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The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) revealed today the list of referees set to officiate the matches of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"We are proud to have gathered such an elite group of referees to oversee the integrity of every game during Gold Cup," said Enrique Sanz, General Secretary of CONCACAF. "We look forward to seeing the best the region has to offer on the field, both players and match officials during this tournament...
Confederation commits to development, sets the foundation for future education programs.
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) launched its first D License coaching course today in Mexico City, serving to reinforce the governing body's vision and commitment to education, so that the standard of the game can be raised throughout the region...
THE LOVE Yourself and Your Health campaign will continue for its second year - renewing a commitment to "encourage, empower, and ignite" a cultural shift in Bahamian people towards healthy living.
In addition to giveaways, demos and recipes, music, and discounts on health services and veggie food, organisers have also added a Green Smoothie Challenge which will afford participants an opportunity to win a three-month healthy living assistance package for 2011.
The Love Yourself Wellness Package will include a health assessment, one meal per day, green smoothies, natural health and beauty products and a host of health services such as, massage therapy, physical training, acupuncture, and chiro ...
Your feet bear the brunt of your daily working life. The average person walks the equivalent of five times around the earth in a lifetime and each step can exert up to two times your body weight in ground reactive forces through your lower limbs. Prolonged standing, walking, operating machinery, high heels, carrying heavy objects and slippery surfaces are just some of the dangers the feet are exposed to in the workplace.
Every year, it is estimated that 2 million sick days are lost due to complaints and disorders in the lower limbs, however, many of these sick days can be prevented. Studies show that about 80 percent of adults will experience some foot complaints during their lifetime. This can vary from aches and pains, swelling, corns, calluses, injuries, fungal infections, varicose veins and much more. These common foot problems occur both on and off the job. However, there is no doubt that some work related factors can lead to, or aggravate foot problems, especially jobs that require long periods of standing or that put the feet at risk.
It is recommended that workers spend no more than 30 percent of their working day standing, however there are many jobs where workers stand for longer periods. Workers who are required to spend too much time on their feet are at increased risk of pain and discomfort around their feet, legs, hips and lower back. Standing for long hours, day after day, not only tires the worker's feet but can also cause permanent damage. Continuous standing can cause the joints and bones of the feet to become misaligned causing flat feet, inflammation that can later lead to arthritis, and damage to the veins in the legs leading to pain, swelling, varicose veins and even ulcers. Prolonged standing can damage joints, causing swelling of the legs, and result in a range of problems for the feet, including bunions and corns and heel spurs.
Work-site accidents also result in a significant number of injuries to the feet and lower legs including sprains, strains and fractures. Foot injuries account for 15 to 20 percent of all disabling injuries. While not all of these are the result of work activities, a large proportion occur due to the conditions feet are exposed to at work.
Our feet are exposed to many dangers at work and like every other danger, the risk can be avoided or removed if employees and employers take simple straightforward steps to protect the feet at work.
o Wear the right shoes for work: Workers should wear the shoes that are appropriate to their occupation, working environment, and foot type. Improper footwear can cause or aggravate existing foot problems. Footwear that fits poorly or is in need of repair also contributes to foot discomfort. Prolonged standing, hard flooring and inappropriate footwear are very common working conditions. If safety or special footwear is required for the job (e.g. steel toe boots) employers must ensure that employees have the correct shoes and are not allowed to work without them. In many work-sites such equipment are supplied by the employer at no cost to the worker.
High heels are the favorite work footwear for many women but should not be. They throw the body weight onto the balls of the feet, which may lead to calluses, painful bunions, corns, neuromas and back pains. The position of the foot in narrow width high heels can cause the ankle to become unstable, resulting in ankle sprains. Wearing high-heels for long periods may cause the calf muscles to become shortened and tight over time. The body compensates for this tightness in the calf-muscles by lowering the arch of the foot, or by affecting the knee, hip or back. Backless (sling back) shoes force your toes to claw as you walk, straining the muscles if worn over a long period. To prevent this, keep heel heights to about two inches for everyday use.
Calf stretches help to keep the feet supple and maintain a good range of motion to the ankle joint. Vary your heel heights from day to day, one day wearing low heels, and the next day slightly higher heels. Wearing shoes with a strap or lace over the instep is better than slip-ons because they will improve the fit and help stop your foot from sliding forward in your shoes.
Comfortable, well-structured, sensible and properly fitted footwear is essential to maintain good foot health and prevent minor foot ailments and injuries at work. Proper footwear is important, not only for foot comfort but also for one's general well-being.
o Choose the best shoes for work: It is important to ensure that the safety shoe is appropriate for the task for which it is intended. Upper should be made from natural materials such as leather or a breathable man-made fabric. The toe box area should be rounded or squared and deep enough to prevent rubbing, allowing the toes to wriggle. Insoles can be inserted to provide padding and absorption. The heel should fit snugly on the foot, stopping the heel from slipping out of the shoe. The heel should have a broad base and be no higher than two inches if they are worn for a long time. The sole should be strong and flexible with shock absorption to cushion the jolts of walking on hard surfaces. Laces, buckles or velcro should be used to secure the foot in the shoe.
o Foot safe work sites: In addition to the footwear, the work surfaces also have an impact on the feet at work. Hard, unyielding floors like concrete are the least comfortable surfaces to work on. Working on a hard floor has the impact of a hammer, pounding the heel at every step. Slippery floors are hazardous, resulting in slips and falls, ankle sprains or even broken bones. Employers should make sure that floors are kept clean and dry and non-skid floors should be installed.
Standing or working on a hard, unyielding floor can cause a lot of discomfort. Wood, cork, carpeting, or rubber -- anything that provides some flexibility -- is gentler on workers' feet. Footwear with thick, insulating soles and shock-absorbing insoles can alleviate discomfort. Special anti-slip flooring or matting can reduce slipping accidents.
o Prevent injuries at work: Most occupations have different footwear requirements, but in almost all of them, there is a need for well-fitting, supportive shoes and guidelines for safe floor surfaces. Such guidelines should be followed at all times to prevent injuries in the work place. Being physically fit can also prevent injury to your feet at work. To keep the feet healthy, it is necessary to compensate for long standing or working in a stationary position by performing simple exercises that can be performed at work. They include contracting and relaxing the calf muscles, and flexing and straightening the ankles and knees.
Remember, foot pain is not normal, it is an indication that something is wrong. If you have foot pain, see a podiatrist for a complete exam and treatment.
For more information or to see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre Rosetta Street 325-2996, Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane 394-5820 or email at email@example.com or visit www.apma.org.
Calling it "the big missing link", the head of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) said it is "incumbent" on the organization to find ways to move ahead with the creation of a new educational institution aimed at addressing the "crisis" represented by the country's growing skills gap.
Robert Myers, chairman of the BCCEC, said he views it as critical that the chamber helps to contribute to making some of the 55 percent or more of the adult population, which he says data suggests is "unfit for corporate employment that requires good skills and continued job training" more productive.
Seeking to turn things around, Myers pointed to a new proposed initiative - the "Chamber Campus" - which is currently in the conceptual phase.
The private sector advocacy organization is currently looking for funding to design the administrative, operational and physical aspects of the campus concept. From the completion of that phase it would drive a feasibility study, business plan and determine investment opportunities.
Myers said that this, in conjunction with changes to the country's immigration policy, is what is urgently needed to begin to turn around the country's growth prospects.
In particular, the chairman said a more relaxed immigration policy, which would reduce the high cost to businesses of accessing skilled middle and upper management-level employees where they do not exist, while encouraging the entrance of new job creators into the economy, is key.
At the same time, the
chairman suggested the government must do more to implement successful strategies to deter the growth of the numbers of low-skilled workers in the economy.
Establishing the Chamber Campus is about creating "practical applications that allow business to grow and GDP to improve". The chairman said he would like to see the campus be "as big as we can afford".
"The idea is to create more cohesion between business and education by creating a campus with the Chamber of Commerce at the center of it and meeting rooms that are flexible for teaching or meetings. It's a vocational institute that feeds in from the high schools.
"The theory is you have STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs from high schools that then feed into work force or vocational training and certification and incubators, and those guys can either go work in jobs in whatever industries we're pushing or in an incubator with business mentors to help them get moving. It's a concept of investing in the workforce," said Myers.
In a letter to stakeholders, Myers recently wrote that with 3,300 persons entering the job market each year who are semi-literate and numerate, employers are faced with the problem of "not being able to obtain or provide normal levels of upward mobility" to their employees.
This is "seriously hindering and limiting the normal growth and development of businesses" and contributing to an education and wealth gap that is causing "serious breakdowns in society", as evidenced by rising crime.
In an interview with Guardian Business, the chairman called the Chamber Campus "the big missing link" in this regard.
"We're hearing we've got to get GDP growth up, but there's no plan for GDP growth. We've got to grow the economy and the only way we can do that is to improve the work force, to make our people more productive."
Myers commented on the project as data provided by the Department of Statistics in its Socio-Economic Report 2008-2012 revealed the severity of the gender gap in education in The Bahamas.
According to the department, over the five year period between 2007/2008 and 2011/2012, roughly 300 percent more females (1,749 persons) than males (439 persons) graduated in total from the college.
On average, 437 students graduated from the college each year.
Myers said this huge disparity between male and female graduation rates is particularly troublesome, given that while it is seen on a global level that females tend to do better in school than men, this gap often narrows at the college level.
"That clearly doesn't seem to be the case here. I think it's a disturbing number, and there's clearly some work on the part of social services and the government to figure out what's going wrong. It needs to change."
Meanwhile, of those who are studying at the tertiary level abroad, data recently released by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has shown that over 60 percent of them remain abroad.
Myers said he has recently sought to drive home the seriousness of the crisis facing the country in an internal report. Of the 6,000 leaving school each year, only around 1,600 on average are "capable of entering higher education or employment" while the remainder, according to educational data on exam grades, are "semi-literate or numerate".
"Even more disturbing to me and the Chamber Institute and why we say this is a crisis is because you've got an educational gap which is creating a wealth gap and instability and hampering GDP growth. So you've got more than a 2:1 ratio when it comes to those able to move into higher education or middle management or higher income employment than those that are not."
Myers said it is incumbent upon the chamber and supporters not to "allow the status quo to continue to erode the economy".
"The beauty is you've got this interconnection between business, education and industry. The idea is if the private sector is telling the pedagogy what kind of people they want and they design programs around that, there's almost an automatic employment effect," said Myers.
Asked how the Chamber Institution would fit with already existing institutions, such as the Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute, Myers said that given the current levels of appropriately skilled people in the economy, BTVI appears to be "barely scratching the surface" with respect to providing the necessary training.
"You've got a backlog of 30 years of under-educated people. You've got tens of thousands of people who need to learn to become productive; the system has failed them and there's no capacity."
Twenty proud security personnel representing 17 airports in 13 Family Islands received Train the Trainer certification at the closing ceremony of the five-day “Excellence in Screening Techniques Course,” held January 21-25 at the SuperClubs Breezes Resort.
Local coaches have been encouraged to come out and participate in the USATF Coaches Courses, as it is a great opportunity to further their skills in the sport.
The course, which starts today, will be held at Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium instead of the Ministry of Education building. It was reported that more than 100 people have expressed interest and signed up for the course. At the completion, coaches will be awarded with their certifications from the USATF. The course is sanctioned by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) and will be hosted by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Coaches (BAAC).
"We are very excited about the response for the coaches course. Our target was to reach the government schools and see if we can get a program started where the inner-city kids could stay at the schools and start their development from there.
"We are of the opinion that we lose too many kids from the younger kids because there is not enough interest," said Shaun Miller, a member of the BAAC.
"We probably will be looking at doubling the amount of athletes that The Bahamas can produce on the world class in the long run.
"We really want to target the Family Islands. We are a little disappointed that we don't have the funding to bring more coaches, not just teachers, out of the Family Islands. We wanted to target all of the major Family Islands to place coaches in strategic points because I believe that a kid doesn't have to move to Nassau to further his training career in track and field. Hopefully one day we will have more coaches clinics set up on the Family Islands to accomplish that goal."
A week of activities is planned, starting with the distance clinic, scheduled for Monday, November 4 at Fort Charlotte, starting at 4 p.m. On Tuesday, coaches will visit the Bahamas Association of the Physically Disabled, and Wednesday is Coaches Appreciation Day. The Bay Street Mile will take place on Saturday, November 9, followed by a coaches grill-out at Goodman's Bay.
The week will end with a church service at Bahamas Faith Ministries on Sunday.
Name: LaTonia Symonette-Tinker
Industry position: President of The Bayshore Group and executive committee member of the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers.
Education and training: Bachelor of Science degree in marketing management, law degree, diploma in international compliance and anti-money laundering, certified anti-money laundering specialist (CAMS) accreditation, and certified financial crime specialist accreditation (in progress).
Career: Compliance, business and law.
What attracted you to the sector?
My interest in the financial services industry is a direct result of my early exposure to the sector as a summer intern with Scotiabank (Bahamas) in the early 1990s. At that time, I was pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing management with no clear direction of where I wanted to develop my career. Upon completion, I continued my higher education studies in law, in London, England, with the intent of working in offshore financial services, or, what is now called, "international financial services".
I eventually returned home and worked at several offshore financial institutions. Today, I am running my own financial and corporate services business, providing directorship, compliance outsourcing, FATCA training and other corporate services to the international financial sector.
The financial services sector is an ever-changing evolution of complex rules, regulations, structures, products and services with the aim of regulating and managing money. It is a fascinating sector which has evolved from the exchange of goods and services (bartering and trade) to the use of physical monetary instruments, to virtual money (such as Bitcoins). There is never a dull time for career professionals in the financial services sector or for those who regulate it.
How long have you been involved in financial services? What keeps you motivated?
I have been involved in financial services for more than 15 years and I truly love what I do. I am constantly motivated by The Bahamas' resilience through the years, as it responds and adapts to global changes and international regulatory initiatives that change the very fabric of our industry. We are constantly compelled to be innovative with the provision of new products and services while maintaining the integrity of our financial services industry and remaining competitive.
Why do you think you have been successful?
Respect for humankind has always been of great importance to me. We first have to appreciate and respect one another and the role that we all play in this world and in each other's lives. In order for a puzzle to be complete, each part must be in place - no matter how small.
I have never been satisfied with doing a job; it is equally important to me to understand why I am doing that job and the part it plays in the greater scheme of things. This approach has broadened my knowledge and given me an understanding and appreciation of all that I do.
Throughout my professional career, I have been fortunate enough to have worked with managers willing to teach and impart their knowledge, which aided in my professional growth and development. I feel that it is incumbent on me and other professionals, not only in the financial services sector, but all industries in The Bahamas to mentor our employees and our peers, to ensure that our number one resource, "human capital", is constantly developed for the sustainability of our country's future.
Building a strong network of business relationships is also an important and integral part of professional success.
What qualifications do you feel are the most useful in helping you perform in the sector?
Education! Education! Education! The gift of knowledge and the opportunity for higher education in today's competitive world has become increasingly important. While I can agree not everyone will have the opportunity or desire to attend university in the traditional sense, it is important and advantageous to continue education through specialist courses and certifications to advance your career and remain relevant to the financial services sector. The way we do things today will, almost certainly, not be the way we do things tomorrow.
I am constantly learning, it is not enough that I have degrees in business and law, I constantly attend conferences and do short courses to remain on top of my game, to allow me to make informed decisions and make positive contributions to my business and the financial services sector. I also speak Spanish, and this has also been an invaluable asset to me. The world is shrinking, and knowledge of a foreign language is necessary to communicate in the global economy.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career and or industry? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge in my career has been gender inequality. As a female, it is always necessary to prove yourself as an able professional in the financial services industry who deserves the same respect as male counterparts. In order to ensure this, constant research, staying abreast of global developments in the sector and continued education are key. In making contributions to my profession, I can do so with an educated and informed tongue that is indisputable. This requires a lot of hard work, and if you enjoy what you do, this will not be burdensome.
What advice would you give young people just starting out in the industry?
The Bahamas has long been a leader in the financial services sector, known for its expertise and resources, which continue to play an integral role in the country's economic growth. It may seem daunting at times, but The Bahamas is a strong player and will continue to excel in financial services, as we continue to improve our products, develop our human capital and abide by the laws and regulations that govern our industry.
As an executive of the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers, I see many opportunities in the areas of risk and compliance, e-commerce, cybersecurity, accounting, tax and economics. These professional areas and some others cover taxation and regulation, and, if we look at VAT, FATCA, OECD initiatives and others, it is safe to assume these areas will be relevant for quite some time.