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Stepping onto the court with what he calls 'the young guns' seems to be just what the doctor ordered for tennis instructor Bradley Bain.
Bain can now call himself a certified level two instructor. He is qualified to train players competing on any level in the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Bain is just the second Bahamian to achieve the certification, touring professional player Marvin Rolle being the first. Bain achieved the honor late last month.
"It was an intense course," he said. "At the time I did it there were about 17-18 participants and more than half of them had either played Division I tennis in college or had an extensive ITF junior careers, whether it was through training camps or tournaments. I was going up against kids who had played in the region at very high levels, so from a technical standpoint, they were better than me, or more sound in their technique. I came from basketball, softball, track and field... not that long tennis background, so it was a bit of a challenge for me.
"The teaching part of it was very easy. We had to do group sessions and individual sessions. We had to critique some of the participants in terms of their strengths and weaknesses and what is needed to correct those weaknesses. That stuff came fairly easily because I did quite a bit of that with the United States professional association."
Bain struggled when trying to execute the different strokes used in the game. Unlike his fellow classmates, who he said did it with ease because of their continuous play, he had to come home and practice what he needed before taking the physical test. The exam is divided into two sections, technical and physical.
He said: "The last part was really good, but my stroke could not match up to the other kids. They simply played more tennis than me, so I came back home and worked on my stroke because the exam, it covered a lot. There was a written exam which covered the teaching aspect, focusing on different parts of the game, and then you had the physical aspect where I had to execute the serve, a slice or drop shot. You had to give an individual lesson working with the juniors, showing how they can improve their games, so the course is pretty intense especially since it was held around the Caribbean, but it was the typical international tennis exam. In my experience it is normally five to six parts and you have to pass all of them in order to get the certification. I fell short on the technique part which is the stroke production. I can teach it well but since tennis was not in my background, or I am not the most efficient I had to come back and work on that part. I had to score 3.0 or over and on my first attempt I got a 2.8. I did that part over and I passed."
Now that he has gotten the certification in hand Bain plans to launch an extensive training program catering to all interested in playing tennis. Working closely with the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA), Bain believes that more players will get opportunities to play in more tournaments and will have that basic training where they will be able to advance to finals.
"The thing is, I have gone from very basic beginners. I mean three and four-year-olds all the way to kids who are playing advanced ITF tournaments," he confirmed. "I have that range in terms of coaching. I have not coached any senior athlete or person playing on that level before but I have worked with them in an arena like Davis Cup or even Futures. Hopefully next year we will be moving in that direction where a few of our older players will try to play in Futures events. Having the certification means I can now go from A-Z in terms of coaching."
The BLTA will be launching its complete schedule this weekend. Several high grade tournaments are expected to be listed.
JAMAICA - 'Nuh Normal' the name of Kray-Z's first official music video is set to drop soon, as the artiste gears up for full on promotion of this single. The riddim was released in early 2011 and is still picking up major recognition, rotation and positive reviews.
Participants in the 6th Annual Z-Bandits Summer Youth Program paid a courtesy call on Governor General His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes (pictured centre front row) at Government House, Tuesday, August 9, 2011...
IF fans and followers of the creative mind behind the album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" were not convinced when Kanye West "spit" a freestyle at a Los Angeles show in 2009 saying "I sold my soul to the devil it was a crappy deal" then they might be convinced after viewing the leak of the video of his latest single Monster featuring Miami rapper Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver.
Throughout his musical career West has been in many headlines stirring up debate with his art. But with the Monster video he has hit the ball out of the park as some have already criticised the rapper for the gory mini horror film.
Even speculation that the West might have ...
Freeport, Bahamas - Young Grand Bahamian designer
Courtney A.Z.McIntosh has recently introduced her new collection
LUXE under her line,
Zatthu Inc. The graduate of St, Paul's Methodist College (Class of 07)
has been designing for 4 years and is a graduate of The Art Institute of
Ft Lauderdale, where she acquired an A.S in Fashion Design.
"Luxe is swimwear and
resort wear designed for every woman. I've used vibrant colors and novelty
fabrics such as fine silks and linens that I am sure will make an impact
wherever you go,and besides,
every woman deserves a bit of luxury,
" said McIntosh...
Freeport, Bahamas - Young Grand Bahamian designer Courtney A.Z.McIntosh has recently introduced her new collection LUXE under her line, Zatthu Inc. The graduate of St, Paul's Methodist College (Class of 07) has been designing for 4 years and is a graduate of The Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale, where she acquired an A.S in Fashion Design.
A book entitled Inspirational Sayings and stories from A to Z by Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, president, Bahamas Conference Of Seventh 'day Adventists was presented to Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham on Thursday, September 2 at the office of the Prime Minister, Cable Beach. Pictured from: Prime Minister Ingraham and Dr. Johnson.
It's no easy feat to break through in the world of modeling especially going up against the thousands of beautiful young women who also believe they have the "it factor". Having someone with the experience guide you through the twists and turns that come with that world can make the journey a tad less difficult. With this in mind, Bahamian model Kamela Forbes returned home to share her knowledge, experience and adventures she's had over the years with young Bahamians with aspirations of breaking into the professional world of modeling.
"I know the errors I made in getting myself out there and what I went through personally to get to the level I am at now in my career," said Forbes. "And I want to help other young people get off to a smoother start because what I went through was great as a learning experience but a lot of it I could have avoided had I just known certain things. So, now that I am at a place where I have experienced a lot and I'm comfortable where I am I wanted to share what I know with up and coming models. There is so much potential here in The Bahamas and many of the young ladies just need little advice to get them on the right track."
The five-foot, 10-inch stunner told the 40-plus young models that showed up at the workshop held at the Yodephy Dance and Modeling Studio of the importance of finding the right agent and getting settled before making the leap to move to fashion capitals like New York.
She said she jumped headfirst into her career which has taken her all over the world, from Africa and Europe to the Caribbean, and it was an exhilarating experience, but she said it was one that came with many pitfalls.
"When I got started I wasted a lot of time making wrong turns not knowing what to do and not to do. I spent a lot of time trying to find an agent and made decisions that were not always in my favor at the end of the day."
Do not waste time
She staged the workshop to speak with the young ladies so that they could get on the ball faster than she did and not waste time. She spoke to the participants about how to go about finding an agent, and going to open calls at agencies or submitting pictures online. And she told them it's a myth that money needs to be spent to get into the industry.
Forbes told the young women that it's as easy as going to agencies and showcasing themselves.
But she said they have to prepare themselves for a long period of rejections. She said many agencies will turn them down and maybe not even bother to see what they're about. She told them to be prepared for agency representatives who won't even take the time to explain to them why they rejected them, unless they are one of the lucky few who get snatched up right away.
She also warned the young women to always do their research of agencies, policies and to carefully review any contracts, even if they find an agent.
And she warned them that although it will be exciting when a door opened, she told them it was important not to say yes without knowing what they are getting themselves into.
Forbes, who has done print work for Tiffany & Co., Target, Macy's, Motorola, and donned the high fashions of designers like J. Mendel and Marc Jacobs, told the young women that no matter what happens, whether things are going well or not so good, that it is necessary to have high self-esteem, thick skin and the ability to move on to another option or keep on improving their portfolio and retrying.
"The modeling game is one that depends on persistence and consistency. And breaking down or giving up after the first few slammed doors is not going to make the journey any easier," she said.
The portfolio and composite card
Putting together a good portfolio and making appropriate composite (comp) photo cards she told them are essential for aspiring models. And she said despite popular belief, a good beginner's portfolio does not need to have lots of photos nor is it required that a lot of money be put into developing one. She said since a model never knows what an agency is looking for, a few simple shots are usually good enough. The portfolio should include a headshot, a full body picture, a bathing suit shot and casual wear at least. And if they have an editorial shot, or pictures from a show or modeling experience, she said it would be a good addition as well.
"You don't want to be spending a lot of money on photos that agencies may not even like. You don't want to bottle yourself or turn their mind to viewing you in only one specific way. Let them imagine you as more and just show that you are fresh and young in the shots you do include in your portfolio. Comp cards are also important to have with you and to give out. These cards are a collage of a few of your photos from your portfolio. They will be what the agents or clients may have as a first and last impression of you. You want to be memorable so you should put a little effort into this," she said.
According to Forbes a good signature walk is another high point young models need to focus on. She said it is essential for models with runway potential and even those who aren't going in that direction. She said a good walk may catch the eye of a client or agent and get them in the door. Forbes demonstrated walking to the girls, and evaluated their walks.
She also spoke to the girls about being open-mined to the different kinds of modeling. She said that too many models only think runway, when they should be open to try their hand at editorial, showroom, informal, parts modeling, full-figured modeling, commercial and commercial print. As long as a job does not go against their belief system she encouraged them to try things.
Forbes also told the young women that maintaining their standards was also just as important. She told them that they do not have to lower their standards just for a job, because they will have to live with their decisions.
"If exposing your body is not something your religious or personal beliefs condone then of course nude modeling or certain runway jobs are not for you. In fact there is a recent story about a [lingerie model] turning down her contract because of her beliefs. So, I would say not to just say yes for the money and then feel bad about what you did."
Maintain your standards
The young ladies were told that even though the field is about going beyond their comfort zone, they should still have standards.
Forbes encouraged them to take care of themselves to remain as youthful and healthy for as long as possible. And that they should eat well, get into a good exercise regimen and make good choices about their social life. Forbes said she does not advocate starving oneself or adjusting one's life so dramatically that it becomes unhealthy, but rather living the life of a model in a healthy way.
"Although it is hard to get into the industry and be successful internationally, the benefits are endless. No two days are the same for me. There is traveling, meeting people and experiencing new cultures everywhere. Once you are in the field and have an agent who will work to get you jobs consistently, after a while you build up clout and a good portfolio so you can say which jobs you would prefer over others."
She reminisced about her early days in the business doing small runway jobs that did not actually pay financially. She said she got clothes instead, which was nice, but did not pay the bills. As an established model, she said she was able to demand jobs that paid -- whether it was a magazine spread, cover or billboard.
"When you get to that level, that's when this field gets even more rewarding," she said.
Forbes told the aspiring models to begin their research in the field, and get themselves prepared to take off as soon as possible. Preparation she said was better than moving to the United States and just hoping for luck without a real plan like she did. She said sometimes it does work out with persistence and hard work but other times it can feel like a wasted effort.
To keep up with Kamela Forbes, follow her on twitter.com/@kamelaforbes or visit her online at facebook.com/kamelaforbes.
Born and raised on New Providence, Kamela Forbes attended Yodephy Modeling and Dance Academy at a young age, where she received her basic training in runway, poise and etiquette. She attended St. Anne's High School. Upon completion of high school, Kamela went on to attend The College of The Bahamas on a full scholarship, where she received her associates degree in accounting, and then continued her studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she obtained her bachelor's degree in business administration.
Upon graduation, she was courted by the Ebony Fashion Fair travelling runway show. With her degree under her belt, Kamela headed to Chicago and in 2001 accepted a job to tour with the company. For the next nine months, Kamela participated in 189 runway shows across America, Canada, and The Bahamas. After the tour, Kamela moved to Los Angeles to further her career in modeling. She landed numerous coveted nationwide campaigns and her image has appeared in ads for Motorola, Mitsubishi, Sirius Radio Network, NYX Cosmetics and Wella Hair Care Products. She has also been featured in music videos alongside Grammy-winning recording artists Babyface, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z, and has made television appearances on the hit show "Entourage", "8 Simple Rules" and in the movie "Maid in Manhattan" starring Jennifer Lopez.
Kamela signed contracts with famed designers such as Marc Jacobs, Kaufman Franco, Sue Wong, J. Mendel and Chado Ralph Rucci. She has also been featured in ads for fashion house Lafayette 148 and Wamsutta linens as well as magazines such as Essence, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, and Vanity Fair. She has shot numerous editorial spreads for magazines such as Cosmopolitan, O (Oprah), and Real Simple. She has graced the cover of Africa's Fashion Week magazine and walked the runway for many of South Africa's top designers.
In 2012, Kamela landed the coveted contract as the face of Tiffany & Co., Rubedo Collection and Target.
No one should envy the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, as he chairs a meeting of the G20, the world's richest economies, in June. Delivering success for any group of countries is virtually impossible, and the outcomes that Calderón would like to achieve for developing countries look certain to be promises rather than action.
Undoubtedly, Calderón is sincere in his desire to be the developing countries' advocate an undertaking he gave to the 15-nation Caribbean Community countries and to the Alliance of the Pacific (Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Panama as observer). But, while all appreciate his sincere intentions, few harbor any real hope of his success on their behalf. At the Pacific meeting, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos told Calderón in frank terms: "If nothing changes radically, the G20 meeting will be another failure... To believe that the G20 will resolve our problems, well, I have a lot of doubts."
Santos has good reason for doubts. As is usual, the G8 countries the industrialized nations met in advance of the G20 meeting. The G8 huddled at Camp David in the U.S. under the chairmanship of President Barack Obama. While the declaration from that meeting did not say so, the G8 would have co-ordinated their positions on issues likely to arise at the G20 Summit. Seven of the eight leaders (Russia excluded) may have different priorities and approaches but they are far more allied than other leaders in the G20. By the same token, the developing countries that are members of the G20 have not held a similar co-ordinating caucus.
What is certain is that, despite Calderón's best efforts, the G20 meeting will be dominated by the Eurozone debt crisis in Europe. No more than platitudinous attention will be paid by the G8 leaders (whose economies represent more than half of the world's GDP) to the disastrous effects of climate change on developing countries and on their increasing need for energy and food security, or, indeed, on their debt challenges. Already, promises of $22 billion in agricultural aid to poor countries, made by the G8 in 2009 for a three-year period, have not been kept. The donors have disbursed only 22 percent of the amount.
On a global rise in temperature of 2°C a threshold beyond which catastrophic climate change is likely to occur particularly for small island states the G8 countries at their Camp David meeting did nothing to suggest that they plan to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions or help developing countries to meet the costs of mitigation. With China and India very likely to dig-in their own heels not to cut their industrialization plans, the G20 meeting offers zero prospect of any meaningful news on this front.
On the Eurozone crisis, the Camp David G8 meeting exposed that the leaders disagree on solutions. This led the former prime minister of Britain, Gordon Brown, to state publicly that: "The unpalatable truth is that European countries can no longer rescue themselves from stagnation without international support. What should have happened at the G8 and what must happen at the G20 next month is a coordinated global response that will help Europe decisively address the two elements of the crisis that are being ignored." He identifies the two elements as "crisis in the fundamentals of its banking sector" and "failure of economic growth and competitiveness that affects every country on the continent with the sole exception of Germany".
What is worrying the Eurozone countries now and is also worrying their big trading partners, the U.S., China and Britain is not only the grave uncertainty over Greece (where a debt default has been averted for now) but also that Italy and Spain are on the edge of possible default on their debts. The Europeans have created a $981 billion bailout fund with a lending capacity of $622 billion. But that would be insufficient to deal with a collapse in Spain or Italy. As Brown said, Europe has to look to the wider international community for help.
Yilmaz Akyüz, chief economist at the South Centre points out: "This is the main reason for the recent initiative to double IMF resources." But, if expanded IMF resources have to be used to help bail out Spain and Italy with France not far behind, needy developing countries will be crowded-out from access to emergency and last-resort funds should their own economies continue to slide.
Each country in the G20 has its own domestic interest in what happens in the Eurozone. The U.S. administration is pushing for more spending and less austerity in Europe. As the Euro slides in value and European spending contracts, so rises the cost of U.S. products, adversely affecting exports to Europe and jobs in the U.S. In 2011, China accounted for two-thirds of East Asia's $592 billion worth of shipments to Europe. Now China is suffering from a decline in European purchases, intensifying the evident slowdown in its economy.
On this basis, the U.S. and China will be as focussed at the G20 meeting on the Eurozone as will be the four European nations and the European Commission, all of whom are full members of the G20. The communiqué of the meeting will, undoubtedly, mention global warming, food security and energy security, and promises will surely be made to deliver assistance. But, development issues will not even have the back seat at the meeting despite all the brave efforts of Calderón.
While the developing world should be grateful for his labors, the available evidence suggests that small states especially should not hold their collective breath for this G20 meeting to make a meaningful difference to them. By the same token, developing countries, such as the Caribbean islands that are reliant on Europeans having enough money to travel for tourism, should also support initiatives from the G20 that help to stabilize the Eurozone economies, or their own conditions will worsen.
o Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean diplomat who publishes widely on small states in the global community. Send responses to: www.sirronaldsanders.com. Printed with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.