Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City “Everybody watches sports and so everybody loves sports, so I felt this was the right thing for me to do personally,” Maxwell said.Maxwell’s protest comes after Trump blasted American football players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” Trump said of kneeling through the anthem. He added, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired’.”Maxwell informed A’s manager Bob Melvin and general manager David Forst of his intention to kneel before Saturday’s game. He also held a team meeting in which he addressed questions from teammates. Maxwell did not play in Oakland’s 1-0 win. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Canha approached Maxwell after the meeting to offer his support.“I could tell he was getting kind of choked up and emotional about his beliefs and how he feels about the racial discrimination that’s going on in this country right now,” Canha said. “I felt like every fiber in my being was telling me that he needed a brother today.”The Athletics released a statement on Twitter shortly after the anthem, saying they “respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression” and “pride ourselves on being inclusive.”The league also issued a statement: “Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together.”Maxwell was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, while his father was stationed there in the Army, but he grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, which is where Trump made his statements at a rally on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell kneels during the national anthem before the start of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Oakland, California. Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics has become the first major league baseball player to kneel during the national anthem. (Photo by ERIC RISBERG / AP)OAKLAND, California — Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics became the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the US anthem on Saturday, pulling the league into a polarizing protest movement that has been criticized harshly by President Donald Trump.Before a home game against the Texas Rangers, Maxwell dropped to a knee just outside Oakland’s dugout, adopting a protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to police treatment of blacks. The rookie catcher pressed his right hand against his heart, and teammates stood in a line next to him. Teammate Mark Canha, who is white, put his right hand on one of Maxwell’s shoulders, and the two hugged after the anthem finished.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight NFL owners speak out in support of players, against Trump LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next View comments LATEST STORIES “The racism in the South is disgusting,” Maxwell said. “It bothers me, and it hits home for me because that’s where I’m from. The racism in the South is pretty aggressive, and I dealt with it all the way through my childhood, and my sister went through it. I feel that that’s something that needs to be addressed and that needs to be changed.”League executives and star players alike condemned Trump’s words on Saturday, and Maxwell predicted on Twitter that athletes would begin kneeling in other sports following “comments like that coming from our president.”A few hours later, he followed through.“This now has gone from just a BlackLives Matter topic to just complete inequality of any man or woman that wants to stand for Their rights!” Maxwell wrote.Maxwell is decidedly patriotic and comes from a military family. His agent, Matt Sosnick, told The Associated Press that “the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable.” Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients
Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss01:48Trump awards Penske Presidential Medal01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ After deadly protests involving white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia last month, Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale has been actively trying to get Confederate symbols such as monuments removed from his city.On Monday, Fizdale said it was Trump who is disrespecting military members, not athletes who protest in various ways.“Look at what he’s doing with North Korea putting our troops in danger right now instigating a war,” Fizdale said. “You know how many troops we have in South Korea and Japan that’s in direct line with where this guy can fire missiles? Obviously the Gold Star family that lost their son … I can keep going on this, guys, you know that.“So when we talk about disrespecting our military, people need to take a look back at who’s really disrespecting our military and who’s really honoring our military by exercising their rights.”Media days in the NBA are a mixture of basketball-related interviews, photo sessions and some frivolity. At Heat media day, Goran Dragic — whose current contract is worth $85 million — talked about his decision to fly coach home from his native Slovenia. In Memphis, guards Mike Conley and Mario Chalmers gave hair-care tips. Coaches took questions en masse, sometimes even able to actually discuss the game.But there were countless questions about politics and Trump as well.“It’s like every time he opens his mouth, it’s like, ‘Oh, really?’” Haslem said. “When you think he can’t say anything like worse, he just kind of figures it out.”In Denver, the Nuggets said they were forming a four-player committee to help bring collective ideas from the locker room to team officials for further discussion. In Miami, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he would talk to players about how they want to respond to social topics later this week at their training camp in Boca Raton, Florida.“This is discourse that’s going on in every living room right now and this is our family. So we will have a discussion about it,” Spoelstra said. “It is such a polarizing topic right now that I think it’s healthy just for guys to express where they are on this right now and I know how the guys feel in the locker room. It’s exactly the same as the players in the other leagues and the other teams that you saw this weekend.”Dealing with Trump-related matters may be particularly thorny in Orlando. Magic owner Rich DeVos’ daughter-in-law, Betsy DeVos, is the Education Secretary. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the media during Media Day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 25, 2017 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFPLeBron James is not backing down on his comments about President Donald Trump, and countless other players and coaches in the NBA made it clear at media days around the league Monday that they are equally fed up with what could perhaps be described as a pattern of actions from the White House that they would call divisive or worse.Politics were the storyline of the NBA on the first official business day of the season for most of the league’s clubs. That was no surprise, given the events of a weekend that included Trump rescinding the champion Golden State Warriors’ invitation to the White House, James calling the president a “bum” and stars like union president Chris Paul speaking out in frustration.ADVERTISEMENT The Magic, like many teams, said they weren’t sure what the right answer is — or how they’ll speak out as a team about social issues this season.“In all honesty, coming up with a quick answer would be doing a disservice to all of our fans and to the issue itself,” Magic President Jeff Weltman said. “This is something we need to evaluate, speak to our NBA peers about.”Stars like James, Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony have spoken openly about the need for societial change in the past, and each of them are continuing to use their platforms now.James made it clear that will continue.“He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country,” James said of Trump. “He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the President of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement. He doesn’t understand that and that’s what makes me more sick than anything.” E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Added Miami forward Udonis Haslem: “I don’t think President Trump wants to fight any of them defensive linemen or anybody in the NFL. Probably should just be respectful.”James referred to Trump as “that guy,” and defended his decision to tweet that the president is a “bum” — a post that quickly became one of Twitter’s most-shared ever. The name-calling continued Monday: Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said Trump is “a clown” and Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan said the president is a “so-called leader.”“I think the president brought a lot of this stuff on himself,” said DeRozan, who is American but plays in Canada. “He brought it on himself, he brought it on us as a country. … I feel no player is trying to disrespect anybody, no flag or anything like that, but we seem to be the ones who get all the disrespect from our so-called leader.”Trump’s comments about the NFL and NBA come at a time where the government has obvious concerns about matters involving North Korea, the pledge many Republicans made to repeal and replace health care legislation, with a tax overhaul plan looming and with Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico all dealing with crippling effects of hurricanes in recent weeks.“We all have to come together,” Denver guard Jameer Nelson said. “Whether you voted for Trump or not — the world needs to be better. I don’t know. I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t know what the wrong answer is. Nobody does. If we did, we wouldn’t be sitting here and talking about it.”ADVERTISEMENT Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Sixers’ Embiid, Simmons eager to prove doubters wrong Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “We know this is the greatest country in the world,” said James, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star. “It’s the land of the free. But we still have problems just like everybody else and when we have those problems, we have to figure out a way how we come together and be as great as we can be as a people.“Because the people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThese tensions have obviously been present for far more than one weekend, but they are bubbling now in the NBA like perhaps never before — with players in many cities Monday saying they were angered over the president’s use of the line “son of a bitch,” cited last week during a rant about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.“You can’t get more insulting than that,” Phoenix center Tyson Chandler said. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES View comments
Roger Federer of Switzerland holds the trophy after winning his men’s final singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURIRoger Federer got one over his old rival Rafael Nadal to win the Shanghai Masters 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday in a showdown between the two best players on the planet.It was a 94th title for the Swiss legend, drawing him level with the great Ivan Lendl, and closes the gap on world number one Nadal at the top of the rankings as the season reaches its conclusion.ADVERTISEMENT In-form Nadal was ahead in their overall record down the years, with 23 wins to Federer’s 14, but he was up against it almost right away. Number two Federer put Nadal under the cosh immediately on the Spaniard’s serve, breaking him in the first game — to roars of approval from the majority inside the arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 36-year-old Swiss, fondly known as “Cow” in China for his laid-back personality, had started the better and he rattled through his own service game for 2-0.Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam champion who had beaten Nadal in their last four encounters, was in full flow under the Qizhong Tennis Center roof, which was closed because of downpours in Shanghai. Sharapova fights to first title since drugs ban Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments LATEST STORIES Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Nadal, 31, groaned while lashing many of his shots; Federer was all quiet efficiency.Somewhere in the stadium somebody rattled a cow bell.Federer rapidly made it 4-2 with two booming aces in a row, drawing huge cheers from much of the stadium.In contrast, Nadal — a 16-time Grand Slam winner but who had never won the Shanghai Masters — was laboring through his service games.He went long on a straightforward forehand but powered an ace to make it 4-3 to the Swiss. ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC There were suggestions that Federer might not be quite as fresh as his old foe, having been pushed to three sets a day earlier in the second semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro.The timeless Federer rubbished that notion as he seared his way to a 5-3 first-set lead.Nadal sent down his fourth ace for 5-4, only for Federer to seal the set with his seventh ace of the match.There was little between the great rivals in the early exchanges of the second set until the pivotal fifth game.Nadal, on a great run of form that won him the US Open and China Open in recent weeks, saved the first break point but could not survive the second one to put Federer in reach of a second Shanghai Masters crown. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ
Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:02PNP to prove activists’ link to CPP NPA01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Son Heung-min took over from former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung as the highest-scoring Premier League player from Asia with his 20th goal for Tottenham.The South Korea forward pounced on a poor clearance to curl in a shot from just inside the area in the 64th minute at Wembley Stadium as a depleted Tottenham relied on a grittier performance to see off Palace after a slick win over Champions League holder Real Madrid.___EVERTON RECOVERYEverton was facing its sixth straight loss in all competitions — and fourth under caretaker manager David Unsworth — after goals by Richarlison and Christian Kabasele put Watford 2-0 ahead by the 64th minute.But three minutes later, Everton’s recovery began. Oumar Niasse pulled a goal back, substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed home an equalizer in the 74th and Leighton Baines netted from the spot in stoppage time to complete a 3-2 victory. A first win in nine matches lifted Everton from 19th to 15th in the 20-team standings. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Palestinian football officials get court date for FIFA case QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort There is still more than two-thirds of the season to go but City is looking a formidable attacking unit that’s proving hard to thwart. It’s the only unbeaten team in England, and with an enviable depth of talent on the field and on the bench.“Can anyone stop them? It will be difficult this season,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “The way they have started, the way they are on a run, the quality they have. They’ll be difficult to stop but, you never know.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout___GOOD FORTUNE MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments “We were so, so tired in moments in the game,” Guardiola said, “but we were so strong mentally, mentally strong to keep going, doing it together.”___CHELSEA RECOVERSAll it took to lift some of the gloom around Stamford Bridge was the return of former manager Jose Mourinho, and a victory over his new club.Alvaro Morata scored the only goal 10 minutes into the second half, ending a six-game goal drought in all competitions. Morata peeled away from defender Eric Bailly and the striker was completely unmarked 12 yard (meters) from goal when he met Cesar Azpilicueta’s pinpoint cross with a powerful looping header.“We must be pleased for the performance of the team,” Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said. “I think we played with a great energy, a great passion, a great enthusiasm.”Unlike perhaps earlier in the week in the Italian capital when Chelsea lost 3-0 to Roma in the Champions League.“I think tonight I saw a lot of positive things,” Conte said, “not only under the tactical aspect but overall the desire, the desire of my players, the will to fight, the will to help each other.”___ASIAN RECORD Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, left, celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Arsenal, at the Etihad Stadium, in Manchester, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)LONDON — Manchester City is the team to catch in the Premier League, and it’s getting even more challenging.Pep Guardiola’s side moved eight points clear with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Sunday when second-place Manchester United lost 1-0 at Chelsea. Tottenham trails United on goal difference and is a point ahead of defending champion Chelsea after beating last-place Crystal Palace 1-0.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Despite the victory margin, City needed some luck.Kevin De Bruyne’s opening goal in the 19th minute was followed by a contentiously awarded penalty when Nacho Monreal was adjudged to have bundled over Raheem Sterling. Sergio Aguero converted from the spot, then a third goal from Gabriel Jesus should have been ruled out for offside against David Silva in the build-up.“If … they have a decisions for them like that (third goal),” Wenger said, “they will be unstoppable.”Any hopes Arsenal had of a first title since 2004 are fading fast. Arsenal has lost four of six away games in the league for the first time since 1981 and Wenger’s team trails City by 12 points.City has scored 38 goals and won 10 out of 11 games so far. It achieved its latest win after a tough Champions League trip to Napoli where Guardiola’s side won 4-2.ADVERTISEMENT
LATEST STORIES View comments His short but sweet recital was met with a standing ovation from the pleased audience.Meanwhile, the 39-year-old Bryant expressed his delight upon performing and sharing the stage with one of music’s most recognizable names.“Never thought I’d be on stage w/ the great JOHN WILLIAMS @HollywoodBowl to perform the #DearBasketball animated short. Thank u LA #mindblown,” he wrote. Never thought I’d be on stage w/ the great JOHN WILLIAMS @HollywoodBowl to perform the #DearBasketball animated short. Thank u LA #mindblown pic.twitter.com/NryTKovJuU— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) September 2, 2017ADVERTISEMENT Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters MOST READ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Aside from being one of the most spectacular basketball players to ever lace up a pair of sneakers, Kobe Bryant is a man of many talents.ADVERTISEMENT Since his retirement from the game last year, fans have learned more about his many hidden passions aside from putting the ball in a hoop—including his gift for poetry.The Los Angeles Lakers legend recited his ”Dear Basketball” poem, alongside legendary conductor John Williams and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl over the weekend.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe one-time league MVP penned the heartfelt piece on The Player’s Tribune in 2015-2016 season, to announce that he’ll be walking away from the sport.Bryant’s emotional words echoed throughout the packed hall, as an animated short of his storied career played on a big screen overlooking the stage. Lyceum stays unbeaten, cruises to 10th straight win Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Williams, meanwhile, is responsible for a slew of the most popular music in cinema history, including music for classics like “Jaws”, “Jurassic Park,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestial” and the iconic “Imperial March” from the “Star Wars” franchise. /raRELATED STORY:Nike responds to Kobe Bryant’s letter to game of basketball Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’
At a time when international athletes are worried about their security in India during the Commonwealth Games, the visiting Australian cricket team on Thursday gave thumbs up to the security arrangements for their tour against the hosts.Many star athletes have pulled out and several countries including Australia have issued travel warnings to their citizens, saying there is high risk of a terror strike during the Games.According to media reports, Australia is also sending a team of top cops to New Delhi to provide a high-level security cordon to its athletes for the Games.However, the Australian cricketers have described as “fantastic” the arrangements.”The security so far has been fantastic. We always get looked after very well in this country. All the players and other guys are excited about being here,” Australia’s vice captain Michael Clarke said during an interaction with the journalists.”Ever since we arrived in India, the security has been outstanding. Right now, we feel very comfortable and are looking forward to the two Tests and the ODIs later on,” he added.Australian cricket team arrived here on September 20 and are scheduled a two-Test and three-ODI series.The series opener will begin here on October 1.All-rounder Shane Watson too found no problems with the security ever since the team has landed in Delhi.”Security has very good. We are being looked after extremely well. I also play for (IPL team) Rajasthan Royals and have been coming here regularly. I find the security and other arrangements exceptional,” Watson said.advertisementOff-spinner Nathan Hauritz also echoed the same sentiment.”There are lot of people around for our security. They are trying to look after us really well,” he said.Youngsters Steve Smith and Phillip Hughes said they have no clue why there is so much hue and cry about the security issue.Clarke said he has always loved touring India.”I love touring here. I also love the Indian food. I must say that I have been lucky to play in India and also enjoyed a bit of a success here. We get looked after well and people here are so passionate about this game.”And the people here also know the way Australia plays and we also love to entertain them by playing best cricket,” Clarke said.
With just two days left for the Commonwealth Games to end, the Games Village here today wore a deserted look with a few bidding their good bye to others including volunteers.Some international delegates and athletes, who were staying here for past few days, have also left.Residents were seen going to the bank here to collect foreign exchanges. They also bought souveniers for their loved ones back home.”I have come here to buy something for my wife. I will rather choose an Indian style saree or Salwar suit,” said a Kenyan athlete.Even the international zone which houses recreational facilities like cafe, stores, bar, restaurant, discotheques, games parlours and hair cut salon had a few visitors. Many others were trying to get confirmations of their departure tickets.Only about 5-6 players were seen practicing in the training area.The 12-day long sporting event featuring 17 sports disciplines like archery, cycling, gymnastics, swimming, boxing and shooting will conclude on Thursday.Security personnel also seemed to be in a slight relaxing mood as there were fewer visitors to come to the Village today unlike other day.
The sea of red and white which over the past month had become a hallmark of the Commonwealth Games in the city may have slowly faded away after the closing ceremony, but the group of young volunteers are finding it hard to let go.The hard work put in by volunteers was a major reason for the success of the recent Commonwealth GamesDressed in their bright red trackpants and white windcheater uniforms, the young brigade found dotting the city assisting at stadiums and press tribunes across the Games venues here are bidding goodbye to the mega event, which was more than just a sporting event for them.”The Games brought people from diverse backgrounds together and the amount of time we spent together during the last 20 days formed a strong bond of friendship between us, thus this very moment is very painful for me,” says Neha, one of the volunteers. Many like Neha joined the volunteer bandwagon for fun but seem to have taken away an experience they say will cherish forever.”Initially I thought it was just a worthless job but the whole experience has been very rewarding… I can now tell my grandchildren that I was a volunteer at the 2010 Games,” says another collegiate. Their attachment to the whole set-up is such that many want the show to continue infinitely!”We simply didn’t want the Games to end, we wanted to keep working as long as we can,” said Sarika, an army officer’s wife who as a volunteer organised sight-seeing trips for foreign athletes. The thrill of being in the vicinity of star athletes has been one of the few attractions of the job that usually involved 8-10 hours of hard work per day.advertisement”We got to interact with lots of people – athletes, officials, and the media. For me, the best moment was when I stood at an arm’s distance from star boxer Vijender Singh,” she said.”The other day I guided gold medallist Somdev Devvarman to his team bus,” said Ankur Vasudeva, an engineering student who was attached to the British Virgin Islands contingent. Wearing a green team jersey of the island nation, he said: “The Chef-de Mission gifted this shirt to me.”The 22,000 strong volunteer workforce found a special mention in the speeches of Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi at the closing ceremony. Even the foreign athletes recognised their work and were all praise for their dedicated and unflinching service.”They (volunteers) did a great job, in them India had a really big asset which was put to good use. I don’t think the Games would have done well without them,” said Ratu Maafua, a rugby player from Tonga.Meanwhile, the volunteers clicked loads of pictures with fellow workers and foreign athletes to ensure that even if the memories fade, they can be relived and refreshed anytime. “I have made friends with lots of volunteers and they also helped us a lot in the daily work,” said Abbey Burton, an English trap shooter.However, as they say there is always a next time, many volunteers are banking on the success of the Delhi Commonwealth Games for India to bag an Olympics very soon. “I hope India gets a chance to host the 2020 Olympics and no matter what, I shall be the first person to enroll as a volunteer,” says Jatin Kalra of Maharishi Dayanand University. Jatin also hopes that social networking would enable him to stay in touch with the new friends he made during his volunteer posting at the Games Village Press Centre.”Facebook haina uske liye (Facebook can be used for that),” the computer engineering student adds. Other volunteers like Sushant, who was involved with press operations, say they plan to use the experience as building blocks in their careers. “I am going for a good holiday now … When I get back I plan to get involved with the media management of Games,” he says.Sampat Kumar says he plans to go back to college and then hunt for a job. “I have learnt to speak English and am confident of giving interviews,” he says.–With inputs from PTI
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Seeking to allay fears expressed by the city’s fire department about the safety norms at the Wankhede Stadium, World Cup tournament director Ratnakar Shetty on Sunday said security and safety of people would not be compromised while staging matches at the venue. “When we build a stadium, we take care of each and every person who will come to the stadium. And there would be no compromises in anything required by the government or any agencies,” Shetty told reporters who were taken around the renovated stadium. “Every permission that is required will be obtained and without that you can not have a stadium. You can not organise a match. But getting a permission is a procedure. It does not happen that you go to a counter and say now give me a NOC. There is a procedure which is followed and permissions are taken in a sequence. “Rest assured, all permissions will be in hand, all things required from the fire department and the NOC (no objection certificate). What is required is the compliance at the new areas like the basement at the north stand which will house the control room for the television and the media conference room,” he said. Expressing displeasure at the non-compliance of fire safety norms at the revamped Wankhede stadium, city’s Fire Brigade department had last week said that it would seek a reply from the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) in this regard.- With PTI inputs