The struggles and triumph of the newly combined RJR/Gleaner netball team symbolises the trials which the amalgamated entity will undergo during its teething phase and the values required to make a successful combined company, says RJR managing director Gary Allen.The RJR/Gleaner netball team, the first team to represent the newly joint media entities, is a perfect blueprint of how to make the integration a success, says Allen.In their first season as unified partners they took the Business House Intermediate ‘B’ title and placed second behind Division One Business House winners, Scotiabank at the Florida Classic in October.Initially, the coming together of both teams presented difficulties, but team captain Jennifer ‘Jenny Jenny’ Small said with respect, discipline, hard work, team-work, and a winning mentality they achieved the ultimate locally and just fell short of the top prize internationally.Allen added that the girls are an exemplary model for the new RJR/Gleaner marriage.”It’s (team’s success) a very significant accomplishment. It is the first combined effort at anything we have done since we merged and it is the first victory as an amalgamated entity, which psychologically is very important, and this is just the first victory of many I foresee,” he said.”It has been an introductory collaboration between two companies that have come together and it’s a signal to staff that we are going to be successful.”We have come together as two huge institutions and we are going to have issues and challenges, but once we are together like the netball team and the example they set for us, we will overcome and we will be successful,” Allen added.Netball captain, Small, said fusing the teams was strenuous, but they did it through sacrifices, hard work, and incentives.”The bigger history is not only combining successfully but we are champions,” said Small.”It was difficult to put the different personalities, characters, and two teams together. It took a time and knowing each other and learning to respect each other was the biggest part.””We had conflicts and we resolved those quickly, and one thing that worked well was incentives. They got rewarded every match. There were spa treatments, supermarket vouchers and we rewarded MVPs. But I had to learn the weaknesses and strengths of everyone, let them know the team needs them and every girl felt needed and that was what we did to get one unit,” Small explained.Allen said the team and its achievement has been a big part of the integration and their positive values helped them achieve it in short order. Now they want to encourage those values in the work force and achieve the same results.The team’s success has also enhance the company’s already massive image and they intend to continue using sports as a driving force for health and wellness in the organisation.Meanwhile, Small lauded the team’s performance, especially at the Florida Classic where she felt they could have gone one better had the tournament been better arranged.
Belgium forward Dries Mertens has more than one goal in this year’s World Cup in Russia.The Napoli forward has scored one of Belgium’s nine goals in the World Cup this year — which is most by a team in this edition so far. And, he says that his friends are counting on him to take Belgium’s tally to 16, so that they can get free television sets.When asked by reporters at their training camp near Moscow about Belgium’s free-scoring run, he joked that a retalier in Belgium have a World Cup promotion offer going, where people, who bought TVs according to that promo, will get their money reimbursed if the Red Devils score more than 15 goals.”My friends bought the television. So I’m thinking about that. So I want to score a lot of goals to give a free television to my friends,” he declared ahead of Belgium’s last 16 clash with Japan on Monday.The Group G leaders will take on the Group H runners up in Rostov after another clean sweep of the group stages for the second time in a row. Four years ago, they went out at the quarterfinal stage but after another strong performance, anything below a semi-final spot will be underachieveing.Belgium averaged three goals per game, and looked flashy even when playing mostly reserves against England in winning the last group game.On the other hand, Japan only just squeezed through, taking a route no team has ever taken out of a World Cup group. Japan and Senegal finished with four points each, had the same goal differential, scored the same number of goals and even drew 2-2, sending it to a tiebreaker being used at the World Cup for the first time: disciplinary record.advertisementWith Romelu Lukaku retutning and other Belgian starts all fit after sitting out their last group game against the Three Lions, they will be fresh and raring to go and the Blue Samurais will have their work cut out in trying to stop Mertens and Co. from scoring more goals.But, this free television offer is not the only special thing that is running during the World Cup.Brazilian TV production – much of it by international companies like Panasonic Corp and LG Corp in a tax-free zone in Amazonas state – has risen 25 per cent by some measures, while the country’s leading electronics retailers are reporting a spike in sales in recent months.Stores are also coming up with novel methods to get Brazilians to pull the trigger on new TV sets, with many offering major discounts.Electronics and appliance chain and local e-commerce standout Magazine Luiza SA, for instance, is allowing customers to pay for new TVs in part by trading in their old sets.The Brazilian government has relaxed work timings around Brazil matchdays so that they can watch their national team play.People are allowed to report to work by 2pm on the days when Brazil play in the morning while on afternoon matchdays, people can pack up and leave from work by 1pm.