Binnie wins historic silver at Pan Am Squash Champs

first_imgJamaican squash star Chris Binnie capped off a history-making run at the 2018 Pan American Squash Championships with a silver medal in the men’s singles competition on Wednesday night. The Jamaican and Caribbean number one fought hard but went down 7-11, 8-11, 5-11 to the top seed, Diego, Elias of Peru, in front of a packed house at the South Sound Squash Club in the Cayman Islands. However, with the second-place finish, Binnie continued his rewrite of the record books by becoming the first Jamaican to make the finals at the prestigious tournament. His journey to the silver medal was marked by upsets as he created a stir when he dispatched the defending champion, Robertino Pezzota of Argentina, 11-3, 11-4, 6-11, 11-2 in the quarter-finals. The eight-time national and regional champion also stormed back from 0-2 down to beat the higher-ranked Chris Hanson of the United States – 3-12, 5-11, 14-12, 11-1, 11-8 – in the semi-finals. “It has been an amazing tournament all around, and I appreciate the support I have been getting from everyone at home in Jamaica and the Caribbean squash fraternity, who have been in my corner for all the crucial matches,” Binnie said. “All the hard work I’ve been putting in is definitely paying off, and I’ve been able to compete with some of the best players in the world because I’ve played my best squash when it’s mattered the most,” he added. Next up is the Team Competition, which started yesterday and will end tomorrow. Binnie will be joined by top senior national players Lewis Walters, Bruce Burrowes, and Julian Morrison as Jamaica tries to qualify for a spot in the 2019 Pan Am Games, scheduled for next July in Lima, Peru.last_img read more

Will Hussein’s swagger hold sway in FK polls?

first_img0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, October 28- If social networks, Facebook and Twitter were part of the electorate at Saturday’s Football Kenya (FK) elections, there would only be one winner.Step forward, Hussein Mohammed, the 34-year-old CEO of Extreme Sports Limited, the company credited with rolling out the annual Super 8 tournament that has played its part in unearthing latent football talent. Mohammed, who last year chaired the Harambee Stars fund raising board, traces his roots to the birth of the mobile telephony in Kenya as one of the pioneer distributors for Safaricom.For the past year, he has been engaged in a glamorous campaign for the top seat in the country’s football bringing what his ardent followers at social networks term as ‘swagger’.His campaign chorus has been simple. It’s time for the old folk that have been managing the sport to step aside and allow young leadership to take over.“I have proved to Kenyans that I have a credible track record and among most candidates, I pass the integrity test. Over the last ten years we have run a programme that has been so successful in tapping talent at the grassroots level and given the opportunity, I’m confident I can replicate this across Kenya,” he asserts.In a campaign featuring the glitzy launch at KICC that was supported by a concert featuring some of the biggest acts in Kenya’s contemporary music such as Jua Kali and Nonini to shiny ads, Hussein has struck a chord with the Kenyan youth.“It’s been a difficult campaign and I have lost 10kg,” the visibly exhausted Hussein admitted. “But it has given me the opportunity to meet many Kenyans and gain their views on how they want their football governed.”“I love football and when I started Super 8 ten years ago and I did not do it for any position, I did it because there was a gap at the grassroots. I wanted to give opportunity to young people to earn a living from what they love most, football,” the FK chairmanship contender said.His compelling campaign received a shot in the arm when Sammy Sholei, the former Harambee Stars and Tusker FC midfield stalwart who was also attracting his fair share of the youthful support ditched his ambitions to become Hussein’s running mate.“Our vision for the future development of football is shared and being a former player, him more than most understands what players need and that is why we merged our efforts instead,” Hussein said of his running mate.The established order as expected did not take the entry of the suave, well-spoken youngster into the race for the top seat.Hussein who was among the most vocal proponents for clubs to be involved in elections as well as the process to be conducted by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) found his campaign almost come to a premature end in June.That was when the Independent Electoral Board (IEB) the body that was formed by the Government and world body Fifa in December last year to organise the polls dropped the 35- year age limit for any contender for the chairmanship bombshell.However, the hue and outcry against the decision that found its way to the floor of parliament besides social and news media for a led IEB to expunge the requirement from its Code of Conduct.The elections themselves have been delayed on four occasions in the past year in what has been read as attempts to give some contenders time to catch up and also, knock the stuffing out of the robust campaign of the Hussein team.“At times, it has been so frustrating. Kenyan football is not easy and there are those fighting you all the time and unfortunately, our youth are dependent on the culture of handouts so in the end, it could boil down to who has the most to buy votes,” he lamented.However, win or lose, Hussein feels his campaign has gone a long way in changing the face of the country’s football leadership.“We will take the silver lining since we have had opportunity to educate many voters and raise credibility issues among candidates. This will be an election of firsts and we are certain the leadership that will come in will be more accountable. “Even if I do not win the seat, I will continue being in football like I have always done but from now on, things will never be the same.”Should his quest for the top seat hold sway, Hussein pledges to transform the country’s football in line to international standards.“We want to have a new devolved system of football in Kenya. We need to stop playing in Nairobi and focus on Kenyan Premier League alone and we will need to have active leagues in the grassroots. There is a lot of talent out there and it’s only that youth have not been given a platform.”Hussein Terry (Coast Representative), John Gitari (Rift Valley), Dorcas Nyambura (Nairobi), Eric Obura (Nairobi), David Otieno (Nyanza), Hudson Ngaire (Central) and Maqualate Atieno (women representative) complete Hussein’s line-up for the FK National Executive Committee.HUSSEIN CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS– Devolved system of football– Giving clubs larger say in running of football– Turning Kenyan Premier League into an 18 team affair– Development of youth football at grassroots– Establishment of viable women leagues– Stringent management and adequate funding for Harambee Stars0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

A freelancer’s guide to surviving the holidays without going broke

first_imgThis is a post by our friends at SPENT. Book hotels at great rates plus an average of 25% cash back. Freelancers Union members get an additional $20 cash bonus for their first booking!This season, the National Retail Federation predicts the average American will spend $967 on holiday-related purchases, which is a 3.4% increase from last year. The savvy freelancer can prepare for these extra expenses by picking up extra projects ahead of time. This can be challenging with November and December being the slowest months for freelance work as companies’ year end budgets vanish.With some of these tips however, it is possible to have a fruitful end-of-year, keeping both your spirits (and your wallets) lifted.Budget carefullyUnlike other unforeseen extra expenses that can arise throughout the year, we do have ample time to prepare for the extra dough that will be leaving our pockets at the end of the year. Use this foresight to set a clear budget and stick to it. Perhaps it’s putting a $20 limit on each gift per person, or spreading out your purchases to fit into a larger weekly budget.Sticking to a strict budget is made easier through careful expense tracking. Luckily there are a number of tools out there that can help. Some people might find taking pen to paper works best for them – if so, making notes of your daily expenses within your daily calendar could be helpful.For the more digitally inclined, try an expense management app like SPENT Money, which automatically tracks credit and debit card purchases, filtering them into buckets so that you can easily visualize how much is going where and from which accounts. Using an app is also helpful in sending you notifications if you are getting close to, or going over your preset budget.Gift wiselyIt’s easy to get caught up with all the holiday advertising out there when shopping, but it’s important to remember the reason for the season. Gifts don’t necessarily have to cost a lot.Consider some fun alternatives – perhaps your friends can do a “Secret Santa” gift exchange to cut down on the number of presents everyone has to buy. Show off your creative talents by making your own wrapping paper or cards. If you’re feeling extra talented, handmade gifts can go a long way, whether you’re a knitter or baker, everyone appreciated mittens and cookies.If you must hit the shops, put in the time to find the best deals. Look for email or mobile promotions or if shopping online do a quick Google search to compare prices or find online discount codes. It’s also worth tapping into cash back deals built into your credit card or expense management apps to maximize your shopping experience, and ultimately leave more money in your pocket.Travel SmartlyIt’s more than just buying presents that cause the holidays to be so financially draining. Whether it’s by plane, train or automobile, everyone is trying to get home for the holidays, which means higher travel rates.The more flexible you can be the more you can mitigate these costs. Consider flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. Pack light so you don’t have to pay for checked luggage. Volunteer to give up your seat for overbooked flights – airlines will not only put you on a later flight free of charge but they will often pay you more than the cost of your ticket to do so.Tap into your creativity yet again and consider alternative routes. Look into other airports a few hours drive from your destination – it could be cheaper to fly into a different airport and then rent a car. Last Christmas I saved a huge amount by flying into Memphis and then renting a car to head home to Little Rock.Book through a site like SPENT Travel which offers cash back on travel bookings. Not only do you get the same deals and price comparisons as other travel booking sites, you get a little money back in your wallet as well.Prepare for the new yearAt the end of the day, it’s important to focus on the joy of the holiday season and remember that come January, it’s time to get back on track. Take the week between Christmas and New Years to get your professional and financial house in order, planning new jobs and projects to get excited about in the new year. Your bank account will be back in shape in no time.Book hotels at great rates plus an average of 25% cash back. Freelancers Union members get an additional $20 cash bonus for their first booking!Mark Scherzer is a writer and communications expert with over 15 years of experience. He’s worked for Fortune 500 companies, produced content for digital startups, written for television, created curricula for education companies and developed programs for non-profits. He is also the author of “Hire Me, Hollywood” published by Adams Media, a division of Simon and Schuster.last_img read more