Grahamstown arts take to the streets

first_imgWest African performance artist Gregory da Silva, otherwise known as the Famous Egg Man, on the streets of Grahamstown during the National Festival of the Arts.Khanyi Magubane As the 1820 Settlers Monument perched on a hill overlooking Grahamstown comes into view, the place seems like just another quiet Eastern Cape town. But as our car draws closer, eventually winding into the broad boulevards of High Street in the town centre, the crowds of people, buskers, actors, traders, street performers and more are anything but quiet.They’re all here for the National Festival of the Arts, a 10-day feast of performance that invades this small university town every midwinter. Now in its 35th year, globally the Grahamstown Festival is second in size only to Scotland’s Edinburgh Festival.This year’s festival, held from 2 to 12 July, offers the usual feast of drama, dance, jazz, stand-up comedy, arts and crafts, food galore, student and street theatre.The theme is “10 DAYS OF AMAZ!NG”. But with over 400 stage productions on offer – and average of 40 a day – for me it might be more a case of 10 days of the Amazing Race, from venue to venue. It’s my fourth time at the festival, but even I feel a little overwhelmed.Grahamstown in midwinter is normally a forbiddingly cold place, but this year the weather is surprisingly balmy, so we take a stroll about town to see what’s up.There are street musicians, an artist producing portraits on the pavement, and throngs of young Grahamstown kids, their faces painted white, performing for passersby. There’s also the Famous Egg Man, Gregory da Silva, a performance artist from West Africa with a his signature headdress piled with, you guessed it, eggs.Among the festival-goers, musicians and markets we suddenly see a group of men in orange prison overalls running down the street, with others in police uniforms in pursuit.After the initial shock we realise that, of course, it’s some kind of performance. In fact, it’s guerilla marketing for Prison Codes, a gritty play about life in the Western Cape’s gang-dominated prisons, told from the perspective of the notorious 27s gang. The actors stage their mock-escape through the streets of Grahamstown to get people into their theatre.George Hill, the play’s producer, tells me that festival-goers sometimes don’t realise it’s just advertising. “Some of them were scared for real,” he says. “We hope this will give them a taste of what’s to come in this hard-hitting production.”The Prison Codes cast aren’t the only ones to use these tactics, with this year’s 234-page programme proving there’s a lot of competition. With both the main and fringe festivals boasting strong productions, casts, directors and producers use aggressive marketing campaigns to fight for audiences.Actors wander the streets, dressed in their costumes, handing out flyers and begging everyone to see their plays.One production that isn’t shy to make an impression is YES!, an adult-humour play that explores the quirky side of sex. The cast can be regularly seen parading the streets in nightgowns – the women in pink and the men in blue.A woman in pink approaches me, handing me a business card with the production’s details. Then she looks me in the eye and asks, “What makes a person a better lover?”While my cheeks heat up, another actor puts a small bottle in my hand. It turns out to be something called Afrodité, a gel with apparent libido-enhancing properties, designed specifically for women. A man nearby is given a male version of the product, and seems as unable to conceal his bewildered embarrassment as me. They certainly got our attention.But the performers on the streets aren’t all brazen actors punting their shows. There are plenty of street musicians, such as the marimba band Sibonile. Established in 2006, the band is made up of six men and a woman, all of them from Grahamstown – and all of them blind.Richard Nzwana, the group’s spokesperson, says they experimented with a number of instruments before they hit on the marimba – a large percussion instrument, similar to a xylophone, made of wood.“We started playing the bongo drums and the piano, and then we heard of marimbas, and we decided to try them,” he says.The band taught themselves to play, later securing the services of a marimba coach, who taught them by encrypting Braille on the instruments. Sibonile performed at the festival’s opening ceremony on 1 July, and will be taking part in the annual National Marimba Festival taking place on 25 to 26 July in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.“We are currently the defending champions,” says Nzwana. He’s confident they will walk away with the first prize again this year.Putting together a festival of this size does not come without hefty costs, so it’s run with sponsorship from a number of institutions. The principal sponsor is Standard Bank, which was been supporting the festival for 25 years.Other sponsors include the National Lottery, the National Arts Council, the Eastern Cape Government, with media sponsors The Sunday Independent newspaper and satellite television broadcaster MNet.Other than the main and fringe festivals, there’s also the Spirit Festival, for those with a faith perspective on arts, which includes a gospel music workshop. Then there’s the Children’s Arts Festival, which offers theatre, performances by clowns, and as films made for children.Amazing arts, all of it.Related articles Lennox sings for HIV/Aids Words come to life at book fair South Africa’s rainbow salsa Art for all at Joburg Art Fair SA films scoop awards at Fespaco Useful links National Arts Festival Standard Bank National Lottery National Arts Councillast_img read more

Robots that can save miners’ lives

first_imgThe state-of-the-art mining robot developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is able to assess mines after blasting, to ensure they are safe for mineworkers to enter. (Image: Shamin Chibba) • Tendani Tsedu Communications manager Council for Scientific and Industrial Research +27 12 841 3417 [email protected] • Fifteen amazing facts about MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array• Toilet extraction system is a world first • R1-billion investment in science for people • Massive funding injection for Square Kilometre Array• South African research funding foruth-highest in the world  Shamin ChibbaThe idea of a dozen robots exploring deep in the platinum mines of the North West province to make sure conditions are safe for miners to work is almost out of Isaac Asimov’s Robot novels. But the idea is quickly becoming a reality thanks to a team of South African robotics engineers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).The CSIR’s Mobile Intelligence Autonomous Systems (Mias) group is currently testing robots that can monitor the safety of mines after blasting. This is according to Natasha Govender, Mias’s senior researcher, who hosted a group of journalists from the US, UK and China on Tuesday 25 March at the CSIR offices in Pretoria.Safety in mines is a big issue in South Africa, and robots, Govender said, present the perfect solution. “When they blast in a mine, people can’t go inside until the air settles. So once it is cleared out, then somebody can go. But they have to check if the hanging walls are safe. At the moment that process is done manually, and that can be very dangerous if the rocks are loose.”The Mias team built a robot that can go into the mine after blasting and check the hanging walls – so human beings don’t have to risk injury or even death by entering the area.Ruan de Hart, Mias’s research and development engineer, said most major mining houses, except Anglo American, have not yet considered using robots to assess safety in mines, and may take some time to appreciate the machines’ value. Saving lives was paramount, but the robots would also save the companies millions of rands in work stoppages, and prevent conflict with unions if workers were hurt or killed on the job.He said the hardware for the prototype was imported from the US and could cost as much as R1.5-million. But if demand for the robots increase, production costs would be lower as robotic capabilities would be transferred to a cheaper platform. “When this goes to market the idea is not to use these components.” Once the software for the prototype was perfected, cheaper components could be used for the hardware, reducing costs to about a third and allowing Mias to produce large quantities locally.According to Govender, Mias has relied on government funding since it started in 2009, receiving R15-million a year. With its capabilities built up Mias can now generate its own revenue from external projects. They have already secured contracts with Anglo American and Transnet. The map indicates the amount of ground covered by the search and rescue robot. (Image: Shamin Chibba) How the robot worksThe mine robot is a little like Disney’s WALL-E character. Instead of legs, it has a pair of rotating treads able to move over rough terrain. The bulk of it is made up of a compactor box fitted with a camera, and an arm that can move in seven different directions, or “seven degrees of freedom”.Mias’s main concern is to program the robot with the intelligence to interact with dynamic human environments and operate without human support. Sensory equipment such as lasers and cameras allows the robot to chart its own path and detect obstacles in its way. If it encounters an obstacle, such as a wall, a chair or even a person, it can move around it and continue on its initial path. “If you want the robot to interact in a human environment it needs to be able to see its environment,” said Govender.But if the robot needs assistance, an operator is on hand. Operators can see a 3D rendering of the robot’s environment and, by switching the machine to semi-autonomous mode, can set waymarks and manoeuvre it. The image on screen is created through the robot’s 3D localisation and autonomous mappings tools. “We interpret camera and laser information to tell the robot what’s happening in the world,” said Govender. “If you are a robot, how do you decide where I am in a specific environment and how do I localise myself in a specific map? It’s all about where I am in relation to a 3D map.”The robot is also programmed for path planning with orientation, autonomous stairway detection with movability, and cooperation between multiple robots. It can also be controlled with a tablet computer. Govender said they would soon add gas sensors to the machine to detect the breathability of the air after blasting. A 3D rendering of the mining robot. The robot’s environment is interpreted by using information taken from the camera, laser and 3D localisation technology. (Image: Shamin Chibba) Teaching robots to seeOther than the mining robot, Mias is also working on search and rescue robots, and “mule” robots, unmanned machines that can carry equipment. The mule is able to move around any environment using GPS waymarks or by following a person to a specific point. “It will be able to pick up an image on the back of a shirt and follow the person as he or she walks.” said Govender. “It will then drop off medical supplies or pick up injured people and return to its original point.”The team is currently refining Activision, a program that makes the robot able to recognise a specific object in an environment. Before, for a robot to understand what it was seeing, it would have had to take up to 360 degrees’ worth of pictures. But with Activision it would only need to take two pictures. “We’re actually doing a lot of work in terms of how you actually look for the information to perform a specific task,” said Govender.She illustrated this point with a toaster. If the pictures are taken of the side where the toaster’s handle and heat switch is, the robot will be able to identify it. But from any other angle, it will struggle to determine the object as there are no indicators.The Mias team are also working on improving detection and tracking for Activision by using multiple cameras to track many people. “This will be able to decide when to change the focus from one camera to the other to actually keep track of multiple people while still paying attention to the background,” said Govender. Bringing international PhD skills back to South AfricaBecause Mias is a small group – it has just 22 on its team – it is important for them to collaborate with universities in South Africa and overseas, according to Govender. Researchers wanting to complete their PhDs are allowed to study abroad, particularly at the University of Edinburgh and ETH Zurich in Switzerland. “We have a lot of international PhDs. The idea is we would bring those skills back to South Africa and we would then supervise these students within the robotics field,” she said.Mias also has exchange programmes with the University of Zurich, ETH’s Computer Vision Lab and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. “We’re trying to make use of all these programmes to improve the skills of the people within our group as quickly as possible.”Expertise at Mias is in for another boost, with the Department of Science and Technology’s recent announcement of R10.5-million in scholarship funds for postgraduate students looking to complete their master’s degrees and PhDs in the robotics field.last_img read more

Sapolsky’s Zen Zebras: The Dangers of the Chronically Active Stress Response

first_imgBy: David Lee Sexton, Jr. & Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFTPixabay[Stress by geralt, 2017, CC0]What is the Stress Response?There is research supporting a relationship between the presence of chronic psychological stress and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and resulting death (Verkuil, Brosschot, Gebhardt, and Thayer, 2010).…Stressed yet?Every day, stressors trigger the release of stress hormones that execute physiological changes within the body; the result is the “fight or flight” response, which prepares one to fight or flee from an impending danger. While useful for early humans who would have needed the hormonal boosts to survive, modern day humans now have a tendency to activate the stress response when dealing with more mundane, less dangerous stressors (“Understanding the Stress Response”, 2016).How Does This Impact Health?Researchers have not only examined the immediate physiological changes associated with the stress response, but also the effects of chronic stress. The stress response is meant to provide an individual with a brief hormonal change conducive to surviving a brief, temporary threat. Thus, chronic activation of the stress response can result in several negative health outcomes, including: high blood pressure; increased risk of anxiety, depression, and substance-abuse due to chemical changes in the brain; and increased risk of obesity, through increased proclivity to overeat or decreased ability to sleep and initiative to exercise (“Understanding the Stress Response”, 2016).So, What’s The Deal With Zebras?Pixabay[Zebra by Alexas_Fotos on March 4, 2016, CC0]Robert Sapolsky (1998) provides an engaging, comprehensive, and insightful overview of stress-related disease in his book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping. Sapolsky insightfully points out that infectious disease is no longer the issue it once was in many parts of the world; instead, humankind is becoming more susceptible to diseases related to chronic stress and increased life expectancy, such as cardiovascular disease related to poor diet. He goes on to say: “Our current patterns of disease would be unrecognizable to our great-grandparents or, for that matter, to most mammals. Put succinctly, we get different diseases and are likely to die in different ways from most of our ancestors (or from most humans currently living in the less privileged areas of this planet). Our nights are filled with worries about a different class of diseases; we are now living well enough and long enough to slowly fall apart.” (Sapolsky, 1998, pp. 2)Throughout the rest of his book, Sapolsky examines the mechanisms of stress, its relation to disease, and coping strategies that can lessen the toll stress-related disease takes on people with varying individual differences. He maintains that, while much of the information presented within may be alarming, there is hope and we can fight back against the ravages of stress. So, take a deep breath and channel your inner-zebra.ReferencesSapolsky, R. M. (1998). Why zebra’s don’t get ulcers: An updated guide to stress, stress-related diseases, and coping. (N. P.): W. H. Freeman and Co.Understanding the stress response: Chronic activation of this survival mechanism impairs health. (2016, March 18). Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School. Retrieved from, B., Brosschot, J. F., Gebhardt, W. A., & Thayer, J. F. (2010). When worries make you sick: A review of preservative cognition, the default stress response, and somatic health. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 1(1), 87-118. doi: 10.5127/jep.009110This blog was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT and David Lee Sexton, Jr, members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

The Technology Behind Brain Farm’s Breathtaking Camerawork

first_imgBrain Farm Digital Cinema is a production company known for its work in advertisement, television, and most of all, action sports documentaries. Let’s take a look at some of the revolutionary technology they have worked with over the years.Top image via Scott SerfasIf you aren’t familiar with Brain Farm themselves, you have still likely come across their extensive work, even if just one of their many commercials. They are most well-known for their action sport films, namely That’s It, That’s All, followed by The Art of Flight, We Are Blood, and View From a Blue Moon. Instant classics of their own respective sports, these films all share the signature visual characteristics Brain Farm has become known for: dynamic aerial footage of exotic landscapes juxtaposed against tight, immersive tracking shots of high-speed sports action. If you haven’t watched any of these yet, they are certainly worth your time, regardless of your interest in their subject matter.Their success with these difficult visual techniques is largely attributable to their consistent involvement in the development of vehicular camera technology over the years. Simultaneously achieving shots of such epic scope and organic movement requires not only expertise, but also some of the most sophisticated camera gear on the market. Without further ado, welcome to the stunning world of Brain Farm.While Brain Farm has produced films under multiple directors, all of their projects have highlighted the possibilities of shooting with a helicopter, with it being their primary tool to capture action from a new perspective. This has become less inherently impressive over the past decade, as many Hollywood movies have showcased the technology since the advent of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but Brain Farm was actually among the first to utilize what has become their weapon of choice: the Cineflex camera control and stabilization system.Photo via WikipediaPremiering with the epics The Lord of the Rings and Planet Earth, Cineflex’s state-of-the-art gimbals, boasting variations of the ARRI ALEXA, brought forth unprecedented possibilities of what could be achieved with a camera. Brain Farm founder Curt Morgan drew inspiration from these stunning films and took the new tech to the world of extreme sports — namely snowboarding, the focus of Morgan’s directing experience. After the success of That’s It, That’s All, the start-up production company that Morgan and co-founder Travis Rice built drew significant attention, leading to years of quality content.The crew behind these visceral productions has undoubtedly grown accustomed to shooting in adverse (even dangerous) environments, but familiarity has hardly made their work easy. This brief behind-the-scenes look into Convergence shows how much time and planning even a single shot can take when there are so many elements at play.National Geographic eventually sought out and employed Brain Farm for a few projects, such as the series Wild Yellowstone. Here they further demonstrate the flexibility of the Cineflex system by mounting it to a large truck. With flawless stabilization and a dedicated control console, the crew shows the process of locating wildlife and capturing a rather rare bison fight with captivating camera movement.With their extensive involvement in aerial cinematography, it was inevitable that Brain Farm would experiment with the recent upsurge of drone technology. While the development and combination of new technologies is a product of their various manufacturers and not Brain Farm themselves, the progressive production company is often the motivating factor in combining tools and driving said manufacturers to push their limitations.In most situations, shooting from a helicopter is optimal, but budgetary, spatial, and environmental constraints can often make smaller alternatives preferable.Their venture into drone technology began as early as 2012, with the retrofitting of a Cineflex system to a small military-grade drone helicopter. This new toy removed the dangers of piloting a manned helicopter in risky weather conditions, and was simply more portable than its full-sized counterparts. This emphasizes the fact that even the best tools available have their limits, and you can’t rely on hardware to produce quality results.Brain Farm is also known for their flashy slow-motion sequences, made possible by high frame rate cameras such as the Phantom series. They eventually became the first to mount a Phantom (specifically, the Phantom Flex4K, their flagship model) to a drone, allowing them to capture slow-motion aerial footage with a compact and nimble device.Curt Morgan and his crew try to stay on the forefront of all cinematic technology, including less exciting tools such as lights. Many filmmakers are beginning to utilize LED lighting, as it has finally become effective enough to justify its use. With adjustable color temperature, low power consumption, extended bulb life, and a simpler setup process, modern LEDs have a lot to offer. Here, legendary action sports director Ty Evans elaborates on the advantages of replacing his traditional lighting setups with LEDs for the production of this year’s We Are Blood.Through both the development of his own production company, and his constant drive to push what is technologically possible in the action sports genre, Curt Morgan is a shining example of systematically stripping oneself of all limitations to express a vision. His work as producer, director, and entrepreneur is an inspiration to me, and hopefully it can be to you as well. With that, we’ll end on this fantastic mini-doc about Curt’s career thus far.Who do you find pushes the envelope of digital cinema? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

It’s Not the Tools or Technology

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Two runners step up the starting line.The first runner is wearing the most technologically advanced, aerodynamic running gear ever created. It reduces drag by 14% as compared with any other fabric used to make running clothes. It is the best and most expensive running gear available.The second runner is wearing the cheapest, least aerodynamic sweat suit available. It is very old and worn, and purchased it at a retailer because of its low price. It’s embarrassing.The first runner is wearing the newest shoes made by the finest running shoe manufacturer on Earth. Not only do they weigh less than any other shoe by the widest of margins, they also do more to protect the runners feet and legs from fatigue. The best runners run longer and faster in these shoes.The second runner is wearing an ordinary pair of cheap running shoes. They are nowhere near as light as the first runner’s shoes, nor do they do anything to protect this runner’s feet or legs from fatigue. There is no evidence that any runner is faster in these shoes, and there is good reason to believe the heavier weight reduces performance.The first runner has a sports drink specifically designed to provide everything a runner needs to improve their performance, including the electrolytes and other minerals that have proven under rigorous, scientific study to improve performance against any other liquid one might consume while running.The second runner has water. Not even bottled water. The water this runner intends to drink is tap water from their kitchen sink.The first runner is wearing the best running watch and heart rate monitor, allowing this runner to manage their heart rate and their split times, and a host of other measurements important to winning a race. This runner looks like a world champion.The second runners has no watch or heart rate monitor, and is wearing wrist bands and a head band that makes them look like something straight out of 1974.Which runner wins the race?How You LoseThe first runner, the one with all the professional gear, is poorly trained, has incredibly bad form and, despite the appearances to the contrary, isn’t a very experienced or fast runner. This runner has never done the work it takes to run this race—or any like it.The second runner, despite their lack of gear and their appearance, is well-trained, has perfect form, has years of experiencing racing, and is very fast over long distances, having done all the work necessary to have achieved this state.It’s Not the GearThere is no gear or tool available to you that will allow you make up for a lack of the fundamentals of success necessary in any human endeavor. Trying to replace the mindset and skill sets with the accoutrements is a fool’s errand. Worse still, avoiding doing the work necessary to build the competencies required of you is not only negligent, it’s how you push the results you want further away from you into a future that cannot arrive without you doing what is necessary to bring it to life.last_img read more

Narvasa remains defiant: I’m fighting for principle

first_imgRead Next “I hope people will understand the principle behind it. I’m fighting for the office of the Commissioner because nobody, no matter how powerful they are, should be able to frighten it, scare it, or threaten it,” he said in an emergency press conference Thursday at PBA Office in Libis.READ: PBA board opts not to renew Narvasa’s term as commissionerFEATURED 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 shutoutGovernors from seven teams, namely TNT, NLEX, Meralco, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Phoenix, and Blackwater, held a special board meeting earlier in the day and agreed to no longer renew the term of Narvasa, saying they have already lost confidence on his leadership over his controversial decisions during his two-year tenure, with the last straw being the approval of the controversial San Miguel-Kia trade involving top overall selection Christian Standhardinger.Meanwhile, Narvasa  has the support of five teams — San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, GlobalPort, and Kia, with all five conjuring a statement saying that the move to take him out of his commissionership is unlawful based on PBA by-laws. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Standing his ground, the 55-year-old executive said that he has no qualms relinquishing his post but argued that grounds for his expulsion must be done the right way.READ: SMC group stands by Narvasa, questions move by ‘renegade’ PBA governors“I’m willing to resign. There’s no problem with that. But what I’m saying is that procedures have to be followed and the reasons have to be clear. They have to know what the loss of confidence is constituted, and what the procedure is. It could have been discussed within the Board. Why did they have to go through all of this exercise and cause public shame?” he said.“What is it that we’re fighting for? Why am I still here? It’s a matter of principle. I’ve always been a stickler for rules, and all we’re asking is we want to find out if were the proper issues followed? If they were, then they will also have no problem in not renewing or voting to end my term. They say that you serve at the pleasure of the board, and the only time we can take you out is if we have two-thirds of the vote. They say that I only have one year in my term. They should have done it in the proper forum, which is inside the boardroom. As long as they follow the procedures and the rules, we’re ok. We’re not fighting against them. We’re fighting for the principle that the rule has to be followed.”Narvasa then urged the Board to convene as one unit and come up with a solid decision with regard to his post, saying that he only wants the league rules to be observed.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort LATEST STORIES View comments Chito Narvasa. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAs of now, Chito Narvasa is still the commissioner of the PBA.The beleaguered executive said that he will fight for his post amid calls for his ouster from seven members of the Board of Governors.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ “Let’s be a league of rules, not of men,” he said. “If it’s for principle, then I must stay. I hope that the Board will be able to determine really what is the right procedure. They should come up with the right decision.”The embattled executive is also hoping to find a compromise before the 43rd season of the PBA opens on December 17.“I will not abandon the PBA. We have a long, long time before the opening, so we will see how everything will work out. I’m hoping and praying that you will understand. I’m willing to sacrifice for the PBA as long as all these things are in place,” he said. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding 2 Rings! Astros’ Carlos Correa makes post-title proposal US Defense chief says alliance with Philippines remains strong PLAY LIST 02:57US Defense chief says alliance with Philippines remains strong00:50Trending Articles02:50Philippines reaffirms commitment to United Nations01:37Protesters 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. last_img read more

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) is proud to affirm its commitment to ending racism on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. TFA has joined forces with some of Australia’s leading businesses, sporting bodies and NGO’s to support the “Racism. It stops with me” campaign, which is being led by the Australian Human Rights Commission. The campaign emphasises the importance of taking a stand against racism whenever it happens.One in seven Australians said they had experienced discrimination because of their colour or background in 2011, a figure that has been increasing steadily in recent years.TFA Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire, says TFA is full of support for the cause. “As a sport we are proud of our inclusive approach to participation. Diversity is one of our core values and we embrace all people that choose to play the sport of Touch Football.”Looking at our demographics at all levels, it is very clear that we are a leader in this area.”The International Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1966, to coincide with the date in 1960 when police killed 69 people in Sharpeville, South Africa at a peaceful protest against apartheid laws. The theme for the International Day in 2013 is “Racism and Sport”.For more information about the ‘Racism: It Stops with Me’ campaign, or to find a range of anti-racism resources, go to: Or follow the campaign on Twitter @ItStopsWithMe. Related LinksRacism. It Stops With Melast_img read more