U.S. Army Readiness, Humanitarian Mission Go Hand in Hand

first_imgBy María Pinel/Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs August 17, 2017 A team of U.S. Army medical personnel from Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) participated in a training exercise in Hospital Escuela and Hospital María in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, from July 19th – 27th. They performed complex trauma surgical procedures in a resource-limited environment with logistical support from Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo). The group of surgeons and combat medics split up into two teams to be able to simultaneously perform surgeries in both hospitals after receiving an orientation from Dr. Ricardo Aviles, JTF-Bravo medical liaison, who also introduced them to their Honduran counterparts. The teams then began to screen patients and scheduled surgeries of the most complex cases. “Many of the surgeries we are doing prepare us really well for what is seen as a result of dismounted complex blast injury,” said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Steven Hudak, a staff urologist at BAMC, in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. “We don’t usually see that in civilians so we are able to come here and get a lot of important techniques that cross over into these complex injuries that are seen only on the battlefield.” The combat medics also had the opportunity to complete morning rotations through the emergency room at Hospital Escuela, a school hospital that works as the main center for public health care in Honduras. The teams also rotated to Hospital María, a public pediatric hospital where they performed pediatric urology surgeries. Both teams were joined by surgeons from the JTF-Bravo Medical Element Mobile Surgical Team (MST) who also participated actively. “JTF-Bravo doesn’t necessarily have the same exposure to these patients, so it gives them experience to see the abdominal type of injuries and gives them a broader understanding of all kinds of patients,” said U.S. Army Sergeant Major Richard Russell, the chief clinical NCO at BAMC. “JTF-Bravo and its MST become more efficient in trauma areas that they are not used to treating,” said Dr. Aviles. “A general surgeon is used to doing general surgeries and not urology or orthopedics, but once he is in the battlefield he is the only surgeon and has to be able to assist – so this is basically the concept behind the mission.” Multi-faceted mission The mission consisted of different components, such as female urology, male reconstructive surgeries, and pediatrics, with the intent of teaching the group of medical and surgical providers how to perform complex trauma surgeries in an austere environment in preparation for combat. “Most if not all of what we see in the clinic here is a direct result of trauma,” said U.S. Army Major Humberto Villarreal, a staff urologist at BAMC, who is participating in his third trauma mission to Honduras. “We are seeing blunt trauma, penetrating trauma – these are late manifestations of those injuries but we get to reconstruct urethra injuries, and that has a direct application to the patients that we care for back home,” said Maj. Villarreal. Historically, this mission has always been about urology, but is now expanding the concept to obtain combat readiness by incorporating prehospital training with the Honduran Red Cross through an exchange of best practices. “We get exposure to prehospital training and our surgeons develop skills from working in an austere environment –using equipment that they are not accustomed to– which allows them to think outside the box, as they would in a deployed environment,” said Lt. Col. Hudak. Evolving collaborations U.S. Army Lieutenant Coronel Thomas Novak, a BAMC urologist and officer-in-charge of the mission, has participated actively in the event since 2009. He spoke about how the mission is continuously expanding and the partnership formed with the Honduran urologists. “It was already a mission that was in place with a smaller footprint, but we’ve expanded the scope of our operations here,” said Lt. Col. Novak. “We went from being one surgical team to now three surgical teams using an additional site as well moving pediatric surgeries to Hospital María. A lot of what we are doing has significant trauma relevance even though we are not treating acutely injured patients. What we are trying to accomplish is to evolve it in terms of getting a trauma surgeon to actually see acutely injured patients.” Cases are selected and prioritized by their complexity with the help of Honduran medical counterparts to provide different learning opportunities to both U.S. and Honduran participants. “We have treated many medical issues that had an apparently difficult solution; but as an integrated team we have been able to solve them,” said Dr. Carlos García, a Honduran urologist at Hospital Escuela. “We can say that these are cases that provide us both with learning opportunities.” “I hope it will lead to a continued advancement of our own skills and readiness and I hope that it provides a continued chance for collaboration with our Honduran partners so we can continue to learn from them as much as we hope they are learning from us,” said Lt. Col. Novak. Surgical backlog Limited resources and urologists for adults and children cause a surgical backlog in Honduras, where most patients seen at hospital Escuela or María have to wait months if not years for surgery. Such is the case of Hector Sánchez, who patiently waits in the screening room prior to surgery at Hospital Escuela. Sánchez has waited 10 months to have his urethra repaired and his urinary catheter removed. Another patient, already in the operating room, is having a bullet removed from his urinary tract after a gunshot he received four years ago. If not for this mission, he and Sánchez as well as many others would be forced to use a catheter for life. “We hope that we continue every year because this is a learning experience that helps both countries and strengthens our relationships” said Dr. García. “You will always be welcome in Honduras, and on behalf of the people who have received your support, we thank you.” The surgical teams were able to see a total of 123 complex trauma surgical patients. They developed the way for future engagements involving pre-hospital training opportunities to practice many of their combat trauma skills with a focus on readiness and alleviating the surgical backlog for many Hondurans in need.last_img read more

Long Island Weather Forecast Includes Freeze Watch

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island may soon see its first frost as temperatures are locally forecast to dip below freezing overnight at least one night this week, threatening crops and possibly ending the growing season.A freeze watch is in effect 10 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday, when temps are expected to drop to a low of 26 overnight across Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as parts of New York City and New Jersey, according to the Upton-based National Weather Service meteorologists.A freeze watch means below freezing temperatures are possible. An NWS forecaster said a recent freeze warning on LI did cause some frost, but it was not widespread and didn’t last long.The watch comes as Veterans Day hit the 50s with a 50-percent chance of light rain overnight into Tuesday morning, when temps may reach a high of 45 before potentially dropping down below the freezing mark overnight.The forecast calls for sunny skies for the rest of the week, hitting a high of 42 Wednesday but dropping down to a low of 32 at night.Temps will remain in the 50s during the day and hover around the high 30s to mid 40s after sundown through the weekend.If the forecast proves accurate, the first frost will be right on schedule, where it usually comes after Nov. 10 on western LI and as early as mid to late October on parts of Suffolk’s South Shore and East End.last_img read more

Are local gov’ts equipped to take on nCoV?

first_imgThe teams maybe made up of barangay officials and volunteers such as Barangay HealthWorkers, said Iglesia. The virus outbreak in China, withcases spreading in over 20 other countries, prompted the World HealthOrganization to declare a global health emergency. “According to DILG secretary Eduardo Año, LGUs must implementDepartment of Health (DOH) protocols and guidelines and extend full cooperationto DOH and other government agencies to meet the global health emergency,” saidIglesia. ILOILO City – The Department ofInterior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered local government units (LGUs)in Western Visayas to create coronavirus task forces. The Philippines now has threeconfirmed cases of infection – a Chinese man and woman visiting the country;the man died on Saturday; and a 60-year-old Chinese woman. The virus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptomsusually start with a fever, followed by a dry cough. Aside from forming the task forces,Iglesia said LGUs must also create “barangay health emergency response teams” invillages. Another job of the task force is tohold coronavirus prevention, containment and control information campaign toeducate the public. For this, local chief executives musttrain their respective health workers on nCoV prevention, containment, andcontrol, in coordination with the DOH, said Iglesia.center_img Iglesia said the task force shouldalso cause the referral and transport of a suspected nCov case toDOH-designated coronavirus-referral center or hospital, in coordination withDOH and police authorities. He suggested that the task force becomposed of healthworkers and persons and groups with adequate knowhow on crisis management. According to Regional Director ArielIglesia, LGUs must be “on a state of preparedness” and take proactive steps toprotect their constituents from the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Iglesia said the local task forcesunder the direct supervision of governors and mayors should ensure that localhealth authorities have the necessary equipment and protective gadgets such asmasks, goggles, gowns, gloves, among others. LGUs should post public advisoriesabout the coronavirus as well as precautionary measures that the public cantake such as maintaining proper hygiene and regular hand-washing, said Iglesia. FILE PHOTO BY IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN The primaryjob of barangay health emergency response teams is to monitor the entry ofpeople in the villages, most especially tourists from areas with nCoV cases,and coordinate with the DOH and the LGUs’ task forces./PNlast_img read more

‘Deafening silence’ from majority of Barcelona squad since Messi issued quit notice

first_imgThere has been a deafening silence from most of Koeman’s playing staff regarding Messi’s situation, with the possible exception of Luis Suarez – whose future at the club remains unclear – and Arturo Vidal, who is in a similar position. The rest of the Barcelona squad, including those in Messi’s inner circle such as Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique, have so far kept quiet. Messi’s father and representative Jorge is expected to meet with the Barcelona hierarchy, including president Josep Maria Bartomeu, on Thursday to discuss his son’s future. Messi, who has played for the club for almost 20 years, informed the club last week he wants to leave. La Liga seems to have dashed his hopes of leaving Barcelona on a free transfer by stating his release clause will have to be paid if he is to leave the Nou Camp. Sky Sports News has confirmed the 33-year-old has requested a meeting with senior figures at the club to resolve the impasse over his transfer request. Messi, who has a buyout clause of €700m (£627m), has been tipped to move to Manchester City, where he could link up with his former manager Pep Guardiola. A move to the Etihad Stadium would also see him link up with international colleagues Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi, while Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan are also said to be preparing offers for the player widely considered to be one of the best footballers of all time. The 10-time La Liga winner and four-time Champions League victor has asked to activate his release clause that would end his contract, which is due to expire in June 2021, and permit him to leave for free this summer. But Barcelona have clearly expressed this clause in his contract has already expired. Messi’s lawyers are arguing that – in the spirit of the deal and good faith – the clause is still active after the rescheduled Champions League final on August 23, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since making his debut in the 2003/04 campaign, Messi has played 731 games for Barcelona, scoring 634 times in all competitions. Messi had, for a while at least, believed he could walk away from Barcelona on a free transfer by exercising a clause in his contract which stipulated he could leave at the end of every season without a single Euro being paid to the club. Even though the deadline to exercise the clause has passed, Messi’s lawyers believe Barcelona should honour it as the season had to be extended because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, La Liga has bolstered Barcelona’s stance, with the club insisting the clause has expired and the only way Messi will be allowed to leave is if his €700m release clause is paid in full. Danny Mills explains why Manchester City could be the perfect fit for Lionel Messi. “At every club, you’d be stupid not to be sailing close to the wind if you can generate the revenue, then you’ve got to maximise what you can spend. FFP is there to hold clubs like City back, which must be frustrating when they’ve got one of the richest owners in the world, and he just cannot spend the money he would like to on the football club. I understand his pain, because other clubs have been able to do that for 20, 30, 40 years. “City do have assets. Raheem Sterling’s a great example, they bought him for £50m, he must be worth £100m now – he’s already said he might be interested in a move to Real Madrid. If at some point in the future, they have to sell someone like Raheem Sterling to finance the club going forward, they might do that. “Every year their academy makes them anything from £10m to £40m in player sales, and we don’t hear much about it because they’re 18-19-year-old kids. That is a profit-making enterprise. They’re very smart on that front and they maximise their income there. read also:Guardiola makes surprise U-Turn on Messi chase – Reports “For every one of them, they’ve got a Phil Foden. What would he be worth in today’s market? Even now, about £100m probably. “They’ve got things in their favour, and from their point of view, they’ll have the best legal and financial minds looking at this. If Juventus, a club who earn let’s say £100m a year less than Manchester City, can afford a deal for Cristiano Ronaldo, then City in the richest league in the world can definitely afford, one way or another, a deal to sign Lionel Messi.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… center_img Promoted Content8 Things That Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits EarthWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?A Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This Day5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually True8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World7 Reasons It’s Better To Be A VeganTop 10 Tiniest Phones Ever MadeBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeBut Who In The World Taught Them Those Moves? Was It Papa Bear?last_img read more

COVID 19: Positive cases hit 34,057 after 263 test positive

first_imgNairobi County had 81 new positive case followed by Kiambu with 26, Embu 20, Makueni 18,Nakuru 15,Nyeri 13 while Taita Taveta and Busia each had 10 cases.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153 263 people have tested positive of COVID-19 in the last 24 hrs bringing the total number of positive cases to 34,057 after 4,424 samples were tested.In a  statement to the media, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the cumulative tests now stand at 450,146. Of the positive cases 259 are Kenyans while 4 are foreigners.Also Read  KNCCI training to help special group SMEs cope during COVID-19The latest data also indicate that the youngest person to test positive is a one year old child while the oldest is an 83 year old. Other Counties include Migori with 4, Machakos 3, Lamu 3, Narok 3, Kisumu 2, Baringo 2, Bomet 2, Laikipia 2, Meru 2, Murang’a 2, Siaya 1, Vihiga 1, Isiolo 1 and Kilifi 1.Also Read  Noordin Haji reorganizes ODPP in renewed war on graftThe death toll also increased to 574 after two more people succumbed to the virus.Also Read  Relief for families as MOH revises Covid-19 burial protocolsOn the same note, 98 patients have recovered fully bringing the total number of recoveries to 19,688.79 of those who recovered were from the home care program while 19 were discharged from the various health facilities.last_img read more

Boyan & Tzvetomir Naydenov, efbet: For the love of sports

first_imgShare Close-knit brothers Boyan and Tzvetomir Naydenov founded the efbet sportsbook back in 2006 alongside their father Stefan. We sat down with both of them to discuss how a ‘love of sports’ has driven the development of the family-owned business ever since.Keep reading to find out how the efbet launch came about, why it quickly became apparent that online betting was the future, how they have assessed the potential for markets outside of Bulgaria and what might be the next ‘big thing’ for the industry.Laying the foundationsSBC: How and when did you create efbet?Tzvetomir: We’ve been in this business, and in sports betting, in particular, even before 1990. It all started with our father and Toto 1. I remember he had a notebook where he would keep stats of English teams from the first, second, third, and fourth leagues.The notebook got renewed with each new season. You could find it all in the notebook: when the home team won it was highlighted with a black marker, a draw with a green marker, while the losses- regardless if fore the home team or the away team were marked with red.Losing game streaks, streaks without a draw or without wins were all kept track of. There were no odds back then and there was just a total of 13 matches played on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, while a mid-week game was just 10 matches. Today you have bets at every moment and every day.Boyan: Yes, that was the beginning. We first created Eurofootball, while in 2006 we started efbet. It was the two of us, together with our father. Today we have more than 1200 employees.SBC: Why did you choose this business?Tzvetomir: Having played Toto 1 all your life, there would be no other business to choose from.Boyan: It’s genetically inherited. (laughs)Tzvetomir NaydenovTzvetomir: During weekends, there were only friendly bets, matches, and watching live FC CSKA games. On Saturdays we would place our Toto bet and go to the stadium. There was a game of ‘Write, write’ that was played a lot. It involved betting ‘virtual money’ and people would make friendly bets with my father for 10 or 20 Leva.Here’s how it went: the complete combination of 13 games and their outcomes would be equal to a bet of a few thousand leva (a single combination cost 10 stotinki/ 0.1 Leva) and since no one would possess that much money to place such a bet with the Toto, people would make a 10 leva bet with our father.Their predictions, which could hold one, two or three single outcome bets, or one or two double outcome bets, combined with all of the rest of the game outcome combinations (that would normally cost 1 300 leva), would be enough to return the initial amount bet.If the person got it right, he would win the bet, but if his accumulator would result in the equivalent of 1199 leva or less, my father would win.If CSKA was at home at the ‘Army’ stadium, we would follow the same ritual and first sit in a local restaurant called ‘Under the linden’ (’Pod Lipite’), then go to the game afterwards. It seemed like that was the only restaurant with a charcoal grill in Sofia back then. And it was close to the stadium. On Sundays, we would listen to games. Yes, back then, one would ‘listen’ to the games on the radio.Boyan: Only after we had done our homework first!Tzvetomir: Yes, exactly. And it’s not that different today. We still watch games; we still go to the stadium. We just have the efbet business to run too.SBC: And what is the business like today?Tzvetomir: On the one hand, the business has changed, but from another perspective it seems the same. Today we enjoy the formulas, derivative tables, computers, systems and lots of information. No markers.Back then it was just the BBC – you keep your ears open at 6.55 when you sit next to the radio transmitter and hear quickly the outcomes of games in the four leagues in England. If you miss the opportunity to put down a result, you wait until the sports news at 7.15, or way later at 10.00.Boyan: Yes, so you could notify people about the result of the game.Tzvetomir: We eventually created a telephone line that one could call and listen to a recording with the results. We would note results down on the Eurofootball program and that’s how one would know it all.Boyan: Apart from that, my father would write the programme and the results, and stick it on the ‘Cafe Colombia’ glass.Tzvetomir: Yes, and at the end of the day, you don’t have it much different nowadays – games, bets, and scores following. It’s simply on the internet.Making the move from offline to online SBC: So much of the industry has now moved online; what did it look like when you first got involved, for example in a country such as the UK?Tzvetomir: Those leading the pack were William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power. My first trip to England was in 1993 and I went to a great deal of shops in order to get a sense of how things ran there and what are our common characteristics. It’s the same like this nowadays – I do the same when I travel abroad, I go to the shops and see how we fit compared to the competition.Boyan: Honestly, I believe back then we were on the same level with the players in England, although one must take into account the fact that betting was already a well-established industry over there.Tzvetomir: Yes, but they did operate with a different philosophy. They did not use a coding system, they rather scanned the bet slip. That gave you an option to include an unlimited number of games, while in an A4 format you could hardly print out more than 70 games. It’s a physical restriction.Boyan: They used to offer mainly UK games also. At a much later phase, they started offering European competitions. Actually, it all began in England with betting on horses. Football games came a few years after that and people in England were mainly interested in horse and greyhound races.During the 1990s, football would represent around 10% of the English betting market, while in Bulgaria it was 100%. In 1997, OpenBet came along and offered online William Hill bets. In comparison, we only started discussing online sports betting in 2003.Tzvetomir: The first time I saw a live in-game bet being offered was during a match via Stan James on teletext. I don’t even remember the year. One could only bet pre-game and suddenly you had a UK house that allowed betting live with coefficients as the game progressed.Boyan: We were following the developments daily and somehow online betting just came along rapidly. It was simplified and somehow we started convincing ourselves that this is the way to grow.Compared to paper slips, that was definitely the future. With paper slips, you handled three copies – one for treasury, one was used to input the wagers into the system, and one was left with the bettor. Only brought together, could the slip be considered a winner.There are no such things on the internet. You have the platform to do everything for you, so one may simply deposit into their account and start betting.SBC: How would you describe your own transformation from handwritten paper slips to online and in-game betting?Boyan: In 2003, we began talking about how the internet was the future and we would not be left out of it. Especially once you’ve been through the whole process, you can see the difference immediately – you do not bother printing programs, creating slips, double-checking teletexts, radio, and scores.Tzvetomir: Yes, and actually it exploded when mobile phones came along. The PC was really a game changer, but it was either at home or in the office. Now you have your phone with you all the time.SBC: Now that everything’s online, do you think the social element been lost?Tzvetomir: I don’t think so. On one hand, offline betting is still around. If you want to socialise, you go to the shop. On the other hand, one could always sit at a sports bar, have a beer and bet via a mobile device.Boyan: I believe the period of the so-called ‘online loneliness’ was short because, once the mobile devices came along, it started giving people social communication via applications.There were no such things back in the days: you would go to a café to meet new people and hang out with friends. Now, the mobile device can keep you connected to everyone. No need to go to the shop because betting is available from any location. The lack of social elements gets compensated quickly.Tzvetomir: In 2006, we obtained one of the first online licences in Malta, while the first online licence for Bulgaria was ours in 2013.Keeping it in the familySBC: Is it difficult to work for a family-owned company?Tzvetomir: There have been times when we would argue constantly. Some 10 years ago, one of us would declare something in the morning, and the other one would overrule it in the afternoon. Then the first one would return it back in the evening, only to see it overruled again on the morning of the next day. Now, we get along well and we’ve distributed tasks so that we do not go into conflicts.SBC: And what about you, Boyan. Is it easier to run a business with your brother?Boyan: Yes, it’s definitely easier. You can talk about everything.SBC: How do you describe a busy day?Boyan: I honestly cannot remember a day that has not been busy. But my job is my passion. I watch the games on TV, I follow coefficients move, and I try to figure out where I could possibly win or lose.Tzvetomir: I like being in the office on Saturdays and Sundays because finance and administration staff is off and it’s just me and the bookies.Boyan: Not being present in the office does not mean you are not working. I am constantly on the phone and watching the efbet website, coefficients and games. Applications make interactions possible. Via sports betting, one can get involved in his own social network.SBC: What do you love most about your jobs?Boyan: Probably the fact that this isn’t a job for me in the actual meaning of the term.Tzvetomir: Yes, the job is actually part of our life. We’re in the office Monday to Friday. Saturdays and Sundays I travel to the various locations we have across the country, or I am here in the office again. And then you have a new week starting all over.SBC: How would you define your management style?Tzvetomir: Generally, I like listening to what people have to say before making a final decision.SBC: Was your father left to judge, or did he simply have the final say?Tzvetomir: Yes, you could say that he was a fair judge and he prevailed when a decision was supposed to be made two in favour of one!Staying close to homeSBC: What are the specifics of the Bulgarian sports betting space?Tzvetomir: Compared to other countries, Bulgaria is capable of offering easy access to licensing and registration. But it has its peculiarities.Boyan: With sports betting, one does not get involved simply to get a dose of gambling adrenaline or excitement. One must think it through, place a bet, watch the game. It’s a specific customer profile we have here.Tzvetomir: One must be prepared and have his homework done prior to betting. It’s not as simple as just picking up a slip, inputting 1×2 and expecting it to be interesting. It’s good to know the teams, the players, who’s playing, who’s not. It’s a game of skills and that makes it not that accessible.Those that are uninformed do not take part because they don’t have access to the information that would allow them to place bets. On the other hand, we constantly improve our platform and make it easier to use. You actually only need five minutes to learn your way around it and start playing.SBC: Is the platform key to efbet’s success?Tzvetomir: No, it’s a combination of factors. If it was just the platform, then most likely all of the software giants would have been the biggest in the business. Luckily (or not), it’s not just a single element that is driving success. No one can say. Even I could not state what the recipe for a successful sports betting website could possibly be.Boyan: If you’ve noticed, there have been many online sports betting companies that came along and then disappeared throughout the years. Also, many offline companies were unable to successfully shift to the online space.Casting your eyes elsewhereSBC: Putting your home efforts outside, what other markets are you targeting?Boyan: We first had a look at the countries that are nearest to us and have regulated markets: Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Romania, and Greece.SBC: What makes you competitive in these markets, and how do you assess their potential before making your move?Boyan NaydenovBoyan: After looking at geographical locations and the ‘proximity’ factor, other large countries that have a great number of Bulgarians are Spain and Italy – where we just obtained licences. You have business potential in those places because wherever you go, you have to work with a team that is able to take care of your business.There is a large Bulgarian community living in Spain which allows us to rely on a Bulgarian core. Language is still a key factor for communication, even today, and that way you have one problem less. Bulgarians over there adapt quickly and they are also aware of the brand.We also tried to establish efbet in Cameroon as well, largely due to Samuel Eto’o. My brother was in contact with him and they tried working to obtain a licence there. Eventually, we realised that if we were to grow internationally, we needed to start from our neighbouring countries.Tzvetomir: When deciding what country to target, we also look at the market potential. Spain and Italy have huge markets and even if you only settle for a 5 per cent market share – it’s still a lot. We would really love to go to the UK so that we could benchmark ourselves in the sports betting mecca. If you can succeed in the most competitive market, you can succeed anywhere.For the love of sportsSBC: You mentioned your ‘genetically inherited’ love of sports; can you remember a time when sport wasn’t a big part of your lives?Boyan: No, not at all, ever since we were kids and up to this day.Tzvetomir: We graduated from a sports high school. My brother graduated from the National Sports Academy, while I went to the University of National and World Economy afterwards.We never competed against each other because we were in different age groups, but we’ve always been athletes. We practised canoeing. I was better at short distances while he was better at longer ones. We also played football, of course, but not as professionals.SBC: Who is your favourite football team and player?Tzvetomir: CSKA and Emil Kostadinov. My favourite game was the one against Levski, 5:0 with Stoichkov scoring four goals in 1989.Boyan: We attended that game. Our father took us to the ‘A’ seats.SBC: Was your father your sports inspiration?Tzvetomir: No, but he was our CSKA inspiration.Boyan: I got inspired when I was at the 42nd school. Sports scouts would visit the school and look at kids during PE classes. I was asked if I wanted to begin practising athletics and canoeing. I was like ‘What’s a canoe?’ ‘You go to Pancharevo lake and you start rowing in a boat’ was the answer.I decided to give it a try and that’s how I ended up applying at the sports high school with these two specialties. I was a first reserve for the athletics class, while for canoeing I got accepted first.SBC: Do you need sports people in a sports betting team?Tzvetomir: There are plenty of former football players among the bookies. Yet, in order to become a bookie, you need to be smart, have quick reflexes, math and English skills.Boyan: There’s plenty of adrenaline involved in this business, so I would say having experience in sports definitely helps.SBC: As a business, why do you invest in sports? Is it out of philanthropy or is it a marketing tool?Tzvetomir: Philanthropy, marketing, advertising and social responsibility.Boyan: It’s all in one. For the love of sports and football.Tzvetomir: When your whole life has been linked to sports, you feel like you owe something back. Sports has given you a lot, it’s normal to give back.Although I’ve practiced canoeing, football is the sport I watch all the time. I attend practices; I watch juniors and youth play. I used to play a lot back in the days, before I got injured.SBC: How many teams do you sponsor?Tzvetomir: Probably around 150.Boyan: It’s not just football; it’s basketball, and volleyball too, where we support around 125 teams in the name of sports.Tzvetomir: And not just the top teams. Those from the fifth and fourth league, amateurs. We plan on doing something similar in Romania and we are looking for a team we can start supporting. The market there is similar to the one here.SBC: Does an avid sports supporter make a good punter?Boyan: They say sports betting is not only for fans, it’s for all kinds of people. There’s no room for luck, it all comes down to knowledge. You have to know what’s going on, you have to be properly acquainted; you have to have things thought out first, and only then place your bet.Sometimes I’ve observed the opposite – when betting as a fan, you have to eliminate the idea of being emotional and simply make an informed decision.SBC: And do you have to first be a fan to create great products for fans?Tzvetomir: It’s difficult to be successful if you haven’t delved into the problem. And that’s actually how I work too – I completely dive into the matter. I’ve been following the platform ever since day one and I know every last detail of it. And I also know what goes along with it: marketing, advertising, administration, finance, etc.Without knowing all of that, there is no chance to succeed. I don’t believe it’s that easy for an executive coming from another industry simply to begin working in this business. And the opposite is true – I don’t believe I could be so successful if I switched from betting to a whole new industry.Boyan: Most UK bookmakers started off as family businesses. Yes, some did go public, attracted capital, expanded their teams and became multinationals, but that’s completely normal.Looking back and forwardSBC: If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be?Tzvetomir: I would have started the online business earlier. I would have not wasted that much time analysing the trend and simply acted swiftly.SBC: And, finally. What’s the next big thing for the industry?Tzvetomir: The next big thing is esports. Betting on Dota, CS:GO and all the rest. These are still not that popular in Bulgaria. 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