Greek Soccer Overcomes Country’s Crisis

first_imgATHENS — To an outsider, little has changed in Greek football in the last decade.The national team has kept its instinct for a decisive late goal, has players easily overlooked, and a defense that plays with a spirit of defiance.It’s those ingredients that helped Greece win the 2004 European Championship and made the team a regular at major tournaments since.Greece’s national team has become a rare success story in a country struck by financial crisis that battered everything from public health to achievement in most other sports.Greece qualified for the World Cup by way of the playoffs, eliminating Romania over two legs, but only missed direct qualification on goal difference after eight wins in 10 matches, conceding only four goals.“The main thing is that we’re going to Brazil,” Greece defender Dimitris Siovas said. “People in Greece are going through a difficult time. So above all, what counts is that we give them some joy.”In Brazil, the Greeks will take on Japan, Colombia and Ivory Coast, a draw considered troubling as Greece struggles to contain pacey players.The team is coached by Fernando Santos, a stout 59-year-old former defender from Portugal who took over in 2010 from Otto Rehhagel.When the crisis hit Greece, the country’s top footballers followed the doctors, IT workers and engineers in packing their bags and heading for jobs abroad.More than half of the current squad plays overseas, including captain Giorgos Karagounis at Fulham, defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos at Borussia Dortmund — Greece’s most expensive player — and striker Georgios Samaras at Celtic.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Beat the Hyderabad heat with these fun activities that are also healthy

first_imgRowed inFun KayakingIt’s no big deal that Hyderabad doesn’t have a beach, since a sunny afternoon can turn into a fun day of kayaking at the Hussainsagar Lake. So move over brunches for there’s a better way to spend a fun weekend-kayaking with friends, while finding an adrenaline rush too.,Rowed inFun KayakingIt’s no big deal that Hyderabad doesn’t have a beach, since a sunny afternoon can turn into a fun day of kayaking at the Hussainsagar Lake. So move over brunches for there’s a better way to spend a fun weekend-kayaking with friends, while finding an adrenaline rush too. “It is indeed about adrenaline and fitness besides fun,” says Suheim Sheikh, 51, founder president of the Yacht Club of Hyderabad, who started the kayaking sessions last year.And while knowing how to swim is good, it is not a criterion if you’d like to kayak, since lifejackets are given to everyone and you go into the water under proper supervision. The session starts with a few minutes of training outside the water on maneuvering the kayak by trained experts. “Rowing the kayak-especially if you are in a race-is about deriving thrills while burning the calories too, since you manage to exercise your upper body enough,” shares Sheikh.Teamwork can be an added skill you’ll end up learning as well. And it’s only a myth that only youngsters enjoy kayaking. “We’ve had 60-year-olds participate as well. All you need is a fit body and a sporty spirit, besides a hunger for adrenaline,” says Sheikh.Price Rs 650 onwardsAt The Yacht Club of Hyderabad Tank Bund RoadTel 8885062220 +918885062220Green bowlSummer saladsAsk her what’s cooking, and food blogger Arundati Rao, 38, will put together a full class on what you’d like to cook, instead. Her salad classes are booked much in advance-way before the onset of summer. And like her other classes, these are not a quiet affair. Her culinary studio-the first of its kind in town-bustles with knives striking chopping boards, her self-confessed “200 words per minute” instructions and detailed explanations to the occasional nutrition tidbit and some humour as garnish.advertisementPreviously a corporate trainer by profession, she used to be a far cry from the ‘kitchen queen’ that she’s turned into over the last seven years. “My interest in food back then was mostly about the eating bit,” she says, tossing spinach to make her version of the Lebanese tabouli salad. I don’t believe in strictly following recipes since there’s no point in struggling to get an exotic ingredient when you can easily replace it with something easier to find.For instance, jowar instead of bulgur wheat in this salad, or lobia and chana thrown in into a Mexican salad,” explains Rao. She also believes in making healthy food interesting and will show you how to up the nutrition quotient of just about anything. Refreshing and filling, these green and bean bowls are perfect for a complete healthy summer meal.Contact facebook.com/escapadesculinarystudioCool aidVegan Ice creamsBinging on ice cream this summer could be absolutely guilt-free and Madhulika Jajodia, 48, shows how. Completely vegan and with a sugarless option for each, these ice creams are made with healthy ingredients, “So an extra helping or two will only help rather than hurt,” she assures. Soft skills trainer turned animal rescuer, Jajodia took to being vegan several years ago but dabbled into her venture of home-churned vegan ice creams in 2015. “This was after much experimenting while trying to get my teenage sons to switch to vegan ice creams,” she says.Made with coconut milk, soy milk and cashew, the ice creams are flavoured using fresh seasonal fruits or the usual butterscotch and chocolate for people who prefer the tried and tested. Jajodia also makes several of her syrups at home with natural ingredients and none of her ice creams contain preservatives. “There’s barely any difference in the taste between vegan and other commercial ice creams, except that these are lighter and healthier,” says Jajodia. The sugarless option contains dates in place of the organic sugar she uses otherwise. Besides selling, she also holds demonstrations on making vegan ice creams at home and vegan cooking in general. Even today, she feels happier when the compliments for her ice creams come from non-vegans.Price Rs 300 per litreAt Alpine Heights, SomajigudaTel 8099662924 +918099662924Water worksAqua GymA multi gym in the water is not something out of a futuristic movie but a specialty feature at Leonia Resorts. “It’s a one-of-its kind in the city, if not in all of India,” says Akshat Iyangar, 25, sports manager at the aqua gym, while he’s in the midst of a core-strengthening routine in the water. “Keeping yourself afloat in water uses up energy and that’s how you burn more calories. Besides you get to use muscles of the arms that you would otherwise use sparingly,” he says.advertisementA lighter workout involves jogging in the water from one end of the pool to another for strengthening leg muscles. “Or why not get a treadmill inside the water as well?” offers Iyangar, demonstrating how it is done. Since the pool is always covered, the water turns rather cool and you need to constantly work to keep the body warm. Guests at the resort are encouraged to experience the benefits of training at the aqua gym, which has turned into a preferred fitness destination for the IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad. “It’s exercising with no risk of sprains or injuries, or even breaking into a sweat. So why not do your crunches and ab training under water?” signs off Iyangar, diving back in.At Leonia Resorts, ShamirpetTel 66400000Pool movesWater DancingIt’s fun with the addition of fitness when you decide to get into the pool and groove to catchy tunes, waist down in the water. Abhimanika Yadav, 29, a model, dancer and fitness instructor ups the group’s energy with a water dancing session while leading the way from the front. “Since water offers greater resistance, you tend to burn nearly twice the amount of calories inside the pool,” says Yadav, barely breathless, between dance numbers.Her effortless moves come from a disciplined fitness regimen and training in Andhra natyam, a blend of Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam that she learnt from her mother at the age of three. Her seven-year-old son too is a complete natural and dances alongside Yadav in her classes. “He keeps everyone motivated with his unstoppable energy and is my dance partner of all time,” says Yadav.Come summer and her water dance sessions are in demand, designed to various themes. She’s had a session on pool dandiya in the past and also put together an Arabian theme for another event with fun props like tambourines and drums. “Ultimately, it’s all about finding ways to make fitness enjoyable,” adds Yadav.Website abhimanika.comSplash itAqua ZumbaIt’s an ‘age-no-bar, weight-no-bar’ deal at her aqua zumba classes and Vijaya Tupurani, 38, gets a high motivating people perform energetic moves, especially in the water. “The body tends to work more in water and you don’t even realise it till some time after you’ve stepped out of the pool and feel the crunch,” she says.But aqua zumba is not just a water version of floor zumba. “Instead, the choreography is altered to factor in the instability of standing in water,” Tupurani says. Chubbier women who can’t lift their weight up and jump normally would find it easier to do so in water. “During my first aqua zumba class three years ago, we had a hundred participants inside the pool, several of whom were on the obese side.Another plus, she says, is there are no mirrors and that helps people lose inhibitions. “They are no longer fixated on getting their steps right and being self-conscious about others watching. You aren’t so visible waist-down anyway,” Says Tupurani. Since 2013, when she introduced aqua zumba to the city, Tupurani has done more classes outside Hyderabad than back home. “We have a vibrant community of water fitness enthusiasts but not enough places with usable pools, like in Bangalore or Pune,” she rues, but hopes this situation will change soon.advertisementPrice Rs 600 onwardsWebsite facebook.com/vijaya.tupuranilast_img read more