Paralympic athlete tells court she’s determined to get to Rio

first_imgNewsParalympic athlete tells court she’s determined to get to RioBy Staff Reporter – April 22, 2015 790 Print RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR by Andrew [email protected] up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up AN IRISH paralympic horsewoman says she is determined to make the Rio 2016 games after injuries sustained in a County Limerick car crash forced her to miss the London 2012 Paralympic games.Breda Bernie is 40-year-old Cerebral Palsy sufferer, but could ride a horse at the age of five even before she could take her first steps unassisted.At a sitting of the High Court in Limerick this week, she gave evidence of how she was driving back to Limerick city from dressage training session at a Crecora equestrian arena when her car was written off after a collision with a John Deere tractor and trailer on a narrow road in February 2011.She was at the height of her training with the elite high performance Para Equestrian Ireland squad to reach the Olympic qualifying standards at international dressage events for the London 2012 games when the accident occurred.Ms Bernie, who has represented Ireland at both European and World Championships, described how she had left the stables in Crecora and was returning to Limerick city where she was staying at around 7:45pm on February 25, 2011.Noticing the lights of a vehicle coming towards her, the two time paralympian said she slowed and pulled in as close to the ditch as possible.“Only when the lights came closer did I realise that over half of their vehicle was on my side of the road before it attempted to turn back to its own side.”Ms Bernie described how the subsequent impact with the tractor forced the rear of her car off the road and into the ditch causing over €15,000 worth of damage. The car was written off and she said this left her in shock and with extensive injuries to her neck, back and arm.Ms Bernie said that “there was little or no dialogue” between herself and the tractor driver after he initially asked if she was alright. He also refused to allow her use his phone to contact Gardaí as her own phone was in the boot of her car and couldn’t be accessed.Ms Bernie was initially treated and later referred to her GP. She was subsequently treated by pain and orthopaedic specialists.She missed the first qualifier for London 2012 two months after the accident and her scores at subsequent events failed to improve. despite having ranked at the Irish Paralympic standard before the crash.She was told that she had not been selected shortly before the last qualifier in Germany a number of months later. She continues to have pain despite having regular pain relief injections and is much slower doing things at home.Although still suffering from her injuries, she has since returned to horse riding and told Mr Justice Michael Moriarty that she is “hoping to get to the next Olympics”.“Through determination, I will get to Rio de Janeiro “, she said.In cross examination, Ms Bernie accepted that she had suffered other injuries as a result of a number of falls from her horse at competitions or while hacking, but denied that she had returned to her baseline health status within a few weeks of the accident.Following a brief adjournment on the second day of hearing, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty was told that the case had been settled and costs were awarded to Ms Bernie. Previous articleDirector Liddy returns for Film FestivalNext articlePigtown Fling documentary screening Staff Reporter TAGSfeatured Walk in Covid testing available in Limerick from Saturday 10th April Shannondoc operating but only by appointment No vaccines in Limerick yet Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Twitter First Irish death from Coronavirus Linkedin Email Surgeries and clinic cancellations extended WhatsApp Proceedures and appointments cancelled again at UHLlast_img read more

DPS hosts opening of Little Free Library

first_imgThe Dept. of Public Safety hosted the grand opening of a Little Free Library in the University Gardens Housing development on Saturday near the intersection of Jefferson Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.A program that began as a stationary bookcase that a Wisconsin man built to memorialize his former schoolteacher-mother has led to the creation of more than 15,000 Little Free Libraries around the world. With its tagline, “take a book, return a book,” the program aims to promote literacy and education, especially in low-income and rural areas. The Little Free Library, installed near the University Park campus on Saturday, is the first one in the neighborhood.Jean and Doug Chadwick, long-time volunteers for A Chance for Children, have been establishing libraries in Los Angeles and  Ohio, particularly in police stations.“One thing we could accomplish with this was the opportunity to promote literacy by providing books that are free to kids who potentially don’t have access to books,” Jean said. “Secondly, we can start to change the dynamic in the police stations. Lots of these stations handle child custody handoffs so you have very stressful situations and adults who don’t behave well. These kids would come in and be crying. But now they can come, turn a corner, and sit in the library while their parents do whatever.”A handyman of sorts, Doug has hand-built more than 20 bookcases, including the two in University Gardens. One is a stationary box erected on pole, and the other is a larger bookcase that has wheels. Both are Dr. Seuss-themed. All the libraries the Chadwicks have built are registered with the national Little Free Libraries organization so each has a plaque and shows up on the global directory should anyone want to locate them.DPS Chief John Thomas, a former LAPD officer, caught wind of the program when several were placed in LAPD station lobbies. He was also inspired by a boy named Muhanned, whom he met while patrolling University Gardens, when Muhanned asked for books for his birthday.“I thought it was a shame that you’ve got kids asking for books when right across the street is one of the greatest American universities,” Thomas said. “Either these kids can aspire to go to USC or look at USC as an unattainable dream.”Consequently, Thomas made sure that the library opening coincided with Muhanned’s birthday.Thomas emphasized the fact that DPS not only patrols to keep USC students safe, but also to protect residents who live in the surrounding community.“That’s how you get safe neighborhoods. It’s not by putting people in jail; it’s by making people aware of their neighbors and getting to know the police that work for their neighborhood. There’s a lot to the safety aspect that involves community relationships,” he said.He added that there will be various involvement opportunities for USC students, such as tutoring and reading books to local children.Thomas attributed much of the installment of the library to DPS Community Relations Officer Elizabeth Carreño, who took the initiative to make it a reality by contacting and partnering with A Chance for Children, as well as the Water Buffalo Club. The Water Buffalo Club is nonprofit philanthropic organization in Los Angeles that funds various projects, such as these libraries. The executive director, Shelly Wood, attended the event.“We have funded 12 Little Free Libraries. And we really do anything that has to do with children. Plus, a lot of our Water Buffalo members are Trojan alumni so we’d love to stay involved,” Wood said.The library opening was attended by many local kids through the literary program, Kinder2College. The event kicked off with face-painting and balloon-twisting. Donning a Dr. Seuss hat, Thomas gave an introductory speech and, after passing out lunch, read Dr. Seuss books to the children in attendance. Thomas also asked Muhanned to take the stage where the boy received a book about frogs that he had wanted, and a chorus of “Happy Birthday” from the crowd.last_img read more

USC fall sports are more than football

first_imgIt’s no surprise that USC’s football team is the focus of campus in the fall. They’re preparing for their first conference game against No. 7 Stanford this Saturday. But although all the attention is on them, there are other teams in the fall who have started their seasons strong and deserve support from Trojan fans as well. The No. 2 men’s water polo team deserves national attention in its own right. They’ve won nine national championships, six of those consecutively from 2008 to 2013. They’re 5-0 right now and dominated their competition this past weekend, outscoring three opponents 67-7. The Trojans have consistently been dominant in the pool in recent seasons, which makes for a fun time as a fan. Junior Lachlan Edwards led the team with 11 goals in their three weekend matches. Their near constant success makes for an entertaining and enjoyable time for Trojan fans. They will also make the trip up to Palo Alto to face No. 5 Stanford in their first MPSF match of the season on Saturday. The women’s soccer team had a huge 3-0 upset of No. 8 North Carolina on Sunday, handing the Tar Heels their first loss of the season. It’s a huge victory against a historic women’s soccer program, and the first win in four matches against UNC. It was the most goals the Tar Heels have allowed since a 4-3 overtime loss back in 2011. The victory was the fifth-straight game where redshirt senior goalie Sammy Jo Prudhomme and her defense allowed no goals. The Women of Troy also beat LMU on Friday 2-0, with senior midfielder Morgan Andrews leading the team with two goals on the weekend. Between women’s soccer’s two home matches, there was an average attendance of 510. That’s approximately 300 fewer than their opponents this season have averaged. It’s already a higher average attendance than last season (498), but it’s barely a third of their opponents’ average attendance last season of 1,524. The Women of Troy are a dynamic, exciting team on a five-match win streak. With a dominating win against the Tar Heels under their belt, USC has the momentum to make noise this season and compete for the top spot in the Pac-12. The No. 21 women’s volleyball team is also on a long win streak. After dropping their first three matches of the season, the Women of Troy have won six straight matches and 10 of their last 11 sets. They won the Rice Adidas Invitational this past weekend. Senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player with 25 kills and 16 blocks. She was joined on the All-Tournament team by junior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie and freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier. Abercrombie had 25 kills and eight blocks and Lanier had 36 kills, eight blocks and five aces through the weekend.Attendance has also been less than optimal on the court: So far, there has been an average of 626 people in attendance in the Women of Troy’s six home matches. Last season, when the Trojans were the top team in the nation for the majority of the season, they averaged 1,705 in attendance, but their opponents’ average was still more — 2,127 fans. Despite their rough start, the Women of Troy have found a rhythm and consistency on the court. Their matches at the Galen Center are interesting and entertaining. The atmosphere is lively and a great time for USC fans. They host the Pac-12 Challenge this week and will face Oklahoma and Maryland on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Taking a look at the attendance figures is indicative that the Trojan Nation can do more to support USC’s teams. Just because football captures the attention of most people, these teams are playing well and feature a great atmosphere to cheer them on. There is no doubt that all eyes will be on the gridiron in Palo Alto come Saturday, but it’s important to remember that USC has other programs that deserve their fair share of attention. Jodee Storm Sullivan is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. Her column, “The Storm Report,” runs Tuesdays.last_img read more