GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC): Close to 140,000 children from across the Caribbean will be recipients of cricket coaching aids and clinics as part of this year’s Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme. The year-round activity, now in its 18th season, is managed by the West Indies Cricket Board and administered by the various territorial boards across the region. It is now being played in more than 800 schools in 20 countries, with most of the participants coming from Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana. SKILLS DEMO This year’s activities started on Sunday in Guyana with an on-field skills demonstration by 100 local children during the second one-day international between West Indies and Pakistan at the National Stadium. According to K.J. Singh, the WICB’s senior project officer, the board was pleased with the outreach activities. “The Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Programme continues to see significant growth,” he noted. “We have close to 140,000 young boys and girls from over 800 schools participating in the programme across the West Indies. This number will grow even more this year as we continue to promote the game both on and off the field.” He continued: “We are not just coaching future cricketers, but we are moulding lives for the future development in the region.” The programme has been responsible for feeding several players into the international squads, with the likes of Test and one-day captain Jason Holder and Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite having benefitted from the thrust.
OAKLAND — The Warriors did not listen to Klay Thompson’s wishes to play against the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday at Oracle Arena. Instead, the Warriors listened to their training staff and sat him for Game 3 after nursing tightness in his hamstring.“He’s been making a very strong case. That’s who Klay is. He wants to play no matter what,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said beforehand. “He’s trying desperately to be out on the floor. We’ll have to weigh all the factors …
Airlines and seat manufacturers are far wiser about their seats these days than they used to be. For the most part gone are the days when – as was the case in some coach seats – a metal plate barely embedded in the back cushion would bother some passengers’ backs. Contrary to conventional wisdom, today’s seats – even some economy seats – are more comfortable than ever. It’s the spacing of those seats that annoys passengers. Seat pitch in the back of airliners the world over seems in perpetual retreat as carriers have seen fuel prices skyrocket in the past few years. One way to ease that problem is to add more seats, to squeeze more revenue out of each flight. The trick is how to do that without cutting into a passenger’’ perceived space.Better Than You Think Economy ClassFirst, some perspective. Economy Class ‘seat sets’ (usually three seats to a set) sell for between US$7,500 and US$15,000 absent the in-flight entertainment, or IFE. Despite all the focus on the front of the aircraft, where business class seats cost carriers from US$100,000 to US$150,000, airlines and seat manufacturers are investing heavily in re-working economy class.Some deal with shrinking seat pitch by adding articulated, moving ‘seat-bottom pans.’ They contend the idea seat comfort is automatically linked to seat recline is wrong. Robert Funk, Zodiac Seat US’s vice president of sales and marketing says data show as your seat reclines, if that bottom pan is fixed and doesn’t move, the angle “between where your waist opens up from your thighs” increases. “As that angle opens more and more, it actually becomes more uncomfortable.” That’s why many seat manufacturers use seat bottom pans “that will move a little bit,” dropping down to render the angle comparatively comfortable.With the goal to “own” the economy class seat segment of the airline industry, TIMCO Aerosystems is focusing on airlines that want to improve the comfort of flyers in the back of the aircraft. “The good news for passengers,” says TIMCO Aviation Services Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Leonard Kazmerski, is “there’s a greater emphasis on [seat] comfort and aesthetics.” Despite all-consuming fuel costs and the mandate to cut aircraft weight, Kazmerski believes the pendulum is swinging from “[airline] financial guys who are much more interested in [cutting back] immediate capital costs” and toward marketers, who want to put more paying passengers in more comfortable seats.Most seat manufacturers spend a lot of time up front on ergonomics, ‘pressure mapping’ precisely where seats and passengers meet. That’s where you determine weight distribution of various types of people – short and tall, slim and not-so-slim. Sensors detect where the “hot spots” are says TIMCO Aerosystems President Rick Salanitri. “It’s an amazing science.”One particularly bothersome hot spot lay at the leading edge of the seat cushion, which can rub up against the back of the knee. On longer flights that can be a problem. It would seem simple enough to shave off a bit of seat cushion foam. The issue is, how to do that without violating regulatory requirements regarding cushion flotation capabilities.Violating a larger passenger’s lap space can be a problem too. TIMCO, like many seat manufacturers, sees it customer base as global. Seats have got to accommodate passengers ranging from tall, lanky Scandinavian males to petite Asian females. In testing earlier seat/tray combinations, “Larger passengers found…seat trays sitting on top of their laps,” says Kazmerski. “That can be very uncomfortable.”In response, the company designed a tray table a little bit more elevated. “At the same time, we addressed the cushion height of the seat…[so] the smaller passenger’s feet are not left dangling.”Tweak, tweak, tweak – and, on occasion – compromise. Kazmerski says, “There are always going to be compromises at some level [in] such a confined space.”What Southwest Airlines manifestly didn’t want to do in designing its new Evolve interior was compromise passengers’ personal space. Yet the airline was able to add another full seat row to its Boeing 737-700s without, it says, cutting into it passengers’ living room. “The objective of Evolve wasn’t to see how many seats we could cram into the cabin,” contends Angela Vargo, the airline’s manager of product innovation. “We just wanted to improve the seat.”Southwest’s old bottom seat cushions were too fat, the victim of weighty flotation diaphragms. The carrier removed the old cushions and put life vests under every seat to meet regulatory requirements. As a result, each of its refitted jets shed 635 pounds of weight, saved fuel and boosted the seat count from 137 to 143. In the process it shaved an inch off overall average seat pitch. What was 32 inches is now 31. Still, Vargo asserts “the cubic space around your body actually increased.”Southwest did that by substituting a slimmer bottom cushion, one that “provides more personal space,” she says. “Because all of a sudden you’re sitting further back in the seat.”A couple of added advantages flow from that. First, you now actually feel the lumbar support. The old cushion masked it, because it was simply too plump. You’re also now far more engaged with the armrests. Before, you had to scrunch down to properly reach them. You also had to crane down your neck to see out of the window. Over the course of a long flight that can, quite literally, be pain in the neck.Passenger perceptions of the seat have been “positive” says Vargo, although she concedes, “It’s hard to overcome the [shrunken seat pitch] perceptions people come on board with. It can influence how they feel about the seat.”To see a video of Southwest mechanics fitting a 737 with the new seats click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjMq0zEUABkBack to that pain in the neck for a moment. British Airways is attacking the problem by installing hammock-style neck rests in place of traditional neck rests in its World Traveller economy cabin. “The design decision was a direct result of comfort trials with customers,” says Kathryn Slack, BA’s cabin development manager.Pure Premium EconomyBA’s also battling it out in the next higher tier, increasingly popular premium economy. It’s laying on more seat pitch, seat width and – yes-recline in World Traveller Plus to fashion what Slack says is more “living space in a smaller, more intimate and quiet environment.”Don’t mistake some offerings as “true” international premium economy cautions Zodiac Seats US’s Robert Funk. “There are airlines which offer an expanded coach class product, when they identify as ‘premium.’…But all they’ve done is take a standard coach seat and increase the pitch.”True premium economy usually offers about 38 inches of pitch, gives you in a wider seat, and offers more recline – while easing that annoying angle Funk alluded to by employing a movable seat pan. But seat pans are not necessarily the whole answer. Remember, all passengers are not created equal with it comes to physical stature.Funk says designers need to consider the consequences of that forward-moving seat pan. You don’t want “the front edge of the pan lifting your feet off the floor. Because then it will cut off the blood into your legs by bighting into underside of your legs.” That can help trigger Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), blood clots that can form in your legs. The consequences can be very bad indeed.Premium economy seats are largely mechanical – as opposed to the larger, more luxurious, electronically-actuated seats in business class. Premium economy seats cost carriers anywhere from US$20,000 to US$30,000 per seat set (two seats usually).Direct-Aisle Access Business ClassUp beyond the curtain lies business class, the place where dreams come true. It’s also where carriers make a significant amount of their money. That’s why they’re willing to invest so much in their premium product. Ben Orson sums it up best. Business class seats are “far more than something just to take your weight,” says the managing director of London-based JPA Design, a high-end travel design house. They’ve got to be bedroom, office, theater and restaurant – all “in one carefully managed space.”What’s popular just now is direct-aisle access. Window seat business class flyers hate having to stumble over their seatmate in the middle of the night to get to the lavatory. Zodiac’s Cirrus seat is arrayed so you don’t have to climb over the person next to you. The seat was designed by JPA for Zodiac. Its true genius lies in “how you [arrange] the’‘deck chairs’,” says Funk, “whether you point the feet together, whether you angle the feet out.” The result is a 1x2x1 set-up that makes the most of scarce cabin space. Zodiac Seats US’s marketing vp says direct aisle access now “comes up [in] virtually every conversation we have with customers when talking about business class seats.”Orson says the direct-aisle access concept “has gone on to be one of the giants in terms of seat design.” It’s flying on Cathay Pacific, American, Delta, EVA and Air France and Orson says, “there are multiple other customers coming down the pipeline.”First Class – the Final FrontierFirst class suites, fully enclosed and very private, have come of age. Exploring the pleasures and perks of these most preeminent of airline seats is a story in itself, one better saved for another time. Singapore Airlines helped pioneer the concept back in 1998, fitting its 747s with its then breathtakingly new Singapore Suite.It’s in first class that Orson says passenger comfort and national pride meet. Suites are “overtly luxurious,” reflecting both the airline brand and the country from which the airline comes, all in the same instant.Regular RebirthAirlines, the really competitive upper-tier ones, renew their cabins every five to seven years. The focus is firmly on the seat. Perhaps on the way two to three years from now, says Orson without being terribly specific about it, could be seating arrangements that accommodate groups of passengers. “Middle Eastern carriers will tell you that they have a fairly high percentage of families who travel business class; while Asian airlines will tell you [their passengers] place a high priority on privacy.”Orson says JPA is looking at ways to give the former “a chance to enjoy group experiences” such as “dining or watching a movie together”– while nearby passengers particularly partial to privacy get some work done or sleep.And so it is that seat design is a matter of creative compromise – combining smart space management with subtle sex appeal. “I think,” says Ben Orson, “there’s always an appetite on the part of [passengers] to walk into a cabin and say, “Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this before!”
View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlex Cabagnot had no clue he was one assist away from passing the great Philip Cezar on the PBA’s all-time assists list.The San Miguel guard learned about it only after the Beermen had demolished the Magnolia Hotshots on Sunday night, 113-92.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Tour de France vet retains Ronda red jersey LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations MOST READ Cabagnot, a seven-time PBA champion, also became the first player in PBA history with at least 3,000 assists, 600 steals and 800 triples as per the league’s chief statistician, Fidel Mangonon.He finished with 11 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals to help San Miguel dump winless Magnolia for its first back-to-back wins in the 2019 Philippine Cup.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town It was a memorable night for Cabagnot, who moved into a tie with Cezar for eighth place with 3,130 assists.It wasn’t the only milestone Cabagnot reached. The 36-year-old also cracked the top 10 All-Time Steals early in the third quarter, passing NLEX guard Cyrus Baguio.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“I never imagined when I started that I’ll get to this,” said Cabagnot, the second overall pick by the defunct Sta. Lucia in the 2005 PBA Draft.“I’m just trying to make my mom and dad proud every game.” US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants