Standing tall: Paul Francis shares his story of courage

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first_imgDania Bogle, Senior Gleaner Writer FANS OF athletics may have heard the name Paul Francis as the master strategist behind Jamaica’s gold medal in the women’s 4x400m at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, last August. Others know him as the younger brother of MVP Track and Field Club head coach, Stephen Francis and one of the club’s founders. Athletes at the University of Technology (UTech) know Francis as head coach of the women’s track team and for four years between 2010 and 2014 their classmate. Francis was 44 years old when he decided to go back to university. He had started in the 1980s at the University of the West Indies and dropped out after a year. He was accepted to do a degree in Business Administration at UTech in 2005 and opted out; but on February 2, 2010, what started out as a minor car accident, would change Francis’ life forever. While travelling on Highway 2000, he had a minor accident and when he left the vehicle to inspect the damage, was hit by a passing car which crushed his right leg. That exacerbated an injury Francis had suffered in 2008. “One day after training, I was fooling around on the track with a football and twisted my ankle and it just …broke. So I was walking around with a noticeable limp from two years before,” Francis told The Gleaner. After three weeks in hospital he was told his leg had developed an infection, and would have to be amputated. Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association president, Dr Warren Blake, one of the island’s most noted orthopaedic surgeons, conducted the operation. “Of course, I would have felt a deep remorse on hearing that I would have had to lose half of one of my legs and like any normal human being, I buss a bawl,” he shared. NO LOOKING BACK “After that bawl, never again have I looked back and regretted or thought that I am disadvantaged because I have a disability.” Francis, an IAAF Level IV certified sprint and hurdles coach, and Area Technical Official, was fitted with a prosthetic leg that August. The amputation made him reevaluate his position. “I did not see myself being able to demonstrate a high knee drill or a start to any athlete, and I thought that would somehow reduce my premium as a coach, and I thought it would be an excellent idea to ensure I try to expand my knowledge in terms of the administration of the sport because sport is my passion. I didn’t want to be somebody who had to sit down and rely on people,” he said. In 2010, a long-time dream of local track and field icon Dennis Johnson, who was for many years head of sports at UTech, the Bachelor of Science in Sport Science would come to fruition. “So as soon as I heard it was on, I jumped at it,” Francis, who turns 50 in April, said. There were days when Francis, who graduated with a degree in Sports Management, would go to classes on crutches as his prosthetic limb caused soreness. “Each day, I got a little stronger in terms of how to manage my own body. I had years of coaching experience and every sporting event doesn’t need only players, but it also needs strategists who are going to guide or coach the team. So oftentimes I played that role but at no point did I refuse myself from any practical activity because of my disability. I took part in every one of them,” he said. Being a full-time coach and student can be difficult, but Francis said difficulty is relative. “I thought I was blessed. It was simply a thing of managing your time. I have always considered myself a realist. In most situations I prefer to see a bottle as half full rather than half empty, and one of my most dominant philosophies is that no matter how bad a situation you think you are in there are many who are worse and they have survived it, therefore you can too.” Francis works very closely with his brother, and while he is the more celebrated, has nothing but great love and respect for the job his brother is doing. FIRST ATHLETE He was Stephen’s first athlete as he coached him in the discus while he was at Wolmer’s. “I have zero reservation about the kudos and recognition Stephen gets. I am his biggest admirer. He is bright. He is working at his passion and he uses all his available resources to ensure that he keeps improving at what he does. I feel a bit ashamed sometimes when people big me up because I think that he deserves most or all of the praise,” he said. Since graduating, Francis has started his own events planning business and is enthusiastic about his future. “You can either choose to lie down and die or you can choose to get up and live. I chose to live,” he said.last_img read more


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first_imgJust six months after being given a driving ban for a similar offence, a Donegal County Councillor has been charged with drink driving.The case of Ciaran Brogan was mentioned at Monday’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court. This morning’s Irish Daily Star reports that Brogan allegedly provided Gardaí with a  breath sample of 70mgs.The Star reports that the alleged incident happened when Brogan was stopped in his Toyota Avensis on April 1 at Trentagh.The case was adjourned until the June 12 sitting of the Letterkenny District Court.Donegal County Councillor in court on fresh drink drive charge was last modified: April 12th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare 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:Ciaran BroganCouncillor Ciaran BroganLetterkenny District Courtlast_img read more


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first_imgNew head coach Marinus Dijkhuisen and co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen speak to the media about their plans for the club.See also:Bees unveil new-look coaching set-upFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img


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first_imgInj … OAKLAND — DeMarcus Cousins participated in a full-contact scrimmage Friday as the Warriors star continues to progress from a torn quadriceps that has sidelined him through much of the playoffs.Coach Steve Kerr could not recall the last time Cousins scrimmaged but liked what he saw from the center.Stephen Curry agreed.“He looked good considering what he’s been through the last year and a half, having not been on the court for almost a month,” Curry said. “He’s making strides.”last_img


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first_imgEverything is possible. Even what you believe to be impossible.It’s possible that you can make a difference in someone’s life. Even someone who seems like a hopeless, hard case. It’s possible that today is the day their life turns around, and it’s possible you are the catalyst.You can turn your life around. It’s possible that you can turn 179 degrees and move forward in a very different, infinitely more positive direction than the one in which you were just heading. Why not 180 degrees? Because no one is good enough to produce 100% error.The relationship that isn’t what you want it to be can be all that and more. It’s possible to ask for forgiveness, to give forgiveness, to ask for a do-over, and let bygones by bygones. No matter what happened, it’s possible to forge a new relationship on the ashes of one that wasn’t what it should have been.It’s possible that you can start your own business. You can go out and create something that people will buy from you. It’s even possible to scale that business beyond anything anyone can right now imagine. It’s possible the doubters have you all wrong. Even if you are one of the doubters.Doubling your income is possible. So is doubling the amount of meaningful work you produce. It’s possible to sell your art, and it’s possible to start everything over again from scratch. Going back to school is possible, and so is starting the career you’ve always wanted, even if you have heretofore believed yourself too old.It’s possible to be grateful for what you have, even the things for which you don’t believe gratitude is due or necessary. It’s possible to have a positive, optimistic, future-oriented disposition that infects those around you.All the things you believe are not possible, are possible for you. You are surrounded by overwhelming evidence that this is true. All you have to do is decide and act, and everything is possible. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more


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first_imgA general view of Kansas' football stadium.LAWRENCE, KS – NOVEMBER 04: Memorial Stadium sits empty before the game between the Baylor Bears and the Kansas Jayhawks on November 4, 2017 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)Don’t accuse head coach David Beaty of not doing everything he can to rebuild the moribund Kansas program. He’ll even record extremely goofy videos to send to recruits. Jayhawks wide receiver commit Reggie Roberson tweeted a video that was sent to him by Beaty, who rides around on a hoverboard.@beaty_david My Head Coach lol!#RockChalk #JayCrew17 pic.twitter.com/VlkbOTnWvi— Loading……..™ (@King_Reggiee) June 25, 2016 We’re not sure hoverboard antics are the thing that will get Kansas back to being competitive in the Big 12, but we certainly can’t knock Beaty’s hustle. Not much else is working.MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more