Dear Editor,Guyanese should brace themselves for the benefits that will be thrown their way, some good and some bad, as the country prepares for the inevitable election. During the election period, opportunities will be offered all over by politicians in an attempt to buy votes and Guyanese should be updated with what’s happening to grasp any opportunity that presents itself. Already, we are seeing massive clean-ups being undertaken across the country and in Guyhoc, the residents are quite pleased to see one major canal being cleaned after being neglected by this Administration for quite a while. No doubt this Administration is in full gear to win people’s confidence for another term so those who have issues affecting them or their village should use the avenues available to highlight their concerns and hope the Administration addresses it before election. Likewise, we all should be alert for victimisation from the opposite side you supporting because that is nothing new. Already I’ve seen mechanism being put in place for future victimisation and with all happening in the last three years, this election will indeed prove interesting. Already the scandalous mouths are whispering about civil unrest, preparations are being put in place for rigging at the upcoming election. One interesting observation is the commercial being advertised about the Government launching a campaign to remove obstructions on roadway and interestingly, non-approved signboards. I am wondering how long before someone has to apply for putting up a billboard, especially the political ones. Since it’s the Public Infrastructure Ministry issuing that order, no doubt the ruling party would get the best opportunities that are available. During election periods in Guyana, the citizens always feel the effect coming out of election, some of us even turn enemies, but still, we continue in the same pattern year after year.Editor, with a relatively new Government that has not been able to settle down properly, we are seeing signs of bullyism, the extreme someone would go to hold on to power. Immediately after being sworn in, scandal after scandal kept arising and I was under the impression that instead of doing a proper job, they are competing to see who is more dishonest. This present Administration is seeking all loopholes to prevent the election and as they attempt to, they are neglecting their duties and concentrating on promoting their Administration while making wild accusations about the previous Administration. Immediately after being sworn in, massive repainting of Government offices/places throughout the country and the colour green was used. Staff even started wearing uniforms with the colour green. Major repairs were done at all levels. I have no problems with that, but one should understand that for the past 23 years, the PPP/C was working under the same conditions, never tried to repaint any building with their party colours or have the staff wear uniforms with the colour that represents their party. We see a huge increase in salary for themselves, spending on food and drinks increased instead of trying to curb the expense, they sought their friends and awarded contracts to provide more expensive food and drinks. Meanwhile, all Ministries performances have dropped significantly and there’s the boast of change. Brace yourself Guyana, we’ve gotten an exchange which is worse.Sincerely,Sahadeo Bates
A US-based medical organization, Chicago Global Health Alliance (CGHA), recently donated a 40-foot container filled with an assortment of medical items to several health facilities, including the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC). Other beneficiaries are the Phebe Hospital in Bong County, the Booker Washing Institute (BWI) Clinic in Margibi County and the Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Ganta, Nimba County.The items, valued at over US$500, 000 (excluding shipping, handling and other expenses), include surgical, diagnostics and consumable medical goods. They also included non-medical goods such as a lift and furniture. According to Mr. Kenety Gee, Executive Director of CGHA, spontaneous interventions, like the one from his group, always “fill in the gap” as there are few good suppliers of most of the donated items in Liberia. As such, whenever the hospitals run out of supplies, it takes a while for the ordered items to arrive in Liberia.The US-based Liberian, who has been returning home since 1998 to give back to his home country through donations from his friends in the United States, said the donation was his organization’s way of identifying with the hospitals. “We hope the donation will help to solve some key health issues and go a long way to help people,” he added.He disclosed that when he was in the country last year to make another donation, he saw patients lying in their hospital beds awaiting medical supplies although the hospitals had ran out of supplies. “When the supplies we brought in last year were opened and taken to those hospitals, they filled in the gaps,” he said.The CGHA Executive Director said his team also noticed that most of the donated equipments breakdown with no one to repair them. To address this problem, he disclosed that his group has decided to open a Biomedical Technician Training Center, whose graduates will provide maintenance and repair services for some of the equipments so that they can last their full shelf life. “These equipments are made with three assumptions: first, that they will have stable electricity; second, that they will be serviced and not just repaired; and the third, that they will be in stable temperature,” he added. Gee said that he hopes that by the next academic year, the bio-tech training will begin at BWI as part of its vocational training program.He said that in 2013 he was accompanied to Liberia by urologist Dr. Adam Burphy, who is also the Board Chair for CGHA, and were allowed to do surgeries at JFK Hospital. He recalled that during their work, they found out that some clinical and diagnostic equipment that were needed for some of the procedures were unavailable at the JFK.“Some of the important equipments were not here at JFK so we were told to go to Phebe. We went to Phebe and they did have the equipment that we needed, but they didn’t have many,” Gee said.He stated that despite that setback, “some procedures and some work were done. All of the procedures couldn’t be done either, so we went to Ganta United Methodist Hospital. We found that there was also a shortage of equipment. We came to Redemption and there were also shortages.”Because of the above impediments at the health facilities, Gee said they decided that upon their return to the US, they would gather as many different types of equipments as they could to bring back to Liberia. Speaking on behalf of JFK Hospital, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Billy C. Johnson thanked Mr. Gee for the “substantial” donation to JFK and the other health facilities. He said the items would be very helpful to them.Dr. Johnson stated that during the onslaught of the deadly Ebola virus disease in 2014, the nation’s health system collapsed, and that it is only waking up now, “so medical supplies of all sorts are welcomed to help fill in the gap.” JFK Hospital, which is the largest referral hospital in Liberia, sees at least 500 outpatients every day. It can be recalled that a few weeks ago, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf received in audience a 12-member delegation from CGHA led by co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rev. Gee, at her Foreign Ministry Office in Monrovia.President Sirleaf told the visitors that many Liberian health professionals were forced to relocate to other parts of the world due the civil war and that the need for professionals remains a key priority for the country.As the President welcomed the delegation to Liberia and thanked them for their life-saving interventions in the country’s health sector, she indicated that the services rendered by the group are appreciated by the government and people of Liberia. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
BRAC-Liberia and the MoA Team members. Agriculture Minister Mogana S. Flomo has called on representatives of non-governmental organizations, the private sector, research institutes and consumers to work together to deliver sustainable food solutions for the country.Minister Flomo made the call last Thursday when he visited the poultry and hatchery as well as the feed mill facility/project of BRAC-LIBERIA in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.The BRAC project is aimed at ending hunger and to improve food and nutrition security in the country.He lauded BRAC for their engagement, which he said is yielding some level of growth for the economy.“BRAC-Liberia activities are highly contributing to the human capacity building, job creation for Liberians as well as bringing changes in the agriculture sector,” Flomo said.“I am so impressed to see what you are doing by contributing towards the nation’s freedom from food insecurities, which is contributing to poverty alleviation and enhancing a viable economy,” the Minister said.Flomo then promised BRAC, through its Country Representative Mainuddin Ahmed of his administration’s willingness to work together with the entity in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition.In response, Mr. Ahmed said that his institution was proud to work with the government to alleviate poverty and end exploitation and discrimination of all forms in the country.Minister Flomo (middle with yellow rain boot) expresses gratitude to BRAC officials for working to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security.“BRAC proudly promotes diversification and capacity development, which has placed more Liberians in senior management positions in our organization,” Ahmed said.The entity became the first non-governmental organization to establish a Poultry Hatchery and Feed Mill facility in Liberia since 2014 to enhance poultry production.The facility is contributing to the reduction of malnutrition, creating employment and generating income through producing and supplying Day-Old-Chicks (DOC), poultry feed and fresh eggs on the market.“We are distributing the DOC and poultry feed among the project beneficiaries as support, and also selling the chicks to commercial farmers,” Ahmed said.According to him, the European Union-supported project under the name, “Pro–ACT 2015,” strives to improve nutrition, promotes sustainable agriculture by developing resilient agricultural techniques and practices, thus building resilient markets and people who are able to generate diverse and stable livelihood incomes and adequate food and nutrition in the face of recurrent stresses and shocks in the country.Ahmed said that the total beneficiaries of the project is 7,500, which include vulnerable smallholder farmers, community-based service promoters, entrepreneurs, market actors and community-based organizations.He however welcomes the ministry’s initiative to collaborate with BRAC to improve the living condition of Liberians through agriculture.Those who attended the program were Randolph R. Kolleh, Special Assistant to MOA, BRAC International Agriculture Program Manager, Habibur Rahman Khan, Babul Deba Nath, Poultry and Livestock Manager, and A.K.M. Rafiqul Islam, Agriculture Manager.The ceremony was climaxed with a guided tour led by Minister Flomo and BRAC Country Team.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
But the Liverpool manager insists Roma will present a formidable barrier to his team’s bid to reach the Champions League final for the first time since 2007.Roma may lack the star power of their last four rivals, but the Italians underlined their quality by recovering from a 4-1 first leg deficit to eliminate Barcelona with a stunning 3-0 success in the second leg on Tuesday.At the same time as Roma’s comeback for the ages, Liverpool were easing into the semi-finals with a 5-1 aggregate success against Premier League leaders Manchester City.“I tried to think about what I feel, but it was not that I thought ‘Thank God not Bayern, thank God not Real Madrid, yippee Roma’ or the other way around,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.“Whichever opponent we would have got, I would have said there is a chance because it is football – so there is a chance against Roma.“But if anybody think this is the easiest draw then I cannot help this person; they obviously didn’t see both games against Barcelona.“The second leg was outstanding, it was outstanding what they did. They should have probably won four or five-nil – I was really impressed.”– Special atmosphere –Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp after his side beat Man City again © AFP / Paul ELLISLiverpool will host the first leg against Roma at Anfield on April 24 before heading to Italy for the return leg on May 2.Asked if he felt playing the second leg at home — as they did against Barcelona — would be an advantage for Roma, Klopp insisted Liverpool could cope with the intense Stadio Olimpico atmosphere.“The teams are all too strong. The atmosphere is always important, of course. In our tie it was not too important, in Real Madrid – Juventus it wasn’t too important, but for Rome it obviously was important,” he said.“I think they will think it is an advantage, but it all depends on the first result. Of course, whatever happens, as long as you are in the race there is always a chance wherever it is, so I am fine with it.”Liverpool fans gave a hostile reception to City in the quarter-final at Anfield, bombarding the team bus with bottles in shocking scenes outside the stadium.Klopp apologised after that incident, but he expects the atmosphere in the stadium to be red-hot again.“First leg at home, I am really looking forward to it because it will be a special atmosphere. It’ll be great,” he added.Liverpool haven’t faced Roma since the 2002, but the still retain fond memories of the Eternal City after twice winning the European Cup there — once against Roma in their own stadium in 1984.The tie will also give Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah a chance to face his old club.Salah has been in superb form since leaving Roma to join Liverpool last year — scoring 39 goals.“It makes it a really interesting thing and for him, it will be 100 per cent special. He is already of interest wherever we go, but it might go crazy when we go to Rome! He can deal with that, I am sure,” Klopp said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Liverpool FC club Ambassador Ian Rush (L) and AS Roma Sporting Director Ramon Monchi shake hands as they pose with the Champions League trophy © AFP / Fabrice COFFRINILONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 13 – Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool stars that Roma’s epic comeback against Barcelona proves the Italian club shouldn’t be underestimated when they clash in the Champions League semi-finals.Klopp could have been forgiven for feeling relieved that Liverpool avoided holders Real Madrid and formidable German champions Bayern Munich in Friday’s draw.
Everton defender Seamus Coleman Everton star Seamus Coleman will miss the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand after feeling his hamstring in the friendly against Tranmere.The right-back was taken off during the second half having only come on at half-time at Prenton Park on Tuesday.,Ross Barkley will join the squad for the tour but Coleman will remain on Merseyside with Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo, who are both recovering from long-term injuries.Toffees boss Roberto Martinez told the club#s official website: “We assessed Seamus’ injury this morning.“He will miss the Thailand trip to give proper consideration to his injury, for proper treatment and to remove any chance of aggravating that feeling that he had.“We don’t really know the extent of the injury yet but it is sometimes a little bit of a setback that comes with pre-season preparation and getting a lot of volume into the bodies. Hopefully it is going to be just a minor setback.”Discussing Kone and Oviedo’s injuries, Martinez added: “Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone have been progressing really well and we want them to carry on working every day in a way that they don’t get distracted with traveling – so they won’ travel to Thailand,“It’s more a case trying to get them ahead of where they are. Seamus will miss the trip but Ross Barkley will join the group.” 1
West Ham would be tempted to sell star man Dimitri Payet for around €50m (£42m), claim reports in France.Payet has shone for the hosts in Euro 2016, backing up a stellar first season with West Ham.His performances for France have attracted attention from the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, although the Hammers have remained adamant they will not be selling the 29-year-old.However, according to L’Equipe, the east London club are aware they may receive a bid at some point this summer and a fee in the region of £42m could be too good to turn down.West Ham pinned Payet down to a new contract midway through last season to try and avoid speculation surrounding his future the summer but the prospect of playing Champions League football for either Real or PSG may start to turn the player’s head as the summer goes on. Dimitri Payet 1
USC’s men’s water polo team claimed another prestigious title Sunday, winning the Northern California Open in Berkeley by beating Stanford in the semifinals and host California in the title game. Slovakian Olympian Juraj Zatovic scored four goals and Ted Zepfel added two as the second-ranked Trojans (13-1) built a late, three-goal lead and held on for a 9-8 triumph over No. 3 Cal (13-3) in the championship game at Spieker Aquatics Complex on the Golden Bears’ campus. Michael Sharf scored three goals and John Mann two for Cal. USC last month won the Southern California Tournament — the other big event on the college water polo regular-season calendar — with wins over Cal in the semifinals and Stanford in the championship. Top-ranked UCLA (13-4) lost to Cal 7-6 in the semifinals and to Stanford 6-5 in the third-place game. The Bruins lost overtime games to Stanford in the semifinals and Cal in the third-place game at the SoCal event, held in Irvine and Newport Beach. USC beat Stanford 10-9 to reach the final. Juan Delgadillo, from Harvard-Westlake of Studio City, scored three goals and Zatovic added two. No. 4 Stanford (11-3) outscored UCLA 5-2 in the second half of the third-place game. The Cardinal was led by Peter Varellas with three goals. Cal used a five-goal fourth quarter to overcome the Bruins in the semifinals. Christian Pulido scored twice in both games for UCLA. As in the SoCal Tournament, all four games involving the final-four teams were decided by one goal. Seventh-ranked Pepperdine finished fifth, beating Long Beach State 11-8 and UC San Diego 12-7. The Waves (13-5) received four goals from Matt Digges and two each from Grant Miller and Adam Hewko in the fifth-place semifinal victory over Long Beach State. In the fifth-place game, Pepperdine, which outscored the Tritons 6-2 in the second half, were led by Jesse Smith (six goals), Hewko and Miller (two apiece). No. 12 Loyola Marymount finished 11th, losing a ninth-place semifinal to UC Davis 7-6 in overtime, then beating St. Francis, N.Y., 9-5 at Bill Brown Aquatics Center at Miramonte High of Orinda. Endre Rex-Kiss scored three goals in both games, giving him 13 in four tournament games. WOMEN’S SOCCER: PEPPERDINE TIES NO. 1 PORTLAND No. 10 Pepperdine received a first-half goal from Chatsworth High product Lindsey Redlin, then benefited from Anna Picarelli’s play in the nets to stun top-ranked Portland in a 1-1 West Coast Conference women’s soccer draw at Tari Frahm Rokus Field in Malibu. The Waves, held to a tie Friday by Gonzaga, halted the Pilots’ 14-game winning streak and limited Canadian national team star Christine Sinclair to one goal, her 27th of the season and 98th of her college career. Redlin scored her eighth goal of the season in the 31st minute, tapping in the ball after Pilots goalkeeper Cori Alexander fumbled Redlin’s first shot. Samantha Hire’s pass downfield sent Redlin sprinting in on the Portland goal. Sinclair, a three-time All-American and two-time Player of the Year (Soccer America, 2002; MAC Hermann Award, 2004), set an NCAA record in the 53rd minute, scoring for the 16th straight game. She tallied from U.S. national-teamer Lindsey Huie’s assist to pull within five goals of Tiffeny Milbrett’s school career record. ”I hope she does it,” Milbrett said after playing for the U.S. women’s national team in a 0-0 tie with Australia in Fullerton. Picarelli made nine saves for the Waves (10-2-2 overall, 1-1-1 WCC). Portland (14-0-1, 2-0-1) held a 19-5 shot advantage. UCLA 3, Oregon State 0: Freshman Kara Lang scored her sixth and seventh goals of the season and Mary Castelanelli set up two goals with long crosses from the left flank, leading the Bruins to a Pacific-10 Conference victory in Corvallis, Ore. Castelanelli, a U.S. under-19 national team veteran, set up goals by Lang in the 11th minute and Danesha Adams in the 52nd. Lang, a Canadian national team veteran, scored from Iris Mora’s assist in the 53rd. Adams’ goal was her 12th this season for the fourth-ranked Bruins (13-1-0, 3-0-0). The Beavers fell to 8-5-1 overall and 1-2-1 in Pac-10 action. USC 2, Oregon 1: Rosa Anna Tantillo scored her goals of the season as the Trojans rallied in Eugene, Ore., for their first Pac-10 victory. Tantillo scored in the 33rd minute — a rocket shot that glanced off the crossbar en route to the net — and in the 87th, her ninth career winning goal. Stacey Strong set up the first; Tantillo scored on her own rebound after a feed from Amy Rodriguez for the winner. Caitlin Gamble scored from Tiffany Smith’s cross to give the Ducks (8-4-1, 0-4-0) an 18th-minute lead, and they nearly doubled the advantage a few minutes later, but Hillary Schwarzbach made a leaping clearance off the goal line. USC (7-4-2, 1-1-1) outshot Oregon 23-12. Ducks goalkeeper Jessie Chatfield made 11 saves. UC Davis 4, Cal State Northridge 3: The slumping Matadors lost their fourth successive match, falling to a Big West Conference rival in a nonconference game on a gusty afternoon in Davis. Annie McAllister scored a goal and added an assist for the Aggies (4-7-3), who opened a 3-1 lead by the 59th minute. Megan Wall, Dayna Dumont and Katie Snyder also scored for UCD. Sara Davis’ 27th-minute header pulled CSUN (10-5-0) into a 1-1 tie. Goals by Briana Monka, on a 66th-minute penalty kick, and Casey Dodd, on an 89th-minute header from Vanessa Crowell’s cross, narrowed Aggies leads. UC Davis, in its second Division I season, is affiliated with the Big West but isn’t competing in the conference during its probationary period with the NCAA. Loyola Marymount 0, Gonzaga 0: The Lions (4-2-4, 0-2-1) posted their sixth shutout of the season, settling for a WCC draw at Sullivan Field in Westchester. Goalkeeper Joslyn Slovek made six saves to anchor the LMU defense, and Ashley Haugen made five stops for Gonzaga (10-3-2, 1-1-1), including two stunning stops of Lori Sims shots. MEN’S SOCCER: UCLA, SAN DIEGO STATE GO SCORELESS A showdown between two of the nation’s top college men’s soccer goalkeepers — UCLA’s Eric Reed and San Diego State’s Tally Hall — ended in a scoreless draw Sunday at Drake Stadium. Hall made several spectacular saves to stymie the Bruins (7-3-2), who held a 20-9 shot advantage on the Aztecs 20-9 in the nonconference game. Reed is ranked second in the nation and Hall third in goals-against average. Hall made a fingertips save on a hard Jonathan Bornstein shot on a 67th-minute breakaway, a point-blank stop on Ryan Valdez in the 75th minute and a diving save on Bornstein in the 78th. Reed made two big saves — a diving stop on Kraig Chiles in the 14th minute and an 85th-minute save of Raul Bautista’s rebound after Omar Persad hit the left post. UCLA extended its home shutout streak to five games. Loyola Marymount 1, San Diego 1: Diego Souza’s third assist in as many games spotted the Lions (4-4-4, 2-2-1) a lead early in the second half, but they settled for a West Coast Conference draw at Torero Stadium. San Diego outshot LMU 22-11 and committed 30 fouls. Lions goalkeeper Robert Flores made nine saves. Souza found freshman defender Jawaan Delaney on a 52nd-minute breakaway for a 1-0 LMU lead. Dustin Guerrero pulled USD (6-2-3, 2-2-1) even in the 68th minute. Both teams finished with 10 players. Delaney and Toreros forward Scott Martin were red-carded in the 79th minute. WOMEN’S TENNIS: LMU’S MESTEROVA WINS ST. MARY’S EVENT Loyola Marymount’s Pavla Mesterova won singles and doubles titles at the St. Mary’s College Invitational women’s tennis tournament in Moraga. Top-seeded Mesterova, a Texas-Arlington transfer from the Czech Republic, defeated California’s Bojan Bobusic 6-2, 6-3 in the singles final. She teamed with Tamara Tanner to defeat Bobusic and Claire Licinkas 9-8 (4) in the doubles championship. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week
WASHINGTON – Overcoming internal opposition, House Republicans on Thursday began debate on legislation intended to shut down illegal immigration and requiring employers to verify the legal status of their workers. After GOP leaders appealed for party unity, the Republican-controlled House voted 220-206 to approve a parliamentary measure needed to move ahead on the bill. The dispute slowed action on the measure, which was expected to be completed today at the earliest. Late Thursday, the House was working its way through amendments, including one that would require construction of fencing along parts of the U.S. border with Mexico. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake One of the most contentious amendments to be offered would deny citizenship to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants. “Those people who are against this bill don’t want any changes in the existing system except perhaps amnesty, or, excuse me, ‘earned legalization,’ or perhaps citizenship for those who have broken the law,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican and chief sponsor. Supporters defended their approach of acting to cut off the flow of illegal entrants before turning to the tougher issues of a guest worker program or other means to fill the jobs that now attract millions of undocumented workers. “Until the borders are protected, we cannot have any kind of meaningful immigration reform,” said GOP Rep. Peter King of New York, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Almost all Democrats, and several border-state Republicans such as Rep. Jeff Flake and fellow Arizonan Jim Kolbe, pushed for a more comprehensive package to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. The GOP bill “does nothing to solve the real problems of illegal immigration,” Kolbe said. “In fact, it’s worse than nothing.” The White House said in a statement that it strongly supports the House bill, while adding that the administration “remains committed to comprehensive immigration reform, including a temporary worker program that avoids amnesty.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
As a result, Brown responded with a post on his … UPDATE: The Raiders have released Antonio Brown.Story: https://bayareane.ws/2m2EzTDALAMEDA — Have the Raiders and Antonio Brown reached the end of the line?The club fined Brown $215,073.53 for conduct detrimental to the team, ESPN reported Saturday morning, a move that voided $29,125 million worth of guarantee money in his contract. The fined stemmed from Brown’s confrontation earlier in the week with general manager Mike Mayock.
25 September 2013The new Springbok Experience rugby museum opened its doors to the public at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on Heritage Day on Tuesday, and was given an enthusiastic thumbs-up by Springboks and former national captains.Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was the first official visitor to the new attraction, closely followed by the rest of the Springbok squad and former national team captains, all of whom were wowed by the world-class new installation – before the doors were thrown open to the public at the sounding of the noon gun.The VIPs and players were taken on a tour of the two-storey building which features an interactive “Springbok Trials” skills zone, a flagship Springbok Shop and a series of museum galleries charting the history of South African rugby.Unique“The Springbok Experience is a museum which is arguably unlike anything seen in South Africa before,” Jurie Roux, the CEO of the South African Rugby Union (Saru) said at the opening.“We have worked with one of the world’s leading sports museum designers to create a unique and compelling experience for the general visitor as well as rugby fans.“It will be a bricks-and-mortar, 364-day-a-year opportunity for rugby supporters from home and overseas to interact with rugby and the Springboks. [The Experience is closed only on Christmas Day]“It’s a world-class visitor attraction in the middle of one of Africa’s most visited destinations promoting our great game and team.”‘An unbelievable experience’Current Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was blown away by the museum, commenting: “It is an unbelievable experience and tells a telling story of the impact rugby had and still has on our country. It even, as I’ve just learned inside, resulted in a ceasefire during war so that a rugby match could be played. It shows the power of rugby.”His predecessor and Rugby World Cup 2007 winning captain John Smit said it made him “proud all over again to be associated with the Springboks and to know that this brand has such an impact on society”.He said: “It displays the unique and colourful history and past of our rugby incredibly well and accurately. I would advise everyone to come and visit, and to experience one of the world’s most unique brands.”‘A captivating story’Former captain Dawie de Villiers agreed: “This will attract all ex-players, and not only Springboks. It is not only an interesting, but also a very captivating story of the divisions of our past. It also tells very clearly that we have reached the point where everyone can move on and support one team in solidarity.”Peter Jooste, another of the former captains in attendance, had similar sentiments. “This brings closure to a lot of people, as it tells the true story of rugby from all sides of the spectrum. I am very proud of this and young and old should come and visit the Springbok Experience. It really brings unity,” he said.It was a moving experience for Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who said: “It is a very emotional experience and makes you realise how special it is to be part of it. There is a great emotion to see all the heroes from your past, but then you also realise what responsibility comes with being part of the Springboks. I would like to congratulate Saru for this initiative.”DesignThe two-storey Springbok Experience design was produced by Mather & Co of Wilmslow in the UK. Their credits include the award-winning Wimbledon lawn tennis museum, the five-storey National Football Museum in the UK and they recently completed their work on the IOC museum in Lausanne.In conjunction with South African attraction installation specialists, Digital Fabric, which works on visitor attractions around the world, and other South African service providers, the project was completed in 10 months.The challenge to the designers was to produce a fun and engaging visitor experience, which has been achieved through a varied approach to the exhibits, which include beautiful object displays, state-of-the-art technology, large-scale audio visual projections and intimate touchscreens to allow visitors to delve deeper.FeaturesThe Experience features more than 20 interactive touch screen exhibits, a total of 64 monitors and 20 projectors, an eight-minute film presentation in a mini Springbok cinema, more than 20 audio-visual exhibits and mechanical interactive exhibits for children.The technology supports the storyline as Saru and the designers worked with a number of historians, players past and present, and specialists to develop the content themes and narrative structures in the museum.It provides an insight into South African society and culture through the eyes of rugby.‘More than just a game’“Rugby in South Africa is much more than just a game and it was important to us that rugby and the Springboks had a new home that everyone could be proud of,” said Roux.“We believe we have achieved that and that the Experience will become a ‘must-visit’ for all rugby supporters.”The Springbok Experience is open at the V&A Waterfront every day (except Christmas Day) from 10:00 to 18:00.SAinfo reporter