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_imgWhat was shaping up to be the Crabs’ second win in their second game of the season ended after just three innings thanks to a blown fuse which turned off the lights, Saturday night at the Arcata Ballpark.Crabs manager Robin Guiver said he liked how his team looked Saturday night, despite in the shortened action. “Our lineup is looking really good from top to bottom,” Guiver said. The Crabs had amassed a 6-0 lead over visiting Corvallis before the power failed. Corvallis, already on its second …last_img


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first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — It doesn’t matter where they go or who they’ve got, the New York Yankees always draw a crowd.That should remain true this weekend as the Bronx Bombers visit Oracle Park for the first time since 2007. The Yankees have a national audience, but even their most devoted followers may not know the names of the team’s starting nine.Fifteen different players have landed on the Yankees’ injured list this season, an astronomical number that includes power hitters like Aaron Judge and …last_img


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first_img11 February 2014There is huge scope for stronger cooperation in science, technology and innovation between the countries of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping, says Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom.Hanekom was speaking on Monday at the opening of the first BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting in Kleinmond, about 90km southeast of Cape Town.“The BRICS countries are recognised as the future growth engines of the world economy,” he said. “It is clear that this kind of expansion will necessarily need to be accompanied by enhanced levels of technological integration into the global community and, without a doubt, will create huge opportunities for science, technology and innovation as critical growth and development drivers of the future.”Hanekom identified biotechnology and health innovations, space science and technology, and new and renewable energy as “strategic areas where South Africa sees potential not only for synergies, but real opportunities for extensive cooperation” between the BRICS countries.The two-day meeting, which brings together science ministers or deputy ministers from the five countries, was one of the activities agreed to in the declaration and work plan adopted at the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban in March 2013.Hanekom said the meeting represented the culmination of the process of operationalizing the working mechanisms of the grouping.The BRICS ministers were expected to table a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation and addressing common global and regional socioeconomic challenges through appropriate funding and investment instruments.To achieve this goal, Hanekom said the five countries would use shared experiences and complementarities, the co-generation of new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes.On Tuesday, the BRICS ministers were expected to visit the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, where the MeerKAT radio telescope is being constructed.The SKA project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, which is to be co-hosted by South Africa and Australia. The 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope is due to come online in 2016 both as a precursor to the SKA and as one of the most powerful telescopes in the world in its own right.Source: SAnews.gov.za-Xinhualast_img read more


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first_img22 April 2016Destroyed in a fire in November 2009, Joburg’s historic Rissik Street Post Office is being restored to its previous glory. The iconic building is one of the city’s heritage sites.“The Rissik Street Post Office building was severely vandalised and damaged by fire, therefore a significant danger exists of further deterioration of this heritage structure,” Helen Botes, the chief executive of Joburg Property Company (JPC), told The Star newspaper.“The frontage has always been Rissik Street but we want to have a more exciting and contemporary-style entrance,” Botes added.It was currently being partially renovated to ensure the structural integrity of the building and to enable interim use while funding was being sought for comprehensive restoration. “Long-term plans include the full restoration of the building and the securing of a long-term public use agreement.” Helen Botes, chief executive of JPC says they want a more contemporary entrance for the Rissik Street post office, currently being refurbished. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission, Brand South Africa)The renovation is estimated to cost R147-million and begins with the excavations for the columns. There’ll also be a structural active scan which includes radar scanning, exposures for the bases and repairs to the core extraction, and the procurement of the required steel, which has been fabricated in line with the designs.The post office’s main hall and north wing will be refurbished for flexible use, while the rest is being finalised. The area will also be made safe and cordoned off to ensure the public cannot enter the building.Long-term, the plan includes a complete heritage restoration, completed in line with heritage guidelines, regulations and public meetings provided by the Gauteng Provincial Heritage Resources Authority.Built in 1897, at one stage the Rissik Street Post Office was Joburg’s tallest building at 102 metres. “It operated until it was vacated by the South African Post Office in 1996. Characterised by its bold mix of architectural styles, the building was proclaimed a national monument in 1978.”Joburgers tweeted their delight at seeing signs of refurbishment:The Rissik Street Post Office Revamp announced! Finally some action!— JHF (@JoburgHeritage) March 3, 2016Great to see a start has been made. Rissik Street Post Office. pic.twitter.com/KoNJeYXy5a— wilsongail (@wilsongail60) February 20, 2016Source: City of Joburglast_img read more


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first_imgaudrey watters 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts The open data service Factual has just updated some of its datasets and has also released a new iPhone SDK. The Los Angeles-based startup describes the move as another step towards its goal of “comprehensive, accurate, and accessible local data.”Factual is an open platform for developers and publishers to build apps with its datasets, accessible through its APIs or via a “>download. The downloads, in CSV format, are free for smaller developers as part of this release. The data Factual offers has been improved: 15 million business listings and points of interest in the U.S., now with better coverage, categorization, and geocoding. Factual’s international data is much improved as well, with 19 addition countries, bringing the grand total of its global data to over 30 million local entities across 27 countries.That global local data hasn’t simply expanded in quantity. Factual has worked with this release to standardize some of the naming conventions for the fields, employing an hCard-like naming scheme. This means that data from multiple countries can be more easily managed, particularly useful for apps that pull international data.In addition, as part of the update, Factual has also launched a new dataset with records from just under 1 million U.S. doctors. And it’s also provided an iPhone SDK, with a mobile SDK for Android in the works. Factual, which secured a $25 million round of funding in December from investors that included Andreessen Horowitz says it has more updates on the horizon, including new products and services that “will hopefully make data engineering our problem, not yours.” Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Tags:#APIs#Big Data#hack last_img read more


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first_imgIn a game that went down to the final minute, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul came up with big plays when they counted most to down Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens 77-72 on Friday night at the Volkswagen Arena.The victory boosted Darussafaka’s record to 12-12, good for ninth place, one victory out of the playoff places. Panathinaikos dropped to 14-10, fifth best record in the competition, and the same as Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Panathinaikos was able to at least hold a tie-breaker against Darussafaka, due to its six-point win earlier in the season.The teams traded blows and each came up with runs of its own during the game, but the score was tied at 72-72 going into the last 2 minutes. That is when Brad Wanamaker hit a three-pointer, Will Clyburn beat the shot-clock with an impossible jumper, before James Anderson blocked a pair of shots in the final 45 seconds, securing Darussafaka’s win.Wanamaker finished with 24 points and 6 rebounds. Anderson collected 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Clyburn and Dairis Bertans netted 12 apiece in victory. Chris Singleton scored 23 points shooting 4-for-5 from three-point land for Panathinaikos. K.C. Rivers added 12, and Ioannis Bourousis had 10 points plus 8 rebounds in defeat.Darussafaka made the first run, with Ante Zizic grabbing 4 offensive rebounds, Clyburn hitting a rainbow three and Anderson scoring twice from close range to make it 11-4. But Panathinaikos answered with a three-pointer from Singleton that sparked a 0-7 run, and Mike James beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to make it 17-17 after 10 minutes.Wanamaker scored 5 points to open second quarter, before Rivers and James each hit from downtown once, and Bourousis hit back-to-back triples in a 4-16 spurt that gave the visitors a 26-33 advantage. However, Darussafaka kept Panathinaikos scoreless for the final 3:33 of the half, with Wanamaker, Bertans and Anderson putting together a 9-0 run that made it 35-33 at halftime. James Feldeine and Clyburn traded three-pointers to start third quarter, before Anderson had a fastbreak dunk.anamaker added a shot-clock beating triple, followed by a three-point play, helping the hosts to go up 48-36. Rivers ended Panathinaikos’s scoring drought of longer than 5 minutes before threes from Singleton and Feldeine capped a 0-13 run that had the visitors back in front, 48-49. The teams entered the final quarter tied at 53-53, but Singleton scored from the inside and the outside, then Rivers hit from long range, to give Panathinaikos a 55-61 advantage.The hosts answered with 8 consecutive points, a run that was capped by Clyburn’s fastbreak slam. More threes, from Singleton and James, put Panathinaikos up again, but Wanamaker hit a step-back baseline jumper that sent the game to the final 2 minutes tied at 72-72. That’s when Wanamaker hit an open three which put Darussafaka up for good. Clyburn added a tough, long off-balance jumper, before Anderson’s blocks sealed the deal.Source: EuroleagueTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more