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Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ Head Injury Resources Tool

As a youth sport parent, it’s important to be properly educated when it comes to the risks associated with your child playing any sport. That’s a big part of what being a Positive Sport Parent is all about.

At Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ we encourage parents, coaches and youth athletes alike to educate themselves on where to find information on preventing and identifying injuries – especially head injuries such as concussions.

That’s why we are providing this educational and helpful tool that compiles several concussion resources.

Some of the many partners who we reference in this tool include the American Academy of Pediatrics; American Academy of Neurology; National Athletic Trainers’ Association; Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Mayo Clinic; USA Hockey; USA Volleyball and Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

Download the Head Injury resource tool today!

Liberty Mutual Insurance has partnerships with Positive Coaching Alliance, USA Hockey and USA Volleyball.  Please use your best judgment when reading materials and consult with a health professional. 

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.


Mon, 27 Oct 2014 14:51:45 +0000

Concussion Considerations Google+ Hangout

Youth sports don’t involve the same dangerous blend of power, size and speed as professional sports. However, they still carry risks of physical injury. As a result, certain safety precautions should always be taken to ensure maximum safety during competition.

At Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ we encourage parents, coaches and youth athletes alike to educate themselves on where to find information on preventing and identifying injuries – especially head injuries such as concussions.

Our partner Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) hosted a Google+ Hangout on Concussion Considerations to help Positive Coaches and Positive Sport Parents educate themselves on concussions.

Hosted by PCA Marketing Communications Manager David Jacobson, the PCA Concussion Considerations Google+ Hangout runs just short of a half-hour in length, and is much more than a mere “hangout.” In fact, it’s packed with valuable insight, experience and advice from David and his six panelists.

Included among these panelists are Dr. Gerry Gioia, a pediatric neuropsychologist at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; Jim Osborne, a brain injury specialist, PCA trainer and member of the Education Department at Immaculata University; current U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team member Rachel Buehler and former NFL quarterback Scott Secules,

Highlights and insights from this excellent online conference call include:

  • A concussion is a brain injury, and should be taken very seriously by parents, coaches and youth athletes alike. Concussion care is very much “a team sport.”
  • When the brain is injured, it is very vulnerable to a second injury, especially in the days following the initial injury.
  • Most concussions do not involve anything as extreme or obvious as “blacking out.” In fact, losing consciousness only happens in 1 out of every 10 concussions.
  • The knowledge base on concussions and their diagnosis and treatment is steadily growing, but an estimated 50% to 75% of all sports-related concussions are “missed.”
  • Great progress in diagnosing and treating concussions is being made, and concussion “baseline tests” are becoming more standardized and advanced in all levels of all sports, including youth sports.

During the PCA Concussion Considerations Google+ Hangout, panelists also shared their unique and invaluable personal stories involving concussions experienced by themselves and other athletes under their care and supervision. These are extremely insightful anecdotes that should be listened to and absorbed by parents, coaches and youth athletes alike.

Watch the full PCA Concussion Considerations Google+ Hangout now >>

It’s important for parents, coaches and youth athletes alike to remember that every concussion is serious, so early recognition and appropriate response is important when it comes to reducing the risk of additional injury. Coaches and parents who best arm themselves with the tools and knowledge to protect young players will keep more heads in the game.

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning in and out of the pool.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.


Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:58:58 +0000

TAKE 5 with U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Kyle Wilkens

Youth sports might not seem as dangerous as professional sports, but there are still physical risks involved.

Safety precautions should be taken in every sport, and at Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ we encourage coaches and parents to educate themselves on where to find information on preventing and identifying head injuries, especially concussions.

We sat down with U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Medical Director Kyle Wilkens to get his thoughts on how youth athletes, coaches and Positive Sport Parents can help provide proper protection of the head.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Kyle told us that the best technique for everyone involved in skiing to properly protect the head can utilize a two-pronged approach.

“Always wear a properly fit helmet, and ride in control,” said Kyle.

According to Kyle, parents and coaches alike should also be properly trained in diagnosing the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

“The most important thing coaches can do to protect an athlete is to know the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and pull the athlete immediately when a concussion is suspected,” said Kyle.

Should a concussion be experienced by a youth athlete, Kyle said all the adults involved should make sure to seek out and deliver proper treatment – and take precautions before returning the youth athlete to competition.

“Ensure that your child is seen by a health care professional trained in concussion management when a concussion has occurred,” said Kyle. “And ensure that they do not return to play until cleared by that professional.”
To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Kyle, visit PlayPositive.com. And come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of positivity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display positivity. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill. 

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.


Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:43:55 +0000

Protecting the Head: Concussion Management

Youth sports might not seem as dangerous as professional sports, but there are physical risks none the less. Safety precautions should be taken in every sport, and at Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ we encourage coaches and parents to educate themselves on where to find information on preventing and identifying head injuries, especially concussions.

Here's some valuable information to help protect young athletes:

According to the Children’s National Health Systems' Safe Concussion Outcome Recovery & Education (SCORE) Program, a concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury, is "a disruption in the function of the brain as a result of a forceful blow to the head, either direct or indirect."

Protecting the head with proper equipment to reduce the risk of serious head injury and prevent concussions is vital, but not always enough. Coaches and parents must be properly informed as to the signs of a concussion in order to act quickly and responsibly, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Signs and symptoms a child with a possible concussion might show include:

-Looking dazed or confused

-Repeating questions

-Behaving unusually

-Being unable to remember post-injury events

Additionally, a young athlete may admit to these symptoms:

-Feeling slower

-Difficulty concentrating or remembering

-Problems with balance

-Nausea or dizziness

-Feeling sluggish, hazy or groggy

Emotional changes might also be evident:

-Irritability

-Sadness

-Over-emoting

-Nervousness

Some of these signs and symptoms of concussions could show up right after an injury, or take a few days. If you notice any of these warning signs in your child, or if your athlete tells you about them, give him or her a break from the sport and seek medical attention right away. After assessing your child, a doctor will be able to tell you if any other activities should be limited, and for how long.

Remember, every concussion is serious, so early recognition and appropriate response is important in reducing the risk of additional injury. Coaches and parents who arm themselves with the tools and knowledge to protect young athletes will keep more heads in the game.

For other Sports Safety articles we encourage you to visit our articles on PlayPositive.com.  We also have pointers for Parents and Coaches to help make sure everyone is properly prepared. 

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.

In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ program powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.


Mon, 06 Oct 2014 17:45:04 +0000

How to Encourage Your Youth Athlete

Youth athletes, like everyone else, need to be praised. Parents who support their youth athletes by regularly showing love and encouragement are helping them become better team players. Plus, children who are frequently encouraged are more optimistic, better able to handle criticism, more coachable and more likely to listen and respond without resistance.

Children learn to better take constructive criticism over time. So, when providing your child with advice, it’s helpful to mix specific, truthful pieces of praise with each critique. Honesty is critical, because children sense insincere praise, and might lose respect for the person offering it and refuse to listen. To help your child become a better team player, for example, you might say, “You usually do a great job passing the ball, but I noticed that you only passed it once in the first quarter. I know you want to be a good sport, so I’m sure you can be a great team player next time.”

Honest and constructive criticism should always be provided in a way that is kid-friendly and useful. For example, instead of simply telling your child to "pay attention," which offers nothing actionable, say, “When you have a hard time staying focused, try giving yourself a pep-talk to get re-focused.”

Supporting your youth athlete in these ways will help him or her learn to love sports and have a more positive experience. Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™, in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, created this tool for ways you can encourage your child during and after the game.

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.  

In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ program powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.


Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:56:12 +0000

Get Started Today and Earn $2500

It is not too late to participate in the Fall period of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ Pledge

All you have to do is go to PlayPositive.com/Pledge and sign your youth Snowboarding team or organization up.  Once your organization is approved you can start to recruit support from family, friends, co-workers and community members to take the Pledge to promote good sportsmanship and then assign their point to your team.  On October 15th, the top 5 Large Division teams/organizations and top 5 Small Division teams/organizations will each earn $2,500. 

Learn more today:

Wondering what the actual Pledge to promote good sportsmanship is?  See below:

I pledge to promote good sportsmanship in youth sports.
- To honor the rules of the game at all times.
- To respect officials, umpires and referees understanding that they are doing their best.
- To remember that my actions on the sidelines and in the stands reflect my commitment to teaching my kids what it means to be a good sport.
- To remind kids that part of being a teammate is supporting each other no matter the outcome.
- To respect the opposing team, their coaches and fans, knowing that without opponents there would be no competition.
- To encourage kids, win or lose, so that youth sports stays fun, positive and full of the life lessons I hope they gain from playing sports.

I pledge to do my part to promote sportsmanship, ensuring that every play is a positive one.

Join the movement today at PlayPositive.com/Pledge

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance


Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:04:06 +0000

World Cup Coming to Squaw Valley

OLYMPIC VALLEY, CA (Sept.17, 2014) - The fast-paced excitement of skicross and snowboardcross will come to Squaw Valley March 4-8, 2015, with the resort hosting an Audi FIS Skicross World Cup and FIS Snowboard World Cup. This will be the first time the International Ski Federation has brought a World Cup event to Squaw Valley since the FIS Alpine World Cup in 1969. The event will feature the top global stars in the sport, including local Olympian and seven-time X Games champion Nate Holland. Cross racing pits athletes against each other to race head-to-head down a course of jumps, bumps and berms. Snowboardcross made its Olympic debut in 2006, with skicross in 2010, and both events were among the top spectator events in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Squaw Valley will be the site of an Audi FIS Skicross World Cup and FIS Snowboard World Cup March 4-8.
  • Officials from the International Ski Federation did a final inspection at Squaw Valley this week giving the event the go-ahead.
  • The cross tour features head-to-head racing that has proven to be popular with spectators and one of the most watched events in the Olympics.
  • Perspective: It’s the first time the International Ski Federation has brought its World Cup tour to the Olympic resort since the FIS Alpine World Cup was held there in 1969.
  • Who to Watch: Local SBX hero Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA), Olympic SBX champion Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME), Olympic SBX medalists Alex Deibold (Boulder, CO) and Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) and World Cup skicross winner John Teller (Mammoth Mountain, CA).
  • What’s at Stake: With the 2015 season in the homestretch, few events remain after the Squaw Valley World Cup so points earned here will be vital for those seeking the crystal globe.
  • Why Squaw? Legacy of huge race crowds, great terrain, iconic resort with global stature. Squaw was the host to the U.S. Alpine Ski Championships, as well as the U.S. Freestyle Championships several years ago, plus was a key stop on the King of the Mountain Tour. Every Squaw event was highlighted by huge crowds.
  • What Fans Will See? Cross racing pits athletes head to head cruising down a course of jumps, bumps and berms. Snowboardcross made its Olympic debut in 2006, with skicross in 2010.
  • TV Tunein: The event will be broadcast on NBC and NBCSN, featuring same weekend coverage.

 
QUOTES
Calum Clark, Vice President, Events, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
Squaw Valley has been a remarkable venue for our U.S. Championships and other major events with quality courses and enthusiastic spectator interest. It’s been a goal for us to bring international events to Squaw to showcase the best athletes in the world – especially skicross and snowboardcross where we have a strong local athlete legacy.
 
Uwe Beier, FIS Snowboard World Cup Tour Director
Squaw Valley is a first time World Cup host and the home arena of one of the most famous and successful SBX snowboarders, Nate Holland. It will mark the comeback of the successful combined skicross and snowboardcross events to America for the first time in two years.
 
Andy Wirth, President and CEO, Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
We are proud and honored to welcome a FIS World Cup back to Squaw Valley. Our long-standing commitment and ability to host, world class, competitive events coupled with Squaw Valley's ideal terrain for cross style racing will make for an outstanding World Cup event for athletes and spectators.  Bringing World Cup level racing to the resort has been a goal of ours and we are proud to welcome the International Ski Federation back to the Tahoe region.
 

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:19:40 +0000

TAKE 5 with U.S. Snowboarding’s Julia Marino

When watching your child play sports, it’s natural to get excited. But it’s also important to make sure you always act as a Positive Sport Parent – on game day and beyond.

Being a Positive Sport Parent means not only keeping your emotions in check on game day, but also always remaining supportive and respectful of your youth athlete – as well as all the other kids and coaches involved in the competition. It’s also vital to remember that as a parent, you have the power to help shape your youth athlete’s attitude about sports.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive sat down with budding young U.S. Snowboarding standout Julia Marino to get her thoughts on what it means to be a Positive Sport Parent.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Julia told us that her parents have always been “super supportive” of her athletic endeavors and career.

“My parents have always been very involved in every sport I do, snowboarding in particular,” said Julia, who is still a teenager. “They are always excited to travel with me and meet my coaches and do whatever it takes for me to get the most out of my snowboard experience.”

Julia added that her mother “usually cheers more” than her father, because “she gets really excited seeing me snowboard.” It’s her father, however, who travels more with her as her snowboarding career continues to take flight.

“My dad says for me to just remember what I do and remember the skills I possess,” said Julia. “He tells me to go out and do the best I can and to make the most of the experience and to most importantly, have fun!”

Julia knows that her parents have always been Positive Sport Parents. She also believes that it is important for many other parents to serve as Positive Sport Parents to other young snowboarders today.

“I think parents should keep positive and remind their kids not to settle for anything less than their best,” said Julia. “If parents don’t stay positive, sometimes the kids get discouraged and end up hating the sport they’re doing, then wind up quitting.”

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Julia, visit PlayPositive.com. And come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of positivity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display positivity. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.


Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:59:53 +0000

Athlete Spotlight: Faye Gulini

With two Olympic appearances and six X Games under her belt, Faye Gulini knows what it takes to perform on the snowboardcross course. She has been climbing the ranks during her five years on the U.S. Snowboarding team, capping off the 2014 season with a 6th place finish at X Games and a 4th place in Sochi.

Faye hopes to have more podium finishes this season, but the most important thing is that she’s having fun. “I find that when I am having the most fun is when I excel the most in my sport.”

ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT

Name: Faye Gulini

Sport: Snowboardcross

How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: I started snowboarding when I was eight years old. I was encouraged by my older siblings who had all snowboarded at this time. In the beginning I hated it. I hated spending half the day on my bum and I hated having to unstrap for every flat section. But I stuck with it because I wanted to be cool like my brothers. When I was about 11 I really started to love it. At this point I could make it across all the flat sections and I fell very rarely. When I was 11 I did my first snowboardcross race. I was so terrified but I loved the feeling of being a competitor. I loved the bib and I loved seeing my name on the start list. I ended up winning that race, though I was the only competitor in my age class. That is when I knew this was something I would be doing for a very long time. 

Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: 4th place in Sochi. I never thought in my whole life that I would be an Olympian, however that dream came true when I was 17 years old competing in Vancouver. I was thrilled this year to have made the team again, the competition only got steeper and the season leading up to the games was quite stressful. Not many people can say they have competed in the Olympics, let alone twice, and I am happy to have walked away with a 4th place. I am still competing and plan to participate in at least one more Olympic Games. My biggest goal is to retire with an Olympic metal.

Favorite moment from Sochi: Touring around and watching all the events at the games with my father. It was such a treat to have him out there supporting me, although my whole family could not attend, I was blessed to have him there. He loves the Olympics as much as I do and between the two of us we did a pretty good job of tackling the games. We saw at least 10 events together and explored every venue we could.

Goals for next season: Continue having fun traveling and snowboarding. I find that when I am having the most fun is when I excel the most in my sport. I would love to have a few podium finishes, and like I said, the more fun I am having, the more likely I am to succeed.

Favorite snow destination: Spain; regardless of my location within Spain, I am thrilled to be there, the terrain has a lot to offer and the exploring is quite exciting as well. I always find that the people in Spain are so accommodating and nice.

Favorite non-snow destination: Barcelona; we have had multiple trips to Europe where we have spent a few days in Barcelona exploring on vespa scooters and enjoying Las Ramblas and its street vendors.

Favorite candy: Hershey's cookies and cream.

If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be: A full time student, education is so important.

If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be: My mom; she passed away in a car accident when I was 5 years old. 

One thing you can’t live without: My brother Zach.

Favorite USSA athlete outside your sport: Whitney Gardner

Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps: Have fun; you are way more inclined to be successful if you love what you do.


Tue, 09 Sep 2014 19:27:50 +0000

Being a Positive Sport Parent

It is important to be supportive and respectful, not only of your child, but also of the others on the team and of the coaches. As a parent, you have the power to help shape your youth athlete’s attitude about sports. 

It’s natural to get excited when watching your child compete but it is important to keep your emotions in check on the big day.  Here are some tips to help yoo.

1. Be supportive before the competition even starts. Tell your youth athlete you are proud of him/her, regardless of how well he/she rides.
2. Remind them that it’s normal to be nervous and to have fun even when conditions are hard.
3. Let the coaches coach; avoid instructing your child or other players from the sidelines.
4. Cheer for good runs and great efforts by all participants.
5. When the competition ends, set a good example for your child by thanking the officials, coaches, volunteers and resort personnel for their efforts.

After following these guidelines, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back! And know that your support role doesn't end there.

Consider these three tips when talking with your children after they compete:

  • Talk only when your child is ready. If your youth athlete wants to talk about the competition, he/she will bring it up, maybe even on the ride home. If it seems like he/she doesn't feel like talking, respect that. Pushing your child to discuss a competition, or re-hash their run, especially if he/she did not perform well, may turn them off sports and decrease his/her desire to share his/her thoughts with you or ask your opinion.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Once the conversation begins, keep it going by asking questions your child can't answer with a simple "yes" or "no." For example, ask, “What did you think of the course today?” and "Who did you feel threw the biggest trick?"
  • Listen carefully. If you're experienced in the sport your child plays, it might be tempting to jump in and share your own stories as they are telling theirs. Be patient; make a conscious effort to listen to what they have to say about their experience. Let your youth athlete take control of the conversation, help them process their thoughts and emotions, and then determine whether or not there's a life lesson you can impart.

Be positive. Remind your child that you are proud of them, especially when the outcome doesn't go their way.

When you support your child before and during a competition, and communicate with them effectively after the competition, they will not only have a strong mental attitude, but they will also be more coachable, optimistic, and better able to handle the inevitable losses that are part of the youth sports experience.

For more advice and resources to help promote sportsmanship and a more positive youth sports experience to your kids, visit PlayPositive.com.

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.

In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ program powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.


Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:43:36 +0000