Aviva Premiership: Round 6 predictions

first_imgOur prediction: Written off already and not winning games in the tight final exchanges like seasons of old, Harlequins have not looked strong enough to deal with knocks and set-backs. However they stuck to their task manfully in Clermont last week and may have a little confidence, even if they have lost captain Chris Robshaw to England. Sale, in contrast, look strong and full of a team spirit that was missing last season. This will be close. Quins by 4Northampton Saints v SaracensOur prediction: This should be another teeth-rattler, but Saints are at home and even without George North, they face a big challenge of a Saracens team hunting a sixth straight win. Normally we would suggest Saracens would nip by in this, but logic be damned. Saints by 3London Wasps v Leicester TigersOur prediction: Marcos Ayerza returns any impressive young fly-half Owen Williams is brought in for Tigers to face Wasps who are boosted by returns for Eliot Daly, Tom Palmer and Ashley Johnson. Shame that nothing looks likely to change in Tigers’ mindset. Expect Wasps to start spectacularly and Tigers to claw it back. Leicester by 13 Impressive season so far: George Ford has played well and shown an assured boot. Will he keep Gloucester at bay?THE AVIVA Premiership is back after a fortnight of Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup where the English clubs involved may have had an alright time of it, verging into a pretty good time.So forgetting our absolute howlers so far in the prediction stakes, we jump back on the horse, break out the whip and hit ourselves over the head with it. More clairvoyant than us? Bring on your predictions…Bath v GloucesterOur prediction: West is best, we are told, and if ever there was a good-natured-but-really-not-that-good-natured-but-not-malicious-really game this is it. Bath have fared much better so far and while both have match winners and silky runners the issue is the pack for Gloucester. This one should come down to set-piece power. Bath by 4Exeter Chiefs v Worcester WarriorsOur prediction: Chiefs have been mixing it up with gritty play and break-out, blockbusting stuff and poor Worcester – and pity is a terrible thing to throw at a professional sports team – just can’t manufacture a great result for themselves. Chiefs by 16Stepping in for skips: Luke WallaceHarlequins v Sale Sharks LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Newcastle Falcons v London IrishOur prediction: Will the Exiles’ best player Marland Yarde being snuggly wrapped in cotton wool for England purposes knock Irish off their gait? Perhaps, though they have some individuals still capable of a madcap scramble. Instead expect Falcons half-backs Rory Clegg and Mike Blair to keep sending the ball back down into the corners where the home side’s back-row will want to snuffle anything too long, too short or on the floor. Falcons by 8last_img read more

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Charity work empowers girls abroad

first_imgSaint Mary’s junior Mileva Brunson hoped to bring global education from the halls of the College to women in need around the world. As president of the Saint Mary’s College chapter of She’s the First, Brunson is now able to do just that. She’s The First is a non-profit organization that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world through social media and student leadership so they can be the first in their families to graduate from secondary school, Brunson said. “I found out about She’s the First through my women’s studies course last year,” Brunson said. “For my final paper I researched girls’ education in developing countries which is how I learned about She’s The First.” After conducting research, Brunson said she wanted to get Saint Mary’s involved with the organization. “Notre Dame already had a chapter so I knew it was possible for Saint Mary’s to create a chapter with She’s the First where students would be very interested,” she said. “While I was abroad in Rome last spring, I began the process of creating a chapter on campus.” Speaking with the Student Involvement Office at Saint Mary’s led Brunson back to her women’s studies professor, she said. Brunson said her professor helped her to find an advising faculty member for the club while Brunson worked on getting together a small team comprised of herself as the president with a vice president and secretary to assist her while she was abroad. “I had sent out a school-wide email through the Student Government Office on campus and received such a great response from the students here,” Brunson said. Every semester, the Saint Mary’s chapter of She’s the First will hold an event to raise funds for the girls they sponsor, Brunson said. “Our first fundraiser will be a cupcake bake-off, much like the one that Notre Dame’s chapter holds, in October,” she said. “Lindsay Brown, the president of the chapter at Notre Dame, began the cupcake bake-off which has become a national campaign for She’s the First.” Brunson said she and Brown have been in contact with hopes to combine efforts with She’s the First to create larger events between the two campuses. Tammy Tibbetts, founder and president of She’s the First, said she was impressed by the work Brown and Brunson have done on their campuses. “I’m so proud of the global impact students in Indiana are making through She’s the First. Both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, led by Mileva Brunson and Lindsay Brown, respectively, are using social media (and creative fundraising ideas, like cupcakes) to collectively change girls’ lives around the world,” Tibbetts said. “They are using their own access to higher education to pay it forward to girls who are simply striving to complete a basic education – an idea we hope continues to spread across their campuses and the state.” Brunson said she wants to see her chapter succeed. “With this being our first semester, I hope to have a good response from the girls so we can create a strong club foundation,” Brunson said. “My goal for She’s the First is to raise campus-wide awareness for our cause.” If even one girl can receive a chance for education, the boundaries are limitless, Brunson said. “Not only [is She’s the First a] great opportunity to reach out to global students, but to take the opportunity of our education at SMC and educate other girls around the world,” she said. For more information on She’s the First, contact Mileva Brunson at [email protected],Editor’s Note: This article has been edited to correct an incorrect quote about Brown’s work to establish a girls’ soccer team in Cambodia. The next cover girl for Seventeen magazine might be a familiar face. Senior Lindsay Brown has been named a finalist for Seventeen’s second-annual “Pretty Amazing Contest,” and the winner will be put on the cover of the magazine’s October issue. Brown said the contest rewards girls who have been doing exceptional work. “Each year Seventeen puts a real girl on the cover to celebrate the accomplishments of one of the readers that has done something that they say is ‘pretty amazing,’” Brown said. “It can be anything from … charity work or an athletic accomplishment or dance.” In addition to appearing on the cover of Seventeen Magazine, the winner also receives $20,000 toward her work and tours the world giving speeches on behalf of Seventeen, Brown said. Brown said she found out about the contest from the president of the non-profit She’s the First, an organization that sponsors girls’ tuition in impoverished areas; she was working for She’s the First at the time. “My friend in New York City who’s the president of She’s the First found out about it on Twitter …. and she forwarded it onto me,” she said. “It was due April 30th, and I never really got around to it until the last day.” Brown said she started working for She’s the First her sophomore year by running a simple bake sale with the help of her then-teammates on the Notre Dame women’s soccer team to raise money for tuition at a girls’ school in Nepal. “I went on the Nepal website and emailed the founder,” she said. “It was really cool talking to her and telling her, ‘Oh, my soccer team helped me raise the money,’ and she used to play soccer. We instantly hit it off.” This experience led Brown to start her own non-profit, the S.E.G.W.A.Y. project, which stands for “Soccer Empowering Girls Worldwide and You.” “It kind of worked out that it stands for that because when I got to Nepal, the girls … were just so timid, reserved and shy,” Brown said. “I was telling my mom, ‘What good is it to have them in the classroom if they’re not leaders in the community?’ That’s when I realized soccer can be used to teach confidence and leadership so they can segue into community leaders.” Brown said she was amazed by the impact the soccer team had on that Nepali village. “The boys really started respecting the girls when they realized, ‘Oh, they can play soccer,’” she said. “It was weird. [These are] things we don’t think about, but in their community it’s ground-breaking.” So far, the S.E.G.W.A.Y. project has launched three girls’ soccer teams in Nepal and is expanding to other countries, Brown said. “I’m creating one in Cambodia,” she said. “We’re also partnered with a team in Kenya. Our goal is to help them fund their team trip to a tournament in Minnesota next July.” Brown said she hopes the Pretty Amazing Contest will create publicity for her organization and inspire other girls to make efforts to perform service. “I hope girls can realize that something as simple as a bake sale can make a huge impact on a girl’s life,” she said. Brown said the contest’s results should be announced within the next two weeks.last_img read more

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Fr. Ted stressed academic integrity in athletics

first_imgPhoto courtesy of University Archives Sixty years ago, well before the advent of ESPN, conference realignment and a playoff, the college football system faced many of the same questions it does today regarding the role of student-athletes in university life, the balance between academics and athletics and the need for institutional integrity in the face of big-time college sports.Sixty years ago, a university president just two years into his job wrote an article for a fledgling sports magazine addressing such college football-related issues.The president was Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the magazine was Sports Illustrated, and the views Hesburgh set forth would come to define his and Notre Dame’s view of intercollegiate athletics for the next three decades of his term and beyond.In the Sept. 27, 1954, issue of Sports Illustrated — the seventh ever produced for the magazine that now has more than three million subscribers and was the first to feature a college football player on its cover — Hesburgh, who had recently started his term as Notre Dame president in June 1952, penned an article titled “The True Spirit of Notre Dame.”In it, Hesburgh espoused his views on intercollegiate athletics as a so-called “spectator” of the game, rather than as an expert. Early in the piece, Hesburgh made clear that administrators at Notre Dame are “in favor of intercollegiate athletics,” though with a few caveats.“I must add that we favor intercollegiate athletics within their proper dimensions,” Hesburgh said in the Sports Illustrated article. “It goes without saying that the proper dimensions should be those of university life and purposes.”To understand these dimensions, one must understand that college and professional athletics differ because college athletes must be students above all, Hesburgh wrote.According to Hesburgh, colleges can emphasize the role of the student-athlete by not admitting any student incapable of doing collegiate work, requiring athletes to follow the same academic requirements as other students, taking “no fresh-air courses” and giving athletes the same treatment in campus life matters as they would for other students.Hesburgh then set forth a framework governing how Notre Dame selects and treats its student-athletes. He noted that entrance requirements for athletes are the same as they are for everyone else at Notre Dame and that “many excellent athletes are not admitted because of their high school deficiencies.”Tommy Hawkins, who played basketball for the Irish from 1956 to 1959, said the admissions criteria for the University was particularly stringent, focusing on even more than grades and athletic ability.“That was a very sensitive time because the athletes who were chosen for scholarships were hand-picked at that time,” Hawkins said. “Their families were investigated; they wanted to see that people came from good families.“It just wasn’t how good you were as an athlete. Nobody said this to me, but I got the feeling that you had to clear the deck on a lot of different levels before you were extended a four-year scholarship to Notre Dame.”Dave Casper, who played tight end for the Irish football team between 1971 and 1973, said athletes knew of Hesburgh’s standards for them from the start of their careers.“I know that [Hesburgh] thought it was important to have a great athletics program, just as it was important to have everything … everything should be of excellence,” Casper said.Once athletes were enrolled at Notre Dame, their major focus was not to simply win a monogram but also to receive a diploma, Hesburgh said. Athletes had to stay eligible in order to do both, which required them to have a 77 percent academic average at the time, even above Notre Dame’s then-passing mark of 70 percent.Gerry Faust, who coached the Irish football team from 1981 to 1985, said Hesburgh was very resolute in what he considered his top goal for the football team.“He and [former University executive vice president] Fr. [Edmund P.] Joyce both felt the most important thing was that the young men graduate,” Faust said. “If they didn’t graduate, then they’re not fulfilling what the University is all about, so therefore they never took anybody that couldn’t make it academically.”The final main tenant on which student-athlete life at Notre Dame was based, Hesburgh wrote, was that athletes should “live a normal collegiate life.” Living such a life required that athletes not be swayed by the promise of illegal deals or recruiting benefits and that the University display integrity in all aspects, doling out the same punishments to athletes that they would to any other student.Gene Corrigan, who served as Notre Dame’s athletic director from 1981 to 1987, said adherence to NCAA and University rules was something Hesburgh emphasized from his first moment on the job.“He said to me one time, on one of my first meetings with him, ‘Do you know all the rules of the NCAA?’” Corrigan said of Hesburgh. “I said, ‘Father, I don’t know them all, but I understand them.’ He then said, ‘I want to tell you something. If you or any of your people ever break those rules, you’re out of here by midnight, and I don’t talk to attorneys.’”Similarly, Hesburgh stressed Notre Dame’s role as an integrity leader in the 1980s, an era when college football was beginning to grow into the billion-dollar business it is today, Corrigan said.“He felt like we had to be a leader as far as ethics were concerned, as far as doing things right, as far as graduating people, behaving themselves as athletes,” Corrigan said. “He did not want [athletes] to live together. He and Fr. Joyce were adamant that we would not have anything like an athletic dormitory.”Despite some of his hardline stances, Hesburgh had little involvement in the day-to-day affairs of Notre Dame’s sports teams, mainly leaving that responsibility to Joyce, who Hesburgh described as his “watchdog” in the 1954 Sports Illustrated article.“I would have lunch with Fr. Ted probably once a year, and we’d just talk about all things that had to do with intercollegiate athletics, what we were doing, what’s going on in the whole country,” Corrigan said. “But that was never his interest.”While Joyce largely oversaw athletics, Hesburgh wouldn’t hesitate to intervene if he felt athletes weren’t living up to standards, Corrigan said.“He would get upset if there was a sport where the kids weren’t behaving,” Corrigan said. “That meant more to him. He liked to win, don’t get me wrong, but that wasn’t everything to him, not at all.”Hesburgh also took a special interest in ensuring some of Notre Dame’s early African-American athletes felt welcome, according to Hawkins. The former basketball player, who was one of just 10 African-American students when he arrived on campus, said Hesburgh personally welcomed him to Cavanaugh Hall at the start of his freshman year and continued to check in on him afterwards.“He always kept track of me and from time to time, I’d get a message to drop in and see him so he could see how I was doing or if there were things that were bothering me,” Hawkins said. “Amazingly enough, as busy as he was, he always took the time to say, ‘Hello’ and ‘How are you doing? Is everything okay?’”Hesburgh attended Notre Dame home sporting events, but rarely, if ever, went to away games, according to Corrigan. While Hesburgh wasn’t an overly vocal fan at games, he cared deep down about Notre Dame’s athletic performance, Faust said.“When we were on the road, he would invite my wife to watch games at WNDU-TV,” Faust said. “My wife said he would never show his emotions in public, but privately, he was rooting right and left all the time.”After his retirement as University president, Hesburgh took a role in influencing policy on the national college athletics landscape, serving as co-chairman of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics from 1990 to 2001. Hesburgh and co-chairman William C. Friday, president emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, oversaw a committee that released two reports, one in 1992 and one in 2001. The 1992 report called for stronger presidential leadership and academic and financial integrity in collegiate athletics, while the latter report set forth the academic standards that formed the basis for the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR).In 2004, Hesburgh received the NCAA’s Gerald R. Ford Award, which is presented to an individual who has provided leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics over the course of his or her career.Hesburgh’s receipt of the award, which came a half-century after his Sports Illustrated article, represented the culmination of an approach to intercollegiate athletics that often deviated from the norm at the time.Hesburgh himself recognized the difference in his views compared to others, particularly when he wrote in Sports Illustrated of the criticism that came from his decision to bench a star basketball player for a game against Kentucky for having an average below 77 percent. After the Irish lost to Kentucky by one point in overtime without the suspended player, Hesburgh defended his approach with the following words:“At times like this, when the walls are falling in on an administrator, it is good to seek quiet courage in the epigram above a hero’s grave: ‘Death is not rare, nor is it of ultimate importance. Heroism is both.’”Tags: athletics, Remembering Father Hesburgh, student-athleteslast_img read more

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Wrestler eyes Big Ten, Nationals in final season

first_imgZach Tanelli, the No. 1 ranked senior wrestler, is putting his season and his career in perspective as he strives to become both the Big Ten and National champion.The Badgers only have five meets remaining in their schedule, and he is taking every one of them in, enjoying every little detail — even the grueling training. As the top wrestler at 141 pounds, Tanelli must contend with the fact that every wrestler he faces is at his best, trying to tarnish Tanelli’s prominent and promising season. He doesn’t mind, though, and he says he couldn’t be happier.“It’s great. I love it. I enjoy that type of atmosphere,” Tanelli said. “It’s a perspective thing. All the tough workouts where it crosses your mind, ‘Is this ever going to end?’ The answer is ‘yes,’ and it’s coming a lot quicker than you think. I’m trying to enjoy this season and enjoy this experience for what it is and take it in.”Tanelli’s head coach, Barry Davis, is proud of how his star wrestler is handling himself and isn’t surprised with Tanelli’s maturity or results.“He has a goal for himself,” Davis said. “When you focus on the goal, on what you want to achieve, it’s not pressure. It’s something he wants. I knew before he got here he could win, no doubt about it. He had the work ethic; he had the mindset.”Davis did mention Tanelli became a little overconfident at an invitational in Las Vegas last January and paid for that mistake, losing in the quarterfinals.“He learned from that,” Davis said. “He sees it now as, ‘If I want to achieve the goal I set out for myself, I have to take it one match at a time. I can’t overlook one guy.’”“I can’t afford to look past anybody,” Tanelli added. “The next guy isn’t going to be more scared because I tech falled a guy the week before. Everyone is really coming after me, trying to take me down a notch.”Davis knows how difficult it is for Tanelli to look forward to great things but also stay in the present.“He sees himself on the stand and those kinds of things,” Davis said. “As an athlete, you have to see that, and that motivates you.”Tanelli has been wrestling since he was 12 years old, was All-State in high school, and he is now in position to reach the summit of his sport.“It’s my last year of wrestling, and I don’t have too many opportunities to go out there in front of people and really showcase what I’ve been working on and all the hard work I’ve put in over the years,” Tanelli said. “I really pride myself on how hard I work and how I don’t take shortcuts. That confidence sets me at ease and puts me in a great state to wrestle.”Tanelli has put in a particularly large amount of training, especially this season, as he had to bulk up and move up a 133 weight class to 141. According to Tanelli, that change defined his career.“The best thing that I did in my career was to move up a weight class,” Tanelli said. “It enabled me to wrestle in the way and a style that I like to wrestle. And because of that, alone, it has made this year a success.”Tanelli also cites his work outside of practice and sheer competitive instinct for the success he has found.“I’m as competitive as they get,” Tanelli said. “Whether it’s wrestling or any type of stupid example you could think of, I want to win. If I’m playing it I want to win. I don’t let anything overshadow the fact that when I step on that mat I mean business, and I want to go and I want to go hard.”“He’s always been aggressive, which is good,” Davis added.Tanelli also understands he hasn’t yet reached his goals, and there is plenty of work ahead as he will face competitors who have previously been national champions.“They’ve proven things that I haven’t proven yet, and I can’t allow myself to believe that I deserve anything,” Tanelli said. “I compete best when I have to prove something to people.”Tanelli awaits his competition with open, grappling arms as he comes closer and closer to accomplishing the goals he set out for himself at the beginning of this season.“Everything is leading up to being a Big Ten and National champion,” Tanelli said. “Those are the two goals I have left, and I don’t want to go on without saying that I am those things.”last_img read more

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