15 journalists who fled threats in western district go back to work

Posted On Jun 12 2021 by

first_img RSF_en May 29, 2019 Find out more News The 15 journalists who fled the western district of Dailekh last week because of threats from both the authorities and Maoist rebels decided yesterday to go back and resume working following reassuring statements by the government’s district representative, Meghanath Pandey, who gave a news conference in Nepalgunj where they had taken refuge. Reporters Without Borders expects long-term guarantees from the authorities and will continue to monitor what happens to journalists in Dailekh._________________________________________________________21.09.05Harihar Singh Rathour freed after 36 hours Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the release of Harihar Singh Rathour, a well-known correspondent of the Kantipur press group and chairman of the local branch of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), who was arrested on 18 September in Dailekh in western Nepal.He was set free after a delegation of journalists interceded with the authorities. It consisted of FNJ general secretary Mahendra Bista, FNJ member Poorna Basnet, Kantipur editor Narayan Wagle and Kathmandu Post editor Pradek Pradhan.__________________________________________________________________20.09.2005Arrest of renowned Kantipur journalist Harihar Singh RathourReporters Without Borders has expressed anger at the arrest on 18 September 2005, of Harihar Singh Rathour, renowned journalist of the Kantipur press group and local chairman of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ).Rathour was picked up and charged with working with Maoist rebels in the notorious Dailekh district in western Nepal from which around 15 other journalists have fled harassment by security forces and Maoists. NepalAsia – Pacific The international press freedom organisation called for Rathour’s immediate release and for a halt to harassment of correspondents in the region by civil and military authorities.“Once again, the right of the Nepalese to be informed is the first casualty”, the organisation said.On the eve of his arrest, Rathour and 15 other journalists wrote to the national president of the FNJ explaining that they felt forced to leave the Dailekh region, for fear of reprisals. They said it had become impossible to work normally. Almost a score of journalists had already left by 18 September.Before his arrest, Rathour had denied accusations that he had been working with Maoists. He said that rebels had put his name in the “top ten” of journalists who were opposed to them.Several observers said that the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) was trying to ensure that all journalists were driven out of the Dailekh district. Correspondents for national media are the first to have been threatened with arrest by the security forces.During the summer, Rathour had been summoned by a military official after the Kathmandu Post carried an article of his on 20 July in which he said that soldiers were using children in neighbouring villages as spies. Follow the news on Nepal Under Chinese pressure, Nepal sanctions three journalists over Dalai Lama story Help by sharing this information to go further Organisation News Nepalese journalists threatened, attacked and censored over Covid-19 coverage News Nepal: RSF’s recommendations to amend controversial Media Council Bill September 29, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 15 journalists who fled threats in western district go back to work Receive email alerts NepalAsia – Pacific June 8, 2020 Find out more News May 17, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more


What happens after the tenant fees ban?

Posted On May 7 2021 by

first_imgHome » News » What happens after the tenant fees ban? previous nextProducts & ServicesWhat happens after the tenant fees ban?Zero Deposit CEO Jon Notley makes the case for the emerging alternative deposits sector and its potential to create revenue for lettings agents.Nigel Lewis1st February 201902,987 Views If ever there was a year of reckoning for the letting agency market, this is it. The full ramifications of the tenant fees ban will be seen in June but the proposed legislation is fairly clear and we know already this is going to drastically alter the current charging structure for agents.The change was underlined in December when the announcement to reduce the maximum security deposit from six weeks to five was made. If that were not enough, the industry is faced with the adoption of an incoming code of practice and increased regulation. Not before time, some will say.Elsewhere in the industry, there are other factors at play. The number of landlords is falling as a result of increased stamp duty on additional residential property purchases and the reduction of mortgage interest as an allowable expense. Figures from UK Finance show a 12% drop in landlord purchases in 2018 alone. It is no wonder that Fixflo reported recently that many agents who predict a material drop in their income are planning to leave the sector.It’s not all doom and gloomThere are over five million households, or 21% of the property market, that are privately rented according to PwC. This figure is set to rise to 24% by 2021.Analysis of the official English Housing Survey by Labour found that over 1.7 million renters believe that they will never own their home because of low wages and rising rents, and research from Countrywide showed that the amount paid in rent across the UK has grown dramatically in the past decade and exceeded £50bn in 2018.If they haven’t already, now is the time for letting agents to seriously review their businesses and carry out a detailed analysis of how market changes will impact their income – no matter how painful it might be.What is clear, is that finding new revenue streams, new ways to attract custom and positively standing out from the crowd, are all going to be key in such an uncertain environment. However, as with all changing markets, there are opportunities.Some agents have put in place sophisticated responses to the fees ban, which include offering a range of additional products and services to both tenants and landlords. The commission earned from these services will help replace lost revenue, and in some cases, some interesting side-benefits are emerging.Oakfield, a Sussex estate agent, recently reported that they were getting as much as 26% more interest in rental properties with deposit replacement available. Deposit replacement schemes enable renters to reduce the upfront cost of renting, enjoy the interest accruing during their tenancy, and avoid borrowing.Instead, the tenant pays a fraction of the deposit (a week in our case) before they move in. Clearly, tenants are placing significant value on agents that are able to find ways to put the pounds back in their pocket, and the best schemes have end-of-tenancy claims processes that mirror the current cash deposit regime, so landlords don’t lose out if they have a fair claim.The benefit of deposit replacement goes way beyond the money. A by-product of the process is that it brings all the protagonists in the rental transaction closer together. Tenants are happy because they have more money than they otherwise would have done.Agents are happy because properties offered with deposit replacement are a more attractive option and help get tenants into properties quicker, and landlords are happy because security and peace of mind is not compromised. It is rare that a new product comes along that so clearly benefits all parties.Of course, there is a note of caution to all of this.Markets for financial products have been created in the past that have been unchecked and led to horrendous consequences, like PPI. As FinTech and InsurTech businesses like ours move to solve the growing problems of tenant affordability, it is our view that they should do so under the regulation of the FCA.It troubles us that there are providers emerging in the deposit protection market that do not have the protections of FCA regulation. In some cases, this fact is not being made clear and there is a real risk that agents and customers could be misled if they believe that these unregulated products carry the same protection as a regulated product, which they do not.We hope that as the letting agency market responds to the opportunity, that all agents think about the potential implications should any non-regulated provider fail and potentially leave their landlords with no protection.As with any changing market, there will be winners and losers. However, one thing is for sure; the winners will be the agents open to embracing change and finding innovative ways to seize opportunities in the new normal.Jon Notley is Co-founder and CEO of Zero Deposit.Read more: Adam Walker’s take on the tenant fees ban. Jon Notley tenant fees ban zero deposits February 1, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more


Mangels awarded Educator of the Year

Posted On Sep 23 2020 by

first_imgGreensburg, IN—The Greensburg Rotary Club #3437 in District #6580 held its annual Educator of the Year award ceremony Monday evening at the Hampton Inn and Suites.The 2019/20 Rotary Educator of the Year Award was presented to Greensburg Community School teacher Scott Mangels.District #6580 Governor Santhana Naidu attended the event which also included previous Educator of the Year award winners from Greensburg and Decatur County School Districts. Also, in attendance was Grant Peters, Principal at Greensburg Community High School and Greensburg Superintendent Tom Hunter. Both leaders spoke about the effort Mangels demonstrates with his students.Greensburg Rotary President Lora Williams presented the award to Scott Mangels, reading the submission from Peters. Mangels thanked many in the room, including former Greensburg Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Arthur Turner, who is also a Greensburg Rotarian. Dr. Turner was superintendent when Mangels was first hired at Greensburg School District.Along with a plaque and the traveling plaque that will be displayed at GCHS for the year, the Rotary Club of Greensburg also provides a cash award for the winner.last_img read more


Bielema satisfied after win over Bulldogs

Posted On Sep 17 2020 by

first_imgUW head coach Bret Bielema praised Garrett Graham for his strong play in the Badgers\’ 34-31 win over Fresno State Saturday.[/media-credit]Coming off the Badgers’ double overtime 34-31 victory over Fresno State Saturday, UW football head coach Bret Bielema was pleased with his team’s performance.According to Bielema, the overall attitude of his team and the play of his seniors were the biggest contributors down the stretch.“A lot of positives out there … as I mentioned after the game the way they persevered and battled out there,” he said.“Anytime your seniors are playing the best football of their careers you can feel good about the way the season’s going and them individually,” he continued. “It has a huge effect on the team.”Bielema gave special recognition to a few of his star seniors, including linebacker O’Brien Schofield, tight end Garrett Graham, and safety Chris Maragos.“[Garrett Graham], Saturday, played as good as he’s played in all phases,” Bielema said. “Chris Maragos to make two plays like that at the end of the game … something put Chris Maragos in position. I just knew he was just going to knock it down, but he makes a fingertip grab, and wins the game.”John Clay earns next startEven with a lot of the success being put on the shoulders of the seniors, sophomore running back John Clay still found his chunk of the spotlight. Bielema noted Clay’s 73-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter on Saturday, which gave the Badgers a lead at the time.“That play from an offensive conceptual standpoint was as pretty as can be,” Bielema said. “It looked great. It was as good as good can get. … That’s what we needed to see.”Clay’s performance allowed him to jump starter Zach Brown on the depth chart due to his ability to gain positive momentum for the team. Bielema hopes the sophomore’s strong play continues into Saturday’s game against Wofford.“What we’d like to do is see John and how he takes the reins and see where he goes,” Bielema said. “The part I shared with John was, ‘Hey, you know, you got energized, the offense got energized, our defense went out and played with great energy.’”Few concerns regarding FCS opponent WoffordAs the Badgers prepare for FCS opponent Wofford, Bielema explained the significance of playing teams from a lower division. He defended the staff’s reasoning for scheduling a game with an opponent in the FCS for the third straight year.“[Wofford is a] very successful team in their division, and has had some success against some opponents in the non-conference scheduling,” Bielema said. “They played South Carolina a year ago. It’s just another example of a very good, well-coached football team that will come in here and give us their best shot, and another opportunity for the Badgers to improve and move forward.”Swine flu still lingering in practiceAnother concern facing the Badgers and coach Bielema is the wave of H1N1 virus making its way through the team. While the coaching staff thought the swine flu had passed through the Badger roster, two new players were diagnosed with the illness after the Fresno State game.“The flu, I think, is through us, but on the same account we had two new guys pop up yesterday, so we’re kind of just going off what our medical staff and trainers have told us to, you know, handle when it comes up. … Hopefully the worst is behind us.”However, despite the coaching staff’s concerns, Bielema addressed the importance of taking on these challenges and moving forward.“It’s not what happens, it’s how you respond to what happens,” Bielema said. “That’s the part I get excited about.”last_img read more


KCCA eager to bring down limping St George of Ethiopia

Posted On Aug 13 2020 by

first_imgFixturesTuesday, 6 March 2018Al Ahly (EGY) 4 (Mohsen 14, Azaro 22, El Said 66, 69-pen) Mounana (GAB) 0Horoya (GUI) 2 (Ouedraogo 60, Diop 90+1) Generation Foot (SEN) 1 (Konte 77)Young Africans (TAN) 1 (Chirwa 31) Township Rollers (BOT) 2 (Tshireletso 11, Sikele 85)Etoile Sahel (TUN) 4 (Marey 1, Chermiti 3, 7, Sfaxi 54) Plateau Utd (NGR) 2 (Raphael 70-pen, Omoyele 81)Wednesday, 7 March 2018Saint George (Ethiopia) vs KCCA (Uganda)Zanaco (Zambia) vs Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland) Share on: WhatsApp Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) vs Williamsville AC (Cote d’Ivoire)Aduana (Ghana) vs ES Setif (Algeria)MFM (Nigeria) vs MC Alger (Algeria)Gor Mahia (Kenya) vs Esperance (Tunisia)AS Togo (Togo) vs El Hilal (Sudan)Zesco (Zambia) vs ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire)TP Mazembe (DR Congo) vs UD Songo (Mozambique)Difaa Hassan (Morocco) vs AS Vita (DR Congo)Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) vs Bidvest (South Africa)Rayon Sports (Rwanda) vs Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)****Tweets about @KCCAFC Al Ahly launch CAF campaign with four-goal rompRecord eight-time title-holders Al Ahly of Egypt are virtually assured of a 2018 CAF Champions League group place after trouncing Mounana of Gabon 4-0 Tuesday.It took the Cairo “Red Devils” just 14 minutes to end the last-32 first leg stalemate in the Egyptian capital as Marwan Mohsen scored and Moroccan Walid Azaro doubled the lead before half-time.Egypt midfielder Abdallah el Said netted twice within three minutes midway through the second half with his second goal coming from a penalty kick.Mounana will have home advantage in the return match during the weekend of March 16-18, but Ahly have never surrendered a four-goal lead during five decades of competing in Africa.Ahly coach Hossam el Badry warned his team before the first leg that he did not want a repeat of last year when they battled to overcome Wits of South Africa at the same stage.His message was heeded as the Red Devils dominated from start to finish, transferring into Africa their superb domestic form of 14 consecutive victories.Ahly lost 2-1 on aggregate to Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in the 2017 final — the first time they have gone more than three years this century without winning the competition.Assuming they eliminate Mounana, Ahly and 15 other last-32 winners will be divided into four groups from which the table-toppers and runners-up advance to the quarter-finals.Former champions Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, the only winners of all five current and past CAF club competitions, also scored four goals at home in Mediterranean resort Sousse.However, after grabbing three goals within seven minutes of the kick-off and a fourth soon after half-time they conceded twice to finish 4-2 winners over Plateau United of Nigeria.The Nigerian goals from Ayagwa Raphael, off a penalty, and Tosin Omoyele during the last 20 minutes leave the tie delicately balanced ahead of the second leg in Jos.Egyptian Amr Marey scored for Etoile within 60 seconds, Amine Chermiti bagged a brace and Aymen Sfaxi gave the 2007 champions a four-goal advantage nine minutes after half-time.Plateau are competing in the Champions League for the first time and hope to become the first winners from Nigeria since Enyimba completed back-to-back triumphs in 2004.Township Rollers of Botswana, who eliminated favoured Al Merrikh of Sudan in the preliminary round, sprang another surprise by winning 2-1 away to Young Africans of Tanzania.Lemponye Tshireletso gave Rollers an early lead, Zimbabwean Obrey Chirwa levelled before the break and Motsholetsi Sikele struck the winner five minutes from time in Dar es Salaam.Rollers, who never qualified for the group stage in eight previous attempts, need a draw at home to become the first club from Botswana to achieve the feat.Sidy Diop netted in the first minute of stoppage time to snatch a 2-1 home win for Horoya of Guinea over Generation Foot of Senegal in a west African showdown.Another 12 first legs are scheduled for Wednesday, including Wydad beginning their defence of the title at home to Williamsville of the Ivory Coast.center_img KCCA’s young turks set to take on new continental challenge. PHOTO KCCA FC MEDIAFT: St. George ?? 0 ?? KCCA FC  0Addia Ababa | THE INDEPENDENT |  Kampala Capital City Authority FC has held fancied St.George of Ethiopia to a goalless draw on Wednedsay in the CAF Champions League.The draw brings to an end successive defeats on the continent for Mike Mutebi’s side in the past year, and puts them in a strong position to advance at home, where they have a perfect win record.Collated CAF Champions League last-32, first-leg results WednesdaySaint George (ETH) 0 KCCA (UGA) 0Zanaco (ZAM) 1 (Maisha 42) Mbabane Swallows (SWZ) 2 (Badenhorst 56, McCreesh 86)Wydad Casablanca (MAR, holders) 7 (Aoulad 6, Tighazoui 16, 62, Nahiri 52, El Haddad 74, 90, 90+2) Williamsville (CIV) 2 (N’Da 3, 36)Aduana Stars (GHA) 1 (Adams 72-pen) Entente Setif (ALG) 0MFM (NGR) 2 (Akuneto 36-pen, Monsuru 84) Mouloudia Alger (ALG) 1 (Ammachi 58)Gor Mahia (KEN) 0 Esperance (TUN) 0Port (TOG) 2 (Sewonou 42, Bode 78) Al Hilal (SUD) 0Zesco Utd (ZAM) 0 ASEC Mimosas (CIV) 1 (Agbegniadan 37)TP Mazembe (COD) 4 (Malango 37, 49, 68, Elia 85) Songo (MOZ) 0Difaa el Jadida (MAR) 1 (Msuva 9) V Club (COD) 0Primeiro Agosto (ANG) 1 (Geraldo 84) Wits (RSA) 0Rayon Sports (RWA) 0 Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA) 0****MATCH PREVIEWRecord Ethiopian soccer champions St George welcome Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA FC) in a CAF Champions League match that they will be lucky to get a point from.While KCCA have relied mainly on home form for their success on the continent in the past year, they have had a look at their host’s recent win-less run and have reason to be confident going into today’s game.St. George, whose last outing was away to Hawassa who hammered them 4-1 in the Ethiopian league,  are struggling to get back to their renown form after the arrival of a new coach, Portuguese Manuel Vaz Pinto. They have lost their last five matches.“We are now in a transition phase. Last season it was Mart Nooji now Vaz Pinto and the two have different approach to the game. Our style of play is different from last season. We need time to adapt to the system that we are putting up,” an assistant coach told SoccerEthiopia recently.Contrast that with the confidence coming out of the KCCA camp. “I think our boys are more confident that this time we are going to get a win an away game. We have no worry because our team has traveled across the African continent last season and we have managed play big super powers in African football,” Assistant coach Morley Byekwaso told SoccerEthiopia.Coach Mike Mutebi is confident his side can improve on their performance last year, where he led them to the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup.“The fulcrum that we had last season is still with us, my players are young but with experienced.  They deserve to be playing on the continent,” he said after their last continental match, a 1-0 (2-2 aggregate) victory over CNaPS Sport last month.Winners in the CAF Champions League last-32, two leg matches qualify for the group stages. The return matches are set for March 17.last_img read more


Oly Town Artesians Earn 10-8 Victory over Wenatchee Fire

Posted On Aug 6 2020 by

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Oly Town ArtesiansMatt Stalnik’s hat trick and a pair of goals from both Greg Wolfe and Nate Salveson led the Oly Town Artesians to the first win in franchise history, a 10-8 victory over the Wenatchee Fire on Saturday night at Olympia Indoor Soccer.In a brutal first fifteen minutes that saw four blue cards issued to the two teams, Matt Stalnik started the scoring for the Artesians midway through the first quarter with a power play goal on an assist by Luke Chouinard. Minutes later, on another power play, the Wenatchee Fire got on the board thanks to a Josh Alvarez goal with 5:15 left in the quarter. The two teams went to the first break knotted up at one.But the floodgates opened in a wild second quarter that saw 10 goals scored. Stalnik started it off again with a screamer that found the back of the net with just 50 second gone in the period. But Wenatchee would take their only lead of the game behind goals by Matthew Stafanko at the 13:30 mark and another goal by Alvarez with 12:20 left in the quarter.Down 3-2, the Artesians went on a four goal run to take the lead for good. Nate Salveson started the run with a goal off of a free kick with 10:37 left in the second quarter. Greg Wolfe scored at the 7:40 mark and less than a minute later, Martin Ramirez got on the scoresheet to put the Artesians up 5-3. Wolfe scored again on a pass off the boards from Salveson to extend the Artesians lead to 6-4.Juan Barboza scored a power play goal for the Fire at the 2:13 mark of the second and then Oly and Wenatchee traded goals in the final minute, the first an Artesians goal by Salveson. Alex Espinoza finally finished off a crazy second quarter with 23 seconds left and Oly went to the locker room with a 7-5 lead.Once again, Stalnik started the scoring with a goal in the first minute of the period off an assist by Ramirez to put the Artesians up 8-4. Wenatchee answered back with a goal by Yonathan Rodriguez with 11 minutes left in the third but Mike Rancipher and Brady Espinoza each tallied the only other goals of the quarter and Oly took a 10-6 lead into the fourth quarter.Goals by Mauricio Perez and Hernan Menoza got the Fire to within two at 10-8 with eight minutes left but Artesians goalkeeper Mauricio Sanchez made amazing save after amazing save the rest of the way and Oly held on, 10-8, for their first ever franchise victory. Sanchez finished the night with 23 saves and was fantastic between the pipes despite the eight goals against.The Artesians moved to 1-1-0 (3 points) while the Wenatchee Fire dropped to 1-1-1 (4 points). Oly Town takes their first road trip of the season when they visit the Arlington Aviators on Saturday, December 13th while Wenatchee plays host to first place Tacoma.last_img read more


Ravi Shastri heaps praise on Virat Kohli for his endorsement of test cricket

Posted On Aug 5 2020 by

first_imgImage Courtesy: PTI/Twitter(@imVkohli)Advertisement y69aNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs5pvttWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E9bjp( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) rvWould you ever consider trying this?😱bj10Can your students do this? 🌚4heRoller skating! Powered by Firework Virat Kohli has been an absolute masterclass in the recent history. The captain of Team India finished the year of 2019 as the world no. 1 test batsman in the ICC Test batting rankings, and his love for the format has been a driving force to make test cricket come back to glory in the sport. Praise from fans and pundits, now on the new year eve, an amazing compliment is straight from none other than the head coach of the team, Ravi Shastri!Advertisement Image Courtesy: PTI/Twitter(@imVkohli)Since his debut against West Indies in 2011, Kohli has become an inevitable part of the squad, and the front face of Indian cricket scene’s passion for test cricket is a big factor behind the format’s recent success in the country. Taking the role of captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the first time in 2014, the 31 year old has been India’s most successful Test captain. The Indian team coach had all the right words to express his admiration.“I have not seen one perfect captain. You will have captains with different strengths and weaknesses. I have not seen any perfect captain till today,” Shastri said in an interview with IANS today.Advertisement “With Virat you can see he is someone who is improving by the day. The passion, the energy, the drive he brings to the cricket field is unmatched. I have not seen any other captain bring that kind of energy onto the cricket field.” the 57 year old told reporters.Since his debut, Kohli has earned an astounding 269 caps for the Men in Blues in test cricket, and with a batting average of 54.97, has scored a monumental 7202 runs in the format.Advertisement Shastri, who has earned 151 caps in the format for India, suggested that there are still areas to improve for Kohli.Shastri continued: “He [Kohli] might have great strength in one area and might be lacking in another where someone else will be better. So, you have to see the end result and what he makes of his strength and how it affects the team and the opponent.”“Tactically there are areas where by doing the job and getting the exposure he will get better. For whoever has captained in this game, there has been a learning curve,” he added.Also read-Virat Kohli ends 2019 as the number 1 batsman in the ICC Test rankingsSanjay Manjrekar replies to his 2012 tweet when he claimed that Virat Kohli ‘did not belong’ in Test cricket Advertisementlast_img read more


Regional roller derby team set to attend national competition

Posted On Aug 3 2020 by

first_imgWest Kootenay Roller Derby’s all-star team has managed to climb to the top of the heap in Canadian Roller Derby, and they’ve done it in a remarkably quick fashion. The Kootenay Kannibelles are gearing up for some high-calibre derby at a national level tournament set to take place at West Edmonton Mall’s Ice Palace March 15-17. Belles captain and West Kootenay Roller Derby League marketing and media director Amber Harper, who is best known as ‘Pantsoff’, is excited that what she describes as their “rag-tag troupe of mismatched-jersey-wearing ladies” are getting the opportunity to represent British Columbia in the first ever Roller Derby Association of Canada’s Canadian National Championships. No small feat, as she explains that they’ve “only been playing for two seasons as a team; most of (them) only just learned how to skate with the birth of West Kootenay Roller Derby, so this is pretty incredible.” The Belles are ranked sixth in the country (out of 101 travel teams), which earned them a spot in the tournament. However, the blood-splattered team is entering nationals with a new roster, featuring some new all-star players ready to make their mark on Canadian roller derby, bruise by well-earned bruise. Up against some top teams – including E-Ville Roller Derby (Edmonton, AB), Central – Saskatoon Roller Derby League (Saskatoon, SK), Pile O’ Bones Derby Club (Regina, SK), Atlantic – Muddy River Rollers (Moncton, NB) and Fog City Rollers (Saint John, NB) – the Belles are fiercely gearing up for some hard-hitting derby and have their eyes firmly on the gold medal prize. With an impressive 8-1 record last season, BC’s dark-horse team is certainly rolling into this, their third competitive season, hungrier for results than ever. After debuting at the Roller Derby Associations of Canada’s Western Tournament in 2011, the Belles shocked both fans and fellow skaters by finishing fifth after only one loss – a five-point nail-biting triumph by Red Deer’s Belladonnas. Their competitive appetite not sated, the Belles then went on to take second place in the RDAC Western Tournament in June 2012, after coming out on the losing side of a hard-fought battle against Terminal City Roller Girls’ All Stars, who secured their victory by 84 points. With this history in mind, it’s no wonder these ladies are approaching this tournament with ferocious appetites for victory. The team is currently busy prepping for spring, not only on but also off the track as they fundraise to help offset the costs of travel and accommodation (they are also looking for season sponsors). The Belles are hoping to raise funds through the Fundscript program where they sell gift cards for major retailers and the retailers pay a percentage of the dollar value of cards bought to the team. “Calling it a “no fuss, no stress fundraiser,” Pantsoff explains Belles are selling gift cards for 100-plus retailers. “No buying useless junk,” she says. “Just get the card for the denomination and retailer you want and we get the kick back from the supplier.” The Belles hope to see some hardcore fans at the nationals, but at the very least are looking forward to the kick-off of the local season, where some of these savage skaters will be hitting the rink with their home teams.(Story by Valerie Rossi)last_img read more