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Cape Town’s soccer angels

first_img1 February 2006Professional women’s football may not have taken off in South Africa, but if the vision and energy of Cape Town Angels FC is anything to go by, it’s only a matter of time before it does.The Cape Town Angels Football Club, born in 2002 out of development work done at the Jogo Bonito School of Excellence, aims to become a feeder for young South African women hoping to break into the world of professional soccer.Since then the club, which starts with teams at the under-nine age group level, has gone from strength to strength.Its potential was recently recognised by South Africa’s top selling soccer magazine, Kickoff, which has joined forces with the Angels to help with fund-raising and brand-building.‘Example to all amateur clubs’“It’s my opinion that this is a club that can be an example to all amateur clubs in South Africa, male and female,” says Kickoff editorial director Richard Maguire.The Angels, who recently made the Hartleyvale Stadium their new home, will be supported by the magazine’s marketing team of Kgomotso Kgatle and former Bafana Bafana striker George Dearnaley.Angels’ coach Lee du Plessis reckons the partnership with Kickoff will lead to new opportunities for the club. “This will improve the credibility of women athletes in the wider sporting community,” she said.The club’s primary fundraising focus is the Umbro International Cup, set to be played in Manchester, England in 2007.It will cost up to R15 000 for each player to attend, and money is in short supply, with many of the players coming from poor homes in the areas of Mitchell’s Plain, Athlone and Khayelitsha.Angel in AmericaRecently, one of the Angels, 15-year-old schoolgirl Lindsey Dolman, travelled to the United States to find out for herself what it takes to become a professional player.The game is big business in the US, which boasts a healthy professional league as well as 20 million registered players under the age of 19.Dolman, who dreams of representing South Africa at the Olympics and the World Cup, wanted to find out what aspects of her game she needs to work on, so she attended the Vermont and New Hampshire Olympic Development Program, which identifies the most talented players around the United States.The programme trains players as young as 12 in a far-sighted effort to produce future Olympians and World Cup stars.A wonderful experienceDolman says it was a wonderful experience. “The facilities are great,” she enthused. “The training wasn’t anything special or new; it was amazing how many girls play the game here.”South Africa, says Dolman, has the talent to star in the world game, but women’s soccer needs greater support: “We are ahead of the curve and we need to keep improving. We need more support for girl’s football.“The programme which we are in [at Cape Town Angels FC] is doing a lot for us, and I only realized it now seeing what else is happening in the USA.“I am grateful to Cape Town Angels believing in me and making this learning experience possible,” Dolman added. “This was my first plane trip and it was long. I hope I can spread the word about women’s football.”So, does Dolman have any other football dreams she wishes to fulfil? “I want to be the perfect footballer,” she says.“I know I am small and a little slow, but so too was Pele and Mia Hamm.” Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

BPO giant in SA – more to follow

first_img31 December 2007The decision by US-based business process outsourcing (BPO) giant TeleTech to establish a facility outside Cape Town is proof that the country’s marketing campaign to attract new foreign investment is a success, says the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC).IMC chief executive Yvonne Johnston says TeleTech’s decision will stimulate further global interest in the country’s advantages in the fields of BPO and call centres.“The BPO industry is poised for significant growth in the near future and South Africa is an ideal location to set up base,” Johnston said in a statement following TeleTech’s announcement in November.“We deliver competitive advantages compared with other countries in terms of our geographic location and time zone, the quality of our infrastructure, our human resources and the widespread usage of English.”The IMC, the custodian of Brand South Africa, is responsible for promoting the country as a preferred trade and investment destination.Construction of the new TeleTech facility at the Old Match Factory in Salt River, Cape Town, kicked off in late November with a sod-turning ceremony attended by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa.Colorado-based TeleTech Holdings is the first multinational company to benefit from a new incentive plan launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which has identified the BPO sector as a major future source of employment.“BPO is critical to our economic development strategy, and we see TeleTech as an anchor company for this new industry,” Mpahlwa said at the ceremony.SA a ‘high quality location’TeleTech has already announced that it plans a number of new facilities in South Africa, which will create thousands of new jobs in the BPO industry. The company already employs more than 50 000 people in 18 countries, and Cape Town is its first base on the African continent.“Africa’s future is in services, and South Africa is a virtually untapped market for offshore BPO,” TeleTech Africa general manager Craig Reines said in a statement. “We are attracted by the country’s excellent infrastructure, talented and growing labour pool, and the widespread use of English.“South Africa is a high quality location linking Africa into the global BPO supply chain.”Johnston said the TeleTech investment was a high-profile example of the success of the trade and investment missions jointly organised by the IMC and the DTI.“For the past five years we have conducted at least one mission a year – twice to the USA, Europe and the UK, and in October this year we went to India for the first time,” Johnston said. “We use these missions to inform the business communities in these countries about opportunities and prospects for trade and investment and to connect them with local contacts.“I am optimistic that we will see an increasing flow of trade and investment from companies that have come to know South Africa better through these visits.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Drug delivery gets sophisticated

first_imgNew drug delivery solutions can improvetreatment absorption rates and provideprotection of pharmaceuticals againstbiochemical degradation within the body.(Image: stock.xchng) Prof Viness Pillay and his team aredeveloping advanced drug deliverytechnologies that will change the waypeople take medication, improve theefficacy of drugs and reduce thecost of medicine.(Image: Viness Pillay) MEDIA CONTACTS • Shirona PatelHead: CommunicationsWits University+27 11 717 1019Wilma den HartighWits University researchers are developing advanced drug delivery technologies that will change the way people take medication, improve the efficacy of drugs and reduce the cost of medicine.For many years pharmaceuticals have consisted of simple, fast-acting formulations that are dispensed orally as solid tablets, capsules or liquids. But this is no longer the case.A team of researchers from the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at Wits University have developed new biocompatible and biodegradable drug delivery technologies, which can improve the efficacy of drugs used to treat diseases and conditions such as cancer, tuberculosis, HIV, epilepsy and other neurodegenerative disorders.“Gone are the days where a tablet was just a white solid round structure,” says Prof Viness Pillay, head of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Research at Wits University.A drug delivery system controls or regulates the way in which a drug is released, absorbed, distributed, metabolised and eliminated by the body. If scientists find ways to control these parameters, drugs can function more effectively in the body.Necessary for South AfricaPillay says that research into new drug delivery systems has major benefits for South Africa, which already has a high burden of diseases that affect its economically-active population.“If effective modes of treatment are not sought, this will lead to far reaching and detrimental socio-economic consequences,” he says.He adds that most local companies are not actively designing new drug delivery formulations or reformulating current products. Instead, their focus has shifted to generic formulations.“Our innovative research in this field will assist the local pharmaceutical industry in acquiring and commercialising newer drug delivery technologies that will benefit them and the country,” he says.Having such pharmaceuticals developed locally and commercialised will also reduce South Africa’s dependency on imported medicines.Improved drug deliveryThe goal of sophisticated drug delivery technology is to administer medicines to specifically targeted parts of the body, through a medium that can control the therapy’s administration.This can be done by means of either a physiological or chemical trigger.“Our research has enabled us to understand how to control the rate of drug delivery, sustain the duration of therapy and manoeuvre the drug to target a specific organ or tissue while maintaining specific blood concentrations,” he says.The research team has also determined how they can utilise drug delivery routes such as the eye, nose, mouth, skin, gastrointestinal tract or vaginal mucosa, to deliver drugs to specific areas of the body.Nano-neuropharmaceutics, wafers, chronotherapeutics and gastroretention are some of the technologies that the research team has been working on.Nano-neuropharmaceuticsNano-neuropharmaceutics are small brain implants to treat patients with neuro-degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Motor Neuron Disease.The implant can be stimulated electronically or through the use of ultrasound to release the drug.WafersWafers that dissolve on contact with the mucosa in the cheek, allow patients to absorb a drug almost instantly.He says that wafer technology is particularly useful for children and older patients who cannot ingest liquids, tablets and capsules.For instance, there are currently no HIV drugs available to treat infected babies and young children. The current practice is to crush an adult tablet and mix it with milk.However, he says that antiretroviral drugs are highly unstable in liquids and if babies don’t finish their milk, they don’t receive the prescribed dose.“By making use of our wafer technology, the drugs are absorbed within eight seconds,” he says.ChronotherapeuticsChronotherapeutics can treat diseases or conditions that only show signs and symptoms at certain times of the day. These include hypertension, rheumatic arthritis and heart attacks.Chronotherapeutics release a specific amount of a drug at certain times throughout the day. The drug is released over a period of two hours after which it stops temporarily. The cycle is repeated later in the day or evening.Gastroretentive deliveryThe benefit of gastroretentive delivery is that the drug is retained within the stomach and then slowly released and filtered through the pyloric sphincter into the duodenum.The pyloric sphincter is a strong ring of smooth muscle at the end of the pyloric canal which lets food pass from the stomach to the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.“Because the drug is filtered in such small quantities, it passes through the region at a very slow pace, which means the drug can be absorbed much more efficiently,” says Pillay.These technologies can improve treatment absorption rates and provide protection of pharmaceuticals against biochemical degradation within the body.The majority of the new delivery methods have already undergone significant testing and those in the more advanced stages of research have entered the commercialisation process.Reducing costsThe new drug delivery systems on offer will also result in a considerable overall reduction in the cost of medicine for patients, companies and the country.“Cost in this instance does not mean only the physical rands and cents that companies or patients will be saving,” he says. “Not providing effective treatment for a multitude of diseases can also be costly in terms of the socio-economic impact it will have if large numbers of the population are debilitated because of their disease, or are dying.”Developing new ways to administer medication that use less of the active pharmaceutical ingredient will also reduce the overall costs of medicine.last_img read more

Brian Blessed Gets Behind Campaign To Ban Wild Animal Circuses

first_imgAs the political saga surrounding the promised ban on wild animals in circuses in the UK continues, legendary actor Brian Blessed has urged the government to “end this circus madness” and finally legislate to ban such acts.The ‘Flash Gordon’ star’s call for action comes as Animal Defenders International (ADI) reveals that the only and much criticised lion and tiger circus act will not be touring Britain this year.Brian Blessed said “I am deeply opposed to the use of wild animals in circuses and have been working with Animal Defenders International to oppose such acts for many years. Despite repeated promises from the Government, we are still waiting for the law to pass and the animals are continuing to suffer. Please end this circus madness.”Brian Blessed is among a string of high profile supporters of ADI’s campaign to ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ in Britain which includes Ricky Gervais, Sir Roger Moore, Brian May, Moby, Imelda Staunton, Eddie Izzard, Twiggy, Annette Crosbie, Sir Paul McCartney and Dame Judi Dench.Back in 2011, Brian Blessed made a similar plea following ADI’s shocking exposé revealing the terrible abuse inflicted on Anne, Britain’s last circus elephant. The actor joined the organisation and a delegation of MPs to present a letter to the Prime Minister calling for a ban. At the time Blessed stated, “now is the time for the government to legislate and put a stop, once and for all, to the draconian and humiliating spectacle of wild animals in circuses.”As a result of changing attitudes and greater awareness of how circus animals are kept, trained and treated following investigations by organisations such as ADI, just two circuses in Britain currently tour with wild animals.ADI can reveal that Thomas Chipperfield, a relative of the notorious Mary Chipperfield who was prosecuted for animal cruelty following an ADI investigation, who presents the only lion and tiger circus act in Britain, will not be touring with a circus this year. The act featured in Peter Jolly’s Circus last year, attracting widespread criticism and local protests.Whilst in the circus and at their present overwintering location in Scotland, ADI documented how Chipperfield’s lions and tigers exhibited abnormal repetitive behaviour – not seen in the wild but commonly observed in circuses – indicating compromised welfare. Seeing the footage, vets Marc Abraham and Simon Adams said “Big cats are never meant to live like this” and “the limited space available in a travelling circus is unsuitable to big cats”. Although the animals will not be touring, they will likely remain in their temporary, confined living quarters.ADI President Jan Creamer said, “While the government fails to take action, the suffering of wild animals in circuses will continue and it must take full responsibility. It is time to pass the ban that has long been promised to the public and the animals.”Little progress has been made since the Government announced it would ban the use of wild animals in circuses in 2012, leading Jim Fitzpatrick MP to introduce a bill. Despite having cross-party support, Christchurch MP Christopher Chope has blocked the backbench bill on seven occasions. The bill will have its next second reading on Friday 27 February.Whilst Britain stalls on progressing the ban, 30 countries have introduced laws prohibiting animals in circuses. ADI is working with authorities to rescue animals from circuses following wild animal circus bans in Peru and Colombia, and is currently caring for 30 lions and over 20 other animals. The organisation is seeking donations to complete its groundbreaking rescue mission ‘Operation Spirit of Freedom’.last_img read more

I Feel Pretty trailer pulled after BC dad complains its too racy

first_img Login/Register With: Mitchell said he felt the preview was too explicit for the girl-powered volleyball movie’s young target audience. He was equally troubled by what he perceived to be the “I Feel Pretty” trailer’s subtext — that a woman’s self-worth is determined by her body image and sex appeal.“Anxiety, body awareness — these are very, very tender and current issues among teenage and tween-age girls exposed to this,” he said.“What I saw, through a child’s mind, is, ‘If I get naked, I get accepted.”‘Cineplex responded to Mitchell’s concerns by removing the “I Feel Pretty” trailer from the lineup for the G-rated “The Miracle Season” at the seven B.C. theatres screening the movie.“We’re in the business of entertaining our guests, and if they found it made them uncomfortable, then we wanted to respect that feedback in that one particular market,” Cineplex spokesperson Sarah Van Lange said. “If others are upset or had concerns with it, we’re happy to listen to that feedback.”Of the three or four trailers that are shown before a movie, Van Lange said Cineplex selects roughly half of the movies being previewed, while the rest are recommended by the film’s distributor. She could not immediately say who made the call to show the “I Feel Pretty” trailer at Mitchell’s screening.Trailer lineups at Cineplex screenings can vary from theatre to theatre, she said. The company considers a variety of factors such as a film’s genre, target audience and ratings to select previews that jive with the feature film, Van Lange said, but trailer curation is “not an exact science.”“I Feel Pretty” has been designated a PG-rated feature film, according to Consumer Protection BC. The provincial regulator has assigned the movie’s trailer its broadest rating, meaning it can be screened ahead of G- and PG-rated films.The consumer watchdog’s director of motion picture classification said it only receives public complaints about trailers once every two or three years.“This is a really isolated incident, but it’s something we do take seriously,” Steve Pelton said, adding that his team will take a “second look” at the ratings for the “I Feel Pretty” trailer.While Mitchell is pleased that Cineplex has taken action, he said the entertainment company needs to do more to address the corporate culture that would allow such a “big fail” to happen.As a remedy, he proposed that theatres only screen trailers for movies that have the same rating as the feature film they paid to see.“I took my child to a children’s film, and was shown an adult trailer,” he said. “I want to be given the choice.”Mitchell insists that he is not a “prude.” It’s not just nudity and sexual innuendo he’s concerned about, but how his daughter is processing these subjects he feels are beyond her years.In the “I Feel Pretty” trailer, Schumer tries to entice a male suitor by showing off her naked body as a “sneak peak of what’s to come.”Mitchell said he wants his daughter to know that her body is hers to protect, love and nourish — not be offered as a “reward.”“I don’t want her to start thinking that to please men, she must show her body,” said Mitchell. “This really flew in the face of positive growth in a child, and it’s got to stop.”While he recognizes the feature-length film might be more nuanced than a minutes-long sizzle reel of the film’s “naughty bits,” Mitchell said he does not think his preteen daughter is in a position to make that distinction.Raising kids in the digital age, Mitchell said it has become increasingly hard for parents to filter out inappropriate content, but that won’t stop him from trying to protect his child “one little step at a time.”“I’m the guardian of a really bright, young kid that I want to be raised as a person, not a gender,” he said. “I want her to bold and be noble and succeed in the world based on her ability, not her sexuality. And I think sexualizing women in film and things like that is just old. It’s just done.”— By Adina Bresge  Facebook His jaw dropped as his daughter watched an unclothed Schumer seducing a potential beau in the trailer for “I Feel Pretty.” The comedy is about an insecure woman, who after suffering a head injury, believes she has been transformed into a would-be model.The trailer also shows Schumer shimmying on stage as she partakes in a wet T-shirt contest. Advertisement LANGLEY, B.C. — A father is calling on theatres to ensure that family-friendly movies are not spoiled before they start after an uncomfortable outing with his daughter prompted Cineplex to pull a trailer from certain screenings in British Columbia.Mike Mitchell said he and his wife took their nine-year-old daughter to a Cineplex theatre in Langley, B.C., last weekend to see “The Miracle Season,” a Vancouver-shot drama about a girls’ volleyball team that bands together in the face of adversity.But before the feel-good flick could get underway, a preview for an upcoming film starring Amy Schumer left the parents feeling horrified, said Mitchell.center_img Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more