SAI appoints 398 coaches, assistant coaches in preparation of Olympics 2024, 2028; ex-international athletes, Arjuna awardees among those appointed

In a major step that will strengthen the coaching backbone of India, the Sports Authority of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India has extended offers of employment to 398 coaches at various levels in 21 disciplines. Many among the total number of 398 are ex-international athletes and Arjuna awardees who have competed or won medals in elite competitions such as the World Championships and Olympics. Of the total number of 398, 101 coaches are joining on deputation from PSUs and other government bodies.

The recruitment comes in the wake of the effort of the Ministry of Youth Affairs of Sports to provide 360 degree support to athletes as they prepare for important national and international competitions, including Olympic 2024, 2028. “I am happy that a number of ex-athletes who have competed at the highest international level of competition and won medals have applied for these posts and have been selected,” said Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, adding, “Their (the ex-international athletes) inclusion in the system will mean that besides training athletes in the sport itself, they will be able to train them for mental toughness which is the key to success when competing at the world stage.”

The new batch of coaches and assistant coaches has a host of eminent names, including Padma Shri awardee and Arjuna Awardee Bajrang Lal Thakar who is a gold medallist at the Asian Games and joins as a Rowing coach, Shilpi Sheoran who has won the gold in the Commonwealth Games in 2011 and joins as an assistant coach in wrestling, Olympian Jincy Phillip who joins as an athletics coach, Pranamika Borah multiple medallist in leading international championships who joins as a boxing coach. Speaking about what he looks forward to in the new assignment, Arjuna Awardee Bajrang Lal Thakar said, “I am grateful to the Sports Authority of India for giving me a chance to give back to sports as a coach especially at a time when water sports in India has a great chance of making an impact at international competitions. I am training the team for the Asian Games and I am confident that by fielding athletes in maximum number of disciplines we will be able to add to the country’s medal tally in the upcoming Asian Games.” Thakar added that water sports in India has got an added push with SAI’s National Centers of Excellence in Jagatpura and Alleppey which are world class infrastructure for water sports training.

There are 4 Arjuna Awardees, 1 Dhyanchand Awardee and 1 Dhronacharya Awardee among those who have been selected for the positions. Besides ex-international athletes, those who have completed their Diploma in Sports Coaching from NSNIS Patiala or a recognized Indian or foreign University have also been inducted. Several SAI coaches who were previously on contract, but whose contracts had ended, have been recruited back in service, as per their eligibility.



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AVIA Appoints Matthew Cheetham as General Manager of the Coalition Against Piracy

The Asia Video Industry Association has appointed Matthew Cheetham as General Manager of the Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) with immediate effect.

Matthew Cheetham

Over the last four years CAP has made real inroads into the systemic problems of video piracy faced by the broadcast and streaming video industry in Asia Pacific. The blocking of pirate sites is becoming more common in many markets, laws have been introduced to limit access to infringing set-top devices, constructive relationships have been forged with intermediaries to limit access to pirate services and investigations and prosecutions have been effected. And yet the problem remains the single biggest impediment to the growth of the legitimate content creation industry and ecosystem.

As the General Manager of CAP, Cheetham will take over from Aaron Herps and build on the accomplishments achieved by CAP to date, with the aim of creating a stronger and healthier environment in which the video industry can prosper.

Cheetham is a qualified lawyer specializing in intellectual property, more specifically copyright protection, with over 20 years’ experience working in Asia-Pacific (APAC) for some of the largest content producers in the world. Prior to taking up his role at CAP, Cheetham was the Premier League’s Head of Business Affairs, Asia Pacific. In this role, Cheetham opened and headed up the Premier League’s APAC office in Singapore, the Premier League’s first office outside the UK, and oversaw all enforcement, policy and outreach efforts for the Premier League in APAC.

“CAP is critically important to AVIA and the industry as a whole and I am delighted that in Matt we have such a seasoned and experienced executive taking over. Matt will bring his own ideas and energy to the role and I am confident CAP and the industry’s anti-piracy efforts will grow in strength under him,” said Louis Boswell, Chief Executive Officer, AVIA.

Prior to working for the Premier League, Cheetham spent ten years as the Motion Picture Association’s (MPA) Regional Legal Counsel and Assistant Policy Officer for APAC following which he was the Managing Director of the MPA’s New Zealand office, the New Zealand Screen Association (NZSA) that oversaw all enforcement, policy and outreach efforts for MPA member companies in New Zealand.

About the Asia Video Industry Association

The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) is the trade association for the video industry and ecosystem in Asia Pacific. It serves to make the video industry stronger and healthier through promoting the common interests of its members. AVIA is the interlocutor for the industry with governments across the region, leads the fight against video piracy through its Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and provides insight into the video industry through reports and conferences aimed to support a vibrant video industry.

For media enquiries and additional background please contact:

Charmaine Kwan
Head of Marketing and Communications
Twitter: @AsiaVideoIA

Topic: Press release summary

Winmore Appoints Christian Ove Sørensen as Managing Director for EMEA

 Winmore, the developer of RateAI, the logistics’ industry’s first integrated AI-based pricing platform for carriers, freight forwarders and brokers, today announced that Christian Ove Sørensen has joined the company as Managing Director for EMEA.

As Winmore’s award-winning RateAI pricing platform gains momentum across the industry’s largest global freight forwarders, Sørensen will lead in-region customer-facing operations and will oversee marketing, sales and account management across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

A dedicated, performance and results-driven management professional with extensive global sales experience within logistics environments, Sørensen previously served as Vice President of Rate Management Sales at Portrix Logistics Software.

“We are pleased to have Christian join Winmore. His industry knowledge, leadership abilities and oversight will be very beneficial as the company continues to grow its presence and support for customers globally,” said Aaron Sasson, CEO of Winmore Software. “Christian understands the challenges facing forwarders and carriers; his leadership, initiative and experience is arriving at the perfect time of our accelerated growth and volatility in the transportation market.”

Winmore’s RateAI is the logistics industry’s only automated bidding platform combining prescriptive pricing intelligence insights and team workflows for increased team organization and alignment.

“I look forward to working with Winmore and its team of passionate commercial leaders from the logistics industry,” said Sørensen. “They are software innovators transforming logistics and I am excited to take part in the company’s mission to support global freight forwarders, brokers and carriers.”

To learn more about Winmore, email

About Winmore

Winmore is a cloud-based logistics customer success platform with embedded data analytics. This industry-leading software is often integrated with leading transportation management software (TMS) and customer relationship management (CRM) software to ensure customer success and seamless integration with the IT infrastructure. The company has received numerous industry accolades, including being named to FreightWaves’ FreightTech 100, an award reserved for the most innovative software companies in the world.

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NAFA Appoints 2022 Board of Directors

 The general membership of NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, unanimously approved the slate of candidates presented for its 2022 board of directors at the association’s annual meeting held in October 2021 in Lake Las Vegas, Nev. Nominations were received from the membership at large, and candidates were vetted by the current board before being proposed during the association’s 13th annual Annuity Distribution Summit. With all present at the meeting voting in favor of the appointments, four new members and one member re-elect will join forces with current leadership to help the industry respond to a growing need for safe accumulation solutions and protected lifetime income.

Newly appointed board members include: Dan Acker of SILAC Insurance Company; Brendon Kelly of Ash Brokerage; Darcy Matz of Allianz; and Tiya Stanley of North American Company. Andrew Payne of CreativeOne will begin serving a second three-year term.

Heather Kane of EquiTrust Life Insurance Co. will assume the role of chairman of the board of directors, taking over for immediate past chair Lauri Beck of Simplicity Group. Mike Morrone of Nationwide will roll up to vice chair and Kevin Mechtley of North American Company to secretary, while David Wolfe of Advisors Excel was elected to join the executive operating committee as its newly appointed treasurer.

“For the past two years, NAFA has worked diligently to help members navigate industry challenges, from historically low interest rates and the financial impacts of the pandemic to an evolving regulatory environment. We continue to increase awareness of fixed and fixed index annuities as part of a financial plan and retirement income strategy for Americans. We are also advocating for the passage of a Retirement 2.0 package to make it easier than ever for individuals to save for the future and leading National Annuity Awareness Month initiatives to underscore the important role fixed annuities play in helping consumers reach their retirement goals,” said Chuck DiVencenzo, NAFA president and CEO.

“Our new leaders represent diverse ideas and backgrounds that will be integral to how we position the association to respond to continued change and to ensure the industry thrives at a time when our education, advice and products are most needed. I look forward to working with this exceptionally talented group and to see the next generation of annuity leadership continue to flourish.”

Newly elected members join a board roster that includes the following current members: Jay Brown of Delaware Life Marketing, Bruce Donaldson of the Simplicity Group, Tad Fifer of Lincoln Financial Group, Wes Gilbreath of Annexus Group, Maureen James of Summit Compliance Group, Jason Krohnke of American Equity, Paul Kruth of Western and Southern, Ryan Lex of Athene, Nate Lucius of Gradient Financial Group, Brian Peterson of TruChoice Financial Group, Janet Sipes of AmeriLife, Matt Tarkenton of Tarkenton Financial, Eric Taylor of AIG Financial Distributors, Tamiko Toland of CANNEX Financial Exchanges Ltd., Mike Tripses of Annua Profectus, and Mark Williams of Brokers International, Ltd.

On behalf of the NAFA staff, board and membership at large, DiVencenzo recognized the contributions of exiting board members Chris Conroy of Insurance Agency Marketing Services, Inc. (IAMS), Tim Minard of Great American Insurance Group, Craig Rudesill of Nationwide, and David Schliesman of Allianz Life, presenting those in attendance with honorary service awards. NAFA extends its gratitude for their time, talent and commitment to the association.

About NAFA

NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is the premier trade association exclusively dedicated to fixed annuities. Our mission is to promote the awareness and understanding of fixed annuities. We educate annuity salespeople, regulators, legislators, journalists, and industry personnel about the value of fixed annuities and their benefits to consumers. NAFA was founded in 1998. For more information, visit


Chuck DiVencenzo President & CEO




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HKTDC appoints new Deputy Executive Director

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has appointed Ms Sophia Chong as Deputy Executive Director overseeing international trade fairs and digital business for the Council. She succeeds Mr Benjamin Chau, who is retiring after 37 years at the HKTDC.

“Sophia is an industry veteran whose drive, commitment and talent have contributed to Hong Kong’s role as a global leader in international trade fairs and conferences,” said Ms Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC.

“Her experience in all aspects of the Council’s work has given her a broad perspective and insights that will be crucial in helping Hong Kong’s SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] ride through this period of unprecedented challenge and capture new opportunities.”

Ms Fong added, “I would also like to express my heartfelt thanks to Benjamin whose ingenuity and dedication helped the Hong Kong business community weather many economic challenges over the past three decades, and whose marketing talent helped our city become one of the most important trade fair capitals of the world. He will be greatly missed.”

Ms Chong has been promoted from the position of Assistant Executive Director, in which she was responsible for supervising some 30 annual HKTDC exhibitions, a number of which are the largest marketplaces of their kind in Asia or the world. Prior to that, she served as Director, Exhibitions and worked with the HKTDC’s global network of offices and industry multipliers worldwide.

She also served as Director, Publications & E-Commerce, overseeing the HKTDC’s online marketplace and over 20 product magazines and industry supplements. Ms Chong joined the HKTDC in the 1990s.

Biography of HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Sophia Chong:


The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn

Media enquiries:
HKTDC’s Communications and Public Affairs Department
Susanna Sin, Tel: +852 2584 4294, Email:

Topic: Press release summary