Nevenka Kovač, SB Medico: We have a lot of stories about strategies and possibilities of health tourism, and too little is done in the field

first_imgThe medical tourism market, ie its annual turnover, is estimated at more than 100 billion US dollars, with a projection of future annual growth of 15 to 20 percent, while research shows that foreign tourists in this segment spend 2,5 times more than domestic.The potential of health tourism has existed for years, growing by over 20 percent annually, and is slowly developing in Croatia as well. More and more is being written about it, various clusters and associations have been established, and most importantly, Croatia has excellent, professional and highly professional institutions, without which health tourism cannot be developed. They are the main base, but the institutions themselves do not constitute health tourism. Indeed, they are the first and main motive for coming and the most important link, but their job is not the development of a tourist destination and health tourism. Here we come to the main question: Are we developing health tourism in Croatia or is it just happening to us again, not with the help of the system and thanks to the proactivity of individuals?On the topic of the development of health tourism in Croatia, I talked to Nevenka Kovač, MD, director of the Medico Special Hospital from Rijeka which is one of the leaders in the development of health tourism in Croatia. “In fact, the only branch of health tourism that really exists in our country and is actively developing is dental tourism. We can say that medical wellness has also developed to some extent, although its definition is quite “fluid”; namely, we have not yet developed control mechanisms to distinguish who is really engaged in medical wellness, and who is just declaring so, because now almost all wellness is proclaimed as medical. „Points out Nevenka Kovač, MD from SB Medico and adds that health tourism conducted by special hospitals and spas is in its infancy.Personally, I have the impression that it all comes down to the individual efforts of individual clinics, which invest their own resources, turn out of necessity into tourist boards and DMC agencies, just to offer tourists the whole package, which is neither logical nor natural. Healthcare facilities need to be what they are and the best at it, and not worry about what the guest will be doing seven days in the destination. The director of the Medico Special Hospital, Ph.D. Nevekna Kovač, MD And this is where the biggest problem lies, which again we do not systematically and strategically deal with the development of health tourism. “The reason for this is partly a vague and vague legislative framework, so every institution in the market is struggling with administration, demand recognition, marketing and sales, not only selling ourselves, but the entire destination. “Says Kovač and points out that these are most often people who do other jobs in administrative services and who are not professional enough. “Because we do not have professional training / education for staff who understand the specifics of health and the laws of marketing and sales for the demanding commercial market of health tourism. If healthcare institutions could have professional people who would deal with the sale and marketing of their services and together with tourism professionals create additional programs – that would be a winning combination. They cannot do without each other because the tourist workers do not know the specifics of the health service, so that they can create quality patient free time. For example, a person who has had breast augmentation surgery and it is desirable for me to stay a few days near my operator, and there is no need to be constantly in the hospital, you can not offer a bathing arrangement on Opatija beach, but you can offer a tour of castles in Zagorje. That is why we need to work on the development of health tourism jointly, multidisciplinary and multisectoral, and that is in Croatia hardest”  Kovac pointed out. Health tourism, as well as other forms of tourism, without the synergy of all participants in the chain and a strategic and complete tourist product cannot be developed in a quality and long-term manner. How do health tourism “live” in the Medico Special Hospital every day, I was interested in whether Croatia is recognized as a brand and whether it has value and trust in the European market for health tourism? “Croatia is not yet a brand of health tourism on the European market, but it is a brand in tourism in general. In Italy we are a brand for dental tourism, but we are certainly not in the Netherlands. Therefore, the strength of the brand that we have should be used for additional positioning in the health tourism market. Foreign tourists do not have a generally developed trust in the Croatian health care system, but they base it on individual experiences that can range from the best to the worst, and that is not nearly enough for branding. Given that Croatia is moving to conquer this new market with a strong tourism brand, the main carrier of the development of the new market is the Ministry of Tourism. They have already developed promotion and sales channels in which they only need additional new content and services that the health sector can help them develop. But in reality it works differently; when our tourist board appears at fairs and ask them to put your advertising materials on the Croatian stand – the question arises who will carry these materials there, who will take care of placing them on the stand or who will clean them up and return them if they remain unused, because they have too much “their” material and can’t take care of ours! It always comes down to “yours” and “ours”. We need to think synergistically, the sale of Croatia as a destination should be approached at the level of all available content, knowing that in the end everyone benefits from it – every tourist who comes, regardless of travel, local community and local suppliers, service providers can offer something more. “Says Kovac.It’s up to the people, we have all the resources and potentials, knowledge, experience, but again it’s all about the people. No one is to blame, neither the EU nor any third “enemy”, the biggest enemy only to ourselves. On the other hand, we deal with so many absurd problems that it’s ridiculous, especially in 21st century business. Do healthcare institutions really have to think about the problems mentioned above? The whole paradigm is set wrong, tourist boards and institutions are there for the private sector and tourism workers, not the other way around.We are constantly talking about extending the season, ie the problem of seasonality, health tourism can and must be one of the solutions to this problem. The implications are certainly multiplying in the whole chain, and the fact that Kovač points out that this is most obvious in Kvarner because the Opatija promenades are not full of foreign tourists who use the benefits provided by hotel facilities mostly speaks volumes. medical wellness, and which do not come for the sea and sunbathing but for the sake of well being. ” Health tourism absolutely compensates for seasonality and implies everything in the economic chain as well as in “seasonal” tourism. All health tourists have to eat, sleep somewhere, go to shops, buy souvenirs, go to museums… of course, if we offer them all that. It is a culture of living that is extremely strong in the territory of the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy. New services such as systematic examinations or surgeries should be slowly added to these facilities. That is why it is important to connect tourist and health facilities, which is planned in Kvarner through the Health Tourism Cluster. They still have a lot of work to do on this topic. ” Kovac points out.Unfortunately, while we have been talking about potentials for ten years, the competition is not sleeping, on the contrary, others, such as Slovenia, are moving forward at full speed, developing cycling tourism, active holidays and health tourism.In our country, the situation on the ground is in chaos again, and this is confirmed by Kovač, who points out that hotels, polyclinics and surgeries still function as “separate galaxies” and are looking for their place under the sun. “We are still all in competition with each other and there is no sincere decision / desire / realization that only together can we develop this story of health tourism faster. The shift is big back ten years because now at least we are all talking about the importance of health tourism, but for more significant development it will take 2-3 times as much. Where will the others be then? Who will overtake us all with less potential than ours? I am afraid that we will lose the advantage we have in this race as well, given our potential, and that is our beautiful country and our healthcare professionals. We should look at successful examples, such as Istria becoming a destination for top olive growing and rural tourism. This is the result when everyone blows in the same sails and then the ship moves… commitment to the goal, quality on the way to it and togetherness in achieving it is the formula for success and should be applied to the development of health tourism. “Kovač points out and adds that the competition is doing its job and is already making good use of our drowsiness, with poorer natural, cultural, historical and enogastronomic resources redirecting guests that we do not know how to bring.If we talk about tourism, apart from authenticity as the main component, the next is certainly the synergy of all tourism stakeholders that make up one rounded tourism product. We cannot develop tourism if we have excellent hotels and accommodation facilities, and we do not have quality clinics, and vice versa. Also, if we cannot offer our guests quality, diverse and authentic content, which is, among other things, a solution to the problem of seasonality, we cannot even develop tourism. The synergy of all is crucial, and yet it is most lacking. Without synergy there is no success, no matter what certain individuals pull, there is no way they can do it alone.Again, to go back to the beginning of the story, entrepreneurs need to be what they are and be the best at it, and there is a system that I need to connect it all, provide a platform and framework for development, and offer a complete tourism product. But the situation on the ground is unfortunately just the opposite. As Kovač points out, there is no real support for the system or strategic development of health tourism. “Uncoordinated, fragmented resources, and inconsistent policies are the “logistics” of health tourism. We in Croatia are talking about health tourism as a strategic branch, and in the whole country we have two accredited health institutions, of which only Medico Special Hospital has American accreditation (AACI) of clinical excellence. The impression is that there is a lot of talk about strategies and opportunities, principles, plans… and too little work in the field; the flow of information and the interconnection of tourist entities are insufficient and in practice have so far been reduced to self-initiative activities and their own “sales” motives and skills. “Also, when we talk about health services, then we are talking about trust and safety, and it is necessary to have a top and quality service, which is guaranteed by certain certificates. This is extremely important because one bad move, ie an unprofessional omission and incident, can collapse the entire market. That is why there are quality standards and various certificates that guarantee that these are highly professional services – they give trust and security. “Quality is the foundation of the service business, especially health, and accreditation is independent proof that it is a prerequisite for the development of the health tourism market. A patient will come to Croatia from another country for treatment because they may have to wait a long time for a procedure or examination in their country, which may be a cheaper procedure in our country, which will combine a vacation in a great tourist destination with health care, but only if he knows he will get quality service here. We on the ground know that we can only rely on our own strengths. There are examples of cooperation between individual health care institutions, but they are rare and local in nature; for example, a patient who comes for dental services also wants some of the aesthetic treatments. Basically, there is a fear of losing the patient, so the one who grabs him first tries to meet all his needs, which is often at the expense of quality. So today blepharoplasty, filler or botox are done by dentists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, otorhinolaryngologists, maxillofacial surgeons and plastic surgeons. So often patients get some top-level service and some average. Today in the health tourism market it is not enough to be average, today you have to be unique, the best, innovative. So what you do you have to do the best, but it’s not enough for you to think about yourself. You have to prove it by accreditation where someone else evaluates you and assesses whether you are the best.Quality is the foundation for everything else – Nevenka KovačNot much has changed in the perception of patients, because accreditation has only given legitimacy to the top service we have been offering from the very beginning, for more than 20 years. But our options are now far wider – with international accreditation, we are becoming all the more attractive to patients, as their insurance companies approve of covering the cost of treatment. This is not the case with non-accredited institutions. ” Kovac pointed out.UNESCO has included Mediterranean cuisine in the list of cultural heritage as the healthiest cuisine in the world, can it use this fact and combine it with health tourism, Kovač points out that we can do anything and points out that everything related to health can be used for product development “health tourism” , and so is Mediterranean cuisine. ”We are reluctant to give health a commercial connotation, it is almost a heresy in our area. Health tourism needs to be addressed more by marketing experts who, with an economic perspective, can certainly contribute to the development of a quality action plan for the development of health tourism. We must not forget that the concept of health tourism is very broad: from medical wellness to medical tourism, ie from aromatherapy to the installation of an artificial hip. Therefore, each type of health tourism should be considered in its specificity and positioned in this specific market. The strengths and opportunities, competition and targeted markets of each segment of health tourism are very different and require a different approach and strategy. It should also be considered in the regional context and define a strategy for regional development of health tourism. The region of Istria and Kvarner, as well as Zagreb, given the resources at its disposal are ideal for the development of dental tourism, but not Slavonia, which as a region is more suitable for the development of rural and health tourism (Bizovačke toplice, Lipik, Daruvarske Toplice), as well as the region Zagorje (Krapinske, Tuheljske, Stubičke, Varaždinske Toplice, Jezerčica). As a region, Kvarner is suitable for the development of health (hotels, Thallassotherapy Opatija and Crikvenica), medical (SB Medico, SB Nemec, SB Veli Lošinj) and dental tourism… and in each region the strength of tourist and health capacities and resources should be networked ” concludes Kovac.HEALTH TOURISM – AN OPPORTUNITY WE MUST NOT MISSIt is ungrateful to say that nothing or nothing is being done to develop health tourism, but the fact is that it is too slow, without synergy, connections, professionalism, uncoordinated and in the end unsuccessful enough. Especially when we put in context our potentials and resources, as well as the level of today’s business.As Kovač pointed out, today it is not enough to be average on the market, today you have to be unique, the best, innovative… on average it is not enough and that is why synergy of all stakeholders of health tourism and the entire tourism sector is needed to create pressure on the system and policy. again not from political connotations but from market ones, to begin to respect the profession, professionalism and business of the 21st century. Time flies, we are lagging behind the competition more and more, the opportunity is there, we have everything and everything is up to us.According to estimates, the total revenues that are generated globally in the field of medical tourism today exceed 60 billion dollars, and in just a few years that number will exceed 100 billion dollars. The potential of health tourism has been there for years, and now Croatia has excellent, professional and highly professional institutions, but without a strategic and complete tourism product there will still not be much progress. We have too late coast and climate, top specialized health facilities, excellent connectivity, ie accessibility, as well as amazing tourist stories – we just have to pack them nicely into a rounded tourist product and tell our guests the story.Do we want to develop quality health tourism or not? If the answer is yes, then the rules of the game should be respected, which are synergy, a complete tourist product, strategic development and expertise and professionalism.. We are constantly talking about potentials, it is time to concretize those potentials. Right now and now, because when if not now – when Croatian tourism is a trend in the focus of global tourists and the media.last_img read more

Surrogates: Delivering the ultimate gift

first_imgNZ Herald 28 April 2012….Ms Gracen is one of an increasing number of New Zealand women offering to be a surrogate mother for couples who cannot have children on their own. In 2010-11, there were 25 applications for clinic-assisted surrogacies, compared with 15 in 2005-06. Only about one-third of those applications go ahead owing to many factors including a failed implant or an embryo not surviving the thawing process. Surrogacy applications approved since 2005 have so far resulted in 26 live births. Fifteen surrogacy applications from last year are ongoing. Assisted reproduction expert, Associate Professor Wayne Gillett, said surrogacy had been occurring in New Zealand as far back as the 1980s. However in 2004, the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act became law. This put controls in place “to the point that no surrogacy can occur in New Zealand without approval by an ethics body … that looks at all cases on a case-by-case basis”, Dr Gillett said. Counselling is also considered an important of the process. “Most cases are straightforward I think. But the overall success of (surrogacy) is not great. “It’s a lot of hard work for all people involved for a few positive outcomes.” By law, surrogates cannot be paid in New Zealand, but in some countries women do receive payment. read more

UEFA strict on COVID-19 protocols for UCL, UEL games

first_img Loading… Several protocols have been put in place for the safety of everyone involved with the two continental tournaments. From wearing masks, to testing of players, to using chartered flights for travel, UEFA have put forward strict rules, which if broken, will attract heavy sanctions. UEFA had earlier announced that remaining UCL second leg Round of 16 matches will be played in Turin, Manchester, Munich and Barcelona respectively on August 7 and 8. “UEFA expects all parties to adhere to hygiene best practices both in the controlled match environments, as well as in their private day-to-day lives,” the protocols read as per BBC Sport. “It is imperative that all precautions set out in this document, as well as the standard hygiene best practices, will be strictly adhered to by all members of these various groups. “Non-respect of such social norms could have serious consequences for the staging of international matches.” Read Also: Barcelona president replies Napoli counterpart over Covid-19 claims The quarter-finals will be played in Lisbon between August 12-15 followed by semi-finals on August 18-19. The final will be played at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon on August 23. As for the Europa League, the last-16 matches will be played on August 6-7 followed by quarter-finals on August 11-12. The semi-finals is scheduled to be played on August 17-18 followed by the finale on August 22. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img European football governing body UEFA has warned clubs against protocol breaches when Champions League (UCL) and Europa League (UEL) returns this week. The two tournaments will resume after they were halted abruptly in March due to coronavirus pandemic. The revamped schedule sees teams participating in the two different competitions this month and UEFA has sent out an advisory ahead of the matches. The clubs have been directed to follow the protocols put in place by UEFA and in case of breaches, future of the venue to host international matches will be in jeopardy. Promoted Content5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?The 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldEverything You Need To Know About Asteroid Armageddon7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Become A Vegetarian7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DronePlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black Holeslast_img read more

Dr. Amanda Williams to join Tree City Medical Partners

first_imgGreensburg, IN—Decatur County Memorial Hospital would like to welcome board-certified, Primary Care Physician, Dr. Amanda Williams to our Family Medicine team at Tree City Medical Partners. Dr. Williams is a native of Decatur County and attended North Decatur High School where she graduated in 2008. Dr. Williams attended Franklin College for her undergrad and majored in Chemistry and Biology. She later received her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in May of 2016. Dr. Williams completed her Residency with Union Hospital Family Medicine in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she received the Union Hospital Foundation Research Award in 2018.Dr. Williams currently resides in St. Paul with her family. When asked what she is looking forward to the most about working at DCMH, she stated, “I am happy to be back home. I love this community and having the chance to serve them makes me excited.”Dr. Williams is able to provide a full spectrum of primary care with interests in obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health, and addiction. She will begin seeing patients at Tree City Medical Partners on August 1st.Decatur County Primary Care and Tree City Medical Partners offer comprehensive care for you and your family. Whether it’s a routine pregnancy or a chronic condition, their goal is to advance your health and wellness. As a division of Decatur County Memorial Hospital, they also pride themselves on providing a seamless experience throughout the continuum of care.If you would like more information on DCMH Family Medicine, click here. To schedule your appointment today with Dr. Williams, call 812.222.DOCS.last_img read more

37 books named to Indiana Authors Awards shortlists

first_imgStatewide — The 2020 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards announced the shortlist of books eligible for top honors in its seven literary categories. Thirty-seven books written by Indiana authors and published in 2018 and 2019 have been shortlisted for the awards, which will be announced on September 1 by Indiana Humanities.Shortlisted books were written by lifelong Hoosiers, professors at Indiana colleges and universities, former Indiana residents, and others with a deep connection to Indiana. They feature stories about life in Indiana, nature, and interesting people. At turns whimsical and serious, funny and haunting, shortlist honorees address pressing topics such as race, immigration, teen pregnancy, and suicide, as well as otherworldly fare like fairies, airships, and voodoo.Each category winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, a hand-crafted limestone award, and the opportunity to make a $500 donation to an Indiana library of their choice.An author from Southeastern Indiana has been nominated in both the Non-fiction and Emerging Author categories. Melissa Stephenson, who grew up in Columbus, Indiana, and lives in Missoula, Montana, was nominated for “Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back”, her memoir about the road to hope following the death of her troubled brother, told through the series of cars that accompanied her.last_img read more

We won’t get any money unless we play: Subhankar Dey

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Thomas Cup and the Uber Cup may become the first top level badminton tournaments to take place since the sport went into a freeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic post the All England Open in March.The two competitions, set to be held from October 3-13, however, are now under a cloud of uncertainty after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed that five countries have pulled their respective teams out, South Korea and Indonesia being the latest ones as they withdrew on Saturday. Indian singles player Subhankar Dey, who is part of the squad for the Thomas Cup, said that he hopes the tournaments can be played to ease the financial pressure on players. “I spoke to a few friends in Denmark and they said that South Korea and Indonesia have withdrawn and if China also withdraw then the tournament could be cancelled. I can only say that it would be great if the Thomas Cup and other tournaments are held,” Subhankar told IANS. “The players are suffering right now because unless and until we play tournaments we won’t get any money at all. Sponsorships are also not coming so we are facing a lot of problems and I hope tournaments like Thomas Cup take place even if other teams withdraw,” he said. “I understand that they are also struggling in terms of sponsorships. Let’s hope for the best. I really want to play and all the team mates I spoke to also want to play.” Subhankar also said that the players were desperate to get some competitive matches under their belt after the long Covid-enforced layoff. The last international tournament he played was the Barcelona Spain Masters in February where he faced compatriot Kidambi Srikanth in the first round. “As a player I can say that we are really motivated to play tournaments. We love competition and the feeling of being together is really different. We have been working hard every day and there will be no use of that if we can’t compete,” he said. Subhankar’s words mark a significant change in players’ stance on tournaments since March when they put the BWF under pressure to halt the badminton calendar. He says the players and other stakeholders are now better informed about the virus than they were then. “As far as coronavirus is concerned, initially it was hurting our minds because we didn’t know how to cope with it. But then we have been training in our own capacities for the past one and a half months and now I don’t think it is really problematic for us,” he said. IANS Also Watch: Holes in Guwahati Roads Result in Accidentslast_img read more

The Latest: Europe’s top rugby league competition suspended

first_imgThe Arizona Coyotes will pay all part-time arena and team employees through the end of the previously scheduled NHL season.Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo and his family have partnered with Gila River Arena to pay part-time and hourly arena employees scheduled to work the team’s final eight home games. All part-time and hourly team employees will be paid through April 4.The Coyotes also will pay part-time Tucson Roadrunners employees affected by the suspension of the American Hockey League.The NHL announced last week it would pause the 2019-20 season in response to the coronavirus pandemic.Coyotes defenseman Aaron Ness became the NHL’s first known player to be tested for COVID-19 after experiencing flu-like symptoms last week. His agent, Neil Sheehy, said Monday that Ness tested negative for the virus. The FIVB says a three-star event that was supposed to take place this week in Gold Coast, Australia, and a four-star tournament next week in Cancun, Mexico, have been postponed because of travel restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The events are crucial for athletes trying to qualify for the Summer Olympics, with more points available at the higher-rated tournaments.The FIVB says it is in contact with the IOC about “potentially revising the beach volleyball qualification system” for the Tokyo Olympics.As of Monday, four of the last nine points-rich four- and five-star events have been postponed or canceled.___12:20 p.m. The league says the decision was taken following the British government’s updated advice on limiting social contact and mass gatherings.In a joint statement, Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone and Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer said the suspension presents “significant financial and commercial implications for rugby league, which will be further considered during the period of suspension.”The Super League includes teams from France and Canada. ___1:35 p.m. Associated Press The Latest: Europe’s top rugby league competition suspended ___1:20 p.m.The NHRA drag racing series has suspended its season 30 days with the intention to resume events April 17-19 in Houston.An event at Las Vegas has been postponed with no new date announced.“We made this decision with heavy hearts as we see the effects this pandemic is having on the world,” NHRA said in a statement. “We are all in this complicated uncertain and rapidly changing situation together, and we encourage everyone to look out for each other.” The women’s professional tennis tour has suspended all competition until May 2 because of the coronavirus outbreak.The WTA says it is calling off clay-court tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague, adding those to a list of events previously canceled.Each of those three tournaments was scheduled to begin in April.The tour says a decision will be made “in the week ahead” about the rest of the European clay-court circuit.The next Grand Slam tournament is the French Open, which is scheduled to begin in Paris on May 24. Other motorsports such as NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One already pulled the plug on racing.12:45 p.m.The Penn Relays, one of the oldest and largest track meets in the nation, has been canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.The Penn Relays were scheduled for April 23-25 and had been held uninterrupted since 1895. The event celebrated its 125th consecutive running last year. The Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania says it will attempt to host a substitute track meet at a later date in late May or early June. The new event wouldn’t meet the standard Penn Relays format. The three-day event would shorten into a one-day event for youth, high school and open runners.The Penn Relays has adapted to worldwide conditions in the past. The meet was altered in 1917 and 1918 when several colleges, including most Ivy League institutions, curtailed their track programs during World War I. During World War II, travel restrictions reduced participation and spectator attendance while gas rationing was in effect in 1943 and 1944. ___12:40 p.m.A staff member of Canucks Sports & Entertainment has tested positive for COVID-19.Trent Carroll, chief operating officer of the Vancouver Canucks’ parent company, said the diagnosed individual was in self-quarantine and feeling better. The organization closed its offices Monday and employees were preparing to work from home “wherever possible.” Sipos says in a video posted on the federation’s Facebook page “we hope we are contributing to stopping the spread of the epidemic.”The federation’s announcement was in line with a government decision to have sports matches played in empty stadiums and only if organizers took responsibility.Speaking Monday in parliament, famously soccer-mad Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it would be even better if matches were not played at all.___1:30 p.m. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):6:40 p.m.The Super League — Europe’s top division in rugby league — has been suspended, initially until April. ___11:25 a.m.The leader of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics says there is no May deadline to cancel the games and he remains confident the event will go ahead despite sports coming to a virtual standstill globally amid the coronavirus outbreak.John Coates, who will have to go into government-mandated self-isolation when he returns to Australia this week from Olympic business in Europe, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “It’s all proceeding to start on the 24th of July.”Former IOC vice president Dick Pound said in an interview with The Associated Press last month that the end of May loomed as a possible deadline for the IOC to make a call on the Tokyo Olympics. The Russian soccer league has taken a step closer to shutting down after CSKA Moscow canceled its upcoming game with Zenit St. Petersburg.The league is to meet Tuesday to discuss its response to the coronavirus outbreak. However, CSKA said it was no longer able to host Sunday’s game against Zenit after restrictions on mass gatherings in Moscow were tightened.CSKA says it will discuss potential rescheduling and refunds for spectators later.The Russian league was the largest European soccer competition still operational over the weekend, with more than 33,000 fans attending a game between Zenit and Ural Yekaterinburg on Saturday.One large banner at the match read: “We’re all infected with soccer and will die for Zenit.” But Coates, an IOC vice president and head of the Australian Olympic Committee, told the Sydney paper in a telephone interview from Switzerland that the IOC didn’t recognize the deadline and he thought Pound had backed away from it, too.Coates says “it’s never been the IOC’s position. It was Dick’s idea. There is four months to go.”___11:10 a.m.McLaren says the team member who tested positive for coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix “is recovering well” and that his “symptoms have gone.” Finnish club Jokerit withdrew Saturday citing concern for the health of its players and staff. Now Barys Astana says it is withdrawing after authorities in Kazakhstan banned sports events and restricted entry to the country.All six of the remaining teams are based in Russia, where various cities and regions have imposed their own restrictions. Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow played in an empty arena on Wednesday.The KHL said Saturday it was “in consultation with clubs and all relevant authorities to diligently manage the impact” of the virus outbreak.The KHL has not commented on the withdrawals and its website still lists those teams as competing. The next scheduled games between teams which have not withdrawn are Wednesday.___ 2:05 p.m.British horse racing will take place without spectators and with restrictions on the number of attendees.The British Horseracing Authority says “the intention is for scheduled race meetings to take place wherever possible.” It adds that “decisions may have to be made to cancel meetings.”BHA chief executive Nick Rust says the racing industry is “following the government’s advice to strike a balance between protecting public health and maintaining business activity.”More than 250,000 people attended the four-day Cheltenham Festival last week. “We are receiving guidance from the health authorities on next steps,” Carroll said.Canucks Sports & Entertainment, formerly known as Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment, owns the NHL Canucks and Rogers Arena, among other properties.___12:30 p.m.The international beach volleyball tour has postponed two more events, clearing the schedule of everything until May 6. March 16, 2020 9:55 a.m.The Greek Olympic committee says the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo Games will take place without spectators in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.The committee says the accreditation cards that had been issued for Thursday’s ceremony at the stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 would not be valid.The body’s headquarters will also remain closed from Monday until further notice.The committee canceled the remainder of the Olympic torch relay last week after crowds gathered in southern Greece to watch part of the torch relay in Sparta, where the torch was carried by actor Gerard Butler. Seifert adds that some clubs could face potential financial collapse and put “tens of thousands of jobs” at risk without funding from TV broadcasts and sponsors.Paderborn player Luca Kilian has tested positive for the coronavirus. Three players in the second division also have the virus.Germany was the last of Europe’s top five leagues to suspend games.The German soccer federation says that games in the top two women’s divisions and the women’s cup will be suspended through April 19.___ NHL players have been told they can return home and self-isolate there until the end of March while hockey is on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.This signals a significant update on the league’s potential timeline to resume the season. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced last week the season was on pause and did not provide more specifics on how long that would last.Players had previously been told to remain in their team’s city and await further direction. The new directive comes in the aftermath of the CDC’s recommendation the U.S. not hold gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.___3:30 p.m. No decision has been made on whether the Grand National Steeplechase will go ahead at Aintree next month. More Britons bet on that race than any other. ___1:55 p.m.The Hungarian soccer federation has temporarily suspended all of its competitions.Federation spokesman Jeno Sipos says clubs have been asked to forego training sessions and make it possible for players and staff members to stay home. ___2:10 p.m.The German soccer league has extended its suspension through at least April 2.The extension covers the next round of games and the upcoming international break.League CEO Christian Seifert says “it doesn’t mean that we assume we can play from April 3.” ___10:10 a.m.A second team has withdrawn from the Kontinental Hockey League playoffs because of the coronavirus outbreak.The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL and is one of the few major sports organizations still operating in Europe.There are now six teams remaining in an eight-club conference semifinal bracket. The British team pulled out of the season-opening Formula One race on Thursday because of the positive test. The race was canceled on Friday.Fourteen members of the team were also placed in quarantine for 14 days after coming into close contact with the person who tested positive for the virus. McLaren chief executive Zak Brown says they are in “good spirits.”McLaren says the rest of the team has returned to Britain but will not go to the team’s headquarters for two weeks as a precaution.With the first four races postponed, the F1 season will not resume until May at the earliest.___ 11 a.m.Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials say they are holding off on postponing the month of May activities that conclude with the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend.The Indy 500 draws crowds in excess of 300,000.“We are aware of the CDC’s interim guidance suggesting the postponement of events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks,” the speedway said in a statement released before 6 a.m. local time.“Our priority is to do our part in protecting the public health while still conducting the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge as scheduled on May 24. This continues to be a dynamic situation which we are monitoring constantly in coordination with federal, state, local and public health officials.” Greek health authorities have warned people to stay home, and have shut down everything from restaurants, bars and cafes to public organized beaches, ski resorts, hair salons and movie theaters, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.Greece currently has 331 confirmed cases and four deaths.___More AP sports: and,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Reggae Girlz ‘adjusting well’ despite weekend travel nightmare

first_imgREGGAE Girlz Head Coach Hue Menzies said his players have managed to put the weekend’s travel mishaps behind and are settling in nicely before  today’s final World Cup warm-up match against a tough Scotland unit.Scotland defeated world-number 10 Brazil in April which makes them a confident team in the lead up to the number 53 ranked Girlz.The Reggae Girlz were subjected to an unnecessary circuitous journey to Scotland from Florida that saw them travel from the USA to Morocco before eventually arriving in Scotland in separate groups between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) offered a vague explanation of the matter in a statement released late Saturday evening.“Challenges experienced with the itinerary for the delegation were due solely to the availability of the total number of seats available at the time of making the reservations,” the JFF said.“The itinerary utilised was done in an effort to keep the entire travelling group together.” However, to add to the players’ worries, when they arrived in Scotland they discovered that several pieces of luggage were missing and up to Monday remained so.Menzies, however, said the players were focused on the task at hand and have so far managed to put the matter behind them, for now.“The spirit of the girl has been great,” Menzies told Sportsmax.TV on Monday.“Obviously, we had some challenges travelling but we have to look at the positive side, and the mind is always stronger than the body so we want them to really focus on getting acclimated  as quickly as we can, trying to rest them as much as we can.”He revealed that because of the situation, the players have missed a few training sessions but “we feel like we have adjusted well.”last_img read more

Langer hands over keys to Andrew McDonald for India tour

first_imgAUSTRALIA head coach Justin Langer has promised he won’t call his senior assistant Andrew McDonald after he hands over the reins for Australia’s three-match ODI tour of India next week.Langer will remain in Perth to take a well-earned break following a triumphant home summer thus far where his side went undefeated across six T20Is and five Test matches.McDonald will take the lead coaching role with Australia for the first time after being convinced to join Langer’s coaching staff late last year. Langer, who had a similar chance to take the job in a stand-in capacity when Darren Lehmann missed a series in West Indies in 2016, wants to allow McDonald to take control of this tour.“I said to him this morning, we aren’t inventing the wheel,” Langer said. “He’s got a really good opportunity, I’m so confident in our coaching staff with the cricket side of things.“He’s an excellent coach and we have other excellent coaches to back him up. I said to him I won’t ring him, I’ll let him go, but he said ‘I might ring you’. He’ll do a really good job. I’m sure for three one-dayers it will go really well.”McDonald was so highly regarded by Langer that in a bid to lure him into the national set-up he was allowed to maintain his coaching roles in the IPL with Rajasthan Royals and in the Hundred with the Birmingham Phoenix.McDonald is the clear front-runner to take the Australia job in the future, should he want it, and taking charge of this tour is part of his development. “Of course,” Langer said when asked about the potential of McDonald stepping up permanently one day. “He’s the senior assistant coach of the Australian team.”“Looking back, it was a big part of my apprenticeship, no doubt about that. There are different things that happen along the way and one of those was getting the opportunity to coach in the West Indies from Boof (Darren Lehmann). It’s all part of the apprenticeship. He’s got great credentials and he’ll keep growing.”Australia have made a number of changes to the ODI squad from the one that lost the World Cup semi-final to England. The all-round duo of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis have been omitted after being automatic selections over the previous 18 months while Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh have also made way in the top order.Marnus Labuschagne has been given his opportunity after a stunning Test summer and strong domestic form, where he was named joint player-of-the-tournament in the Marsh Cup, Australia’s 50-over domestic competition, which Langer said gave the selectors the opportunity to bring him in.“(I’m) really excited about that,” Langer said. “If you look at his domestic one-day record, it’s excellent. The fact that he’s done so well, he’s given us some ammunition to select him but he also fits one of those roles we’re looking for – the middle-order batsman, runs hard between the wickets, plays spin very well, very fit, gun fielder, bowls a few leggies.It’s a great package for one-day cricket so we’re very excited to see how he goes. And he deserves that opportunity. Not just on his Test form but on his domestic one-day form as well.”Australia do not play Test cricket again until June in Bangladesh, with ODI and T20 assignments in India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand taking place before then.But Langer was already casting his mind forward to a tour where Australia have had trouble in the past. He was part of a team that almost lost the first Test to Bangladesh in 2006 when they arrived horribly underdone after a three-Test tour to South Africa.Australia then lost a Test there in 2017, eventually drawing the two-Test series 1-1. They played with three spinners in one of the matches but the success of Australia’s frontline quicks on some slower pitches in England as well as in Australia may see a rethink of their strategy, as they did in India in 2004.“Maybe,” Langer said. “We’ll look at the conditions. I remember when Australia won after many, many years in India – in 2004 – it was on the back of some very, very disciplined fast bowling. Adam Gilchrist was the captain. We had very clear plans and we talked about during the Ashes series, we had very clear plans on that.“So it could happen, it’d be so hard to leave out one of those three or four bowlers. So we’ll look at that when it comes to Bangladesh, but there’s a good combination at the moment.”Mitchell Swepson, who was called into the squad for the Sydney Test, is the frontrunner for one of the extra spin-bowling slots alongside Nathan Lyon. The other key question will be whether they take a seam-bowling all-rounder but, as Langer noted, the candidates – he name-checked Mitchell Marsh, Cameron Green, Marcus Stoinis and Moises Henriques – are currently either not bowling or doing very little.Marsh, who broke his hand early in the season, should be able to increase his bowling loads when the Sheffield Shield resumes in February but it remains to be seen whether 20-year-old Green, who is tipped for higher honours, will have the ball back after suffering a stress fracture of his back. (ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

Solochek: It’s not just ‘Our Year’ in Chicago

first_imgSitting in a restaurant after Saturday night’s Cubs vs. Brewers game, a friend was berating Chicago fans, mostly referring to their constant griping about how they always lose and how they perennially exclaim this year is going to be “our year.”While it is common knowledge the North-siders have been held without a championship for over two generations, the term “our year” is not unique to Cubs fans. Sure, they may have coined the phrase and, maybe, it gets more attention from Chicago fans, but the fact of the matter is the belief this year is going to be “our year” is a universal thought, no matter if you’re from Los Angeles, New York City or even Kansas City.“Our Year” represents the undying hope sports fans have in their teams. The belief this will finally be the year they end their slump, make the playoffs or finally make the jump from perennial postseason contenders to champions. There is no fan out there that believes this year will not be his team’s year. No one goes into the season thinking, “Well, maybe we will go out and get ’em next year.”Without the feeling of this being “Our Year,” what would sports mean to us? To many, sports represents sports, especially in troubled times. The feeling of “Our Year” was especially prevalent in Detroit this year as Michigan State, whose home, East Lansing, is just over 70 miles from the Motor City, brought the hope this was going to be their year by making a surprising run at the NCAA Championship. However, while they did fall short, the Spartans brought one glimmer of light on a rather dark time in our nation.Where would we be without the feeling that this is “Our Year”? Who would we root for? Why would we even care? The feeling, the dream that this is going to be our year, even for the most abysmal clubs, still packs the stadiums. It gives even the most diehard fans a reason to get up every Sunday morning or skip work to catch an afternoon game, thinking they will be seeing history in the making. Without the feeling of this being the year a club finally breaks out of a slump, some of the most storied franchises would fold because all hope would be lost.While most of the hope is focused on fans for their undying belief this will finally be the year a team would break through, the athletes themselves must also have the belief that their team can make their push into history. There is a reason players make requests to be traded to teams like the Red Sox, the Lakers or the Packers. They believe they can play a part in helping the team win.If the athletes didn’t believe this was their year, where would we be? The sports world would be stuck with a few cohesive teams who believed in themselves while many clubs dwindled, hoping they finally get their time in the spotlight. If the players did believe in their team, they wouldn’t be making as much as they do.Even while the belief it is going to be a team’s year may be strong, the success may come out of nowhere. There is no better example than last year’s Tampa Bay Rays squad that not only won what is arguably the toughest division in baseball, but also won 31 more games than they did the season before to make it to the World Series. Sure, the Cinderella run may have seen the bell toll a little earlier than many would have liked, but the fact they made it that far baffled even the most ardent baseball fans.As the Cubs go on year 101 of their championship drought, the feeling that this is going to be “our year” is still going strong on the corner of Addison and Sheffield. But, while television cameras may be focused on the signs inside the Friendly Confines, everyone knows the feeling is universal that this is going to be “Our Year.”Ben Solochek is a senior majoring in journalism and history. Think this is your team’s year? Let Ben know at read more