London Drugs partners with Field Hockey Canada in lead-up to 2016 Olympic Games

Vancouver, BC – London Drugs, one of Canada’s most reputable and longest-serving brands, has partnered with Field Hockey Canada and the Canadian men’s field hockey team in the lead-up to the 2016 Olympic Games.

As part of the agreement, London Drugs becomes the presenting sponsor for the men’s “Summer Games Send-off”, a three-game competition against the United States, which will be held July 7-10 in Surrey and West Vancouver.

The first match will be played on July 7 at Tamanawis Field in Surrey, while the second and third games will take place at Rutledge Field in West Vancouver on July 9 and 10. All matches are open to the public and admission is free.

The series is first the time Canada’s men’s Olympic team will compete after being announced and is the last competition prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is part of a weeklong Olympic celebration and send-off, which also includes the 2016 Field Hockey Canada Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony.

In addition to sponsoring the Canada-U.S. series, London Drugs becomes the presenting jersey sponsor and will have its logo displayed on the front of Canada’s men’s game uniform for the next year.

London Drugs will also join forces with a select group Men’s National Team athletes for cross-promotion digitally and in the community.

“To be affiliated with a strong brand and a 100-percent Canadian owned company is a great source of pride for Field Hockey Canada,” says Field Hockey Canada Chief Executive Jeff Sauvé. “To outperform their competition, London Drugs is focused on innovation and excellence – two qualities that resonate with any high performance athlete.  It is important to the leadership at London Drugs that the athlete, and supporting their goals and aspirations, is the focus.

Through our partnership we will be better able to profile National athletes.  Additionally, we are able to showcase our Men’s National Team here in Canada with the addition of three International test matches as part of the team’s final preparation for the Summer Olympics.”

Wrestling Royal wins Gold

Bains gets his third national title  previously winning gold in 2013 and 2014.

By  Evan Seal – Surrey North Delta Leader

Surrey: For Queen Elizabeth Secondary school wrestler Jason Bains, his last year as a high school wrestler proved to be solid gold.

Bains recently returned home from the 2016 Asics Cadet/Juvenile Canadian Wrestling Championships at the University of Calgary April 15-17 with a gold medal in the 100kg (220 lbs.) Juvenile Mens freestyle division.

For the 6’2” Bains, wrestling is in his blood, with his uncle, father and two older brothers all successful wrestlers in both Canada and India.

“I used to watch my two older brothers wrestle on the living room carpet when I was a kid,” said the hulking grappler. “So when I was in Grade 4, I decided to give wrestling a try.”

Bains has grown a little since his first few tournaments as a 49kg (108 lbs.) youngster, but time on the mat and in the weight room has allowed the 18 year-old Grade 12 student to travel around the world competing in the sport he loves.

Despite suffering an ankle injury two weeks earlier, Bains surrendered only two points throughout the tournament with no match lasting the full two rounds, winning the final over Arjun Sahota of Ontario with a 10-0 technical decision.

This is the third national title for Bains, previously winning gold in 2013 and 2014.

At the 2015 national tournament in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Bains placed second to fellow B.C. wrestler Nishan Randhawa. However since Randhawa was a second-year juvenile, Bains was able to take first place in the United World Wrestling (UWW) Cadet National team trial (Grades 9-11), placing him on the Canadian National Cadet team for the third time.

Bains then travelled with Team Canada to Guadalajara, Mexico for the Cadet Pam-Am Championships, winning silver, and to the Cadet World Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia Hertzegovina.

“I faced a wrestler from Iran in my first match (at the world championships) and I remember being very nervous,” said Bains. “I changed my game plan and started taking leg shots and he was able to get behind me and score.”

However the experience he gained on the world stage has helped mold Bains into the wrestler he is today.

During the high school wrestling season Bains trains up to three times a day, five days a week with both the Queen Elizabeth Royals high school team Khalsa Wrestling, his club team.

His day begins at 5:30 a.m. with breakfast at home and then to the weight room. In the afternoon it’s school practice, then club practice, with homework squeezed in between.

Weekends are spent competing in tournaments throughout the Lower Mainland and Washington.

“Watching my brothers have so much fun wrestling, it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Bains. “I really love to travel and wrestling is different everywhere. Being able to travel to Bosnia or Serbia, it’s not somewhere people would think to travel but the more you travel, the more you see different types of wrestling.”

In March, Bains placed second at the Junior National tournament UWW National Team Trial and will be traveling to Barinas, Venezuela in June for the Junior Pam-Am Championships and possibly the Junior World Championships in Macon, France in August.

His plan is to study criminology in university, however Bains has yet to commit to one specific school, although plenty have shown interest.

“I’m looking at both Oregon State and SFU, but I haven’t fully decided yet.”

Other Surrey wrestlers who placed at the the National tournament were Samsher Sidhu (first, 76kg Cadet Boys), Arjot Gill (first, 100kg Cadet Boys), Ali Raguzar (third, 58kg Cadet Boys), Harmonjot Deol (fourth, 100kg Greco) and Harjot Judge (fifth, 100kg Greco).


After record Pan Am Games performance, Canadian athletes shift focus to Rio 2016 Olympics

TORONTO — Feeling a summer-sport void now that the Pan American Games are over? It won’t last long — the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympics are just over 13 months away.

Canada’s objective in Rio de Janeiro is a top-12 finish in total medals among the 200-plus participating countries.

For that to happen, Canada’s divers, swimmers, rowers, wrestlers and paddlers need to come through, augmented by some track and field, cycling and trampoline medals.

Those sports are the most heavily funded in Canada based on Olympic medal potential. Many are sports in which athletes can win multiple medals at one Olympic Games.

“They’re the bread and butter,” Own The Podium chief executive officer Anne Merklinger said. “If we don’t perform well in those sports in terms of multi-medal potential, then we’re going to struggle to meet our targets.”

Canada’s eventual goal at the Summer Games is to finish in the top eight, but it will take a strong performance to crack the top dozen in Rio.

Canada finished 14th in total medals with 18 in Beijing in 2008. The country moved up one spot winning the same number in London, but earned fewer gold and silver medals.

Merklinger said winning more than 18 medals is an objective for Rio. Canadian Olympic Committee chief sport officer Caroline Assalian said the COC’s focus is the top-12 result.

“The reality is all sports have to come through because one or two medals made the difference between 13th and finishing 11th,” Assalian said. “Every single medal counts.”

Own The Podium doles out funding to Canada’s sport federations based on Olympic medal potential. Canada’s taxpayers are the biggest contributor via Sport Canada, although the COC contributes money to its coffers from its corporate sponsorship campaigns.

OTP doles out about $35 million annually for summer sport.

The 2015 world championships are the best performance-on-demand indicator of which athletes are tracking towards a medal in Rio. The majority of world championships are still upcoming, with the world aquatic championships just underway in Kazan, Russia.

Of the athletes who were top-five in their respective world championships in 2011, 60 per cent produced an Olympic medal a year later in London. The conversion rate in Beijing was 67 per cent.

“Our best conversion rate was 67 per cent,” Assalian said. “That is absolutely our goal as well.”

Canada’s performance at the Pan American Games in Toronto also rated as a measuring stick for Rio for OTP and the COC. Canadians won a Pan Am record 217 medals, including 78 gold.

“Winning a medal in any Games is an important point in an athlete’s career,” Merklinger said. “Winning one at home in this kind of environment that people have referred to as a mini-Olympics is even more important.

“There’s been performances here where athletes have exceeded expectations because they’re performing on demand, they handled the environment so well.”

The federal government provided an extra $3 million to OTP for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games to assist athletes with medal potential across all the sports — not just Olympic and Paralympic sports.

An important distinction in summer sport in Canada is there is a pot of money devoted to team sports not currently tracking for an Olympic medal.

Team sports are traditionally a weakness for Canada at Summer Games, but the women’s soccer team’s bronze in London and their dramatic semifinal loss to the U.S. resonated at home.

Women’s soccer and women’s rugby sevens currently receive “core” OTP funding because they have medal potential in Rio.

But the 2015-16 funding recommendation for women’s and men’s basketball, men’s rugby sevens, men’s volleyball, women’s and men’s water polo and women’s field hockey is a combined $5.6 million.

Team sports are expensive because several athletes need to be funded for only one medal, but Assalian and Merklinger both say the impact it has on Canadians makes it worth the money.

“There’s just something about team sports. They unite people,” Assalian said.

“I think the fact a tournament lasts at least a week . . .. and the athletes from a team sport come from all over the country, there’s something about team sports that rallies a team, a country, a city like no other individual sport.”

Added Merklinger: “There are other nations we know that have said ‘we cannot afford to invest in team sports.’ That is not Canada’s position.”


Thousands of kids sidelined as Surrey soccer club gets red carded

An estimated 2,800 young players could be affected by suspension of Surrey-based Central City Breakers




Photograph by: Shaheem Ali , Pinterest 2013


An estimated 2,800 young players could be affected

One of B.C.’s largest youth soccer clubs, the Surrey-based Central City Breakers, has been suspended from play pending an investigation into charges against the organization’s management team, who are alleged to have broken several of the organization’s bylaws and even indirectly diverted funds to another club.

The suspension was handed down last Friday by the South District Girls’ Soccer Association (SDGSA), the authority that oversees the Breakers’ female players, following a series of complaints against the club, including the improper use of club funds to support the Canadian Eagles, a club that the complaint says is not affiliated with the district or B.C. Soccer.

The suspension means the club cannot register any female players or participate in any B.C. Soccer-sanctioned events.

Surrey Metro Soccer, which oversees the boys who play for the Breakers, has also been notified of the allegations and was expected to issue a statement outlining its position on the case Monday evening, according to a source close to the matter. An estimated 2,800 boys and girls play for Central City Breakers teams.

Details of the allegations are contained in a four-page letter sent to the SDGSA earlier this month by Amar Bains, a member of the Breakers and the former vice-president in charge of equipment. In the letter, Bains claims the club violated four of its own bylaws around with whom the club can be affiliated, timing of the annual general meeting and conflicts of interest.

Surrey Breakers Correspondence

Specific attention was paid to the alleged support the Central City Breakers have been providing to the Canadians Eagles FC.

In his letter, Bains claims the two clubs share seven board members and that “monies have been paid” from the Breakers to the Eagles, a violation of club bylaws.

Bains further alleged that:

— Breakers membership fees are being used to pay for field rentals for the Eagles;

— The shared board members are using the Breakers membership date to expand the Eagles membership;

— Breakers management is “making payments” to the Eagles in “direct violation” of the club’s constitution and bylaws.”

“I am asking that both the South District Girls Soccer Association … and the Surrey Metro Soccer Association (SMSA) hold account the CCFC (The Central City Football Club, same as Central City Breakers) for its abuse of power,” Bains wrote.

“If there is no action taken by the districts and B.C. Soccer within a reasonable time, this serious matter will be put forth to the Supreme Court of Canada.”

Bruce McCallum, chair of the girls soccer association, declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The Province, other than to confirm an investigation has been launched into the allegation, which the organization’s website characterized as “grievous.”

While suspended, the club can’t register any female players or participate in any B.C. Soccer-sanctioned events.

Efforts to contact the club Monday were not successful, but a statement posted on its website late Monday said the club has asked the district for specific details of the allegations, as well as a justification for “imposing discipline on the club without first providing details of these apparent complaints or an opportunity to address the allegations.”

“The club believe the district has acted unfairly in this matter and intends to pursue the issue with B.C. Soccer,” the statement read.

“The Club is also considering other avenues of recourse to attempt to rectify this egregious conduct by the district.”

Peter Lonergan, marketing and communications officer with the B.C. Soccer Association, said his organization is monitoring the situation and gathering information.

“These things are always concerning,” he said. “In terms of kids playing, we do our best working with both the district and the clubs to get those kids playing as soon as possible.”

Harleen Sidhu named Second Team Canada West All-Star; plays last games this weekend

Surrey: Harleen Sidhu of Surrey, BC, a basketball player with UBC was named a Second Team Canada West league All-Star for her performance this year.

Harleen will play her final home games this weekend as UBC hosts the league’s Final Four championship tournament this Friday and Saturday.


15 Most Overpaid Athletes (NFL) Players

Football, not baseball, is America’s real pastime, if Nielsen ratings mean anything.  We love knowing that our favorite NFL players risk career-threating injuries for our viewing pleasure.  It’s a lucrative sport—nearly 200 players make over $3 million in overall salary and even the poorest NFLer’s income ($400k minimum) puts them in a higher tax bracket than most of us.   Still, some of these salaries don’t match the performance; a high cap number tends to limit what the team can do as far as signing other players.  Hopefully these guys are giving to others this holiday season!

Jay Cutler


The Chicago Bears quarterback has a big arm and decent numbers.  But for all his talent, he isn’t a winner (61-57 in his career) and has possibly the worst body language in a position that demands leadership.  Cutler has also gained a reputation for accumulating stats only during garbage time. He signed a 7-year, $126.7 million deal in January.  Cutler has appeared in one Pro Bowl in his career.

Joe Flacco


Joe Flacco, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback, led them to a title in 2012.  He signed a gargantuan contract in 2013, which hampered the team’s ability to sign other players.  The Ravens have found replacements for key losses this year, but Flacco ($20,100,000 in 2014) makes more than Drew Brees or Peyton Manning.  At that price, the not-as-good-on-defense Ravens will rely on his big arm to carry them to the Super Bowl.

Larry Fitzgerald


We’re big fans of the probable Hall of Famer wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals.  He’s been the ultimate competitor an ambassador for the game and has suffered through bad quarterback play after Kurt Warner retired.  But Fitzgerald is due to make $16.1 million this year, second to only Detroit’s Calvin Johnson.  Problem is, Fitzgerald’s play has declined to where he is more of a possession receiver than gamebreaker.

Jonathan Stewart

Panthers Williams Football

The Carolina Panthers running back, also known as the “Daily Show” has one 1,000-yard rushing season to his credit, way back in 2009.  Since then he’s suffered through various ailments and general ineffectiveness.  That hasn’t stopped his forward progress to the bank, where’s he owed $7.3 million in 2014, the seventh most among all NFL running backs.  He makes more than San Francisco’s Frank Gore, who has far more production and talent.

Dwayne Bowe


The plodding Kansas City receiver has really underachieved this year, as he is on pace to catch 58 passes for zero touchdowns in 2014.  Bowe always has lacks top speed and has droped passes, but made up for it with his size and great route-running.  Not enough production (13 scores in last 57 games) for the fourth-highest paid wide receiver in the NFL, with a contract amount of $11.2 million.

Vernon Davis


As much as the 49ers tight end, Vernon Davis, has threatened the San Francisco front office with contract holdouts over the years, one would think they’d see more on the field. Or maybe a gift under the tree.  An outstanding talent at the position, Davis hasn’t had a game with four receptions since Week 1. His 2014 contract number is $7.35 million, the fourth-highest for a tight end.   Shameful.

Michael Johnson


Michael Johnson, not the Olympic sprinter, is a defensive end for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He is the NFL’s 11th highest paid defensive end, with a 2014 contract number of $8.75 million, significantly more than fellow end Carlos Dunlap or future Hall of Famer end Jared Allen.  For their money, Johnson has three puny sacks, 23 tackles and one forced fumble.  A terrible offseason signing by the hapless Bucs.

Brandon Carr


Dallas’s Brandon Carr, at one point was considered a good, not great, NFL cornerback.   He is the league’s fifth highest-paid at that position with a $10 million 2014 contract number.  Carr has repeatedly been burnt or out of position the last two seasons, giving up numerous big plays. He makes more than Denver’s Aqib Talib or Indianapolis’s Vontae Davis, two players at the position that are far better players.

Dashon Goldson


Another free agent signing gone awry for the last-place Bucs. Dashon Goldson had a reputation as an enforcing ball-hawk in San Francisco, but the referees do most of the enforcing on this overpaid safety.  He has been fined repeatedly for helmet-to-helmet hits.  He makes more ($8.25 million) than Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu, San Diego’s Eric Weddle or even Seattle’s Kam Chancellor.  Since joining Tampa, Goldson has one interception in 25 games.

Tyvon Branch

Oakland Raiders 2011 Headshots

An Oakland Raider! Finally.  Of course a Raider would make this list as that franchise has become synonymous with, how do you say, curious resource management.  Tyvon Branch is a size/speed freak at safety, but makes few actual plays and is increasingly injury-prone.  As football’s 11th highest paid safety ($6.65 million) he’s managed to pick off four passes and force three fumbles in 75 games.

Jason Worilds


As pretty much the opposite of the Oakland Raiders, the Pittsburgh Steelers always seem to know the precise amount of a player’s value.  For a Steeler linebacker making a shade under $10 million this year, we’d expect some more splash plays from the Virginia Tech product.   As the league’s seventh highest paid linebacker, he has 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries in 2014.  Not exactly Kevin Greene.

Logan Mankins


Another Tampa Bay Buccaneer! A key cog at guard of the Bill Belichick Patriots ground game, Belichick shipped former All-Pro Guard Logan Mankins to Tampa at the beginning of the year for a middling future draft pick.   With a contract number of $8.5 million, Mankins is the NFL’s highest paid guard in 2014.  The Bucs running game has been abysmal and Mankins hasn’t played particularly well in pass protection, either.

Percy Harvin


Working on his third team in three years, wide receiver Percy Harvin has agility and top-end speed in spades.  He won a Super Bowl last year with the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, in addition to being ultra-talented and incredibly fragile, he is a locker room malcontent. He’s NFL sixth highest-paid wideout ($10,757,500)–a whole lot for a player who has never even broken the 1,000 yard mark once in his career.

Greg Jennings


Gone from the days of winning and catching beautiful spirals from Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, Minnesota wide receiver Greg Jennings should be a cautionary tale to free agent wide receivers to be.  Since joining the aerially challenged Vikings, Jennings has underperformed (under 50 yards average per game) and hasn’t sniffed the postseason.  Jennings is the league’s tenth highest paid wide receiver ($9 million) for 2014.

Trent Richardson

NFL: Preseason-Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts

Although a beast in college, Richardson has been a huge bust so far in the NFL.  He lacks anything resembling acceleration through the hole and doesn’t have great vision or tackle-breaking ability.  On an offensive juggernaut like the Colts, Richardson is in danger of being released after the 2014 season.  He is currently the NFL’s 10th highest paid running back ($5,122,449) with a career average of 3.3 yards per carry.

NCAA claims to have no legal responsibility for academic fraud at UNC

By Alec Brzezinski

The NCAA has stated it is not responsible for the academic fraud allegations brought against the University of North Carolina, according to CBS.

Former North Carolina women’s basketball player Rashanda McCants and former football player Devon Ramsay sued the university and the NCAA in January claiming the school offered its athletes fake classes. The complaint was filed in North Carolina state court and accused the NCAA of negligence. The report claims the NCAA knew of other instances of academic fraud for the past century and refused to monitor those situations.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams (Getty Images)

“This case is troubling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the law does not and has never required the NCAA to ensure that every student-athlete is actually taking full advantage of the academic and athletic opportunities provides to them,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said.

The NCAA said the McCants lawsuit “misunderstands” the association’s role with member schools and ignores “myriad steps” the NCAA took to assist athletes in the classroom.


Canadiens acquire Jeff Petry from Oilers for draft picks

MONTREAL (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens have made the first major move on the morning of the NHL’s trade deadline day by acquiring Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers for draft picks.

The defenseman was considered one of the most likely players to be dealt before Monday’s 3 p.m. EST deadline. Petry can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

In exchange for the 27-year-old player, Montreal sent a 2015 second-round draft choice and a conditional fifth-round pick to Edmonton.

Petry had been the subject of trade talk for several weeks. He said in an interview in Toronto last month that he’s playing for a ”contract moving forward” and wants to show he’s a ”guy that’s going to bring intensity and bring my game day in and day out.”

In Donald Sterling scandal and beyond, NBA players stood together for change in 2014

Eric Koreen

It was only five years of NBA irrelevance but it felt like a lot longer for the Toronto Raptors and their fans. They had last made the playoffs in 2008, an unmemorable, uninspiring five-game loss to Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic, and had since toggled between intentional putridity and unintentional sub-mediocrity. Their surprise run to an Atlantic Division title and a first-round series against Brooklyn should have been the complete focus. Continue reading In Donald Sterling scandal and beyond, NBA players stood together for change in 2014

Romo shows guts, but McCoy leads Redskins over Cowboys in OT

By Eric Edholm

Tony Romo was heroic, but Colt McCoy was clutch.

McCoy, making his first start since Week 14 of the 2011 season, filled in for an injured Robert Griffin III and an ineffective Kirk Cousins to deliver a thrilling overtime victory for the Washington Redskins against the Dallas Cowboys, 20-17, on Monday night.  Continue reading Romo shows guts, but McCoy leads Redskins over Cowboys in OT