Oxford rowers claim they have been the victims of homophobic abuse and numerous attempts to force them from the river as tensions between rowers and houseboat residents escalate, Cherwell can report.Rowers from a number of different colleges allege that they have been targeted by houseboat owners who placed tacks on the towpath and thew eggs and tomatoes at them.Rowers have further alleged that residents have driven close enough to disturb the water in an attempt to capsize them, have intentionally driven into boats, and have hospitalised an Oxford town rower.These incidents have been brought up at the college rowing captain’s meeting, the minutes of which report that Oxford University Sabbatical Officer for Rowing Tom Coles “had been in contact with the police and the Environment Agency about the houseboats on the bottom stretch”.Describing one incident that occurred last term, University College team captain Ben Norbury told Cherwell: “Just as we passed the houseboats, our cox heard some splashes around our boat and then a bang as an egg hit our stern. Not really realising what was going on we kept rowing.“On the next lap, rowing up to the top again, in the same place, we saw two guys with a dog on the river bank. This time, apparently having depleted their stock of eggs, they just threw homophobic insults at us.“They began to follow us as we rowed to the spinning area, but gave up as we sped away. After spinning and rowing past them again we got similar shouting etc.”Norbury also claims that during one race last week a houseboat continued to sail down the middle of the river as a boat from St Catz college approached. The houseboat collided with the rowers as they turned, ripping off half the boat’s riggers. On rowchat.org, a forum for rowing discussion, one commentator said: “Barge driver clearly not a fan of rowing, ignored a load of marshals and then carried on afterwards without bothering to stop and see if anyone was hurt.”In a separate incident, a Wolfson college boat was intentionally rammed by a houseboat.Norbury believes that the boat that hit the St Catherine’s boat was only in Oxford temporarily, but that the boat that hit the Wolfson crew is permanently based here.Rowers believe that the houseboat owners hostility comes as a result of being disturbed by rowing crews, but could not understand why it had so suddenly developed this academic year.Mack Grenfell, a rower for University College, told Cherwell: “They claim that the antipathy is generated by us scraping/touching their boats with our blades.“I have been rowing for 3 and a half years, and I have got no idea why incidents are occurring now more than ever.“However, this happens relatively often unfortunately, but I think much less since all these major incidents. It’s odd though as to me this would be a minor issue.“My guess is that a lot of them hold resentment to the student population, or are just aggressive people.“Pretty much every day you’ll see loads of them drinking on the towpath, sometimes shouting at crews. Sometimes you’ll get a boat reeking of weed.”This was confirmed by Alastair, a houseboat owner resident on the Thames for over ten years, who said that rowers did knock into boats regularly and wake him up due to their use of megaphones to communicate, but that he accepted it as “part of life on the river”.He claimed that while most houseboat residents were content to share the river there were a small minority of “arseholes” who didn’t share that attitude, and that recently several “raging alcoholics” had moved their houseboat into the Oxford stretch of the Thames.Alastair alleged that they stole coal from other boats, threw beer cans around, and were regular drug users.Grenfell claimed the police “have a fat file on all the incidents”, but that they are unable to act as the water is not within their jurisdiction. He further stated that the incidents that took place of the towpath were considered by the police to be a “nuisance” and not worthy of investigation.Thames Valley Police have been contacted for comment.
DESPITE close to four months of inactivity in the Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) Elite League, the country’s top football league, coach Michael Johnson and his technical staff named 31 locally based provisional squad to begin training as the Golden Jaguars prepare for their CONCACAF Nations League participation.Seven players, according to a release from the GFF, received their first call to Guyana’s Senior National programme.Charles Pollard, Golden Jaguars’ assistant coach and lead for the Guyana-based team preparation, said the squad was selected by a technical panel including head coach Michael Johnson.“We’re continuously looking for players with the right combination of technical skill, heart and commitment to represent Guyana. I believe this squad reflects that,” Pollard said.Pollard added that while the majority of the squad is taken from those who were part of the previous training programme, “we have brought in some new players who have shown creditable performances in the recently-held tournaments and who have to fight for a place when the short list is made.One of those players is young Ryan Dowding who performed well during the recently concluded GFF-KFC U-20 tournament.”The Former national defender pointed out that the first sessions will prioritise fitness, since “fitness in the sport, especially during this time, can never be underestimated. So while some of the guys have been actively engaged in tournaments, others may not have been so active, so the fitness regime will test this to determine their overall readiness and will also point us to areas to focus on.”Fitness evaluation is scheduled for Saturday.Guyana will journey to Curacao to face Aruba at the Stadion Ergilio Hato in their first League B, Group C match in the CONCACAF Nations League. Kick-off time is 19:00hrs.By virtue of finishing seventh in the qualifying stages of the competition, Guyana were placed in Group C of League B alongside Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba and Jamaica.Following their September 6 encounter, Guyana will return home to host Jamaica on September 9 from 19:00hrs at the National Track and Field Centre.The Golden Jaguars will then travel to Antigua and Barbuda where they will roar at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on October 11, to finish off the first leg of the home-and-away formatted league.Guyana will host Antigua and Barbuda on October 15, Aruba on November 15 and will travel to Jamaica on November 18 for their second clash with the ‘Reggae Boyz’.The home-and-away group stage of the 2019 CONCACAF Nations League will be played on FIFA match dates in September, October and November 2019, while the Final Championship will take place in 2020.At the conclusion of the round-robin group stage, the winners of each League A group will qualify to the Final Championship, while the League B and C group winners will be promoted to League A and B for the next edition of the competition.Additionally, the teams at the bottom of each League A and B group will be relegated to League B and C respectively.GOALKEEPERS: Alex Murray (Santos FC), Akel Clarke (S.V. Walking Boyz Company), Sese Norville Jr (Milerock FC), Clive Matthews (Grove Hi-Tec FC)DEFENDERS: Sherwin Skeete (Fruta Conquerors FC), Simeon Moore (Santos FC), Kevin Dundas (Eagles FC), Omar Brewley (Eagles FC), Raphael Edwards (S.V. Walking Boyz Company), Kevin Layne (Guyana Defence Force FC), Quincy Adams (Fruta Conquerors FC), Solomon Austin (Fruta Conquerors FC), Anson Lewis (Botofago FC), William Europe (Western Tigers FC), Shemar Fraser (Buxton United FC).MIDFIELDERS: Ryan Dowding (Santos FC), Leo James Lovell (Den Amstel FC), Franklin Parks (Guyana Rush Saints FC), Daniel Wilson (Western Tigers FC), Jahall Greaves (Fruta Conquerors FC), Deon Charter (Eagles FC), Ryan Hackett (Fruta Conquerors FC), Clive Nobrega (Eagles United), Pernel Shultz (Western Tigers) and Delwin Fraser (Guyana Defence Force FC).FORWARDS: Jamaal Pereira (Fruta Conquerors FC), Delroy Fraser (Guyana Defence Force FC), Jamal Haynes (Botofago FC), Randolph Wagner (Western Tigers FC), Donovan Francis (Eagles FC) and David Blake (Den Amstel FC).
Students involved in the USC lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community reacted with excitement to President Barack Obama signing the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy into law Tuesday.The policy, signed into action by President Bill Clinton in 1993, prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.Congress initiated the repeal last December when it voted to rescind DADT and was followed by the signing of a certification in late July issuing a 60-day waiting period, which ended today.Obama said the repeal will not diminish military readiness.The end of DADT was met with much celebration from the Queer and Allied Student Alliance, which has actively campaigned in favor of the repeal for months.Vincent Vigil, the director of USC’s LGBT Resource Center, reacted to the news of the repeal with excitement.“It shows that the country is changing,” Vigil said. “The repeal shows that the country’s and the constituents’ mindset is changing to be more accepting of gays and lesbians.”Vigil said debate within states regarding same-sex marriage will continue to hinder progress within the LGBT community but, despite these foreseen setbacks, “individuals today feel okay to come out.”Many students’ reactions have been equally supportive of the repeal.“Sexual orientation shouldn’t be a major issue in the army,” said Rachel Ragusa, a sophomore majoring in biology. “This is a good step in equalizing. I feel like it’s OK to be whoever you are.”Trevor Taylor, a freshman majoring in interactive media, said a person’s sexual orientation should not play an inhibiting role in the military.“If you are laying your life down,” Taylor said. “You shouldn’t care about the guy’s sexuality. It’s just whether or not the guy has your back.”Jeff Burgett, a sophomore majoring in production, said, although in theory the repeal of DADT is positive, there will continue to be problems of discrimination based on sexual orientation in the military.“The reason [DADT] was administered was to protect people,” Burgett said. “There is always going to be persecution. But in an ideal world there should be no limitations.”