West’s bid to be the best

first_imgIn addition to being the number one Men’s touch referee based on the 2009 National Touch League, he is also a regular NRL Toyota Cup (Under 20’s) whistle blower as well. While most people can relax after the end of the NYC, Gavin has to fly back to Sydney to referee a NSW Cup rugby league match. West missed out on a place as a referee in the Trans Tasman series earlier this year, after taking a break from the game to concentrate on his league commitments. West said it was sad to miss out on the series but he has set refereeing at the next Trans Tasman as one of his goals to make up for that disappointment. “I’m very motivated to get that next Trans Tasman game so I’ve got to work towards that,” he said. His road to the top of the referee standings hasn’t come easy. He earned his level six badge in touch in 2002, and had to work hard in the meantime to get to the number one position. “I was the youngest ever to get that (level six), I’ve been on level six for quiet a while now. In 2005 I became number two but from there I had a few years off but I came back this year and got that so I’ve just been refereeing at state cup, NSW level and I was just lucky enough to get that spot this year,” he said. West took time off to concentrate on his goal of becoming a league referee, which included moving from Newcastle to Sydney to pursue his dream.And this is now starting to pay dividends in both codes. West has refereed the most Toyota Cup games this year, and was also named the number one referee at the NYC this week, but it hasn’t come easy. “It’s (a) heavy workload with the training, you don’t get much free time between work and footy but hopefully in a couple of years I’ll have a full time position (refereeing) and it’s the only job I’ll have so I’m not juggling that workload as well,” West said. West’s busy schedule means that it can be difficult to manage his time, especially as the top two touch tournaments of the year clash with important league games. “The NTL is often the first week of league so I had to manage that to get the finals this year and also this tournament as it’s the finals for league as well. I just had to fully focus on league at that time but now that I’m established there I can be a bit more flexible,” he said. Now that he is more established in League, he hopes to be able to make the transition from Under 20’s to first grade in the near future. “I want it done in the next three years at least, I’m hoping not 2010 but 2011 that might occur so it’s just a matter of the numbers game and just waiting for people to retire or getting past their use by date,” he said.last_img read more

10 months agoEx-Real Madrid defender Pepe leaving Besiktas after contract release

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Ex-Real Madrid defender Pepe leaving Besiktas after contract releaseby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePepe is leaving Besiktas after terminating his contract by mutual consent.Marca says an official announcement has not yet been made but the Portugal international, whose deal was due to expire in June, is now free to sign for another club.Reports in Turkey indicate that Besiktas are going through economic issues and have been unable to pay the high salaries of many of their players, including Pepe.The 35-year-old played 17 league game this season and managed an impressive five goals, with three coming in domestic action and two in Europe.Pepe moved to Besiktas from Real Madrid. last_img read more

Independent expert selected to look into police checks in Halifax

first_imgHALIFAX – The crime-fighting potential of police street checks must be weighed against the possible negative impact on racialized communities, says an independent expert examining the practice in Halifax.“It might be a double-edged sword,” Scot Wortley told a board of police commissioners meeting Monday. “Street checks have potentially very detrimental impacts on certain populations and we’ve got to weigh those consequences with the possible crime-fighting potential.”The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has hired Wortley, a University of Toronto criminology professor and author on race and crime, to review street checks in Halifax after data showed black men were three times more likely than whites to be subjected to the controversial practice.Advocates of police street checks say it helps law enforcement gather intelligence and improve public safety, while opponents say it targets black people and violates human rights.Halifax police say street checks are used to record suspicious activity. Although police stop and question people, the checks can also be “passive” with information recorded based on observations rather than interactions.“This is by no means a problem that is isolated to Halifax,” Wortley said. “The issue of policing and how different minority communities are policed is probably one of the most contentious and controversial issues in law enforcement.”Wortley will conduct a detailed analysis of street check data, hold town hall-style meetings in the community, identify gaps in the data, evaluate the potential for racial bias and make recommendations.He said a final report should be ready in about two months.“I think the issue is determining what proportion of that overrepresentation (of black people in street check data) is potentially due to bias and what proportion is due to what might be called legitimate police activities,” Wortley said.He said he first became aware of racially-biased policing in Nova Scotia after a human rights inquiry in 2003 found police discriminated against Kirk Johnson.The former professional boxer claimed during the inquiry that Halifax police stopped his car dozens of times over a five-year period because of racial profiling.“The issue of racially-biased policing has existed for a long time,” Wortley said. “We’ve historically had a lot of denial … we go through a crisis cycle where the issue will disappear for a few years and then there will be a shooting or an event captured on video that creates the entire crisis again.”However, he said that it’s starting to change as provinces like Ontario become more open to collecting race-based data.“For many years in Ontario, the mantra from law enforcement was this is not a problem, this is not an issue, these are unfounded allegations,” said Wortley, who has worked with the Ontario government’s Anti-Racism Directorate to develop standards for the collection and dissemination of race-based data within the public sector.“The release of data now has made a difference at the policy level because it’s harder to ignore the realities.”Earlier this year, Ontario banned police carding, a controversial practice also known as street checks.However, Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais said the street checks conducted in Halifax differ from carding.“Carding is a totally different thing. It’s based on a geographical area,” he said. “Carding is something that really we just don’t do.”Still, Blais acknowledged that “there are community members who view the interactions with police as being less than optimal.”last_img read more