Team SA profile: Marsha Marescia

first_img25 May 2012Marsha Marescia will captain the best prepared South African women’s Olympic squad yet at the London Olympic Games. Now aged 29, she has been a member of the national team since 2001.She made her debut in October of that year at the age of 18. Almost 11 years later, when she participates at the London Olympics, she will bring with her an impressive CV that includes attending two Olympic Games and two World Cups.However, only in recent times, thanks to a sponsorship by Investec, has the South African women’s team been given the kind of backing to enable it to compete with the world’s leading teams. It has resulted in a growing maturity in the side and that has begun to translate into results on the field.Qualified in styleThe South African women’s hockey team qualified for the Olympic Games as African champions, but were required to also win an Olympic qualifying tournament in New Delhi, which they did in style, going through the event unbeaten and defeating hosts, India, 3-1 in the final.Reflecting on the qualification of the team for the Games, Marescia told BuaNews: “The Olympic qualifier was a tough tournament for the Investec ladies’ hockey team. We had an intense preparation period with a number of international games, which paid off in the end as we entered the final being the most prepared team for the event.“It was tough because psychologically each player knows that we would only get one chance to qualify. But once we had done it, we were thrilled.‘We deserve to be in London’“We feel that we deserve to be in London and our results prove it, and now that we have the chance to participate in London, we are looking forward to another tough tournament, but hope to do better than we have done at past Olympic Games.”The opportunities created by Investec’s sponsorship, which have allowed for far more international participation than ever before is invaluable, Marescia said.“The experience definitely helps us to focus on the job at hand. While we spend a lot of time focusing on ourselves, we also spend hours analysing the opposition and their structure, the style and their key players and set pieces.”FIH All StarMarescia, who plays her trade for Rotterdam in the elite Dutch league, is a player that leads from the front, setting an example for her team-mates to follow. That standard is a high one, which is underlined by her selection to the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) All Star team in 2007, 2009 and 2010.“On the field, I just want to play and make a difference,” she said. “Sometimes making the difference means being the supporter of the others when they are playing well and sometimes it means standing up and making the difference myself.“Playing for South Africa is extremely special,” Marescia added. “It is something that I treasure and I will always work hard to ensure that I never miss out on the opportunity to put on the green and gold and sing our national anthem with pride.”What drives South Africa’s captain? In the Mail and Guardian’s Book of Women, Marescia revealed her personal motto: “Deep within you lies a seed of greatness waiting to be germinated.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Rio’s Olympics 1 year later: The good, the bad and the ugly

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ TNT sends Kia to 3rd straight loss in its Govs’ Cup opener Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games LATEST STORIES Save for minor cosmetic changes, a city fractured by mountains and searing inequality remains as it was. Violent crime mostly concealed during the Olympics is soaring, tied to Brazil’s deepest economic downturn in 100 years and unpaid policemen leaving in droves. Brazil’s military has been called in to quell Rio’s untethered violence.Rio barely managed to keep it together for the Olympics, needed a government bailout to hold the Paralympics and then collapsed under a grinding recession and sprawling corruption scandals.The games took place mostly in the south and west of the city, which remains white and wealthy. The rest is still a hodgepodge of dilapidated factories and hillside slums of cinderblocks, tin roofs and open troughs of raw sewage.Brazil says it spent $13 billion in public and private money to organize the Olympics — some estimates suggest $20 billion — and many games-related projects since then have been tied to corruption scandals that marred the games and drove up costs. Federal police and prosecutors have linked overpriced projects to graft between politicians and construction companies.A look at the fallout since the Olympics opened on Aug. 5:ADVERTISEMENT Carlos Nuzman, president of the organizing committee, was defeated earlier this year in an election to lead the Pan American Sports Organization. He ran on his record leading the Rio Olympics and finished third in a three-man race.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “People have no dignity using public transportation in Rio de Janeiro,” she said.THE BADIn this July 16, 2017 photo, an empty parking lot is seen in front of the Athlete’s Village, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More than 3,600 apartments remain unoccupied. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)The Olympics left a half-dozen vacant sports arenas in the Olympic Park and 3,600 empty apartments in the boarded-up Olympic Village. Deodoro, a major complex of venues in the impoverished north, is shuttered behind iron gates.Standing across the street, Jose Mauricio Pehna de Souza was asked if Rio benefited from the Olympics.“I don’t think so, not us in Brazil,” he said.A $20 million golf course is struggling to find players and financing.A few dozen were on the course on a recent, sunny Saturday. The clubhouse is mostly unfurnished, and it costs non-Brazilians 560 reals ($180) for 18 holes and a cart.File – In this July 4, 2016 file photo, the Olympic Park of the 2016 Olympics is seen from the air, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Olympics left half-dozen vacant sports arenas in the Olympic Park, and 3,600 empty apartments in the vast, boarded-up Olympic Village. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)Organizers and the International Olympic Committee say Rio needs time to develop these venues, and faults Brazil’s deep recession for most of the problems.A prosecutor several months ago disputed this, saying the Olympic Park “lacked planning how to use white elephant” sports venues. Many were built as part of real estate deals that have yet to pan out.Juliana Solaira, a 30-year-old pharmacist who lives across from the park, called the space “an excellent legacy” but said “few people use it.” Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant “Here we see all this money spent,” she said. “Unfortunately, we see most of the arenas are closed. So I think it could have been used in a better way.”The park offers few amenities: no restaurants, no shade and nothing much to do except gawk at deserted arenas. City hall officials and the federal government say they’re planning an event for Aug. 5 to “fill all the arenas” for the day.THE UGLYIn this July 27, 2017 photo, trash lays on the coast of Guanabara bay, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio organizers promised to clean up polluted Guanabara Bay in their winning bid in 2009. During the Olympics, officials used stop-gap measures to keep floating sofas, logs, and dead animals from crashing into boats during the sailing events. Since the Olympics, the bankrupt state of Rio de Janeiro has ceased major efforts to clean the bay, with the unwelcome stench usually drifting along the highway from the international airport. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)Rio organizers promised to clean up polluted Guanabara Bay in their winning bid in 2009. During the Olympics, officials used stop-gap measures to keep floating sofas, logs and dead animals from crashing into boats during the sailing events.Since the Olympics, the bankrupt state of Rio de Janeiro has ceased major efforts to clean the bay, its unwelcome stench often drifting along the highway from the international airport.“I think it’s gotten worse,” Brazil’s gold-medal sailor Kahena Kunze said in a recent interview. “There was always floating trash, but I see more and more. It’s no use hiding the trash because it comes back. I figured it would get worse because I haven’t seen anything concrete being done.”Avenida Brasil, the main north-south artery through the city, is a snarl of unfinished roads and express bus lanes, viaducts to nowhere and detours through miles (kilometers) of traffic cones.In this July 27, 2017 photo, children play with a foam board in the polluted Guanabara bay, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio organizers promised to clean up polluted Guanabara Bay in their winning bid in 2009. During the Olympics, officials used stop-gap measures to keep floating sofas, logs, and dead animals from crashing into boats during the sailing events. Since the Olympics, the bankrupt state of Rio de Janeiro has ceased major efforts to clean the bay, with the unwelcome stench usually drifting along the highway from the international airport. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)Some of the politicians behind the Olympics have been accused of graft, and organizers still owe creditors about $30 million to 40 million.Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who wept when Rio was awarded the games, was convicted last month on corruption charges and faces a 9 1/2-year prison term. He is appealing.Former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes , the local moving force behind the Olympics, is being investigated for allegedly accepting at least 15 million reals ($5 million) in payments to facilitate construction projects tied to the games. He denies wrongdoing.Another early booster, former Rio state governor Sergio Cabral, is in jail on corruption charges. FILE – In this Aug. 20, 2016 file photo, Brazil’s Neymar kisses the ball before scoring the decisive penalty kick during the final match of the mens’s Olympic football tournament at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As Rio de Janeiro reels from corruption, rising crime and unfinished infrastructure, its residents can look no further than the iconic image of Neymar to remind them of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics that took place one year ago and the price they payed for hosting the games. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)RIO DE JANEIRO — Neymar kissed the ball, delivered a gold medal and then wept with other Brazilians.Look no further if you’re searching for an iconic image of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.ADVERTISEMENT National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress View comments FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ THE GOODIn this July 17, 2017 photo, a commuter waits for the next car at the Jardim Oceanico subway station, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Olympics left behind a new subway line extension, high-speed bus service, and an urban jewel: a renovated port area filled with food stands, musicians, and safe street life in city rife with crime. These probably would not have been built without the prestige of the Olympics. But the games also imposed deadlines and drove up the price. A state auditor’s report said the 9.7 billion real ($3 billion) subway was overbilled by 25 percent. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)The Olympics left behind a new subway line extension, high-speed bus service and an urban jewel: a renovated port area filled with food stands, musicians and safe street life in a city rife with crime.These probably would not have been built without the prestige of the Olympics. But the games also imposed deadlines and drove up the price. A state auditor’s report said the 9.7 billion real ($3 billion) subway was overbilled by 25 percent.Igor Silverio lives nearby the port in a favela — or shanytown — and came the other day to kick around a soccer ball with his two young boys. The area in his youth was known for decay and drunkenness.In this July 16, 2017 photo, Igor Silverio poses for a photo at Praca Maua in the renovated port area, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Before the Olympic Games the area was known for decay and drunkenness. Igor Silverio lives nearby the port in a favela, or shanytown, and came the other day to kick around a soccer ball with his two young boys. “For sure it’s better,” he said. But he added he “expected more from the Olympics.” (AP Photo/Renata Brito)“For sure it’s better,” he said. But, he added, he “expected more from the Olympics.”“From my point of view, the Olympics only benefited the foreigners. Local people themselves didn’t get much. The security situation isn’t good, the hospitals. I think these are investments that didn’t benefit many local people.”He said he skipped the Olympics because they were “too expensive” and located far away in the suburbs.Standing outside the new subway line, 57-year-old domestic worker Isa Trajano Fernandes said public transportation had improved but was still deficient.“When the Olympics were going on it was better, but then they let it slide,” she said.She complained about crowding on the new express buses and the lack of security. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes “It’s the only medal that really mattered,” Salvador Gaeta said recently while cycling in the deserted Olympic Park. “Every Brazilian will remember it.”Other memories have faded at home since the Olympics opened a year ago. A few expectations were met, but many fell short of those promised by IOC President Thomas Bach and organizing committee head Carlos Nuzman.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBach boasted at the closing ceremony of “a Rio de Janeiro before, and a much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games.”Nuzman called Rio the next Barcelona, one of the cities clearly transformed by the games. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more