Mar 5, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Starting next fall, how will the healthcare system get influenza vaccine into the arms (or noses) of tens of millions of additional children each year, given that the vaccination season is limited and many children don’t have regular medical checkups?That’s probably the central—though not the only—question raised by last week’s recommendation by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to vaccinate all school-aged children against influenza.”I think it will be difficult,” said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director of the Immunization Action Coalition, a St. Paul–based nonprofit group that campaigned for the ACIP recommendation.Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is advised by the ACIP, recommended flu vaccination for children from 6 through 59 months old. The new ACIP recommendation expands the target groups to include children from ages 5 through 18 years. That adds about 30 million children to the groups targeted for flu shots, the CDC estimates.The advisory group endorsed the change on the grounds that it will reduce flu and related medical needs in children and may limit spread of the disease in the community. In a nod to uncertainties about the adequacy of the vaccine supply next fall and winter, the CDC said the recommendation “is to take effect as soon as feasible, but no later than the 2009-2010 influenza season.”Immunization advocates and primary care physician groups say it will be a challenge to immunize millions more children, because many of them rarely visit a doctor and because the timing of flu vaccination season doesn’t mesh well with the timing of routine checkups for the children that do have them. Some experts say vaccines will have to be offered in settings other than physicians’ offices.In addition, one primary care group, the American Academy of Family Physicians, worries that providers may not have enough vaccine next season and has questions about the cost-effectiveness of the new policy.How much of a demand surge?Although an additional 30 million children are now advised to get flu shuts, the CDC expects only a fraction of that number will seek vaccination next season. “It takes a while for uptake to reach levels we’d like, but based on experience with childhood vaccines, we estimate about 7 million [more] doses will be used next year,” said Curtis Allen, a spokesman for the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD).Allen said vaccine company representatives who were at the ACIP meeting all promised to do “everything possible” to produce adequate supplies for next season. He said their major concern was their ability to change all three flu strains in the vaccine, as recommended recently by the World Health Organization in light of suboptimal matches between this year’s vaccine and the viral strains in circulation.Even assuming the doses are available, Allen acknowledged that immunizing 7 million additional children will be a challenge. “One reason is that vaccine typically reaches the market in late September or early October. Most children start school earlier, and many will have visited their pediatrician or family physician in August,” he said.Allen added that children and adolescents are “notoriously difficult to reach in that, once a child reaches a certain age, they rarely see a physician unless they’re sick. So this is a whole new cohort we’ll have to reach with information about the importance of flu vaccination.”Lance Rodewald, MD, head of the immunization services division in the NCIRD, said the need for flu immunization might be seen as a tool to push for annual medical exams for children. But that may not be practical, because the flu immunization season runs only about 3 to 4 months. “For pediatricians to see all their patients once a year, they are going to have to be scheduled throughout the year,” he said.Alternative vaccination venues”Pediatricians and family physicians are probably going to do a fair amount of vaccination, but this would really stress the office capacity to vaccinate everyone in this narrow time frame,” Rodewald said. “Probably a lot of the adolescents and school children will have to get their vaccines at places other than a provider office.”One way pediatricians might meet an increased demand for flu shots would be to offer special Saturday or evening clinics where children would be immunized without undergoing a full medical checkup, Rodewald suggested.Another possible option is school-based immunization, a topic that was discussed at the ACIP meeting, he said. Schools, like medical clinics, face limitations because many of them no longer have a staff nurse, but they could work with public health agencies or other partners to vaccinate students, he said.”We’re looking for sustainable methods to use schools and community vaccinators to partner together to reach schoolchildren, because it’s a promising working venue,” Rodewald commented.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which supported the ACIP recommendation, is open to the idea of children receiving flu shots elsewhere than their regular clinic if need be, said Henry Bernstein, DO, a member of the AAP’s Committee on Infectious Diseases and chief of general academic pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth in Lebanon, N.H.”Certainly the AAP supports the concept of a medical home, so we’d like children to be immunized in their medical home,” he said. “But if there are other opportunities or places for people to get flu vaccine in a given season, that’s good. What’s critically important is that if they get it outside their medical home, it gets into their medical record with their primary care provider.”Bernstein said pediatricians feel there is “huge value” in expanding the flu immunization to all children. “But everyone is certainly aware of the fact that implementation and logistics need to be closely examined to really make this happen,” he added.AAFP leader concernedJim King, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), voiced concern about the cost-effectiveness of the ACIP recommendation and its possible impact on family physicians next season.King, who practices in Selmer, Tenn., said the AAFP has long recommended voluntary flu shots for children older than 6 months. However, he said, “It’s already past the point for physicians to order flu vaccine [for next fall], so getting the amount of vaccine is going to be difficult for most family physician offices.”Commenting that about 76 million children nationwide will now be covered by flu vaccination recommendations, King said manufacturers may not be able to make enough vaccine to meet the increased demand.”Are we going to do this on an annual basis, and how much money is this going to cost the healthcare system?” he said. “We haven’t seen the outcome data to show that it’s cost-effective for us to do this.” He added that he has seen many patients this year who contracted flu even though they had been vaccinated.King said he also expects some parental concerns about the cost of immunization and whether insurance will cover it, though he doesn’t expect a big backlash so long as the vaccination is not required.He said the AAFP would reexamine its policy on flu immunizations for children in light of the ACIP recommendation.Modest expectationsWexler, of the Immunization Action Coalition, counseled modest expectations about the early impact of the ACIP recommendation.”I don’t think we should expect that we’re going to be reaching the kinds of rates we achieve with other vaccines, because there’s no catch-up period—this is a year-after-year thing. It’s going to be different,” she said. “I think the goal is to do the best you can and every year you do a little better.””We’re never going to achieve 90% [coverage], and I don’t think we should expect to,” she said, adding, “We have to think about alternate venues, not just the practitioner’s office.”Wexler said anti-vaccine groups have already begun expressing opposition to the new recommendation. “I think because flu vaccine is the only one other than Japanese encephalitis that has some thimerosal [a mercury compound] in it, that’s a big issue for anti-vacciners. This has been going on for many years now, and I don’t’ know that it’s going to be any more difficult than it’s already been.”She said she doesn’t expect much opposition from parents—”not with children dying of influenza. Parents want to protect their children, and they hear the stories, and they mostly trust their physicians.”Wexler also said the effort to immunize more children offers a good opportunity to prepare for a flu pandemic—a view also voiced by Bernstein. “How do we mobilize, how do we reach the most people in the least time?” she said. “It’s going to be a learning curve, but it’s not too soon to start.”Numerical perspectivesBernstein said that, while the move to immunize school children is a major step, it doesn’t add as many children to the target groups as may appear at first glance.”Medically I think this is an important step to take; it really adds a number of children to the ranks,” he said. “But to be perfectly honest, essentially half of them should already be getting the flu vaccine every year, because 10% of them have conditions that warrant it, and another 40% of them are household contacts of someone who would not do well if flu was brought into the home.” The CDC currently recommends flu immunization for close contacts of people at risk for serious complications of flu.Wexler observed that the ACIP recommendation pushes the country closer to embracing universal flu vaccination. Previously, flu immunization recommendations covered groups constituting about 74% of the US population, she said. Now, “it’s probably up to 90%, or at least up to 85%.”In light of those numbers, she said, “I think it would be better to recommend vaccination for everyone. It’s much simpler. . . . It’s going to save clinicians a lot of time, instead of having to wade through and figure out who’s supposed to be vaccinated. It’ll be much easier for [insurance] coverage to be ascertained. . . . And I think it’ll reduce influenza in circulation.”See also: Feb 27 CIDRAP News story “ACIP recommends flu shots for all school children”
The Bosnian defender doesn’t even flinch as the robbers threaten him (Picture: PA)The judge described Smith, of Islington, north London, as a ‘career criminal’ who was well known to police.He was out on licence for a 42 month burglary sentence in 2017 when he tried to carry out the street robbery.Jailing him, the judge said: ‘It’s fair to say they planned this attack with great care, armed themselves with pointed weapons capable of causing significant injury one said to be a knitting needle one said to be a screwdriver.‘They had stolen a moped and they were disguised in dark clothing and helmets so they could not be recognised.‘It is clear they had been looking for candidates to rob and they can be seen driving up and down the road in the period before this attempt took place.‘It is said and it is obvious that both of these defendants are prolific career criminals.‘They recognised an opportunity to rob both victims and Mr Ozil who was in the vehicle with his newlywed wife and they moved in armed and dangerous. Sead Kolasinac fought off the pair who were armed with knives, a screwdriver and a large knitting needle (Picture: PA)Ozil’s newlywed wife watched in terror from inside the £165,000 car, which then sped away down the wrong side of a mansion-lined road before the targets took refuge at a Turkish restaurant.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe pair followed them on the moped and threw stones at the car in an attempt to stop the vehicle and caused a significant amount of damage.The robbers had ambushed the two players as Ozil was picking up a luxury watch which had been delivered to a teammate’s home.They both admitted attempting to rob the two players at Harrow Crown Court.Appearing before judge Ian Bourne via video link today with his face masked with a blue scarf, Smith was handed a 10 year jail sentence.He remained expressionless but his mother sobbed in the public galley. Sign Up for News UpdatesGet your need-to-know latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and moreSign upNot convinced? Find out more » Ashley Smith (left) was jailed for 10 years and his accomplice Jordan Northover is due to be sentenced (Picture: PA)An armed mugger who tried to rob two Arsenal stars of their £200,000 watches has been jailed for 10 years.Ashley Smith, 30, ambushed the players with the help of accomplice Jordan Northover, 26, in Hampstead, northwest London on July 25.The pair were armed with a screwdriver, knives and a knitting needle, but they didn’t count on the bravery of burly Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac.The footballer, known as ‘The Tank’, jumped out of the passenger seat of Mesut Ozil’s 4X4 and threw punches at the assailants.ADVERTISEMENTHe barely even flinched despite having a sharp knitting needle and knives pointed at him. Jordan Northover is due to be sentenced at a later date (Picture: Enterprise News and Pictures)‘It is clear the two of them hadn’t counted on Mr Kolasinac fighting back and he behaved incredibly bravely with knives pointed in his direction at a time when he knew he was in possession of extremely valuable items which men might use whatever they needed to obtain the watches.’The defender was seen moving around the car to confront the robbers before getting back inside as Ozil sped off.A member of the public spotted the moped left near a park close to Borehamwood and contacted the police, who were able to trace CCTV footage showing the two men walk into a pub.AdvertisementAdvertisementJudge Bourne added: ‘This is a high culpability offence, using weapons to threaten and indeed to cause violence, thrusting the weapon towards Mr Kolasinac who must have been terrified at the events taking place immediately outside his house.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalThe court heard how Smith has 30 convictions dating back to 2008 including burglary, robbery, ABH and theft.Michael Bisgrove, prosecuting, said: ‘The attempt as you will see from the CCTV was quick and violent.‘Both are prolific offenders and they saw this opportunity shortly before 5pm and took it.‘They hadn’t counted in one of the victims fighting back.’Both players escaped without any injuries but the robbery meant they had to miss several matches at the start of the Premier League due to security concerns.Northover, who is being held at HMP Wealstun, West Yorkshire, will be sentenced for attempted armed robbery at a later date.More: UKScotland outlines tier system as millions face new restrictions across UKLondoners ‘should be paid a Universal Basic Income if circuit-breaker comes in’Queen criticised for not wearing face mask in first appearance since lockdown Got a story for Metro.co.uk? Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more stories like this, check our news page. Moped mugger who tried to rob Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil jailed for 10 years Advertisement Comment Ashley Smith’s mother sobbed in the gallery as he was jailed (Picture: PA) James HockadayFriday 8 Nov 2019 10:39 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link202Shares Advertisement
The actuarial society also warned that the compensatory measures suggested to soften the blow of the cut to the conversion rate would lead to “massive increases” in benefits for some people and thereby generate “considerably higher costs”.According to the reform plans, the rate by which salaries are discounted to calculate contributions into the second pillar is to be slashed.This rate – the Koordinationsabzug – is used to coordinate expected payments from the first pillar and those from the second pillar to make up 60% of the final salary before retirement.The Swiss pensions industry has been debating for several years now whether a higher compensation rate might be fairer for lower incomes.However, according to calculations by the SAV, slashing the Koordinationsabzug could increase costs in the second pillar by up to 50%.Asip, on the other hand, has welcomed the reform proposal as a much-needed improvement for people on lower incomes.To simplify calculations, the pension fund association suggested doing away with the Koordinationsabzug altogether and instead capping payouts from the second pillar at a certain maximum.One reform proposal Asip has challenged is changing the mode in which the second-pillar minimum interest rate is calculated.Currently, the minimum rate is set at the end of a given year for the next year based on bond returns.The government wants to change this to an ex-post calculation based on actual returns in pension fund portfolios for the year in which the minimum rate had to be achieved.However, Asip said this change did “not bring any added value” for pension funds and their members, and argued that Pensionskassen needed to know “the rules of the game” in advance. The debate over Switzerland’s reform plans, Altersvorsorge 2020, look set to continue after Asip, the Swiss pension fund association, approved the government’s plans to lower the conversion rate just days into the consultation phase.Asip agreed that the conversion rate – used to calculate pension payouts from accrued assets – should be cut from 6.8% to 6% in the second pillar, yet Swiss actuaries still consider this level to be too high.In a statement, the Swiss actuarial society SAV said “a rate of 5.6% at the most is justifiable”.The SAV cites the country’s largest pension fund Publica, which is to lower its conversion rate to 5.65% from 2015, similar to other pension funds managing above-mandatory contributions.
The Shell pensions bureau (SPN) has entered into a unique partnership with SPO, the college for pensions education in the Netherlands, to improve the competence of the board members at Shell’s two pension funds, SSPF and SNPS. Both schemes said they wanted to “set an example” on pensions and governance expertise.Since 2012, SPN’s Academy has provided a mix of educational instruments and know-how to board members and candidates of the pension funds, their accountability organs (VO), supervisory boards (RvT) and SPN staff.The Academy will serve as the focal point for all schooling, training and reference material, and support the entire process, while SPO will offer services to increase competence, carry out expertise projects and set up the annual curriculum. Mark de Wijs, SPO’s director, said: “We will think along with the pension funds about boosting competence during the whole cycle. With the aid of new educational instruments, monitoring and maintenance, and based on individual assessments, we will be in control.”In his opinion, the cooperation between SPO and the Shell schemes is unique in the Netherlands. The SPN Academy already provides external schooling, in addition to courses by its own specialists and skills training by the sponsoring company.These will continue under the new set-up, SPN said. In the opinion of the Shell schemes, the mix of internal and external competence-boosting will add value to overall pensions education.In July 2013, Shell Netherlands set up a second pension fund – offering an individual defined contribution plan for new employees – while closing its existing final salary scheme for new entrants.SPN is responsible for the daily management of the pension funds, and supports and advises their boards on governance, actuarial issues, asset and risk management and pensions strategy. SPO was founded in 1989 by the pensions sector and focuses on maintaining standards for people in governing positions at pension funds.
Siem Offshore Contractors (SOC) has awarded Møkster with a new contract for its vessel Stril Server to be deployed for walk-to-work activities at the Beatrice offshore wind farm in Scotland.The new contract has been signed for 21 days, plus options, and will “fill the gap” until Stril Server starts its next walk-to-work project for VBMS in mid-August.According to a Notice to Mariners recently issued by the Beatrice marine coordination team, Stril Server has mobilised on 3 July to replace Siem Aimery, which had been on site acting as an accommodation vessel for Siem Offshore Contractors technicians, who have been carrying out testing and remedial works on various strings of the inter-array cable infrastructure.Siem Aimery left site on 2 July to demobilise in Peterhead and sail for Hartlepool to load cable for the next inter-array cable installation campaign.Offshore WIND Staff
Press Association It was almost a case of deja vu as Ryan Moore completed a magical weekend on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile when showing his strength in the saddle aboard Legatissimo in the Qipco 1000 Guineas. With his original mount and ante-post favourite Found an absentee at the declaration stage, it looked as if Moore’s chances of landing a second winner of the mile fillies’ Classic after Homecoming Queen in 2012 had been significantly reduced. However, he found a more than suitable substitute with the engine and heart of a champion. Last at halfway, Moore bided his time waiting for the right moment to make his move as Tiggy Wiggy and Redstart cut out the running. Redstart gave way, but Tiggy Wiggy continued to gallop on resolutely in front, although it was not long before the Jim Bolger-trained Lucida powered past in a move which looked to have put the race to bed. With Moore now in full flow, Wachman’s filly, who only won a Listed heat at Gowran Park seven days ago, started to reel in the 9-2 favourite, and soon enough her stamina saw her move into a lead she was not to give up. Lucida battled back but it was not to be, as she went down fighting by three-quarters of a length, with Tiggy Wiggy another four and a half lengths back in third, gifting the winning handler his first English Classic success. Wachman said: “She’s a lovely filly, a big, scopey filly, and Ryan gave her a great ride. “Over the winter she showed me she could be classy, but we went to Leopardstown early this season and she was beaten in soft ground and we were scratching our heads a bit. She won very well in Gowran last week. It was like a bit of work. Twenty-four hours after gaining his first 2000 Guineas on the Aidan O’Brien-trained Gleneagles in the same colours, the 31-year-old stole the show again with a power-packed ride aboard the 13-2 shot, this time for David Wachman. In doing so, Moore became the first rider since Kieren Fallon in 2005 to do the big-race double on Guineas weekend. “We were taking a chance coming here so soon, but it worked. I knew that if it didn’t come too quick we definitely had a chance. The step back to a mile was never a worry for me as she has plenty of pace. “She is in everything, so the Oaks is a possibility, but it might be that a mile and a quarter is the magic number. She’ll go further, we have got plenty of options – she’s won her Group One now, so the pressure is off.” Moore added: “Once we were getting the room I was confident of picking them up, as she travelled very well. She saw it out in really good style as she is a good, tough, hardy filly. “I am lucky to have picked up two good rides. I was a bit gutted when Found was not running as she is an exceptional filly and I was looking forward to riding her, but it has worked out well as I found another great one.” Part-owner Michael Tabor said: “It’s hard to believe, to win the first two Classics of the year – it’s what you dream about. “I was joking with Ryan yesterday saying I’d never done the double and I said ‘perhaps it will happen’, but never really thinking it would. “She only ran a week ago and David said she’d run well as long as we weren’t running her back too quick. If David has the right animal then he produces.”
The Undergraduate Student Government Senate will vote next week on a resolution to distribute free menstrual products in women’s restrooms and gender-neutral restrooms across campus. A USG meeting. Photo by Catherine Liang | Daily TrojanUSG’s Director of Wellness Affairs Marina Hrovat, who introduced the resolution to USG on Tuesday, co-wrote the resolution with Senator Debbie Lee.While the Engemann Student Health Center currently provides free menstrual products, Lee and Hrovat emphasized the inaccessibility of these products in their resolution. “The current university effort to supply these products to students is provided through Engemann Student Health Center, which is distant on campus, ultimately failing to meet the immediate need of students,” They wrote in the resolution.Hrovat and Lee also noted that menstrual products are taxed as luxury items when purchased in stories, increasing the financial burden on students who need menstrual supplies.“We realized that there are a lot of universities that are stepping up and taking care of this financial burden,” Marina Hrovat said. Lee cited Brown, Princeton and Stanford as universities that provide useful frameworks for a USC program.In November, Hrovat organized a week-long trial run of free menstrual products with the help of Paula Swinford, director of the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion. According to Hrovat, the products were installed in restrooms in buildings like the Gwynn Wilson Student Union and Mark Taper Hall of Humanities. Following their trial run, Hrovat and Swinford received positive student feedback. “We used a texting survey to measure student feedback,” Marina Hrovat said. “We had 99 percent full support from students who were participating in that texting-in survey. And we used a substantial amount of products that were put out for the week.”With several students supporting the need for free menstrual products in the women’s and gender-neutral restrooms, Hrovat said that the next step for this initiative is deciding on a supplier for the feminine hygiene products. While the University will be paying for the menstrual products, Hrovat is looking to contract a specific supplier so that there will be no “roadblock of having to change or switch the supplier company.” Currently, Hrovat has been in communication with two suppliers. She and Lee are meeting with Tampon Tribe, a tampon supplier, next Tuesday with hopes of a potential partnership with USC.Hrovat said her goal is to have the products in restrooms by the beginning of Fall 2018. Since there has been a lot of urgency on the University’s end, a supplier will be chosen soon.“[The initiative]’s moving quickly — there’s a lot of support, there’s a lot of urgency, so I don’t believe this will take long to accomplish because there is so much support,” Hrovat said. “Companies work at their own speed. We can do our best, but it’s a two-way deal.”Juliana Hrovat, parliamentarian for the legislative branch of USG and Marina’s sister, said that while it is normally challenging to have the University allocate the funds to pursue it, installing these products into campus restrooms is a matter of lending equal access to all students. “I think this initiative is extremely important for all women on this campus because it provides them with the resource that maybe some students on this campus aren’t able to get,” Juliana Hrovat said. “Giving all students access to this … will really help the female population at USC.”
BlueRibbon signs strategic partnership with The Stars Group August 18, 2020 Share Share Submit ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure August 27, 2020 StumbleUpon PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020 Hosting a special conference call, Rafi Ashkenazi Chief Executive of The Stars Group Inc, has detailed further insights and arrangements related to the firm’s announced joint venture ‘FOX Bet’, partnering with US national broadcaster FOX.Securing a 25-year commercial agreement, the Stars Group will act as lead sports betting and igaming services provider for the FOX Corporation.“This partnership gives us the ideal platform to excel in the US market. working with the iconic FOX brand, which secures an extensive portfolio of premier sports rights and programming, supported with incredible on-air talent and reaching nearly all US households,” Ashkenazi details to Stars Group investors.Stars Group governance believes that in FOX it has secured the ideal multimedia partner to scale the US market, allowing the company to ‘capitalise on its proprietary technologies and operating expertise’ – replicating the ‘success of Sky Bet within the UK market’.Detailing strong JV foundations, the Stars Group underlines that it has partnered with a multimedia operator that can reach ‘100 million viewers in a single weekend of programming’.JV partner FOX Sports is recognised as ‘US Sports second most recognisable brand,’ supporting a diverse portfolio of sports programming, including broadcasts of the NFL, MLB, MLS, Nascar and US Golf.Ashkenazi emphasises the commitment FOX has undertaken on the joint-venture, which sees the US media firm acquire 4.99% in the Stars Group Inc. In addition, FOX will further gain ‘the right to acquire up to a 50% equity stake in The Stars Group’s US business’.“The arrangement provides both parties with a significant economic and strategic alignment, that maintains the ability to convert long-term commercial opportunities into a successful 50-50 joint venture partnership”, Ashkenazi details.Robin Chhabra – FOX BetIn the presentation, Ashkenazi confirms that the FOX Bet will be led by current Stars Group Chief Corporate Development Officer Robin Chhabra as joint-venture CEO.Building Fox Bet’s foundations, the Stars Group has set up a ‘US advisory board’ led by Ted Moss, former managing director SkyBet UK, and Andy Clerkson founder Grande Parade.Leading the Fox Bet JV, Robin Chhabra states confidence in delivering US betting’s premier wagering proposition, as ‘FOX Sports is the ideal springboard – a media brand embedded within US sports’.Chhabra points to analysis, which highlights that the FOX Sports has superior brand awareness of 80% with US audiences, ‘50% higher than any daily fantasy sports operator or existing casino brand’ – “The strengthens of FOX are clear and provide us with an immediate advantage over market competitors,” Chhabra concludes. Related Articles
Long-standing rivals Mfantsipim, St Augustine’s College Accra High and St John’s will make up the proverbial ‘group of death’ at the 2014 Sprite Ball Championship while Koforidua Secondary School, Mawuli, Opoku Ware and West African Senior High School will comprise another intriguing pool.The draw between Central Regional rivals Mfantsipim and St Augustines caught the eye as the draw for the flagship High School basketball competition was held at the studios of TV 3 on Monday night.Volta Regional powerhouse Ketasco, Accra-based Ghana Lebanon and Islamic School (GLISS), former Ashanti Regional champions Prempeh College and wild card qualifying school Adisadel College make up group A.Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS) have Akwamuman, Presbyterian boys-Legon and Kumasi Anglican for company in group C.In the girls division, Old foes Yaa Asantewaa and Aggrey Memorial have been drawn in group A alongside Labone and Tema Senior High.It will be a meeting of familiar faces as three of the teams – Yaa Asantewaa, Aggrey Memorial and Labone have a long history in the competition. In group B, Volta Regional-based side Kadjebi-Asato have been paired together with last year’s losing finalist St Mary’s, Mfantseman and T.I Ahmadiya.The draw was conducted by TV 3’s Elloeny Amande assisted by Chairman of the Ghana Basketball Association, David Addo-Ashong as well as two-time WBC Super featherweight champion Professor Azumah Nelson.BOYS DIVISIONGROUP A: KETASCO, GLISS, PREMPEH COLLEGE, ADISADEL COLLEGE.GROUP B: KSTS, MAWULI, OPOKU WARE, WEST AFRICAN SENIOR HIGH (WASS) GROUP C: GSTS, KUMASI ANGLICAN, AKWAMUMAN, PRESEC-LEGONGROUP D: MFANTSIPIM, ST AUGUSTINES, ACCRA HIGH, ST JOHNS. GIRLS DIVISONGROUP A: TEMA SENIOR HIGH, AGGREY MEMORIAL, YAA ASANTEWAA, LABONE GROUP B: KADJEBI-ASATO, ST MARY’S, MFANTSEMAN, T.I AHMADIYA
25 May 2012 Lancashire 13-year-old heads for Grand Medal Final Lancashire 13-year-old, Louisa Brunt, shot net 67 at York to lead the North region qualifiers for England Golf’s 2012 Grand Medal Final.Louisa, from Ashton-under-Lyne, trains with England Golf’s Birdies North squad. She won the event by a single shot from Michelle Fielding of Clitheroe, while two other Lancashire players tied third.The event was contested by the best women club medal players from six counties and the top ten qualified for the Grand Medal Final to be held at Worcestershire Golf Club on Saturday, June 23.The ten, who will join qualifiers from five other regions to compete for the title of England’s champion medal player, are: Louisa Brunt (Ashton Under Lyne), Michelle Fielding (Clitheroe), Sandra King (Davyhulme Park), Alex Forrest (Longridge), Emma Vallantine (Werneth Low), Helen Cray (Crewe), Lauren Oleksik (Astbury), Veronica Whitehill (Crow Nest Park), Annabel Lightfoot (Hainsworth Park), Tiffany Fielden (Hale).All the regional finalists returned the best four scores at their club in the English Women’s Medals during 2011.“It was a good day,” said Louisa, who had never seen the course before. “I managed to get away with some really good pars. I went through a stage when I had three bogeys but I got it back.”This is the latest in a string of successes for Louisa, who is playing only her third season of golf with a handicap. Last year she became the county U13 champion and won the girls’ prize for the biggest handicap reduction: from 25 to 12.She had already cut her handicap to 10 before teeing off in the regional medal final and is now down to nine – well on the way to achieving her ambition of a reduction to seven. Louisa plays for the Lancashire girls’ and B teams.Another Lancashire player, Alison Wake of Aston & Lea, failed to qualify for the Grand Final, but had the compensation of scoring a hole-in-one on the 102-yard 11th hole. The 17 handicapper used a six-iron for her first ace.Qualifying net scoresPar 73, CSS 7467 Louisa Brunt (Ashton Under Lyne, hcp 10)68 Michelle Fielding (Clitheroe, 17)70 Sandra King (Davyhulme Park, 28), Alex Forrest (Longridge, 12),71 Emma Vallantine (Werneth Low, 22), Helen Cray (Crewe, 21), Lauren Oleksik (Astbury, 5)72 Veronica Whitehill (Crow Nest Park, 19), Annabel Lightfoot (Hainsworth Park, 18), Tiffany Fielden (Hale, 9)