But a frantic finish followed as Hart gifted Jerome his equaliser and Norwich then had captain Russell Martin sent off for blocking a Raheem Sterling shot with his arm. Toure rifled home the resulting spot-kick but then appeared annoyed to be substituted soon after. City were awarded a second penalty in injury time but Aleksandar Kolarov missed. The closing moments of the game contrasted with the sedate nature of most of the rest of the contest. Norwich were thrashed 7-0 on their last visit to the Etihad two years ago and set out to avoid a repeat and sat deep to frustrate the hosts. But openings inevitably came and Wilfried Bony will have been disappointed not to get on the scoresheet, missing three good chances in the first half. John Ruddy saved one of them but two others were blasted wide. Toure also brought the best out of Ruddy from a free-kick. Norwich’s opportunities were rare but they showed they could be a threat with one counter-attack leading to a Matt Jarvis chance, which Hart saved. Vincent Kompany headed wide from a corner and City’s frustration continued after the break as Bony was denied another shooting chance by a well-timed Sebastien Bassong tackle. It seemed inevitable that City would turn to Sterling and the £49million man was summoned from the bench after 54 minutes. Iheanacho, who had been making his first Premier League start after an impressive Capital One Cup showing in midweek, made way. Yaya Toure struck a late penalty winner as Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City snatched a dramatic 2-1 win over 10-man Norwich. The change paid dividends as City changed shape and Sterling lifted the tempo with some energetic bursts. The crowd responded with renewed enthusiasm and the hosts eventually made their breakthrough from a set-piece midway through the second half. Kevin De Bruyne delivered an excellent corner from the right and Otamendi, hovering near the penalty spot, rose unchallenged to power a firm header past Ruddy. De Bruyne was withdrawn soon after as City boss Manuel Pellegrini perhaps started to turn his attention towards Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Sevilla. But that could have proved very costly as City slipped into cruise control mode and were punished for a rare Hart gaffe. The England number one looked to have claimed a Robbie Brady cross from the right but dropped the ball as he landed and Jerome pounced from close range. It then became a test of City’s mettle and they roused themselves for a late surge. Norwich had just minutes to hold on but Ruddy cracked as he lost the ball under pressure from Fernandinho on the edge of the area. Fernandinho went down on the edge of the area under Ruddy’s challenge but the ball rolled on to Sterling. His snap-shot was blocked by the arm of Martin and referee Robert Madley immediately pointed to the spot and brandished the red card. Toure rifled home the penalty but that was not the end of the drama in what proved a chaotic finish. Hart atoned for his earlier error by denying Martin Olsson with a fine save in injury time and Toure appeared to react angrily to being substituted by Pellegrini. City were then awarded a second penalty as Sterling was tripped by Brady but Kolarov shot wide with the last kick of the game. TWEET OF THE MATCH “Toure scores from the spot and Hart breathes a huge sigh of relief.” – Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) reacts to Man City’s second goal. PLAYER RATINGS MAN CITY Joe Hart: 5 (out of 10) Bacary Sagna: 6 Vincent Kompany: 7 Nicolas Otamendi: 8 Aleksandar Kolarov: 6 Jesus Navas: 6 Fernandinho: 7 Yaya Toure: 7 Kevin De Bruyne: 6 Wilfried Bony: 5 Kelechi Iheanacho: 6 Substitutes: Raheem Sterling: 7 Fernando: 6 Martin Demichelis: 5 NORWICH John Ruddy: 5 Robbie Brady: 7 Ryan Bennett: 7 Russell Martin: 7 Sebastien Bassong: 7 Martin Olsson: 7 Jonny Howson: 6 Youssouf Mulumbu: 7 Alexander Tettey: Matt Jarvis: 6 Cameron Jerome: 6 Substitutes: Nathan Redmond: 7 Gary O’Neil: 6 Lewis Grabban: 6 STAR MAN Nicolas Otamendi. It was not just because he scored the opening goal that the defender stood out. The Argentinian was excellent at Manchester United last week and was again strong and composed throughout. Admittedly Norwich did not provide the sternest test but he did not put a foot wrong and his partnership with Vincent Kompany looks very promising. MOMENT OF THE MATCH There was a touching moment when fans from both clubs around rose and applauded in tribute to late Manchester City fan Chris Shaw in the 35th minute. Shaw, 35, lost his battle against cancer last week leaving a wife and two children, aged four and 11 weeks. VIEW FROM THE BENCH After being thrashed 7-0 on their last visit two years ago, Norwich know how deadly City can be. Alex Neil was not the Canaries boss then, but he made sure there could be no repeat as he sent his side out in a defensive 4-5-1 formation. They were highly disciplined and frustrated the hosts. On another day, they could well have taken something from the game. Manuel Pellegrini will have been frustrated that his side could not pierce the Canaries’ back line for more than an hour. He will also be annoyed his team almost undid their hard work after taking the lead, and he will want to look at how he sets his team up to close out games. MOAN OF THE MATCH It was not clear what Yaya Toure was so annoyed about as he left the field but he appeared unhappy about being taken off. If that is the case, he should not be questioning the decision of his manager in such an open way. Pellegrini has the right to make the changes he sees fit. WHO’S UP NEXT? Sevilla v Man City (Champions League, Tuesday November 3). Norwich v Swansea (Premier League, Saturday November 7). A Joe Hart error had gifted Norwich’s Cameron Jerome an unlikely equaliser seven minutes from time at the Etihad Stadium. Before that City had looked in control after finally breaking the resilient Canaries with a firm header from Nicolas Otamendi after 67 minutes. Press Association
Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Published on March 20, 2016 at 8:08 pm Grade Syracuse’s performance against Middle Tennessee StateABCDFVoteView ResultsCrowdsignal.comGrade Syracuse's performance against Middle Tennessee State Facebook Twitter Google+
Published on April 1, 2016 at 5:04 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+ WHITE HOUSE, Tenn.—David Gutic wasn’t paying attention to the more than 160 students behind him, most dressed in orange. He joked about fearing orange because to him, an 18-year veteran of Yankee Trails bussing, it means construction and delays.The Syracuse University students from the three-bus caravan are stood in a spacious empty parking lot outside a Wal-Mart. Baton twirler and bus one rider Meghan Sinisi led them in a chant of, “Let’s go Orange!”Gutic, a gray-haired Croatian who fled his country in 1992 after war erupted, just wanted to enjoy his smoke break.The students stopped cheering and walked to one of the six restaurants nearby. The most popular choice was Zaxby’s, where the line of more than 50 students trailed out the door.“The bus ride really hasn’t been bad,” Bryce Clark, an information management and technology sophomore, said in Zaxby’s. “It doesn’t feel like it’s been (15 hours). And I had to go. To go with a bunch of other students to your school’s Final Four game? Once in a lifetime.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat’s how many of the students on this trip feel. The free buses to Houston for Syracuse’s Final Four matchup on Saturday night, provided courtesy of the Student Association, were the reason that many people came. Many students said they couldn’t have afforded the trip otherwise. Three buses left around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday and a fourth bus, added late by SA, departed around 11 p.m.“I respect them a lot now for putting this together,” Lucian Earle, a junior civil engineering major, said of SA. “… And I totally underestimated this ride. First three hours were the toughest. I wasn’t organized, not the right setup. The anxiety pill helps.”Chase Guttman | Staff PhotographerEarle’s friend Steven Lisowski, also a civil engineering junior, agreed. The two are on bus one, meaning they showed up the earliest to Schine Student Center on Wednesday morning to get their bus tickets.Even students who didn’t arrive first were happy to be on the buses at all. Lenn Brown, a management sophomore, is a manager on the basketball team who wanted to travel to the game anyway. But when he received the email about the buses, he canceled his plane ticket that he said cost more than $1000 and got in line.“We don’t have working outlets (on the left side of the bus) and the WiFi is bad,” Brown said, “But YOLO. It’s worth it.”The faults of the bus did not escape many as it pulled away from Schine. The cheering had stopped, before the bus’ motor switched on, just after the TV camera had switched off its light and soon you could hear the grumbles.Some people had anticipated this and took steps to prepare. A girl in one row downloaded “close to $50” worth of movie and TV downloads. Two guys played the card game gin rummy. A group of sorority sisters went to sleep on their Otto the Orange pillow pets. Four fraternity brothers had come prepared with multiple boxes of Franzia wine.The more they drank, the louder their conversations of conquest became. They found excuses to shout out “Four!” and “Final Four!” whenever they could.It took 25 minutes to drain the bag. Then they produced a speaker, blasting old school Kanye West and the newest album from Kendrick Lamar, who is performing at the Final Four Fan Fest. The frat leader yelled along with most of the songs and asked everyone for requests. His sentences always ended with “Bro!”No one seemed to mind the music, with parts of the bus even singing along to “Blood on the Leaves” by Kanye West, and other songs. The sorority girls laughed, put in headphones and went back to sleep.Around Buffalo, the first stop, the frat leader yelled out, “Only 21 hours left!”A voice from the dark: “What’s 21 minus one divided by five?”Silence.“Wha-?” a girl began.“Four!” the voice yelled. “Final Four!”The fraternity brothers, suddenly catching on, belted out a raucous but slightly confused chant: “Final Four! Final Four! Final Four!” that lasted for 30 seconds.After Buffalo, darkness melted away anything distinguishable outside and the bus sped across a small swath of Pennsylvania, across Ohio and students woke up to the flat, rural landscape of backwoods Kentucky. By the time the bus stopped in Tennessee at noon central time on Friday, most students hadn’t had a real meal in 17 hours.Chase Guttman | Staff PhotographerAnd then Zaxby’s was over. The students walked single-file back on to the bus. Gutic took a long last drag and clapped his friend, bus two’s driver, on his back.Gutic then crushed the cigarette beneath his foot, stretched his arms and climbed back on the bus. Comments
Twenty-six consecutive years, that more than two decades, the Mount Sentinel Wildcats have qualified for the B.C. High School AA Boy’s Volleyball Championships. Not bad for the rural high school.The Cats defeated J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail and Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries Rockers Wednesday at Mount Sentinel in the West Kootenay High School AA Boy’s Volleyball finals to advance to the tournament later this month in Kelowna. Mallard’s Source for Sports would like to congratulate the Wildcats with Team of the Week honours. The team includes, back row, L-R, assistant coach, Derek Sherbinin, Josh Roberts, Zach Grigg, Jake Sherbinin, Brady Beauchamp, Dale Strong, Devon Kabatoff and head coach Glen Campbell. Front, Jesse Strong.
The road to the BC High School AA Boy’s Soccer tournament begins Friday in Creston for the L.V. Rogers Bombers.The Bombers join five other teams — J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail, Golden Eagles, David Thompson Lakers of Invermere, Selkirk Storm of Kimberley and host Prince Charles Comets — in the Kootenay High School AA Boy’s Soccer Zone Championships.LVR, the defending champs, open play Friday againsat the Selkirk Storm at 10 a.m. before facing the host Comets at 12:30 p.m. Golden, David Thompson and J. Lloyd Crowe play in A-pool round robin.The two pool winners meet for the Kootenay title at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.LVR enters the zones having won its own tournament last week.The Bombers have lost just once this season, a 2-1 decision to triple-A Mount Baker Wild at a tournament earlier this season in Cranbrook.The winner advances to represent the Kootenay Zone at the BC High School AA Boy’s Soccer Championships November 17-19 in Burnaby.
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 8, 2016)–Separated by a length and a half when last they met, Uruguayan-bred Generosidade and Chilean-bred Quick Casablanca head a field of 10 older marathoners in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 San Juan Capistrano Stakes at a mile and three quarters on turf, Santa Anita’s traditional closing day feature. TRADITIONAL CLOSING DAY FEATURE ATTRACTS FIELD OF 10 OLDER HORSES GENEROSIDADE: Trained by Paulo Lobo and ridden by fellow Brazilian, Tiago Pereira, this 7-year-old mare blew out the tote board when defeating Quick Casablanca and other males in the Grade II, 1 ½ miles turf San Luis Rey Stakes at 71-1 on March 13. Although unplaced, she had been close in three stateside stakes assigments prior to annexing her first North American win in the San Luis Rey. Lightly raced, Generosidade has five wins from 17 lifetime starts. Owned by her breeder, Haras Phillipson, Generosidade surged from far back to win the San Luis Rey as she held a troubled Quick Casablanca at bay. QUICK CASABLANCA: Conditioned by Hall of Famer, Ron McAnally, who seeks his third lifetime win in the San Juan Capistrano, this 8-year-old full horse, who has been winless since taking his Southern California debut for McAnally 11 starts back on April 25, 2014, appears to be back on his game as he makes his fourth start of the current Winter Meet. “The added distance should be a benefit,” said McAnally. “In the San Luis Rey he kept coming even after he got in trouble turning for home. He was still closing and wasn’t beaten that far.” Best suited when allowed to settle and make a run from well off the pace, Quick Casablanca has an overall mark of 27-4-8-6 and he has earnings of $689,160.THE GRADE III SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS, WEIGHTS & MORNING LINERace 8 (of 11) A Red Tie Day–Mario Gutierrez–120–(6-1)Cardiac–Fernando Perez–120–(20-1)Energia Fribby–Rafael Bejarano–115–(4-1)Kenjisstorm–Edwin Maldonado–120–(8-1)Bourbon Soul–Flavien Prat–120–(6-1)Generosidade–Tiago Pereira–119–(4-1)Blingo–Alex Solis–120–(6-1)Quick Casablanca–Tyler Baze–120–(7-2)Life’s Journey–Kent Desormeaux–120–(20-1)Generoso–Martin Pedroza–120–(20-1)First post time for an 11-race card on Sunday, closing day of Santa Anita’s current Winter Meet, is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.
The Civil Law Court ‘B’ at the Temple of Justice has reversed its earlier judgment in favor of one Alieu Harvey that mandated the immediate ejection of President George Weah’s chief of protocol, Nora Finda Bundoo, and several others out of 3.45 acres of land situated in the Christopolis community in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.The disputed 3.45 land was a portion of the Intestate Estate of the Late A.J. Brisbane.In the twist of the court’s decision, Judge Scheaplor Dunbar explained that though his ruling placed the highly contested properties into the possession of Harvey, he had decided to reverse his decision when he investigated the testimony of one of the court’s Bailiffs, Anthony Flomo, when he served as a witness.Regarding his own Writ of Possession that placed the properties squarely in the care of Harvey, Dunbar declared that the writ issued by the court to eject the defendants is “quashed and set-aside.”“This court’s final judgment of February 14, 2018, is vacated and set aside,” the civil law court judge’s ruling, dated July 20, declared.Dunbar said that his decision was without prejudice and, therefore, he has granted leave to Harvey to file a new ejection against all the individuals who are allegedly occupying his property.That ruling, dated February 16, a copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, authorizes Captain Humphrey Seequeh, Deputy Sheriff for Montserrado County, and quotes Dunbar, instructing, “You are ordered to put the plaintiff (Harvey) in complete and unrestricted possession of the property by virtue of the court’s trial jury verdict and the final judgment dated February 14.”Twisting his language, Dunbar said Flomo’s testimony was false and misleading when he claimed that he served the defendants with the writ on October 30, 2017.“But the document showed that the defendants were served on October 21, 2017,” Dunbar said of an action which discredited Flomo’s testimony.Dunbar also advised Harvey to file a new lawsuit against the defendants; but this time he should ensure that all the named defendants, who include Madam Bundoo, were properly served with the precepts.The intense drama ensured when Bundoo and her co-defendants challenged the February 14 judgment of the court, arguing that they were not served a copy of any writ of summons in October 2017, although Flomo had repeatedly testified that they were served with the writ of summons on October 30 and which was intended to amicably resolve the dispute.Flomo also testified that he served the court Writ of Summons that invited Madam Bundoo and her co-defendants to attend the Action of Ejection case filed by Harvey against the defendants.Besides, summoning the defendants, there were several other notice of assignments that the court used to pursue Bundoo and her co-defendants to amicably find a lasting solution to the matter; but, again they refused to do so.Further to his testimony, Witness Flomo claimed that some of the defendants, not including Bundoo, received and signed the court’s document for consultation, but the defendants failed to obey those efforts.It was due to that oral and documentary evidence that Judge Dunbar immediately set-up a jury panel; and the court entertained testimonies from witnesses that included Harvey in the absence of the defendants.After Harvey and his witnesses’ testified, Dunbar, in the absence of the defendants’ testimony, ruled by placing the properties into the possession of Harvey.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
SAN FRANCISCO–Charles Johnson, one of the principal owners of the San Francisco Giants, doesn’t keep up with the news.That’s the explanation Johnson’s attorney Joe Cotchett offered Monday when asked why Johnson and his wife Ann each donated the maximum $2,700 to the campaign of Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican U.S. Senator from Mississippi who has come under fire recently for expressing racist remarks.“I’m not so sure that Charlie reads the paper every day the way you and I read the paper,” …
2 August 2004South Africa’s ostrich industry may have had its wings clipped by international competitition, but experts say the country can maintain its dominant position in the global market – and that the industry presents a key opportunity for emerging farmers.According to Business Day’s trade supplement, The South African Exporter, more ostrich meat is exported from South Africa than any other red meat.South Africa currently has around 600 export-registered ostrich farms, with roughly 300 000 ostriches slaughtered in the country each year. The industry employes around 20 000 workers, and total investment in production and processing is around R2.1-billion per annum.The European Union, which places tough requirements on exporters, is the largest consumer of South Africa’s ostrich meat, while Asia is also a major export destination.The potential market for ostrich meat was highlighted during the mad cow disease scare of the 1990s. At the time, much of the local industry was concentrated in the Karoo, with Oudtshoorn accounting for around three-quarters of South African production.Since then, other parts of the country – including the Free State, Gauteng and Limpopo – have begun producing ostrich meat competitively.Staying ahead of the competitionSo too, however, have Namibia, Zambia, China, Japan, Canada and the United States. In 1995 South Africa was responsible for 82% of ostrich slaughters worldwide; since 2000 this has dropped to 65%.China, in particular, is seen as a threat to the local industry. With governmental and private backing, Chinese ostrich farmers are growing in strength.Industry players say, however, that South Africa has a historical advantage over newcomers in the industry – as well as natural conditions that favour ostrich farming.The main source of South Africa’s world domination is the ostrich leather market, accounting for around 65% of total ostrich export earnings. In 2003, South Africa supplied 79% of the world’s ostrich skins.According to the South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC), South Africa has a comparative advantage over Europe in that local operations permit economies of scale.In South Africa, the value of a slaughtered bird is broken down into 45% skin, 45% meat and 10% feather. This contrasts with Europe, where the breakdown is 75% meat and 25% skin. The chamber says SA’s competitors still have to explore income from feathers, which involves very labour-intensive operations. The value of the oil from Ostrich fat also remains underdeveloped.Involving SA’s emerging farmersIn the Strategic Plan for South African Agriculture – which the SAOBC argues is the most important agricultural initiative since 1994 – the Department of Agriculture, Agri South Africa and the National African Farmers’ Union mapped out a vision for a united and prosperous agricultural sector.According to the SAOBC, there are several obstacles to entering the industry. High start-up and running costs, the risk of disease, inexperience, the absence of guaranteed markets and a lack of export expertise are among the reasons why new ostrich farmers and processors fail.Because ostrich farming does not lend itself towards subsistence farming, there are few emerging farmers in the industry. The learning curve for new farmers is steep, as they grapple with the intricacies of general farm management and the industry-specific pitfalls of ostrich farming.Since its inception, the SAOBC has been laying foundations for easier access and improved equity in the ostrich industry. So far, it has reviewed the challenges facing the industry in creating equitable access to and participation in ostrich farming, the deracialising of land and enterprise ownership, and unlocking the entrepreneurial potential in the sector.In consultation with its members, the SAOBC is drafting an action plan with objectives that are both realistic and attainable. The final plan will contain key performance indicators, service delivery standards, monitoring and evaluation systems, a conflict resolution mechanism and well-defined timeframes, the chamber says.One of the flagship empowerment projects in the ostrich industry is the Community-Based Ostrich Farming Project (CBOFP), which was initiated by the Camdeboo Meat Processors in Graaff-Reinet.At Camdeboo’s request, the association for commercial ostrich farmers in the province, the Eastern Cape Ostrich Producers’ Association, donated seed money for the project and pledged to provide mentorship to the fledgling farmers.“The more we work on the plan, the more we find ways of removing obstacles which have traditionally hindered access to our industry”, says SAOBC general manager Francois Hanekom.“I am confident that, as the sense of unity among old and new participants in our industry grows, we will be able to remove the remaining obstacles through mentorship and strategic partnerships. Ultimately we want a strong industry which is both representative and competitive.”SouthAfrica.info reporter
A baby takes a nap at the Baby Hotelwith a caregiver nearby monitoring theinfant. The library/playroom offers children hoursof fun and educational activities. The kids enjoying lunch together at thehotel.(Images: Khanyi Magubane)MEDIA CONTACTS• Cecile CardierBaby Hotel manager+27 11 804 [email protected] MagubaneFor mums and dads who find it difficult to juggle a career and parenthood, places like the Baby Hotel, which offers 24-hour quality child care, provide a vital support system.Established six years ago in Sandton, an affluent suburb of Johannesburg, Gauteng, the Baby Hotel is a specialised facility providing supervised care for little ones from birth to three years old.In addition to offering a full-time nursery school and overnight facilities, it gives mums the chance to drop off their children for a few hours so they can do some shopping, fit in a gym session or perhaps get a beauty treatment.For a child to stay overnight at the hotel parents are charged R500 (US$66), which includes the child’s dinner, a bath, overnight monitoring and breakfast.A weekend stay, which starts on Friday afternoon and lasts until Sunday morning, costs parents R950 ($126).The word “hotel” conjures up images of a fancy multi-storey building, but in reality the house-turned Baby Hotel looks no different from the other homes along the street it’s in, except for a board near the front gate advertising its services.“Everyone who works here has a passion for kids,” says Cecile Cardier, manager of the hotel.Cardier, a qualified early childhood development practitioner, sees to the day-to-day running of the child facility.The spacious house is divided into sections including a TV room, a library that doubles as a playroom, a kitchen/eating room, and bathrooms fitted with special baby baths as well as sleeping rooms for the children.The children are supervised by seven experienced caregivers – all specifically trained according to the age group of child they look after.This includes first-aid training, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as well as emergency situations involving a baby or toddler.“There are various ways of handling the two [baby and toddler] for instance, you would conduct mouth to mouth CRP differently on a young baby than you would on an older toddler,” says Cardier.Different strokes for different folksThe hotel prides itself on its ability to offer parents a variety of services that cater to their needs.The most popular service offered at the Baby Hotel is the daycare facility, open Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 6pm.The “time out” facility is also popular and caters for parents who have an errand to run but can’t take their young one along, or mums who want to get their hair done, or maybe take a much-needed afternoon nap away from a niggling baby.Cardier says this service is also growing in popularity as parents can choose a half- or full-day package to suit their needs. “This particular service is mostly used by mums who have nannies, but they are sick and unable to come to work or are on leave. This works on an ad hoc basis.”The after-hours facility is not only for children permanently enrolled in the day-care facility, but also for any other child needing evening supervision.This service is mostly used by parents who have an evening function but don’t have a babysitter at home to take care of the children while they are away.“Sometimes you find that some of the working mothers are from Durban or Cape Town, and they are working in Johannesburg where they don’t have the support of family and friends. That’s where we come in,” explains Cardier.“It is a reality of our times that both parents work, and we find more and more women in high profile positions, who are often required to do a fair amount of travelling,” reads the hotel’s website.According to Cardier, parents don’t usually use the hotel for an extended period of time.The longest stay at the hotel has been four days. The mother of the child, a single parent, was away on a business conference at the time.Another unique service that the Baby Hotel offers is the opportunity for only children – who spend a lot of time alone – to interact with other children. Cardier explains that parents bring their children along to the facility for this purpose from time to time.“When children who don’t attend our day-care centre arrive, some are excited to be with other children, while others will shy away and only interact with the caregiver,” she says.Stimulating child growthA typical day at the Baby Hotel includes loads of fun activities for the children, especially for those between 18 and 36 months.The day’s programme starts at 8am with breakfast, which lasts about 30 minutes.Next is a series of exercises aimed developing the child’s fine motor skills and coordination – these include building puzzles and making simple beaded necklaces.Sensory play, another of the day’s activities, encourages children to use and develop their sense of touch, hearing, smell, sight and taste.“The use of sensory materials provides opportunities for self-directed and guided play to encourage a variety of different skills to develop,” according to an early childhood development website, Play Activities.The Baby Hotel encourages children to experiment with different textures and “get dirty”.“It’s important that kids learn to get dirty, it’s an important part of growing up,” says Cardier.Sensory play activities at the hotel include making mud in the sandpit, breaking eggshells, playing with jelly and shaving cream.“Through the manipulation of materials such as pouring, moulding, lifting, carrying and sorting, children will improve their fine and gross motor skills,” Play Activities goes on to say.To ensure parents are kept up to date, each child has a record book at the hotel, which notes what they eat and drink and the frequency thereof. The record book also details the number of times nappies are changed (for the younger children) as well as sleeping and waking up times.Vital serviceAs to why establishments like the Baby Hotel are necessary, especially in the cities where parents find themselves torn between home and career demands, Cardier is adamant that they provide a necessary service.“We are an important support system to families. We allow couples ‘mummy and daddy’ time.”“Too often parents, out of love, pay too much attention to the children and forget each other and this can contribute to the breakdown of a relationship, so it’s important for parents to make time for each other,” says Cardier.Comments or queries? Email Mary Alexandra at: [email protected]