Sunday, June 24, 2012

Only in good old England...

By Graham Smith

Bailiffs calling: Bristol University student Georgie Twigg, 21, spread the teaching of her final academic year over two so she could focus on a tough training schedule for the GB hockey team
    A young Olympic hopeful who took time out from her law degree to train for a place at the London 2012 games has been threatened by balliffs over council tax payments.
    Bristol University student Georgie Twigg, 21, spread the teaching of her final academic year over two so she could focus on a tough training schedule for the GB hockey team.
    But this loyalty to her country makes Miss Twigg the only part-time student in a house of six, in Clifton, Bristol - leaving her liable for a hefty council tax bill on a property in band E, totalling £1,500.
    Full-time students are exempt from paying council tax while they study, but as Miss Twigg only attends university for one day a week, she no longer qualifies for this bracket.
  Miss Twigg spends the other four days of her week training with her GB hockey team in Maidenhead, Berkshire - living in a property that she pays full council tax on.
    She received a court summons after returning from Argentina in February, where her GB hockey team won a silver medal at the Champions Trophy for the first time.
    Miss Twigg, who carried the Olympic torch through Clifton, Bristol, earlier this month, contacted Bristol City Council to ask to be treated as a student as she does not have the money to pay the bill - but her plea fell on deaf ears.
    The summons stated that because she was completing her final year in two years instead of one, she was classed as a part-time student and was no longer exempt from paying council tax, as full-time students are.
    Miss Twigg's parents wrote to the council, including to leader Simon Cook and chief executive Jan Ormondroyd to ask that she be made exempt due to her exceptional circumstances.
    But the council told the family there was nothing it could do and demanded the money.
    At the start of this month, just as she was about to take her final law exams, Miss Twigg received a notice of 'intended bailiff action'.
      Her father Robert Twigg, 57, said: 'We feel that Georgie has been penalised for trying to complete her studies while at the same time qualifying for the Olympic team.
     'It can't be right that this charge wouldn't have been put on her if she had opted out of such a fantastic opportunity.
     'Bristol City Council has been completely unsupportive and unreasonable - no-one seems to want to stick their head above the parapet and realise that these are exceptional circumstances - it just seems so wrong.'
     A spokesman for Bristol City Council said: ....'We have offered as reasonable terms as we can for the repayment of the debt incurred. It goes without saying that we wish her all the best at the Olympics.'

Daily Mail

Project 2013's Europe Tour...

THE Project 2013 squad will get an early boost when they  travel to Europe and play a series of matches against  European Junior World Cup Qualifier teams.
    Malaysia has already qualified for the Junior World Cup, to  be held in November next year in New Delhi, after they  became champions in the Malacca Junior Asia Cup.
   “I will be taking at least 20 players who will be eligible to  play in the Junior World Cup next year, and leave out those  who helped in the Junior Asia Cup but will be overage for New  Delhi,” said Project 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj.
   Traveling at the end of July, the first stop will be Valencia,  Spain, where they will play two matches against Spain  Juniors, two against France Juniors, two against Belgium  Juniors, and one against a Netherlands Division One side.
    After that, they depart for Poland where two matches will  be played against the Polish juniors and then the seniors.
    “The timing is just right as we will play teams who will be  preparing for the European Juniors Nations Championship  (a World Cup Qualifier starting on July 26) and so we are  assured of playing quality matches,” said Dharmaraj.
     However, after they return and play in the Sultan of Johor  Cup, Dharmaraj will include the six players who will be  overage for the World Cup.
   “I need the six players to keep the Sultan of Johor Cup  trophy in Malaysia. As the defending champions, we must  have the best players available for the second edition.
    “We still have ample time to prepare the Junior World Cup  players, and in the 2013 Sultan of Johor Cup which is  expected to be held one month before the Junior World Cup,  I will get a chance to field the World Cup proper team,” said  Dharmaraj.
    On tour attachments for his charges: “Faizal (Saari) has  already secured a spot with Athletico Madrid and will play in  the European Hockey League. And 16 other players also have  been selected to join European Clubs, but it all depends on  when the MHC (Malaysia Hockey Confederation) decide to  hold the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League).
   “The calendar for the MHL this year is still not out yet, and  if it clashes with the EHL, then we will not be able to send  juniors to Europe attachments, as they already have con tracts with clubs in Malaysia,” said Dharmaraj.