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UK Travel Animal passions out in the open

SHARING a picnic with Patagonian cavies is very pleasant. Patagonian cavies are hefty rabbit-like animals with white bottoms, burly cousins of guinea pigs. Actually, ‘sharing’ is an exaggeration. I sat on the Downs munching cheese rolls while these old rodents hared around me snacking on the grass. The point is that there was no wire fence, no ditch and no glass between me and them.

Whipsnade Wild Animal Park doesn’t do that Disney thing of pretending to be Patagonia, or Africa, or any other country its animals come from. It’s not really a theme park, more like a well-managed country park that happens to have rhinos, giraffes and antelopes roaming around its 600 acres. Research shows that most first-time visitors aren’t here becaue they’re interested in animal conservation. They come because Whipsnade is on the leisure industry’s ever growing list of daytrip destinations and Whipsnade is the one without the white knuckle rides.

It’s the other half of London Zoo. A motorway hour from central London, it has 3,500 large animals on view in open fields, although only the cavies, peacocks, wallabies and Chinese water deer run amongst the homo sapiens. The bank holiday Sunday I went, we homines appeared, if not particularly sapientes, at least contented and well behaved.

Most visitors seemed to be enjoying a day out in the country. They were in family groups, in the bright plumage of shell suits, and they trooped round with video cameras and coolboxes of Tupperware picnics, anthropomorphising over every fence. It’s easily done.

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Thailand Travel Mart 2010 Plus is Set For 8-10 Sept 2015

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has confirmed that theThailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+ 2010) will be held from 8-10 September, 2010, at the IMPACT Convention Center (Hall 9), Muang Thong Thani.

The Thailand Travel Mart Plus is the country’s premier annual trade event designed to promote traveland tourism to Thailand and its neighbours in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

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Western Carolina hopes to identify new athletics director by year’s end

The 15-member committee charged with helping identify Western Carolina University’s next director of athletics met Wednesday, Nov. 9, setting an ambitious, fast-track timetable so that a new leader for Catamount athletics could be in place perhaps as early as January. In his charge to the committee that he appointed Nov. 4, WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher urged members to proceed with as much speed as possible to find “an extraordinary leader for challenging times.” “This is an important decision for Western Carolina University,” Belcher said. “Athletics is a vital area of our university. Athletics provides visibility for the university, it grounds students in the institution, and it is a way to keep in contact with donors and alumni. Continue reading  

Around the World With Yahoo! Canada Travel

Canada Travel

Canada Travel

Travelocity.ca, the online travel expert, and Yahoo!(R) Canada have joined forces to create Yahoo!Canada Travel (http://travel.yahoo.ca), a new travel guide powered by Travelocity.ca. Announced today, Yahoo! Canada Travel is specifically designed to provide Canadians access to the most comprehensive online planning and buying choices across air, car, hotel and rail travel services, reaching more than 50 per cent of Canadian online users.(x)

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NCAA satisfied with state of Auburn athletics

NCAA satisfied with state of Auburn athletics

NCAA satisfied with state of Auburn athletics

The NCAA has expressed satisfaction with Auburn’s academic integrity in the form of certification of Auburn’s athletics department.

Division I Committee on Athletics Certification announced decisions Thursday concerning the certification status of 46 member institutions that have undergone the NCAA’s second cycle of certification.

The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in athletics programs.

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Athletics Boss Heaps Praise On Hestrie

Athletics Boss Heaps Praise On Hestrie

Athletics Boss Heaps Praise On Hestrie

ATHLETICS SA (ASA) CEO Banele Sindani yesterday heaped praise on champion high-jumper Hestrie Cloete, saying she had put South African athletics on the map and had made an incredible contribution to her country.

Cloete returned to SA on Tuesday night after setting the world athletics scene alight with her performances at the world championships in Paris and at the grand prix finals in Monaco.

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USA Softball Team Outplays Cameroon in Friendly Matches

United States team softball

United States Softball Team

A softball match was among the activities that marked the US-Cameroon friendship week.

The Yaounde Ominsports annex stadium was the venue of a softball slow pitch encounter between the United States Embassy softball team and a team from the Cameroon Softball and Baseball Federation (FECABASE). Actually, the USA team used the best fastpitch softball bats to play with the Cameroon sides. Organised by the United States Embassy in Yaounde, the event was among the activities to mark the United States-Cameroon friendship week in commemoration of the independence of the United States of America come July 4. As early as 8am last Sunday morning, Yaounde city dwellers trooped to the Omnisports annex stadium to secure comfortable sitting places before the normal kick-off time scheduled for 10am. This enabled them not to miss any part of the competition.

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Athletics : Cameroon to Host AMA Championship

Cameroon to Host AMA Championship

Cameroon to Host AMA Championship

The competition will bring together veteran athletes from some 37 affiliates in Africa.

Cameron will host the fifth edition of the African Masters Athletics championship. The revelation was made last Friday in Yaounde during an audience granted by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Bidoung Mkpatt to a delegation African Masters Athletics (AMA) representatives from South Africa. The members of the delegation were the President of the African Masters Athletics, Booysen Hannes, (South Africa) and the national technical director, Booysen Hans (Namibia). The visitors who are special invitees of the Cameroon Athletics Federation on the occasion of the ninth edition of the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope, are also in the country in prelude of the upcoming African Masters Athleticschampionship which has been scheduled to take place at the Yaounde Omnisports stadium from the 29th of July to the 1st of August 2004. The competition which will be the first ever in Cameroon and Africa north of the equator, will bring together some 200 veteran athletes from all the 10 provinces of the country.

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Foundation for Athletics Center Laid

Athletics Center Laid

Athletics Center Laid

The foundation of the athletics training center at Sendafa, 40 kms on the road to Dessie, was laid on Saturday.

During the ceremony Speaker of the House of Peoples’ Representatives Dawit Yohanes called upon all Ethiopians, government development agencies and private institutions should help build the athleticscenter.

He said that the media both private and government are the best instruments in terms of sensitizing the members of the public towards helping the center built.

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Athletics of Australia receives $424,000 boost

Athletics of Australia

Athletics of Australia

ATHLETICS is back in favour with the Australian Olympic Committee after receiving a $424,000 grant from its Special Initiatives Fund yesterday.

And the sport is expecting an equally satisfying main course today, when the Australian Sports Commission announces funding for the Olympic sports through to the 2000 Games.

Athletics took a severe pay cut in 1996, losing $1 million in annual funding on the basis of performances at the 1996 Olympics, but international performances this year have been outstanding, stimulating an air of optimism at Athletics Australia.

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Athletics National of Africa: Veterans Honour Kalkaba

Veterans Honour Kalkaba

Veterans Honour Kalkaba

The main entrance into the Tsinga Trade Fair in Yaounde, was particularly busy last Saturday morning. This time it was not business but sports, notably athletics. The first edition of the “Course Populaire Kalkaba Malboum 2003,” saw the light of day. Lovers of athletics trooped to the Tsinga neighbourhood as early as 6:30am to participate in the race. Organised by the Cameroon Masters AthleticsAssociations, the race brought together some 110 veteran athletes resident in Yaounde and its environs. Some athletes of French nationality from the French Military cooperation also took part in the competition. Continue reading  

Cancun Tour: A day to remember

Cancun Tour: A day to remember

Cancun Tour: A day to remember

I rented a small fishing boat with a guide one morning and we went north from Cancun, out past Punta Sam and through the strait between Isla Mujeres and the mainland to a rich shoal the guide knew. We had strike after strike, barracuda up to four feet long and king mackerel, in the heaving seas out there. After more heaving I was silently begging the fish to stop hitting.

A more civilized place to find fish is in one of the seafood restaurants along Claveles Street in the city of Cancun on the mainland. We chose one where the walls are repainted every few months to allow all the patrons to write their names and home town above their table.

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Players cite conspiracy to cut free-agent pay

 

Players cite conspiracy to cut free-agent pay

Players cite conspiracy to cut free-agent pay

Major-league clubs are involved in a “conspiracy” to hold down the salaries of free agents, according to the Major League Baseball Players Association. Mark Belanger, the union’s special assistant, charged in a telephone interview yesterday that “clubs working in concert with each other” is a main reason that 36 of 56 players who filed for free agency in November remain unsigned. “We’re very concerned about this whole issue and we want it fixed,” Belanger said. “We’re alarmed that there are so many free agents who aren’t being signed.” Belanger said the players’ association has “proof” that club executives have banded together during the off-season in an effort not to sign aging or average free agents, thereby keeping payrolls down.

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First season of Keohohou in the Women’s Softball League

He first considered the idea of buying a franchise — the minimum start-up commitment is $300,000 — because his daughter, Gabriella, plays travel softball. That sounds good when she used best softball bats like Louisville Slugger Fastpitch Xeno Yet, over the past seven months, he’s essentially adopted a whole new family. After talking with Wilson for the first time on the phone, Keohohou solicited a trade from the Racers, where she’d won a championship in 2005.

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India cricket team fights back

Neil Foster had again broken through with three early wickets

Neil Foster had again broken through with three early wickets

India batsmen fought back in the second innings yesterday after England pace bowler Neil Foster had again broken through with three early wickets on the fourth day of the fourth cricket Test. India was 246 for four at the close, still needing 134 to avoid an innings defeat thanks to an unbeaten century by Mohammed Azharuddin and 95 by Mohinder Amarnath. England captain David Gower declared his side’s first innings at 652 for seven, 25 minutes after play was resumed at an overnight 611 for five.

Aussies claim rival’s language just wasn’t cricket

 

Aussies claim rival's language just wasn't cricket

Aussies claim rival’s language just wasn’t cricket

West Indies cricketer Viv Richards was accused yesterday of using foul language during what degenerated into an acrimonious Test series against Australia. The charge was levelled by three Australian players following an onfield verbal slanging match in the fifth and final Test, won by Australia. The committee said Richards, after repeated foul language, also suggested a fist fight to settle differences.

The incident marked another low point in player relations during the series, in which the West Indies won the first three Tests and drew the fourth. When the series began in Perth on Nov. 9, both sides agreed there should be no sledging – cricket’s term for verbal abuse aimed at distracting opponents.

 

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THE MERMAID INN An innocent in Edmonton

THE MERMAID INN An innocent in Edmonton

THE MERMAID INN An innocent in Edmonton

A few surprises quickly become apparent when one moves from southern Vancouver Island to Edmonton.

One is the absence of fall. I hit town in mid-October – just in time, I thought, for Indian summer. “Bring your bicycle,” said my Edmonton contact. “It can be quite lovely right up to Christmas.” I cherished visions of golden larches like a flame upon the hills, of crickets chirping lazily along the river valley. “It’s an aberration,” she shrugged on Oct. 16, when a Siberian front dumped a thick blanket of snow on Jasper Avenue. Within days it dropped to minus 25, a temperature that wouldn’t even compute on my rain-forest software.

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ROUNDUP Cricket

ROUNDUP Cricket

ROUNDUP Cricket

England paceman Neil Foster took six wickets yesterday to bowl the touring side to a first- innings total of 272 at the end of the opening day of the fourth cricket Test against India at Madras, India. Foster, playing his first Test of the tour, took six for 104. At the close of play, England openers Graeme Fowler and Tim Robinson had taken their team to 32 for no wicket. At lunch, India was still struggling at 102 for three. . . . Continue reading  

EMass dominance in baseball, softball gets summer off to great start

EMass dominance in baseball, softball gets summer off to great start

As has been the case all year long, a new hero always seemed to step up for the Boxers. Senior first baseman Nick Duguay came up huge against Milford, going 3-for-4 with six RBI, including a grandslam to put his team ahead for good. Senior southpaw Jim Sweeney was overshadowed by Bobby Haskins (9-0), but he gave Boxer coach Dave Fouracre six solid innings against Scarlet Hawks. What makes the difference is that Nick Duguay use the best slowpitch softball bats called Easton SP14S50 S50 Slowpitch Softball Bat.

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Ball-playing seniors step up to plat

Ball-playing seniors step up to plate

Long before the sun hits high noon at Nottoway Park in Vienna, a dedicated band of aging athletes will have smacked dozens of softballs into the outfield – some to soar high in the trees, others to hug the ground.

A mid-May sun warms the playing field, where players stretch and loosen their joints in preparation for a slow-pitch softball tournament. Dozens of teams are competing for the chance to go to the SeniorSoftball World Series in September in Palm Springs, Calif. This is a fight not just for first place, but for the pleasure of defeating stereotypes about what the body is capable of achieving after age 50.

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Michael Klein column: Witherspoon tries a new plate

Michael Klein column: Witherspoon tries a new plate

Reese Witherspoon is a heavy hitter, all right. She’s been hitting restaurants for big meals, and this week she’ll be hitting softballs. Witherspoon has been training weekly since February with former UCLA softball coach Sue Enquist to improve her form for the James L. Brooks comedy she’s shooting here. Witherspoon plays a softball star torn between the affections of a businessman (Paul Rudd) and a Washington Nationals player (Owen Wilson). It’s crunch time as Witherspoon takes to the diamond at Drexel and Temple Universities to shoot game footage. It won’t be crunch time, exactly.

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Super normal: Softball makes the extraordinary things

Standing quietly behind him, littered with the day’s dirt, gloves, bats and helmets, was the dugout Mark Pruis decorated with his bare hands.

“Me and my brother and my father did it,” Pruis said of the wooden benches, helmet stalls complete with nameplates and the sound system. “My dad passed away since then … ”

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Tossing Softballs, Talking History

Looking Back at Summit: Tossing Softballs, Talking History

As President Bush prepared for his June 16 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, one might have thought he was apprehensive about facing a man with more experience in summit settings. Now we learn that Bush felt protective toward the younger Putin, who “didn’t know what to expect” from international reporters — although Bush knew they would lob “essentially softball questions.”

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Softball : USA Outplays Cameroon

Softball : USA Outplays Cameroon

A softball match was among the activities that marked the US-Cameroon friendship week.

The Yaounde Ominsports annex stadium was the venue of a softball slow pitch encounter between the United States Embassy softball team and a team from the Cameroon Softball and Baseball Federation (FECABASE). Organised by the United States Embassy in Yaounde, the event was among the activities to mark the United States-Cameroon friendship week in commemoration of the independence of the United States of America come July 4. As early as 8am last Sunday morning, Yaounde city dwellers trooped to the Omnisports annex stadium to secure comfortable sitting places before the normal kick-off time scheduled for 10am. This enabled them not to miss any part of the competition.

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