Speech: Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 2 April 2020

first_imgCoronavirus press conference: 2 April 2020Good afternoon.Welcome to Downing Street for today’s coronavirus press briefing.I’m joined by our National Medical Director of NHS England, Professor Steve Powis, and Professor John Newton from Public Health England.Our step-by-step action plan is aiming to slow the spread of the virus so fewer people need hospital treatment at any one time, protecting the NHS’s ability to cope.At each point, we have been following scientific and medical advice and been deliberate in our actions – taking the right steps at the right time.We are also taking unprecedented action to increase NHS capacity by dramatically expanding the numbers of beds, key staff and life-saving equipment to the frontline to give people the care they need when they need it most.I’ve been away for a week now and I’m delighted to be back.In the past week, we have completed the construction of a whole new hospital, NHS Nightingale, built in 9 days.With 4,000 beds, this will be the equivalent of 10 district general hospitals.And there’s more to come in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, where the military has been working wonders in helping to construct.This has been an incredible achievement and I want to thank all of those involved.And I also want to thank those people who have followed the social distancing with admirable fortitude and spirit. Steve will update us on the progress that’s been made.Third, I want to pay huge tribute to all those in councils, primary care and community care, pharmacies and the unbelievable 750,000 volunteers who have signed up to shielding the most vulnerable.This is Britain at its best.Sadly, the coronavirus continues to grow.I can report that, through the government’s ongoing monitoring and testing programme, according to the latest figures: The best scientific analysis is that the rate of infection has been doubling every 3 or 4 days.The number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms is now 12,949.Of those who have contracted the virus, 2,921 have, sadly, died. We express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these victims.If the past few weeks have shown anything, it is that we are steadfast as a country in our resolve to defeat this invisible killer.I am profoundly moved by the compassion and the commitment that we are seeing from people across the country.And, in the health and care system, we have lost colleagues too – doctors, nurses and mental health professionals. They have paid the ultimate price for their service, working to care for others.I just want to say this on my behalf of all my colleagues in health and social care.I am awed by the dedication of my colleagues on the frontline – every single person who contributes to the running of this diverse and caring institution that our nation holds so dear. These were people who came to this country to make a difference. And they did. And they have given their lives in service, in sacrifice. We salute you.And I tell you this. I will fight this virus with everything I have got. And we still strain every sinew to defeat it once and for all. I will stop at nothing to make sure that frontline staff have the right equipment so that they are safe and can have the confidence they need to do their jobs.And I know that people have asked questions about protective equipment.With the support of the British military, we have shipped record quantities of equipment to the frontline.Just yesterday, 45 million pieces of protective equipment were delivered across health and social care, including more than 5 million aprons and 6 million surgical masks.Today, Public Health England have announced the upgraded PPE standards that people should use and expect.The upgraded guidance has been developed through intense consultation with stakeholders across the board and staff on the frontline. We have listened and put the interests of our healthcare staff first and put them at the heart of this.This guidance recommends the appropriate level of PPE to protect people in all different circumstances.These standards are among the highest in the world and in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization. I am delighted that they have been welcomed by the medical royal colleges, the BMA, the Royal College of Nursing and the trade unions.Any health or care organisation that needs PPE should call the hotline so that our military operation for delivering PPE can get that protective equipment to you.These are unprecedented times for our health and care services. And I want to make sure every part of our health and care system is supported.I have therefore made £300 million available for funding for community pharmacies, who do so much to get people vital medicines. And are themselves on the NHS frontline.And today, to help NHS trusts to deliver what’s needed without worrying about past finances, I can announce that I am writing off over £13.4 billion of historic NHS debt.This landmark step will not only put the NHS in a stronger position to respond to this global coronavirus pandemic, but will also provide our NHS with stronger foundations as we recover.But this is only one part of the picture.And I understand why people are yearning for the certainty that good-quality testing can provide. I get it.Public Health England can be incredibly proud of the world-beating work they have been doing on testing.The roll-out of its COVID-19 diagnostic test is the fastest deployment of a novel test in recent history, including the swine flu pandemic in 2009.But I am going to level with you about the challenges we face and the plan we have to rise to that challenge.I am going to go through some of the challenges in very specific detail. And then talk about the plan we have to drive this forward with a significant increase in testing.First, unlike some countries, we didn’t go into this crisis with a huge diagnostics industry. We have the best scientific labs in the world, but we do not have scale. My German counterpart for instance could call upon a hundred test labs, ready and waiting when the crisis struck – thanks to Roche, one of the biggest diagnostics companies in the world.We have had to build from that lower base.Next, there is the demand for materials. There has been a shortage of both swabs and reagents. Thanks to the ingenuity of my team, we have fixed the swabs issue, and we are tackling the shortage of reagents.We are solving this reagents issue, but, as the head of Roche and the President of the United States have commented, this is a global challenge. I am sure we will get there.Next, there is the challenge of prioritisation.I understand why NHS staff want tests so they can get back to the frontline. Of course I do.But I took the decision that the first priority has to be patients for whom the result of the test can lead to a difference in treatment. That is the difference between life and death. I believe anybody in my shoes would have made the same decision.I am proud that every single patient who has needed a test for life-saving treatment has had access to a test.But of course NHS staff need access to testing too. And I am delighted that at the weekend we could roll this access out for the first time.And there is the challenge of making sure that the public can have confidence in the tests.Several of the tests that we are currently checking have failed. In one case, a test that I am being urged to buy missed 3 out of 4 positive cases of coronavirus.That means in three-quarters of cases that test would have given the false comfort of sending someone with coronavirus back on the wards. Approving tests that don’t work is dangerous and I will not do it.Now I want to set out my plan to boost testing.Let us be clear about the goal.Firstly, always to ensure that testing is available for patients who need it.Next, to expand testing of critical NHS staff and their families. And I can announce today that we are expanding testing for NHS staff further.Third, as we ramp up the numbers, we will test critical key workers.And, over time, we will expand testing to the community.Our ultimate goal is that anyone who needs a test should have one. Now let me take a moment to set out my 5-pillar testing strategy to achieve these goals.The first pillar is swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals. This is the testing to find out if you currently have the virus.We have already reached our target of 10,000 tests per day, precisely on time, by the end of March as committed. And we are committed to reaching 25,000 tests per day by the end of April at the latest.Because it allows the NHS to identify and effectively care for those who are most seriously ill – saving lives by helping clinicians decide the most effective treatment options. I can reassure you that every single patient who needs a test is able to have one, and this is how we’re able to provide people with the right care and treatment in hospitals.The second pillar is the creation of brand new swab testing capacity delivered by commercial partners. Again, this is swab testing to tell if people have the virus.The biggest part of pillar 2 is the partnership with universities, research institutes and companies, such as Amazon and Boots, to build from scratch a network of new labs and testing sites across the UK.This brand new service has just launched, and is ramping up rapidly. The trials of this have successfully completed and the number of tests at this facility will significantly increase this weekend.To begin with, this capacity will be used solely for frontline NHS staff and their families.Increasing testing capacity for NHS staff will allow more doctors and nurses who do not have the disease to safely go back to work and treat those who are most in need of care.These are currently in the final stages of development. As of now, over 5,000 NHS workers have been tested across 5 new testing sites.Currently only 5.7% of doctors in England are absent due to COVID-19. Of course, we want to get these numbers down.We are working with other testing companies to expand pillar 2 so that over time we have many different commercial companies delivering mass swab testing.The third pillar is blood tests.Blood tests are designed to tell whether people have had the virus and are now immune. These tests are done by taking a blood sample and looking for the presence of the right COVID-19 antibodies. These could potentially be done at home with a finger prick, and deliver results in as little as 20 minutes.We are currently working with 9 companies who are offering these tests and are evaluating their effectiveness.These antibody tests, blood tests, offer the hope that people who think they have had the disease will know they are immune and get back to life as normal. But they have got to work.The fourth pillar is surveillance. We are conducting some of the biggest surveys in the world to find out what proportion of the population have already had the virus.This is done using an ultra-high accuracy antibody test operated by Public Health England at their Porton Down science campus. We have capacity for 3,500 of these tests per week, enough for population sampling to begin with.Robust population surveillance programmes are essential to understanding the rate of infection, and how the virus is spreading across the country.We will use these tests to help us strengthen our scientific understanding and inform us all on the big choices we have to make about social distancing measures and how we exit from this crisis.We did not start this crisis with a large diagnostics industry. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t build one.Just as our top-end manufacturers have joined the national effort to build ventilators, so our pharmaceutical companies will do the same for testing. Our pharmaceutical giants, like AstraZeneca and GSK, which have no great history in diagnostics, are now working with our world leading, but small, diagnostics companies, to build a British diagnostics industry at scale.The new national effort for testing will ensure we can get tests for everyone who needs them.I am delighted that the pharmaceutical industry is rising to the challenge and putting unprecedented resources into testing.Taken together, I am now setting the goal of 100,000 tests per day, by the end of this month. That is the goal and I am determined that we will get there.To drive this work forward, I’m pleased that Professor John Newton from Public Health England will be taking on a new role to lead this national effort for testing, working with my brilliant departmental officials, the NHS and the life sciences industry. Professor Newton is widely recognised as a leading voice on public health and I am thrilled that we can bring to bear his considerable experience on this vital issue.My 5 pillars represent a comprehensive plan to put in place the testing that is mission critical as we fight this battle against COVID-19.There will be problems, like those that we have already overcome. After all, building a brand new industry from scratch is not easy. There will be bumps in the road and criticisms made – some of them justified.And I return from illness more determined than ever before to fight this disease.We will bring together the best minds and the best science this country has to offer. And we will work with our friends and allies all across the world as we do so.Because we are in the midst of a war against an invisible enemy. And it is a war in which all of humanity is on the same side.And history has shown us that, when the world unites against a common foe, we will always prevail.As the Prime Minister said yesterday, mass testing is how we will unlock the coronavirus puzzle and defeat it in the end.But, in the meantime, while the disease is still spreading rapidly and the government builds up the ability to test on a mass scale, the most important thing to do is for people to stay at home. Protect the NHS. And save lives. 163,194 people have now been tested for the virus and 33,718 have tested positivelast_img read more

Patisserie Valerie opens in former Maison Blanc and extends Sainsbury’s tie-up

first_imgPatisserie Holdings is further expanding its presence with the acquisition of four former Maison Blanc sites and the extension of a retail tie-up with Sainsbury’s.This week, the business is reopening the former Maison Blanc site in Chiswick, London, as a Patisserie Valerie (pictured above), and has also acquired the Maison Blanc sites in Oxford, Guildford and Winchester.All three will become Patisserie Valerie outlets, although opening dates have not yet been confirmed.Late last year, Patisserie Holdings was tipped to be a front-runner to acquire the Maison Blanc operation after Maison Blanc appointed property firm Davis Coffer Lyons to review its trading locations.Announcing its first half-year results in May, Patisserie Holdings said it was continuing to target 20 new store openings per year.At the time, the business reported total revenue up 11% year on year to £55.5m and pre-tax profits up 15.7% to £9.7m. Revenue growth was driven by Patisserie Valerie – up 15.7% to £40.4m – with sales from other brands up 0.6%.“All of our new openings are profitable from the first week of trading and are all funded from operating cash flows,” stated the company.Patisserie Holdings has also revealed the extension of a trial to supply Sainsbury’s stores with Patisserie Valerie (PV) product. These goods are sold in-store from PV-branded counters at the same price they sell in the PV outlets.Under the agreement, initially launched in April at 12 Sainsbury’s stores, handmade cakes and pastries, such as its individual slices and gateaux, are made and delivered by Patisserie Valerie in the morning and sold in the brand’s presentation boxes by Sainsbury’s.Sainsbury’s said the partnership would give customers a wider choice of high-quality products at “great value and convenience”.Patisserie Holdings told British Baker this week that the Sainsbury’s trial had been extended for 18 weeks and rolled out to an additional six stores in Harrogate, Fosse Park, Huntingdon, Tunbridge Wells, East Mayne and Welwyn Garden City.last_img read more

‘VIBES’ brings new rolled ice cream to downtown Binghamton

first_img“It’s crafted basically on top of a really cold counter,” he says “I spread it out and I mix in things people want and then I hand roll it I think people really enjoy it they find it really satisfying.” “I sell rolled Ice Cream which is kind of like a delicate Ice Cream — kind of a fashionable thing,” he says. While VIBES is new to Downtown Binghamton this summer, Holmberg says the whole concept of rolled ice cream is new to many of his customers as well. He also says he opened the business hoping to attract a demographic he says doesn’t have much reason to come downtown these days — the kiddos. “Not just kids that are at school but young kids. They don’t really come downtown for the bars or the restaurants unless they are accompanied by their parents but this is something that is really sought after they really want ice cream.” BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — If you’ve taken a stroll down Court St., you may have noticed an Ice Cream cart set up at the corner of Court and Washington St. Owner Jonathan Holmberg says this isn’t just any old ice cream stand. He says while starting a business during the COVID-19 crisis has been difficult, he’s hoping to aleiviate what he calls an ice cream shortage in Downtown Binghamton. While he says the process originated in Thailand, here in Binghamton it’s something unique. Holmberg says while the cart has been successful, he hopes to eventually open a brick and mortar store downtown. “It’s a little bit of a different consistency and taste and I make it myself, so I kind of have the capacity to do whatever I want with it,” he says. “I think it’s astounding that there’s a lack of this stuff downtown for however many years it’s been now,” he says.last_img read more

Tom & Jerry Movie Trailer Release Date Set for Tuesday

first_img– Advertisement – The first Tom & Jerry trailer will run for 1 minute and 31 seconds (at 24fps) or 1 minute and 27 seconds (at 25fps), according to Germany’s movie industry self-regulatory body FSK (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft), that rated the new trailer back in October (via Trailer Track).Tom & Jerry stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Kayla, Michael Peña as Terrance, Colin Jost as Dwayne, Ken Jeong as Jackie, Rob Delaney as DuBros, and Pallavi Sharda as Preeta. Vocal effects for Tom and Jerry are provided by their original voice artists William Hanna and Mel Blanc (as Tom) and Hanna, Blanc, and June Foray (as Jerry) with the help of archival audio recordings. Hanna is one of the co-creators of Tom and Jerry alongside Joseph Barbera.Tim Story, best known for 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2014’s Ride Along, is directing Tom & Jerry. Kevin Costello (Brigsby Bear) is the screenwriter. Tom & Jerry is a production of Warner Animation Group, Turner Entertainment Company, and The Story Company.- Advertisement – Here’s the official synopsis for Tom & Jerry, from Warner Bros.:Kayla is a new employee at a posh hotel where Jerry takes up residence, threatening to ruin a glamorous wedding. She hires a broke alley cat named Tom to come in and get rid of Jerry, which proves to be easier said than done. That may be for the best, as the duo will likely need each other to defeat Kayla’s villainous boss, who isn’t a big fan of either one.Tom & Jerry is currently slated to release March 5, 2021 in cinemas worldwide.center_img The first Tom & Jerry trailer will be available later on Tuesday, Warner Bros. has announced. The hybrid live-action/ animated movie is set to be the first theatrical release for Tom and Jerry in nearly three decades, since 1992’s Tom and Jerry: The Movie. Of course, whether that actually happens is dependent on how the world deals with COVID-19. Currently, cinemas have been re-closing in the US (due to a lack of blockbuster movies) and Western Europe (due to a second lockdown).“Everyone’s favourite cat and mouse have made their way across the world and have finally arrived in New York City,” tweets from the official Tom and Jerry Movie and Warner Bros. India Twitter accounts said. “Don’t miss Tom and Jerry in their new trailer for #TomAndJerryMovie tomorrow!”- Advertisement –last_img read more

Amec’s ambition

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Canada contracts with Novavax for 76 million vaccine doses for 2021

first_imgThe deal comes as the US government granted Novavax US$1.6 billion to help fund development and manufacture of the vaccine, giving the US priority for the first 100 million doses.Maryland-based biotech Novavax has already signed partnership or vaccine delivery agreements with Britain, Japan and India.Canada, meanwhile, has also concluded agreements with Pfizer and Moderna for deliveries of millions of doses of their experimental vaccines, now in Phase 3 trials — among the most advanced.Early tests showed Novavax’s vaccine candidate was “generally well-tolerated” and elicited a “robust antibody responses,” Novavax said. The Canadian government announced Monday a deal with American biotech firm Novavax for 76 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine in development, if it proves to be effective against the new coronavirus.The NVX-CoV2373 vaccine candidate, which is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials to evaluate its safety and immunogenicity, could be delivered in the second quarter of 2021, Ottawa and the company said in a joint statement.Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the deal “will give Canadians access to a promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate.” “We are moving forward with clinical development of NVX-CoV2373 with a strong sense of urgency in our quest to deliver a vaccine to protect the world,” said company president Stanley Erck.As of Monday, Canada reported nearly 128,000 cases of Covid-19 and some 9,150 deaths.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Anthony Joshua loses friends to COVID-19

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, said on Thursday he has lost “close friends” to the Coronavirus Disease pandemic. Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles, said this in a video on his YouTube channel, urging people to stay safe. He said: “Wherever you are in the world, I’m just checking in personally for everyone to just say that I hope you’re all well, you’re all keeping safe. “This is a message to say you’ve got my support, we’re all doing the right thing. “To the people who are suffering from coronavirus, I wish you a speedy recovery because it is no joke. “To the ones who have suffered, and lost loved ones, I want to say keep your head up. “You’ve got my love. “Blessings to you and your family and condolences. “I’ve lost no one immediate to me, but I’ve lost close ones from my boxing gym, close friends, friends of friends, and it gets serious when it starts coming closer to home.” Joshua is in self-isolation having come into contact with with Prince Charles, who had tested positive for coronavirus. Joshua was at a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey with Prince Charles on March 9. Also in attendance were Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several stars from across the worlds of sports and entertainment.Tags: Anthony JoshuaCOVID-19Prince CharlesQueen Elizabethlast_img read more

Lambert happy to stop the rot

first_imgPaul Lambert hailed a huge point against Southampton as Aston Villa stopped the “bleeding”. Villa went into the game on the back of four successive Barclays Premier League defeats and at the end of a week that saw Lambert’s assistants Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa suspended by the club. No explanation for the suspension has yet been given, with youth coach Gordon Cowans and out-of-favour goalkeeper Shay Given stepping up to help Lambert. The contest against Saints, who had lost three of their previous four games, was not pretty but the 0-0 draw moved Villa five points clear of the relegation zone. Lambert said: ” It was a really tough game. Sometimes in football matches you get big points and you get huge points – that was a huge point for us considering what’s been going on. It’s been a hard week. “I thought second half we were excellent, we gave as good as we got against a really good side. “I didn’t think there was much in it. They started better than us and 15 minutes into the game we started to get a foothold. In the second half I thought (Marc) Albrighton and (Gabriel) Agbonlahor were excellent for us. “When you look at the way the lads played and the determination there, they stepped up to the plate when questions were asked. I said to them that I’m proud of them for what they did today. “We had to stop the bleeding and get something.” Lambert praised the impact made by Cowans and Given, whose last game for Villa came in January 2013. “The two lads have been great,” said Lambert. “Gordon, who I know really well, his status at the football club is huge. “Shay, contrary to what people think because I never played him, I’ve never had one cross word with him. I respect him as a goalkeeper and as a guy, and he and Gordon accepted within seconds. I’m really appreciative of the help.” Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino felt his side deserved more from the game and was particularly unhappy they were not awarded a late penalty. Nathaniel Clyne’s cross clearly hit the hand of Ryan Bertrand in the box but referee Lee Mason decided it was accidental and waved away the vociferous appeals. Pochettino said: “I think we deserved to win. We did everything right except actually score. “I’m very happy with the team’s performance but I’m a little bit sad because we had many chances, and I think we were a little wasteful as well with the chances we created. “It was a clear penalty. And the linesman was quite close. It’s unexplainable to me why that penalty was not given. “We feel hard done by because in the last few games we had decisions that haven’t gone our way and probably, if those decisions had gone our way as they should have, then we would have more points right now. The players did not deserve those calls.” Speaking about the incident, Lambert said: ” I’ve haven’t seen it yet. But if ever a team deserved a little bit of luck, it would be ourselves.” Pochettino, meanwhile, welcomed the PFA award nominations for Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw. Lallana was named alongside Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Eden Hazard and Yaya Toure on the shortlist for player of the year while Shaw has been nominated for the young player award. Pochettino said: “It’s something that’s great for the club and for the team and it’s only going to improve the two players’ performances.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Max McCaffrey forges own path at Duke to become team-leading receiver

first_imgMax McCaffrey didn’t grow up in the typical athletic family. His father, Ed, spent 13 seasons in the NFL and his mother played three years of Division I soccer at Stanford. His grandfather and two uncles spent their college days at Duke playing sports such as baseball, track and field, basketball and football.When it came time to choose a school to play football, McCaffrey chose Duke over Stanford — his parents’ alma mater — and a host of other offers because he felt at home. He enjoyed the environment head coach David Cutcliffe was building.McCaffrey’s official visit to Durham, North Carolina allowed him to see Cutcliffe’s vision for the team and he knew Duke was a place where he could help mold a program on the rise, he said.For someone trying to build on his family’s legacy and forge his own, Duke provided the perfect opportunity.“I’m proud of my family and all the success they’ve had individually,” McCaffrey said. “… But I’m my own person and player. I enjoy being a part of something bigger than myself and building things up.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe senior leads the Blue Devils with 503 receiving yards on 42 receptions and three touchdowns, but wide receivers coach Jeffrey Faris said that McCaffrey’s off-field influence almost outweighs anything he does on the field.He leads weekly film sessions for the receivers and in the offseason, McCaffrey coordinated and ran training sessions each week where quarterback Thomas Sirk would throw passes as the receivers practiced running routes.“Max leads this team’s receivers by example and does so very well,” Faris said. “He wants to have the best group possible and he holds everyone accountable on his way to elevating the play of everyone around him.”McCaffrey’s knack for leading began growing up. The oldest of four boys, McCaffrey enjoyed a childhood of fishing, video games, basketball in the driveway and football games in the backyard with his brothers. He taught his brothers the right way to compete, Ed said, and it’s rooted in their backyard games.McCaffrey’s younger brother Christian, now a sophomore running back at Stanford, has stolen a good chunk of the national spotlight as his 241.8 all-purpose yards per game leads the Football Bowl Subdivision. McCaffery won’t take any credit for his brother’s success, but he did lend a helping hand as Christian started playing football — teaching his brother how to put on pads, mold a mouthpiece and properly lift weights.While McCaffrey’s time at Duke reflects similar guidance, Faris said most of the leadership happens by example. In a four-overtime win over Virginia Tech this season, McCaffrey  “outworked every other player” to make play after play, including the Duke’s first two touchdowns and plays to set up game-extending scores in overtime.Faris remembers finding his star receiver after the game amid the postgame scrum to tell McCaffrey just how proud he was of his effort and toughness throughout the game.Even playing high school basketball, McCaffrey found a way to win.With seconds remaining on the clock and his team down one point, McCaffrey stepped to the free-throw line to shoot once. The shot bounced off the front rim, his father recalled, and McCaffrey slipped by all five players in the paint. He leapt to catch his own rebound midair and followed with a put-back to win the game.“I think it was sheer will to win that allowed him to get to the ball and put it in,” Ed said. “He’s going to give his teammates and team everything that he’s got every single time he puts on a uniform.”Faris praised McCaffrey’s commitment to running cleaner routes, getting stronger to block on the outside and working on his ability to catch deep balls. As this season winds down, McCaffrey feels confident that he’s left his own distinct legacy with Duke football.“It would be easy for a kid whose father had success to feel entitled, but Max is the furthest thing from that,” Faris said. “He’s worked to become a very good receiver regardless of what his last name is.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 18, 2015 at 9:21 pm Contact Liam: [email protected]last_img read more

Alie Jimerson transferred to Syracuse, where ‘lacrosse became fun again’

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Alie Jimerson clung to memories of home. The Albany freshman called her parents via Skype every other night to see their faces. Something was wrong and they didn’t notice.A year later, the Irving, New York, native folded and told her mother she wanted to transfer. Her mother, Claudia, thought she was “being a baby,” but the sophomore pleaded. Claudia realized her daughter was unhappy, giving the repeated video chats a new meaning.This January, Jimerson left her best friends behind and traded purple for orange. She felt the 140-mile move from Albany to Syracuse would change her perspective.“Freshman year I thought about it,” Jimerson said. “I stayed another year and stuck it out. In the end, I wasn’t happy anymore, so I decided to come closer to home.”In 13 games this season, Jimerson has emerged as an integral part of No. 11 SU’s (11-4, 4-1 Atlantic Coast) offense. Her 23 points (16 goals, seven assists) are good for fifth on the team. Recently, the junior attack has stepped up in wake of the injuries to Nicole Levy and Taylor Gait.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGrowing up, Jimerson’s ideal target was Syracuse. Not only for the competitive lacrosse, but for the chance to connect to her Native American roots. The Midwinter Ceremony, an annual Cayuga event, occurs 15 minutes away from the SU campus. Jimerson, closer to the reservation, could now attend where she couldn’t before.She also is a recipient of the Haudenosaunee Promise Scholarship, which SU offers to first-year or transfer students who are in one of 17 recognized territories. The honor allowed her to go on “culture leaves” — Syracuse-allowed trips to one’s reservation, such as the Midwinter. Back east in Albany, Jimerson would have been academically penalized if she had left.On the field, Jimerson didn’t have a hard time at Albany. She totaled 113 points in two years as a Great Dane, third-most on the roster in that span. She developed a connection with her friends off the field and sometimes that helped her feel comfortable.Jimerson transferred to SU three months ago, a school that didn’t recruit her in high school. Albany head coach John Battaglino lost one of his best players, and Jimerson hoped to find a joy that eluded her.“We left things on pretty good terms,” Jimerson said. “I think in the end he wanted me to be happy, too.”Through a spokesman, Battaglino declined to comment for this story.At SU, it took several weeks for Jimerson to adjust. She missed fall training and lost chances to mesh with the offense. Through seven games, she had only five points. Injuries to Taylor Gait (March) and Levy (last week) bumped Jimerson into the starting lineup. In her last six games, she has recorded 18 points.“I think we’re really seeing what she’s capable of,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “I think she’s added a little dimension to our attack over the last couple of games.”As a Great Dane, Jimerson excelled behind the cage, using her height to dodge around defenders and find cutting attacks. She is trying to fit in the same role at Syracuse.Before, playing at Albany, Jimerson’s parents did not see their daughter play because of the near-five-hour drive east. Instead, they saw her only once every couple of months. Now that the drive is roughly three hours, the family attends every home game. They love it.The switch brought her closer to her home, family and heritage. And to the Orange’s benefit, it rekindled her connection to the sport she loves.“Lacrosse became fun again,” Jimerson said. “Everything became not fun (at Albany).” Comments Published on April 12, 2017 at 11:27 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nick_a_alvarezlast_img read more