the subsequent news of the HFAI program, “changed the track of my life,” Banerji  said.In high school, Banerji had been slated to attend a local university and to become an engineer. At Harvard, he discovered economics, earning fellowships from the Center for International Development, the Asia Center, and the South Asia Initiative. He was also a vocal executive of the Harvard Undergraduate Council.“It amazes me to think who I might have been had I not had the opportunity to come to the United States,” he said.Upon graduation, Banerji joined Fidelity Investments, where he now works as a director of strategy. Recognizing that his dreams would not have come true had it not been for his benefactors, Banerji said he gives as much as possible toward financial aid and the Harvard College Fund each year, and lives by a mantra he first saw emblazoned over Dexter Gate: “Depart to serve better thy country and thy kind.”Bryce Caswell ’07Concentration: GovernmentCaswell’s family moved frequently when she was growing up, and life at home was generally chaotic. By age 12, she was holding down several jobs in addition to going to school. Though she hoped to make it to college, Caswell said, “I was in a situation where squeaking out tuition for community college would have been difficult.”News that she’d been admitted to Harvard and had a full scholarship “was like a fairy tale for me,” she said.At Harvard, Caswell found a sense of home and stability she’d never had. HFAI and other grants meant that money was never an issue. Instead of worrying about paying hefty tuition bills, Caswell focused on her studies, traveled abroad, and worked as a student coordinator for the HFAI program.“All of the sudden, I had a meal plan and health insurance,” she said. “It was so generous.”After finishing her degree, Caswell took a job doing international real estate development for clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. But Caswell said her years at Harvard “shaped me to feel like I had an obligation to give back.” She left the corporate world last year and joined School Pathways, a software company that produces computer programs to assist classroom learning.Jeffrey Kwong ’09Concentration: Government and East Asian StudiesFamilies dream about having one child get into Harvard. Kwong’s parents have sent two: His younger brother Jacky is now a senior studying economics and government.“My parents couldn’t imagine in their wildest dreams that this was possible,” he said. “HFAI has opened doors for my family that were unimaginable.”The son of Chinese immigrants who escaped the Cultural Revolution, Kwong grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown in a four-bedroom apartment shared with three other families. By high school, he was making headlines for his volunteer work as a translator at city hall.Coming to Harvard was like stepping into another world, he said. Inspired to give back, Kwong worked as a recruiter for the HFAI program during his undergraduate years, traveling to high schools near his hometown to encourage kids like him to set their goals high.“Without others helping me, my story would not be possible,” he said.While at Harvard, Kwong also participated in the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program, teaching history at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. That experience inspired him to head to the University of California, San Diego, for graduate school, where he’s studying political science and working with the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. He plans a teaching career.“I learned at Harvard that teaching isn’t necessarily about what you learn in class,” he said. “It’s also about teaching values and how to teach about life.”Patty Rincon ’08Concentration: GovernmentAs a child in Santa Ana, Calif., Rincon hadn’t initially considered Harvard. And when her parents lost their jobs when she was in high school, college began to seem like a distant dream. But when HFAI recruiters reached out to her, suddenly the world was full of possibilities.“Harvard did an excellent job of not just getting me to come, but giving me everything I needed once I was there,” she said.She got involved with the Phillips Brooks House Association’s after-school and summer programs, tutoring children in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood.“That was really important for me,” she said. “It allowed me to get out of the Harvard bubble and made me think about my position relative to the community.”After graduation, she worked in the Prison Law Office in Berkeley, Calif. She then joined AmeriCorps, working in an early-childhood education and parenting program. These days, she’s studying for the LSAT and applying to law schools, intent on going into criminal or civil rights law.“HFAI has enabled me to do what I want with my Harvard degree, instead of what I had to do to pay off a huge debt,” she said.Juan Sebastian Arias ’09Concentration: Social StudiesArias always told himself that he’d go as far as he could in life, but as a kid growing up in Chicago, he knew that financial aid would determine where he could go to college.“HFAI made it much easier to make my decision,” he said. “I didn’t really have to think about it too much. If I hadn’t gotten a scholarship, I would have considered taking out loans. But it’s hard to think of all that debt.”Long interested in serving the public interest, Arias said his experiences at Harvard opened his eyes to a plethora of possibilities. He spent one summer working for a non-governmental organization in Peru, and another studying overcrowding among immigrant families in Chicago. During that time, he watched his own neighborhood gentrify and his parents lose their home to foreclosure, events that spurred him to focus on urban planning and affordable-housing issues.Today, he lives in New York City, working as a public interest fellow at Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit organization that provides development capital and expertise to create affordable housing. He hopes one day to do the same in his hometown.“I want to make sure there’s affordable housing for a long time to come,” he said.Jon Gentry ’07Concentration: English, American Literature, and LanguageA Houston native, Gentry was urged by a high school history teacher to consider the Ivies, a bold move for a someone who said “hardly anyone from my high school who goes on to college leaves Texas.”“I think I applied to Harvard because it was ‘Harvard,’ ” he said, describing his admission as validation for everything he had done up to that point. “I didn’t jump around and get really excited. I waited until my mom got home, told her, and let her do all of that.”At Harvard, Gentry was involved with the Black Men’s Forum, the PBHA, and BlackCAST, concentrating in English, but loving theater.Upon graduation, Gentry was unsure of what he wanted to do.“I loved to act, but did it mostly for fun. There was no way I was going to Harvard to become an actor,” he said.But Gentry couldn’t deny his passion and, through what he calls “a strike of grand luck,” landed one of 14 spots in the American Conservatory Theater’s MFA acting program. He is living his dream.“Each night I step onstage in front of an audience, I am proud to share the story I have to tell and know that I’m where I want to be,” he said.Gentry said he still benefits from his time in Cambridge.“Without Harvard, I wouldn’t have the incredible social network that I have,” he said. “I feel like I can be anywhere in the world and find a connection.”Peter Conti-Brown ’05Concentration: Sociology, Romance Languages and LiteraturesThe son of a schoolteacher and the sixth of seven children, Conti-Brown was raised in Oklahoma. Upon entering Harvard, he found himself awash in possibilities, but sometimes felt overwhelmed by his classmates’ access to capital. When his roommates asked him to chip in for a couch to decorate their dorm room, he was astounded when they came back with a $600 piece of furniture. His contribution would take most of what he’d saved up for personal expenses for the year.When the admissions office asked him to join a focus group to better understand the financial realities of many students, Conti-Brown did so, telling them about the couch and explaining how he worked odd jobs to make the $2,000-a-year “parental contribution” toward his tuition.“There were excess costs that my mother couldn’t pay,” he said.That focus group eventually led to creation of the HFAI program, and Conti-Brown was one of the first to benefit from it. Realizing the program’s potential to change lives and the University, Conti-Brown became its first undergraduate director and one of its most ardent supporters, traveling all over the country to recruit high-performing students from low-income families.“In changing the culture at Harvard, we raised the sensibility that not everyone has the same financial means,” he said.After college, Conti-Brown taught at an inner-city high school in New York and then went to Stanford Law School, publishing articles on the financial crisis and regulatory reform. He has an academic fellowship at Stanford, and will begin clerking for federal Judge Gerard E. Lynch next fall. Today, Conti-Brown attributes much of his success to his experience at Harvard and with HFAI.“It gave me a fearlessness in networking and approaching people who are leaders in their field,” he said. “And it taught me that you don’t have to disqualify yourself from participating in the discussion just because of where you’re from.” Give and get Recognizing that his dreams would not have come true had it not been for his benefactors, Richie Banerji ’06 said he gives as much as possible toward financial aid and the Harvard College Fund each year, and lives by a mantra he first saw emblazoned over Dexter Gate: “Depart to serve better thy country and thy kind.” Acting up “Each night I step onstage in front of an audience, I am proud to share the story I have to tell and know that I’m where I want to be,” said Jon Gentry ’07. From land to law Now a third-year law student at the University of Michigan, Rachel Culley ’07 plans to pursue public interest and civil rights work, a choice she said HFAI made possible. Two years after graduating from Harvard University, Patty Rincon already has worked as an advocate for prisoners’ rights and completed a service stint with AmeriCorps.Harvard’s ethos helped to guide her toward public service, she said. But what made that goal possible for the young woman, whose parents lost their jobs as she was applying to colleges, was the financial aid she received from the University as an undergraduate.Now she’s applying to law school, setting her sights on a career in civil rights or criminal justice. “If I was in a lot of debt because of college, I don’t know if I’d be in a position to go to law school and pursue that kind of job,” she said.In 2004, Harvard announced an initiative to make the University more accessible to low-income families by expanding recruitment and eliminating expected parental contributions for eligible students. Since then, more than 1,900 students have taken advantage of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI), earning a Harvard degree at little or no cost.Today, the widespread impact of HFAI is becoming clear. Upon graduating, HFAI alumni say they are empowered to pursue career paths as they wish, not as they must. Influenced by Harvard’s emphasis on public service and free of debt burdens, many of the program’s first alumni are passing along their good fortune.“I may not be a legacy, or part of a finals club,” said Peter Conti-Brown ’05, who benefited from HFAI and was the first student director of the program. “But Harvard is part of my legacy, and I love that.”As the world flattens, attracting a wide variety of students is a key priority, said Sally Donahue, director of financial aid for the College. Part of the goal is to increase cross-cultural understanding and broaden outlooks at Harvard.“I think students have experienced enriched discussions in class, with a wider variety of perspectives,” she said. “University life in general is much more robust. There is more economic diversity represented in student groups on campus.”But HFAI’s mission has not been to simply increase diversity. “It has enabled outstanding students who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend Harvard to find a place at the College,” said Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds.For students who benefit from the program, admission to Harvard is just a beginning. Like their peers, on arrival they embark on a journey of learning that takes them around the globe, into fields they hadn’t known and career paths they hadn’t dreamed about. In addition to tuition aid, many HFAI students benefit from the winter coat fund, interest-free loans to buy a computer, and free tickets to campus happenings through the student events fund, as part of the University’s efforts to be more inclusive.“It makes Harvard a much more meritocratic system,” said Jeffrey Kwong ’09, an HFAI recipient.“It puts you on a level playing field with your peers,” said Rachel Culley ’07, who also benefited from HFAI.Here are some recent graduates’ stories: Their futures are brightcenter_img Lawyer-to-be Patty Rincon ’08 is studying for the LSAT and applying to law schools, intent on going into criminal or civil rights law. “HFAI has enabled me to do what I want with my Harvard degree, instead of what I had to do to pay off a huge debt,” she said. Action-oriented Today, Juan Sebástian Arias ’09 lives in New York City, working as a public interest fellow at Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit organization that provides development capital and expertise to create affordable housing. He hopes one day to do the same in his hometown. “I want to make sure there’s affordable housing for a long time to come,” he said. Coasts with the most California girl Muriel Payan ’08 almost never made it to Harvard, hesitating to move across the country. After graduation, Payan took a one-year fellowship at the American University in Cairo, working in the Office of Institutional Planning, Assessment, Research, and Testing. She then took a similar position at the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Movin’ on up Peter Conti-Brown ’05 worked odd jobs to make the $2,000-a-year “parental contribution” toward his tuition. Conti-Brown was one of the first to benefit from HFAI and today has an academic fellowship at Stanford, and will begin clerking for federal Judge Gerard E. Lynch next fall.last_img read more

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CBN Tennis Main Draw Serves off without Defending Champions

first_imgThe main draw of the 39th Central Bank of Nigeria Senior Open Tennis Championship gets underway in Lagos today with no fewer than 25 matches on the card for the opening day. In the absence of defending champion Moses Michael, who decided to stay back in the US after posting his picture at the airport on Friday announcing he’s on his way to Nigeria to feature in the tournament, 2016 finalists Sylvester Emmanuel is the favourite for the Men’s singles title. He keeps a date with qualifier Richard Ogbu in the first round. Michael is also listed for the main draw and he is drawn to play Sani Adamu.The Spain-based Emmanuel had a disappointing outing at the Tombim, Dayak and GSL ITF Futures held recently in Abuja and is looking forward to a successful campaign before heading back to the Pereriba Tennis Academy in Barcelona in June.Clifford Enosoregbe and Thomas Otu have dates to keep with Wale Babalola and Chinedu Iwuagwu just as old war-horse SundayMaku faces a banana skin test in Christopher Itodo, a wild card entrant. Five-time winner, Abdulmumuni Babalola will battle Ismaila Adeshina, and another match that will draw attention is between Gabriel and Christopher Bulus both of whom are Nigeria junior internationals. Abuja-based Henry Atseye and Taiwo Owolabi also go head-to-head.In the Women’s singles, top seed Christie Agugbom faces Oluchi Ozurumba while Blessing Samuel and Sarah Adegoke who are the second and third seeds confront Omotayo Osewa and Beauty Oghenekevwe respectively. Former winner, Ronke Akingbade is favoured to come out top in her clash with Amata Nwokolo, a wild card beneficiary. Youngster Angel McLeod have her hands full as she confronts Christy Nwankwo just as Ebere Fortune and Ngozi Dirisu clash.Defending champion Melissa Ifidzhen is also listed for action against Folarin Akosile while Aminat Quadri, elder sister of junior tennis sensation Barakat Quadri, duels with Pauline Ebijimi. “Moses and Melissa are yet to officially inform the secretarial of their absence or otherwise so they are in the main draw. If after 15 minutes they did not show up for their match, they will be replaced by lucky losers,” Tournament Referee, Saidu Musa said.   Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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South Africa’s fuel cell potential

first_img23 January 2006South Africa, the world’s leading producer of gold and platinum, is becoming an important testing ground for fuel cells, an alternative technology that promises cleaner, more efficient energy.International companies such as the UK’s Intelligent Energy and the US’s Power Plug are bringing cutting-edge fuel cell technology to South Africa’s rural areas.A fuel cell is similar to a battery in that it produces electricity in an electrochemical reaction. Unlike a battery, a fuel cell uses external reactants, typically oxygen and hydrogen, as fuel for the reaction. The reaction products flow out of the cell.This means fuel cells are more stable and can be run for longer continuous periods than batteries. They are also more efficient than combustion engines.A fuel cell would generally be used only for back-up purposes. If the regular power supply from the national grid were interrupted, the fuel cell would kick in to provide electricity until the regular supply could be restored. Such backup can be critical for clinics and hospitals, but also for banks, telecommunications and other users of information technology infrastructure.Technology pioneerIntelligent Energy, a UK-based company, have installed a fuel cell at clinic outside Bisho in the Eastern Cape, and a larger installation incorporating solar panels at Mkuze in KwaZulu-Natal.The Mkuze installation uses fuel cells, batteries, solar power and liquid petroleum gas to provide a complete energy solution for a community of thousands. The fuel cells are the back-up energy supply for computers that control the other energy sources.“We’re doing it as a showcase,” South African manager Sakib Khan told Business Report.Intelligent Energy have received numerous accolades for their work in this field. They were named by the World Economic Forum as a technology pioneer for 2006, and Time magazine called their ENV bike, a completely silent fuel cell-powered motorbike, one of “the most amazing inventions of 2005.”CatalystsAnother company at the forefront of fuel cell production, US-based Plug Power has installed two fuel cells at Koeberg, South Africa’s only nuclear power plant, in the Western Cape.Cellular company Vodacom is also using Plug Power fuel cells as a back-up power supply for cellphone masts in Shoshanguve in Gauteng, replacing noisy diesel generators.South Africa is an ideal site for the first tests of fuel cell systems as the country is one of the world’s leading producers of both platinum and gold, two metals that are essential to the hydrogen economy. These metals are used as catalysts within the fuel cell.“The one thing that’s slowing down development is the cost,” said Khan, “because platinum is so expensive.”“There’s a lot of research going into getting an alternative to platinum, such as gold.”SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Sharing his love of horses

first_imgFounded in 2008, the Soweto Equestrian Centre is the only one of its kind in Soweto, the biggest township in SA. Enos Mafokate stroking his favourite horse Salmy. Mafokate regards Salmy, 23 years old, as part of his family after their many triumphs together. Sifiso Hlatshwayo and Menzi Buthelezi, holding the saddles they made during the saddler course. (Images: Ray Maota) MEDIA CONTACTS • Enos Mafokate  Soweto Equestrian Centre: Founder  +27 82 330 7030 RELATED ARTICLES • SA horse goes for glory in Hong Kong• South Africa’s shark whisperer• SA puppet company wins a Tony • Gallery: South Africa’s wildlifeRay Maota“I have a dream that one day a student from the Soweto Equestrian Centre will compete for South Africa in the Olympic Games.”This quote stands out on the homepage of the website for the centre, run by former show jumper, Olympian and horse groomer Enos Mafokate.Mafokate (66) is a man in love with horses. He has achieved what many would have deemed impossible – breaking into a white-dominated sport during the height of apartheid in 1960s’ South Africa.One of the high points of his career came when he was asked to travel to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, as a member of a South African development team. This marked South Africa’s first participation in the event for over 30 years, because of a decades-long international sporting embargo.Mafokate rode in the official parade and although he didn’t compete, his presence at the Olympics was a huge inspiration to himself and to up-and-coming equestrians.“Horses are my life. They have taken me around the world and have made me the man I am today,” said the sporting pioneer.Introducing children to horse-ridingThe land on which the centre is operated was officially handed over to Mafokate by the City of Johannesburg in 2008, making the establishment – in its current state – four years old.Over 700 children have been introduced to horses and horse riding at the centre, with lessons taking place twice a week: on Fridays and Saturdays.The centre also offers courses in essential equestrian skills like saddlery, grooming and general farrier skills.A total of 19 horses live here, including Jojo; Thabazimbi; Polokwane; Mpho; Sediba; Lady D; London Pride; Fabio; and Mafokate’s favourite, Salmy.“Salmy is 23 years old and is like a part of my family. I don’t ride her competitively anymore,” said Mafokate.He added that when she dies, the centre will have a proper burial with a tombstone for Salmy – because to him she is only a horse by name.Conquering barriersMafokate’s passion for horses was realised in the 1960s when he started participating in the elite sport of show jumping. Accomplished against a backdrop of apartheid South Africa, this was no mean feat.His relationship with horses started in his teen years when he got a job with John Walker, a farm owner in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg.“Many white people used to come and picnic at the farm, especially during the December holidays, and I would look after their horses for them while they enjoyed themselves. That’s when my love for horses blossomed,” said Mafokate.In the late 1950s, Mafokate got a job manning the gates at the Woodmead Golf Course, which allowed him to tend to the patrons’ horses while they played golf.He got his first taste of show jumping as a 16-year-old in 1962, working for a Springbok show jumper as the horses’ groom, and in the same year got his first chance to compete.“The people I was working for decided to give us black people a chance at show jumping,” he recalled.Mafokate could only compete against other black jumpers because regulations at the time barred people of different races from competing against each other.“I came first in that competition – wearing overalls.”A year later Mafokate won a riding competition at the Inanda Country Base in Kyalami.Apartheid was in full effect at this point in his career and he had to shelve his show jumping career until 1975 when, he said, some white people “decided to ignore politics”.Mafokate, along with 16 other grooms, were enrolled at the Marist Brothers College, the only school that allowed black people to compete in the sport.He went on to win the Rothmans Derby in 1976 and the championship at the Constantia Show Grounds in Cape Town in 1977 and 1978, and his future seemed set.“I was the first black member of the Transvaal Horse Society, which was based at Kyalami. I was also the first black rider in 127 years to compete in the Pietermaritzburg Royal Agricultural Horse Show in 1978,” said Mafokate.“My colleagues and I were now being called black riders, not grooms. We had attained recognition.”Meeting Princess AnneMafokate became the first sportsman in South Africa to take part in an international sporting event in 1982, after 20 years of sanctions on South Africa, because of the country’s apartheid policy, forced sportsmen and women into isolation.Out of 31 riders, he came fifth at the London Royal International Horse Show. His highlight of the show was coming within a stone’s throw of the British Royal family.“I saw Queen Elizabeth drive herself in a green Rover; Prince Charles play polo and Princess Diana holding a young Prince William. The highlight, however, was seeing Princess Anne, who I knew loved show jumping,” said Mafokate.Mafokate tried to talk horses with the princess, herself an acclaimed equestrian, but was denied the privilege by a bodyguard. The incident troubled him for years.He had to wait until 2011 to see Princess Anne again when he spoke at an event hosted by UK charity World Horse Welfare (WHW).“I went wet around the mouth when I saw her again,” Mafokate told guests at the event.He and Princess Anne spoke briefly but just as Mafokate was enjoying the conversation, the Princess had to speak to someone else.“She said I’ll see you later, but we never spoke again,” said Mafokate.He said, however, sources told him “when she said she’d see you later she meant it.”Princess Anne visited the Soweto Equestrian Centre in April, during a visit to South Africa to mark her mother’s 60th year on the throne.“I never thought she would come to see my centre. When I asked her why she came, she said ‘I came because you started something which no one ever thought could happen in a black township’.”Graduation dayThe centre, the only one of its kind in Soweto, held a graduation ceremony for horse handling and farrier skills and saddle making on 24 April.In collaboration with Avis Car Hire and WHW, the centre brings in overseas trainers and tools to train students in specialist equestrian techniques.The 10-week course, attended by 20 students, is divided into four modules: two three-week courses and another two that run over two weeks.WHW’s Jim Balfour, who helped with the training on the course, addressed the graduates: “Congratulations to you all. Do not forget about what it took to get this certificate, go out there and conquer.”The students came from different parts of the country, including the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.Karin Bothma, a horse inspector with the Carthorse Protection Association in Cape Town, said: “I’ve always loved horses but the farrier and grooming course taught me how to connect better with the horses.” Bothma graduated with several distinctions.Christa Smit, sustainability manager at Avis, said that the company supports the equestrian centre because the course was enterprising and contributed to community upliftment.A fun day for children with disabilitiesFormal training is not all that the centre has to offer. The Moonlight Foundation for children with autism recently held a fun day for children suffering from this developmental disorder of the brain, characterised by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behaviour.Siphokazi Mtshotshisa is the founder of the foundation.“On 2 April it was World Autism Day and we decided to treat the children to a fun day which involved horse riding,” she said. “It’s very therapeutic for them.”The foundation seeks to do away with the stigma of autism in the black community as most people do not understand it and say the child is bewitched or crazy, said Mtshotshisa.last_img read more

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Ind vs Eng: England have worked very hard for the No.1 spot, says Strauss

first_imgEngland captain Andrew Strauss on Saturday lauded his team for working hard to become World No.1 Test team, replacing India.England won the third Test by an innings and 242-run loss and took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-match series that ended India’s 22-month stay at top.”Getting to No. 1 has been a goal for a long time and it fills me with a lot of pride to know we have completed something very special. We have had to work very had and the guys have put a lot of hard graft to get to No.1,” said Strauss.The England captain was all praise for opening batsman Alastair Cook, who batted for 13 hours, for his career best 294. Strauss (87) and Cook set the tone of the innings with their 186-run opening stand.”It was fantastic to get runs myself and then sit on the sofa and watch Cookie bat for two days. He has amazing concentration and determination, he’s in this patch at the moment where he’s very clear what his game was and he’s an example for us all,” he said.Asked about his decision to bowl, Strauss said: “It wasn’t a massive gamble to bowl first, there was probably less in the wicket than we thought there would be, and by the time we batted the wicket had gone flat. The wickets have been shared around the bowlers and the pressure they have applied has been relentless.”Cook, who was adjudged as Man of the Match, said he was pleased with his efforts despite missing out on a deserving triple century.advertisement”The work put in over the week off has paid dividends for me. Over the last 12 months scoring big hundreds was what I needed to work at and I’m glad that’s happened. You want the attacking middle order players to go at the tiring bowlers later in the day. I am very pleased but it’s a huge team effort to bowl a team like that (India) out for less than 250 on a flat wicket in both innings,” he said.- With inputs from IANSlast_img read more

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Pitchers Wont Throw Strikes So Batters Are Getting Better At Hitting Bad

You see the stories everywhere. “Baseball teams are striking out more than ever,” blared an NBC Sports headline back in April. In 2015, The Hardball Times wrote a story entitled “The Strikeout Ascendant.” And the year before that, friend of the program Ben Lindbergh hosted a “rising strikeout rate symposium” on his popular podcast, Effectively Wild. Clearly, the baseball world is well aware that strikeout rates are up — way up.What’s less well-known, but equally true, is this: Baseball’s recent rise in strikeout rates has little to do with how good batters are at making contact. That’s a bit counterintuitive, I know, because strikeout rates have increased (up nearly 26 percent since 20021That’s the first year for which we have plate-discipline statistics, so that’s as far back as we can look using the data mentioned throughout this article.), and when you think of a strikeout, you usually imagine a batter taking a mighty hack and missing. And indeed, swinging strikes are up as a percentage of all pitches.But keep in mind that this isn’t only about the batters — pitchers also have a big say in the matter.And in 2009, pretty much all of a sudden, they started throwing way fewer pitches in the strike zone, as measured by Fangraphs’ zone percentage statistic.2It’s worth noting that Pitchf/x’s version of the same statistic, which uses a slightly different methodology, shows roughly the same trend, but with a different start date and a shallower slope. From 2002 (the earliest year for which we have data) through 2008, pitchers put the ball through the zone about 52 percent of the time, year in and year out. In fact, over the seven seasons from 2002 to 2008, the league-wide rate of pitches in the zone never dropped below 50.5 percent or rose above 54.2 percent. When it came to tossing strikes, MLB hurlers were a model of consistency.But during the 2009 season, pitchers threw balls in the zone just 48.3 percent of the time. In 2010, that number kept falling — to 45.4 percent! — and by 2011, the league-wide rate of pitches in the zone was just 44.6 percent. In just three years, about one out of every nine pitches that had previously been thrown in the zone started missing its mark. (Since then, MLB’s zone rate has basically leveled off: Last year, it was exactly the same — 44.6 percent — as it was in 2011.)But despite that drastic change, batters haven’t really changed how they react to pitches inside the zone. Batters still swing at basically the same proportion of pitches in the zone as they did in 2002, and they still make contact with those pitches at essentially the same rate.Instead, the big changes have come outside the zone. The trend here is striking. As pitchers started throwing outside the zone more and more — again, the really big decline in strike-throwing started around 2009 — hitters not only started swinging at more pitches outside the zone, they also started getting much better at making contact on those wayward pitches. Add it all up, and you see that instead of making contact on just 10 percent of all balls thrown outside the strike zone, as they did back in 2002, hitters made contact on nearly 20 percent of such pitches in 2016.3Note that this isn’t the same as the “contact rate” listed at FanGraphs, which only looks at balls that the batter took a swing at. This figure looks at all pitches outside the zone, which will include, for example, some pitches that were essentially unhittable or thrown as part of an intentional walk. That’s double the rate! That’s unbelievable!Let’s step back for a second, because this is a pretty counterintuitive finding. Batters are striking out more often, but they haven’t gotten any worse at their core task: hitting the ball. They’re also not getting as many good pitches to hit as they used to, but they’re about as good as they ever were at making contact on balls inside the strike zone, and far better than they used to be at making contact on balls outside the zone. Normally that should add up to swinging and missing less often, not more often. But because more of the balls they’re swinging at are outside the zone, and those balls are fundamentally harder to hit, the effect on overall contact is just about level. It’s a classic Simpson’s Paradox.So if MLB hitters suddenly started channeling their inner Vladimir Guerrero, making better contact on bad pitches, why are they still suffering so many strikeouts? We don’t really know for sure, and there’s a lot more digging to be done before anything can be said conclusively. For one thing, it’s not entirely clear which came first: pitchers throwing more outside the zone or hitters swinging at those pitches. I tested whether one month’s zone rate predicted the next month’s swing rate and vice versa, but I found almost no case for either.4The r-squared was less than 0.03 in both directions. This suggests that the complex interactions between batters and pitchers are happening on a much smaller scale than a month, and that they deserve more granular research.But here’s one possible (as-yet-untested) hypothesis for the big-picture story: Sometime in the late 2000s, pitchers began throwing more breaking pitches outside of the zone — hence the decline in zone percentage.5We know that fastball usage has dropped over the period in consideration, and given the trend in zone rate noted above, it’s not ridiculous to guess that some portion of that drop came from pitches outside the zone. At the same time — possibly out of necessity — hitters became increasingly willing to swing at pitches outside the zone, even finding some reasonable success doing it. But pitchers had another weapon: The fastball on the corner of the strike zone. Perhaps the adjustment that hitters made in order to hit breaking stuff outside the zone also made them vulnerable to hard stuff inside it — for which they were not mechanically prepared — and they started getting called out on strikes by the boatload.Again, that’s only a theory. But the fact is that batters are striking out more on called strikes in the zone even as they’re getting better at hitting pitches outside of it. So the next time you see a hitter preparing for a breaking ball out of the zone, remember: It’s not the pitches you swing at that get you. It’s the ones you don’t. read more

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Holeinone propels Steve Stricker to 2day lead in Memorial Tournament

Two days into the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, veteran PGA Tour golfer Steve Stricker finds himself atop the leaderboard at 9-under-par. “Obviously, I’m happy to be where I’m at,” Stricker said, “but you’ve just got to keep doing the same things I’ve been doing and try to do the same things, play to my strengths.” Stricker, who started on the back nine, capped off his round with a hole-in-one on the eighth hole, and a birdie on the ninth to propel him three shots ahead of his closest competition. “I made the turn 1-over for the round and shot 30 on the second nine,” Stricker said, “so things got going in the right direction.” Four players find themselves three shots off the lead heading into the weekend. One of those four, Rory McIlroy, shot an even-par 72 Friday. McIlroy did not improve on his first-round 66, but is still in contention. “I felt as if I played good enough to shoot something in the 60s, but I just made too many mistakes out there,” McIlroy said. “I made two bogeys on the front nine from the middle of the fairway with a 9-iron and a sand wedge in my hand. You just can’t do that sort of stuff.” Ricky Barnes, Rod Pampling and Jonathan Byrd also find themselves at 6-under-par. One group that seemed to have the biggest crowd all day was the Phil “Lefty” Mickelson, Charl Schwartzel and Luke Donald trio. Donald, the No. 1 golfer in the world, finished his Friday round birdie-birdie, putting himself in a position for a late tee time. Donald is now tied for sixth, just four shots off the lead and will be a factor entering the weekend. “I played a lot of solid golf today,” Donald said. “Some careless mistakes out there, mostly short game mistakes. … A lot of positives though, and I’m still in a great place for the weekend.” Mickelson finished his day at 2-under-par, and played a nearly flawless round. Lefty recorded three birdies and one bogey Friday, putting him seven shots away from Stricker. “There’s some good chances out there,” Mickelson said. “If I can get a good round tomorrow, I hopefully will get in the mix for Sunday, which is the goal.” Seventy-three players made the cut for the Memorial’s final two rounds. Some big names missed the cut, including Stuart Appleby, Trevor Immelman, Martin Laird, Steve Marino, Jim Furyk, Fred Couples, Lucas Glover, Jhonattan Vegas and Justin Rose. Rose, the defending champion, will not be playing over the weekend at the Memorial this year. Rose shot a 3-over 75 Friday to finish 2-over-par for the first two rounds. The cut was 1-over-par. Rose finished the 18th, knew his weekend was over and, without hesitation, handed his putter to a child in the gallery. Play begins at 8:10 a.m. Saturday, and Stricker will tee off with Barnes at 1:40 p.m. read more

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Reports Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller to have shoulder surgery

Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) runs away from a Clemson defender during the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3 at Sun Life Stadium. OSU lost, 40-35.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorTwo days after receiving his second Silver Football as the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player, Ohio State junior quarterback Braxton Miller is set to have surgery on his throwing shoulder, according to media reports.The procedure is minor and is for an injury he sustained during OSU’s 40-35 loss to Clemson Jan. 3 in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl.Set for Friday, the surgery should not greatly affect Miller’s status for spring practice, according to the reports.An OSU spokesman did not immediately return The Lantern’s request for comment Thursday evening.When asked about his shoulder after the Orange Bowl loss, Miller said he thought his injury only affected his ability to run the ball against the Tigers.“Throwing-wise, it was cool. I don’t know what happened,” Miller said in the locker room after the game. “I landed on my elbow, but it shot up right through my shoulder. It was hurting real bad.”The injury was not the first for Miller in 2013.Miller completed 162 passes for 2,094 yards and 24 touchdowns while throwing seven interceptions in 2013, despite missing nearly three games for a sprained MCL in his right knee suffered in the Buckeyes’ 42-7 victory against San Diego State Sept. 7. Miller suffered the injury in the first quarter against the Aztecs.The Buckeye signal caller rushed for 1,068 yards and 12 scores on 171 carries this past season, down from his team-leading 227 carries and 1,271 yards in 2012.Miller and the Buckeyes are set to start their 2014 campaign Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. read more

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Juventus midfielder welcomes Ronaldo

first_imgAs report that Cristiano Ronaldo has said “yes” to a switch to Juventus thickens, one of  Juve’s midfielders Blaise Matuidi says “it would be nice to have one of the best players in the world” join their club.The report indicated that the Portuguese superstar has agreed to move to Juventus this summer, in a €100m deal. There are also speculative reports claiming that CR7 is being offered a €30m per season contract, four times what current top earner Gonzalo Higuain earns as well as the report that Adidas could help fund the move.However, Ronaldo signed a ‘lifetime’ deal with Nike just two years ago and is said to be worth $1bn, and will continue even after he retires.LeBron James and Michael Jordan, are the first footballers to land such deal, but Ronaldo has made them the third player to agree to such huge partnership,Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Matuidi was asked about Ronaldo’s move to Juventus in a Press conference at France’s training camp and he said:“We’re at the World Cup,” Matuidi pointed out.“Yes, I’ve heard the talk but for now it’s just a rumour. I won’t lie, it would be nice to have one of the best players in the world at Juventus. It would be fantastic for the club and we Juventus players.“But I’m with France now and there are other things to think about.”last_img read more

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