Ireland and the healing power of words in a time of crisis

first_imgIreland has sought solace in its poetic tradition to overcome the coronavirus crisis and provide poignant words of hope to tackle grief and the hardship of lockdown.Verse is ingrained in public health messaging, doorstep banners quote hopeful lines, and the state broadcaster rounded out news of one death toll with a lyric assuring: “Everything is going to be alright.””Poetry is just imbued in Irish society very very strongly and we turn to it at these kind of times,” poet Catherine Ann Cullen told AFP. Ireland has suffered a relatively modest 1,571 deaths from COVID-19 according to latest department of health figures.But it still faces a long road out of lockdown which began on March 28. A government scheme to reopen the nation will reach its final steps in August. Topics : Poetic politics In Ireland, poetry and politics have long been intertwined.The 1916 uprising which began the path to independence from Britain is often called “The Poet’s Revolution” after the number of artists involved.Now, poetry has become embedded in crisis officialdom — in political speeches and public health messaging, weighing them with a sense of gravitas.Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has replaced his usual understated rhetoric with poetic styling — borrowing heavily from the verse of Heaney.”These words have provided inspiration to many Irish people as we deal with this emergency,” he said in an April address to the nation.”They remind us that we are in this together, we can get through it, and better days will come.”Meanwhile, the work of President Michael D. Higgins — a published poet — has been embedded in adverts by Ireland’s health service imploring the public to “hold firm”.”Historically we’re a very poetic society,” explained Cullen.”People turn to poetry in times of crisis.”center_img Crisis mantras In the opening weeks of the lockdown, Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney’s promise of reward for endurance struck a chord across Ireland.”If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere,” was a message which appeared on handmade banners, scrawled on Dublin walls and multiplied on social media.Taken from an interview with Heaney in 1972, it referred to “The Troubles” over British rule of Northern Ireland which by its end in the late-1990s killed 3,500. In the current health crisis, the quote found new resonance.”It’s like a little meditation, it’s like a little mantra,” said Cullen, Poetry Ireland’s current poet-in-residence.”They give us kind of hope,” she said of such lines.One month into the lockdown, the Irish poet Eavan Boland died.That left fans to reflect on a body of work which also draws on Ireland’s difficult history, while offering solace in the present.Her 1994 poem “This Moment” was shared on social media as a memorial, sparking hope for those in isolation with its depiction of a neighborhood at dusk.”Things are getting ready/to happen/out of sight,” it reads. Remedying loneliness In April, Poetry Ireland partnered with charity Alone which supports solitary older people, many currently “cocooning” from the coronavirus.The elderly in lockdown were invited to request poetry recitals by phone from writers. Testimony from the event reveals the comfort taken by in the exchanges, where Boland’s work was a popular choice.”My aunt got dressed up and made up for the occasion and was completely delighted,” one family member said in feedback to the organization.In Ireland, memorized snippets of such poems can function like secular Bible verses — to be memorized and presented for their enduring wisdom and comfort.”For my mum it was also a complete thrill. Her reader read a fun one and a deeper one which really hits on how my mum is in the world,” the family member added.last_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgNCAA board supports name, image and likeness compensationUNDATED (AP) — The NCAA has announced that its Board of Governors supports a plan that gives athletes the ability to cash in on their names, images and likenesses as never before and without involvement from the association, schools or conferences. Ohio State President and board chairman Michael Drake called it an “unprecedented” move by the NCAA.The next step is for membership to draft legislation by Oct. 30. Plenty of details still need to be worked out, including how to ensure that these sponsorship deals aren’t being used as improper inducements to recruits. A formal vote will be taken by schools at the next convention in January and new rules will go into effect no later than the 2021-22 academic year.NFL-NEWSAP Source: Goodell reduces salary to $0 — Bryan Cox. Jr. has inked a one-year contract with the Bulls after splitting last season between Carolina and Cleveland. Bryan Cox Sr. was a 12-year NFL linebacker and best known in Buffalo for antagonizing the Bills and their fans during his five seasons with the Dolphins.— The Colts now have two kickers under contract for next season while the NFL’s career scoring leader, Adam Vinatieri, remains a free agent. Indianapolis signed Rodrigo Blankenship to join fellow kicker Chase McLaughlin.— Former Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith has been arrested on a charge of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. The 29-year-old Smith was booked into the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Jail Wednesday and was being held on a $50,003 bond. No details or police report was immediately available.— The NFL has renewed its streaming deal with Amazon for Thursday night games for three years. Amazon Prime Video and Twitch also will have exclusive streaming rights to one additional regular-season game in 2020. Amazon Prime Video and Twitch will stream 11 Thursday night games broadcast by Fox, giving access to more than 150 million paid Prime members.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NBA Associated Press Verge turning proUNDATED (AP) — The list of underclassmen interested in the upcoming NBA draft continues to swell.Alonzo Verge Jr. has become the third Arizona State player to declare for the draft. The junior guard joined Remy Martin and Romello White among the 205 underclassmen so far on the league’s official list. Players have until June 3 to remove their names from the June 25 draft.Verge played 28 games and made nine starts for the Sun Devils last season, averaging 14.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists.Also declaring Wednesday were Utah sophomore guard Timmy Allen, Creighton forward Damien Jefferson and Southern California guard Elijah Weaver. The 6-foot-6 Allen earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors from the AP after averaging 17.3 points, 7.3 boards and 3.0 assists for the Utes last season. Leading plan for NHL return includes empty rinksUNDATED (AP) — The leading plan for hockey coming back this summer involves playing at a few empty NHL arenas to finish the season and award the Stanley Cup.Unknowns about the coronavirus have kept the league working on multiple scenarios. A person familiar with discussions tells The Associated Press the most aggressive timetable would have players returning to their home rinks as early as May 15, followed by a training camp in June. The regular season, featuring some if not all 31 teams would then begin in July, with the Cup awarded in September.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Several Major League Baseball teams have announced ticket refund policies for games not played through May because of the virus outbreak. The Cleveland Indians have offered a 10% bonus credit for fans who want to apply what they’ve paid to future games. The Boston Red Sox extended a similar bonus credit to season ticket holders. Spring training was suspended on March 12 and the regular season was delayed from its scheduled March 26 start because of the new coronavirus pandemic. A revised schedule has not been announced. MLB is exploring many options to play this year if it’s deemed safe. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-HALL OF FAME-POSTPONEMENTBaseball Hall pushes back 2020 induction ceremonyUNDATED (AP) — Derek Jeter was a first-ballot Hall of Famer a few months ago, but he’ll have to wait an extra year to be inducted at Cooperstown. UNDATED (AP) — Oregon women’s basketball star Sabrina Ionescu and Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee shared the Sullivan Award as the country’s top amateur athlete.Ionescu swept every major women’s basketball award, including being a unanimous choice as the AP player of the year. She had an NCAA-record 26 career triple-doubles and was the first NCAA player – men’s or women’s – to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.Lee was 18-0 for the Hawkeyes this year as a junior before the season was stopped. The 125-pounder won NCAA titles his first two seasons.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 UNDATED (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reduced his salary to zero, according to a person familiar with the move. The person told The Associated Press that Goodell voluntarily had his salary reduced this month. He makes upward of $30 million a year from salaries and bonuses.Other NFL employees will be taking pay cuts or furloughs due to the coronavirus pandemic.The league is implementing tiered reductions in base salary, beginning with the pay period ending May 22. The reduction will be 5% for workers up to the manager’s level, 7% for directors, 10% for vice presidents, 12% for senior vice presidents, and 15% for executive vice presidents.In a memo sent to league office staffers, Goodell also said no employee earning a base salary of less than $100,000 will be affected by these reductions, and no employee’s salary will be reduced below $100,000 by the reductions.In other NFL news: — Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland faces a total of five charges, including resisting arrest and drug possession, after he was seen smoking marijuana in South Carolina. A York County sheriff’s deputy drew his gun on Breeland, who is also charged with resisting arrest. He was released on $2,362.50 bond after spending more than nine hours in jail. He had an interception and a team-high seven tackles in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over San Francisco in February.— Former Packers quarterback Brett Favre (fahrv) says Aaron Rodgers was surprised by Green Bay’s decision to draft a quarterback in the first round. Favre said Wednesday on “The Rich Eisen Show” that he had spoken with Rodgers since the Packers traded up four spots in the first round to take Utah State’s Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick in the draft Thursday. Rodgers has four years remaining on his contract, but Favre also told Eisen that “my gut tells me” the two-time MVP won’t finish his career in Green Bay.— The Falcons say they are taking a “wait-and-see approach” with defensive end Takk McKinley’s future with the team. For now, the Falcons say they are declining their fifth-year option with McKinley for 2021. McKinley, a first-round pick in 2017, has 16 1/2 sacks through three seasons.— The Ravens have exercised the fifth-year option on All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey, keeping him under contract through 2021. Humphrey was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2019 after a season in which he reached career highs with 65 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.— The Cowboys have agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Daryl Worley after grabbing two corners in last week’s draft. Worley spent the past two seasons with the Oakland Raiders after playing his first two NFL seasons with Carolina. Update on the latest in sports: — The Tampa Bay Rays are the first Major League Baseball team known to plan furloughs of some full-time employees because of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to a person familiar with the decision who told The Associated Press they temporary cost-cutting measures will take effect on Saturday.— The LPGA Tour is pushing back the restart of its season at least another month. The target now is a tournament in Michigan on July 15-18, and that depends on whether it’s safe to return. The tour was hopeful of resuming June 19-21 in Arkansas. Commissioner Mike Whan says it’s not about being the first sport to be back but being safe. And he says the next three events on the new schedule — in Michigan, Ohio and New Jersey — will only be played if the coronavirus situation allows for it. The season-ending event in Florida would end on Dec. 20.— International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says the future of sports after the coronavirus pandemic might mean fewer international events. In a letter to Olympic officials and athletes worldwide, Bach says “the current health crisis will lead to a long and deep economic crisis” which will affect sports. He says “governments must include sport in their economic support programs” so it can be part of a worldwide recovery.— The head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics says he disagrees with suggestions by some scientists and doctors that a vaccine for COVID-19 is needed to hold the games. John Coates says the advice from the World Health Organization is to continue to plan for the 2021 Olympics, and he says, “that is what we’re doing.” The president of the Japan Medical Association president said Tuesday that it would only be possible for the Olympics to go ahead in July 2021 if the infections were under control, not only in Japan, but globally.— Switzerland’s federal government says professional sports teams can resume training on May 11, with a view to playing games in empty stadiums four weeks later. The government is set to make a final decision on May 27 as to whether games can resume in June. The Hall of Fame has announced that it has canceled the July 26 induction ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the class will be included with any additional new choices at next year’s induction festivities.Jeter’s class includes outfielder Larry Walker and catcher Ted Simmons, along with former union head Marvin Miller.A record crowd of over 70,000 had been expected this summer at the small town in upstate New York to honor Jeter, the former Yankees captain who came within one vote of unanimous election in January.This will be the first year without an induction ceremony since 1960.NCAA-COMPENSATING ATHLETES — Italy’s sports minister says it is increasingly unlikely the soccer season will resume. He says even though professional sports teams have been given the go-ahead to resume training on May 18, “resuming training absolutely does not mean resuming the season.” The French government called off the season in that country Tuesday.— UEFA’s (yoo-AY’-fahz) leading medical official at the Union of European Football Associations says soccer competitions should be able to resume this season. Tim Meyer says all soccer organizations planning for resumptions need to produce “comprehensive protocols dictating sanitary and operational conditions” to ensure the health of those involved in the games is protected. Meyer says “it is definitely possible to plan the restart of competitions suspended during the 2019-20 season” under these conditions and if local legislation is respected.— Serena and Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova are scheduled to compete in a video game tennis tournament for charity called the “Stay at Home Slam.” The IMG agency says Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori (kay nee-shee-KOHR’-ee) are also participating Sunday. Participants will each pick a charity to receive a $25,000 donation and the winner will choose who gets an additional $1 million donation.COLLEGE SPORTS-SULLIVAN AWARDIonescu, Lee share Sullivan NHL-RED WINGS MOVESRed Wings sign high-scoring SwedeUNDATED (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings have signed left wing Mathias Brome to a one-year contract, adding one of the leading scorers from the Swedish Hockey League last season.The 25-year-old Brome had a career-high 43 points last season, leading Orebro HK with 17 goals and 26 assists. Brome averaged 33 points over three seasons in the SHL.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS April 29, 2020last_img read more

Teenage internationals plan US college careers

first_img Four of England’s leading young golfers will be heading to the USA this summer to take up places at American universities.The teenage internationals who will continue their studies while developing their golf are: Eloise Healey of Lancashire (pictured top), Matty Lamb of Northumberland, Jamie Li of Somerset and Rhys Nevin-Wharton of CheshireDerek Hughes, the England Golf boys’ manager, commented: “I am so pleased to see that these players will be continuing in higher education as well as progressing their golf. I know they are looking forward to following the footsteps of the many England Golf players who have been successful in college golf.”Among those they follow are world number four Bronte Law (Bramhall), a student and four-time winner at UCLA. Internationals Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough/Florida International) and Tomasz Anderson (Brocket Hall/Jacksonville State), who is now a professional, both have seven college wins; while Ben Taylor (Walton Heath) holed the winning putt to seal Louisiana State’s victory in last year’s NCAA Championship.Here, the teenagers talk about their reasons for studying in the USA:Eloise Healey, 18, of West Lancashire Golf Club was in the 2015 England team which won the girls’ Home Internationals for the eighth successive time. She will take up a place at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.She said: “It is a great opportunity to continue to develop my golf and compete at a high level, especially during the winter months. Having seen many older players go down this route, it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do. I hope to rise to the challenge of college tournaments and achieve successful results as well as experience from competing on a variety of courses.“Academically, I’m aiming for a degree in maths or physics and I think that university in the USA will provide the support to help me to balance this alongside my golf.“I’m extremely grateful for all the support I’ve received from England Golf which has helped to develop my game and contributed towards me gaining this scholarship. I’m really looking forward to representing my university and country over the next few years alongside a great team, as well as gaining life experiences and independence.”Matty Lamb, 17, of Hexham Golf Club secured a string of high finishes in 2015 events, including fourth place in the Peter McEvoy Trophy. He has signed for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.“College golf will give me access to world class golfing facilities and courses and the opportunity to play against some of the best amateur and college players in the world – week in, week out. Golf is generally an individual sport but I’m looking forward to the team aspects of college golf and at the end of the four years I hope I’ll be ready to be a professional golfer.“My mentor and coach is Andy Paisley whose brother, Chris, played college golf and is now on the European Tour – and has retained his card three out of the last four years.  I’ve spent a lot of time with Chris and have been inspired by him – particularly by his work ethic and how he handles himself on tour.  If I can work as hard as Chris I could be playing against him in future years!“College will also provide me with the opportunity to gain a valuable academic qualification.  I haven’t chosen a major yet – but it will be something to complement my aspirations as a golfer.”Jamie Li, 18, of Bath Golf Club won the 2015 Telegraph BMW Junior Championship. He is joining Florida State University.“I finished my A Levels in August 2015 but decided to take a year off before returning to education, which was definitely the best decision for me. It has allowed me to concentrate on some specific areas with my coach, Ben Lloyd at Cumberwell Park, and mature as both an individual and a golfer.“I was lucky enough to be selected by England Golf, along with Matty, to play in the Junior Players tournament at TPC Sawgrass in 2014. It was a fantastic tournament which was also attended by lots of the college golf coaches and I kept in contact with some as I felt it was important to keep my options open. At that stage I hadn’t really decided whether university in America was for me.“As I approached the end of my A Levels I began to consider the American route and went out to visit two universities in Florida. The coaches at Florida State, Trey Jones and Robert Duck, are fantastic and the facilities and support you get are unbelievable, so for me it wasn’t a difficult decision. I will get to play golf against the greatest young players from all over the world and continue my education and get a degree at the same time.“Harry Ellis* is at Florida State so I have been in contact with him and it’s great to hear how it has been a success for him. I’m really looking forward to joining the squad in August.”*Harry Ellis of Meon Valley in Hampshire became the youngest-ever English amateur champion when he won the title as a 16-year-old in 2012.Rhys Nevin-Wharton, of Sandiway Golf Club, celebrates his 18th birthday this week. He had a series of high finishes in 2015 including third place in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. He is going to the University of Tennessee.“I have decided to go to the US because of the opportunity to progress my golf game and play high-level competitive golf all year round. Also I can gain experience from playing on the different grasses and different conditions over there.“It is also important to me to get a degree so that I have a back-up for my golf career. I’m hoping to win multiple events over there, and I’d like to make an “All American” team.“I was influenced by the number of PGA Tour players that attended US universities and also by older England boy players who have gone over there and been successful.”Image © Leaderboard Photography 21 Jan 2016 Teenage internationals plan US college careers last_img read more