Steve O’Meara is set to return to action on 14 September at York Hall – the venue where his last two fights have ended in spectacular first-round wins.The light-middleweight beat fellow West Londoner Ryan Toms there to become southern area champion last September and flattened Nathan Weise three months later.O’Meara, who was born in Shepherd’s Bush and lives in West Drayton, will feature in a six-round bout at the iconic Bethnal Green venue with his opponent yet to be confirmed.A victory would be another step towards a British title shot for the 28-year-old.“I’m on a roll at the York Hall at the moment with winning my last two fights in a round so it would be great to make it three in a row next month,” said O’Meara,“Saying that, if it it doesn’t come in the first round then I won’t be too gutted. I prefer to get in the rounds so that I’m building up the experience as I build towards a British title shot.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
16 May 2008South Africa’s highly matured information technology (IT) services market has been growing at a healthy pace, fuelled by economic growth and national development projects, with research and advisory firm IDC expecting the market to exceed US$4-billion (about R30.01-billion) this year.In a recent research report, the agency found that IT outsourcing constituted more than a third of the services market, the largest market share of all IT services categories, followed by systems integration, deployment, and support services.This indicated a sophisticated and mature IT spending model, with a year-on-year growth of 11%, which was at odds with most of the Middle East and Africa region where outsourcing constituted a relatively a small percentage of IT services revenue.“Economic growth and national development projects are playing into the hands of IT services providers, both in terms of hardware and software implementations as well as custom development, outsourcing, and other services,” said IDC South Africa senior research analyst Pieter Kok in a statement this week.“A maturing marketplace is an important driving force behind the growth in services spending. As local companies develop their decision-making processes, the benefits of services delivered by an external provider are becoming more visible, fuelling further adoption.”Kok explained that as a result, clients were making better decisions, negotiating better terms, demanding better results, and hence, reaping the benefits of their IT investments.IDC predicts that the South African IT market will grow at an average annual rate of 11.3% to nearly $5.670-billion (about R43.13-billion) by 2011.The growth would be spurred by government projects such as adopting e-government strategies and the adoption of open source software, as well as preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, technology upgrade cycles, de-regulation, and growth in the small and medium business market.The skills shortage in the country, however, remained a major inhibitor in the IT services market.“Despite public and private sector attempts to address the severe skills shortage in the country, filling vacancies and keeping them has been a tough task,” said Pieter Kok.“Should measures passed to remedy the situation prove futile, sourcing of expensive international skills will cause a drastic increase in the cost of doing business in South Africa, making it more difficult for local companies to effectively compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
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AWAY WE GO: Kolkata fans heading off for the fields of dreamsWhat unites a retired dock worker, an LIC employee, a wine shop owner and a small businessman from Kolkata with the football World Cup in Japan and Korea? Well for one, they’re all going to be together for the,AWAY WE GO: Kolkata fans heading off for the fields of dreamsWhat unites a retired dock worker, an LIC employee, a wine shop owner and a small businessman from Kolkata with the football World Cup in Japan and Korea? Well for one, they’re all going to be together for the next 30 days.Indian participants in the World Cup are usually sleep-deprived television audiences as their own football team floats between 115 and 125 in the world rankings.But every four years, a small bunch of the faithful from India makes the pilgrimage to wherever football holds its high mass. This year too about 20 fanatics from Kolkata have signed up for World Cup packages and will be heading off for the sights, sounds and smells of football in the Far East.However, these are not well-heeled jet-setters with a penchant for foreign travel and dollars to burn. Former dock worker Pannalal Chatterjee and his wife Chaitali, wine shop owner N.C. Saha, LIC employee Pranab Kumar Mukherjee and compulsive sportswatcher Chittarajan Debnath are part of the small group that will be in Japan and Korea because they are passionate enough to save and scrimp from their meagre earnings to indulge their passion.The group has signed on for Leisure Sports Management’s (ISM) “football package” for the forthcoming World Cup. The sports and travel outfit has put together a programme which includes two league matches, two semi-finals and some sightseeing. A fortnight’s holiday with match tickets thrown in- for league matches they range from $60 to $150 (Rs 2,940 to Rs 7,350), according to lsm official Sabyasachi Dasgupta-will cost a little under Rs 2 lakh per head.advertisementAstonishingly, this will be Chatterjee’s sixth World Cup. Ever since his retirement in 1992 on a Rs 10,000 pension, Chatterjee, now 68, and Chaitali have done away with luxuries like outings and domestic help to squirrel away money for their grand indulgence. “We put aside Rs 3,000 every month without fail,” says Chaitali. A 1994 photograph with Brazilian soccer legend Pele is among their most treasured possessions.Mukherjee, the LIC employee, came to the World Cup in a truly miraculous way. A devotee of godman Lokenath Baba as well as Denmark’s Laudrup brothers, Mukherjee was spreading the baba’s gospel around the country when he ran into a man willing to foot some of his bills for the 1990 World Cup.”He has come through again this time. You think I’d be able to make it on my LIC salary?” But even a benefactor’s bucks don’t go far, so Mukherjee-much to the consternation of his travelling companions-has decided to skip meals to buy memorabilia. That is besides the special match uniform he has got tailored: a dhoti-kurta with the cup logos emblazoned on it.Debnath has dedicated his life to watching sport. He opted for an “early retirement” by handing over his share of the family business to his cousins. A sports addict, the 44-year-old has spent the last 20 years chasing sport over the world.Bangalore-based PV. Ramdas too is taking the road less travelled. Ramdas and his six-year-old daughter Vanya will backpack through Korea and Japan during the cup, sinking Rs 1.5 lakh into their adventure. Why? “Because not even God can predict when the World Cup will be played in our backyard next,” says Ramdas.The World Cup has opened up options for Indians to sign up to a new brand of travel: sports tourism. While a cricket package to the 1999 World Cup offered by Cox and Kings attracted 4,000 takers, there are fewer than 30 on board for the trip to Japan and Korea.This is because FIFA has stopped selling tickets directly, and opted for country-wise allocation since 1998. Which means countries like India are low on their priority list. When one soccer buff from India wrote to FIFA this year, officials said they would be happy to give him unlimited tickets to the final-for $3,000 (Rs 1.47 lakh) a pop.