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Participating in Group Sports Can Offset High Stress and Contribute to Academic Competence During Challenges

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A new study found that having an active sporting hobby offset stress and contributed to academic competence even during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The effect was calculated during the so-called two weeks to flatten the curve, and the researchers believe the observed effect was robust enough to be applicable in future periods of societal disruption.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that participation in activities such as fitness classes and drop-in sports before the pandemic was linked to lower levels of stress and higher levels of perceived competence to handle challenges and master school workload during the lockdown.

A new study found that having an active sporting hobby offset stress and contributed to academic competence even during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The effect was calculated during the so-called two weeks to flatten the curve, and the researchers believe the observed effect was robust enough to be applicable in future periods of societal disruption.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that participation in activities such as fitness classes and drop-in sports before the pandemic was linked to lower levels of stress and higher levels of perceived competence to handle challenges and master school workload during the lockdown.

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From Messi to Morocco: 5 Good News Stories From a Memorable World Cup

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From Messi’s twilight triumph to bountiful showings of hospitality by the Qatari people, there was plenty to smile about during this year’s World Cup.

As the curtain came down on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, most fans of the sport will immediately look forward to enjoying the return of the domestic leagues, which the tournament’s December placement interrupted.

But this World Cup brought a ton of positivity to a sporting event that had been scrutinized for years leading up to kick off.

It’s difficult to say it was somehow uniquely positive, since in sport there must always be a loser, but it’s hard to ignore that, all politics aside, there were moments of progress, of real-life script writing, and of humanity that make such a statement a convincing argument.

1: Messi Emerges from Maradona’s Shadow

For the man who most people are happy enough to designate as the greatest to ever play the sport, the 2022 World Cup was a crowning achievement on the most legendary of careers.

As with all sportsmen, it seemed the 35-year-old Lionel Messi would finish his career with a knock on him: that he never won a major trophy with Argentina. The legendary Argentine forward Diego Maradona took his nation to World Cup glory in 1986, and has carried a greater consideration in some ways to Messi.

There is now no easy argument to make that Messi isn’t the greatest of all time, not least because he didn’t merely play in a team that won the World Cup, he shined from the 1st match to the last, becoming the first player to score in a group state match, round of 16, quarter final, semi-final, and final. He netted his penalty in both shootouts Argentina played in, and scored two goals in the thrilling 3-3 final against France. He scored 8 goals this tournament.

It was telling that when Gonzalo Montiel stroked home the penalty which won Argentina the cup, the left back celebrated alone with the goalkeeper; every other player had jumped atop Lionel Messi.

2: The Atlas Lions Become African Heroes

For the first time in history, an African team made it to the semi-finals of the World Cup. Lead forward by standout performances from fullback Aschraf Hakimi, goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, and midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.

Finishing first in a group that contained previous World Cup finalists Croatia, and highly-ranked Belgium, beating the latter 2-0, Morocco then eliminated Spain on penalties in the knockout round of 16 before beating Christiano Ronaldo and Portugal 1-0 to reach the semi-finals.

They would be defeated by a 2-0 scoreline against France. Morocco had more foreign-born players in their squad than any other team, with 14 of the 25 choosing to play for Morocco rather than various other nations such as France, Germany, or Spain.

“Pinch me, I’m dreaming,” Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou said. “Morocco is ready to face anyone in the world. We have changed the mentality of the generation coming after us. They’ll know Moroccan players can create miracles.”

3: The Rise of the World Game

Remaining on the topic of Africa, it was the most successful tournament for the continent: with 5 African teams all winning at least one group stage match, two emerging from the groups into the knockout rounds—a joint record—and a team making it to the semi-finals for the first time ever.

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One-Armed Basketball Player Recruited for College Team Scores His First Points

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On December 10th, teammates and fans of Northwestern State sounded their applause when their new freshmen basketball player scored his first points for the team.

It was an extra special applause for the point guard, since Hansel Emmanuel has only one arm.

A minute later he added to his total with a thunderous dunk in what became a 91-73 win over Louisiana-Monroe, bringing the crowd of 1,600 to their feet.

But this is far from the beginning of Hansel Emmanuel’s story: last year, ESPN was already reporting that college recruiting analysts were interested in the young man from the Dominican Republic.

Playing on a cinderblock wall when he was six, it collapsed under him, crushing his arm and necessitating amputation. But like all champion athletes, he never stopped working, never let anyone feel sorry for him, and soon began to create a major social media following with small clips of him playing street ball.

Emmanual’s father was a professional in the Dominican Republic, and the social media videos caught the attention of one of his father’s former teammates—the head coach at Life Christian Acadmey in Florida. He brought Emmanual over on a scholarship, and soon the one-armed guard won the state championship, bringing interest from college scouts.

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Cute Dog Walking Around Golf Course has Collected 6,000 Lost Golf Balls Which Are Donated to Charities

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An eagle-eyed pooch has become an expert at finding lost golf balls in London, so much so that he’s helping provide golf charities with the balls they need to teach kids around the world.

Charles Jefferson must have felt he hit a hole-in-one when one day his dog, a cavapoo named Marlo, emerged from the bushes with a pristine tour-grade ball on the puppy’s first visit to a local London golf course.

Jefferson, a top-level amateur golfer for four decades who used to work with the European Tour, realized that a retrieved mint condition Titleist Pro V1 retails for around £3.50, and that his Marlo might have a unique ability for finding lost balls.

He spent the next six years walking up and down courses with Marlo, watching and chatting, and getting out in the open air.

Between Mitcham Golf Club and Wimbledon Common Golf Club, Mr. Jefferson and Marlo filled dresser drawers with golf balls, but rather than a single instance of selling around 600 to a mate, he never had any interest with the “retrieval market” a cottage industry that’s cropped up around recovering golf balls.

As an advertising and branding agent, Jefferson leapt at the chance to turn Marlo’s abilities into a force for good after he heard of a donation drive to promote the prevention of litter from lost golf balls.

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Proposal surfaces for city to purchase Watertown Golf Club

in Local News/Place/Sports 103 views

Oct. 14—WATERTOWN — Two developers at the center of a controversy involving the Watertown Golf Club at Thompson Park have come up with a way to resolve the club’s long-standing issues with the city.

Developers Michael A. Lundy and P.J. Simao are proposing that the city buy the nine holes that Mr. Lundy owns at the golf course.

City Manager Kenneth A. Mix confirmed Thursday that talks are “continuing” with Mr. Lundy about the city purchasing the portion of the golf club that Mr. Lundy owns. The club owns holes one through six and 16 to 18 of the course, while the city owns the others.

Council members have talked about the issue twice during executive sessions in recent weeks, but it appears that the deal was not moving forward.

Several weeks ago, Mr. Lundy and Mr. Simao met with Mr. Mix, Councilwoman Lisa A. Ruggiero and city attorney Robert J. Slye about the proposal.

Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith, who did not attend the meeting, opposes the deal, saying that the proposed price for the city to acquire the property is too high. He would not say how much was being asked for the property, but said that it exceeds the $3.1 million that it cost to build the pool at Thompson Park.

“No way for that price,” he said.

Under the proposal, the deal would end all litigation against the city involving the golf course and it would allow Ives Hill Country Club, which Mr. Simao owns, to reopen.

If the deal can be consummated, Mr. Simao would not pursue future legal action. In recent years, he has kept Ives Hill closed.

Over the years, the golf club has been the source of legal battles with both developers, much of it involving how golf club members have parked on city-owned land at the park.

Mr. Simao also has accused the city of subsidizing the golf club by allowing a below-market lease for the city-owned land used by the golf course.

Most recently, Mr., Lundy became incensed that zoning for the land he owns at the golf club would change under sweeping zoning changes proposed by the city.

Under the proposed changes, Mr. Lundy’s property would be rezoned from residential to open area for park land, thus ending Mr. Lundy’s plans to possibly someday build homes on it.

While he would not talk about selling the land to the city, Mr. Lundy made it known on Thursday night exactly how he feels about the zoning change, which would prohibit his plans to build houses on his property.

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Playing Sports at School Makes People Grittier and Harder Working

in School/Sports 308 views

Playing sports at school makes people “grittier” and harder working, boosts the chances of achieving long-term goals, and having successful careers, say scientists.

Oftentimes old fashioned notions about people arose from a collected experiential wisdom, and in this case, Teddy Roosevelt’s notion that sports hardens a young man seems correct.

A study looked at adults who took part in organized sports as children—such as football, baseball and basketball, and measured them for “grit.”

The trait was defined as a combination of passion, perseverance, courage, endurance, resilience, and conscientiousness.

How does one measure grit without Navy Seal training?

The Ohio State University team analyzed National Sports and Society Survey data on almost 4,000 men and women across the US and asked study participants to rate themselves on a scale of 1-5 on eight statements.

They included “I am diligent. I never give up” and “I am a hard worker.” None of the statements was directly related to sports.

34% of those who did sports as a youngster scored high on the grit scale, compared to 23% of peers who opted out or gave up. One in four of those who never played sports ranked low, compared to just 17% of those who did.

Lead author Dr. Emily Nothnagle said practicing drills on the field can improve pupils’ lives for decades, adding “the grit they develop playing sports can help them the rest of their lives.”

True grit

Those who participated in sports during the past year showed more grit than those who didn’t, said co-author Professor Chris Knoester.

“Adults who played youth sports but dropped out did not show higher levels of grit,” Prof. Knoester “They actually demonstrated lower levels of grit after we included a proxy measure of how sports mattered for the development of grit while growing up.”

The findings, published in the journal Leisure Sciences, were supported by more sophisticated statistical analyses that accounted for respondents’ demographic characteristics.

But it appears only children who keep at it—and play continually—get the benefit, say the researchers. Some may just be born with the grit to help them succeed at sports as a young person and then continue to benefit from that trait as an adult.

“Quitting could reflect a lack of perseverance, which is a crucial component of grit,” said Knoester. “It could also make quitting an activity, and not persevering, easier the next time.”

Adults who played sports as kids generally perceived the experience helped improve their work ethic, and that perception was linked to their grit scores as adults even though the researchers said people can gain or lose grit throughout life.

For instance adults who said they participated in sports regularly within the last year exhibited higher levels of grit.

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Watertown youth trout derby returns after five-year absence

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WATERTOWN — Stephen M. Rich doesn’t remember a lot about participating in the Watertown Sportsmen’s Club youth trout derby when he was a child.

But he does remember cherishing going with his father, Stephen L. Rich, to the pond at the Dry Hill Road facility.

“It was a big deal,” the now 56-year-old son said.

After a five-year hiatus, the annual trout derby for kids will return on Sunday to honor Mr. Rich’s father, who died in January after a long illness.

Mr. Rich and his family wanted to do something special to remember him. His father, an avid outdoorsman, was president of the sports club when the trout derby was in its heyday.

In those days, the trout derby was a family affair, with his siblings, brothers Shawn M. and Brian D. and sister Tricia L. Ledoux, gathering around that pond with their dad.

“He was an avid sportsman,” the son said. “He loved to hunt and fish.”

He and his dad also went to the sportsmen’s club to trap shoot and hunt for ducks before school, Mr. Rich recalled.

In those days, the annual trout derby featured a junior division for 4- to 8-year-olds and a senior division for 9- to 12-year-olds.

The derby, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, is a great way to teach children how to fish, he said.

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Friday Sports: Quite the engagement as the Watertown Wolves hit the ice

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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – Not only was there a Watertown Wolves home game Friday night against visiting Columbus, but fans were also witness to an engagement.

Not only was there ice at the arena, but also on her ring finger.

Off the faceoff, the River Dragons get on the board first as Jake Grade goes top shelf, putting the visitors on top 1-0.

The Wolves tie it up as Troy Taylor scores his first goal of the season and his first as a Watertown player.

The Wolves gain the lead as they win 4-2.

Friday Sports Scores

Pro Hockey

  • Watertown 4, Columbus 2

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Red & Black back at home this weekend

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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – The Watertown Red & Black return to the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds this Saturday night.

It’s Military Appreciation Night, so service members get in free with their I.D.

The Red & Black are facing a Glens Falls team that it beat on the road 9-0 earlier this season.

Defense dominated that last meeting, but there’s no resting on its laurels.

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