April’s best Makwata targets Stars cap

first_img0Shares0000NAIROBI, May 20– After being feted as Sports Journalists Association of Kenya/SportPesa Player of the Month of April, Ulinzi Stars midfielder John Makwata has set sights on earning a maiden Harambee Stars call-up.Makwata, who scored five goals in four matches last month, won the monthly gong ahead of Thika United midfielder, Jackson Macharia and Tusker FC forward Jesse Were to take home Sh50,000 (USD 517.7), a 42-inch smart television and a trophy engraved with his name. The 21-year-old who is the second recipient of the award after Gor Mahia’s Victor Ali Abondo, is hoping to continue his good form to break into Stars head coach, Bobby Williamson’s 2017 AFCON qualifiers squad and ultimately, play for his nation.“I’m happy because it’s every player’s dream to win an award. This will open up more opportunities for me and hopefully one day, play for national team. Of course, I was anticipating to win because I scored in every weekend of April so I knew I would compete for it.“This award will encourage me to work harder and at the moment, what is important for me is not what I achieve personally or the number of goals I want to score at the end of the season.“It is what the team achieves and where we will be at the end of the season. I want to work hard to help the team win the title,” he underscored.Makwata who received the gong at their Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium home ground, was escorted by team Captain Stephen Ochollah and his assistant James Saruni to pick the award and his Kenya Defence Forces teammates formed a guard of honour as he matched past with the trophy.Head coach Robert Matano hailed the midfielder saying he has improved a lot since joining the 2010 champions from Nairobi City Stars mid-season last year.“He has improved a lot because he has changed his attitude because he knows he is playing with the big team. He has adjusted to the team philosophy and he is coming up very well. He is still young we normally don’t hand him 90 minutes as part of the precaution measures to give him energy to concentrate more,” Matano said.Makwata added he has settled in the team and looking forward to even bigger achievements like chasing tops scorers, Gor pair of Abondo and Meddie Kagere as well as AFC Leopards Jacob Keli who have netted eight goals apiece.“It took a lot of time for me to settle but I thank my team-mates who helped me settle faster, we had good pre-season in Mombasa and Nanyuki that enabled me adapt quick.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Obama’s New Math on Medical Research

first_imgWhitehouse.gov Yesterday, in a speech that the media are calling the de facto start of his reelection campaign, President Barack Obama offered up a bit of research arcana, the R03 award given by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It popped up (without its name attached) in his attack on a Republican proposal to lower tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. The tax break, he said, would mean $150,000 apiece to every “millionaire and billionaire.” Then Obama proceeded to explain what $150,000 might buy if it didn’t go into the bank accounts of the rich. His list of seven items—including a year’s worth of prescription drug coverage for a senior citizen, the annual salary of a firefighter or police officer, and a year of financial aid for a low-income college student—had one that might surprise biomedical researchers: “a medical research grant for a chronic disease.” The examples represented what Obama called “investments in education and research that are essential to the economic growth that benefits all of us.” To be sure, it was classic political rhetoric, intended to highlight the difference between his priorities and those of Mitt Romney, his presumptive Republican opponent this fall. But researchers might wonder what he meant by low-budget studies of chronic disease. 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That’s three times the total amount generated by the tax cut, according to the president’s calculation. To find out why the numbers don’t seem to add up, we contacted the White House. The answer, according to a press official who requested anonymity, is that the president was talking not about the typical NIH grant, but specifically the bite-sized R03 mechanism, capped at $50,000 a year for a maximum of 2 years, that’s supposed to help researchers collect enough preliminary data to submit a bread-and-butter R01 proposal. Never mind that R03s constitute less than 0.5% of NIH’s overall spending on research project grants last year. Apparently, it’s their minuscule size that matters to the White House. The average size of the 1132 R03 awards funded in 2011, according to NIH, was $83,796, or roughly $42,000 a year. That number leaves more than $100,000 available for the other six items on the president’s wish list. Insider is still puzzled, however, by why Obama included the phrase “chronic disease.” NIH’s description of the R03 grant says it is typically used to support pilot or feasibility studies; secondary analyses of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; and development of research methodologies. There’s no mention of chronic diseases. Of course, the commander in chief simply may have been using the phrase as a synonym for improving the nation’s health, which is certainly central to NIH’s mission. Correction: The original version of the story misstated the annual size of a typical NIH grant.last_img read more