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Pakistan President Musharraf in Kabul for talks

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-11-2018

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

The President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf is in Kabul for a two-day visit during which he is scheduled to hold talks with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai. The talks are expected to focus on the continuing militant activity on both sides of the border, with Taliban forces allegedly infiltrating into Afghanistan from across the border in Pakistan.

Economic cooperation and reconstruction in Afghanistan are also on the agenda. President Musharraf is scheduled to meet cabinet ministers and address parliamentarians tomorrow. His delegation includes ministers for foreign and religious affairs and the petroleum sector, and the head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

“Frank discussions on the war on terror and expanding bilateral cooperation on regional issues,” read a statement by President Karzai’s office.

Pakistan foreign office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told AFP news agency that the Presidents “will exchange views on bilateral relations, economic cooperation, reconstruction activities in Afghanistan and cooperation in the fight against terrorism,”

“Afghanistan is expecting the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to take effective action against terrorism,” Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen said.

Pakistan signed a peace agreement with pro-Taliban militants in the North Waziristan region on the eve of the visit. The deal aims to end years of unrest in the border province. Under its terms the Pakistan military forces and militants will stop attacks on each other and the militants have agreed to disarm or expel foreign Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in the area. Pakistan has rejected criticism that the deal will allow pro-Taliban forces to operate freely in the area.

“Pakistan is committed to its policy on war on terror, and Osama caught anywhere in Pakistan would be brought to justice,” army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan told the Associated Press.

On Wednesday, President Karzai met the NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Kabul and signed an accord aimed at boosting security and development in the country. The NATO chief warned that “some of the terrorists, the spoilers, think they can win in the south,”, adding “They are wrong. Because they cannot win, they will not win, […] That is why we are engaged in combat as well at this very moment.”

The visit comes amidst an upsurge in violence in Afghanistan, with US forces saying that 60 militants were killed by artillery and air-strikes on Tuesday. Some 700 more are believed to be surrounded by soldiers in an operation in Khandahar province.

NATO and Afghan forces launched an operation in Khandahar’s Panjwayi district last weekend, and NATO reports 250 militants as killed in the operations, though a Taliban commander has disputed the figure and there is no independent confirmation of the toll. Hundreds have been killed in continuing fighting between government and international security forces and insurgents in the last four months.

An estimated 1500 families have been displaced by the fighting in Khandahar.

Suspected Taliban militants shot dead two muslim clerics in Lashkar Gah, capital of the Helmand province in the last two days and raided a district headquarters in the town of Arghandad in Zabul province.

Musharraf last visited Afghanistan in 2002. Afghanistan has previously complained that Pakistan is not doing enough to combat Taliban insurgency in its side of the 2,250km (1,400-mile) mountainous border between the two countries. Earlier in the year, allegations by Afghanistan that Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders were living in Pakistan were dismissed by Musharraf as “nonsense”. In February, Afghanistan issued a list of 150 Taliban suspects it said were living in Pakistan. President Musharraf dismissed the information as “old and outdated”, but President Karzai reiterated that the list was up-to-date.

Some Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been arrested in Pakistan, which has also stationed close to 80,000 troops along the Afghan borders. There is international pressure on Musharraf to deal with Islamist groups in Pakistan who are believed to assist Taliban forces.

“Pakistan has the potential to be the solution to the problems of Afghanistan,” Afghan foreign ministry advisor Ali Muradian said.”We hope that President Musharraf will open a new chapter in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Pakistan was closely associated with the Taliban’s rise to power in the 90s one of only three nations that recognised the then Taliban government.

While state run dailies Kabul Times and Hewad expressed hope that two leaders will work together to improve security, The daily Cheragh said that while statements about restoring security can be expected from the meeting, “as experience has shown”, previous pledges by Pakistan “have not been fulfilled”.

Kabul Times also said Afghanistan was grateful for Pakistan’s help to thousands of Afghan refugees.

“The key concern is whether the agreement is going to lead to more insurgents going to and fro across the border or less,” A diplomat told AFP, while another questioned Pakistan’s peace deal with the militants.

Canadian charter airline Skyservice suspends operations

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-11-2018

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Skyservice, a Canadian charter airline, has cancelled several flights from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, with reports that the airline has ceased operations.

The company cites debt levels and changes in the vacation travel market with its decision to shut down operations and file for receivership. At the time of the filing in Ontario Superior Court, Skyservice is said to owe almost $9 million CAD to long-term partner and Thomas Cook subsidiary Sunquest Vacations. This situation exacerbated the debt load already put on the airline by a leveraged buyout in 2007 by Vancouver-based private equity firm Gibralt Capital Corporation. That placed more debt than was workable on the troubled airline, along with Roynat Capital calling in their loans to Skyservice earlier in the year.

Skyservice has stated that it will work with its partner companies and other providers to ensure customers stranded by the airline’s sudden shutdown are dealt with effectively, according to a company representative. In addition to customers impacted by the cancellation of flights for the month of April, approximately 860 jobs are expected to be lost as a result of this shutdown.

Tour operator Signature Vacations, under a contract with Skyservice until 2013, has stated that they were prepared for the airline’s receivership, having joined forces with rival service Sunwing Airlines.

Last year, operator Conquest Vacations declared bankruptcy, allegedly due to the economic downturn and reduced revenues throughout the industry.

Preparations for inaugural Bathurst International Motor Festival begin

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-11-2018

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Bathurst Regional Council has begun preparing the Mount Panorama motor racing circuit for the inaugural Bathurst International Motorsport Festival (BIMF) to be held between April 13 and 16, 2006. The Mount Panorama motor racing circuit is considered to be the home of motorsport in Australia.

Council’s staff have been busy cleaning the facilities, erecting signage, checking pedestrian bridges and inspecting the track surface for the past few days.

The BIMF will be the first event to be held at the 6.2 kilometre circuit over Easter since 2000. In 2000, Event Management Specialists held the first motorcycle racing event since 1990, but due to EMS going bankrupt a short time after their 2000 event was ran and the inability of the then Bathurst City Council to find another promoter, the Easter event was canned.

The BIMF is inspired by the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival in the United Kingdom. The Bathurst Regional Council and event promoter Global Entertainment Team promise that the event “will cater for all motoring enthusiasts, collectors and historians”.

According to the BIMF website, the on-track program consists of:

  • Manufacturers showcasing their vehicles and track times
  • Historic touring car races
  • Aussie racing car races
  • Australian GT sports car
  • Parade laps by car clubs
  • Parade laps and races by “Legends of Motorsport”
  • Stunt car and bike events
  • Rally cars
  • Displays of cars from all eras of Mount Panorama’s history
  • The chance for patrons to purchase a ride around the circuit in a race car.

Off the track, the organisers have promised manufacturer displays, merchandise stands, music, joyflights, Off-road demonstrations and joyrides, autograph sessions and interviews with influential people in the Australian motor industry.

Get Better Auto Loan Rates In 4 Ways

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Finance | Posted on 20-11-2018

byAlma Abell

Bad rates can mean paying thousands more for your auto loan. Don’t let that happen. Get the best auto loan rates in Washington. Here’s how.

Don’t focus on the monthly payment

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A lot of people who apply for an auto loan for the first time make the mistake of focusing too much on the amount they pay every month that they lose sight of other things. For instance, if you get a lower monthly rate by extending the term of the car loan, then that’s a big no-no. You aren’t saving on costs, the USA Today says. Instead, you’re paying more to cover the interest rate.

Don’t rush

Take the time to shop for a loan. Do it with care and caution. You can save so much with the right interest rate. That’s also why you should learn to look beyond banks. Banks aren’t the only ones that can provide you with financial services.

Use a credit union

Banks have a bad reputation for piling up fees upon fees on its customers. If you’re tired of the never-ending increase in the fees of your bank, then it may be best to switch to a credit union in your area. Credit unions can provide you with auto loan rates in Washington much better than the ones offered by the big banks.

Do your homework

Find out which credit union is best for you by doing a bit of research about the company. How long has it been around? What kind of services does it offer? Are there any discount offers you may qualify for? Be on the lookout for these things when you scout around for credit unions.

Save on costs by finding better rates for your auto loan. These tips should give you an idea of where to start.

In the land of the open source elves: Interview with “Battle for Wesnoth” creator David White

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-11-2018

Thursday, June 1, 2006

If you’ve always wanted to live in a world populated by elves, dwarves and wizards, you don’t need to pay for a World of Warcraft subscription or buy the Special Extended DVD Trilogy Edition of The Lord of the Rings just yet. You could instead give Battle for Wesnoth a try — an open source turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting. For the practically minded, “open-source” means that the code which the game is made of is available to anyone who wishes to use, redistribute or change it. It was created by volunteers and can be freely shared. Even the multiplayer online part of the game is free (no ads or spyware either).

But Wesnoth, as it is often abbreviated, is notable not only because it is free. While its graphics are simple by modern standards, the sheer number of units and scenarios that are available for the game is staggering. This is where the “open source” philosophy comes truly into play: anyone can contribute art or new campaigns. As of May 2006, the forum where users can share and discuss their own art contained over 25,000 messages. Most of this art is made available under the same open source terms as the game itself.

Battle for Wesnoth lets you command armies of units such as archers, swordmen, mages and gryphons during the course of a campaign consisting of multiple missions. Typically, your mission is to defeat an enemy leader, but some scenarios let you liberate a prisoner, find a lost artifact, traverse dangerous territories, and so on. Your best units can be taken from one mission to the next, “levelling up” in the process. Even units of the same type vary in their abilities, making the tactical use of the right unit at the right time very important.

The game is reminiscent of turn-based strategy classics such as Heroes of Might and Magic or Warlords. Throughout each campaign, the player is informed of the progress of the story. For instance, in the “Heir to the Throne” campaign, the player follows the story of Prince Konrad, who must reclaim the throne of Wesnoth from an evil queen.

The game was originally designed by David White, who is still the project’s lead developer. We exchanged e-mails with David about the state of open source gaming, the future of Wesnoth, and the collaborative aspects of game development.

David, thanks for taking our questions. Open source games suffer from the problem that very few people have all the abilities needed to make a good game: programming, graphics, story development, sound effects, music, and so on. When you started Battle for Wesnoth, how did you deal with this?

Not very well. 🙂

Version 0.1 of Wesnoth was developed entirely by me, and it was ugly. It had awful graphics, and no sound or music at all.

I think the best way to deal with the problem is to make an early version of the game which showcases the desired gameplay. Then, people with the appropriate skills who like the game will contribute. This worked out well with Wesnoth, anyhow, as I soon attracted a fine artist, Francisco Munoz, and once the graphics were decent, more people started wanting to help.

I noticed that the forum allows anyone to submit art for the game. How important have contributions from ordinary players been for development?

Well, as with almost any free software project, contributions from users have been very important. In the area of art, this is definitely so, though making a substantial contribution of art generally requires a reasonable amount of skill, so the number of people who can contribute art is somewhat limited.

This has meant that the number of people who contribute art is much smaller than, say, the number of people who contribute bug reports or feature requests. Still, there are plenty of good pixel artists out there, and we have had many good contributions from our community.

Also, within the game itself, it’s possible to directly download new campaigns from the Internet, many of which have been created by players. Do you think that, in essence, we are seeing the beginnings of applying “wiki” principles to game development?

On one hand, I see the ability to directly download new campaigns as a mild convenience — it wouldn’t be much more difficult for the user to, for instance, go to a web page and download campaigns.

On the other hand, it does blur the line between ‘developer created content’ and ‘user created content’ and so, like a Wiki, makes it much easier for any user to contribute to the game.

I think that for an Open Source game, making it as easy as possible for users to contribute content is a key way to help make the game succeed. We have tried hard to do this in Wesnoth. I don’t think that with something dynamic like a game, it’s quite as easy to make absolutely anyone be able to edit it or contribute as easily as they can in a Wiki, but we have tried to make it as easy as possible.

How do you moderate user-submitted content? Are there scenarios or graphics you have rejected because they crossed a line — sexual content, excessive violence, etc.?

Well, there are basically three levels of content acceptance:

  1. ‘Official’: content can be accepted into the game itself — the content will reside in our SVN repository, and will be in the tarballs released by developers.
  2. ‘Campaign Server’: Content can be allowed on the campaign server (the server which users can connect to in-game to download more content).
  3. ‘Disallowed’: Finally, content can be disallowed on the campaign server, which means that the creator could only distribute it using their own channels (for instance, having a web site people could download it from).

Content only makes it to (1) if the developers happen to like it very much. We don’t have any firm rules as to what is allowed and disallowed, and a campaign that has short-comings from the developer’s point of view might still be allowed if it is exceptional in other areas. As an example of this, the campaign ‘Under the Burning Suns’ contained explicit references to religion. To avoid controversy, we wanted to avoid references to religion in Wesnoth. However, recognizing the exceptional quality of the campaign, we decided to accept it into the official version of Wesnoth in spite of this one aspect we didn’t like.

Artwork containing nudity has also been a controversial point in the past, as has violence (particularly explicit depiction of blood). We generally take the point of view that we will review each item as it comes, rather than making blanket rules.

With regard to whether we allow things onto the campaign server, (2), our general policy is that to be allowed onto the campaign server, the content need only be licensed under the GPL. However, we reserve the right to remove content that we consider to be distasteful in any way. Fortunately, our content submitters are generally very reasonable, and we haven’t had to exercise this right.

Our aim is to keep Wesnoth appropriate for users of any age and background — of course, it contains some level of violence, but this is not depicted very explicitly, and only parents who do not want to expose their children to animated violence of any level need be concerned. For this reason, we also do not allow expletives on our forums or IRC channels.

How do you feel about games like “Second Life”, where players trade user-generated content for money?

I’ve never understood the appeal of games like that. I don’t enjoy cheating in games, and to me buying items with real money seems like cheating — except worse, since it actually costs money.

What changes to the game or gameplay do you anticipate in the coming months and years?

Well, we’ve avoided making many gameplay changes at all, since very early on in Wesnoth’s development. Wesnoth is meant to be a simple game, with simple gameplay, and ‘changing’ gameplay will probably lead to it being more complex. We want to keep it simple.

Changes will probably focus on improving existing features, and making the engine a little more customizable. Enhancing the multiplayer component is big on the list — we’ve progressively added more and more features on the server. We also want to add more graphical enhancement. For instance, a particle system to allow various combat effects.

If you had unlimited resources at your disposal to improve the game, what would you change about it?

Wesnoth was always designed to be a simple game, with simple goals. It has exceeded all the expectations I originally had for it. There is still some ‘polishing’ work going on, but really I don’t think there is too much I would dramatically change.

Probably the largest thing I can name is a much better AI than we currently have. I’m pretty happy with the AI developed for Wesnoth — I think it’s much better than AIs for most commercial games — but it could be better. That’s the only area of Wesnoth that I think could really be very dramatically improved.

I am pretty happy with our in-game graphics. Some people compare our graphics to modern commercial games, and think our graphics are laughably poor. We often get comments that our graphics are around the same quality as those seen in SNES or Genesis games, or PC games from a decade ago. (These people should try playing a strategy game on the SNES/Genesis/PC from this long ago; Wesnoth’s graphics are much better).

I am very happy with our graphics overall. I think our artists have done an excellent job of making the game look attractive without detracting from functionality. Adding 3D graphics, or changing the style of the 2D graphics would only be wasted effort in my mind — I think we’ve achieved a great balance of making the game easy and clear, while making it look good.

With unlimited resources, I would like some more storyline/cutscene images, and a nice new title screen, but these are relatively small concerns I think.

There are some enhancements to multiplayer I would like added — multiplayer campaigns is a long-time feature request. As are more options and features on the multiplayer server.

Overall though, if I had ‘unlimited resources’, I’d much rather develop an entirely new game. We don’t have enough good Open Source games — it’s a waste to pour all the resources we have into one. 🙂

Wesnoth has dwarves with guns, World of Warcraft has gnomes and goblins with explosives and flying machines — where do you, personally, define the limits of the fantasy genre? Are there scenarios playing in a steampunk world, or ones with modern technology? Would you allow those?

Actually we have Dwarves with ‘Thundersticks’ 🙂 — mysterious weapons that make a loud sound and do lots of damage, but are clumsy and unreliable. The developers do not comment on whether or not these ‘thundersticks’ are or are not like ‘guns’ on earth. We like to keep Wesnoth slightly mysterious, and leave some things up to the player’s interpretation, rather than spell it out.

We once used to have dragoons with pistols, and other weapons like that, but we made a very intentional decision to remove them.

I don’t like categorizing things into ‘genres’. Many people debate whether Wesnoth is an ‘RPG’, or ‘strategy game’, etc. I think the debate of what genre something is in is largely irrelevant.

We do have a vision for what the world of Wesnoth is like though — and Wesnoth is a world of ancient-era weaponry, with a little magic. Of Elves and Dwarves and Orcs. Very much inspired by Tolkien. I actually originally chose this setting because my focus was on technical excellence — writing a good, solid engine — not on creating a new fantasy world. I decided to stick with a very well-known, proven theme, figuring I couldn’t go wrong with it.

We probably wouldn’t allow anything that departs dramatically from the world we’ve made into the official version of the game, but we’d be happy to have it on our campaign server. The main attempt at a ‘total modification’ of Wesnoth is a project known as Spacenoth, which has a sci-fi/futuristic theme.

At this time though, there is no release of this project. I hope they do well though.

How do you feel about turn-based games like “Heroes of Might and Magic” with their massive army-building and resource management? Do you think there’s going to be an open source equivalent of this type of game soon?

I haven’t played Heroes of Might and Magic very much. The few times I have played it, I thought it was boring to be honest. I don’t like the type of game where one marches armies around a ‘large map’ and then must ‘zoom in’ to a different ‘battle field’ every time a battle takes place. I find games like that to take far too long, and tend to become tedious.

I would prefer a civilization or perhaps colonization type game. FreeCiv is nice, though it’s close to being a clone of Civilization II. I’d like an original game that had the same sort of theme as civilization, but with new and innovative rules.

Every online game and community is also a social space. Have you met interesting people through Wesnoth whom you would not have met otherwise? Are there other stories you can tell from the community — have there been real world meetups, chat rooms, etc.?

I’ve come into contact with lots of very interesting people through Wesnoth, and have learned a great deal from them. The Wesnoth developers — many of whom are from Europe — used the LSM conference in France in 2004 as an opportunity to meet each other. Nekeme, an organization dedicated to developing and promotion Free games was kind enough to sponsor two developers to go. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend, but the developers who did had a very nice time.

We have several IRC channels on irc.freenode.net, and the most popular ones — #wesnoth and #wesnoth-dev are usually fairly busy with both discussion about Wesnoth, and friendly discussion of other topics.

Also, the developers have tried to make a habit of playing “co-operative multiplayer” games against the AI. During these games, we use the in-game chat facility to get to know each other better, and discuss improvements to the game.

Are there other open source games that have personally impressed you, or that you enjoy playing?

I’m afraid I haven’t played many. I like RPGs, and I know lots of people love NetHack and similar games, but I much prefer party-based and generally more storyline-oriented RPGs.

FreeCiv is pretty well-done, though I am happy to play commercial games, and so I think Civilization 3 and Civilization 4 are both technically superior in virtually every regard. I think that’s an inevitable problem when you make an Open Source game a straight clone of a commercial game.

Probably the most promising Open Source game I’ve seen is GalaxyMage, but it still has a long way to go.

Honestly, I don’t play that many games. I like playing commercial RPGs, usually console-based, with my wife, and I occasionally like playing the commercial Civilization series. To play an Open Source game, it’d have to be very good, and appeal to my tastes, and I haven’t found any Open Source games like that, sadly.

Hillary Clinton’s song contest reaches final round

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-11-2018

Friday, June 1, 2007

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton has been asking webizens to vote on her official campaign song. Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle sent an email today to previous voters, urging them to choose a song in the second and final round of voting.

Clinton, as many of the other candidates, have been using “Web 2.0” applications like YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, and blogs to try and engage young voters.

The top five songs in Round One were “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall, “Rock This Country!” by Shania Twain, “Beautiful Day” by U2, “Get Ready” by The Temptations, and “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth. Five top write-ins were also added to the list of round 2 nominees: “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police, “You and I” by Celine Dion, and “The Best” by Tina Turner.

Many of the nominated songs are from international artists; Tunstall is Scottish, Twain is Canadian, and U2 are Irish.

What’s eating you? US study highlights bedbug incest

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-11-2018

Thursday, December 8, 2011

At the meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers lead by Coby Schal and Ed Vargo presented preliminary research on the genetic diversity of populations of bedbugs. Their DNA analysis showed the diversity is low within a single building. The researchers discovered that the bugs can inbreed and evolve at the same time.

A part of the research included extensive DNA analysis of genetics of bed bugs in different apartments. The diversity was lower than it would be for a population of most other species. Coby Schal said, “We kept discovering the same thing. Within a given apartment, or even a given building, there was extremely low genetic diversity. In most cases there’s just a single female that founded the population.”

Another NCSU anthologist Zachary Adelman, not one of the researchers, said that the fact of different strains of bedbugs in the United States east coast “means they’re coming into the country from lots of different places”.

The discovery shows that pesticides are ineffective if they don’t eliminate the entire population. Just a few survivors can produce a new generation within the house or building quickly; and, as the offspring of those surviving pesticide use, pass on their genetic resistance; emphasising Schal’s remark that, “[t]he insecticides really need to be robust”.

Coby Schal said that for most species, limited diversity causes generic disorders and population does not survive, thus making the discovery a surprise. He said, “But somehow bedbugs are able to withstand the effects of inbreeding, and do quite well.” Schal was suggesting that as cockroaches inbreed successfully as well, its success may be related to the species’ reliance on humans to relocate from place to place. The research is at preliminary stage, meaning the scientists may carry out more analysis before a final release.

How To Realize Online Marketing Success On A Lmited Budget}

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Earthmoving Equipment | Posted on 16-11-2018

Click Here To Find Out More About:

How To Realize Online Marketing Success On A Lmited Budget

by

Walt GemmellBelieve it or not it is possible to achieve online marketing success when you are working with a small marketing budget. As a matter of fact the Internet makes it possible for anyone to be successful regardless of their current financial situation.

Let’s talk about a few ways you can actually make money if you are working with a limited budget.

1. Blog and sell affiliate products. This is a very common way that people are making money on the Internet today.

Blogging and selling affiliate products really go hand-in-hand. It’s easy to start a blog and write about things you have knowledge of or are interested in.

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks to the fact there are millions of affiliate products available online, you can find a product that will match the theme of your blog. If you have a problem finding the specific affiliate product you can always join the Google Adsense program and let Google match advertisers to the theme of your blog.

Initially you could start your blog free with Blogger.com. They are owned by Google and this makes it very quick and easy for you to get approved for the Google Adsense program.

Selling Internet based products such as digital information is another good way to make money marketing online. You might even want to look at other affiliate ideas such as cost per action programs or selling physical products for Amazon.com.

2. Do email marketing. This is another strategy that doesn’t require much money. Building an email list and selling products to the people on your list is a very hands off way to make money online today.

One thing you can do is join an autoresponder company such as Get Response and purchase leads from them. They will build your list for you. You can then promote products directly to them and make money whenever somebody purchases something from you.

3. Direct sales. This is a popular business model for network marketing companies such as Amway, Herbalife, and so on. It’s also a way to make money selling products for very well known companies such as Avon, Tupperware, and so forth.

Today you can use the Internet to do most of your selling. This will save you a lot of time as well as a lot of expense for gasoline travelling to service customers directly.

4. Provide a service to other internet marketers. Popular things that people will pay you to do include blog writing, website design, graphic design, and so on.

There are plenty ways to quickly develop online marketing success on a small budget as well as providing a service to other businesses. These are just a few to help you realize that it doesn’t take a lot of money to begin your internet marketing venture.

Walt Gemmell is the owner of MyAffiliateSalesSystem.com. Sign up for his

free Internet home business

report and find out how to get your own

money making website

ready to take orders now!

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

Australia/2006

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-11-2018

Contents

  • 1 January
  • 2 February
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • 5 May
  • 6 June
  • 7 July
  • 8 August
  • 9 September
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December

[edit]

Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball coach Tom Kyle

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Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-11-2018

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Toronto , Canada —What experiences makes a coach of an international sports team? Wikinews interviewed Tom Kyle, the coach of the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders, in Toronto for the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship.

((Wikinews)) Tell us about yourself. First of all, where were you born?

Tom Kyle: I was born in Cooma, in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. Way back in 1959. Fifteenth of June. Grew up in the Snowy Mountains Scheme with my family. At that stage my father worked for the Snowy scheme. And started playing sport when I was very young. I was a cricketer when I first started. Then about the age of 12, 13 I discovered basketball. Because it had gotten too cold to do all the sports that I wanted to do, and we had a lot of rain one year, and decided then that for a couple of months that we’d have a go at basketball.

((WN)) So you took up basketball. When did you decide… did you play for the clubs?

Tom Kyle: I played for Cooma. As a 14-year-old I represented them in the under-18s, and then as a 16-year-old I represented them in the senor men’s competition. We played in Canberra as a regional district team. At the age of 16 is when I first started coaching. So I started coaching the under-14 rep sides before the age of 16. So I’m coming up to my forty years of coaching.

((WN)) So you formed an ambition to be a coach at that time?

Tom Kyle: Yeah, I liked the coaching. Well I was dedicated to wanting to be a PE [Physical Education] teacher at school. And in Year 12 I missed out by three marks of getting the scholarship that I needed. I couldn’t go to university without a scholarship, and I missed out by three marks of getting in to PE. So I had a choice of either doing a Bachelor of Arts and crossing over after year one, or go back and do Year 12 [again]. Because of my sport in Cooma, because I played every sport there was, and my basketball started to become my love.

((WN)) } You still played cricket?

Tom Kyle: Still played cricket. Was captain of the ACT [Australian Capital Territory] in cricket at the age of 12. Went on to… potentially I could have gone further but cricket became one of those sports where you spend all weekend, four afternoons a week…

((WN)) I know what it’s like.

Tom Kyle: At that stage I was still an A grade cricketer in Cooma and playing in Canberra, and rugby league and rugby union, had a go at AFL [Australian Football League], soccer. Because in country towns you play everything. Tennis on a Saturday. Cricket or football on a Sunday. That sort of stuff so… And then basketball through the week.

((WN)) So you didn’t get in to PE, so what did you do?

Tom Kyle: I went back and did Year 12 twice. I repeated Year 12, which was great because it allowed me to play more of the sport, which I loved. Didn’t really work that much harder but I got the marks that I needed to get the scholarship to Wollongong University. It was the Institute of Education at that stage. So I graduated high school in ’78, and started at the Institute of Education Wollongong in ’79, as a health and PE — it was a double major. So a dual degree, a four year degree. After two years there they merged the Institute of Education with the University of Wollongong. So I got a degree from the University of Wollongong and I got a degree from the Institute of Education. So I graduated from there in ’83. At that stage I was coaching and playing rep basketball in Wollongong in their team underneath the NBL I played state league there for Shellharbour. Still coaching as well with the University, coaching the university sides. It was there that I met up with Doctor Adrian Hurley, who was then one of the Australian coaches, and he actually did some coaching with me when I was at the University, in the gym. So that gave me a good appreciation of coaching and the professionalism of it. He really impressed me and inspired me to do a bit more of it. So in ’84 I got married and I moved to Brisbane, and started teaching and looking after the sport of basketball and tennis at Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane.

((WN)) You moved to Brisbane for the job?

Tom Kyle: Yes, I was given a job and a house. The job basically entailed looking after their gymnasium and doing some part-time teaching as well as being the basketball convener and tennis convener. I looked after those sports for the private boys school. Churchie is a very big school in Brisbane and so I did that in ’84 with my wife at that stage and we lived on the premises. In 1985 I took a team of fifteen boys from Churchie into the United States for a couple of summer camp tours which we do, and I got involved in the Brisbane Bullets team at that stage, getting them moved in to Churchie to train. The Brisbane Bullets was the NBL team in Brisbane at the time. So that got me involved in the Brisbane coaching and junior basketball. I was actually in charge of junior basketball for the Brisbane association. As part of that, I coached at Churchie as well. Looked after some things at the Brisbane Bullets’ home games. So that got me well and truly involved in that. And then in ’85 was the birth of my first son, and with that came a bit of change of priorities, so then in 1986 I moved back to Sydney. I got offered a job at Harbord Diggers Memorial Club at Harbord, looking after their sports centre. So I saw that as an opportunity to get out of, I suppose, the teaching side of things at that stage didn’t appeal to me, the coaching side did, the teaching side and the fact that you had to follow the curriculums, and some of the things you weren’t allowed to have fun, to me if you’re going to learn you’ve got to have fun. So that was my sort of enough for the teaching side, I figured I’d go and do something else, and get to keep my coaching alive on the side. So I moved back to Sydney, with my family and my young son. I had a second son in 1987, and I started coaching the Manly-Warringah senior men’s and development league teams. We were in the state league at that stage. So I had both of those teams and I was coaching them, travelling around the north of the state, and competing. We were fortunate enough we came second the year I was the head coach of the men in the state competition for our area. That gave me a whole new perspective of coaching, because it was now senior men’s coaching as well as junior men’s. We had people like Ian Davies coming out of the NBL at Sydney and trying out wanting to play with the men’s squad. Fair quality in that group. The Dalton boys came out of that program. I didn’t coach them, but Brad and Mark Dalton who played for the Kings. That gave me a good couple of years. At that stage I’d changed jobs. I’d actually moved up to Warringah Aquatic Centre in Sydney. Which was at the time the state swimming centre. And I was the director of that for a year. Or eighteen, nineteen months. In that time we held the selection criteria for the 1988 Seoul Olympics swimming. So the national championships and what they call the Olympic selection qualifiers. So we held them at the Warringah Aquatic Centre when I was in charge of it which made it quite an interesting thing, because there I got to see elite sport at its best. Australian swimming. All the swimmers coming through. Lisa Curry has just retired, and I saw her. All the swimmers going to Seoul. That gave me a good appreciation of professional sport, as well as managing sports facilities. So I was there for two years, eighteen months basically. And we’d made a decision that we wanted to come back to Brisbane. So moved back to Brisbane in 1989, to take up a job as a marketing officer at the Department of Recreation at Brisbane City Council. That was my full-time job. Meanwhile, again, I got involved in a bit of coaching. My sons were looking at becoming involved, they were going through St Peter Chanel School at The Gap, and that was a feeder school for Marist Brothers Ashgrove in Brisbane, which was a big Catholic boys’ school in Brisbane. So I started to get involved in Marist Brothers Ashgrove basketball program, and I became the convener of basketball as well as the head coach there for about seven or eight years running their program, while my boys, obviously, were going through the school. That was a voluntary thing, because I was still working for the [Brisbane City] Council when I first started. At that stage I’d also quit the council job and started my own IT [Information Technology] company. Which was quite interesting. Because as a sideline I was writing software. At Warringah Aquatic Centre one of the things when I got there they didn’t have a computer system, they only had a cash register. And I asked them about statistics and the council didn’t have much money, they said, “well, here’s an old XT computer”, it was an old Wang actually, so it was not quite an XT.

((WN)) I know the ones.

Tom Kyle: You know the ones?

((WN)) Yes.

Tom Kyle: And they gave me that, and they said, “Oh, you got no software.” One of the guys at council said “we’ve got an old copy of DataEase. We might give you that,” which old an old database programming tool. So I took that and I wrote a point of sale system for the centre. And then we upgraded from DataEase, we went to dBase III and dBase IV. Didn’t like dBase IV, it had all these bugs in it, so my system started to crash. So I’d go home at night and write the program, and then come back and put it into the centre during the day so they could collect the statistics I wanted. It was a simple point of sale system, but it was effective, and then we upgraded that to Clipper and I started programming object orientated while I was there, and wrote the whole booking system, we had bookings for the pools, learn-to-swim bookings, point of sale. We actually connected it to an automatic turnstyle with the coin entry so it gave me a whole heap of new skills in IT that I never had before, self-taught, because I’d never done any IT courses, when I went to Brisbane City Council and that didn’t work out then I started my own computer company. I took what I’d written in Clipper and decided to rewrite that in Powerbuilder. You’ve probably heard of it.

((WN)) Yes.

Tom Kyle: So that’s when I started my own company. Walked out of the Brisbane City Council. I had an ethical disagreement with my boss, who spent some council money going to a convention at one place and doing some private consultancy, which I didn’t agree with Council funds being done like that, so I resigned. Probably the best move of my business life. It then allowed me then to become an entrepreneur of my own, so I wrote my own software, and started selling a leisure package which basically managed leisure centres around the country. And I had the AIS [Australian Institute of Sport] as one of my clients.

((WN)) Oh!

Tom Kyle: Yes, they have a turnstyle entry system and learn-to-swim booking system and they were using it for many years. Had people all over the country. I ended up employing ten people in my company, which was quite good, right through to, I suppose, 1997?, somewhere in there. And I was still coaching full time, well, not full time, but, voluntary, for about 35 hours a week at Ashgrove at the time, as well as doing, I did the Brisbane under-14 rep side as well, so that gave me a good appreciation of rep basketball. So I’d been coaching a lot of school basketball in that time. And then in 2000 I decided to give that away and went to work for Jupiters Casino. Bit of a change. I started as a business analyst and ended up as a product development manager. I was doing that, I was going through a divorce, still coaching at Ashgrove, I had been at Ashgrove now from 1992 through to 2003. I had been coaching full time as the head coach, coordinator of all the coaches and convener of the sport for the school. We won our competitions a number of times. We went to the state schools competition as a team there one year. Which we did quite well. Didn’t win it but, did quite well. In 2003 my boys had finished at school and I’d got a divorce at that stage. Been offered another opportunity to go to Villanova College, which was a competing school across the other side of the river. So I started head coaching there for five years. It was there where I started to get into wheelchair basketball. It is an interesting story, because at that stage I’d moved on from Jupiters Casino. I’d actually started working for various companies, and I ended up with Suncorp Metway as a project manager. Got out of my own company and decided to earn more money as a consultant. [evil laugh]

((WN)) A common thing.

Tom Kyle: But it was in Suncorp Metway where I got into wheelchair basketball.

((WN)) How does that happen?

Tom Kyle: At the time I was spending about 35 to 40 hours a week at Villanova College, coaching their program and my new wife, Jane, whom you’ve met…

((WN)) Who is now the [Gliders’] team manager.

Tom Kyle: Correct. She was left out a little bit because I’d be with the guys for many many hours. We did lot of good things together because I had a holistic approach to basketball. It’s not about just playing the game, it’s about being better individuals, putting back into your community and treating people the right way, so we used to do a lot of team building and […] cause you’re getting young men at these schools, trying to get them to become young adults. And she saw what we were doing one time, went to an awards dinner, and she was basically gobsmacked by what relationship we had with these boys. How well mannered they were and what influence we had. How these boys spoke of the impact on their lives. It was where she said to me, “I really want to get involved in that. I want to be part of that side of your life.” And I said, “Okay, we might go out and volunteer.” We put our names down at Sporting Wheelies, the disabled association at the time, to volunteer in disabled sports. Didn’t hear anything for about four months, so I thought, oh well, they obviously didn’t want me. One of my colleagues at work came to me and he said “Tom, you coach wheelchair basketball?” I said, “yeah, I do.” And he said, “Well, my son’s in a wheelchair, and his team’s looking for a coach. Would you be interested?” And I thought about it. And I said, “Well, coaching for about 35 hours a week over here at Villanova School. I don’t think my wife will allow me to coach another 20 hours somewhere else, but give me the information and I’ll see what we can do.” He gave me the forms. I took the forms home. It was actually the Brisbane Spinning Bullets, at that stage, which was the National [Wheelchair Basketball] League team for Queensland. They were looking for coaching staff. I took the forms home, which was a head coach role, an assistant head coach role, and a manager role. I left them on the bench, my wife Jane took a look at it and said, “Hey! They’re looking for a manager! If I’d be the manager, you could be the head coach, it’s something we could do it together. We always said we’d do something together, and this is an opportunity.” I said, “Okay, if you want to do that. I’m still not going to drop my Villanova commitments, I’m going to keep that going. So that was in the beginning of 2008. So we signed up and lo and behold, I got the appointment as the head coach and she got the appointment as the manager. So it was something we started to share. Turned up at the first training session and met Adrian King and Tige Simmonds, Rollers, Australian players… I’d actually heard of Adrian because we’d had a young boy at Ashgrove called Sam Hodge. He was in a chair and he brought Adrian in for a demonstration one day. I was quite impressed by the way he spoke, and cared about the kids. So to me it was like an eye-opener. So I started coaching that year, started in January–February, and obviously it was leading in to the Paralympics in 2008, Beijing. And coaching the team, I started coaching the national League, a completely different came, the thing I liked about it is wheelchair basketball is like the old-school basketball, screen and roll basketball. You can’t get anywhere unless somebody helps you get there. It’s not one-on-one like the able-bodied game today. So that was really up my alley, and I really enjoyed that. I applied a couple of things the boys hadn’t actually seen, and as it turns out, I ended up coaching against the [Perth] Wheelcats in a competition round. And I didn’t at the time know, that the guy on the other bench was Ben Ettridge, the head coach for the Rollers. And after the weekend we shook hands and he said, “I really like what you do, what you’re trying to do with this group. And he said I like the way you coach and your style. Would you be interested if the opportunity came up to come down to Canberra and participate in a camp. He said “I can’t pay you to be there, but if you want to come along…” I said “Absolutely. I’ll be there.” So about three or four weeks later I get a phone call from Ben and he said “We’ve got a camp coming up in February, would you like to come in?” I said: “Yep, absolutely”, so I went and flew myself down there and attended the camp. Had a great time getting to know the Rollers, and all of that, and I just applied what I knew about basketball, which wasn’t much about wheelchair, but a lot about basketball, ball movement and timing. And I think he liked what he saw. The two of us got on well. And out of that camp they were getting the team prepared to go to Manchester. They were going into Varese first, Manchester for the British Telecom Paralympic Cup that they have in May, which is an event that they do prior to some of these major events. That was 2009, my mistake, after Beijing; so the camp was after Beijing as well. So I was sitting at Suncorp Metway running a big CRM program at the time, because they had just merged with Promina Insurances, so they’d just acquired all these companies like AAMI, Vero and all those companies, so we had all of these disparate companies and we were trying to get a single view of the customer, so I was running a major IT project to do that. And I get a phone call from Ben on the Friday, and he said “Look, Tom, we’re going to Varese in the May, and we’re going on to Manchester.” I said, “I know”. And he said, “Craig Friday, my assistant coach, can’t make it. Got work commitments.” I said: “Oh, that’s no good.” And he said: “Would you be interested in going?” And I said “Well, when’s that?” And he said: “Monday week.” And this was on the Friday. And I said: “Look, I’m very interested, but let me check with my boss, because I [am] running a big IT project.” So I went to my boss on the Friday and I said “Look, I am very keen to do this Australian opportunity. Two weeks away. You okay if I take two weeks off?” And he said. “Oh, let me think about it.” The Monday was a public holiday, so I couldn’t talk to him then. And I said “Well, I need to know, because it’s Monday week, and I need to let him know.” And he said, “I’ll let you know Tuesday morning.” So I sort of thought about it over the weekend, and I rang Ben on the Sunday night I think it was, and I said “I’m in!” He said: “Are you okay with work?” I said: “Don’t worry about that, I’ll sort it out.” Anyway, walked into work on Tuesday morning and the boss said… and I said I just to put it on the table: I’m going. You need to decide whether you want me to come back.” And he said: “What?!” And I said, “Well, I love my basketball. My basketball has been my life for many years, many, many hours. Here’s an opportunity to travel with an Australian side. I’m telling you that I’m taking the opportunity, and you need to determine whether you want me back. ” And he said: “Really?” And I said: “Yeah. Yeah. That’s it.” And he said: “Well, I’ll have to think about that.” And I said, “well you think about it but I’ve already told the Australian coach I’m going. It’s a decision for you whether you want me back. If you don’t, that’s fine, I don’t have a problem.” So on the Wednesday he came back and said: “We’re not going to allow you to go.” I said: “Well, I’m going. So here’s my resignation.” He says: “You’d really do that?” And I said: “Absolutely.” And I resigned. So on the Friday I finished up, and got on a plane on Monday, and headed to Varese as Ben’s assistant on the tour. Got to spend a bit more time with Tige Simmonds and Adrian and Justin and Brad and Shaun and all the boys and had a fabulous time. Learnt a lot. And then we went on to Manchester and learnt even more, and I think Ben was quite happy with what I’d done. With my technical background I took over all the video analysis stuff and did all that recording myself. We didn’t really want any hiccups so he was pretty happy with that. So after that Ben asked me if I would be interested in becoming an assistant coach with the under-23s, because the then-coach was Mark Walker and Ben Osborne was his assistant but he wanted somebody else who, as he put it, he could trust, in that group, because a number of his developing players were in that group. So that meant that I had some camps to do in June when I came back, and then in July, think it was July, 2009, went to England and Paris with the under-23s for the world championships. That was my first foray as an assistant coach officially with the Australian team, and I was the assistant coach. It was a combined team at that stage, boys and girls. Cobi Crispin was on that tour. Amber Merritt was on that tour. Adam Deans was on that tour, Colin Smith, Kim Robbins, John McPhail, all of those. There was a number of junior Rollers coming through that group. Bill Latham was on that tour. He really appreciated what I’d done there, and when Craig Friday said that he was having a family and couldn’t commit to the next year in 2010 which was the world championship year, Ben asked me to join the program. So that’s how I started. So in 2010 I attended my first official world championships with the Rollers, and we won.

((WN)) Yes!

Tom Kyle: So that was an amazing experience to go on that tour and to see what a championship team looks like under the competition of that ilk. And I was then the assistant coach basically right through to London. After London, Ben was quite happy for me to continue. I was doing it voluntarily. By this stage, 2011, I’d given up all the Villanova stuff so I concentrated just on the wheelchair and my Queensland group. And I started to build the Queensland junior program, which featured Tom O’Neill-Thorne, Jordon Bartley, Bailey Rowland, all of those sort of players. You probably don’t know too many of them, but,

((WN)) No.

Tom Kyle: They’re all the up-and-comers. And three of those were in last year’s, 2013 under-23s team. So in 2012 obviously we went to Varese then on to London for the Paras. Won silver in that. When I came back, Ben asked me to do the under-23s as the head coach, and asked me who I wanted as my assistant, so in the December, we, David Gould and I…

((WN)) So you selected David as your assistant?

Tom Kyle: Yes! Yes! Yes! I had a lot of dealings with David, seeing him with the Gliders. Liked what I saw. Plus I’d also seen him with the Adelaide Thunder. He was coaching them for a while, and I really liked the way he worked with kids. He’d also done a camp with the under-23s in 2012 because I couldn’t attend, himself and Sonia Taylor. What was Sonia’s previous name before she married Nick Taylor? […] Anyway, they did a development camp in January 2012 with the under-23s group because I couldn’t attend. Good feedback coming back from that. In the April, the Rollers had gone off to Verase, and there was an opportunity to go to Dubai with the under-23/25 age group. So David and Sonia took them to Dubai and did a good job with them, a really great job with them. So the job for the 23s came up in November 2012. I applied. Got the job. And then was asked who I would want as my assistants, and Ben told me who the other applicants were and I told him, yep, happy with both of those. David became my first assistant […] So we took the under-23s group in December. Had a couple of camps in the first part of 2013, getting ready for the world championships in Turkey in September. At that stage we got to about June, and the head coach for the Gliders came up as a full time position.

((WN)) They hadn’t had a full-time coach before.

Tom Kyle: No, it was all voluntary so John Triscari was, well, not voluntary; was getting a little bit of money, not a great deal.

((WN)) But it wasn’t a full time job.

Tom Kyle: No. So Basketball Australia decided that they needed a full-time coach, which was a big investment for them, and they thought this was the next step for the Gliders. So at the end of May, I remember talking to my wife, because at that stage she’d been on the Gliders’ tour as a replacement manager for Marion Stewart. Marion couldn’t go on a certain tour, to Manchester, so Jane filled in. And they talked to her about possibly becoming the manager of the Gliders moving forward if Marion ever wanted to retire. So in the May when the job came up I looked at it and went, well, can’t, it’s a conflict of interest, because if I put my name up, potentially Jane misses out on being the manager. Also I thought if Ben really wants me to go for it he would have asked me. He hasn’t mentioned it, so, I didn’t apply at first look at it. And then I was just happening to talk to Ben on the side about something else and he asked me if I had put in for the Gliders and I said no I hadn’t. And he asked me why, and I told him if you would have I probably would have, and with Jane. And he said Jane shouldn’t be an issue, and he said I want you to go for it. I said, well, if you’re happy, because I’m loyal to whoever I’m with, I said I’m loyal to you Ben, and at the end of the day I’d stay with the Rollers if you want me to stay with the Rollers. Because for me I enjoy doing whatever I’m doing, and I love the program. He said no, no, I want you to put in for it. So then I had to discuss it with the wife because it meant initially that would want us to move to Sydney. That was still in the cards. So Jane and I had a talk about that. And I said, look, I’d go for it on the condition that it didn’t interfere with Jane’s opportunity to become the manager. So I put in my resume, I got an interview, and in the interview I went to Sydney, and I put all the cards on the table. I said look, the bottom line is that if it’s going to jeopardize Jane’s chances of being the manager, I will opt out. And at that stage they said no, they see that as possibly a positive, rather than a negative. So I said okay, if that’s the case. It’s funny. On the day we had the interview I ran in David Gould back in the airport, because he’d obviously had his interview. And we were talking and I said: “Oh, I didn’t think you were going for it.” And he said, yeah, I wasn’t, because I don’t really want to move to Sydney. And I said, well that was one of the other reasons I did put in for it, because if you didn’t get it I wanted to make sure someone who was passionate about the Gliders to get it. And there’s a couple on the list who may be passionate, but I wasn’t sure. I knew you were, because we’d talked about it at the under-23s. So we had a chat there and I said, if he gets it, he’d put me as an assistant and if I get it I’d put him as an assistant. Because we’d worked so well with the under-23s together as a unit. And we do. We work very well together. We think alike, we both like to play the game etc. So it turns out in June I got a phone call from Steve Nick at that stage and got offered the job with the Gliders. So I started on the first of July full time with the Gliders, but I still had the under-23s to get through to September, so we had a camp, our first camp in July with the Gliders. Went to a national league round in Sydney and then we bused them down to Canberra for a camp. And that was quite an interesting camp because there were a lot of tears, a lot of emotion. It was the first camp since London. It was eighteen months, nearly two years since London [editor’s note: about ten months] and nobody had really contacted them. They’ve been after a silver medal, left. Just left. They were waiting for someone to be appointed and no one had been in touch. And all that sort of stuff. So we went through a whole cleansing exercise there to try and understand what they were going through. And I felt for the girls at that stage. ‘Cause they put a lot of work into being the Gliders, and they do all the time. But they felt disconnected. So that was an emotional camp, but as I said to David at the time, we’ve got to build this program. Since then we’ve been working through. We did the under-23 worlds with the junior boys in September in Turkey. They earned third, a bronze medal. Could have potentially played for gold, but just couldn’t get it going in the semifinal. And then we came back to the Gliders and got ready for Bangkok. Bangkok was our first tour with the Gliders, which was a huge success. Because we got some confidence in the group, and that’s one of the things we’re working on is building their confidence and a belief in themselves. Being able to put things together when it really counts. So that was one of our goals. So Bangkok was our first tour, and I think we achieved a lot there. Got a good team bonding happening there. We’ve since then been to Osaka in February, which was another good outing for the girls. Five day experience with playing five games against the Japanese. That was good. Then in March we brought them here [Canada] for a tournament with the Netherlands, Canada and Japan, and then down to the United States for a four game series against the US. And again, that was a good learning experience. Then back home for a month and then we got to go to Europe, where we played in Frankfurt for the four games, and to Papendal with the Netherlands team. We played three games there before we came here.

((WN)) So that’s a pretty detailed preparation.

Tom Kyle: Yeah, it’s been good. Pretty detailed. It’s been good though. We’re still growing as a group. We’re a lot stronger than we ever have been, I think, mentally. But we’re now starting to get to the real honesty phase, where we can tell each other what we need to tell each other to get the job done. That’s the breakthrough we’ve made in the last month. Whereas in the past I think we’ve been afraid to offend people with what we say. So now we’re just saying it and getting on with it. And we’re seeing some real wins in that space.

((WN)) Thank you!