View Comments The memory is living again in London as the Nicole Scherzinger-led revival of Cats is set to open in the West End on December 11. The show’s composer Andrew Lloyd Webber recently sat down with BBC One to talk the origins of the Tony-winning tuner. It turns out that the musical was inspired by one his most treasured childhood reads, TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, written in 1939. Watch below as the Tony-winning composer reveals how everyone in London thought the first production of the show was “a recipe for disaster,” sings “Macavity” at the piano and is asked who his favorite feline is (hint: he’s very nimble and into timekeeping).
By Ras WadadaAFTER 14 years of existence, the Running Brave Track and Field Club (RBTFC) has firmly established itself as the top athletic club for positive development of the athlete in Guyana, where support is limited among the 12 registered clubs here.The club currently boasts over 120 members, inclusive of a World Champion, and consists of two groups– one based at the Leonora Track on the West Coast and the other at the National Park in the City.The fusion of certified Level II IAAF Coaches, Julian Edmond and Sham Johnny, continue to reap the rewards for their commitment to upcoming athletes.When the duo began their journey with the club in 2006, they were joined by several seasoned runners, including sprinter, Rawle Green, long distance runners, Cleveland Thomas and Lionel Dhanraj, as well as the one who really could be considered the catalyst for the birth of RBTFC – the multi-talented Alisha Fortune.The year was 2002 when Fortune approached Edmond, at his home, and requested him to be her personal coach, and after some pleading and deliberations, the former St. Joseph’s/St. Rose’s High student, who was on a sabbatical from the sport, agreed to be the full-time coach. Four years on, and it was the ideal timing for Coach Johnny to propose the union to Coach Edmond. Without much hesitation, the club was established and as the old adage goes, the rest is history.Fortune remembers the beginning and how the club got its name. ”It was Rawle Green who suggested that we name the club ‘Running Brave’ and we all agreed. Mr. Aubrey Hutson, who is the head of Athletics now, was the club’s first-elected President with Mr. Keith Campbell the first Vice -President.After Mr. Hutson resigned, due to his ascendency as head of the Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG), Mr. Campbell, who had two talented sons, Emerson and Eon, who became members, took over”.Edmond and Fortune have come a long way in athletics dating back to 1992 when both qualified to represent Guyana at the CARIFTA Games in Guadeloupe but, unfortunately, funding was not available for all and they felt the axe. The duo is also products of the now defunct Rising Stars, coached by Denis Smith, who migrated to the USA and, together, they successfully did the IAAF Level I course in 2000.Among the club’s proud achievements are consistent success at the annual prestigious CARIFTA Games and nurturing talents unto the Collegiate Track in the USA continuously.Since its formation, the club has secured a total of 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 9 Bronze medals at the CARIFTA Games, and 1 Gold, 7 Silver and 9 Bronze medals at the South American Championships. Presently, there are six Running Brave athletes on Athletic scholarships in the USA, making it a total of 9 to have gained scholarships.Coach Julian Edmond (at left) and co-coach, Sham JohnnyA proud Coach Edmond explained why the club has been having success. “ In terms of the athletes’ successes at the CARIFTA games, I am very proud of their achievements and happy to know that I would have contributed to a period when Guyana had their most success at the Games, finishing in the top 5 among Caribbean countries.“One of the main contributing factor in the consistent rise in Medals for Guyana in recent years at CARIFTA is the acquisition of the synthetic track at Leonora and, more importantly, under the presidency of Mr. Hutson, all the athletes who have qualified for CARIFTA get the opportunity to participate, unlike the past when it depended on funds available.“So, athletes in the past, despite qualifying, were prioritized to be selected, but now athletes and coaches are inspired to go all the way since they will be selected to represent Guyana once they make the qualifying marks”.Edmond added that the club pays extra attention to all the young athletes.“An important aspect of the club is keeping a close eye on the athlete, whereby, we liaise with parents to ensure they are getting their proper rest and nutrition and, more importantly, Coach Sham goes to every school where we have athletes so as to check on their academic progress and behavior; based on our findings we have one-on-one talks, sometimes it necessitates extra tutoring and in extreme cases, we do suspend from club activities so that they can get back on stream…when we formed this club, part of our vision was to assist young people by sharing our knowledge on becoming balanced individuals to secure athletic scholarships and go on to professional careers on or off the track.“Some of these scholarships are worth between 75 to 100 thousand USD”, the former National Schools record holder for the 100M and 400M related.“We start our CARIFTA preparations since in November so that when they go they can perform to optimum and secure medals…we work hard to get into the athletes head so that they get mentally focused…everything is about progression, so we keep a chart where we do yearly evaluation based on monitored progression, including keeping statistics …we have got in excess of 120 from as young as 9 years old”, Edmond shared.“Coaching comes with its challenges, but our aim, at Running Brave, is to produce an Olympic medalist and world champion. We have a structured club without any sponsorship, so we are mainly financed by membership dues and fund raising activities…at times, we as coaches and executive members have to facilitate athletes with assistance in providing transportation money”.Edmond, who had a professional stint on the grassed tracks in Australia between 1993 and 1994, cited a likely Olympics medalist for Guyana while he bemoaned the lack of support.”The talent and potential to give Guyana a first medal at the World or Olympics in athletics is one of the scholarship awardee.About six top Colleges were vying to get Natricia Hooper, and so they paid for her to tour all these colleges and in the end, she chose the University of Florida. She is definitely World class material in the triple-jump. Our programmes can only grow and get better with sponsorship and the Government must take the lead ….lack of support for development is sadly lacking here in Guyana…sometimes we get some support with transportation from Ministry of Social Cohesion….the coaching is all volunteer and making sacrifices is the order of the day; it is a daily early morning routine and afternoon as well”, Edmond lamented.Coach Johnny, who hails from Kitty and is a certified Level II IAAF Coach, is also an ex Santos Football Club player and athlete, but a motor accident ended his career. However, because of his love for sports, he pursued a career in Athletics Coaching.“Cleveland Thomas was my athlete and Edmond had Alisha Fortune; so we merged our energies at that time back in 2006 and, I must admit, that we have had success as a club.Over 35 athletes make up the West side faction of Running Brave…we have a 14-year-old gem who would have run at the 1500m Girls. We have boundless talent, but can’t help appealing to Corporate Guyana and Businesses, in general, to come on board with some much-needed sponsorship’, Johnny declared.
Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of winning this year’s Formula One championship were dealt a seismic boost in Singapore after he benefited from rival Sebastian Vettel’s first-lap crash with Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen to storm to victory.Hamilton, who started only fifth and had claimed that he needed a miracle to win, led every lap of a chaotic race which saw the safety car deployed on three occasions.The British driver crossed the line 4.5 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Valtteri Bottas completing the podium, to move 28 points clear of Vettel with just six races remaining.The race under the floodlights of the Marina Bay circuit had been billed as a must-win for Vettel given that the twisty, slow-speed track suited his Ferrari car.But after getting the job done here in qualifyingÂ on SaturdayÂ night, he was then involved in what is likely to be the defining smash of the year.On a damp track following a deluge of rain just 15 minutes before the start, Vettel moved to his left to cover off Verstappen, and a fast-starting Raikkonen.Raikkonen, tight against the pit wall, surged ahead of Verstappen, but at 120mph his right rear tyre made contact with Verstappen’s front left, and he was sent out of control before thudding into the side of his Ferrari team-mate.As Raikkonen and Verstappen came to a sudden halt at turn one – colliding with an unfortunate Fernando Alonso in the process – Vettel managed to keep his Ferrari on the straight and narrow. But on the exit of turn three, and with significant damage to his car, the German lost control and crashed into the concrete wall.Hamilton surged past Vettel and took the lead of the race. The safety car was issued to deal with the stricken Ferrari and Red Bull cars, and it returned again, when Daniil Kvyat crashed out on lap 11, and then again on lap 38 after Marcus Ericsson spun on the Anderson Bridge.But Hamilton kept his cool to not only remain in charge of the championship – a scenario which appeared almost impossible hereÂ on SaturdayÂ night – but extended his lead to more than a single victory.Vettel attempted to put a brave face on the fist-lap mayhem – an incident which will now be investigated by the stewards – but he will know that his chances of stopping Hamilton march on to the title have taken a significant hit.“I had an average start, moved slightly to the left and was trying to fend off Max,” Vettel explained. “Then the next thing there was a bump on the side and I saw Kimi’s car, so I don’t know what happened.“There’s nothing we can do now. It doesn’t change much. We’re not in the race now and can’t show the pace that we had. I’m sure there will be more opportunities.”In contrast, Verstappen moved to lay the blame at Vettel’s door. “If you are fighting for the world championship you shouldn’t take those risks squeezing someone that much,” he said. “You can see what happens. Lewis is leading the race and the three of us are out.”For Hamilton, he will not care who was at fault as fireworks greeted his third successive victory. “Guys, what can I say?” he said over the team radio. “What a turnaround. Thanks for believing in me.”Carlos Sainz crossed the line in fourth for Toro Rosso ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, while British driver Jolyon Palmer finished a career-high sixth to claim his first points finish of the season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram