The Pro Sports Magazine April 2013
Captain Team GB Hockey
At 15 years old - The youngest ever Test Cricketer in England
Non Evans, New Zealand Rugby, Serita Stone, Crossfit... Top Tips on sports nutrtion and more...
April 2013 1 Photo courtesy of Team GB
2 April 2013
Well, it seemed like just last week I was getting issue 1 out and sitting down to write the first introduction and here we are at issue 3! Thank you first and foremost to all of you, the readers who have read, enjoyed, shared and supported the magazine. This magazine is for you and not possible without you. I am now regularly receiving e-mails from new readers, athletes and governing bodies of sports in different countries wanting to be involved! This highlights to me the amazing stories of women in sport around the world, which is fantastic! This issue is bigger and has a lot more photos for you to enjoy, as well as new features, I hope you enjoy all the extra things. As well as this we are delighted to have two new partners on board, providing you with special offers and technical information. The blog section of the website is now up and running with lots of extra articles and up to date news items, so check it out as it is updated regularly. We are being provided with more and more video footage as well now so look out for this and enjoy!
TM Our first competition winner is in here having won tickets to the Maxifuel Super Six Hockey. We will be running a number of ‘money can’t buy’ competitions over the summer so keep your eyes peeled…. Once again, thank you for supporting the magazine, enjoy this issue and I look forward to your feedback.
International All the best
Myak-Paul Homberger Myak-Paul Homberger Editor
April 2013 Issue No 003
April 2013 3
Feel great. Play tough. Sportswear designed for the female athlete
NZ Football Fern captain 2012 Olympics
I really enjoy pulling on my Emvale gear either to train in or for recovery because I like how it is different from the main stream. It has a story behind it and I know that the gear is made with the thought of what is best for each athlete in mind. While I feel sporty wearing it, I also like that it is feminine and made for women.
4 April 2013
w w w. e m v a l e . c o m
Contributors 6 Kate Walsh - Team GB Hockey
Holly Colvin - England Cricket 10 Non Evans 14
New Zealand Rugby 18 Serita Stone 23 Sports International Magazines Outstanding Athlete
Sports International Magazines Unsung Hero
Bradley Wiggins 30 Good Competition - Emyly Ryall 32 Sports Explained 34 Whats is Strength and Conditioning
Recipes and Tips 37 Thankyou 38
April 2013 Issue No 003
April 2013 5
Contributors Myak-Paul Homberger
Aside from being a huge sports nut and champion of women’s sport, has numerous qualifications including being a BAWLA qualified weight training coach, two martial arts black belts alongside his instructor level in Urban Krav Maga. He is also an NLP practitioner and sociologist with an HND in RAB.
Caryl James is the Leader of Physical Education at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd. She is also an international rugby player and a Crossfit athlete. Her main achievements to date include international Mixed Wales hockey, gaining her 25th cap for Wales women’s rugby after this year’s six nations campaign and qualifying for the world cup, Wales Rugby 7’s, European Crossfit Regionals Games 2012 and Wales Women’s Open Touch Rugby. Her future goals are to compete at the Women’s Rugby Union World Cup in France 2014 and to continue to enjoy playing competitive rugby amongst other talented players with touring sides like the Wooden Spoons and Pink Ba-bas.
Photography is his main passion and he has been published internationally. Myak has worked with men’s and women’s national teams, as well as with premiership teams and individual players.
Isa du Toit BSc (Hons)
James has worked with the Welsh National Rugby team during a number of their campaigns, as well as Cardiff City FC and Welsh Hockey. James also works with a number of the national squad girls and GB athletes on a one to one basis giving nutritional and S&C support. James has a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, whilst also holding a number of other professional body qualifications. James offers advice and support to numerous athletes, both amateur and professional, through his consulting business EXERFORMANCE.
Isa is a researcher with an interest in the health benefits of food for the whole person, as well as in the significance and meaning of food and food practices in social and cultural contexts.
Emily Ryall Emily is a director of Storm7 rugby, an invitational rugby sevens team. She is also a senior lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Gloucestershire. 6 April 2013
Well done to our first competition winner ……who won tickets to see the Maxifuels Super Sixes. Look out for a lot of competitions and ‘money can’t buy’ things coming up…..
Kate Walsh Team GB Hockey
“I remember the crowd taking a deep breath almost like at a pantomime and I knew it must be bad. I could feel my teeth in my mouth,” says Kate as we talk about the moment during the London Olympics when she was hit full in the jaw by a hockey stick. This became one of the stories that defined the Olympics and one of courage and determination.
Captain for a modern time Interview and article by Myak Homberger
I wanted to find out about Kate and what made her tick, rather than what it’s like to be hit full-on by a hockey stick (although this has happened to me in far less glamorous circumstances!) - it was a desire to separate tabloid stories from the real person. To do this we need to go back to prior to the Olympics. There is an article in itself just in the way Danny Carey and the team at Team GB Hockey set about putting in place a unique and winning formula, but maybe another time…. Aside from all the usual s+c, physio, doctors, etc. they brought on a psychologist to spend every training moment with the team, watching the team dynamics, the individuals and their temperaments. Out of this profiling of the individuals “lots of frank and open discussions were had,” says Kate, remembering
Photo courtesy of Team GB
April 2013 7
the sessions. This created a foundation that the team could build on, one that thrived on acceptance, tolerance and most importantly, TEAM. Kate is very open about the soul searching that she did as a result of these sessions and the benefit to her of the acceptance of her own and others’ traits, as well as how to make them work for good. This ethos and the safe environment that Danny and the management team had created meant that they could get on and do what they do best, while allowing the team to connect and to make a lot of major decisions themselves. This approach is one that brought them together and created something unique. “Danny was very brave to choose this ‘buy in’ style but it paid off,” comments Kate as she acknowledges the huge gamble that Danny Carey took. Part of this process was to elect a captain, voted for by the team - again very left field BUT firmly within the ethos of the team at large. As a result Kate Walsh was voted in as captain. Allowing the team to vote their captain in, is another good example of the effectiveness of this approach. First, Kate took the role knowing that her peers had voted for her and so she felt the support and unity there. Second, the gravitas of this was not lost on her and so she would ensure that she was the best captain you could be and third, and most importantly, the team united behind the person they had selected to lead them. You can’t buy that sort of unity and the benefits that this brings both on and off the field. However, there was the emotive question of how the team would find out who had been selected for the Olympics and who not? This is the sort of thing that pulls teams apart - but given the team ethos, they all talked about it and voted to have an e-mail at the same time on the same morning. So far so good but - and this highlights the balance between the desire to win and train and the fact that people are human - each player was allowed to contact the management to discuss their individual e-mail when they were ready. The fact that the ticking clock of a home Olympics was ringing loud in their ears didn’t matter, the people did. Thursday 8am and all 28 members of the elite training squad received an e-mail six weeks prior to the Olympics….16 had been selected along with 2 reserves…. the rest of the team’s Olympic dreams were over. What happened next is a testament to all of the above, the 8 April 2013
Photo courtesy of Team GB
team, the individuals, the ethos. On the Monday, four short days after the selection EVERY player was at training, ten players weren’t even going to the Olympics - but they still turned up! Kate plays down her role in this period, admitting “those were some of the hardest weeks ever leading to the Olympics,” she reflects, but her leadership, phone calls, chats and support saw that everyone got through it. This is a unique challenge to befall a captain and one that Kate came through with flying colours - a credit to her and her style of leadership. “There is an interconnectedness on a deep level, understanding ourselves and each other. Knowing what each other is thinking and feeling, you only get this from time together, being open and experiencing the highs and low together,” says Kate as we chat about this tough period in her captaincy. You can’t help but warm to her
even a flicker that she may relax slightly. Why? Because Kate is Hockey and Hockey is Kate: she is determined not to leave anything to chance, but to totally, completely and absolutely make the most of every opportunity - yet she does this with a humility and grace that is disarming.
“This is a unique challenge to befall a captain and one that Kate came through with flying colours - a credit to her and her style of leadership.” However off the field and sitting alone in a hospital having been told that your Olympics and potentially your playing career were over made for a dark and very long night. “I spent the whole night sitting upright thinking and spitting blood,” she says as she recalls that evening. The next morning the surgery went a lot better than expected and Kate was told that she may be able to play again! The swing in fortunes and emotions would have put many a mortal under but Kate has a focus that many world class athletes have…”this is my opportunity, I need to get out there, was my response,” she says.
as she honestly admits that this is a side to sport that is not often talked about, but her admission and the way she conducted herself is a credit to her character and the knowledge of who she is. Fast forward to the Olympics and that fateful moment when Kate was hit full tilt with a hockey stick…. “ironically had I not made the tackle and taken the ball, the stick would have hit my arm but because I took the ball, her stick hit my jaw instead of the ball,” says Kate in a matter of fact way that gives you the sense that even now she is annoyed by this paradox. With only minutes till the end of the game (that Team GB were comfortably winning) Kate threw herself at the on-coming attack as she has done thousands of times before as a defender. This constant pursuit and drive to give 100% till the whistle blows is what separates the great from the good: there was not
From that moment on her aim was to get back on the field BUT above all else she made sure she was there for the team, she wanted to be with the team, to support and encourage them. This is a woman with a big heart and even bigger pain threshold. The medical team supported her amazingly and within two games of being injured Kate was playing again. “I had no time to think what is this crazy woman doing!” she says of that time. It was focus on a routine of medication, rehab and training. I asked her if she felt like a heroine and her reply, typical of a modern legend was one of humility and reflection on the sport and the team. “I’m sad that the press took away from what the team were achieving, it was about the girl that got it in the jaw. I have mixed emotions about it really.” For her it was, always has been and continues to be about the team, not about an individual - as has been demonstrated with each story. There is no question why the team chose such a remarkable woman to lead them into the fray. Selfless to the end, a true leader of the calibire of whom stories are told of by the next generation - not just of the lady who was hit by a hockey stick, but of the woman with leadership, courage, humility and a focus not her position, but on the team. April 2013 9
Holly Colvin England Cricket
So: you are the youngest ever test Cricketer in English cricket, male or female, at 15. You have won the Ashes, the World Cup and have bowling statistics to be proud of. Surely you are going to believe the hype and focus on you? Not so, if you are Holly Colvin. 10 April 2013
Cricket - and Women’s cricket in particular - is growing rapidly, especially given the success of the ICC World T20 which sees the men’s and women’s competitions run concurrently, with the most recent being held in Sri Lanka last year. The Ashes will be contended again this year as well, so with this in mind I caught up with Holly Colvin to talk about everything from Cricket to science and more besides. Holly’s journey to Cricket’s history books started when, aged 8 she finally wore her mother down after a year of pestering to go and play cricket with her older brother. She then joined and played for local boys’ teams and by the age of fifteen she was being used to provide the senior England team with bowling practice. It was August 2005 and England were preparing to face the Australian Women’s International team at Hove County Cricket Ground. Holly, as a left hand spinner, was invited to bowl against the English team in the nets to give them practice against a left arm spinner whom the Australian team were fielding. After the practice session, Holly was asked to be available for the four-day match by team coach Richard Bates.
in the world at the time. Reflecting on this, Holly says, “it was a bizarre four days, as I didn’t know who I was bowling against. It played into my hands really as I didn’t get involved in any hype”. As well as all the team wins mentioned already, Holly has packed in loads of personal achievements including the leading wicket taker at the 2009 ICC Women’s World T20, along with remarkable bowling stats including 4-9 in T20I and 4-20 in ODI. It was becoming clearer as we talked that Holly was VERY laid back in life and this was highlighted when I mentioned to her about her stats sheet. “I’m the least stats focused person, I have no idea. It’s about feel for me. If I feel like I have played well,
Team captain Clare Connor admitted that her inclusion was ‘pure hunch’, believing that the wicket would be favourable to spin bowling. Bates explained to The Times that “the pitch [was] a little worn, and we felt that Holly could help us exploit it”. Holly made her England debut on 9 August 2005, at the age of at 15 years and 336 days, becoming the youngest Test Cricketer (male or female) to play for England. And so the records started to be made and accolades won....taking three key wickets in that test, including that of the best batsman
but I get hit for a lot of runs, or if I feel I have played badly but lost very few April 2013 11
runs, that’s a big difference for me.” So how can someone be so relaxed yet so good? Well, it seems that Holly uses all her energy to focus on what’s important, the cricket. She has
“It’s such a great feeling having team mates and comradery like this,” no desire to be involved in anything other than training for and playing cricket. So stats, analysis etc. go out of the window for her, she says. “I need something different outside of cricket, so when it’s time for cricket I am fully focused on the cricket.” This is an approach which is different to athletes who live and breathe everything possible to do with their sport. But what matters, is that it works for her. It seems that despite her age and the achievements to date Holly has her feet firmly on the ground and has found a balance that works for her where she is so dedicated and focused when she is playing and training, that she can achieve greatness. Yet outside of these times
she completely removes herself from cricket, allowing her to draw from other things, to allow her to come back to her first love. Talking about why she does what she does Holly was enthusiastic about the comradery with her fellow team mates. “It’s such a great feeling having team mates and comradery like this,” sharing the highs and lows together and the bond that this creates. The tears of joy and disappointment, the hugs, and as she recalls, “things like when I was batting in the 2009 world cup final and we won - the team ran onto the pitch...that bond....that emotion, you can’t buy.” This bond means that she will train as hard as she can, knowing that her team mates are training around the country with the same intensity, aiming at the same goals, doing it for the team and the bond they have. “We don’t want to let each other down”, says Holly. Eight years and piles of accolades later, Holly continues to excel with a single- minded determination in cricket that she balances with a remarkable, laid back approach. It’s a contradictory balance. I look forward to seeing what the next few years will bring Holly.
Watch Holly and the rest of the England Women as they take on Australia this summer. They will be playing the following fixtures for the Ashes Series: August 11th-14th Test match Wormsley Cricket Ground, Buckinghamshire August 20th 1st ODI Lord’s August 23rd 2nd ODI The BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground, Hove August 25th 3rd ODI The BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground, Hove August 27th 1st T20I The Ford County Ground, Chelmsford August 29th 2nd T20I Ageas Bowl, Southampton* August 31st 3rd T20I Emirates Durham ICG* 10.15am tickets * Televised double-headers with England men. 12 April 2013
“It’s about feel for me. If I feel like I have played well...” Photo courtesy of England Cricket Board
April 2013 13
Non Evans epitomises for me everything female athletes do and should continue to stand for. This is a big statement but let me explain…
Non Evans MBE: Wales Rugby, Judo, Wrestling and Weightlifting
Photo Credit: Papaya Photography
by Myak Homberger Non Evans epitomises for me everything female athletes do and should continue to stand for. This is a big statement but let me explain… I first made contact with Non around the 2010 Rugby world cup having taken a number of photos of her representing Wales. I mentioned the project I was working on (the precursor of the magazine) and asked if she would be interested in helping out. Despite having a high profile, pressurised full time job and representing her country for Rugby and training for the Olympics in 14 April 2013
wrestling, she found time because she believed in the project and in promoting womens sport. Fortunately the photo-shoot and interview went well! We talked about sport, womens sport, training, motivation, etc. Non was and still is one of the most humble, genuine and down to earth athletes I have met, but also one of the most determined and driven. She is driven for herself - and not at the cost of others. She wants to better herself, to see how far she can push herself, to find out more about herself. “I always think I can do
better, improve,” Non comments. Non’s achievements are vast and worthy of two athletes at least! She has 84 caps for Wales in Rugby, has represented Wales in FOUR different sports, was the first woman to represent a country at more than one sport in the Commonwealth games, has won three Commonwealth silver medals, has the world points record for Rugby, as well as the most tries. In addition to this she has featured as a Gladiator in the TV series, and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2011 Birthday Honours for services to sport.
Oh, and she works full time in the pharmaceutical industry! Despite all these achievements Non is looking to the next thing, striving to be better, pushing herself to succeed. Yet under all that, the person Non Evans is gentle, grounded and happily gives of herself to promote womens sport. You couldnâ€™t find a better ambassador for women. Having represented her country like no other she retired from Rugby after the 2010 World Cup to focus on representing Britain in the London Olympics, only to snap her hamstring in the lead up to the
Photo Credit: Papaya Photography
April 2013 15
games, an injury that would commit many a mortal to the doldrums but Non being Non determined to still be a part of the Olympics and to find another outlet for all her training. She spent the Olympics commentating on the wrestling and weightlifting for the BBC, adding to her long resume and winning over many new fans. And importantly,
“You can’t just switch off after years of training,” still being part of the Olympics.
Photo Credit: Papaya Photography
“I’m not a bodybuilder, I’m doing this for me, to push myself and see what I can achieve with my body,” 16 April 2013
Her mental approach to the injury is a lesson in itself, how she bounced back and has attacked new things in the way she has attacked everything and every sport since she was 10 and first started to compete in sport. “You can’t just switch off after years of training,” says Non. So she has found a new training outlet, aside from commentating not only on womens BUT importantly mens as well - which is a credit to her and a recognition from the commentating community that she is technically as well as physically able to compete in the Rugby world. Non has discovered weights, not like she did in the old days, but high intensity training, low cardio, resulting in a remarkable physique. “I’m not a bodybuilder, I’m doing this for me, to push myself and see what I can achieve with my body,” she says. Representative athletes so often don’t have a transition from playing at international level to slowly lowering the training and game time and then retiring gracefully. As in Non’s case it can come without warning and in a cruel way.
What defines world class athletes and people with true character are those who don’t let it change who they are. Non handled it with grace and determination to make waves elsewhere and in other ways, to channel that drive. “Yes, its tough now there is nothing to aim for as that is always a good motivator, but my motivation is different now,” was Non’s comment. It is this ability to re-focus and take on new challenges with no less passion that sets people like Non apart. The images from the photo-shoot show her physique and what she has achieved in one short year as well as flying high with sports commentating for the BBC. Is she slowing down? Well, by her standards she is almost pedestrian! “It’s nothing like when I was training to represent Wales, this is tame,” she laughs. So what does tame mean? A typical week is a morning cardio session followed by a full days work
and then off to the gym for a high intensity weights session. “It’s only 45 minutes!” she says. Non focusses on a different body part each day with Sunday being her only day off. Not the sort of pedestrian I had in
What defines world class athletes and people with true character are those who don’t let it change who they are. mind, that’s for sure! This remarkable athlete and person
stands out for all the above reasons - but also because despite the success, fame and achievements she is still the same person I first met. Genuine, humble, and always wanting to promote women’s sport. She may be driven but this has never got in the way of the real person, the Non I know and appreciate. This is about more than pushing herself, training, representing her country, commentating, etc. This is about a character so deeply rooted in self belief and in the things that really matter that the focus has never left her and she maintains her values to this day. What’s next for Non? Well, she has been doing a lot of boxing training in preparation for her bout in Dubai along with a number of ex-international Rugby players for the Fighting Chance Charity on the 24th of May. As the only female bout, we wish her and Huriana Manuel, her opponent, all the very best!
Papaya P h o t o g r a p h y
Covering Womens sport around the World : Beach 7’s Rugby Ibiza 2012 April 2013 17
New Zealand Rugby A lifestyle not a game Interviews and article by Myak Homberger
I have been given a unique opportunity with the magazine to spend time with both the Black Ferns (Rugby 15’s) and the New Zealand 7’s women’s rugby teams. Over the space of one week and two continents I met with the teams, covered the games and spoke with both managers about the New Zealand ethos, the challenges and Rugby. New Zealand, the All Blacks and the Hakka are known globally for their talent, pride, desire to win and that famous black jersey - and so to be able to get such access and insight was something I was very pleased to be a part of.
Photo Credit: Papaya Photography
18 April 2013
First stop, London and the Black Ferns arrived for the 3 test series against England. I met up with the team at their base and spent time with Hannah Porter (Team manager), Fi and Justine. The following morning I jumped on a plane and spent the next day with Bianca (Team manager) and the New Zealand 7’s in Dubai for the first leg of the Women’s International 7’s.
Two teams, two managers and a lot of air miles: this was a unique opportunity to capture in a small period of time two different teams playing for the same country. I was intrigued to see how different they were and to find the different stories that arose. Instead what I found was a remarkable synergy and love for the job and the most laid back people I have ever met given the focus on them. Given the nature of the sport and the incredible heritage and expectation that any New Zealand team have weighing on their shoulders, I was blown away by how relaxed the players and the management were. Yes, there is focus and hard training but outside of that the nails weren’t bitten (well, apart from one and you know who you are…) and they had fun and enjoyed themselves, never taking themselves too seriously. The players were honoured to be representing New Zealand and talked of the pride of representing
their country. “It’s the whole thing, the sacrifice, my family, team mates, everyone that got me to this point, its huge,” said Justine Lavea. “We have trained hard to get here and now we want to play with passion the game we love. We don’t do this for money, there is none (laughs), it’s for the game, our families and those that got us here and those to come,” said Fiao’o Fa’amausili. We talked about a lot of other things over the course of the individual interviews but for me this was the key: the girls were playing for those who helped them get there and for their country - not for themselves, not so they could say ‘look at me’, but with a humility that acknowledges those who had come before and those still to come. There was no sense of pressure or burden, but passion oozing out of every pore. This was about more than just them, this was about the others who have born the price with them: their families, friends and loved ones
- and of course their country. This attitude was mirrored in all of the players and management I spoke to: a sense of both past and future legacy - not just looking at the present or living in the current cycle, but looking to the future, building something that will last, whilst ensuring that their ethos and values remain: a culture that is not a pressure but an honour. Whilst both managers spoke of the logistical challenges of being managers, getting 20-32 people around the globe with supporting medical teams in those countries and flying replacement players over in the dead of night, neither of them seemed to think those were major things, just part of the general goings on in any given day. They both talked with such candour but in such a relaxed manner that I had a job to stay on my chair as I was feeling so relaxed! That is despite my head telling me that if I had to sort half of this, I would be found hiding in a dark corner somewhere!!
Photo Credit: Papaya Photography
April 2013 19
To both Hannah and Bianca these are ‘logistical issues’, but neither skips a heartbeat about them. What came out loud and clear from both of them was that culture was the key thing for the teams. When I asked Hannah how far out they plan a tour and what they start with, she replied: “we start six months out and we talk about the culture, what is the culture we want in the team?” When I spoke with Bianca and asked her what the managerial challenges were she agreed the logistics et al were important, but actually the key part to her role was the culture of the team. “Any culture needs to grow and we have watered it, having planted the seed and let’s see where it goes - it may be a daffodil or a rose. The girls are creating a culture that connects them and we’re supporting this, it’s exciting to see.”
Culture, the right one, is put ahead of winning and logistics and being the best player - and this is born out in comments made by both managers, the concept of the girls having a ‘hands up’ stance, which to me was fascinating. In one simple sentence it summed up so much to me of both teams: each player was looking at this as an opportunity to be lifted UP and further it also speaks of a positive event and something to use both hands with.
20 April 2013
So if culture is so important, how do the managers feel about the jobs they do, how do they conduct themselves and how do they come across - because this will have a considerable effect on the players? “I wake up every morning and pinch myself with the job I have, it’s fantastic,” said Bianca, with such a genuine smile and thoughtfulness at the end of our interview, as if she was once again reminding herself of how lucky she know she is. So, two managers, two teams on two different continents representing the same country and yet the ethos is the same: culture, ‘hands up’ and a passion to represent those who have paid the price with them and the honour of continuing that legacy. The challenge we all face then, is to ask ourselves if we can truly say that we put these things above winning, above logistics, above looking good on the field. Because the interesting thing is that as they have chosen to focus on values, on what they do best and to look at things with positivity, they have actually gained the very things that many put first. This is just part of what they do naturally with passion and complete belief and I feel privileged to have witnessed this firsthand. Editor’s note: NZ 7’s won the Dubai leg of the Women’s World series and NZ rugby have just proved them with $800,000 of funding as well.
“The girls are creating a culture that connects them and we’re supporting this, it’s exciting to see.”
Photo Credit: Papaya Photography
April 2013 21
22 April 2013
SERITA STONE Team GB – Bobsleigh/Heptathlete
No Surrender: Back in the Bob.
Interview and article by Myak Homberger
Athletes aren’t built in the same way as regular people: they like getting up in the rain, they enjoy ‘the burn’, they are always pushing themselves. There are international athletes - who are on another level of fitness and training - and then there are world class athletes, those who live in the rare atmosphere of winning medals. The one thing all of these groups have in common is injury and the determination to overcome those unexpected things which are an unfortunate risk in sport. So to write a story about an athlete and their triumph over adversity is a good one and always worth acknowledging. What makes Serita Shone stand out and the reason for her being featured here is ‘the other side to the story’ about the journey back after major injury. The press is full of coverage and interviews with Serita about the accident and much has been written about her strength, courage and determination. However, I didn’t want to go over the accident again: I wanted to find out about the journey April 2013 23
beyond that and about her, the
Serita has pushed herself from day
person that she is: what made her get
one to get back into competitive
up and go again. There was a person
sport, even optioning for having her
before the accident and a person
vertebrate fused so that she would
after the accident that I wanted to
have the potential of participating
understand and get to know.
again. However, she is equally clear that she wouldn’t settle for the
By her own admission sport had
mediocre. “People don’t understand
always been “a release from life,
why I’m not happy to be walking and
alive after what happened, but its
and from the age of 15 she has
not enough. I will only be happy after
represented her country with pride
my first full race again.”
and fulfilment, winning gold in 2008 as a Heptathlete in the European
Junior Combined Events. The drive
with athletes, often you only see a
to “prove that I can be someone”
proportion of the real person - and
saw her leave athletics in favour of
only depending on their openness
Bobsleigh after numerous injuries
can you talk about deeper things.
and become part of Team GB.
What sets Serita apart is a remarkable openness, a frankness that left me
speechless - and for this I respect her
and feel privileged to be writing this
on the 26th October 2011 Serita
crashed at 85 mph on a bend, on solid ice. The first thing to hit the
Given her need to be defined
ice was her back followed by her
by sport, she needed to recover
head and the 170 kg bobsleigh and
completely but as she fully admits
her driver. Air ambulance, 44 days
“a year later I am still affected by
and two major surgeries later she
the accident.” There is a sadness
was told that she would be lucky to
and pain at so many dreams being
walk having fractured and dislocated
damaged and delayed and so many
the L1and L2 vertebrae in her lower
questions being asked. “I paid the
back, causing spinal and spinal cord
price to get to where I was, what did
issues. Competitive sport was not an
I do wrong, I didn’t deserve this?”
option... A large part of her recovery has been In talking with Serita, she is very clear
mentally and she readily admits that
that the accident ‘was what it was’
sports psychologists and counselling
and she is very keen to get away
have helped her greatly. “As a
from it defining her. “I don’t want
scientist I have never pooh-pood
to be defined by an unacceptable
science. My view is that I’m not
source and an injury, it’s not good,”
qualified to deal with some of these
she says. This is a common thread
things and that’s why I get help, we
amongst top class athletes.
would do the same with a doctor?”
24 April 2013
On the 26th October 2011 Serita crashed at 85 mph on a bend, on solid ice. The first thing to hit the ice was her back followed by her head and the 170 kg bobsleigh and her driver.
“People don’t understand why I’m not happy to be walking and alive after what happened, but its not enough. I will only be happy after my first full race again.”
This support has varied from a
a victim, she is not weak because of
To struggle in silence is the way of
significant amount of counselling in
admitting her dark moments or the
many and that brings so many extra
the early days after the accident until
need for psychological help, rather,
issues. Seritia has chosen to bare her
now, where she spends time talking
she is remarkable because of the
soul, knowing that it brings support
things through as and when she feels
character that it takes to stand and
she needs to.
say: “I worry about how this has
Serita enough for her character and
affected me, I feel left out at times,
Yes, she may be back to form having
yes, I have had counselling.”
done her first track tests but there is
As the summer season approaches
a person that is still recovering. Is she
Her ability to be so open and live
fragile and affected by the accident
her life acknowledging these things
continuing - and yes there will be
and all the challenges associated
makes her remarkable. She is doing
scars, but they make Serita who she
with her recovery, of course! Does
what she can to make herself a better
is, they are not what she is.
fragile mean weak? Of course not,
person, determined to achieve her
BUT - and this is the fundamental
goals, “to be known as someone that
shift one can learn from - Serita is not
has achieved”. April 2013 25
AT H L E T E Ellia Green Australia 7’s Rugby
by Myak Homberger Every so often someone JUMPS into a sport and everyone has a deep intake of breath….Ellia Green is just that sort of athlete. Six months ago, 19 year old Ellia was just another young woman who enjoyed playing a number of different sports. Fast forward 5 months and she made her Rugby Sevens debut for Australia in the second round of IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Houston. It’s a startling thought considering her first official experience with the game of Rugby Sevens was less than five months ago. Ellia was one of almost 1,000 women across Australia who attended one of the ’Pathway to Gold’ Rugby Sevens trials run by the ARU throughout the second half 2012. Her previous experience as a representative of the Melbourne Tigers basketball team and for Australia in sprinting has given Ellia the pace and skill-set required for Rugby Sevens. The fairytale only got better when Ellia scored a try at her first tournament representing Australia in Houston! This is someone to watch, an exciting new talent and part of what makes Rugby 7’s such an exciting sport to watch!
“It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.” -John Wooden
The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. -Babe Ruth
26 April 2013
HERO Denver Wannies
Head Coach South African Springboks Rugby By Myak Homberger This is a new feature to showcase the people who are behind the scenes, those who support and develop female athletes and the sport as a whole. These people are the unsung heroes, the people without whom the sport would be less than it is. Our first hero is Denver Wannies, Head Coach of the South African Women’s Rugby. I have known Denver for sometime now and his passion and commitment is contagious. As with so many unsung heroes, one can easily assume that they only fulfil the obvious role in front of you. However, there is a story here underlying the man standing pitch side shouting encouragement to the team on the field. Rewind to 2000 and there was NO women’s Rugby program in South Africa. Starting with the Eastern Province (where he was coaching the men’s team) Denver installed a program, encouraging other provinces to start programs. By 2005 he was asked to be coach of the national team despite already coaching the emerging Springbok men’s team. By 2006 the Springbok women’s team had won the CAR (Confederation of African Rugby) tournament in Uganda. “It seems like a lifetime
ago,” comments Denver. “We won the cup despite having a lot of key players away in Canada at the World Cup 15’s.” Standing pitch side with Denver in Dubai having just watched the Springbok women get to the final of the first ever Women’s 7’s World Series against New Zealand, we talk about the huge leap from 2000. He is humble but grinning as we talk about the journey. “There was a time where there was no support, no structure etc., but I saw potential. Being the person I am I like challenges and taking them on.” Denver, when challenged on why give up on a career in national level men’s rugby, says “because it was needed.” It’s that simple. Here is a man who had a vision and a belief and has pushed and pushed to develop the women’s rugby game in South Africa and the fruit is now appearing rapidly - but as with anyone of his calibre, he is humble to a fault. “The girls and I have done this, it’s not about me.” Success breeds success and Denver
has full support of SARFU and there is now a full program of women’s rugby of which he is the Head. As of January South Africa have taken on 7 women full time to develop the 7’s format with more to follow. What an achievement Denver has made to a country and to a sport from the early days where he had to beg people to let the women play. Today Denver stands on the edge of a new era, very aware that the next generation is waiting to take over the baton and take the country and the sport to the next level - and so it is with mixed emotions that he enjoys the moment in Dubai. “ ‘Wow, this guy must be near to stepping down now’, is what I think people say. But I want to end on a high.” May the next generation respect and remember the man, the people and their roots when they take over from such a remarkable and humble man.
April 2013 27
Crossfit special Train for all contingencies!
athlete, gymnast and weightlifter and
endurance, strength, power, speed,
you’ll be fitter than any world-class
agility, flexibility, co-ordination, and
runner, gymnast or weightlifter and
By Caryl James
Ask yourself who you would like to
most prepared for all eventualities. be saved by in an adverse situation…
The World Games and European Crossfit regionals Denmark 2012.
Nothing has ever captured my
…I know who I would choose!!
attention enough to want to make
Based on these facts I am hooked
me devote all my training towards
and so are many others too! The
programme ‘crossfit’ has errupted a
one thing, even though I spend my
Crossfit athlete has the best work
sports phenomenon. The “CrossFit
whole life physically active: running,
capacity across all energy pathways
Games” have been held every
skiing, surfing and playing every sport
and therefore the training lends
summer since 2007. Participation
going. The first Crossfit WOD (work
itself well to my love for the game
and sponsorship have grown rapidly;
out of the day) I did was a variation
rugby. Crossfit prepares you for the
the prize money awarded to each
of the ‘nasty girls’ which involved pull
unknown and unknowable which
first-place male and female increased
ups, ring dips and power cleans and I
provides good adaptation to any
from $500 at the inaugural Games
RX’d it. RX’d meaning you complete
sport. Having a balance in every
to $250,000 in 2011 and 2012. The
the prescribed work out without
metabolic duration prepares me
Games are styled as a venue for
scaling. Crossfit is not designed to
for all challenges I’m faced with on
determining the “Fittest on Earth,”
specialise but to equip all for general
the pitch, different conditions and
where competitors should be “ready
physical preparedness by increasing
opposition. With careful tweaking
for anything.” After training and
work capacity across broad time
you can tailor it to ‘target’ the ten
practising the Crossfit model of
and modal domains. Develop the
important physical skills: stamina,
fitness for a year and a half, I qualified
capacity of a novice 800m track
cardiovascular endurance, muscular
42nd in Europe in the Crossfit
28 April 2013
Games Open this year. Thousands of
finished in 32nd place overall, which
contestants all over Europe entered
has given me more determination to
and the top 60 went head to head at
work on my weaknesses, which the
the regional games which was held in
games unceasingly highlighted. I
Denmark. My coach, Andy Edwards
learnt so much from the experience,
of Dragon Crossfit, and I decided
particularly the realisation that you
although I was fairly inexperienced I
cannot train for two sports at an elite
should give it a go as I had worked
level in today’s day and age and be
so hard to earn my place, and so we
your best. I wouldn’t recommend
stepped up the volume and intensity
to follow such a programme as
of training in preparation. I followed
stated above which consists of
the Outlaw Way programming which
training for two sports at elite level
consisted of high volume and intense
with minimal rest and recovery and
training twice a day for twelve weeks.
a full time job!......if you do take
My weekly programme would consist
rehydration, mobilization, massage
75 OHS (40/60kg) 75 bar muscle
of three days on, one day off then
and physiotherapy, diet and sleep
ups, 250 double unders (skipping
two days on and one off (with rugby
rope rotates twice in one jump), 150
GHD sit ups and 75 over head plate
Rugby Rugby M (pm) (pm)
I still can’t put into words the
lunges (15kg). What’s next? I enjoy sharing my experiences with
Divided we Fall 2012
experience of competing at the
the pupils at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynywd where I am the Leader of
recently gained my Level 1 Crossfit certification I can start introducing crossfit into schools and hopefully make a difference in order to develop a fitter and healthier generation of
regionals; if I had to pick three
Divided we fall is the largest Team
young people. At the same time
words they would be ‘nervous’,
Crossfit event in Europe, featuring
maybe build some animals to be
150 teams, consisting of 4 males and
the next generation of our nation’s
The setting and the atmosphere
two females, competing over two
sporting super stars.
days. In preparation for the event
large stadiums in front of large
Dragon Crossfit athletes followed 4
crowds did not prepare me for this!
months of careful programming by
The realisation of being a novice
our head coach, Andy Edwards. It
Do I choose one or enjoy both
crossfitter in my first big competition
resulted in a 5th, 9th and 42nd place
sports?…..I have thought long and
amongst some of the best athletes in
finish. My favourite WOD was the
hard and decided that both my
the world, such as Annie Thorisdottir
chipper on day 2 where 2 male and
Innov8’s and my Predators still fit me
(fittest female in the world) and
2 females had to work through a task
and my commitment to the red shirt
Katrin Davidsdottir from Iceland,
priority WOD in the fastest possible
is as strong as ever.
was a phenomenal experience. I
time. 150 burpees, 150 box jumps,
Where do I go from here?
April 2013 29
Bradley Wiggins on Womens Cycling
Bradley Wiggins is a positive icon in the world of cycling both in the UK and abroad, having won the Tour De France as an Englishman - the first time this has happened in 70 years. He then topped this off with winning Olympic gold! A lot has been written about him since and so when I met him in Dubai recently I took the opportunity not only to get an insight into the legend, but also to ask him about womenâ€™s cycling and his views on a womenâ€™s Tour De France. 30 April 2013
The news of a possible women’s
is no structure in place, or even
Tour de France to run in conjunction
that the women’s version isn’t as
with the men’s Tour de France came
interesting, Wiggins is very clear that
out of the press conference where
“...women’s cycling is at the level
where it should be in these events,
DTPC Honda Team. She had signed
they can compete. It could fit within
Olympic champions Dani King, Jo
the framework of the men’s, as all
Rowsell and Laura Trott - no small feat
the structure is already there for the
indeed! Since then, and especially
“I would be supportive of a women’s Tour de France - and so would a lot of others as well,”
So in cycling it seems that the challenge isn’t ability, quality and professionalism (as it would seem in some other sports) but about money and media coverage. “It’s always money behind it with these things, and that’s what needs sorting,” says
with all the controversy around the
Wiggins, “the debate shouldn’t be
sport, I have been following this with
about should it be or not - but about
how to find funding.”
So here I am with Bradley Wiggins,
Our conversation comes to an end
chatting about cycling and women’s
and a very cool and very gracious
cycling and his views on a possible
Bradley Wiggins shakes my hand,
women’s Tour de France. “It’s a great
wishes me good luck and saunters
idea and I would be supportive of
off - without an entourage, without
a women’s Tour de France - and
any ego or desire to be recognised.
so would a lot of others as well,”
You will have to go a long way to find
said Wiggins. However, as we chat
a more casual, relaxed legend than
it seems that funding (and more
Wiggins, someone who is incredible
importantly, media coverage) is the
at what he does, but still has both
feet firmly on the ground. And he is open to women’s sport. A dude.
It is very interesting to listen to Bradley talk about women’s cycling,
““the debate shouldn’t be about should it be or not - but about how to find funding.” because unlike so many sports were the conversation is about the lack of quality, or the fact that there April 2013 31
Good Competition and Why We Should Welcome the Rise of the Giant-Killer Article by Emily Ryall 32 April 2013
Photo Credit: Papaya Photography
Let me say at the outset, that I haven’t got an ounce
spectators were on the edge of their seat. The quality
of Irish blood in my body - Well, that’s probably a lie
of the game led to previous critics of women’s rugby
since everyone seems to have a bit of Irish in them
becoming converts. Good sport is good for the profile of
somewhere! - But I still celebrated Ireland’s historic win
the game. Equally, the growth and visibility of sevens is
over England in this year’s Six Nations. Not because I
having a similar dramatic effect. Since its inclusion in the
enjoy England losing but because it was a good thing
2016 Olympics, many countries have seen its potential
for the sport itself. England’s recent dominance in the Six
as a medal prospect and have invested significantly in
Nations highlighted the disparity between countries and
the game, which will make it a sport worth watching. The
served to make the competition itself a rather dull affair.
games on show in Rio are likely to be as exciting and as
Instead, it was the recent test series between England
skilful as any of the best that have been seen before.
and New Zealand that was relished because the Kiwis are England’s nemesis and ensure the outcome is never
Women’s sport in general will need good competition
certain. It is this ‘sweet tension of uncertainty of outcome’
for sporting excellence to flourish. For historical reasons
(to use a phrase by sports philosopher Warren Fraleigh)
whereby women were excluded from many sporting
that makes good sport. This was noted in a tweet from
activities (those of us over 30 will probably have
ScrumQueens referring to the fact that many of England’s
experienced this first hand), it has to make up a lot of
experienced players have been taken out of the Six
lost ground when compared to the hundred plus years
Nations championship to concentrate on the 7s World
of development in men’s sport. Whilst men have been
Cup: “Is the lack of England’s 17 players undermining the
standing on the shoulders of giants for many years now,
tournament? We think it is MAKING this tournament”.
it is impressive to see the rate at which women’s sport is developing. But it is by ensuring good competition that
Good sport is founded on good competition. It is driven
will enable it to develop the most. Women’s sport today
by the desire for excellence; and this manifests itself in
has the opportunity to exemplify good competition that
advancement of skill level, strategy and physical fitness.
is based upon ‘a mutual quest for excellence through
Professionalising sport enables this process to advance
challenge’ (to coin another sport philosopher, this time
at a faster rate as teams and individuals are given a
Robert Simon). Whilst many are becoming disillusioned
greater amount of time upon which to improve these
with men’s (professional) sport that is mired in controversy
things, but ultimately testing ‘one’s mettle’ relies upon
and gamesmanship, women’s sport has an opportunity to
good competition. Good competition means that both
showcase good sport that is founded on respect for both
teams and individuals have to give their best if they are
others and the game itself. Yes, sport needs to be based
to achieve victory. These are the sporting encounters
on a desire to win but not at the expense of all else.
we relish and will appreciate the most. Victory over a strong opponent tastes so much sweeter than victory
Ultimately, what we want to see in sport is good
over an inferior one. That one must ‘raise one’s game’ in
competition; that is sport that demonstrates aesthetic
order to win means that excellence is more likely to be
beauty and skill, where we have to play to the best of
achieved. Equally, ‘playing down to the opponent’s level’
our ability because the outcome is uncertain, and that is
is frustrating because one is not playing to one’s ability or
founded on friendship and respect for the game.
able to demonstrate excellence of skill. Emily Ryall is a director of Storm7 rugby, an invitational For far too long New Zealand was the dominant force
rugby sevens team. She is also a senior lecturer in
in women’s rugby. It was possible but not expected for
Philosophy at the University of Gloucestershire.
a few other teams to beat them. Yet at the last rugby
World Cup final, the tension was raised because New
Zealand’s dominance was no longer all that certain. Both teams had to raise their game and this meant that April 2013 33
Sports Explained Crossfit by Caryl James
If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you. Something big is happening… CROSSSFIT is the new phenomenon. So what is it and why are so many people, especially women, doing it? The Crossfit prescription is all about ‘constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement’. Having done Crossfit for nearly two years now I can certainly vouch for the truth of this: every work out I have done has been different, changing in as many ways as possible. You work at such intensity, performing compound multi-joint movements; you feel destroyed after ten minutes but immediately afterwards you feel amazing. All my life, my friends who were never really into sport hardly exercised and the ones who did struggled with it because they either found it boring or confusing; they hated it or were too busy and were not seeing any changes in their body. Even though this was never me, I can sympathise with stepping up and down for 20 minutes staring at a wall then, having done that, doing it again for 20 minutes because they didn’t know what to do next. This is typically what happens to women the majority of the time. Men will venture into all kinds of different activities, it is normal for them to lift weights, strength training and doing challenging stuff, but for women insecurities, low self-esteem, and fear gets in the way and that inner competitiveness which we all possess remains dormant. In a typical Crossfit session you will find current and ex-professional rugby 34 April 2013
players, other elite athletes training next to novices and beginners from all walks of life: lawyers, nurses, young and older people and women of all fitness levels. And it works because this method which Crossfit has adopted forms a community where everyone has opted to share the same desires to prioritize their health and the energy you get back from the community is so special you just want to bottle it up. Everyone follows the same Crossfit programme, which is scaled for all abilities and designed by quality coaches who have excellent knowledge and understanding. This winning combination of varied exercises and an expert programme achieves visible results where the last person finishing is just as important as the first one. Our coaches at Dragon Crossfit take charge of programming different WODS (Work Out of the Day) with a philosophy to develop and achieve ‘complete fitness’. This instantly appeals to women and provides direction to their training in a safe environment where they feel safe and comfortable. Our coaches constantly check our form and correct technique, they will guide and support you to help you challenge your body and mind to achieve more than you would have ever thought possible. The Crossfit method of training is also supported by measurable, observable and repeatable facts for example you get immediate comparable data on how you are performing in relation
to previous performances and also to other athletes at your gym and from all over the world which is quick and easy. Women willingly post their performance data on a public display for fixed work outs, and sub-consciously this brings out their competitive edge. Crossfit gets the best out of everyone because everyone really wants to do well. The expert feedback provides a much more stimulating environment than to going to the gym and not knowing if you are improving or just going through the motions because you feel you should.
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What is Strength and Conditioning?
Over the last few weeks there has been some confusion as to what part a strength and conditioning coach plays as a part of an athletes development. Strength and Conditioning is the physical development of athletes for sport performance. To play any sport we need to be physically fit, more importantly this fitness has to be relevant towards each specific sport. The role of the S&C coach and the benefits: To deliver a training program that will bridge the gap between the theory of training and applied training by helping athletes to gain:
Strength Speed Skill Size Suppleness Stability Stamina Sleep 36 April 2013
By attaining all the above attributes to a high standard away from the sport and then apply it in a game/ match will give you a top quality physical athlete, it is then up to the rest of the coaches to do their role effectively. Whilst we highlight the importance of the above, players/ individuals will continue to develop as they grow and their sport evolves. It is important to keep using leading research to develop players to get the most successful results and it requires a lot of time and planning to achieve this at elite level.
Summary This highlights that S&C is more than lifting weights and shows that the role of the S&C coach is integral to the total development of the athlete. The S&C coach works with physiotherapists, head coaches, managers, doctors, analysts and nutritionists and are a key part of the team.
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Recipes and Tips HUMMUS Originally a Middle Eastern dip, Hummus is made from delicious, wholesome ingredients and is full of ‘good for you’ nutrients. It is quick and easy to make your own hummus and (unless you are using dried chickpeas) requires no cooking. It also means that you can vary the ingredients to suit your own taste.
Nutritional information: Chickpeas provide protein for building muscle and repairing damaged tissue (so especially important for athletes and those who exercise regularly); calcium (for bone health); B Vitamins (essential for a healthy nervous system and important in the release of energy from food); Zinc (for wound healing); iron (for healthy blood and vital for transporting oxygen around the body); and Vitamins A and C. Chickpeas are also a good source of soluble fibre and is a low GI food, helping to maintain steady levels of blood sugar. Sesame seed provides calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Both olive oil and sesame seed are a good source of Omega 3, a key nutrient with many important functions (including the reduction and control of inflammation).
Quick and Easy Hummus 225g Chickpeas, drained and rinsed 50g Tahini (sesame paste, optional) 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 2 - 3 T lemon juice 2 T Olive oil Salt and black pepper 3 T water Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Smooth into a small dish and sprinkle with a few pinches of paprika or chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread or pittas. By Isa du Toit
Photo Credit: Viktorija - Fotolia.com
April 2013 37
Thank youâ€™s The thank youâ€™s grow as people give their time, share their stories and give of themselves so freely, I feel
honoured to be a part of this great unfolding story. Thanks to:
Underarmour for your support,
Rog, you are a legend!,
Taff for all the bits and bobs,
Serita for your openness and
Emily Ryall for a cool alternative view
Bianca for making a 25th hour in the
Tom looking forward to all the nice
day for me!,
tech bits coming our way,
Non as always your friendship, time
Nick for all your super cool vids,
and total belief,
Kate-Anne your patience and far too
Kevin cheers for your support,
many phone calls!
Ruffy the laid back dude, Hannah for everything, you are ace; Caryl for a mental amount of writing, Gsport for being so cool and helpful, PAS for crazy reader offers, Oom Francois for his avid readership, Sportape for being so cool and helping us help athletes, Minx as always single to none, Holly your humbleness is great to see, Fiona thanks for your support, Denver your openness is great, Karl a true legend thank you for your time and support! Jackie as always wingman extraodinaire, Ma/Pa baie dankie vir alles,
38 April 2013
Thanks again to everyone!!
Contact Subscribe on line: www.issuu.com/sportsinternationalmagazine Keep up to date on our blog: www.sportsinternationalmagazine.com/blog or on twitter: @sportsinternationalmagazine Advertising contact: Adsales@sportsinternationalmagazine.com Editorial contact: Editor@sportinternationalmagazine.com
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April 2013 39