Sports International Magazine Issue 3

Page 1

The Pro Sports Magazine April 2013




Kate Walsh

Captain Team GB Hockey

Holly Colvin

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



International WELCOME


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

Rebecca Smith


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



International Contents


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


Crossfit Special


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

Caryl James

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.

James Davies

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

Competition winner!

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 County Ground, Hove August 25th 3rd ODI The 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 couldn’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





standard athletes.


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!


Ponderings Thoughts

“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

very seriously!.

rope rotates twice in one jump), 150

in between!!).


GHD sit ups and 75 over head plate





Wed Off












Rugby Rugby M (pm) (pm)

I still can’t put into words the


lunges (15kg). What’s next? I enjoy sharing my experiences with

Rugby game

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,


and having


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 women’s cycling and his views on a women’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

men’s event.”



“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

great interest.

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

greatest challenge.

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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40% off the RRP to Sports International Magazine Readers Quote Discount Code SIM40 April 2013 35 Pro Athlete Supplementation Ltd, Unit 23, Heads of the Valleys Industrial Estate Rhymney, South Wales NP22 5RL.

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.

Follow us on Twitter @exerformance Like us on Facebook: Exerformance/412216802166810 Contact us: info@exerformance

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 -

April 2013 37

Thank you’s The thank you’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

everything else,

on things,

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: Keep up to date on our blog: or on twitter: @sportsinternationalmagazine Advertising contact: Editorial contact: SPORTS




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