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Strength of Sydney’s Bloods culture set to be tested after latest defeat

first_imgIn the AFL era, Sydney has been one of the league’s most consistent teams, failing to make the finals in only three seasons since 1996. In the 21st Century the Swans have won more games than any team not named Geelong. But after losing at the Gabba for the first time in a decade on Saturday night, they are facing an extended September holiday not experienced since they sold Warwick Capper to the Brisbane Bears for the price of a pink helicopter at the end of 1987.Sydney’s identity then was expressed by Dr Geoffrey Edelsten’s vanity-plated Lamborghinis and mink-covered examination tables, and it soon spiralled to consecutive wooden spoons in 1992 through 1994. With a culture reduced to hideous extravagance, the Swans could barely get 10,000 through the gates. Jack Steven takes another AFL break to manage mental health Share on WhatsApp But in this crucible of floggings, the Giants endured, and developed a culture that is the antithesis of the Edelsten era Swans – gnarled, gritty and through the likes of Toby Greene, ill-tempered. Even with the pure footballing class of Stephen Coniglio, Jeremy Cameron and Josh Kelly, the Giants have become a team that largely only their supporters could love, and you suspect that suits them just fine. As the writer Malcolm Knox has observed, it is a style that should take them a long way in establishing an enduring identity as the team of the west.The Swans have worked hard for many years to build such an identity, and you suspect an adherence to The Bloods culture will expedite the development of emerging footballers such as George Hewett, Oliver Florent and Will Hayward. Identity too is what rusts a supporter base to a club, and it is something largely forged by the adherence to a culture – particularly when times aren’t great.Sydney wasn’t the worst team on the weekend (envelope, please… Carlton!), but we are about to see if The Bloods culture is strong enough to deny their support that most dreaded of sporting insults – fair-weathered. Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Australia sport Topics Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. AFL Share on Messenger Australian rules footballcenter_img Since you’re here… Share via Email features Share on Facebook And then in 1995, Tony Lockett joined the Swans and rugby league tore itself apart. The Swans came good, making the grand final in 1996. But the greatest legacy of the Swans era of success would come seven years later with the introduction of The Bloods culture – a player-driven driven initiative that came of age with the 2005 premiership. The Bloods was a nod to the old South Melbourne, but for anyone of a football following age from the 1980s onward, it became the defining characteristic of the modern Sydney Swans.Sydney premiership player Luke Ablett said that the most important element of a successful football club culture wasn’t statistics, but the character traits you aspire to.“That might be training standards, recovery standards or what you go and do on a Saturday night. You establish those values and desired characteristics and decide how you want see yourself as a group.”But Ablett also knew that these things are ultimately reinforced by the success they bring.“…if the 2005 season had continued the way it was going after a 1-3 start, then The Bloods wouldn’t have lasted very long. It might have lasted three years and people would have said, ‘Well, that wasn’t the right way to do things’.” /info/2015/jun/05/guardian-australia-sport-newsletter-subscribe-by-email Can The Bloods be sustained through an era of moderate success, particularly when the Swans are getting smashed around the ball, something that defined its previous teams? Brisbane recorded 27 more contested possessions than Sydney in the third quarter, the highest differential for a single quarter in any game this season.If the culture of the Swans era which broke a 72-year-old premiership drought is to be sustained, it will be through players such as small forward Tom Papley. Taken in the 2016 rookie draft, Papley is part of Sydney’s eight-man leadership group and on Saturday was one of the few positives in a dirty night for the Swans, kicking four goals, including one after a big hit from Brisbane’s Oscar McInerny, a man a good 27cm taller and 30kg heavier.In a young side (Sydney owns the AFL’s fourth youngest list), there can often appear to be wild fluctuations in effort, but it is not evident in Papley, whose unbridled intensity makes him come across as that annoying kid who treats training like it’s the third world war.“He just keeps having a go, Paps,” said Sydney coach John Longmire. “That effort, going back in front of a big bloke coming out, was huge, absolutely huge, and it saved us a goal. That’s the standard that is required over a consistent four-quarter performance. To do that and still kick a goal afterwards was really gutsy.”Whatever it is, the Swans will need to maintain a strong identity in a market where they now have competition. Supporters south of the Barassi line saw Greater Western Sydney as an artificial team, not “born in blood and boots” but in “AFL focus groups” (poetry has been subjected to various humiliations over the years, but perhaps none as cruel as its abuse on football club banners). Nevertheless, traditional football fans rubbernecked the living hell out of teams lining up to belt those early Giants by 10, 15, 20 goals. Losers. We love them. ‘Jesaulenko, you beauty’: sports commentator Mike Williamson dies at 90 Support The Guardian Share on Twitter Sydney Swans Read more Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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University Establishes Scholarship in Honour of Education Minister

first_imgStory Highlights The BAU International University in Washington DC has established a scholarship in honour of Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid.The decision to set up the ‘Ruel Reid Transformational Leadership Scholarship’ was taken by the University to recognise Senator Reid’s lead role in arriving at a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry and the University for the provision of 107 scholarships, over three years, worth $378.2 million (US$3 million).These scholarships are available to student teachers to pursue undergraduate and graduate programmes at any of the tertiary institution’s campuses globally.BAU University Board member, Paul Brunson, said the Ruel Reid Scholarship is to “pay homage and respect to Senator Reid for leading the process”.The surprise announcement, which was made during the MOU’s recent signing at The Mico University College in Kingston, left Senator Reid at a loss for words and saw him welcoming the gesture with an elated “I’m speechless!”.Mr. Brunson said the scholarship is open to any Jamaican student desirous of pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies, either in the United States or any of BAU Global Network’s campuses in Germany, Italy and Turkey, among other locations.The MOU, resulting from the discussions between Senator Reid and Mr. Brunson, whose grandfather was Jamaican, between 2016 and earlier this year, will additionally see the University hiring 200 English language teachers for its global network of schools for the 2018/19 academic year.Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, and the Ministry’s newly appointed International Donor Consultant for the Jamaican Diaspora in the US, Gail Dunwell, who works closely with the National Education Trust, were also instrumental in initiating the partnership.Senator Reid, in welcoming the MOU, conveyed the Government’s gratitude to BAU University.“I have had the opportunity of meeting different segments of the Jamaican diaspora (who) are always very interested in what is happening in Jamaica, and particularly how they can assist our education programme. We are very grateful for the strength of the Jamaican connection,” the Minister said.“There are Jamaicans in very prestigious positions all over the world, and wherever they are able to influence certain decisions, we find that they always step up to the plate,” he added.Mr. Brunson said the initiative’s genesis dates back 10 years when he first met his grandfather.He said the knowledge of his heritage was the primary reason for seeking out how best he could make a tangible and meaningful contribution to Jamaica.Against this background, Mr. Brunson said he made representation to the University’s administration and successfully lobbied their support in March 2016, which resulted in the MOU’s forging.“So for all these reasons and more, I am excited and I am proud. This is only the beginning of this relationship,” he added.President of The Mico, Dr. Asburn Pinnock, said the initiative is a “perfect fit” with the Government’s focus for education.“I think this will go a far way in building our resources as we try to graduate more persons in Jamaica from tertiary education,” he argued.BAU International University is a private, non-profit institution that offers undergraduate and graduate programmes in economics, international affairs, entrepreneurship, global affairs, and international law and economics.The BAU Global Network, which spans three continents, has been providing higher education for over 15 years through its campuses, which are also located in Canada and Hong Kong.Its flagship campus is Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul, Turkey, which has eight faculties, a school of languages, and two vocational schools. BAU University Board member, Paul Brunson, said the Ruel Reid Scholarship is to “pay homage and respect to Senator Reid for leading the process”. The BAU International University in Washington DC has established a scholarship in honour of Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid. Mr. Brunson said the scholarship is open to any Jamaican student desirous of pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies, either in the United States or any of BAU Global Network’s campuses in Germany, Italy and Turkey, among other locations.last_img read more

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The Canadian media boss who swapped winning Oscars for kids TV

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Most people who own a media empire talk loud and long, and make a big fuss of themselves, but not Michael Donovan.He is soft-spoken, thoughtful, and analytical. But he is very successful.Michael, a veteran of the film and TV industry, is the founder and boss of DHX Media. Login/Register With: Outside of the big Hollywood studies, the Canadian company is the world’s next largest owner and distributor of children’s TV programmes.Titles in DHX’s vast portfolio include Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Bob the Builder, and Inspector Gadget. In total, it has a library of more than 11,800 – and growing – episodes across all its shows. And its revenues last year totalled $260m (£212m).I interviewed Michael – who, prior to forming DHX, produced movies including the Oscar-winning Michael Moore documentary Bowling for Columbine – back in the summer in Monaco.The 63-year-old was there for the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards ceremony, run by accountancy group Ernst & Young, after winning the Canadian title.‘Professional lying’Born and raised in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, Michael trained as a lawyer, and worked as one for 10 years after leaving university. Not a happy experience.Explaining why he swapped the legal profession for the movie business, he says: “I formed the opinion that I was unemployable, therefore I had to work for myself.”He continues: “I decided that a much better place than the law for me was the professional telling of lies. That’s what filmmaking is.” Advertisement Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

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