Archive For 04/29/2019

Knights legend backs SKD

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KNIGHTS legend Billy Peden has endorsed the club’s decision to sign controversial former Rooster Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
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Kenny-Dowall accepted a two-and-a-half year deal withthe Knights on Tuesday, barely a week after pleading guilty to possessing 0.29 grams of cocaine.

The offence carried a 12-month good behaviour bond but he escaped conviction at Dowling Centre Court.

FIRST DAY: Shaun Kenny-Dowall training with Newcastle on Wednesday.

Speaking at a media event to promote this week’s match-day sponsor, NSW Mining, Peden –one of only five Knights to have played in Newcastle’s 1997 and 2001 grand final-winning teams – said Kenny-Dowall’s indiscretion might actually be “a positive”, because he would be able to counsel younger teammates about the ramifications of making poor decisions.

Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said signing the former New Zealand international was “certainly not a decision we made lightly”.

“We had a lot of discussion around it …in terms of the fans, it’s important they understand we did a lot of talking about this, we did a lot of reference checking and we’re looking forward to him being here now,’’ Gidley said.

“He’s obviously made a mistake. It’s a great lesson for our young players.

“He’s paid a huge price for that mistake, and he’s made it really clear that he wants to be in Newcastle, even prior to the incident happening.’’

Knights coach Nathan Brown was undecided which position would best suit the 29-year-old.

“Look, he’s an experienced player and when you’ve got a squad like ours …any player that comes into our squad withthat wealth of experience is going to bring something to the table right away,’’ Brown said.

“We wouldn’t have wanted to bring him to the club if he wasn’t going to contribute in that area.’’

AAP reports: Newcastle are in unfamiliar territory as they prepare to enter Sunday’s NRL “Spoon Bowl”against the Wests Tigers as favourites.

For the first time since their round-26, 2015, clash with Penrith, Newcastle will head into a game as the more fancied side with the bookies, according to the TAB.

In that match the Panthers ran out 30-12 winners, relegating the Knights to their first of back-to-back wooden spoons.

Ahead of their clash with the last-placed Wests Tigers, the Knights are $1.80 with Ivan Cleary’s side $2.00 outsiders.

The match could decide who finishes the year on the bottom of the ladder with the Tigers equal on eight points with the Knights (15th).

The Knights have held the wood over the joint venture in the recent past having won five of their last seven encounters.

The Knights are showing signs of improvements having pushed finals contenders Manly and St George Illawarra to within four points over the last fortnight.

“They’re a pretty dangerous team,” fullback Nathan Ross said of the Tigers.

“If you want to go out there and play touch football with them, they’ve added [Tui]Lolohea to their team, they’ve got Luke Brooks who’s shown he’s a quality player, Aaron Woods is a State of Origin player, James Tedesco, Dave Nofoaluma is probably one of the best play one, play two ball runners in the game. So they’ve got all the strike power there. It’s also the strong team they’ve fielded in the last month.”

The Knights are set to receive a boost with Jamie Buhrer to return from a long-term foot injury.

They lacked cooler heads as the Dragons overturned a 28-10 half-time deficit to beat them 32-28 on Sunday and Buhrer will add some much-needed experience.

“We need to hold onto possession and slow the ruck down,” Ross said.

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Lamb chopped for Hodko

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OUT: Brock LambKNIGHTS coach Nathan Brown defended his young halves at a media conference on Thursday but appears likely to wield the carving knife on five-eighth Brock Lamb nonetheless.
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IN: Trent Hodkinson

There was speculation on Thursday that Lamb, the 20-year-old from Maitland, would be dropped for Sunday’s showdown with Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium, making way for former skipper Trent Hodkinson.

Lamb and scrumbasepartner Jaelen Feeney –boasting a grand tally of 29 top-grade games between them –have attracted criticism after Newcastle surrendered a 28-10 half-time lead against St George Illawarra last week to lose 32-28.

Asked about his playmakers at a promotion for match sponsor NSW Mining, Brown said it was “hard just to single them out” as the reason for his team’s second-half implosion against the Dragons.

“Could they have done a little better in certain periods of the game? Of course they could have,’’ Brown said.

“But when you’re scoring 28 [points] I think anyone’s pretty happy with your halves’ contribution.

“But just as a collective, I think we all need to get better.’’

Lamb has been a mainstay for Newcastle this season and is one of only five players to have appeared in all 14 games.

He has produced five try assists, the most by any Knight, crossed the stripe twice himself and kicked 23 goals from 27 attempts since Hodkinson was surprisingly dropped, after the 24-6 loss to Sydney Roosters in round seven.

But against the Dragons, Lambmissed five tackles andmade a handling error, and it seems Brown believes he needs a break.

Hodkinson has spent the past seven weeks playing in Newcastle’s NSW Cup side, amid speculation that he might not get another chance in the top side, despite being on a contract for next season rumoured to be worth around $600,000.

Askedat last week’s post-match press conference about the possibility ofrecalling Hodkinson, Brown said it was not experience that cost Newcastle against the Dragons, but“the ability to lift physically and mentally, more than anything.”

He added that his halves were“outstanding” in the first half.

“As a half, you’ve got to be a threat with the ball today,’’ he said.“If you’re not a running threat, well you’re wasting your time.

“You can’t rely on just kicking to score tries, because the defences are too good.’’

Since Hodkinson’sdemotion to NSW Cup, the former NSW Origin No.7 has played in five games, scoring two tries and kicking 16 goals.

His cool head andexperience are likely to come in handy on Sunday, in a game that shapes as must-win if the Knights are to avoid the embarrassment of a third straight wooden spoon.

With 146 NRL games under his belt, Hodkinson is Newcastle’s most seasoned campaigner–at least until new signing Shaun Kenny-Dowall make his debut.

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Courage of those who speak truth to power

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FOR nearly 2000 years Christianity has been one of the world’s most powerful movements, starting as a single voice preaching peace to the might of the Roman empire.
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And so it is fitting, in 2017, to acknowledge the many single voices that have spoken against the might of Rome –this time the seat of Christianity in the Catholic Church –as one of the church’s most senior members is charged with child sex offences.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has revealed, in devastating detail, how much the Catholic Church has veered from its founding principles –crimes against children that have led to people’s deaths;cover-ups that have shown how the church responded when those crimes would lead to scandal. And secrecy. Always secrecy.

The charging of Cardinal George Pell with historic child sex offences is only possible because individuals felt they could raise allegations against him –yet to be tested in a court and strongly denied by the cardinal –and be heard.

The royal commission has demonstrated to the wider community that child sex crimes can cause permanent and sometimes unbearable damage to people, and child sexual abuse by clergy can cause the greatest damage of all.

Child sexual abuse is, ultimately, a most despicable abuse of power that takes a sexual form. When the abuse is by one of God’s representatives on earth, and when that abuse is excused and virtually sanctioned by the church to prevent scandal and maintain the church’s power, there are tragic results.

In the Hunter child sexual abuse survivors spoke out early. There were charges and convictions against offenders. People fought against power and those fights were often isolated and lonely. But they kept fighting.

The royal commission has been a commission about the rights of children. The idea that children should be seen but not heard must now be swept away, because it is the foundation on which the abuse of children occurs.

The Hunter region can take credit for standing withsurvivors of child sexual abuse and demanding a royal commission on behalf of everyone who believes we are all equal before the law. We are all accountable.

It has been years of history in the making, with more to come. One man has been charged, but it sends a very powerful message.

Issue: 38,532

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Bitter sweet day for campaigner’s widow

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Bitter sweet day for campaigner’s widow State funeral: Chrissie Foster with daughters Katie (far left), Aimee and son-in-law Luke Salkowski at Anthony Foster’s state funeral in early June.
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Fighter: Anthony Foster’s image above his state funeral in Melbourne.

Campaigner: Anthony Hotel outside the Hotel Quirinale in Rome after Cardinal George Pell gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Determined: Chrissie and Anthony Foster in 2008 on their way to Australia to seek a meeting with Pope Benedict in Sydney during World Youth Day.

Charged: Cardinal George Pell in early June. He has been charged with child sex offences but says he is innocent of the charges.

Atmospheric: Storm clouds over the Vatican on the day Cardinal George Pell is charged with child sex offences.

TweetFacebookHell on the Way to Heaven, Mrs Foster wrote about theirfirst meeting with the then Melbourne Archbishop George Pell in October, 1996, and a later meeting where they discussed the devastating impact of the abuse on their daughters with Pell.

In 2008 Mr and Mrs Foster unsuccessfully attempted to see Pope Benedict in Sydney during World Youth Day, and in 2016 they flew to Rome to sit with survivors of abuse during Cardinal Pell’s testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse from the Quirinile Hotel.

Mr Foster was honoured with a state funeral for his work supporting survivors of child sexual abuse and supporting the campaign for a royal commission.

Mrs Foster applauded Victorian police for their investigation.

“There’s been complaints by different people and from different places and it’s right that Pellshould answer these allegations in a court,” Mrs Foster said.

She said she would keep an open mind about Pell returning to Australia to answer the charges, but noted his failure to return to Australia to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in March last year, despite making a commitment, under oath, to do so.

The Blue Knot Foundation, which represents child abuse survivors, acknowledged Anthony Foster in a statement after Cardinal Pell was charged.

Blue Knot Foundation head of research Dr Pam Stavropoulos said thecharging of George Pell with historical sexual abuse offences senta powerful message not only to survivors of child sexual abuse but to the whole of society.

“It upholds that no one is above the law, nomatter how high their office, qualifications, or standing,” Dr Stavropoulos said.

“As well as the impacts of the abuse itself, countless survivors of child sexual abuse have struggled with the silence and disbelief of society that adults and respected public figures can be perpetrators of thecriminal act of sexual abuse of children. The charging of George Pell is an enormously important step for community awareness which has been hard fought for and which cannot now be lost.

“While the charges have yet to be tested in court, the act of the laying of them is enormously important at both practical and symbolic levels.

“We at the Blue Knot Foundation are sorry that Anthony Foster – whodied a short time ago and who was a tireless advocate for accountability of the Catholic Church for the sexual abuse crimes, of which his own children were victims – did not live to see this day.”

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Pushing the envelope promising for patients

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Skipping through it: Lizzie Walters, 13, has had positive results doing interval training with Ryan McCathie. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.A HUNTER-based fitness study looking at the effects of interval training on children with cystic fibrosis is achieving some “outstanding” results, a local exercise physiologist says.
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RyanMcCathie said the 13-week program,a collaboration with John Hunter Children’s Hospital and Cystic Fibrosis NSW, looked at whether high intensity interval training could benefit cystic fibrosis sufferers.

“We’ve seen some amazing results already,” he said.

“In the past, the general guidelines for people with cystic fibrosiswere just ‘exercise for 30 minutes a day’, with the advice to do more slow, steady exercise.

“We’re doing interval training, so going at 100 per cent for a short period of time, then having a short rest period.”

MrMcCathie, of Hunter Rehabilitation and Health,said he monitoredthe participant’soxygenlevels throughout the sessions.

Pushing the envelope promising for patients Skipping through it: Lizzie Walters, 13, has had positive results doing interval training with Ryan McCathie. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

Skipping through it: Lizzie Walters, 13, has had positive results doing interval training with Ryan McCathie. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

Skipping through it: Lizzie Walters, 13, has had positive results doing interval training with Ryan McCathie. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

Skipping through it: Lizzie Walters, 13, has had positive results doing interval training with Ryan McCathie. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

TweetFacebook Cystic Fibrosis research project looks into interval training“A lot of parents have felt a bit worried about pushing them to that extra level, but what it’s shown is that pushing them to that 100 per cent effort for a short period of time not only improves their fitness, but improves their airway clearance as well,” he said.

“Doing these intervals, they are finding it much easier to clear their lungs and cough up the mucus and phlegm.

“Because it’s in a safe environment, we can really pushthem further than what they are used to.”

Lizzie Walters, 13,has been participating in the exercise projectsince it began.

She would love to be able to docartwheels with her friends. Since building up her upper body strength through theprogram, it now seems possible.

Her mother, Joanne Walters, said her daughter’s fitness and self-confidence had improved, as well as her oxygen levels.

“She is fitter, she is stronger, she has more energy,” Ms Walters said.

“Even in school in PE, and things like that, she’s been happy to participate. She’s been able to do more physical exercise at school, and keep up with her friends a bit more without coughing as much.

“Her oxygen levels have been higher, and they are not dropping as much during exercise, or overnight.”

Mr McCathie said the programparticipants underwent clinical testing at John Hunter Children’s Hospital before the project to get baseline data. They would be re-tested at the end of the trial.

Those results would be complemented by functional fitness testingwithin the gym at different stages.

“At the six-week test we saw huge increases in all aspects – their strength, their endurance, across the board,” he said.

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