Hard as a Diamond

How do you train as hard as a Diamond? One of the first things you notice about the newly named Samsung Diamonds is how in sync they are.

How do you train as hard as a Diamond?

One of the first things you notice about the newly named Samsung Diamonds is how in sync they are.

From training and shooting drills, the team moves fluidly. It’s little wonder they are one of the nation’s most successful sports teams, holding a 94 per cent win rate for the Netball World Cup (compared to the Australian cricket team’s 45 per cent win rate, despite facing only half the number of competitors).

Yet, as they concluded a recent national training camp, the question arose: what will it take for the team and the sport to take their rightful place?

More than half a million Australians – men and women – play netball; it is the most popular sport for women and girls in the country. The sport is going from strength to strength following the launch of the televised Super Netball series, which kicked off earlier this year.

Despite the Samsung Diamonds being one of the nation’s most successful teams, it is only recently that netball has joined the forefront of Australian sports with the increased number of televised games and support of the league, despite already being one of the largest female sports in Australia.

This increased coverage of women’s sports – AFL has had a stellar inaugural season, with the games drawing crowds to the pitch and on TV – is having a positive flow-on effect for younger women.

“What netball does well is target the grassroots, it’s about inclusiveness; netball really is for everyone,” Samsung Diamonds goal shooter Caitlin Bassett says.

“As a little girl I dreamed of being a Samsung Diamond,” centre Kim Ravaillion says.

In encouraging the next generation of netballers, the players were unanimous in their advice: never give up, understand that sacrifices will be made if you want to compete and embrace your differences.

“Everyone has their own journey and face their own challenges – you have to fight hard,” Bassett says.

Paige Hadley, the team’s centre and wing attack, adds it’s about resilience

“If you have the goal to be a Samsung Diamond, you really have to give it your all,” Ravaillion says.

But the players aren’t making these changes alone.

The team has recently taken a leap forward, in terms of recognition and technologically, with global giant Samsung securing the Diamonds’ first naming rights partnership, as the company seeks to support the sport at all levels, from the community netball courts to the newly named Samsung Diamonds.

“Netball is one of the most engaged, passionate community-driven activities that brings together millions of Australians each week,” Samsung Australia’s head of brand partnerships Holly Adams says.

“Samsung is committed to supporting the sport at its highest level, as well as through grassroots activity through teams and communities around Australia. Breakthrough experiences, partnerships and collaboration are at the heart of how Samsung applies our innovation to support our customers and partners alike,” she says.

Commenting on the partnership, Bassett says, “It is pretty amazing for women’s support to have such a backing from such a global company”.

The Samsung Diamonds are also on the front foot when it comes to utilising cutting-edge technology to improve their game. At the recent netball camp, the team ran drills by a 360 camera, capturing their training in a new way, and combined with VR, allowing them to view how they operate and examine ways to gain a critical edge on their own performance.

“We really want to grow and challenge ourselves,” Bassett says. “To be able to use VR cameras and phones … it makes it so much easier to stay connected, as like most national Australian sports teams we are such a decentralised program, we’re based in different states and we don’t get much time even when we are together, so it’s important we are able to stay connected.”

So what’s the future for one of Australia’s most successful sport teams? According to Bassett, it is further integrating technology and inspiring the next generation of women, both in sport and life.

Rapaport Appoints Editor

August 16, 2017, Ramat Gan… Rapaport is pleased to announce the appointment of Sonia Esther Soltani as Editor.

Sonia Esther Soltani
Sonia Esther Soltani

This role will see Ms Soltani work across print and digital media titles for Rapaport. Her responsibilities include the management and development of all content creation and distribution through the company’s print and digital channels. She will also play a key role in managing product development and directing the rollout of the company’s digital media strategy.

“We are delighted to welcome Sonia as Editor,” said John Costello, Publisher, Rapaport Group. “Sonia not only brings an incredibly strong track record in B2B publishing, but also a passion for diamonds and jewelry. This combination has been key in the redesign of Rapaport Magazine, in which Sonia played the central role.”

A graduate of City University, London, with a degree in Magazine Journalism, Ms Soltani started her career as a reporter at UBM’s award-winning weekly trade magazines Property Week and Building. An editor with over 12 years’ experience, Ms Soltani went on to work as a content editor at APL Media – the publisher of National Geographic Traveller and leading travel trade publications for the US and UK markets. Ms Soltani’s natural enthusiasm for diamonds and jewelry, and experience in providing B2B content, now finds her matching personal passion with professional skills to play a leading role in the creation of content at Rapaport.

“I feel truly honored to have been entrusted by John Costello with the stewardship of such respected institutions in the diamond and jewelry trade as Rapaport Magazine and Diamonds.net. I look forward to developing connections with a wide range of players in the industry to make our publications the most newsworthy and impactful possible,” said Ms Soltani.

Sonia Esther Soltani can be contacted at sonia.soltani@diamonds.net.

Master of the mv SS Nujoma

Master of the mv SS Nujoma


by Thomas Kosmas

As a young Namibian living in Windhoek, my passion always differed to that of my friends.

I travelled for the first time to the coast in my last year of high school (matric) and, while my friends were content to splash about in the water and spend time on the beach, I became curious about a career at sea.

As I researched my options, I became aware that there was an opportunity for me to pair my love of the ocean with a career and I became fascinated with the art of navigation.

However, not once did I think that this would mean I would step foot on a ship – especially one that is now so important to the economic future of my country.

I have worked at Debmarine Namibia – the offshore diamond exploration and mining company – for 14 years in a number of roles. Each of them has given me the opportunity to keep my love for the sea alive.

Last month, I joined colleagues, friends and dignitaries at the inauguration of the mv SS Nujoma – Debmarine Namibia’s, and the world’s, most advanced diamond sampling and exploration vessel.

And I am the vessel’s captain.

As soon as we are away from Walvis Bay, halfway up the Namibian coast, I will be reminded of the huge privilege it is to be at the helm of this innovative and dynamic vessel – named after His Excellency Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, the Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation.

It is also a huge responsibility.

The mv SS Nujoma cost N$2.3 billion (US$157 million) to build and has a crew of around 80 highly trained individuals. The commissioning has actually led to the creation of 140 new jobs – the vast majority of which are held by my fellow Namibians.

I believe the mv SS Nujoma represents a major milestone for offshore diamond mining in Namibia.

Some of the world’s most beautiful diamonds are found here, where they have become the single biggest contributor to the country’s economy.

The partnership between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group alone generates more than N$10 billion in revenue each year.

I have followed the vessel’s progress closely ever since construction began two years ago in Norway, with the knowledge that one day it would be under my command.

There were celebrations when it was launched in January 2016 and, that July, as it undertook its maiden voyage to Cape Town in South Africa, where it was fitted with the subsea sampling system and a network of cutting-edge technology.

The hi-tech sampling system means the diamonds we find are sampled faster than its predecessor.

At 113 metres in length, it is longer than a football pitch, is 22 metres wide, weighs in at 12,000 tonnes and is powered by five diesel-electric engines.

It also has a helicopter pad that will be used to take those of us working on board to and from shore during three-year stints out at sea in between visits home.

Our exploring takes place up to 150 metres below sea level, seeking the diamonds carried across southern Africa by the Orange River over millions of years that were then left to rest on the ocean floor.

The mv SS Nujoma has also been designed and built to the latest international marine standards – Eco Notation – giving us the opportunity to implement a range of ‘greener’ technologies.

What might be surprising for a coastal country is that Namibia is in a water-scarce region, so we know we have to keep freshwater supplies from shore to a minimum.

As a result, the vessel has desalination systems fitted to ensure it is self-sufficient in producing freshwater.

The accommodation for the crew was a priority area for the vessel designers and – as we live on board for 28 days at a time – they factored in a high level of comfort, with low noise and vibration, and excellent ventilation.

As Master of the mv SS Nujoma, I cannot imagine doing anything else for a living.

On the mast, we fly the Namibian flag. The mv SS Nujoma is, of course, a source of pride for Namibia as well as for Debmarine Namibia – something that was clearly evident during the inauguration.

Our Prime Minister Dr Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, and Dr Sam Nujoma himself were at the event, as well as the Honourable Obeth Kandjoze, our Minister of Mines and Energy, and many other dignitaries and fellow employees.

To join them on that auspicious day filled me with an immense sense of pride – both as a Debmarine Namibia employee and as a Namibian citizen – and it was unlike anything I had felt before.

If the development of the mv SS Nujoma and the role it will play is any indication, my country has an exciting future.

And that is something the younger me would never have believed he would have the honour of being a part of.

Captain Thomas Kosmas
Master of the mv SS Nujoma

Scholarships for 2018

GIA Scholarships

Scholarship Applications accepted August 1 to September 30

CARLSBAD, Calif. – July 31, 2017 – GIA will begin accepting scholarship applications Aug. 1 for its 2018 Gemology and Jewelry Manufacturing Arts programs, courses and lab classes. GIA scholarships, which total over $2 million for 2018, align with the Institute’s goals of providing quality education in gemology and jewelry to the trade and aspiring professionals. Applications for the current scholarship cycle will be accepted through Sept. 30 and are available at gia.edu/scholarships.

Since 2010, GIA has awarded more than $8 million in scholarships to more than 1,500 students globally. Funded by the GIA endowment fund and several private donors, the scholarships supplement GIA’s wider scope of offerings. Beginning with the 2018 application cycle, applicants can apply for scholarships every calendar year. GIA offers on-campus and distance education (eLearning and lab classes) scholarships.

Scholarships are available for distance education eLearning courses and for classes at the Institute’s campuses in Bangkok, Carlsbad, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York and Taiwan; and at the GIA branch in Dubai. For more information, call +1(760) 603-4131 or contact us.

About GIA
An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.

Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism.