Sports Briefs: ‘Turk’ defends title; Texas hoops assn. changes policy
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina’s Carolina Raquel “The Turk” Duer defended her World Boxing Organization super flyweight title for the sixth time. Duer, 34, won a unanimous decision over countryman Marisa Portillo last Friday before more than 4,000 fans at an Argentina park — a record crowd for a Duer bout.
Showing the government’s increasing support for the fighter, the bout was announced in newspaper ads paid for by the government with the National Presidency logo and featuring the motto “Argentina, a country with good people.” National Public Television covered the fight live and broadcast it free to the country under a federal program designed to make satellite television more accessible. Duer, the first Jewish woman to hold a WBO title, raised her professional record to 13-3.
“It was a very difficult fight. I dedicate this victory to Cristina [Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina’s president] and to the memory of Nestor Kirchner because tomorrow is the second anniversary of his death; I think that the government is continuing his way very well,” she said on National Public TV after the fight.
The president of the National System of Radio and TV, Tristan Bauer, said his agency will continue to support Duer. Duer is the daughter of Syrian immigrants to Argentina. She attended the capital’s Jaim Najman Bialik Primary School, celebrated her bat mitzvah at a Conservative synagogue, and spent more than a month in Israel working on a kibbutz and touring the country. On weekends she went to the local Maccabi club and attended Jewish summer camp.
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(JTA) — Months after initially refusing to reschedule a Friday night game involving an Orthodox school, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools has changed its rules to accommodate the religious observances of all its members. Known as TAPPS, the association was widely criticized for initially denying a request to reschedule a Friday night semifinal game in the boys basketball state tournament involving the Robert M. Beren Academy of Houston, an Orthodox school whose players do not compete on the Jewish Sabbath. TAPPS, the main association in Texas for private and parochial schools, changed the time of its games only after several players and their parents filed a lawsuit.
Beren won the rescheduled semifinal matchup before losing in the championship game for schools in their enrollment category. The new policy, posted on the association’s website, states that religious accommodation “shall be the standard as TAPPS prepares for state competitions that are accessible to all member schools and the students that they serve through team activities.” The new policy is effective this school year.
The change has been in the works for months, and comes after the association began facing pressure from its members to become more inclusive of schools of all faiths.