Thompson, McPherson impress indoors

first_imgWorld Championships 200-metre silver medallist Elaine Thompson looked at home on her indoor debut, twice clocking 7.14 on a day that saw her finishing second to her Dutch rival Dafne Schippers in the 60m at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena yesterday.Just like she did in the 200m final at the World Championships in Beijing last August, Schippers led Thompson to the line with a time of 7.10, with third place going to Ewa Swoboda (Poland), who clocked 7.15 seconds.Thompson’s run makes her the joint fastest Jamaican in the event so far this year along with Simone Facey, who also ran 7.14 earlier this month.Competing in her first individual indoor 400m race, Stephenie-Ann McPherson became the fastest Jamaican this year after posting 52.05 to win ahead of Seren Bundy-Davies (Great Britain), 52.10 and Lisanne De Witte of The Netherlands, 52.49.In the men’s 60m, Julian Forte ran 6.64 for fourth place in the heats before improving in the final to a personal best 6.63 and a sixth-place finish behind winner Sean Safo-Antwi (Great Britain), 6.56. Another Briton, Richard Kilty, the defending World Indoor champion, finished second in 6.57 with third place going to American Mike Rodgers, 6.60.Rusheen McDonald was sixth in the men’s 400m in 49.38 seconds. The win went to Pavel Maslak, 46.02, of the Czech Republic, who finished ahead of USA’s Calvin Smith, 46.45 and Great Britain’s Jarryd Dunn, 46.67.With the IAAF World Indoor Championships fast approaching and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association set to name their team this week, it’s left to be seen who will be available for the March 17-19 championships which takes place in Portland, USA.last_img read more

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Grants ‘cushioned blow of recession’

first_img16 August 2011 Child support grants significantly lessened the impact of poverty in South Africa during the 2008-09 global recession, according to two studies conducted by the government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). The reports, entitled “The Impact of the International Financial Crisis on Child Poverty in South Africa”, and “Vulnerability of Children and Poor Families to the Economic Recession of 2008-2009”, were released on Monday. They were conducted by Unicef along with South Africa’s Department of Social Development and Financial and Fiscal Commission. They found that child grants served as a form of diversified income, making poor households less susceptible to the effects of the recession. “As occurred globally, there was little time for an anti-poverty policy response when the economic recession struck South Africa,” the reports note. “The existence of a well-functioning social protection system before the crisis was therefore very important for protecting the poor. “The studies found the child support grant to be one such viable pre-crisis social protection instruments.”Unemployment insurance also effective While the quantitative study found the child support grant to have a significant ameliorating effect during the recession, the qualitative study showed that unemployment insurance also cushioned many individuals and their families from the effects of the recession. “Affected households, who were not receiving state support, were impacted more negatively by the recession as they were more likely to cut food expenditure, change the type of food eaten in the household and reduce the number of meals eaten per day in the household than those who were receiving state support,” the studies found. The reports recommended raising public awareness of the grants and other services offered by the Department of Social Development, in order to help people know where to go for help. They also noted that the Social Relief of Distress Grant was unknown by most South African households.Over 10-million children benefiting By the end of March this year, 10.3-million South African children were benefiting from the grant, while child foster care benefits were provided to over 512 000 children. The reports recommended that still more be done to reach some two-million eligible children who, mainly to administrative reasons, were not receiving the child support grant. The consolidation of various social protection instruments, including the grants and unemployment insurance, should be accelerated as the combined effects were significant for poverty reduction. “The optimal provision of free public health care should also be addressed to ensure that all poor people, especially children, have access to health care,” the reports recommended. Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said the right to social security was “entrenched in our Constitution, and we have been very conscious that our social assistance programme does provide a basic safety net for millions of South Africans, especially young, aged and the disabled.” Unicef representative Aida Girma commended the government for its social assistance programme, saying state failure to protect the young “can lead to children suffering from malnutrition and absence from school, and the damage can last a lifetime.” Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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