Thompson foresees ‘bright future’ for Reggae Boyz

first_imgRYAN THOMPSON foresees a ‘bright future’ for the Reggae Boyz following recent performances at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Jamaicans made history by becoming the first Caribbean team to play in the final and registered another landmark on their way there, when they defeated the United States in the semi-final. Prior to the 2-1 win at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, no Jamaican football team had ever beaten the United States in America. In the final, the team lost 3-1 against Mexico. However, Thompson focused on the positives. “It’s just a building process for the future. It’s very bright for Jamaica’s football,” he said. On the way to the final, the Boyz won their group with seven of maximum nine points, then beat Haiti 1-0 in the quarter-final before advancing to the US game, then the final. After that defeat, their only one at the tournament, he said: “We’re happy with our performance and that’s all we can ask for. Everyone went out there, played to the best of their abilities. Everyone went out there and pretty much wore their hearts on their sleeves out there. We could not have asked for anything more than that.” The tournament itself represented a breakthrough for Thompson, who made the most of half a chance. The 30-year-old goalkeeper grasped the number-one position after starting out as third string. The former Ardenne High School Manning Cup representative got his chance in Jamaica’s last group game against El Salvador in Canada, when Dwayne Miller got injured early and his back-up, AndrÈ Blake, was short on match practice. “It started from last year when I got invited to camp, and ever since, Sch‰fer (Winfried) rang me, I’m there. I made certain that I’m going to be a face that he never forgets. I work hard every single day, I compete every single day. I haven’t missed a camp. I haven’t missed a single trip ever since coach Sch‰fer invited me and I’m thankful for that,” Thompson remarked. “He saw something in me as a player and I know I have a lot to give to the team and I want to build on these things going forward. Hopefully, Jamaica, and not just Jamaica, but the world, will recognise that we have quality players out there and give us the respect that we truly deserve. “I’m just happy with my performance and what I was able to do for my country. Every game, I went out there I gave of my best. I wore my heart on my sleeve out there,” he continued. The goalie made a blunder that caused the goal in the US match and central defender Michael Hector made two that led to goals in the final. However, Thompson said the team’s reaction to such situations reflects a spirit among the group that fosters growth. “It’s amazing. Everybody’s going to make mistakes. This is the beauty about this team, we don’t single out anybody, when one person makes a mistake, everybody makes a mistake, and it’s just amazing to be a part of a group like this, nobody is going to single you out and this is just positive going forward. It’s just pure positives going forward and again, I’m sure Jamaica’s football is going to be very, very bright,” Thompson emphasised. “It’s all a part of the game. You’re gonna make mistakes and stuff happens,” he added. “But I’m proud of my team. I’m proud of everybody. Nobody expected us to be here and we played in the final against Mexico, one of the best teams in the world.”last_img read more

Kia signs up little known but ‘hungry’ players as part of ‘unconventional mentality’

first_imgJake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? LATEST STORIES It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Kia is doubling down on the players’ desire to win rather than sheer talent alone, a method unheard of in any league.“The idea that were trying to develop has been proven in the past with the NCC and Purefoods teams before, but it takes years and a lot of dedication on the part of the players and the coaching staff to make it work. As we’ve said, we’d like to pay our dues,” said Lipa. “It may not be the conventional type of basketball people are expecting, but look at it as our little contribution and give us a chance to do something different.”Lipa also vouched for another Christian — Chris Gavina, that is — as the longtime deputy will now be given the steering wheel to anchor the Picanto this upcoming season as their new head coach.“Coach Chris is familiar with our philosophy with how we want to play the game. Our system is more of a system where everybody should fit into a role, and we believe that have the necessary tools to teach them how to play competitive basketball in the pro level,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ 13 players show up as Gilas opens World Cup qualifiers buildup Chris de Chavez was picked in the third round by Kia in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netTwo is better than one.That’s the “unconventional mentality” Kia is embracing as it embarks on a new beginning with team governor Bobby Rosales and team manager Joe Lipa leading the charge.ADVERTISEMENT Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours MOST READ Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. And the Picanto aren’t batting an eyelash over losing the chance to sign top overall selection Christian Standhardinger, after trading the pick to San Miguel in exchange for a pair of veterans in Ronald Tubid and JayR Reyes, as well as sophomore guard Rashawn McCarthy.They still ended up with a Christian in their team. Two, in fact: Chris de Chavez and Christian Geronimo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogWithout any picks in the first two rounds, Kia settled for drafting the wide-bodied Arvie Bringas of FEU, de Chavez from Ateneo, and little-known Geronimo of PUP as it continued to stockpile on prospects who they feel are eager enough to show their worth and accept their unique approach wholeheartedly.“We’d like to give hungry young players a chance to prove themselves in our team,” said Lipa. View commentslast_img read more

Ellen Should Publicly Apologize to Shaki’s Family’

first_imgThe Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), has recommended that President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf openly extend a public apology to Shaki Kamara’s family and provide compensation to the family.The INCHR also strongly recommended that the President provide monetary compensation to the family, an amount to be determined by the government in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia.The Daily Observer contacted President Johnson-Sirleaf’s Presidential Press Secretary, Jerolinmeh Piah for is reaction to the INCHR’s recommendation.  But he declined to comment, saying he had neither seen the report nor spoken with the President about it.  As soon as he did, he would give the press her reaction.The INCHR launched the long awaited investigation report on Shaki Kamara, who was shot in the leg in on August 20, 2014, when people of West Point Township revolted against a forced quarantine order  implemented by a contingent of the Armed Forces of Liberia.Speaking on Wednesday at the launch of the Report at the office of the Commission, the Chairperson of the Commission, former Associate Justice Gladys Johnson, said the 15-year-old, Shaki Kamara was shot in the leg, which shattered his leg resulting in profuse bleeding and death.According to the Report, unidentified witnesses informed the Commission that Shaki Kamara was shot in the leg by a police officer.  Meanwhile, the report said a military personnel shot Titus Nuah after residents of the township resisted the family of West Point Commissioner Miatta Haja Flowers remaining in the township.The Chairperson of the Commission explained that, the commission was informed by the witnesses that they are ready to prove their allegations, but only if their safety will be guaranteed by Commission and the government at large.“The West Point shooting affected persons, including Titus Nuah, who was shot in his stomach; Sylvester Kromah, who sustained serious lacerations from barb wires while attempting to escape the scene of the shooting and angry mob from West Point; and Shaki Kamara, who died as the result of profuse bleeding and late medication,” Commissioner Johnson said.According to Madam Johnson, Dr. Vuyu. Kanda Golakai, Dean, A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, Professor and consultant, department of surgery, John F. Kennedy medical center explained that, “Based on still photographs and video images of the injuries sustained by Shaki Kamara, the victim of those injuries could have been successfully treated by a competent person or team in Liberia and should not have died as a result of such injuries.”According to Titus Nuah who was shot in the stomach and in the same room with at Redemption Hospital with Shaki Kmara, “Shaki was administered drips. He constantly requested water to drink but received none; he called out to the nurses but no one came, he rolled down from the bed to the floor and crawled to my bed telling me ‘Timaya, I will die. I want to drink.’ He called plenty times crying and nobody came, he stopped talking and sleep carried me. When I woke up around 5: 30 a.m., Shaki was dead.”According to the Commissioner Johnson, through video recording, first aid was administered to Shaki Kamara’s wound by Medicine Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Armed Forces of Liberia at the scene of the shooting, crying and explaining that he had gone to buy bread.The Commission also says, the misjudgment or perhaps the intentional violation of the quarantine order by the township commissioner, Miatta Haja Flowers to evacuate her family from West Point assisted by the very security forces deployed to enforce the quarantine order, was a glaring display of special treatment for commissioner Flowers and family and discrimination against the residents of West Point.“These actions and circumstances by the township commissioner and the security forces led to the protest and later the death little Shaki Kamara and others who received injuries at the shooting situation in West Point,” Cllr. Johnson said.The commission has also recommended to the government through the Ministry of Internal Affairs that the commissioner of West Point be reassigned or replaced; that the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf extend a public apology to the family of Shaki Kamara; and compensate the family for their loss.The INCHR also recommends that Titus Nuah be flown to a renowned Hospital in Accra Ghana, for further evaluation or treatment accompanied by a family member and physician who operated on him at the SDA Cooper Hospital in Monrovia.  For this, the government through the office of the President should underwrite the cost.The commission has at the same time called on the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to openly apologize to the people of Liberia and the victims of the shooting incident of August 20, 2014.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man convicted of attempted theft of Andy Carroll’s Sh2.9m watch

first_imgCarroll told the trial at Basildon Crown Court east of London that he feared O’Brien had a gun when he drew level with him at a set of traffic lights and demanded he hand over the watch.The 28-year-old Carroll was then pursued by two suspects on motorbikes as he tried to escape.As a result, he was forced onto the wrong side of the road as he headed back to east London club West Ham’s training ground, which is protected by security staff.O’Brien, who has past convictions for burglary, was found guilty of attempted robbery.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Andy Carroll (pictured) told the trial at Basildon Crown Court east of London that he feared O’Brien had a gun when he drew level with him at a set of traffic lights © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 1 – A thief was convicted Friday of trying to steal a Sh2.9m (£22,000) watch from West Ham and England striker Andy Carroll.Motorbike-riding Jack O’Brien, 22, pulled up alongside Carroll’s Jeep Wrangler car near Hainault, north-east London, as the footballer was driving home from the Hammers’ training ground on November 2 last year.last_img read more


first_imgRAPHOE NOTES: AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMME:Tuesday; 3-4pm 3rd & 4th Classes Homework Support; 4-5pm 5th & 6th Classes Drop-in;Wednesday; 2-3pm Junior & Senior Infants Play time;3-4pm 1st & 2nd Classes Homework Support;Thursday; 2-3pm Junior & Senior Infants Play time; 3-4pm 1st & 2nd Classes Homework Support.Parents/guardians of 5th & 6th Class children please note that Tuesday from 4-5pm is now drop-in with activities such as pool, table-tennis etc. Thank you for your continuing support and cooperation.LITTLE SMILES WITH BIG DREAMSLittle Smiles with Big Dreams is a parent and toddler group that meets every Wednesday morning at 10:30am – 12 noon in the Family Resource Centre. Anyone who is in care of a child where it is an aunt / uncle/ child-minder or grandparent is welcome. The kiddies can get involved in Messy play, free play, story time and music time where the adult can enjoy a cuppa tea and meet other adults. Parent and Toddler are a great way to enhance your little one confidence and meet others their age. A light lunch is provided and a small cost of 50 cent per family.RAPHOE WALKING GROUP Wanting to become fit or fitter in 2015? Don’t’ like to walk alone? Joining Raphoe Walking group could be the answer! The Walking group meet every Thursday morning at 10.30am. All abilities are catered for. And an important element of the group is coming in afterwards to have a chat and a cuppa.School of DanceThe Sinead Mc Gavigan School of Dance is coming to the Family Resource Centre commencing on Tuesday 24th February. Types of dance include Hip-hop, Street, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Freestyle. Time: 4-7 year olds from 6.30-7.30pm; 8-12 year olds from 7.30-8.30pm. Cost-€5.00 per session. To book your child’s place please contact 074 9145796.DATE FOR YOUR DIARY: The Family Resource will be hosting a one-day workshop on Thursday 7th May on recognising and understanding self-harming. The workshop will run from 9.30am-4.30pm. To book a place please contact Laura on 074 9145796/087 3641503.St.Eunan’s National School Enrolment 2015Enrolment Forms are now available in the school office. Parents are now asked to enrol their child by 27th March. Birth Cert, Baptismal Cert and PPS No are required for enrolment.RAPHOE FRIDAY SENIORS CLUB:The Club Meet every Friday in the Volt Hall from 10:30am until 1pm. For further information please contact the Secretary on 074-9145462 or the Tidy Town Office on 074-9145692.Raphoe Badminton ClubRaphoe Badminton Club’s Annual Badminton Tournament commences on Thursday 26th February in the Recreational Hall with usual events run. Finals will be played on Friday 13th March. For further details contact Joe Magee (074) 9145451 (after 7.00pm), Sammy Magee (074) 9145444 or check out the Raphoe Badminton Club page on Facebook.SLIMMING WORLDDo you want to achieve your weight loss dreams in 2015. Well now you can with our new Streamlined Extra Easy Plan, even easier than before. And power up your weight loss with our new weight loss boosting eating plan. If you would like to know more, come along to one of our warm and friendly groupsEvery Thursday night at 7pm in the Volt hall RaphoeOr contact Geraldine on 0863348048 I look forward to seeing you soonSt, Marys Gaelic 4 Mothers & OthersSt. Marys Gaelic 4 Mothers & OthersStarting back 4th March @ 8:15 pmif you are 18 years and over andwould like to get fit, learn a new skill, have fun andmeet new friends then this is the team for you!Please note that items for the Raphoe Notes should be placed in the box provided in the Post Office on or before 12 noon on Fridays. Items can also be emailed to or handed in to the Family Resource Centre, William Street. Items should be submitted at least one week in advance of publication of local press.DD LOCAL: RAPHOE TO HOST INFORMATION NIGHT ON UNDERSTANDING SELF-HARMING was last modified: February 14th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalRaphoe noteslast_img read more

Cape Town taxi ranks to get free wifi

first_img31 July 2015Free wifi is being rolled out at taxi ranks in Western Cape as an expansion of a project to grow internet access throughout South Africa.Project Isizwe today announced that commuters at Gugulethu and Khayelitsha taxi ranks would be given access to free wifi, as the organisation forges ahead with its programme to connect mainly disadvantaged areas with the internet.It has been driving internet access through wifi in the city of Tshwane as part its digital inclusion programme, with 514 wifi zones out of 633 situated at educational institutions. There is also a pilot free wifi zone in Eastern Cape at the Mount Frere and Lusikisiki campuses of Ingwe Technical Vocational Education and Training College.“Living without information is unthinkable and we believe that we are making a significant contribution to the people of Gugulethu and Khayelitsha by giving them access to opportunities to become employable and contribute to the economic development of the city,” said Zahir Khan, the chief operating officer of Project Isizwe.In Cape Town, the city is also driving its own internet access initiatives with wifi projects in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, as well as an imminent roll-out on its MyCiti buses.Daily capThe Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain wifi service differs significantly from projects around the country in that it has a daily cap of 3GB. Project Isizwe offers a cap of 250MB but it has increased the speed to 15mbps.Free wifi internet access aligns with national policy that stipulates universal broadband access by 2020, and the service may yet prove critical to assisting mobile operators with network load.“Wifi has proven to be a complementary solution for mobile operators in their effort to improve their service delivery to their customers and wifi calling is the next step,” said Michael Fletcher, the sales director for sub-Saharan Africa at Ruckus Wireless.The GSMA’s Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2014 report found that the mobile ecosystem made a healthy contribution to the gross domestic product of countries in the region. It showed that mobile operators alone contributed $27-billion (about R340-billion today) or 1.9% of the region’s GDP, and a further $8-billion in related industries.But beyond economic growth, internet access is regarded as a human right.“For too many people in South Africa, using the internet has turned into a privilege, when it should be a right. We hope that this project will galvanise a nationwide call for free and subsidised internet for all people living in South Africa in under resourced communities,” said Fatima Hassan, the executive director of Open Society Foundation of South Africa, a partner in the Western Cape wifi rollout.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

Dell Kills Its Public Cloud, Continues To Flail In Post-PC Era

first_imgRelated Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting brian proffitt Tags:#cloud computing#dell#smart TV Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…center_img Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Dell is a computer company desperately in search of a new market as the desktop and laptop PCs dwindles. But the Austin-based company is finding that that an elusive target.Public Cloud? That’s So 2011Yesterday the company announced it was dropping Dell Cloud, its home-grown infrastructure-as-a-service public cloud service. It is also pulling the plug on its planned OpenStack-based public cloud service and online storage service before they even get off the ground.Dell isn’t out the cloud game altogether, mind you – it will be reselling public cloud services through its new Dell Cloud Partner Program. And it’s still working on private cloud offerings.Dell’s decision to drop its program after only two years isn’t terribly surprising – it was regarded as pricey compared to similar offerings from HP and IBM, and going head to head with similar services from Amazon Web Services and Google without good pricing and a very solid support system is tantamount to suicide these days.Bring On The DonglesBut Dell is still on the hunt for new revenue. Reports out today indicate that the hardware maker will be releasing a new thumb-drive PC, codenamed Project Ophelia, this July for a reported $100.PC World has revealed that the device will be based on Android and can be plugged into a TV or monitor via the HDMI port. File storage will be handled via Wyse’s PocketCloud.Dell wants to get this device in the hands of telecomm carriers, who could use Ophelia to deliver streaming TV to customers who don’t currently have smart TVs or devices like Roku or Apple TV to pull in online content.Developers will get their hands on the PC-on-a-stick first, in order to build Android apps and build up a collection of TV-friendly apps. Since there’s a lot of Wyse thin-client tech packed into this thing, presumably there will be some capability to have portability between home and work.This is an interesting concept, save for the fact that there are already similar and cheaper devices on the market now. The concept of a dongle PC is not new, and to date, they haven’t really taken off.The idea also ignores the very real trend away from vertical screen and keyboard/mouse devices to handheld tablets and smartphones. While Ophelia devices would give you portability, you still need a mouse, keyboard and screen to use these things… so the portability is constrained. And if I’m essentially recreating a PC-like portable work setup anyway, why not just use a laptop?I suspect that’s why Dell is emphasizing the telecom angle when it pitches these things. Carriers could offer Ophelia with video and data plans, maybe. But it’s hard to imagine consumers buying these things off the shelf when there are other similarly priced set-top devices already on the market and proven to work.Dell is clearly throwing a lot of things against the wall to see what sticks. Public cloud didn’t work, and it’s difficult to see Project Ophelia working out, either. Servers, however, aren’t doing badly right now. Perhaps Dell should stick to what it knows best.last_img read more

Overnight rain chokes Kolkata

first_imgTransport in Kolkata came to a near standstill on Thursday after bouts of heavy showers overnight led to waterlogging in several parts of the city. There were severe signalling disruptions in the metro service as well. The India Meteorological Department website on Thursday showed a record of 26.6 mm of rainfall as opposed to a normal rainfall of 9.9 mm around the time in Gangetic West Bengal, with Kolkata experiencing 36.6 mm rainfall while normal rainfall is in the region of 8.7 mm.Consistent rainfallWhile places such as Siliguri, Darjeeling, Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia and Hoogly are experiencing consistent rainfall with minor waterlogging, it was acute in Howrah and North 24 Parganas.Within Kolkata, commuters had a harrowing time in the heavy-traffic regions of Eastern-Metropolitan Bypass and the Taratala-Majerhat stretch of Diamond-Harbour Road, as well as in Salt Lake Sector V, Rajarhat New Town, Dum Dum Park, Park Street, Rajabazar and Amherst Street. The continuous rain that caused waterlogging inconvenienced office-goers and students with traffic snarls delaying their movement.A few city schools declared a holiday because of heavy rainfall and irregular transport services.“Most districts of West Bengal will receive light to moderate rainfall in the next 72 hours. Coastal districts, including Kolkata, shall witness heavy rainfall at isolated places. We urge all those who intend to travel to take adequate measures before stepping out,” a Regional Meteorological Centre officer told The Hindu.last_img read more

Turning point in Pak vs WI quarter-final tie

first_imgIt couldn’t have been a more easy outing for Pakistan in the World Cup quarter-final. They beat West Indies convincingly by 10 wickets to advance to the semi-final of the mega tournament.The turning point in the game was – three quick wickets by Afridi that sealed the fate of the opposition team.Post Hafeez’s  two wickets – Devon Smith and Darren Bravo in the space of two balls – in the sixth over, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul decided to stead the ship.The two were batting with resolve and had put 42 runs for the fourth wicket when Afridi struck.First he dismissed Ramnaresh Sarwan with an extra bounce on the first ball of the 25th over and then in the 27th over claimed Kieron Pollard and Devon Thomas on consecutive balls to reduce the Windies to 69/6. The assault proved too much for the West Indies to handle and the whole crumbled on 112.Man-of-the-Match Mohammad Hafeez with his all-round performance earned the MoM award. First he got the better of Devon Smith and Darren Bravo with impressive bowling and then came out to bat and put an unbeaten 61 runs.last_img read more

Bangalore rides a new high as training centres offer horse riding to general public

first_imgOn the Trot: Show-jumping is only for those with a keen sense of horsemanshipBangalore has somehow managed to be a stressed out Silicon Valley and pensioners’ paradise, pub haven and coffee-house corner – all at the same time. So it’s no surprise that the city’s latest fad manages to combine,On the Trot: Show-jumping is only for those with a keen sense of horsemanshipBangalore has somehow managed to be a stressed out Silicon Valley and pensioners’ paradise, pub haven and coffee-house corner – all at the same time. So it’s no surprise that the city’s latest fad manages to combine a lot of country with a little bit of city. Horse-riding, once a job requirement for military men and a pastime of landed gentry, is the latest hobby in Bangalore.The reason riding has not been restricted to period movies in this part of the country is that it has become both accessible and affordable. Not only are there five riding schools in the city but a growing number of personal trainers, 20 at last count, has meant that more people with a little time and money to spare can learn the completely unimportant but thoroughly exhilarating skill of riding a horse.The riding schools cover a vast segment of people and offer a range of facilities. You could enroll at a school that charges as less as Rs 75 an hour for a lesson, while a few trimmings could shoot the fees up to Rs 200 an hour. The man on the street could show up at the Bangalore Palace Grounds for a lesson and the well-heeled could opt to be trained by foreign instructors at schools like the Embassy Riding School, 30 km outside the city. Jitu Virwani, owner of the Embassy says, “Equestrian sport in India has been the monopoly of the army. We wanted to provide world-class training and reach out to everyone, children and adults.” At Embassy’s sprawling Rajanakunte campus, eight-year-old Shakina Arcis sits astride a thoroughbred, Slash.advertisement”He is very big, very black and very beautiful,” says Arcis of the animal she is trying to master with help from Judith Bidappa. A schoolteacher by profession, Bidappa volunteers to train children at the school. It gives her a chance to be in the open and a choice of 35 horses. Bidappa loves to teach children but they are not the only ones wanting to be initiated in this somewhat arcane art. Child’s Play: Bidappa initiates 8-year-old Child’s Play: Bidappa initiates eight-year-old Arcis in the art of ridingSunitha Singh, a 38-year-old housewife, always wanted to learn riding but kept putting it off because of family commitments. “I now find time to attend riding lessons once a week,” she says. It was perhaps the effect riding had on her six-year-old son Shakti that spurred her on.Shakti suffers from cerebral palsy but learnt riding as part of the special programme for disabled at the Princess Academy of Equitation (PAE) on the Bangalore Palace Grounds. Pushpa Bopaiah agrees about the curative power of horse-riding. A housewife, Bopaiah has had training in therapeutic horse-riding from the US and now gives lessons at the PAE. Each riding school has about 40 riders, which means that at this stage profits are a distant dream for most owners. It costs between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 70 lakh (depending on the facilities offered) to set up a school. Says Virwani: “Even after five years I am yet to break even, but it should be good next year. The important thing is that we are here to promote horse-riding as a hobby.”Bangalore-based American businessman Charles Kingery enrolled his children in Virwani’s school because of qualified instructors. “I find the training here very good,” he says. British national Katherine Rustomji, married to an Indian corporate executive, has also enrolled her two children in the same school. She finds the facilities-in terms of rider safety and training-on a par with those available in England. One of the trainers and founders of the Embassy is Silvia Storai, an Italian and among the few women jockeys in India.While the exclusive riding schools may be out of reach for the average Bangalorean, the PAE is a good place to witness the rising popularity of riding. Maharajakumari Meenakshi Devi, daughter of the late maharaja of Mysore, grew up riding on the sprawling acres of the Bangalore Palace Grounds which was her father’s summer place. Now, she has opened the grounds to more than just royalty. “We want to make this elegant sport available to the average Indian child,” she says. For those unable to make it during the day, the PA E offers the “ride at night” facility.The first to offer public riding lessons, however, was the Bangalore Amateur Riding Institute (BARI), run by the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC).Says Nirmal Ram-prasad of the BTC: “We are now looking for a bigger place to train youngsters. The aim is to inculcate a spirit of adventure and horsemanship.” The institute currently has 200 riders, with most Indian jockeys having trained at Bari.advertisementExperts at Work: Professional trainers are key to the success of schools like the PAEHorse-riding is popular with different levels of riders. Alisha Jayaraj, 14, was offered a week of horse-riding as a birthday present when she turned 10. She now competes in local competitions and even won a gold medal at an inter-riding school contest held at the Embassy this year. There are others who take a shine to what is called dressage, the art of horsemanship comprising not racing or even jumping but a test of grooming and presentation of the animal and its understanding of the rider’s orders. Many ride just to keep fit.Riding, however, is not without its dangers-of temperamental horses and broken bones for riders. And given that children are involved, an instructor’s job becomes critical. So you have the likes of Colonel (retd) Ghulam Mohammed Khan – 1984 Arjuna Award winner and a member of the gold medal-winning Indian team at the 1982 Asian Games – training at the 30-acre Equestrian Centre for Excellence (ECE) on the Bangalore Palace Grounds.The ECE provides facilities for the three main competitive equestrian disciplines- dressage, show-jumping arenas and cross-country. ECE Chairman T.P. Issar, a former Karnataka chief secretary, believes the sport inculcates discipline and leadership.So parents are keen to have children take up riding. Says a telecom department official Albert Rajan whose two teenaged sons, Ravi and Kiran, are learning riding at BARI: “I wanted to dispel the myth that horse-riding is only for the well-heeled. We belong to the middle class and, after all, it is a good exercise.”Horse-riding is catching on as an activity for those who can afford leisure in Bangalore. More than other cities that have turf clubs and amateur riders’ clubs associated with them, private enterprise is the force that is driving the hobby to a wider audience here. While the coffers of private riding schools are not overflowing, popularity, the first step to profit, has not been hard to achieve.last_img read more