Sports International Magazine Issue 7

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The Pro Sports Magazine December 2013

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Australian Womens Cricket Team Easkey Britton, Claire Bennett, Jane Claxton, Laura Davies CBE, Exclusive Interviews

Ibiza Rugby 10s, What’s the real problem with doping?, SA Netball... Sports nutrtion, top tips and more...

December 2013 1 Photo Papaya Photography

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WELCOME This is a significant issue in that it’s our first anniversary issue!! When I started this journey I didn’t know where this magazine would go and if people would read it. What has happened has surpassed my initial thoughts and it has led to so many extensions of the magazine that it is staggering. When I started I thought that I would produce a high quality magazine that would showcase women’s sport and sports images from around the world. However, a number of other things have happened as well as the magazine has developed, and I am so pleased with all these additional things. So here is a list of all the things that have added to the magazine being more than just a magazine: career counselling for athletes looking at the next stage of their life provided by major business;




athlete sponsorships, athlete websites setup, basic needs being supplied by companies to athletes, networking athletes with businesses and opportunities, working with small businesses to support female athletes, as well as helping them to grow their business. As well as this, I have had feedback from numerous people who have been featured in the magazine as to how the articles have positively impacted their lives and led to all kinds of things from new jobs to sponsorship deals etc. These things are all amazing and have given birth to a much bigger vision and reach of the magazine. A further aspect that has helped is the amazing support from the writers who have contributed to both the magazine and the website. They have provided great articles and given of themselves. I appreciate this, as well as their knowledge of their individual sports speciality, and their shared

passion for women’s sport. In January we will be hosting an exclusive black tie Champagne reception to celebrate the first year of the magazine and bring together female athletes from around the globe in one place who would have thought this a year ago? So thank you for all your support and readership - that is what makes the magazine tick and what keeps us going, finding more sports and athletes who can share their amazing stories with you. Enjoy this issue - it features a variety of articles from Hockey to Surfing, as well as Football and Netball. Thank you

Myak-Paul Homberger - Editor

December 2013 Issue No 007

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Papaya P h o t o g r a p h y

S P O R T S ● S P E C I A L I S T E V E N T S ● C O R P O R AT E E V E N T S

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Contributors 6 Australian Women’s National Cricket team




Easkey Britton 18 Sports International Magazine’s Outstanding Athlete


The Proteas - South African Netball team


Sports International Magazine’s Unsung Hero



Claire Bennet 40 Jane Claxton 45 German Women’s Football League 52 What’s the real problem with doping?


Laura Davies CBE 64 Ibiza Rugby 10s 66 Need Chocolate Milk? 70 World Hockey League Finals - Preview of Teams


Recipes and Tips 80 Thankyou’s 82 Contact 83

December 2013 Issue No 007

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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. 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.

Helen West Helen is a UK Registered Dietitian and a graduate of the International Olympic Committees Diploma in Sports Nutrition. Working in the British National Health Service (NHS), she has gained a wide range of clinical experience and is passionate about providing athletes with practical and evidenced based nutritional advice. She is currently working alongside leaders in the world of performance surfing to develop some nutritional guidelines for athletes training in Indonesia. Outside her day job, Helen loves to surf, run and blog about nutrition and healthy living. You can find more of her thoughts and insights into nutritional issues on her blog www.foodandnonsense. com.

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Emily Ryall Dr. Emily Ryall is a senior lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Gloucestershire, Chair of the British Philosopher of Sport Association and Director of Storm7 Rugby. She is the author of various books and academic papers on the philosophy of sport and is currently writing an introductory book on the subject. Twitter: @emilyryall Facebook: dremilyryall

1 Issue

Anniversary st Brian McGuire

Brian McGuire grew up in London. He studied History and Politics at Queen Mary & Westfield College before leaving the UK for Germany in 1998. He has worked in Germany for the past fifteen years and currently lives in Berlin with his partner. He has a keen interest in women’s football, especially since the 2011 World Cup, 2012 Olympics and U20 World Cup of 2012. Brian is a Turbine Potsdam supporter and season-ticket holder, and also supports Liverpool Ladies and the German National Women’s Team. See Brian’s blog ‘Ramblings of a Women’s Football Fan’ at www.

Nikki Symmonds Nikki Symmons is Ireland’s highest capped player having passed the 200 mark some time ago. Nikki has represented Ireland in both Cricket and Hockey. She is also part of a TV show to be aired in January 2014 called ‘Ireland’s Fittest Family,’ which is a show about the fittest families in Ireland competing against each other. She is a commentator for the FIH live streaming at the Hockey World League 4 tournament in Tucaman, Argentina and she is also now our very own hockey correspondent.

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Australian Wom National Crick team Interviews and article by Myak Homberger The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars (Australian Women’s Cricket Team) is a remarkable cricket team. They have won every possible cricketing trophy there is to win, they are currently number 1 in the world rankings, and have what is regarded by the media as some of the best players in the world. I was keen to understand not only about individual stars in the team, but what set this team apart and allowed them to deliver such remarkable things. So the journey started in Sydney in January and culminated in exclusive behind the scenes access to the team and players throughout their tour of England for the Ashes series, including a photo-shoot.

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men’s ket

Photo Papaya Photography

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Photo Papaya Photography

The first point of contact with any team is the ‘gatekeeper’, who as well as being the face of the team to the media, also portrays the team spirit. From my initial contact and through each e-mail, call and ‘meet up’ we had with the team, they were incredibly enthusiastic and so accommodating. This speaks well of a team that has the same ethos running through the support staff as that which runs through the team itself. For me, the question was, is this a team that is run like a well-oiled machine full of professionals? Well - yes and no. They are professional and have a great support team, as you would expect from the Australians in anything they put their hand to in sport. However,

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this is by no means the total depth of the team. There is a mix of layers: there are seasoned players and there are seventeen year old players and there are players who are regarded as being the best in the world in their position - and somehow all of this works and makes the team what it is. There is though, more to the make-up of the team than just that. Talking with individual players about their journeys, the tour and the team, it very quickly became obvious what their secret ingredient is. They are committed and professional (as we have said) but so is any national team, irrespective of their position in the world rankings. In all of my conversations with the players,

everyone in the team had different examples about their connectivity, team dynamic and being part of the team. They all said things in different ways - but the underlying magic was the same. This is about a group of athletes who acknowledge and respect each other both on and off the field. But what is the key for me, is that they each know what their own role in the team is and what they contribute to the team - but they also know what every other player contributes. So what happens is that there is such an awareness of each player about the next player and what they bring to the team; that when this is added to the respect they have for each other on

Photo Papaya Photography

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Photos: Courtesy Australian Cricket Board

“Whilst we all play Cricket, we have lives outside, working, studying, etc. and we accept each other’s differences and that we all do different things. We are fantastic at acknowledging this.”

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and off the field, it creates a bond that brings the true meaning of TEAM. However, I discover that there is another dimension below this, once I talk more with the players. It seems that this transcends the assumed ‘respect on and off the field’ understanding that I had. What they actually mean was summed up so well by Ellyse Perry: “whilst we all play Cricket, we have lives outside, working, studying, etc. and we accept each other’s differences and that we all do different things. We are fantastic at acknowledging this.” That is quite a statement, but it rings true with what all the other players were saying. They feel that it’s a massive asset when they run onto the field knowing, accepting and supporting each other on and off the field. This also creates a group of individuals who are extremely grounded and are genuine people without agenda. This culture is a credit to the team and all those involved - that despite all the wins, trophies, medals, records and world class players, they are focused on each other and ensuring that they do their bit for the team, whilst supporting and recognising the contribution of the player next to them. All this is done despite huge media focus on the team and on some of the individuals in the team. For me this is another example of how the team recognises what different people bring to the team and their needs. Some players have brought huge media attention to the team by playing remarkable cricket, breaking records

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and being incredibly young - but this puts pressure on both that individual and the team. However, the team pulls around those players and supports and protects them from the pressure and shields them to allow them to be the people they are meant to be. This in a large part is also down to the support staff who have broad shoulders and care about the players as people - and this is a credit to them too. It would be so easy to let them be over-exposed in order to gain the maximum publicity - but that isn’t their priority: the athletes and the people they are now and are to become are their priority. Photo Papaya Photography

So the secret ingredient seems to be not only the acceptance and acknowledgment of the athletes as individuals both on and off the field, but also of the differences in their personal lives outside of cricket, whilst at the same time knowing what each player brings to the team. This has created a connection and a bond that would beat a team full of individual stars. It has been a privilege to listen to and observe the Australian team. So thanks to the team, the support staff and press team who gave us such access and trusted us to be involved. It was great to hear all the stories and listen to a team with such awareness of each other. I look forward to what the future holds for both the individuals and the team.

Photo Papaya Photography

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Easkey Britton 18 December 2013

Irish Surfer Surfing and surfers conjure up all sorts of images to people - and when you then mention female surfers, another set of images and clichÊs pop into people’s minds. Easkey Britton challenges and redefines all of these. Photos: S.Willy

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Easkey Britton Interview and Article by Myak Homberger

There are two types of surfing: as a general rule, there’s cold water surfing, where you need wetsuits and it’s…yes, cold! And then there is warm water surfing. This is the more popular of the two - for a lot of very obvious reasons! Within both forms there are two sub-divisions: regular waves and big wave riding. In women’s surfing warm water wave riding is by far the most popular of the surfing forms, with cold water surfing having only four female world class surfers - and of those, only two have surfed the waves at Mullaghmore, one of the best big wave surfing locations in the world with 30 foot plus waves. One of those two surfers is Easkey Britton, x5 Irish Champion and all round amazing surfer. The list of her firsts, awards and records is significant. At the age of four, Easkey set out to follow in her family’s surfing footsteps. And we’re talking about cold water surfing, where she would go

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surfing in freezing water! This isn’t a bikini in Hawaii! Nothing against Hawaii or warm water surfing - but can you imagine wanting something so much that you get up as the sun is rising to walk to the beach (because the roads are too dangerous to drive on due to snow and ice) to surf - and when you come out needing help out of your wetsuit as you have no feeling in your hands? Or that she would get her mother to take her to the beach after school, changing in the car into her wetsuit so she that could get thirty minutes of surfing in before the sun set. This is dedication and desire taken to another level! The desire to be in the ocean shows a hunger that can’t be satisfied by anything else, a need to be in the ocean - and this sets Easkey apart from so many others. Desire with a capital D is what this is - but interestingly, as we talk more, it’s almost as if this transcends pure desire and she sees it as just being a part of her and who she is. “I have a connection with the sea,

“I can do all other things in my life because I surf,”

Photo: Roo McCrudden

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a constant with the sea,” she reflects as we talk about her desire to be in the sea. This isn’t about ‘doing’ something or ‘wanting to’, it’s just a part of who she is. “I know no different,” she says, “it’s hard to explain.” She laughs as she struggles to explain something so deep inside her and so intimately connected to her. Despite her description of the size of the waves and the power and noise they bring, there is a peace and calm about her as she talks. There is no intensity: a drive and passion, yes, but a serenity that makes you look at the ocean and the waves in a different way. “It feels like time stands still in that moment,” Easkey says of being on the waves. “There is a sense of emptiness, a sense of wilderness in the water.” What a place to be, what a picture she paints of everything falling away and of drawing from the ocean and the waves both a sense of mortality and an appreciation for what she has. Maybe that is the lesson and what makes her view life the way she does? The magnitude of the sea and the waves

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puts all things into perspective and means there is less room for some of the stupidity of modern life. “I can do all the other things in my life because I surf,” Easkey says of the many other things she is involved in. Aside from all her surfing adventures, Easkey studied to be a Marine conservationist and researcher, graduating with a 1st class BSc Hons. degree in Environmental Science, and obtaining a PhD scholarship in Marine Science at the University of Ulster. She is also one of the founder members of (Human Wellbeing & Coastal Resilience Network) Every inch of her breathes the ocean even when not on the surf board. “I always wanted to get under the surface of the ocean and that has led my life in this direction,” she says of her studies and her work. Her work and unique connection with the ocean has led to her being asked to speak at the prestigious TED-x talks about her life as a surfer and researcher, the first surfer to

Photo: Jesse Lennihan

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have been been asked to do so. A sign of how she is challenging and inspiring others about the ocean she loves. Easkey is no ordinary surfer; this is a person who is at one with the ocean and the waves and is at home on the waves - so yes, a surfer, but only in part. “In that moment you are so immersed in the absolute present that you aren’t aware of anything else.” What a quote and what an amazing place to be able to find in the world we live.

Editor’s note: Easkey brings such passion, enjoyment and laughter to our conversations, and we are privileged to have her on board writing for us as of the next issue.

Photo: Jesse Lennihan

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Photo: Roo McCrudden

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Easkey is one of only two women to have surfed the giant green waves of Mullaghmore

“It feels like time stands still in that moment,�

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AT H L E T E Katherine Grainger MBE Team GB Rower by Myak Homberger Our ‘Outstanding Athlete’ feature in each issue is about an athlete who goes above and beyond the norm and does something word class, unique or contributes something truly outstanding. Katherine Grainger could be here if for nothing else other than her amazing achievements in the sport of Rowing. Her Honour Roll is remarkable by any standard: 2012: Olympic Games, London Double Sculls GOLD 2011: World Championships Double Sculls GOLD 2010: World Championships Double sculls GOLD 2009: World Championships Single Sculls SILVER 2008: Olympic Games, Beijing Quadruple Sculls SILVER 2007: World Championships Quadruple Sculls GOLD 2006: World Championships Quadruple Sculls GOLD 2005: World Championships Quadruple Sculls GOLD 2004: Olympic Games, Athens Coxless Pair SILVER 2003: World Championships Coxless Pair GOLD 28 December 2013

2000: Olympic Games, Sydney Quadruple Sculls SILVER 1997: World Championships Eight BRONZE 1997: World under 23 Championships Coxless Pair GOLD What takes her to a different level is having won gold in more than one rowing discipline across her career. However, the only gold that eluded her was the Olympic gold medal. Having won silver in each of the three previous Olympic games the question was not only whether she would be able to compete, but more so, could she win that elusive gold? As the saying goes, the rest is history - and millions of people the world over saw her win gold in great in front Photo: Papayastyle Photography of a home crowd. This capped off what has been an amazing career to date. When we met up we talked about every aspect of rowing, sport, training and the glory of winning Olympic medals. Much has been written about how Katherine pulled through and how she achieved so much and won Olympic gold on home soil, as well as all the evocative images of the race that were captured on the day. However, the thing that stood out for me was that Katherine was incredibly humble and very clear that yes, she won the medals, but that actually it was the team behind her that mattered. “Not everyone gets the name, success etc., but each medal is made up of so many people and jobs. They don’t want or need to

Photos: Papaya Photography

Photo: Papaya Photography

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back together each time. “The sense of responsibility for all the other people…you want to win for them, as it does justice to their work and it enhances the whole performance.”

be known and that’s so impressive. The team is bigger than the two people on the podium,” she says reflecting on an area not often heard of being talked about by athletes. This is a big statement, but Katherine is truly passionate about this subject, and it seems to be part of what drives her. This is an athlete who may be on the water with another athlete, but in her mind and her motivation as well as her awareness, it is about the team: the greater group of people who support her and whom she credits with fixing her and putting her

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It is incredible that not only does this drive Katherine, but that she is so at ease talking about it and highlighting the whole world of support staff. This shows a depth of character, someone who is comfortable in her own skin and with her achievements, but who is also aware of her weaknesses and those around her who support her - and is happy to acknowledge it and talk about it. To master this is a life journey and she has arrived in spectacular style. Katherine’s final words of the interview were “they (the support team) feel part of that team - and they so, so are.” What an incredible place to be to think and say that, when you have won so many medals and could so easily be self-centred. So yes, Katherine could be here for a number of reasons - but for me her character and ability to recognise the support team with such selflessness has put her in this small but amazing group of Outstanding Athletes. It was a privilege to spend time with someone like this.

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The Proteas South African Netball team


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The South African netball team, currently ranked 5th in the world, are a remarkable group of athletes. There are no central contracts and so they all work or study full-time whilst training and representing their country.Â

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Interview and Article by Myak Homberger

This in itself is not an unfamiliar story around in the world of women’s sports. Where it is different for the South African players is that their times together are limited given the huge geographical distance between them in such a vast country. However, far from being disconnected, each member of the team extols the other team members and speaks highly of the atmosphere with them. “We all care for and want to play for each other, we want to die for each other on the court,” Simi Mdaka says of the team ethos. This isn’t what you expect of a team with so little time together, but there is a genuine warmth that each player speaks with of the team and the players in it. Netball is their passion whether they have one cap or have been representing South Africa for years; the feeling that comes over is the same. They love playing netball and feel privileged to be representing SA - but they do it as part of a team and they do it for the team. Whilst talking with the team captain and vice-captain about leadership and what they see their roles as, it becomes obvious that herein lies part of why the team is the way it is. It’s about empowerment of the individuals and them taking responsibility for their own actions, knowing that they have a role in the team. “I believe everyone is their own captain in the team, we are all responsible. My role is to inspire and lead by example,” says Maryka Holtzhausen (captain) of how she sees her role. By empowering the individuals, it allows the team to do what they love. Maryka leads by example with a passion that would challenge any athlete: she repeatedly uses the word in her conversations with such enthusiasm and belief. This is about passion, because they aren’t here because of the money - there is none - it’s about netball, their friends, their country and their team members. Whilst on tour these sentiments and feelings are further cemented because the usual support systems are not there. This pulls the team closer together and strengthens that bond. Tours and travel aren’t seen as a sacrifice by them, they seem as a team to agree that they wouldn’t have been to half the places around the world if it wasn’t for netball. Netball is the facilitator of their expanding world and their deeper connection as a team.

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Bongiwe Msomi (vice-captain) is very clear about the power of netball and what it has provided her with and the bond that links her with her fellow team mates. “I have got where I am and I am really grateful. If I can do it, anyone can do it,� she says as she reflects on how far she has come from township to the international stage, all because of netball. It is this awareness and passion for their sport that has brought these players together, but it is that gratitude for being able to play a sport they love for their country that keeps their feet on the ground and enables them to make the sacrifices they do. It also allows them to help and encourage each other to be the best they can as individuals and therefore as a team. This is a band of sisters who are united in their quest to become the 3rd ranked team in the world, but more importantly to enjoy it, look out for each other and bring out the best in each other.

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Photo courtesy Ladies European Tour




Bethan Cutler By Myak Homberger Bethan is one of those people that if they weren’t here would be noticed because everything would grind to a holt. “Where is Bethan, ask Bethan,” etc. is the refrain. Bethan Cutler is the media manager for the European Women’s Golf Tour. However, the title belies what she actually does and why she is our Unsung Hero of this issue. The European tour spans all of Europe as well as covering tours in India, Dubai, China, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand - and in a Solheim Cup year (Women’s equivalent of the Ryder cup) potentially America as well, as it was this year. Twentyseven events around the world! At each event Bethan is there to make sure players are looked after, and that the correct media

are in the right place at the right time for interviews and photo opportunities. This is just the starting point for Bethan. On match days she is making sure that there is photographic coverage across the course, scores are fed through and all the relevant media channels are updated throughout the day. Then there are press conferences and interviews at the end of each day. When those things aren’t happening, Bethan is writing for the in-house magazine and attending events to promote the Ladies European Tour, as she is looking to increase the awareness of the game. This is a woman who works relentlessly and is always in another country, working hard

to promote women’s sport and for this we respect her greatly. On a final note, despite being so focused and hardworking you won’t find someone more understanding and helpful or willing to try and fit you in. This is a woman who somehow can stop and give you time as if you were the only person around - despite her working on today’s tour and its challenges, whilst planning the next tour in another time zone - it’s as if she stops time! A champion of women’s sport and a true unsung hero.

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Claire Bennett Interview and article by Myak Homberger Claire Bennett has an incredible ability to view life differently to many of us and has a story that is inspiring and so unlike anything most of us will ever experience.

made. “It was an instinctive reaction to a talent and the desire to achieve - that I would need to make sacrifices in order to be on the world stage,” she reflects.

Starting fencing as an after school club, she took to it naturally. “I was very fortunate to have a coach who saw potential and believed in me,” says Claire about her first coach. This seems as clear as if it was yesterday, the way she talks about those early days and the training she had to put in and the sacrifices that needed to be

What is interesting, is that no sooner has she said that than she makes it very clear that although it was a sacrifice, it was also an honour and a privilege to fence for England and Great Britain, travel to over 35 countries and play at an elite level for so long. “It’s not a sacrifice, in a way, it’s an opportunity,” she says. This ability to look

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Photos: Courtesy Claire Bennet

at things in a different way is a recurring theme throughout all the conversations we have - she is able to accept the lows equally as she does the highs. Captaining England to Commonwealth Gold in 2010 was the defining moment of a great fencing career for Claire. As she readily admits, “...that was one of my proudest moments ever”. With less than two years until the London Olympics, Claire trained as she had never trained before, with her focus on qualifying for the Olympics and

“It’s not a sacrifice, in a way, it’s an opportunity,” the hope of an Olympic medal. At the last minute though, she wasn’t included in the squad. One can well imagine what that must have felt like - the pain, questions and distress. But what December 2013 41

they have a good view on that experience? Once again, Claire is quick to comment: “What gave me the freedom to move on was the knowledge that I had given it everything and trained more intensely in the last two years than in my whole life”. It is as though she has made peace with the events and sees it as part of what has made her who she is today and that’s positive.

Photos: Courtesy Claire Bennet

sets Claire apart is once again her view of life and how she conducts herself. She speaks with such positivity about the experience - she talks about having no regrets: “I don’t regret feeling as low as I did at the Olympics, because I wouldn’t have felt anything if I hadn’t done fencing”. This is an amazing way of looking at a huge life event. Her view once again is that fencing has given her so much and that she has enjoyed so much as a result of it, that this is just the flip side. Steven Covey calls the ability to change one’s perspective of events a paradigm shift in thinking - and Claire has this ability in bucketfuls. Huge amounts of character and strength are needed to walk this walk every day and this is what Claire has determined to do with her life - and it’s a credit to her. But how does someone move forward even if 42 December 2013

But for me, I still wanted to understand more about how it is possible to see life in this way. It seemed clear that there was a lot more underlying such clarity, determination and way of looking at life. So we discussed at length what training she’d had in this field and what support she’s had, to get to this point. The answer? No training, but the way in which she looks at life. “Life is not always smooth running. When I go to a theme park I want to go on the craziest rides, biggest turns and drops because that’s what makes it exciting and makes you feel like you are living. Life is the same.” What an incredible way of looking at life - being positive about the negatives, embracing them as friends to help you grow.

“My message is as long as we try our best there is always a lesson to be learned,” Part of Claire’s journey is that she knows she has something to give as she steps into her second career. There are two parts to it: first, she has started working for the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust as an athlete co-ordinator and second, she is writing a book. The interesting thing is that as everything with Claire, this isn’t just a biography, it’s a book about turning negatives into positives.

Photos: Courtesy Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust

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Photos: Courtesy Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust

“My message is as long as we try our best there is always a lesson to be learned,” says Claire of the book and her desire to convey that to people. I can’t express enough what a remarkable woman and athlete Claire is to be able to achieve what she has, to view challenges and overcome and look at things so differently to the conventional. It takes courage and conviction, and it is a way of life she is totally committed to, having practiced it for years. Claire has had a profound affect on me and I hope that her message will impact many a life, not just in the world of sport but in life in general. I look forward to seeing her continued growth and the lives she will touch with her unique way of looking at things.

Photos: Courtesy Claire Bennet

Thank you Claire for sharing your life views and trusting me with your story.

Will you support Dame Kelly Holmes’ vision to engage, enable and empower disadvantaged young people?


Resilience, confidence and self belief: these are all traits an Olympian, Paralympian or world champion needs to compete at top level. They are traits we all need to succeed in life, whatever we choose to do. But they are also what many young people lack, through no fault of their own. Every young person the DKH Legacy Trust supports is mentored by a world class athlete, giving them the chance to be the best they can be.

So far we’ve reached 104,000 young people... By 2016 we’ll reach 200,000 Will you help us and take on a fundraising challenge? fundraising/events

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“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed. ” - Michael Jordan


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Jane Claxton Australian Hockey Player

Dan Carson 48Photo: December 2013

Interview and Article by Myak Homberger

I met up with Jane to hear first-hand how she has rocketed through the Hockey world and into the senior team and Hockeyroos. Her story is one of dedication, hard work and a very supportive family. Starting Hockey at seven, she played because she enjoyed it and connected with it. In many ways unlike a lot of athletes Jane didn’t set her sights on playing for the Hockeyroos. In fact she says, “I didn’t see myself playing for the Hockeyroos, I always thought they were so good”. She played because it came naturally and the enjoyment saw her progress through club to State team and through to AHL (Australian Hockey League) and the U21 national team, where she got her call up from coach Adam Commens. Commenting on her selection, Adam said “Jane has been one of the leaders in the Juniors and has confidently made the step up to the Senior program. She performed excellently at last year’s AHL and has put in outstanding performances for the Juniors.” Not bad for a truly humble athlete who does what she does because she enjoys it and likes to put in the hard work required. Jane’s focus is on hard work - and that it pays off if you focus on that and not the glory and glamour. Listening to her you can really sense the huge cost involved in her journey. She committed herself to this journey and is thoroughly enjoying it, although she is still getting used to playing for the Hockeyroos. “In some ways it’s still sinking in,” she says about being selected. It is lovely to hear that with 17 caps and 2 goals under her belt she is still very aware of that freshness of representing her country and the excitement of it. However, she is very clear that it hasn’t come easily. “It means a lot - and sometimes people don’t appreciate how hard it is to get to the point of playing for the Hockeyroos. All that effort and training, all they see is you playing and on TV,” Jane comments on the years spent on the training pitch and playing matches, working to get better. Yes, all top athletes train hard, but there is a real sense of personal sacrifice and long hours put in to keep pushing herself. She is in many ways her own toughest master, working herself harder and harder to improve and even now she is reflective on her position and aware that she has a lot more to do to get better December 2013 49

- and it is only when the coaching team show her improvements on video, that she gives herself credit. The making or breaking of such young players is their support system around them and it is so good to hear that the Hockeyroos management spend so much time on tour supporting the younger players mentally and physically and allowing them the time to (as Jane says) use every app available to contact home. There is also a full time psychologist available to talk them through any challenges they may have. This allows the players to relax, develop and grow in the ‘fishbowl’ that they find themselves in, playing against the best teams in the world without being in awe or falling apart. Full credit to the management too for their focus on such a key area with young players.

“It means a lot - and sometimes people don’t appreciate how hard it is to get to the point of playing for the Hockeyroos...”

For all the hard work from Jane and the support from the Hockeyroo management, the cornerstone of her ability to do all these things and what has allowed her to become the athlete that she is, is her family. She talks about her family and enthuses about them and their support - to the point that at least one member of the family always goes on tour with her. You can see from

50 December 2013

her chatting that there is a depth and connection there that is of huge value to her. There is something special, yet intangible about Jane that makes her good to watch on the pitch and enjoyable to chat to off the pitch. A groundedness, peace and enjoyment in what she does, but balanced with incredible determination and focus. Here is a world class player in the making, watch this space!

Photos: Tony von Thelen Photo: Papaya Photography

December 2013 51

German Women’s Football League (Frauen Bundesliga) By Brian McGuire It’s fair to say that women’s football in Germany came into the 2013-14 season on a bit of a giddy high. After the triumphs of Wolfsburg in the Champions League and the National team’s sixth consecutive European Championships (watched by nine million viewers back home) there was the exciting announcement of a three year TV deal with Eurosport to show a live game each week from the Frauen Bundesliga. As the deal was announced many involved in the domestic game were speaking of the “strongest” and “best” women’s football league in the world. A provocative statement for sure, certainly likely to ruffle feathers in England, France, Sweden and the United States, but there is plenty of evidence to suppose that the Frauen Bundesliga has the perfect mix right now to justify those claims. While not the oldest league in the world, over two decades of stable competition sets it decidedly apart from England’s WSL (3 seasons), and America’s NWSL (one season). While there is plenty to be excited about in England and the

52 December 2013

NWSL have some of the biggest names of the world game, for fanatical hardcore football fans (the type you need to build any type of long term league) ‘history’ has always been an important aspect, and those twenty plus seasons has also led the development of perhaps the fiercest rivalry in Women’s football of all in the ‘Old Firm’ of Turbine Potsdam vs FFC Frankfurt.

(Potsdam, Frankfurt, Bayern and Wolfsburg) and only a brave man would put money on the winner right now. There are also a pack of awkward, competitive teams down to eight, ninth and tenth (including Freiburg, Jena, Leverkusen and Essen) who on their day can embarrass even the top teams.

As far as depth of competition, the Bundesliga is clearly superior to France’s Division 1 Feminines. France may boast the Mega-Club of Olympique Lyon – arguably the best club side on the planet – but as they go for their second consecutive 100% season (a third in fourth season) none of the Bundesliga teams managed to survive two rounds without dropping points.

With the exception of Sindlefingen there are no ‘cannon-fodder’ teams left in the Bundesliga (and even they managed a shock point at home to Bayern last weekend). This makes each week of the league unpredictable and exciting, and the games themselves – for the most part – tense and often dramatic right to the final whistle. No wonder Eurosport have been attracted to the league.

In Germany there are four title candidates

Sweden’s Damallsvenskan is a pretty competitive

December 2013 53

league too, with the regular possibilities of shocks and upsets, but where Sweden fall decidedly behind the Bundesliga is in success on the international stage, in the Euros, the Champions League and the World Cup. Germany have won seven of the twelve Champions’ Leagues played, have four different winners, and have had a club in ten of the twelve finals. The only final with two teams from the same league was in 2006 when Frankfurt beat Potsdam. If that wasn’t enough the national teams total domination of Europe for the last twenty years should be enough to convince that depth of competition in Germany hasn’t harmed their strength internationally. In the past the national squad used to be parked either in Frankfurt or Potsdam but nowadays the squad is more spread across the league with players at Bayern and Freiburg and Leverkusen while the U19 and U17 players have been snapped up by other clubs looking to build for the future. This depth of strength has attracted a number of foreign superstars to the league including Sweden’s Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg), Norway’s teenage star Ada Hegerberg (Potsdam), Japan’s Kozue Ando (Frankfurt), New Zealand’s Ria Percival (Jena) and Sweden’s Sofia Jakobsson (Cloppenburg). In terms of attendances and TV ratings the league have seen some encouraging figures, if not spectacular, but with Potsdam playing in the Karl-Liebknecht-Stadion, Bayern having moved to the historic Grunwald Stadion, and Frankfurt and Wolfsburg actually building new stadiums for their women’s teams there seems to be a determination to further promote and grow the league far into the future. Better stadiums will also help the TV coverage. This is not to say the Bundesliga is perfect, or without problems. The financial disasters that 54 December 2013

beset FCR Dusiburg and led to Bad Neuenahr’s resignation from the first division last summer is a sobering reminder of how difficult it is to make women’s football a financial sustainable league as well as sporting successful. But when German’s put their mind to something they invariably make a success of it. Right now it seems that all the other leagues will still have to look to the German league as the benchmark, both in direct competition and in terms of building a model for long-lasting and commercial success. That the league is in the shape it is right now is ultimately down to the hard work, dedication and unwavering conviction of many people within the game and the association (the DFB) to promote the sport and the teams over many years. The Bundesliga didn’t happen overnight, and with those people still working hard, there’s excitement as to where the league may be in years to come.

“..That the league is in the shape it is right now is ultimately down to the hard work, dedication and unwavering conviction of many people within the game and the association..�

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“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts....” - Dan Gable


International 56 December 2013


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December 2013 57

What’s the real problem with doping?

58 December 2013

By Emily Ryall Barely a week seems to go by without a news headline announcing that yet another sporting icon has failed a drugs test. These athletes are then painted as ruthless cheats who will do anything to win, and questions are asked whether the whole of sport is corrupt and who will be next. The public are often left feeling bitter and betrayed. But what is the real issue here? Are these athletes bad people because they have taken drugs or bad people because they have cheated at their sport and failed our trust? Are the doping rules too strict or do they safeguard the things we really value about sport? The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is a fairly recent institution set up in the late 1990s. Before that, some sports had their own rules about prohibited substances and methods; others had no rules at all. The purpose of WADA was an attempt to provide a coherent and consistent policy that would apply to all sports governing bodies that signed up. ‘Doping’ is the term that refers to a range of prohibited methods and substances including ‘drugs’ and so can also refer to things like transferring blood, genetic therapy, and attempting to hide or disguise a prohibited substance (‘masking agents’). There are also many ways that someone can be guilty of a doping offence: failing to submit a fluid sample; failing to be at a designated place at a specified time; as well as the more familiar drug offences. This means that sometimes when an athlete is found guilty of a doping offence it doesn’t necessarily mean they have been taking drugs. The doping rules have been criticised for many reasons; like infringing an athlete’s right to privacy and dignity, but for the sake of this article I’m just going to focus on the prohibited substances themselves. Essentially, a substance or method is

banned if it fulfils two from three criteria: that it is harmful to health, it is performance enhancing, and / or that it is against the ‘spirit of sport’.

Harmful to health Not all drugs are bad, as we know every time we take ibuprofen to alleviate aches and pains. And not all bad things are illegal, as we also know every time we smoke a cigarette, have one drink too many, or find ourselves suffering an injury from over-training. Yet there are some things that are on the prohibited list because they are deemed to cause severe health problems. The obvious examples are steroids and amphetamines. There are the well-known stories about former Eastern-block athletes that have had sex-changes because they were forced to take too much testosterone when competing for the USSR or East Germany. Although some of these stories are exaggerated, there have been historical cases of athletes suffering severe health problems through the overuse of certain substances. WADA’s role therefore is to ensure that the athletes are protected from these risks. There are however counter-arguments. First, the danger of substances is sometimes overstated. Most harmful effects occur after prolonged and excessive use and most athletes are able to discern appropriate dosages without suffering long-term side effects. Equally, it has been argued that if these substances were made legal then better research and development could increase their safety and ensure that they were used in a way that minimised the risk of harm. The other concern is about an athlete’s autonomy over their body. This argument states that the decision to take performance enhancing drugs is one that an athlete should make for themselves. Elite athletes already make sacrifices in other areas of their lives, for example, sacrificing relationships and December 2013 59

family duties, and limiting financial, educational and career opportunities, so perhaps risking one’s long term health is just another one of these sacrifices. The response to this is generally about coercion. Athletes often start at a young age and are highly influenced by those around them such as coaches and managers. If the coach promotes a product or substance then there is substantial pressure on these athletes to accept this advice. Unscrupulous coaches may not care too much about the long-term health of their athletes if their athletes are excelling at their sport. The other response is that though there may be some athletes that are willing to suffer ill-health in order to obtain victory, there are many other athletes that are not, and it will be these athletes that will be forced out of the sport because they will find themselves at a disadvantage. Weighing up the right to autonomy against the protection from harm is always difficult but WADA believe it is more important to protect athletes from potential harm.

Performance Enhancing Sport in many ways is dependent on the enhancement of performance – we expect and relish records to be broken and players to demonstrate better skills. So the enhancement of performance cannot be bad in itself. The last few decades have witnessed the creation of thousands of jobs in performance analysis, sports psychology, nutrition, strength and conditioning, recovery and therapy, and many other areas; all of which are supposed to enhance performance. This suggests that it isn’t the enhancement of performance that is morally problematic but rather the way it is done; particularly the way it affects fairness and justice. 60 December 2013

A few years ago, records in swimming were being obliterated. The cause was a new type of swimsuit that increased buoyancy and reduced drag. There wasn’t anything physically harmful about these swimming costumes but it caused embarrassment to the governing body, FINA, because it highlighted a problem with the sport of swimming. It was obvious that these records were created not from better swimmers but from better technology. This is the crux of this issue. There is a perception that performance is (or at least should be) about natural talent, hard work and the ability of the human body. Not technology. If sport is about our natural human capacities then records set through the adoption of particular technology become meaningless. Swimmers might as well fit motorised propellers to their feet. The difficulty that governing bodies face, is in deciding where the limit lies between fair and unfair performance. The problem with the polyurethane swimsuits was that were only available to a handful of sponsored athletes which left others at a clear disadvantage. There is a concern that this criterion seems to be dealing with issues that is outside of WADA’s jurisdiction, i.e. it is not about doping but technology in general. Nevertheless, WADA have provided rulings on performance enhancing technology that is not harmful, such as the use of hypoxic chambers and prosthetic blades.

‘Spirit of Sport’ There may be some substances or methods that are harmful to health but not performance enhancing (e.g. some recreational drugs), or performance enhancing but not harmful to health (e.g. the polyurethane swimsuits), and therefore on their own would not warrant a ban by WADA. So WADA have also included the additional criterion of ‘spirit of sport’. This provides the rationale for the existence of WADA itself as it

comprises of eleven attributes and values that are believed to be essence of what is valued in sport: • ethics, fair play honesty • health • excellence in performance • character and education • fun and joy • teamwork • dedication and commitment • respect for rules and laws • respect for self and other participants • courage • community and solidarity These elements are an indication of what we why we value sport so highly and what we should strive to preserve. However critics argue that this list is vague and contradictory: they state that many athletes aren’t having fun when they have to put in another hour’s training on a cold and wet evening. Similarly, they ask, ‘is it not an example of courage and commitment to give everything, including long term health to your sporting success?’ Some on WADA’s board have admitted (off the record) that this list is an idealised version of (amateur) sport and therefore is problematic at the elite level. Nevertheless they still wish to maintain that there are intrinsic values of

sport that this list points to, and that should be protected from the threat faced by doping. The World Anti-Doping Agency is certainly not without its critics or criticisms, and some of these have merit. The main problem that it faces is that the multi-billion dollar industry that sport has become means that there are those that have vested interests in ensuring a win at any cost. Most elite athletes are involved in sport because there is something that they find valuable at the heart of it, although some may become manipulated and coerced into making decisions that are not necessarily for their own good. The threat that WADA faces is from those that promote the instrumental values of sport, such as monetary rewards, sponsorship, fame, adulation and glory, over the intrinsic values of sport, such as pure pleasure, enjoyment, friendship and the development of excellence.

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Laura Davies CBE English Professional Golfer Interview and article by Myak Homberger Twenty years ago the stand-out female athlete for me was Laura Davies, a force on the Golf course and an advocate of women’s sport. Fast forward all those years and I find myself sitting with Laura at the British Masters chatting about Golf, women in sport and the growth of the women’s game. For me this was the culmination of years of being an advocate of women’s sport, working in the sports world and setting up the magazine - all being brought back to the beginning and the woman who first stood out for me….Laura Davies. It was a privilege, but 62 December 2013

also a sense of a completed chapter being able to chat with her. The great thing was that Laura not only is still playing at the highest level and as competitively as the next athlete snapping at her heels, but the passion and vision for women’s sport and Golf in particular hasn’t waned one bit. “I love to play, I have a lot of fun doing it and winning Golf tournaments,” Laura says, reflecting on where she’s at. Laura’s record of achievements tells of a remarkable career, including: top 10 female golfers of all time on the money list, in excess of 80 wins, being awarded an MBE (1988) and a CBE (2000) by the Queen; the first non-American to finish at the top of the money order in the USA, 7 order of merit wins, Solheim cup winner - to name but some of her many achievements. No wonder she has been described as England’s most accomplished female golfer of modern times.

“I love to play, I have a lot of fun doing it and winning Golf tournaments...”

Photos: Courtesy Ladies European Tour

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This is a woman who has pushed and pushed herself throughout her sporting career and is never scared to take a challenge on head first - whether this is as the first woman to compete in a men’s tournament, or becoming the first man or woman to win 5 Golf tours in one year (USA, Europe, Japan, Asia and Australia). After all these years the question is why is she still pushing herself? “It’s a very easy equation: I get up each morning to win. Practise rounds, practice greens, travel around the world. You wouldn’t do it if you didn’t want to win,” Laura says without a second thought. This is an athlete who is completely focused and full of as much drive as when she won rookie of the year in 1985. But in all of this the nice thing is that she is relaxed and at ease, with no sense of ‘do you know who I am?’ coming from her. Even when I ask her about the many wins, accolades and how she feels about that, she first of all discounts seven wins from my figures and gives me reasons why

“It’s a very easy equation: I get up each morning to win...”

Photos: Courtesy Ladies European Tour

64 December 2013

(they are still wins, but she is trying to down play them) and then explains that “that stuff is just a bonus to winning.” Laura is still as clear as ever that the media need to support women’s sport more, whilst acknowledging the huge strides that have been made since she first started playing. “It is incredible that this year for the first time there were two days of live coverage of the Masters here in England,” says Laura on the support from Sky TV this year - and how that this is the way forward for television, which in turn brings sponsors, which then benefits the sport, thus completing the circle. This is a truly remarkable athlete who likes to win and makes no secret of it - but who is equally relaxed about all the accolades, and down plays not just her achievements but her contribution to women’s sport around the globe. In time to come more people will realise the contributions Laura Davies has made and continues to make on tour for women’s sport. She is a shining example of professionalism, longevity and tenacity, mixed with a disarming, self-effacing charm. We look forward to Laura entering the World Golf Hall of Fame and for her becoming even more of the icon that already she is.

Photos: Courtesy Ladies European Tour

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Ibiza Rugby 10s Abby Edwards By Myak Homberger When Abby Edwards first contacted us about Rugby 10’s in Ibiza, we all were curious and wanted to know more about it. Rugby is a growing sport around the world with a number of format offshoots and the idea of rugby and the magical island of Ibiza being combined sounded intriguing. So I persuaded Abby to sit down with me to talk about the event and the ethos in order to understand more about it. Abby Edwards is a successful businesswoman in London who is passionate about sport and rugby in particular. However, she is media shy and very private about her life. So for us this is the first interesting thing: this isn’t someone who is wanting to promote themselves on the back of an event, this is someone who loves sport and all the good it can bring - and that is all they want to

promote. In all our conversations this becomes more and more clear - that Abby’s driving ethos is to leave a good and sustainable impression on the island and the surrounding Balearic Islands for sport and rugby. Although the original idea started as a challenge from two Rugby Internationals about doing a rugby event in Ibiza, it has grown and the ethos and ideas have developed into something truly unique. “We want to leave a legacy for those on the island who live there,” says Abby. This was never about a load of tourists turning up for a weekend using the facilities and leaving them worse than before they came. The thing that has impressed us is that Abby and the team have come in and worked with the local

66 December 2013 Photos: Papaya Photography

government to ensure that a good structure can be put in place to support the influx of athletes and that it supported the local community and improved things. Needless to say, the local government has been fully supportive and has extended their license for next year to three days from the one day last year, and will allow music until midnight. A huge improvement from no music after 10 and rugby for one day only. Aside from this there were a number of improvements that needed to be made to the stadium to support the influx of spectators and

athletes. Due to the financial crisis in Spain local government funding has been tightened though and so key refurbishments and security measures that needed doing had not been done. Abby and the team, along with a local building contractor worked with the stadium and government to fix and refurbish everything that needed doing at no cost to the stadium or government. They even flew in rugby posts and a line marking machine, all part of creating a legacy. Legacy is a word being used a lot these days and so we use it carefully, but at the same time this

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...the aim is for a great weekend, for it to have a lasting impact and a positive influence on the local community.

68 December 2013

Photos: Papaya Photography

is exactly what is being done here by the team. Infrastructural improvements were the initial step, but then aside from the rugby there is a children’s workshop for all the children and the their families. This is the next step, encouraging the next generation. The one-day children’s workshop went down a storm last year and next year’s event will be even better, promises Abby. There will be two days for the children and their families, filled with workshops and training, all provided by high profile international players. Special focus will be given to the girls, who will be having female coaches flown in specially to spend time with them. This is legacy and planning, with more than just one weekend a year in mind and for me this is what sets Abby Edwards and the team apart. Yes, there will be great weather, loads of rugby and music with a HUGE international band playing on the Sunday night. But the aim is for a great weekend, for it to have a lasting impact and a positive influence on the local community. This is community impact at its best where local government, children, sport and infrastructure are all impacted and we look forward to seeing this develop into the major European weekend that Abby and the team want, based on a different set of values.

December 2013 69


Need Chocolate

Milk By Helen West

Sleep...Eat...Train…Recover…Repeat. Sound familiar?! As an athlete, recovery is probably something you consider as part of your sporting routine. For everyone else participating in recreational fitness, recovery doesn’t need to be a conscious effort. We are unlikely to use up all of our muscles energy stores (glycogen) in one exercising session and the long periods between exercise means that eating a healthy and balanced diet should be enough. However, if you are a serious athlete that trains more than once a day or competes in endurance, high intensity or multiple event sports, you probably include

70 December 2013

nutrition as part of your recovery strategy (or you should!). A good nutrition recovery plan is one which: • Replaces lost energy stores • Provides protein to repair damaged muscle and prevent further breakdown • Replaces lost fluids and electrolytes • Fits within overall energy requirements • Is enjoyable and tolerated well • Contributes to overall health and nutritional needs The first 30-60 minutes after exercise is considered prime recovery time. During this period our bodies are more efficient at refueling, making it a great opportunity for replenishment and repair. Athletes who have heavy training loads and full competition calendars often have less than 8 hours between sessions. Getting the right nutrients at the right time will help them recover quickly, so they can train harder and to their full potential. Proper refueling also aids the bodies’ adaptation to training, making you stronger and ultimately improving performance. Let’s talk numbers. If athletes have less than 8 hours between heavy exercise sessions they need to replace muscle glycogen stores quickly by consuming adequate carbohydrate. Current research suggests that optimum replacement occurs when athletes consume around 1-1.5g of carbohydrate per Kg of an athlete’s body weight in the hour after exercise. For a 55Kg athlete that’s between 5583g of carbohydrate. We also know that eating protein after exercise stimulates protein synthesis, helping repair damaged muscles and prevent further muscle breakdown. Not

only that but for weight conscious athletes and women with lower overall energy requirements, including a small amount of protein in your recovery meal reduces the amount of carbohydrate needed to replace glycogen stores to around 0.8g/Kg (or 44g of Carbohydrate for a 55Kg athlete). We also know that for those participating in strength or resistance training, consuming 10-20g of protein in the first 3060 minutes after a session maximizes protein synthesis. So how does chocolate milk measure up? 16oz (or 480ml) of Low Fat Chocolate Milk contains around 52g of Carbohydrate,16g of Protein and around 316 Kcal. Chocolate milk works as a recovery drink for a number of reasons: It contains both carbohydrate and protein in a good ratio (4:1) It’s liquid and so contributes to rehydration goals (and is generally better tolerated) It contains sodium and potassium to help with fluid retention and electrolyte replacement It contains added nutritional value in the form of vitamins and minerals – including calcium and vitamin D for (bone health) and B vitamins And on top of all that it’s easily available, tastes good and is relatively inexpensive. Bonus! Bottom Line? Athletes who have heavy training loads with less than eight hours between exercise can benefit from consuming protein and carbohydrate in the first hour after exercise. There are plenty of expensive sports recovery products out there but chocolate milk is an inexpensive but effective product for post sport recovery. Is chocolate milk the only choice? No. But it’s a pretty good one.

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World Hockey League Finals Preview of Teams 72 December 2013

Photos: Ady Kerry

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World Hockey League Finals:


Preview of Teams By Nikki Symmons

Australia have come into form since a slightly disappointing London Olympic games 2012, where they only managed to equal there previous Olympic performance with a 5th place


finish. Australia are coming into this tournament winners of the World League Semi- Finals in London this year, beating England convincingly 3-0. More recently in warm-up games in Perth, Australia came out on top in a 3 game series

Argentina will be no doubt be out to win this World League Finals, as will all the teams participating, but especially on home turf. They have a very tough start against Australia, who have come into form since their disappointment of the 2012 London Olympics. Argentina will want to win and perform not only in front of their home crowd but they have not produced their best performances in recent tournaments, losing to England in the semi-final of the World League Semi-Finals in June this year in London. Argentina women have been drawn in Pool B with Australia, New Zealand and 2008 Olympic Games silver medallists China. They start the tournament in front of a home crowd against in form Australia.

against Argentina, before going to win the International Super Series Hockey 9s, a new concept for hockey. Australia have been building for the past few years and it is a work in progress still but it seems to be paying dividends the past year since London 2012. They most recently won the Oceania cup in New Zealand this month (November 2013) in dramatic style by way of sudden death penalty shuttles (1v1s). This was their first time winning the Oceania Cup since 2005. They have a good mixture of experience and youth which, by the last few results, is the winning combination. Australia women have been drawn in Pool B alongside hosts and World Champions Argentina, trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand and 2008 Olympic Games silver medallists China. They start the tournament against the hosts Argentina.

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England England want to better their bronze medal from London Olympics in the first major top tier world event since then. They went one up on the bronze medal from London earning a silver medal at the


Europeans. They are searching now for the one to make a full house, a gold. England will be serious contenders for gold at this tournament, a mixture of experience and youth in the squad shows that they are also looking to

China are a team that are building and trying to figure out ways of getting back up in the mix with the top teams again. At the World League semifinals in London they had a mixed bag of results against all the teams in their group, coming second in the group stages to go onto lose only 3-2 to Argentina in the 3rd/4th place playoff. In the past few years China have not performed well, with a 6th place finish in London Olympic Games, and soon after an 8th place finish in the Champions Trophy. 2013 has not been much better although they have qualified for the World

the future. It will be a tough challenge though with the top 8 teams in the world all competing for the honour of being the first team to win in this first ever World League final. England take on Korea in the opening game of the tournament. England have been drawn in Pool A along with European Champions Germany, Olympic Champions The Nederlands and Korea. They will take on Korea in the opening game of the tournament

Cup, they had a very disappointing 4th place finish in the Asia Cup. They qualify for the World cup because of their 4th place finish in the World League Semi-Final, but they won’t be happy with the past couple of years, so maybe a big performance is coming. China women have been drawn in Pool B alongside hosts and World Champions Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. They will play New Zealand in their first game of their World League campaign. December 2013 75

Korea Korea have participated in every Olympic games since 1988, which is a super record for any nation. They have won two sliver medals at the games one in 1988 and the other in 1996. They have


also competed in every World Cup since the very first one in 1990, when they won bronze. Since then though they have not medaled in any major world competition in their history, ranking an average of 6th in all tournaments.

Germany will be looking to build on their European gold medal finish with another medal to add to their collection. They had not been on top form for the last few years but they have come back with a bang. They started the ball rolling with a gold medal in the World League semi-finals against Holland, winning the final by the tough route of penalty shoot out (1v1s). Germany went into the Europeans in Belgium, beaming with confidence from the World League Semi-Final win. They came out on top there too winning the Gold medal and a diamondencrusted hockey stick courtesy of The Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Germany will have a tough test from the beginning, playing the Nederlands in their opening game. Germany have been drawn in Pool A along with Olympic Champions The Nederlands, European silver medallists England and Korea.

76 December 2013

Korea enjoyed domination in Asia for many years, with their Asian counterparts taking over from 2002 onwards. They placed 6th in London which they will want to better in the first major top tier world tournament since London 2012. Most recently, Korea lost to Japan in the final of the Asian Games this year, but placed ahead of rivals China, who they avoided playing through the whole tournament. Like every team at the World League Finals, Korea will want to compete well and see how they fair against the top teams in the world. It will be a very tough group for them to come of, they plat England in the opening game of the tournament. Korea have been drawn in Pool A along with Olympic Champions The Nederlands, European Champions


medalists England.




Photos: Ady Kerry

December 2013 77

Photos: Ady Kerry

78 December 2013

New Zealand New Zealand have a young side developing for the future, and also trying to raise the profile of hockey in New Zealand. They were in contention to host the World Cup 2018, but lost


out to England at the final hurdle in Lausanne, Switzerland (7 Nov 2013). New Zealand have most recently played in the Oceania Cup and came out second best to Australia, the first time since 2005, albeit a

The Nederlands will want to bounce back after their disappointing Europeans well disappointing for their standards, which saw them finish in 3rd place behind England and Germany respectively. And after being dominant in the World League 3 final they lost to Germany, they will want pay back for the last two tournaments since winning the London Olympic Games 2012. The Nederlands will be up for the test against the best teams in world hockey at the moment and have selected a very strong squad to be in contention for a medal. They take on local rivals Germany in the first game, it will give them an opportunity straight away to stamp their authority on the tournament.

very close encounter, with Australia winning on sudden death penalty shoot out (1v1s). New Zealand will want to get straight back into it and get some big results to gain back some momentum after the Oceania Cup and their performance in the semi-finals in Rotterdam. They start their campaign against China, who finished in the same position as them in the other semi-finals in London. New Zealand women have been drawn in Pool B alongside hosts and World Champions Argentina, Australia and 2008 Olympic Games silver medallists China. They start their tournament with an encounter with China.

The Nederlands have been drawn in Pool A along with European Champions Germany, European

(Editors note: Nikki will be reporting from the

silver medallists England and Korea.

Finals for us so look out for video, Tweets and reports from behind the scenes as well as the competition)

December 2013 79

Everyday Fruit Cake I’ve called this Everyday Fruit Cake as it’s so easy to make and both delicious and useful everyday, all year round! This fruit cake is light, versatile and great to have at any time of the day.


Fruit Cake Recipes and Tips sponsored by

The haricot bread company 80 December 2013

Hand-crafted Artisan Bread

Photo Credit: Zac Peatling

Recipes and Tips Recipe

Stir (or whisk) the rest of the flour in until just mixed, then add the milk. Fold the fruit into the mixture, spoon into the tin and level the top. Bake at 170C/150C fan for 30 minutes, then lower the oven temperature and bake for a further 90 minutes until risen, golden brown and firm on top.

Ingredients 225g/8oz plain flour 1t baking powder 25g/1oz ground almonds 1/2t ground ginger 1/2t cinnamon 175g/6oz soft butter

Hints Add 40g chopped hazelnuts and 100g chopped dates to the cake with the dried fruit. The dates add delicious sweetness, flavour and extra fibre; the nuts add texture and further nutrients. Cutting the dates with a pair of kitchen scissors can be easier than chopping them.

175g/6oz golden caster sugar 3 large eggs 2T milk 400g dried mixed fruit Method Heat the oven to 170C/150C fan. Grease a 20cm round loose bottomed cake tin (a springform tin is easiest ) and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper. Measure the flour, baking powder, almonds, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl and stir to mix. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until light and creamy. Whisk one egg into the butter and sugar mixture until just mixed, then whisk in a heaped tablespoon of the flour until just mixed; repeat in the same way alternating the remaining two eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour.

As an alternative, bake the cake in a square cake tin - that way it can be sliced into bars or squares, which not only look different but are easy to take out as part of a packed lunch or snack. By Isa du Toit

Photo Credit: Zac Peatling

December 2013 81

Thank you’s There are so many people who have made it

for being a good ally, sounding board and supporter,

issue to thank!

and the Sporttape gang for being so good and

possible to get to this point of a first anniversary

I could not have published even one issue without the amazing assistance of my proof reader and of

Roger from Digital Forest, thank you so so much. As well as these two amazing people there have been many people along the way who have joined the

magazine as our paths have crossed that have made the magazine.

To all those people who helped and supported

me when there wasn’t even a magazine to show,

especially Carly Telford agreeing to give her time and to do the first cover for us. To all those who have come on board and made the magazine

what it is - Julie, Ruffy and the Emvale crew, John @ Underarmour, Non Evans for your input and

encouragement, Tammy for those early chats and on-going support, Adam Barlow for his amazing writing, Lucy Shuker your time and friendship,

Gemma Crowley a good friend and supporter from

the start, Nikki Symmons, Jen Wilson, Nigel Francis

Taff and the guys at Exerformance, Kate-Anne

supportive. To all the athletes who have trusted me

with their stories, thank you so much, the magazine is pointless without this. So too would it be hard work without the support of so many governing bodies around the world that have trusted us

and given us exclusive access and believed in the magazine, thank you.

For this issue I would like to thank Alana for all

the many chats, support and help she has given,

Katherine Grainger for all her time, Jess for all our chats, all the SA Netball girls for their time and

openness, all of the Australian Cricket team for their time, stories and allowing me to spend time with

you, to Lawrence thanks for all your help despite the time zone challenges, Ady Kerry for all your photos, a truly remarkable photographer, Claire Bennett for so much, Bethan, Easkey for opening another sport to us. An issue I’m so proud of and full of amazing stories again.

The views and opinions expressed by the writers in this magazine are their own and not necessarily those of Sports International Magazine. © Copyright 2013 Sports International Magazine. All Rights Reserved 82 December 2013


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