History made as DeGale wins world title

first_imgJames DeGale became world champion by beating Andre Dirrell on points in their IBF super-middleweight title clash in Boston.Harlesden’s 2008 Olympic gold medallist floored the highly regarded American twice in the second round, with a thunderous overhand left doing the damage.Dirrell recovered and gave DeGale plenty of problems, but a late flurry from the Londoner saw him win a unanimous decision and make history by becoming the first British boxer to win Olympic gold and a professional world title.He faced a talented opponent in Dirrell, whose only previous defeat was a split points decision against Carl Froch in 2009 – a fight many observers believed the man from Michigan had won.But DeGale, 29, grasped his opportunity to secure the vacant title that was up for grabs after Froch opted to relinquish the belt.And he paved the way for a potential rematch with arch rival and fellow West Londoner George Groves, who won a close points decision when the pair met in May 2011 – DeGale’s only loss.Groves, twice beaten by Froch having been knocked out in their rematch last year after being controversially stopped while ahead in their first encounter, is in line for another world title shot.Hammersmith’s former British, European and Commonwealth champion is expected to challenge WBC champion Badou Jack later this year and a victory could lead to a unification showdown with DeGale.Dirrell did well to make it past the second round after being sent to the canvas by a vicious shot.The 32-year-old touched down again as DeGale followed up but he made it to the end of the round and appeared to have the upper hand in some of the subsequent rounds, although they seemed tough to score.Canadian judge Alan Davis had the bout 117-109 in DeGale’s favour, which seemed somewhat bizarre, while Daniel Fitzgerald of the United States and Britain’s Howard Foster both scored it 114-112.See also:DeGale ‘too fresh and too good’ for ButeDeGale to defend title against Medina next monthFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Boks give England a record hammering

first_img24 November 2008After narrow victories over Wales and Scotland, the Springboks were expected to be pushed hard by England in their final test of the year on Saturday. As it happened, South Africa saved their best for last, crushing England 42-6 to hand them their biggest loss ever at Twickenham.The victory was built on a stubborn hard-hitting defence and opportunistic counter-attacking with a sharp edge.Captain John Smit said afterwards that South Africa won the battle of the advantage line: when the Boks had the ball they dented the line, while England were knocked backwards when they had the ball.Committed and ferociousThe image of England retaining possession but losing territory is one that will remain from the test; time after time they were repulsed by committed and ferocious gang tackling which earned the Springboks the upper hand at the collisions.England did well to force a number of turnovers – probably the area of South Africa’s game that was most concerning – but they were unable to do much with the ball they won because of the Boks’ fierce tackling.When England managed to get close to the South African tryline some outstanding defence stopped them crossing the whitewash; Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha came up with two of the best stops of the game, with England looking odds-on to score on both occasions.Attacking defenceA number of tries resulted from defence – attacking defence – as the Springboks ran in five tries to nil.Meanwhile, the experiment of converting Ruan Pienaar from scrumhalf to flyhalf proved to be an outstanding success. He performed well in all three of the Springboks’ tests on their tour and was very impressive at Twickenham.The suggestion by former Brumbies and Wallabies coach that Pienaar reminds him of Australian legend Stephen Larkham looks as if it could be accurate.Kick offEngland started the game with a grubber from the kick off. Schalk Burger managed to gather the ball, but the Springboks were penalised for going off their feet at the breakdown. Danny Cipriani stepped up and slotted the penalty to give the home team a 3-0 lead in the first minute.When Conrad Jantjes kicked off for the Boks, his kick went directly into touch. From the resulting scrum on the halfway line South Africa were penalised. After the unconvincing showings of the previous two weeks, Springbok supporters could have been forgiven for thinking it was going to be “one of those days”. However, the SA ship was soon righted.LevelCaptain Smit forced a penalty at a ruck by staying on his feet as he tried to win the ball while England held onto possession. Ruan Pienaar took a kick at goal and struck it sweetly to pull South Africa level at 3-3.The early scrums were a mess and after nine minutes referee Nigel Owens penalised the Boks at a set piece. England flyhalf Cipriani attempted a penalty from 49 metres out, but was short of the uprights.There was a heart-in-mouth moment for South African fans when Jantjes had a kick charged down inside the SA 22. Bryan Habana raced back to gather the ball, but conceded a five-metre scrum to the England.First tryFour minutes later the Springboks had turned defence into attack and forced a scrum near the England tryline. Pienaar made a half-break to force England onto the back foot. Then, when the ball was moved inside, Danie Rossouw ran onto it at pace, fought his way through three would-be tacklers and crashed over near the posts for the first try of the match.Pienaar knocked over the easy conversion to put the Springboks seven points clear at 10-3.The flyhalf was then solely responsible for South Africa’s next try when he charged down a kick by Cipriani, fielded the bouncing ball and ran through to score under the English uprights.His conversion increased the SA advantage to 17-3.Try-saving tackleThree minutes later England broke out after a swiftly taken penalty. Delon Armitage headed for the right hand corner, but Bakkies Botha with a superb effort and excellent cover defence, tackled him and forced the fullback to put a foot on the sideline only metres from the tryline as JP Pietersen arrived to assist him.Pienaar knocked over another penalty to put South Africa 20-3 ahead, but Cipriani answered with one for England to make the score 20-6.Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira was yellow-carded 10 minutes from the break for going off his feet at a ruck, leaving South Africa to play most of the rest of the half with only 14 men. England, though, could not take advantage of their numerical superiority.After the break England worked their way up to the South African tryline, but Victor Matfield made an outstanding tackle to turn back the English charge less than a metre short of the line.Sharp blowShortly afterwards the Boks struck a sharp blow in response to England’s attacking efforts. JP Pietersen made an incision into the England backline with a nice run before offloading to Adrian Jacobs who, with a sharp change of direction, wrong-footed Armitage and then held off the covering Paul Sackey to crash over for South Africa’s third try.Pienaar slotted the conversion to move South Africa into a 27-6 lead.Once again England worked their way up the field, but South Africa’s defence was stubborn and Bryan Habana stopped the home team in their tracks with an outstanding and powerful tackle.30 points upAfter an hour Jaque Fourie, on as a substitute, won SA a penalty and Pienaar made it 30-6.For the second time in the contest South Africa were reduced to 14 men when referee Owens deemed Jantjes guilty of obstruction as England sought a way through the stubborn Springbok defence. It appeared to be a dubious decision with replays indicating that Jantjes had merely stood his ground after the ball had been chipped over his head.With less than 10 minutes to go Francois Steyn almost created a fourth try for SA with a neat break. Habana was up in support and offloaded to Jean de Villiers, but he was brought down just short of the tryline.Fourth trySpringbok determination and doggedness was underlined four minutes from time when they once again blunted an England attack and turned the ball over. Steyn punted far downfield and Fourie chased. He arrived at the ball fractionally after Paul Sackey, but wrestled the ball from the England winger.Delon Armitage raced back to tackle Fourie, but he handed off the fullback, stumbled to his knees, regained his feet and ran through for South Africa’s fourth five-pointer. Steyn, whose kick had started the try-scoring movement, knocked over the conversion to extend the South African lead to 37-6.Habana scoresWith time running out the Springboks were awarded a free-kick, which they quickly moved wide. Good hands gave Habana some space and he dived over for Boks’ fifth try.Steyn was wide with the attempted conversion, but when the final whistle sounded straight after that South Africa had ended their three-match tour of the United Kingdom with a record 42-6 victory over England.Ironically, it was the same margin of victory as the Springboks achieved over the English in pool play at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, when they won 36-0.While most of England’s fans quietly left Twickenham, the Boks did a victory lap of the stadium, cheered on by the many South African fans in attendance.Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Teaching teens to fish

first_imgSelebogo Molefe runs the Open for Business campaign on behalf of Virgin’s Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, a programme that provides entrepreneurs with practical business workshops. (Image: Lifesgud)MEDIA CONTACTS• Selebogo Molefe Lifesgud+27 11 039 6121RELATED ARTICLES• Meet a top social entrepreneur• Meds on wheels for positive change• Young people: own your destiny!• Yes, it is rocket scienceTiisetso TlelimaRather than simply throwing cash at the problem, social entrepreneur Selebogo Molefe has joined hands with German social development organisation Zenzela to help destitute young South Africans become more independent, autonomous and self-sufficient through a programme called Changing a Million Lives.The vision behind Changing a Million Lives is to empower teenagers who live in shelters by equipping them with knowledge and skills. When these teenagers leave the shelters at the age of 18, they often have nowhere to go. But this programme gives them the opportunity to make something of their lives.“A lot of these kids fall by the wayside when they leave shelters,” explains Molefe, the project’s pioneer. “Although the shelters do something positive by rehabilitating them, there’s only so much they can do. They don’t have enough resources and the government can only do so much in terms of grants.”The idea is to put the teens in touch with companies – depending on the career path they want to pursue – so that they can learn the ins and outs of the respective industries. So far, the project has benefitted eight youngsters from shelters across Johannesburg, including Kliptown Youth Centre, The House Group and Othandweni Children’s Home in Soweto.The teens are integrated into the workplace during the school holidays. They are mentored and given practical work experience.Molefe and his business partner Phakiso Tsotetsi, use their connections in the corporate world to link the beneficiaries with the companies so that they can get career advice, while Zenzela helps them handle any psychological problems they may have.“We teamed up with our friends from Germany because they are social workers and they have a passion for Africa and kids,” Molefe says. “We had access to corporates and we needed someone who could help the kids with the psychological stuff.”Building solid relationshipsThe programme’s intention is to provide a space where the youngsters can build solid relationships with the companies. Its desired outcome is that the relationships built must be strong enough to prompt the company to take in the teen after the programme, and even send them to university or college to study.“We want them to be sustainable so that they can also make a difference,” Molefe points out.Changing a Million Lives recently took two youngsters, Thabo Mbele from Kliptown Youth Centre and Meshack Mbangi from Othandweni Children’s Home, to Miami in the US for a seven-month long working holiday. The two were enrolled in youth and cultural exchange programmes called Students J1 Work Travel and Seasonal Work USA, which gave them a chance to work in five five-diamond hotels in the US and Canada. This allowed them to hone their skills in the hospitality sector.The programme covered their accommodation and living costs; however, Molefe had to raise money to cover their flights, which he did through various sponsors.Mbele returned to South Africa four months ago and is now volunteering at the shelter where he once stayed. He plans to further his studies in 2013, using the money he earned overseas. Mbangi is still working in Canada at a ski resort called Whistler Blackcomb. He will return home in February 2013.Changing a Million Lives began at the beginning of 2012, and operations have been somewhat haphazard. Molefe’s dream is to formalise the initiative and he has, in the past few months, been vigorously campaigning to get more people on-board so that the project can benefit more young people.“I want to formalise it into a programme,” he explains. “My main mission is to connect these kids to people who can help them. From there, on they can start their own relationships.”Sometimes what these teens need is someone who will talk to them and make them feel like they matter, adds Molefe. “You have to find out what their dreams and aspirations are, and try to mentor them.”Brought up in a Christian home, Molefe and his siblings were taught to lend a hand to the needy whenever they could. Growing up in the streets of Hillbrow in the 1990s, where prostitution and drugs were rife, Molefe knew he would have to help turn his environment into a better place.He has since worked with numerous charities in Hillbrow, including Twilight Children. Today, he sits on the board of The House Group, an inner city charity that rehabilitates destitute and abused girls.Life’s goodApart from his philanthropic work, Molefe is a forward-looking businessman who has a passion for people. In 2009, he started a company called Lifesgud.com, a lifestyle brand that specialises in creating unique experiences through niche events and decor. Lifesgud.com also designs and sells bean bags, ottomans, tents and mobile flooring.Although he runs a thriving small business that has attracted big clients such as Nedbank and Deloitte, things haven’t always been easy. Molefe recalls his first job as a hairstylist at a salon opposite the Universal Church in downtown Johannesburg. “I wasn’t a great stylist but I had a lot of customers because I would listen to their problems,” he says.When the hairstyling job dried up his uncle, who had been contracted to build Newscafés across the city, took him in. He worked as a cement mixer for his uncle’s construction company.It was only in 2000 that business opportunities started opening up for him. He teamed up with his friend to start a clothing label called Umoba, which sold ethnic, funky jeans and tops. Initially, the business did very well – the pair got their clothes into the Y-Shop and dressed celebrities such as prominent DJ Rude Boy Paul.However, like any start-up there were challenges and they eventually had to close shop. “There was a problem [with] delivery because there was no commitment from the designer,” explains Molefe. “I couldn’t sell without the other part doing what it was hired to do, so we were getting a lot of backlash from the clients.”At the time, he was renting a lavish property that had a swimming pool and a tennis court in Lombardy East, a suburb east of Johannesburg. After the clothing business fell through, he started organising private parties and matric dance after-parties on the property to make the rent.“My housemate was into the LG brand and we would often sit there and say, ‘Life’s good,’” he recalls. And that is how the brand Lifesgud.com was born. Today his business employs five people and he hopes to grow it until he can employ 50 people, directly or indirectly.The Hook Up DinnerMolefe also runs the Open for Business campaign on behalf of Virgin’s Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, a programme that provides entrepreneurs with practical business workshops. Occasionally, he also gives talks to entrepreneurs and owners of small, medium and micro enterprises on how to use social media for businesses.In August, he launched an initiative called The Hook Up Dinner. It’s a monthly network session where entrepreneurs can get together and share ideas on how to grow their businesses.last_img read more

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Vulture conservation centre in U.P.

first_imgUttar Pradesh is set to get its first conservation centre for endangered vultures. And a Gau Sadan (cow conservation centre) built by the State government may have led to the selection of the village site for the vulture conservation in eastern U.P.’s Maharajganj district, according to an official.The Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre would be set up at Bhari Baisi village in Pharendra tehsil under the Gorakhpur Forest Division, the U.P. Information Department said in a statement.U.P. Principal Forest Conservator (Wildlife) Sunil Pandey said more than 100 vultures were spotted in the Maghwalia range of the Maharajganj Forest Division in August.A committee of vultures was also spotted close to a Gau Sadan built by the State government, said Mr. Pandey in a statement.“Since destitute animals are kept at the Gau Sadan and they die soon due to their age, it is natural for vultures to be spotted there due to availability of the dead animals,” said Mr. Pandey. “Due to this, Bhari Baisi village was selected [for the conservation centre],” he said.last_img read more

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‘Port Elizabeth produced a familiar script of Indian touring ineptitude’

first_imgBALL OF CONTENTION: Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (right)Karan Johar, get another job. They don’t make Indian mothers from Nirupama Roy – prototypes anymore. The modern variety is like mine, who takes a phone from Port Elizabeth and responds to inquiries about her health with, “I’m okay. How can they,BALL OF CONTENTION: Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (right)Karan Johar, get another job. They don’t make Indian mothers from Nirupama Roy – prototypes anymore. The modern variety is like mine, who takes a phone from Port Elizabeth and responds to inquiries about her health with, “I’m okay. How can they say Sachin was ball-tampering? Arre, this must be costing you money. Bye.”Of all things that happen on assignment, nothing is worse than being sandbagged by your own mother at 7:30 a.m. Until that moment, Port Elizabeth had produced a familiar script of Indian touring ineptitude. Then Mike Denness decided to drop a grenade in the henhouse.The demands of a weekly mean that gunshot reactions take a back seat to cool analysis. But cool was to be found only in Antarctica, and analysis was overtaken by nationalistic outrage. Rumours flew at the speed of sound. “He did it,” hissed the India camp, as ex-player and pathological India-baiter Pat Symcox walked smugly by, accused of asking TV cameras to zoom to Tendulkar’s hands.Then there were the players: Virender Sehwag looking like he wanted to drown in his shallow bowl of cereal. Tendulkar clattering up a flight of stairs at St George’s Park, replying to questions with a grin and shrug.The moment the BCCI took over, the team exhaled and opinions came in a flood: “Oye, Denness must have been thinking, yaar how come no one is talking about me?”It took two days of talk, oaths of confidentiality, reading of cricket’s codes, and an all-night shift on the computer for four pages on crimes and punishment. Then came the day before the third “Test”, enshrined as Traumatic Thursday.advertisementIt began with an avalanche of threats to withdraw from the tour (BCCI), appeals to stay (UCB) and rumblings of anarchy (ICC). The death sentence came at 7 p.m. local time, 10:30 p.m. India. “It’s cover.” It is INDIA TODAY’S version of the air-raid siren and it means scramble, scramble, scramble.With a few hours to deadline, all you can do is communicate pure panic down the phone and appeal to the kindness of sources. They were merciful. “President Mbeki, he had to step in,” said one at dinner, after his partner had grudgingly passed on his cell phone.It was back to the computer, another night shift and the satisfaction of knowing, so what if you were falling asleep on the keyboard, there were people in India doing the same, waiting for the pearls of wisdom the temperamental laptop was reluctant to produce. No one would ever say to me again: “A cricket tour? My God, aren’t you the lucky one!”last_img read more

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