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Hello Velo! Join a cycling club How to sleep better Middleton to Ashley walk Explore Nene Park and Alwalton Make your own Easter eggs Eating at The Collyweston Slater

! E E R F

ISSUE 82 | APRIL 2019

Growth strategy Great ways to bring your garden and outdoor space to life this season.

Active

Kids

RUN FOR RUTLAND! Charity event looking for the next Mo Farah

w w w .t h e a c t i ve m a g . c o m

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CRACKING Easter Offer with USSC Join for 1 medium Chocolate Egg!

Join any membership throughout April, donate a medium sized Easter Egg and pay no joining fee! All Easter Eggs will be donated to local charities. For more information contact our friendly team on: 01572 820830 ussc@uppingham.co.uk www.sportscentre.uppingham.co.uk


Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Production editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art editor Matt Tarrant matt@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Jeremy Smithson-Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Chauhan lisa@theactivemag.com Editorial and advertising assistant Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789

If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@theactivemag.com. If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@theactivemag.com. Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. ISSN 2059-8513 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318

Disclaimer

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

E DI TO R ’ S L E T T E R

“Is your garden just the place a few broken plastic chairs and a rusty barbecue are stored?” I’M NOT SURE we can bank on another summer like we had last year, where the sun shone non-stop for the entirety, but it seems like a good idea to at least plan for something similar. You’ve got to have a positive attitude, haven’t you? So now that we live in an apparently near-Mediterranean climate, it’s important to have the outdoor living spaces that can make the most of it, because of course we’ll be spending the next six months sitting outside at midnight, sipping wine and watching the world go by. There will definitely be no need to sit huddled up in fleeces, wondering if you’re going to be the first one to suggest everyone go indoors, and I’m sure it won’t be necessary to cower under a hastily thrown up gazebo, trying to avoid being the person on the outside who gets soaked from the constant stream of drizzle from the water laden roof. Definitely. Just in case though, it’s worth planning your garden so you can use it for all climatic eventualities, and in this issue we look at what you can do to turn your garden into another living room for your home, rather than a place where a few broken plastic chairs and a rusty barbecue are stored. Also, we’ve had a great response to our reader survey from last month – as we always do with Active because you, our readers, always get involved in things. It’s the Active way. But we’re still very keen to find out what you get up to and what you want us to cover, so to tell us, and to be in with a chance of winning £100, visit www.theactivemag.com/readersurvey. Enjoy the issue

Steve

FIND US ONLINE

FACEBOOK theACTIVEmag

TWITTER @theACTIVEmag

INSTAGRAM theactivemaguk

WEBSITE theactivemag.com

April 2019 / theactivemag.com

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I S S U E 82 / A P RI L 201 9

Contents 26

ACTIVE LIFE 13 WHAT’S ON

Great local events for all the family

15 FOOD & DRINK

Easter eggs and biscuits

16 INTERVIEW

Invictus Games athlete Rachel Williamson

18 TRAVEL

Plovdiv – the European capital of culture

20 EATING OUT

The Collyweston Slater

26 GROWTH STRATEGY

How to achieve your dream garden

32 GREAT WALKS

Nene Park and Middleton

ACTIVE BODY 41 NUTRITION

How to become a lean machine

20

43 MENTAL HEALTH

Get a better night’s sleep

57

45 DEALING WITH FOOT PAIN Advice from Avicenna Clinic

ACTIVE KIDS

47 RUNNING FOR RUTLAN D

Kids invited to take part in fund-raiser

49 SCHOOL NEWS

Local achievements highlighted

ACTIVE SPORT

52 MARTIN JOHNSON

More wry observations

54 ON YOUR BIKE!

A great local training route

56 HELLO VELO

Cycle club chairman’s future vision

57 NEWS

Golf and cricket focus

60 THE ROUND-UP

How our teams are faring

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TAKE PART! WIN £100 The Reader Survey We want to find out what our readers get up to, how they spend their free time and where they go. So we’ve created a survey in which we want you to tell us what active thing you do, so that we can tailor the magazine even more to you. To thank you for your time, we’ll enter you into a prize draw for £100. All you have to do is fill out the survey at www.theactivemag.com/readersurvey Thanks!


ActiveLife How to make Easter biscuits | Meet Invictus Games medallist Rachel Williamson Garden inspiration for everyone | Visit the Collyweston Slater Walks with Will | Our guide dog goes to secondary school E DI T E D BY M A RY B R E M N E R

Visit Plovdiv, this year’s European capital of culture p.18

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Active life

Learn to sing

RAFA needs you

T

HE ROYAL AIR Forces Association (RAFA) is recruiting cyclists for a fund-raising challenge across Rutland which is taking place on Saturday, June 15. RAFA Rides Rutland is open to everyone and you can sign up for a 33, 70 or 100-mile route; the plan is to raise more than £20,000. The event starts and ends at Café Ventoux in

Tugby and incorporates much of the Rutland countryside, as well as Rutland Water and the Vale of Belvoir for the longer rides. All cyclists will receive a medal as well as a beer and burger (or equivalent) at the finish. To sign up and to find out more go to www. rafa.org.uk/get-involved/challenge-eventsyourself.

LAST YEAR HEREWARD Harmony, a male barbershop choir, ran a successful ‘learn to sing’ course and gained many new members. This year, they aren’t running the course but are more than happy to welcome new members. They rehearse on Thursday evenings at the Orton Wistow Community Centre so pop down and say hello. On May 11 they are staging a charity ‘sing for spring’ to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society at The Fleet in Fletton and tickets are on sale now. To find out more about joining the group or to buy tickets, visit www.herewardharmony.com.

SHOP OF THE MONTH

Julie’s Cycles THIS LONG ESTABLISHED family business based in Clarendon Park Road, Leicester, was started by the current owner’s father and is named after his sister Julie. The biggest bike shop in the city, this family business prides itself on its customer service and cycling knowledge. Completely up to date with everything cycling they offer great advice including fitting, repairs and services. They sell all types of bikes ranging from e-bikes to commuting and light sport trail bikes, and cater for the beginner upwards, sell every accessory you could possibly think of, have an online shop, finance packages and can even recommend good traffic-free cycle routes. Pop in and they will inspire you with confidence, impress you with their knowledge and make you feel welcome. www.juliescycles.co.uk, 0116 270 7936

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Restaurant now open to non-members Sam Sharman, former Head Chef at the Bull and Swan, and his team are delighted to welcome members and non-members for coffee and cakes, lunch, fine dining and event catering at Burghley Park Golf Club.

Contact 01780 753789 for information or to book

Free Pro lesson for new members Thinking of taking up a new sport or revisiting your love of golf? Burghley Park Golf Club is welcoming new members. Join before 30 April and enjoy a free lesson with Head Professional Mark Jackson and ÂŁ20 to spend on refreshments.

To find out more contact our Membership Secretary Sam Halifax admin@burghleyparkgolfclub.co.uk or call 01780 753789


Active life

Help fund 24/7 cover for the East Anglian Air Ambulance

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HE EAST ANGLIAN Air Ambulance plans to become a 24/7 helicopter emergency medical service by 2020. At the moment the charity operates 365 days a year, but not for 24 hours, meaning that between midnight and 7am there is no coverage. To cover this gap and offer 24-hour coverage the service needs to raise an extra £1 million a year on top of the annual £12 million they already need to run the service. If you would like to find out more about the campaign, or to donate, go to www.mission247.co.uk.

Sarah joins the team at Broad Street Practice SARAH BABBS HAS joined the Broad Street Practice in Stamford as its first resident physiotherapist. Sarah has worked in the NHS and private practice since qualifying in 1986 and been based around Stamford for many years. Her special interests include managing pain and fitness due to injury or arthritis, including post-operative rehabilitation following hip and knee replacements, spinal and other joint surgeries. She is also a qualified pilates practitioner and is qualified to use acupuncture. To make an appointment telephone 01780 480889 or visit www.thebroadstreetpractice.co.uk.

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A pool with a view WHAT DO YOU do if your children’s swimming lessons are cancelled because they are draining the pool? Well, if you are Lizzie Adams you hot foot it over there and take photos! Catmose Sports Centre kindly allowed Lizzie, who runs the website shootitmomma, to take photos before they refilled it. And this is the result. Head to www.shootitmomma.co.uk to see many more shots. Lizzie was helped by www. donsettlepetal.co.uk and www.katiedell.com.

April 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active life

the sale. Ring Rebekah on 01858 565200 for more information.

What’s on...

Great things to see and do in the region

E

IGHTIES ICON ADAM Ant is coming to Leicester’s De Montfort Hall on November 29 and tickets are on sale now at www.demontforthall.co.uk. Or if comedian Jack Whitehall is your favourite he is appearing at the East of England Arena in Peterborough on November 14. Tickets are now on sale through www.ticketmaster.co.uk or www.jackwhitehall.com. Hallaton Museum (www. hallaton-museum.co.uk) is worth a visit, particularly during the annual bottle kicking competition that takes place on Easter Monday (April 22). The museum will then be open every weekend until October 6. Entry is free and there is plenty to see including more about the history of bottle kicking and a archive of photos. Lyddington village fete takes place on Saturday, May 11. There will be lots to see including a display of vintage cars and motorcycles, as well as music from the Gretton Silver Band, a Pimm’s tent and lots of stalls. Mimi Anderson, an endurance athlete and one of the world’s most inspirational female distance runners, will be speaking at this

year’s Deepings Literary Festival which takes place between May 23 and 26. World record holder Mimi has some very interesting stories to tell. To find out more and to book tickets go to www.deepingsliteraryfestival.co.uk. The Little Bytham Farm Run is being held again this year on May 26. Now in its second year, organic farmers John and Guy Turner will be opening their fields up to runners for this 5km run. Everyone is welcome, from the serious runner to the dog walker, and there is the option to do a 10km run as well. All running is through the fields which gives a great opportunity to see a wide variety of crops. And there will be cake at the end! For more details, charities supported and entry details, go to www.lb5k.org.

Walk Happy, a local mental health charity walk, takes place on May 12. Entries are open and cost £10 for adults, £5 for children. The walk is either a 5km or 10km route around Market Deeping and Deeping St James. It’s not a race, and can be a gentle stroll, and it’s all to help raise awareness of mental and physical health and to raise funds for the Mental Health Foundation. To find out more email walkhappyevent@gmail.com. St Ives Antiques Fair is being held over the Easter weekend on April 21 and 22. Entry is £2.50 and there will be around 50 dealers selling affordable quality and vintage pieces. Easton Walled Gardens (www.visiteaston.co. uk) has now opened for the summer season and will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and bank holiday Mondays. There is plenty to see and at this time of year there is a fabulous display of spring bulbs and cowslips. On Good Friday it will be open for the National Garden Scheme so pop along to support this charity and see spring bursting into life in the garden.

Bringhust Primary School PTA is holding a plant fair on May 11 between 12 and 2pm. An annual event which is well supported, this year they are raising funds for Medbourne Village Hall restoration fund and the school’s PTA. The sale takes place at the village hall in Medbourne where there will be plenty of home grown plants to choose from as well as refreshments. Any plants are very welcome to be donated to

April 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active life

FOOD

Easter biscuits These delicious biscuits originated in the West Country where they would be given to guests on Easter day I NGRE DI E NTS 200g butter 150g caster sugar 2 large egg yolks 400g plain flour 1 tsp mixed spice 3 tbsp milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon 100g currants Egg white and caster sugar for the topping

M ETHOD

1

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease two baking trays lined with baking parchment.

2

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Sieve the flour and spices together in a bowl, add the milk and mix to make a soft dough. Add the currants and knead in.

3

Roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of about 5mm. Cut with a round cutter, place on the baking tray, wash with beaten egg white and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar.

4

Bake for 15 minutes or until a pale golden brown.

Make your own Easter eggs Stamford Heavenly Chocolates, based at George Farm near the A1, is running Easter workshops where you can make, decorate, fill and package your own chocolate eggs. Prices start at £16 per person. For more details, visit www.stamfordheavenlychocolates.co.uk. Or in Market Harborough head to Cocoa Amore and learn how to make truffles, a perfect Easter gift. Prices start at £20 per person. www.cocoa-amore.co.uk.

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Rachel Williamson Meet

Mary Bremner meets Invictus Games gold medallist Rachel Williamson Active: Congratulations on winning so many medals (two gold, three silver and one bronze) in last year’s Invictus Games in Sydney. This made you the highest achieving woman, and only just behind the leading medallist overall – quite an achievement! Rachel: Thank you.

Were you always sporty?

Yes, I was swimming competitively between the ages of 13 and 17, competing nationally. I went to Spalding High School and was travelling twice a day to train at Northampton. But sadly it all went wrong as I missed out by seconds when trialling for the Commonwealth Games. I knew I would never have the chance again at that level so had to change direction.

That must have been very disappointing. What did you do next?

I knew I wanted to travel and carry on with sport, so I joined the RAF to train as a physical training instructor. Unfortunately I became ill while training so, rather than leave the force, I retrained as a medic. Over the years I did many different tours, at Waddington, The Falklands, and my final posting was at Wittering.

And you were still swimming weren’t you? Yes, I swam for the RAF competing in the inter- services games, winning medals.

When did you start playing rugby?

I have always been a huge rugby fan, supporting Leicester Tigers. A friend of mine, who knew I had no fear, suggested I give rugby a go, so I did, playing at loose head. I then started playing rugby for the RAF, representing them up to Inter-Nation level and won RAF Waddington Sportswoman of the Year in 2012.

Then it all went wrong and you got injured.

Yes, four years ago I sprained my right thumb. This seemed like a negligible injury which I would quickly recover from. Unfortunately that was not the case. I gradually lost all function in my arm. I had developed Functional Neurological Disorder which meant I could not control my arm, and now cannot use the limb. This meant that I could not carry on as a medic so was discharged from the RAF in 2018.

That must have been a very difficult time?

Yes it was. I was on sick leave for nearly two years. It was very frightening and frustrating as I slowly got worse. I isolated myself from everyone, staying at home, cutting myself off from friends and family as I didn’t want to be a burden. I vowed I would never do any sport again as all it had brought me was grief and I did not want to fail again. I now know that this stemmed back to not qualifying for the Commonwealth Games, as well as my injury. It gradually occurred to me, over that two years on sick leave, that I was not going to get better and would have to leave the RAF. From 2017 to 2018 was the hardest year of my life. I had to learn to do everything one handed. I had to ask for help which I found hard. Life was scary as I had to look for a new job, was disabled and my whole life had changed.

Then what happened?

In 2017, as I was coming close to my discharge date from the RAF, I went through a resettlement phase when I started doing some courses... how to do CVs, rethinking your career, adjusting to civilian life, that sort of

16

thing. I went to Lilleshaw, the Battle Back Centre where injured and sick forces personnel are, and started to integrate with people again. We were all injured and had to learn to adapt, and doing sport was one way of doing this. I suppose I was with kindred spirits and started to battle back. I learnt to ride a bike and rock climb. It was a massive reality check. There were people who were in a much worse state than me, getting on with their lives, enjoying themselves. I admitted that I missed sport, and started to enjoy it again.

How did you get involved with the Invictus Games?

There was an opportunity to sign up for a sports test at Nottingham to be picked for the games and I thought, ‘why not?’. I went to all of the training camps, where you can have a go at lots of different sports. The attitude there was very much ‘you can do it’, and I could. The trials for the games were in May 2018. It’s not about who is the best, it’s the turning up and taking part. We had to write an application answering two questions – why you want to represent your country and if you aren’t selected what would you do. 2,500 people applied for 72 places.

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Active life

miserable for so long it’s great to have a laugh again. We support each other and I’ve been offered some great advice about how to cope with my disability. I have learnt a lot about myself. I didn’t realise how strong minded I am. I’ve learnt to adapt and am much more self aware and know I can deal with pressure.

What are you doing now?

What did you say?

I was honest and said I’d felt like a complete failure but was proving to myself, and everyone, that I can do it. I’d learnt a lot and not giving up was probably the biggest lesson. It got me selected for swimming and rowing. I then had to get fit again as obviously I’d lost all my fitness by doing nothing for nearly two years. I learnt to swim one armed – that took some getting used to. I joined the gym at the Stamford Endowed Schools. I had, and still have, a gym buddy who helps me adapt the rowing machine (I have my own handle). I kept at it and slowly built my fitness up again. I am my own worst critic, but I was determined to do my best and, most importantly, to be happy. I wouldn’t let my parents see me train, I suppose because they’d seen how I was before when I was swimming competitively. But I learnt to be proud of myself, and what I had achieved.

Your parents came with you to the Games didn’t they?

Yes, you could take two people with you to Australia. They thoroughly enjoyed it, seeing the opening and closing ceremonies. It was lovely having them see me win my medals.

Tell us about the medals?

I won two golds in the rowing – a four-minute endurance race and a one-minute sprint. I shared my medal with a French girl, which was a first. It was a dead heat so we both got golds. The three silvers were in the 50m freestyle, 50m back stroke and 50m breast stroke and I won a bronze for the 100m freestyle.

How have the games helped you?

I’d missed being in the RAF, being part of a large family. The Invictus team gives me that sense of belonging again. We are of the same mindset and have tremendous fun. After being

“The Invictus team gives me that sense of belonging again... we have tremendous fun”

I’m an administration officer at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Stanford Hall near Loughborough, which has taken over from Headley Court, where I was a patient. It’s a sort of half-way house for me. I’m now in the civil service but am working with injured service men and women. I am in the perfect place to sign up new recruits for the Invictus Games, which I do. They are very good to me, allowing me time off to compete and to do media when I need to.

Your life has changed dramatically since you won and you’ve had a lot of media attention. How are you coping with it?

Actually it’s helped me. Talking to the media has made me open up. I was quite closed at first but now I’m proud of what happened and am happy to talk about it.

Will you enter another Invictus Games?

Yes, I’ve signed up for 2020 in The Hague and am back training again three to five times a week. I’ve got a year to decide if I’m going to stick with rowing and swimming or try a different sport, which I’m tempted to do.

Are you still in touch with your team-mates? Oh yes, we’ve made for friends for life and have a massive Whatsapp group so we can all chat to each other.

Did you get to meet Prince Harry?

No, and I’m so disappointed! It’s one of my ambitions to meet him. I did get to meet David Beckham though, who was very nice.

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TR AV E L

Roman ruins and cobbled streets Visit this year’s European city of culture, Plovdiv, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the relaxed vibe amongst beautiful buildings

P

LOVDIV IS THE second largest city in Bulgaria, one of the oldest in Europe and this year’s European city of culture. It’s an ancient city with an illustrious history featuring the Romans, Greeks, Byzantines and Ottomans, built around seven hills in the south of the country. A beautiful city with a cobbled old town, ancient ruins and lively drinking and dining culture, now is the ideal time to visit before everyone catches on and heads there. Bulgarians are very proud of their cuisine which has Greek, Turkish and Slavic influences and they are renowned wine producers. What’s more, it is still incredibly cheap.

The ancient old town with its narrow streets and pretty 19th century painted houses with their overhanging upper floors makes wandering around the ancient streets fascinating. Several of the buildings have been turned into museums so there’s plenty of culture to keep you occupied between stops for coffee, cake and people watching. The ancient Roman remains are dotted throughout the city and Plovdiv boasts the longest pedestrianised street in Europe at 1.1 miles long. Ryanair flies direct to Plovdiv from Stansted and takes just over three hours. April is the perfect month to visit as temperatures average just under 20 degrees during the day. It gets colder at night, but the daytime temperatures are perfect for walking about the city and for dining al fresco at lunchtime. During the summer it can get very hot, and it’s distinctly chilly in the winter.

Culture club www.ryanair.com www.airbnb.com www.visitplovdiv.com

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Active life

TH E ACTIV E R E V I E W

The Collyweston Slater Maris and Mark enjoy some pub menu favourites in a cosy village inn

T

HE COLLYWESTON SLATER is a familiar sight on the A43 but we hadn’t been for many years and, with reports of a new landlord, thought we’d give it a try. Opening the solid oak door on a blustery Friday evening we were assailed by the sound of happy drinkers and the faint smell of wood smoke from the double sided wood burner that helps warm this rambling inn. The five levels of the pub are arranged in an ‘L’ shape around two central bars with a dog-friendly (biscuits on the bar, always a good sign) area of three levels to the right furnished with comfy sofas and oak tables. The area to the left has a more restaurant feel, but the whole pub flows seamlessly. We were made to feel immediately at home by Damian and his son Luke, who have been running the pub since November. Mark ordered a pint of Everards IPA (one of three well-kept real ales) and I chose a King of Soho gin and grapefruit tonic from a range of more than 30. Clutching our drinks and menus we slumped into a leather sofa and let out an audible sigh – at last the weekend had started! Turning our attention to the menu it became clear that we were in for a comforting treat; all the pub classics were on offer, from lasagne and hunter’s chicken to steak and burgers (mains cost £9.95-£18.95). It was also the pub’s ‘fishy Friday’, with pan-fried sea bass and baked salmon fillet joining the regular menu’s seafood offering of scampi, and fish and chips. Spoilt for choice, Mark struggled to make a decision. “I’m going to have the pork loin,” he stated decisively, before quickly changing his mind. “The leak and stilton chicken looks nice but I really fancy a steak,” he murmured, adding to the confusion. Sensing we were getting nowhere, a friendly local on the neighbouring sofa recommended the homemade bacon and cheese burger; “it’s fantastic,” he claimed, before gaining agreement from his three mates who promptly ordered one each.

“We were in for a comforting treat; all the pub classics were on offer, from lasagne and hunter’s chicken to steak and burgers”

After such a vote of confidence, Mark settled on the burger (£12.95) and I had the sirloin steak (£18.95) before chatting with the locals about what they think makes The Slater such a good pub (friendly staff, good food and reasonable prices, in case you were wondering). After a few minutes we were shown through to our table in the second bar and settled down to enjoy our starters. Mark was presented with a bowl of garlic mushrooms in a white wine, cream and garlic sauce, accompanied by a huge doorstop of lightly toasted bread and a small salad (£4.95). He quickly set to work on the deceptively generous portion of mushrooms, putting the bread to good use in soaking up the creamy sauce. My prawn and smoked salmon cocktail (£5.50) came ‘deconstructed’ with the generous portion of prawns and smoked salmon lying on a bed of Asian salad with a small pot of Marie Rose sauce on the side. It was accompanied by a buttered slice of brown bread (something I’d not seen for a long time, but worth rediscovering) and washed down by a

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Whether you’re experienced or new to group cycling you’ll find our club very welcoming and friendly and we’ll have the perfect ride for you:

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Active life

“Damian emphasises the importance of the local community at The Slater, hosting darts, petanque and quiz teams as well as providing sandwiches to the village shop”

glass of Chilean sauvignon blanc (£4.25 for a 175ml glass). It was an enjoyable take on an old favourite, the Asian salad of shredded cabbage adding texture to the prawns and salmon. We perused the wine list (bottles range from £14.95 to £22.95) while waiting for our main course and found 10 by the glass, including a rarely the vanilla ice cream. Mark’s hot chocolate fudge cake and vanilla ice seen 125ml option in these days of ever-increasing glass sizes. Selecting a cream was a classic end to a classic pub meal. shiraz (£4.25 for 175ml) and cabernet sauvignon (£4.45), both were Plates despatched to the kitchen, a brief pause in customers allowed delivered promptly by the cheerful, attentive staff. Damian to come and chat to us about the pub and his plans. Our mains arrived shortly after, Mark’s burger towering above its “I’ve worked in the hospitality industry over the years,” informed wooden platter. Served with chips in a wire basket and a side salad, it Damian, who was trained by Trusthouse Forte, “and it’s always been my looked an impressive meal. dream to run a pub of my own.” I’d ordered my Sirloin steak rare and hoped, as I cut off the first Since his arrival the pub has changed through evolution rather than mouthful, that the chef had got it right. I needn’t have worried – it was revolution, a process that the regulars seem to approve of, as does the cooked to perfection, well-seasoned and in no need of a fancy sauce to brewery, Everards. Indeed, Everards have funded the on-going ‘enhance’ its excellent flavour, which is how a good steak should be. refurbishment of the Collyweston slate roof, using local craftsmen and Accompanied by chips, mushroom, tomato and peas it was a pure and materials. Damian emphasises the importance of the local community at simple steak and the best I’d had in a long time. The Slater, hosting darts, petanque and quiz teams as well as providing Meanwhile, Mark was battling manfully with his burger, which sandwiches to the village shop. With monthly quiz nights (set to increase similarly didn’t disappoint. “The locals were right about the burger,’ he to twice monthly) and Wednesday curry nights, there is something for enthused between mouthfuls, “and I love the chips.” everyone, including three comfortable bedrooms. Indeed, the chips were divine, crispy on the Over cups of decaffeinated coffee (£2.25) we outside and soft and fluffy in the middle, and paused and reflected on our evening. The pub we couldn’t get enough of them. was still full, with the after-work crowd giving The puddings (all £4.95) continued the pub way to family groups and couples in search of a 87 MAIN ROAD, COLLYWESTON, classics theme with sticky toffee pudding, pleasant meal. Welcoming and well-run, it had STAMFORD, PE9 3PQ crème brûlée, hot dessert of the day (spotted a relaxed atmosphere that made us feel at 01780 444288 dick on this occasion) and ice cream all present. home. If you’re in search of a classic pub meal, COLLYWESTONSLATER@GMAIL.COM I went for the Eton mess sundae and, although at a good price, in a pub that has a warm WWW.COLLYWESTONSLATERPUB.CO.UK the meringue proved elusive, it was a good ice welcome for locals and newcomers alike, look cream sundae with tart raspberries off-setting no further.

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Growth strategy

Make outdoor living the best it can be this summer with a winning combination of beautiful plants, a carpet-like lawn and stylish furniture. Here’s our guide on how to achieve garden bliss

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Gardening

I

F YOU ARE looking forward to the warmer days of summer, the long light nights are just the time to relax in your garden; but you can’t relax if it’s a jumbled mess of rough grass, sad plants and wobbly furniture. Planting is the first step to outdoor serenity. Angela Holland of Kibworth Garden Centre explains: “Create a calm area using some of the sub-tropical plants such as fatsia japonica with its large glossy leaves. Banana plants are another good plant to produce nice shade with large red or green leaves depending on which you choose. “If the area is damp you could plant a selection of ferns; some will grow to nearly a metre high and tree ferns make a great statement plant of two metres plus. They need a little care during the winter so wrap straw around the top growth point to protect the delicate new growth. Then place hosta varieties amongst the ferns to give different foliage and colour.” Angela also recommends putting some flowers into the area with hydrangeas, which come with pink, white or blue flowers depending on the acidity of the soil. “Try the large growing variety hydrangea querquifolia that has large oak leaf shaped leaves, white flowers and its foliage turns bright red in the autumn. Finish the front of the border with the creeping plant ajuga, which has blue flowers and purple leaves, spreads well and requires little maintenance and will suppress any weeds.” If you don’t have the space to create a magical planting wonderland, you can still make the most of what you’ve got with clever design. Containers, hanging baskets and window boxes all come in handy. Also, prioritise lighting and double up on functionality where possible too. Window boxes will allow you to grow ornamental or even edible plants without the need for lots of space. Use sleepers to build a simple trough under your windows and fill with compost, then plant a variety of flowers and herbs. Think about planting upwards. Gardening vertically means you can take advantage of more than just the horizontal surfaces around you. Vertical gardens add interest and texture, and they make tending to your plants much easier too, then use lighting to make a great view from inside your home on even the darkest winter nights. Lighting should be subtle and highlight specimen plants to create shadows and give the garden depth.

Tom Holt of Bau Outdoors adds: “Break up boring square areas with big planters and use easy-to-care-for plants such as bamboo to quickly add some interest.” Also, think about colour. Outdoor colour schemes are just as important as indoor ones, particularly when it comes to small spaces. Similar to how white or neutral walls and flooring keep the eyes away from boundary lines inside, vibrant flowers, shrubs and features can make small gardens appear lighter and bigger. In general, hot colours make spaces feel more intimate, while cool purples and blues add depth and serenity. Then there’s your lawn, often a battleground of frustration with gardeners unable to achieve a perfect green blanket of grass. To get that perfect lawn, Dick Bradshaw of GP Lawnmowers advises: “When the grass starts to grow strongly and is moist, apply a moss killer a week or so before scarifying your lawn. Thatch that builds up will restrict grass growth and encourage moss and weeds. Spike the lawn and apply lawn sand if required. When cutting your lawn keep the blades higher in the early season. “And don’t forget the most important part to obtaining a great lawn – get your lawnmower properly serviced, as prevention is better than cure.”

TURN YOUR GARDEN INTO A GYM WORK OUT HOW MANY CALORIES THE GARDEN CHORES BURN RAKING LEAVES Swap hands every 10 minutes in order to get an even workout on both arms. 60 calories per 15 minutes

PLANTING Dealing with weeds, digging and squatting is a full body work out. 73 calories per 15 minutes. TRIMMING HEDGES  Using a manual cutter to trim bushes stimulates muscles in the shoulders. 73 calories per 15 minutes

DIGGING AND COMPOSTING Builds muscle while also being beneficial for the garden. 83 calories per 15 minutes LAWN MAINTENANCE Mowing the lawn with repetitive movements. 93 calories per 15 minutes

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DETOX YOUR GARDEN WANT TO KEEP CHEMICALS OUT OF YOUR GARDEN? TRY THESE ALTERNATIVES... VINEGAR Vinegar is highly effective on small weeds, but it can alter your soil to prevent things from growing in the future, so it’s best to use this on block paving and gravel driveways only. SALT Salt is very effective: dilute three parts salt with one-part water, mix and leave to stand for 10 minutes to make sure the salt has dissolved. Spray the desired weeds with the salty solution, but don’t use on lawns. BAKING SODA Use baking soda on awkward weeds, particularly those growing in cracks, to avoid killing healthy grass and other vegetation.

Garden grand designs THOUGHTS ARE TURNING to long lazy days of summer and enjoying our gardens to the full by hosting parties for friends and family. Now’s the time to spruce up your garden furniture – maybe choose a new colour to revive wooden sets, or invest in a new set. When you only have a small area to work with, you’ll want to double up on functionality where possible. Annie Burns from Welland Vale Garden Inspirations in Uppingham suggests installing low walls to border raised flower beds, and they’ll also serve as a seating area when you need extra places. You can add some cushions for comfort too. Bau Outdoors’ Tom Holt adds: “Treat your outdoor space like another room. For a good portion of the year, it’s the best place to relax and entertain. Try and steer away from furniture that’s all plastic. Sitting on it in the summer is hot and sticky! Natural materials and fabrics are much more comfortable. “Buy something that’s going to last. A good set of solid hardwood furniture should last up to 10 years with minimal maintenance. Throwing less away is a worthwhile aim, and when purchasing hardwood furniture make sure the hardwood is sustainably sourced. Not all hardwood is equal.” “Add lighting with strings of battery fairy lights and solar lamps,” says Welland Vale’s Annie Burns. “There are lots of fun and colourful strings of lights available; collect some

outdoor lanterns or even tea lights in jam jars hung from trees and fences will add to the atmosphere. For serious entertaining, how about a woodburning oven or outdoor kitchen where the chef can produce more than just burgers and pizzas; roast joints of meat are delicious and hassle-free? “For those who prefer a more tranquil life, create your own peaceful haven. Decide on a theme or colour scheme, maybe Moroccan, Mediterranean or English country garden. Make a private little hideaway with trellis or laser-cut decorative metal screens which allow light through while maintaining privacy. “Add mirrors to reflect light, a piece of wall art, some creative planters to fill with colour and comfortable seating. A water feature is not only an attractive addition but the sound of gently running water adds to the relaxing atmosphere.” Keals of Market Harborough make unusual, bespoke gifts for homes and gardens together with home decor and vintage goods. From garden sculptures to plant labels, unusual gifts and large shop displays, Keals stock unique handmade creations and gifts. Eric Keal is the creator and uses traditional skills and crafts to produce work of outstanding quality and individuality. These are beautiful garden bells, found on p31, created from redundant cylinders and hand turned wooden balls creating a soulful, soft chime as the breeze takes them.

ORGANIC PRODUCTS   For products which are organic and vegan, completely natural and contain no petrochemicals, speak to Medbourne-based Natural Grower. Its natural liquid fertiliser is concentrated and, once diluted, can be poured around the base of plants or pots to be quickly absorbed as a potent source of feed. The natural soil conditioner is a mulch that’s designed to be dug into the soil before planting. Rich in nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and other trace elements, it’s broken down gradually in the soil as a long-term, slow release fertiliser. Two litres of Natural Fertiliser liquid costs £12.99, 10 litres £27.99 and Natural Soil Conditioner 16 litres is £17.99. Products are available from Welland Vale Garden Inspirations, Uppingham; Rutland Water Garden Nursery and Welland Valley Feeds, Market Harborough. Natural Grower 0333 8005450 www.naturalgrower.co.uk

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Gardening

Gardens to visit for inspiration Owned by the Cholmeley family for over 400 years, Easton Walled Gardens (above) nestle in a beautiful rolling valley in South West Lincolnshire. Work to restore the gardens began in 2001 and has been a labour of love for Ursula Cholmeley ever since. Easton Walled Gardens 01476 530063 www.visiteaston.co.uk

Uppingham in Bloom Uppingham in Bloom is holding an open gardens event on Sunday May 26, from 1-5pm. With a wide range of gardens open and lots to see along the route including a plant stall, tree trail, woodturning stall, tombola and refreshments, it offers a great afternoon out. Tickets are £5 for adults, accompanied children go free, and are available on the day from Uppingham Parish Church hall off the Market Square, or 36 Stockerston Crescent, LE15 9UB. To donate plants (labelled and potted) to the popular plant stall, contact Sue Streeter on 01572 822226 or email astreeter@btinternet.com. The National Garden Scheme The National Garden Scheme runs throughout the country and there are some beautiful places to visit in Leicestershire. Tresillian House in Melton Mowbray

is in over two-thirds of an acre of grounds supporting two ponds and a bog garden, which is full of activity with frog spawn and appearances by the local ducks. 44 Fairfield Road in Market Harborough (pictured below) is a wildlife-friendly garden packed with interest including a small copse, a pond which supports various amphibians, and an abundance of spring flowers including narcissus, violets, bluebells and the unusual snake’s head fritillary. Both of these gardens are open on Sunday, April 28. NGS has, in addition to these gardens, another four open by arrangement for group visits, including Goadby Hall, Westview in Great Glen, Barracca in Earl Shilton, Mary’s Garden in Hinckley, and Ravenstone Hall, Coalville. To make an appointment for a group visit to any of these gardens go to www.ngs.org.uk/ find-a-garden/by-arrangement/

Cottesbrooke Hall is a Queen Anne house dating from 1702, set in awardwinning gardens in Northamptonshire. The formal and wild gardens surrounding and adjacent to the house have been mainly developed during the 20th century involving a number of distinguished landscape designers. Cottesbrooke Hall 01604 505808/717 www.cottesbrooke.co.uk The gardens at Boughton House were laid out to impress the eye, and for decades the landscape was carefully shaped and teased into a series of stunning vistas, tree-lined avenues and bold water features. Boughton House 01536 515731 www.boughtonhouse.co.uk

CREATE A PARTY SPACE When you’ve got people coming round for a big party or function, you’ll want an area that provides cover from rain or shine, and creates a focal point for guests to gather. If so, try Uppingham-based Funky Tents for some original and stylish alternatives. Its structures are modular in design, which means they can be built up to create any size and almost any shape or structure to suit most gardens. Stuart Low of Funky Tents says he’s a “frustrated architect”, and his

contemporary marquee designs reflect that. He adds: “I’m passionate about creating exciting and functional party and celebration spaces for my customers. We provide marquees for big events, but it’s our private clients that inspire us to deliver the most exciting solutions. A garden is an extension of the home, a private and personal space, and the way we work is always respectful of that.” www.funky-tents.co.uk 0800 169 1690

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WE CAN HELP YOU! Ideas, Inspiration and Individuality. Oh, and more plants than you ever dreamed of...

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Gardening ASK THE EXPERTS GOT A GARDEN QUESTION? SPEAK TO THESE LOCAL FIRMS

TRYING TO SOURCE STYLISH OUTDOOR FURNISHING? Bau Outdoors specialises in contemporary outdoor furnishings with a focus on high-end materials. It uses a combination of sustainably sourced hardwoods and modern fabrics to create something special for outdoor spaces, while its new Reclaim range mixes traditional solid teak with a contemporary frame in anthracite, designed to partner with modern bi-fold doors and windows many people have in their home. 0800 046 3456 www.bau-outdoors.co.uk WANT ORIGINAL OUTDOOR FURNITURE AND ORNAMENTS? Your garden is an extension of your home so don’t just stick to run-of-themill garden furniture or ornaments. Prices start from £75. www.keals.net 01858 419798

HAVING LAWNMOWER TROUBLE? Always use fresh petrol or use a fuel additive as this will help keep the fuel fresh for a longer period. Keep your mower clean underneath by removing mud and grass that builds up; always tip your mower backwards, never on its side. As well as GP Lawnmowers in Barnack, DG Norman Agricultural Engineers in Rockingham sell and repair lawnmowers and other garden machinery, and are able to source parts at very short notice. DG Norman Agricultural Engineers 01536 770966 www.dgnorman.co.uk GP Lawnmowers 01780 749084 www.gplawnmowers.co.uk PLANTING UP? For a large range of herbaceous perennials, alpines, heathers, fruit trees, garden shrubs and trees, bulbs and bedding plants. www.kibworthgardencentre.co.uk 0116 2792754 In addition to plants, choose from a wide selection of garden furniture, pots, barbeques, tools, homeware and gifts. www.wellandvalegardeninspirations.co.uk 01572 822729

Perennial plant planning Garden designer Teresa Kennedy recommends different perennials for herbaceous borders, and they don’t have to be in a cottage garden AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE AND multi-purpose, herbaceous planting is at the heart of a traditional cottage garden, but not limited to this setting; herbaceous borders can be suitable for all types of garden. If you select according to a theme you can creatively bring design features into your space. Herbaceous plants, as they are perennials, will return year on year, putting on a show throughout the growing season. With a good solid evergreen and shrub backbone, perennials will add volume and style from spring until late autumn. Green – I really do like a green border, you could bring in a splash of colour with something architectural (like a hot-coloured kniphofia) or keep it to a calm, muted, green palette. Alchemilla mollis for frothy low growing early colour; brunnera has heart-shaped deeply-veined leaves with a slight blue tint; lime green heuchera and heucherella for delicate tiny flowers. No green scheme is complete without hostas with their big leaves and tall flower spikes (remove them if you don’t want the colour). Uprights – Really useful for diverting the eye. It can be difficult to create levels in a garden without building structures or bringing in trees, but the right perennials can

temporarily do the job for you. Look for umbellifers (flat-topped, umbrella-like) globes and flower spikes. Achillea, rudbeckia, verbena bonariensis, knautia, Japanese anemone, echinops and digitalis will all work for you. Scented – It’s not necessary to overdo the scented plants. I recommend planting two or three varieties in numbers to create a few zones where the scent is strong, but not confused. Try nicotiana, dianthus, aster and lavender. Structural – It can be difficult to avoid the cottage look, but by selecting particularly structural plants and really filling your border with swathes of them, you will build something more contemporary. Good options include: acanthus mollis, echinops, ligustria, sedum, phlomis, actaea racemosa and kniphofia Cottage garden – This is the ultimate mix of high and low-growing froth, beautiful scents, stand-alone flower tops and repeat-flowering delicates. It is pink, purple, pastel, white; all happily supporting each other from May to the end of the year. There are few rules to follow, its beauty is in its chaos, but peak or height grade your border to show off the low ones at the front and the tall in the middle. www.viridisdesign.co.uk 07726 334501

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ACTIVE INFO Nene Park includes Ferry Meadows, Orton Meadows, Orton Mere, Woodston Reach, Thorpe Meadows and The Rural Estate. For more information visit www. nenepark.org.uk

W I L L’ S W A L K

Nene Park and Alwalton On the western edge of Peterborough you will find a park and rural area with walks to suit most occasions, as Will Hetherington discovers

TH E ROUTE

Leave Castor heading east on Love’s Hill and just before the road crosses over the A47 there is a lane to the right with visible traffic calming measures. Drive as far down here as you can and you will find plenty of parking. From here walk towards the magnificent stone structure of the old Milton Ferry Bridge, but don’t cross. Just before the bridge take the gate down to the right and then walk south-west on the north

bank of the River Nene. The path curves around to the south following the river and after half a mile you will come to Landy Green Way on the right. Take this bridleway which heads west towards Castor and when you reach Mill Road turn left and walk down the road to Castor Mills. Walk through the buildings and follow the path past the derelict windmill on the left. Cross over the footbridge over the Back Dike and head straight on to cross the main stream of the Nene at the lock. Follow the path as it winds round the woodland edge on the way up into Alwalton village. When you reach the main intersection in the attractive middle section of the old village turn sharp left and pick up the path as it heads back towards the river and the

woodland. Initially there is a windy path right by the river’s edge which is good for the dogs but after a short while you will need to move up the bank and pick up the wide straight trail. Follow this until you come to the Nene Valley Railway and turn right past the old house and stables to the right. You will shortly come to a left turn over the railway which will bring you into Nene Park proper. Here you are faced with many options but if you want the best route back to the Ferry Bridge for the dogs then turn left and head back to the south bank of the Nene. When you get to the river turn right and follow it back to the Ferry Bridge. If you want to explore Nene Park and go to the visitor ventre for an ice cream or a cup of tea then follow the signs.

Images: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating

Walk along the Nene towards Milton Ferry Bridge on the way back to the car

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Active life You will pass this distinctive old house next to the Nene Valley Railway on the return leg

This walk makes full use of the adjacent River Nene

Essential information WHERE TO PARK On the lane which runs off Love’s Hill between Castor and the A47 on the east side of the village. DISTANCE AND TIME Five miles/one and three-quarter hours.

START/ FINISH

HIGHLIGHTS Pretty old Alwalton, the River Nene and the Milton Ferry Bridge. LOWLIGHTS Hard to think of any. Considering the proximity to Peterborough city centre it’s surprisingly peaceful. REFRESHMENTS The visitor centre in Nene Park, the Prince of Wales Feathers in Castor or the Cuckoo in Alwalton.

©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 036/19

DIFFICULTY RATING Two paws. It’s pretty flat with no stiles and very few muddy patches. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE The dogs will find some good patches of water particularly by the Ferry Bridge and the Back Dike. No livestock around when I did this walk. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.

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Active life ACTIVE INFO In the early 20th century large deposits of iron ore were found in the area and Glasgow steel manufacturers Stewarts & Lloyds set up in Corby, just a small village then. They purchased East Carlton Hall and the 102acre park from Sir Geoffrey Palmer for £5,000. Parts of the grounds were used to build housing for senior staff and 59 houses were built during 1934 and 1935. After the demise of steel making the house and grounds were acquired by Corby Borough Council. The house is now a private home but the grounds form East Carlton Country Park.

The Jurassic Way runs along the northern edge of East Carlton Country Park

W I L L’ S W A L K

Middleton to Ashley This walk includes four villages in the Welland Valley between Corby and Market Harborough Words and images: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating TH E ROUTE

From just opposite the Nazz Spice restaurant on The Hill in Middleton head out west on the Jurassic Way. You will almost immediately find East Carlton Country Park on your left, which is an attractive piece of woodland. But keep going straight on the path until you reach East Carlton village after about half a mile. Cross the road here and follow the Jurassic Way as it wends south-west over a few contours and through a nice little piece of woodland before coming into Wilbarston over the playing field. Go through the gate and turn

right and follow the road around until you reach The Fox Inn. Turn right here and walk down past the church on the left and then head straight on to Brig Lane bridleway when the road bends to the left. There is another footpath just to the west which covers the same ground and I’m sure is equally enjoyable, but I thought it could be quite muddy and the bridleway did the job for me. After a mile and a half you will come out at the top of a large pasture field looking down on to the sleepy but not small village of Ashley. The not very well marked footpath heads north straight down the hill along the field boundary with the hedge on your right, and you will come to an extremely muddy gateway at the bottom. It’s used by cattle a lot and is something of a swamp, but this is the countryside after all.

Go through the gateway and very shortly turn right on to Green Lane. Follow the lane around and then turn right on to Ashley Road to leave the village eastward. After less than a quarter of a mile on the road you will find the footpath heading across the fields on your right. I didn’t find the path was very well waymarked across this one-mile section, but it’s fairly obvious which way you have to head and the tracks on the ground help. This section crosses one of the convenient streams so the dogs can have a drink and cool down. You will eventually reach Wire Lane and turn right here to walk half a mile uphill along a quiet tree-lined country lane thinking of John Denver as you go. When you get to East Carlton simply retrace your tracks for the half-mile hike along the Jurassic Way back to Middleton.

April 2019 / theactivemag.com 35

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Active life

Open fields between Ashley and East Carlton

Brig Lane is the bridleway between Wilbarston and Ashley

Essential information WHERE TO PARK I parked on Ashley Road in Middleton just before it joins The Hill, but anywhere in Middleton will work. DISTANCE AND TIME Seven miles/two and a half hours.

START/ FINISH

HIGHLIGHTS The view of Ashley from the south, East Carlton Country Park, some very pretty villages and country lanes, and the Jurassic Way. LOWLIGHTS It can be muddy in places and it’s not particularly well marked coming back from Ashley to East Carlton.

©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 036/19

REFRESHMENTS You will pass The Fox Inn in Wilbarston and The George is a minor diversion in Ashley. There is also the Spread Eagle and the Royal George Hotel in Cottingham. DIFFICULTY RATING Three paws. It’s pretty easy until you get to Ashley but gets a bit muddier and more hilly after that. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE There are some convenient streams along the way and very little livestock so the dogs will love this walk. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.

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The Feline World Clear Ridge Veterinary Surgery has always had a great interest in Cats and the Cat owner’s world, and feline medicine in particular. We welcome all ages of cat from the tiniest, to the more revered and ancient. Simple Boosters to Renal Failure and Complex Internal Medicine cases, to Involved Operations. Heart and Chest Problems to Abdominal Surgery, to Feline Fracture Repair. We want to get them all back to treating their owners like servants again.

Orthopaedic Service Lameness Assessments X-Ray +Ultrasound Assessment Fracture Fixations Treatment/Surgery for Traumatic Injuries/ Wounds Cruciate Ligament Disease/Injury Stabilisation Meniscal(Cartilage) Assessment. Patellar Luxation(Dislocation) Surgery Tendon Injury Repairs BVA Hip Scheme and Elbow Scheme Radiography

We welcome seeing your Feline Friend... For more information or to discuss any part in more detail, please call and speak to any of the Clear Ridge Team at our Stamford practice: Tel 01780 764333 or Orton Wistow Tel: 01733 230000

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www.clearridgevets.co.uk

22/03/2019 17:17


Active life

PETS

One step at a time It’s time for our guide dog pup to move on to secondary school and start acting as a grown up

O

NCE A YOUNG dog reaches 12-14 months and has completed its training with a puppy walker, it moves on to ‘secondary school’ which is the second stage of its training. It will go to one of 20 local community hubs across the UK. Guide Dog Mobility Instructors (GDMIs) work with the dogs for around 12 weeks, continuing with the training using positive reinforcement techniques. These were started using treats, but now move on to using touch. At this stage a young dog is now using its guiding skills and expanding on them. A dog will learn to touch the button on a pedestrian crossing, or touch a chair allowing the person to navigate around it safely. Dogs learn to show kerbs. At each kerb the dog will sit or stand, showing it is a crossing point. It will then be told to cross when it is safe, but will stop at the opposite kerb to show it is there. Guide dogs are taught to walk from kerb to kerb. Towards the end of this stage of their training, trainers will wear blindfolds to check that the young dog can negotiate obstacles, navigate

“Trainers will wear blindfolds to check that the young dog can negotiate obstacles, navigate kerbs, stop at stairs, and all the things that it has been trained to do” kerbs, stop at stairs, and all the things that it has been trained to do. You will notice that the dog is wearing a brown leather harness; this means that it is still in training. Once it graduates, and has been matched with an owner, it will change to a white harness. Dogs have a ‘flight or fight’ instinct. A dog wearing a harness is often deemed weaker or passive to other dogs so be aware of this when you are walking your dog. Do not let it say ‘hello’ to a guide dog as this is unfair on the dog and its owner. A guide dog is working, not out to socialise with other dogs. This applies to wanting to pat a guide dog as well; it is working. Consider how you would feel if you were somewhere you don’t know and the light was suddenly switched off, you would quickly become disorientated. This is the way a guide dog owner will feel if their dog becomes distracted. Once training at ‘secondary school’ has taken place – but there’s still more to do – it’s time for the newly-trained guide dog to be matched with its owner. Next month we will find out how this happens. It costs about £37,000 to train a guide dog and around £56,000 for the lifetime costs of the dog. If you would like to help raise funds for the Guide Dogs, or become a volunteer or puppy walker, contact Peterborough@guidedogs.org.uk or call 0345 143 0223. For more details visit www.guidedogs.org.uk.

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ActiveBody How to get a good night’s sleep | Dealing with foot pain E DI T E D BY ST E V E MO ODY

Becoming a lean machine Most athletes want to lose weight before competitions, but it is important to do it the right way or performance will be affected, says nutritionist Dawn Revens

I

WAS WORKING recently with a triathlete who is vegetarian and wants to drop a few kilos for race season. I started by asking him to take me through his eating habits in a typical day. It became clear that he wasn’t eating enough or taking in enough protein which meant as he started to ramp up his training volume, he risked losing muscle. Whether you are a meat eater or not, let’s look at how you can avoid this common mistake. Often when endurance athletes decide they want to get leaner, they want instant results and so they take drastic measures. They exercise harder and eat less in the belief that the calorie deficit will take care of everything and that the weight will drop off them. Well it might, but they will lose muscle as well as body fat. Your body is built for survival and will do everything it can to ensure that’s what happens. When you get leaner by drastically cutting calories and exercising, your body will try and hold on to your fat stores and so it will use your muscles to satisfy its energy needs. This isn’t good news, particularly as an endurance athlete when you want to use your muscles to power you forward in your training and racing. Muscle loss will occur because the body increases the rate of protein breakdown (catabolism) in order to provide fuel. It gets worse – if you are eating less, your body will also make less muscle so you won’t replace what is being used as fuel with a resulting net loss of muscle. This equation explains why: Muscle mass = rate of protein synthesis – rate of protein breakdown.

When the rate of protein synthesis in your muscles is equal to the rate of protein breakdown, you won’t gain or lose muscle. If the rate of synthesis exceeds the rate of breakdown, you gain muscle. When the rate of breakdown exceeds the rate of synthesis, you lose muscle. If you’re dieting, you might be increasing muscle breakdown and reducing protein synthesis. Training will also magnify the metabolic effects of dieting. The leaner you become, then the more lethargic you might feel. Decreased energy intake and decreased glycogen stores mean that training will feel a lot harder. If you’re too tired or weak, your muscles will adapt and become more efficient so they won’t use as much energy to get the work done making it harder to get leaner.

How do you avoid falling into this trap?

Eat enough to cover your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the amount of energy you need to

make sure that all the processes in your body can continue to tick over. It doesn’t include the energy you use on a day-to-day basis simply moving around or training and racing. If you are training hard and only eating to your BMR calorie requirement, you will lose muscle. Know how much protein you need for maintenance, endurance athletes need more than sedentary people. Eat the amount of protein you need spread across at least three meals per day. There is no gain in eating more protein than you need and the danger is that excess gets stored as fat which is not what you want if you are trying to get leaner. Finally, make sure that you consume good quality proteins so that you supply your body with all the essential amino acids it needs to be able to build muscle. Good sources of amino acids include meat and fish, dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, pulses, soya and Quorn.

April 2019 / theactivemag.com

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24/01/2019 17:51


ActiveBody

Night shift Lisa Johnston, an anxiety disorders expert, shares a few strategies you can try to help improve the quality of your sleep and start to reduce night time anxiety

I

nsomnia is a huge problem and anxiety at night is a huge contributor to many people’s sleep struggles. According to the Mental Health Foundation, up to one-third of the UK population suffers from insomnia, which is categorised as either a lack of sleep or poor quality sleep. During sleep we process information, consolidate memories and undergo a number of maintenance processes which help us function effectively during the daytime. Anxiety at night is actually the same as anxiety in the day and, for many, it can often be in the quiet of night that worries come to their attention, unlike during busy days with little time to pause, which tend to act as a distraction. To frequently have trouble sleeping can be a frustrating and debilitating experience, and anxious thoughts and feelings about sleep may in themselves play a large role in perpetuating sleep problems. The focus should be on good quality sleep rather than the amount of sleep.

Better sleeping tips

• Take some time to re-frame your worry thoughts At night, thoughts and worries are harder to avoid. Taking some time to get the thoughts out of your head and on to a piece of paper is a great place to start. You can either leave the thoughts there on the page, knowing they can be addressed in the morning, or (if you have allowed enough time) you could look at them a little more objectively and consider more realistic and helpful ways to see the worry. The aim is to re-frame your most upsetting thoughts and consider things from a more helpful perspective. • Worry thoughts about sleep  You could try a brief re-frame of worry thoughts about sleep itself that come up in the night, but don’t get into a mental debate or argument with the worries. For example you could replace thoughts such as ‘I’m never going to get to sleep’ with ‘I’m not sleepy now; but I do usually get some sleep during the night. I will fall asleep when my body is ready’. • Break the paradox of trying too hard Most good sleepers don’t spend much time thinking about sleep or how they are going to get to sleep. By adopting a more passive approach to sleep and reducing the effort and pressure to get to sleep, it will come more easily.

• Never problem solve in bed Night time is not a good place to work through your worries or find solutions for problems. If you have done a paper exercise, it may have come up there. If it is important enough, you will address it in the morning. • Create some wind-down time Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode. Give yourself some wind-down time an hour before bed – turn off your TV and listen to music, read a book or have a warm bath. • Increase the amount of exercise It is better to exercise earlier in the day because exercise, in the short term, increases the body’s adrenaline production which can make it difficult to sleep. • Set a regular wake time and stick to it This helps to regulate your body clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Try not to oversleep because of a poor night’s sleep. • The 20-minute rule  Don’t toss and turn for more than 20 minutes. Get out of bed, try not to put too many lights on, go to the loo, have some water and focus on a low stimulus activity for five to 10 minutes or so before returning to bed. 

• Make sure your room is quiet and dark You can block out unwanted noise by wearing earplugs, putting on a fan or playing white noise. • Limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine All of these can impair sleep quality. • Only use your bedroom for sleep. Bedrooms need to be associated with sleep, so try to limit activities such as TV, eating and working to other rooms, and ensure you have a good pillow and supportive mattress. • Turn tech off or on to blue light blocking mode The light from our phone is stimulating to the brain and can suppress melatonin release (melatonin helps you sleep). If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety during the night which is affecting their sleep, My Therapist Online can match you with a cognitive behavioural therapist to help you tackle the anxiety.

Lisa Johnston is a cognitive behavioural therapist and director of MyTherapistOnline.co.uk  Email info@mytherapistonline.co.uk

April 2019 / theactivemag.com 43

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ActiveBody

Meta detector Are you getting pain in your feet and toes? It can be a combination of factors, says Dr Hany Elmadbouh, senior consultant at Avicenna Clinic

M

ANY CONDITIONS CAN cause pain in the metatarsals and toes, and metatarsalgia is a collective term for pain and tenderness in the ball of the foot. Symptoms may also include numbness and tingling in the toes. The pain usually gets worse when standing, walking or running and especially intense when walking barefoot on hard surfaces. There may be a sensation as if walking on a pebble. The forefoot includes the metatarsal bones, phalanges (toe bones) and their soft tissues, and most metatarsal problems occur due to poor biomechanics of the feet that affect the way weight is distributed on the foot. Often more than one factor contributes to metatarsalgia, but sometimes it is caused by a single cause, such as Morton’s neuroma or stress fracture. If the specific causes are excluded the diagnosis is often referred to as capsulitis, bursitis, synovitis or predislocation syndrome. Factors that may cause metatarsalgia include: • Intense training or activity, particularly in runners and those who participate in a high-impact sport. • Some foot shapes such as a high arch or having a second toe that’s longer than the big toe. Foot deformities secondary to wearing poorly fitting shoes, such as too-small shoes, high heels and athletic shoes that lack support and padding, a downward-curling toe (hammertoe) and swollen, painful bumps at the base of the big toe (bunion). • Being overweight. • Inflammatory arthritis such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis. • Stress fractures. • Morton’s neuroma. This is caused by a pinched nerve, resulting in non-malignant growth of fibrous tissue around the digital nerve. Morton neuroma usually develops in the third webspace, with pain in the third and fourth toes. On examination, the tenderness of Morton’s neuroma is not localised over the metatarsal head but is present between the bones (the heads of the metatarsals).

About Avicenna Clinic Avicenna Clinic has a range of specialist consultants, an operating theatre for surgical procedures and superior in-house imaging facilities – including state-of-the-art MRI, ultrasound and X-ray scanning equipment. It can assess and diagnose all cases of acute and chronic pain quickly and deliver comprehensive treatment plans. To book a consultation or for more information, contact Avicenna Clinic on 0330 202 0597.

Diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma is usually confirmed with an ultrasound, which also provides information about its size and location. Metatarsalgia diagnosis may be helped by biomechanical study of the foot to analyse foot pressure distribution while walking and running. Left untreated, metatarsalgia might lead to pain in other parts of the body, such as the lower back or hip, due to altered gait (limping) from foot pain. Conservative treatments such as ice, rest and anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen can often relieve metatarsalgia symptoms. Offloading of the joint with a metatarsal pad

may be helpful and if there is instability of the toe, then digital splinting is effective. A hammertoe splint may also be effective. Treatment for Morton’s neuroma can include an injection of cortisone under ultrasound guidance to reduce inflammation, together with the numbing agent, lidocaine. If pain relief is short living, surgical removal may be recommended. However, if there is no pain relief at all from the injection, an MRI may provide information to exclude other causes of the pain. Corrective surgery of the foot deformity called metatarsal osteotomy may be required in selected cases.

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90 x 125 Easter 19_Layout 1 20/02/2019 14:58 Page 1

Rutland Farm Park

...more than just a school

Family fun for everyone

There is lots going on this Easter

• Easter Egg Hunt • Pet A Guinea Pig • • meet & feed the birds • • Arts & crafts • • Animal watch count day with Roots & Branch Out •

please check social media for Dates, times & more info

Don’t forget to visit our refurbished tea room

OPEN MORNING

Spratton Hall is an Independent Co-Educational Day Prep School in Northamptonshire for children aged 4-13

Rutland Farm Park Uppingham Road Oakham LE15 6JD

Please contact us at

Friday 10th May 2019 10.00 am—12 noon

registrar@sprattonhall.com

Serving breakfast, lunch, coffee & cakes.

or 01604 847292 to visit the school

Using local suppliers and fresh ingredients.

Farm Park & Tea Room open Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 4 • Free parking •

www.sprattonhall.com

Discover Us 2019

At one of our forthcoming admissions events this May, June and October. For more information, contact us on 01780 750311 or visit stamfordschools.co.uk

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Active Kids Hockey success | New Oakham leisure club Relaxation sessions | Netball star visit E DI T E D BY ST E V E MO ODY

Are you running for Rutland? Schools urged to join in the fun as county stages popular Run for Rutland fund-raising event in Oakham RUN FOR RUTLAND, the popular fun run on May 11 for Rutland’s school children, is looking for more schools to join in this year’s event. Held at The Rutland Showground, last year more than 10 primary schools in Rutland participated and encouraged pupils to get sponsorship to raise money to support people in their own community living with long-term health conditions. Barbara Crellin, previously a head teacher at

Cottesmore St Nicholas Primary School and now a volunteer at Oakham Rugby Football Club, has worked with local fund-raisers For Rutland and Chris Thomas, school sports network manager at Rutland County Council, to put the fun run together. Barbara said: “The children love taking part in this run and the experience gives them a great opportunity to learn how they can help others in their community. I hope we will see the same enthusiasm this year.” Trish Ruddle of the fund-raising committee added: “It’s a wonderful event with participation from many parts of our community. “I would like to thank our sponsor, Taylor and Baines, who have helped us to provide medals and shields for the participants of the race, and Oakham Rugby Football Club and the Rutland Agricultural Society for allowing us to hold Run for Rutland on their amazing grounds.”

Every child who participates receives a medal at the end of the race, and the individual with the most sponsorship accrued will be recognised with a commemorative shield. Breakfast and refreshments will be available from Launde Farm Foods, and all proceeds will be used to pay for specialist advisers based at Citizens’ Advice Rutland which provides free, confidential, non-medical advice and support to people of all ages living with long-term conditions. Schools will be able to provide all the information and sponsorship forms for each child or email info@forrutland.org.uk. You can also contact Trish Ruddle on 01572 724400 or 07801 319222.

April 2019 / the activemag.com

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MULTI-ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS FOR CHILDREN AGED 4-14 Our OFSTED registered Camps, which have been running in the area for over 25 years, offer a wide range of over 30 fun activities to keep your child entertained in the holidays.

Limited places available for September 2019

Some of the activities that we offer include bouncy castles, arts and crafts, sports, Registration now open food making, crossbows, orienteering, computer games and quad biking. for September 2020

To book a personal tour All DBSa checked and have the necessary experience and training to deliver the of thestaff school orare to request copy of ourrange prospectus wide of activities we offer. We pride ourselves on the quality of our childcare please contact the and our excellent staff ratios. Admissions Manager on

01572 724778 Peterborough

We accept paymentStamford by childcare vouchers.

Oakham BROOKE PRIORY SCHOOL Summer Camps 22nd-26th July 29th July-2nd August

THE PETERBOROUGH STAMFORD JUNIOR SCHOOL SCHOOL Easter Camps Easter Camps 8th-12th April 8th-12th April 15th-18th April (4 day) 15th-18th April (4 day) May Half-Term Camp Summer Camps MULTI-ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS FOR CHILDREN AGED 4-14 MULTI-ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS CHILDREN AGED 4-14 th st th-19thFOR 28 -31 May (4 day) 15 July Our OFSTED registered Camps, which have been running in the area for over 25 years, Our OFSTED registeredoffer Camps, which running in child theentertained area forinover wide range of over 30 funbeen activities to keep your the 25 years, offer a wide nd th OurCamps OFSTED registereda Camps, which have been running in the area for over 25 years, Summer 22have -26 July holidays. range of over 30 fun activities to keep your child entertained in the holidays. offer a wide range of over 30 fun activities to keep your child entertained in the th July th ndcastles, of the activities that we offer include bouncy artsandand crafts, Some of the activities that we offer include bouncy castles, arts crafts, sports, sports, food making, 8th-12Some 29 July-2 August holidays. food making, crossbows, orienteering, computer games and quad biking.biking. crossbows, orienteering, games and quad th July th-9th computer 15th-19 5 August All staffand are DBS checked have the necessary experienceand and training to deliver the All staff are DBS checked have theand necessary experience training to deliver the wide range of Somewe ofoffer. the activities we offer include bouncy arts andour crafts, sports, wide rangethat of activities weon offer. We quality pride ourselves oncastles, thechildcare quality of ourand childcare nd th th th activities We pride ourselves the of our excellent staff ratios. 22 -26 July August and-16 our excellent staff ratios. games and quad biking. food making, crossbows, 12 orienteering, computer th-23 rd Peterborough Stamford Peterborough Stamford We accept payment byAugust childcare vouchers. Oakham Oakham 19 STAMFORD JUNIOR BROOKE PRIORY THE PETERBOROUGH SCHOOL THE PETERBOROUGH STAMFORD JUNIOR SCHOOL BROOKE PRIORY SCHOOL

admissions@brooke.rutland.sch.uk

www.brooke.rutland.sch.uk

All staff are DBS checked and have the necessary experience and training to deliver the SCHOOL SCHOOL SCHOOL Easter Camps wide range of activities CampsWeEaster Summer Camps we offer. prideCamps ourselves onSummer the quality of our childcare EasterEaster Camps Camps nd-26th July 8th-12th April 8th-12th July 8th-12th April andApril 8th-12th April 2222nd-26th our excellent staff ratios. th April (4 day) th July-2 nd August August 15th-18th April (4 day) 15th-18th April 15 (4thday) July-2nd 15th-18 -18th April (4 day) 2929th May Half-Term Camp SummerCamp Camps Summer Camps May Half-Term st May We accept payment byth July childcare vouchers. Oakham 28th-31 (4 day) -19 28th-31st May (4 day)Peterborough 15th-19th July 15thStamford 9.30 am – PRIORY 4.30 pm Summer Camps 22nd-26th July JUNIOR STAMFORD BROOKE Summer Camps THE PETERBOROUGH 22nd-26th July th-12th July th July-2nd August (early and late care available) 8 29 8th-12th July 29th July-2nd August SCHOOL SCHOOL th July th August 15th-19 5th-9SCHOOL 15th-19th July 5th-9th August nd th July 12thCamps -16th August Easter Summer CampsCOST - £165 CAMP 22nd-26th July Easter Camps 22th -2612th-16th August nd August th-23rd August 29 July-2 19 th th th th nd th 29th July-2nd August 19th-23rd August 8 -12 April 5th-9th August 8 -12 April -26 payment July We 22 accept by childcare vouchers 5th-9th August th th-16th August th April12 th-18th April (4 day) th July-2nd August 15 -18 (4 day) 15 29 12th-16th August Tel. 868 9.30 am – 4.30 pm01572 (early and late 304 care available)

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May Half-Term Camp Summer Camps Email: info@churchillsummercamps.co.uk CAMP COST - £165 th st 28 -31 May (4 day) 15th-19th July We acceptnd payment by childcare vouchers www.churchillsummercamps.co.uk Summer Camps 22 -26th July Tel. 01572 868 304 Email: info@churchillsummercamps.co.uk 8th-12th July 29th July-2nd August www.churchillsummercamps.co.uk 15th-19th July 5th-9th August 22nd-26th July 12th-16th August th nd 29 July-2 August 19th-23rd August 5th-9th August

22/03/2019 12:27


Active Kids

Spratton Hall School highly rated in The Cricketer SPRATTON HALL SCHOOL has been bowled over by its inclusion in The Cricketer magazine’s guide to the top 50 prep schools in the country. The prestigious publication has previously only featured the top 100 secondary schools; this is the first year that prep schools have also had to meet an exhaustive set of criteria and be judged worthy of inclusion by the title’s editorial panel. A keen cricketer himself, headmaster Simon Clarke said: “Spratton Hall has always excelled on the cricket pitch, and recently took the decision to make it the main summer sport for girls and boys. It is a reflection of our coaches, facilities and the enthusiasm of our pupils that

Club together NOW UP AND running, Oakham Leisure Club is offering a wide range of sports and fitness facilities to the local community at Oakham School Sports Centre – gymnastics, squash courts, pilates, yoga and martial arts classes as well as indoor football, cricket, basketball and badminton in the refurbished sports hall. There’s also access to the

has given us this opportunity to demonstrate our sporting achievements to a wider audience.” The accolade is spurring on the girls and boys as they prepare for this year’s cricket season across the school’s 50 acres of grounds and pitches. A culture of inclusive sport at Spratton means that during their time at the school all pupils will get to represent their school in a sport they love. The printed and digital versions of the guide, entitled The Playing Fields of England: A Guide to the Summer Game’s Top Schools, are available to buy now.

school’s impressive floodlit astro pitches and a 25-metre heated swimming pool, perfect to hire for children’s birthday parties or for team fun, such as water polo. Parent and baby/toddler classes are held weekly, which run alongside the popular Oakham Swim School which caters for children of all abilities, from stage 1 – 10, plus the popular rookie lifeguard courses and a new fitness & fun session. Synchronised swimming lessons

County and regional success for hockey players OAKHAM’S HOCKEY PLAYERS are celebrating following a run of county successes. In the space of one week, four teams triumphed at their county tournaments to win places at the Regional Hockey Finals. The U12 boys, U13 girls and U13 boys all claimed the title of county champions, with the U12 girls dropping only one game on their way to securing their place in the regional finals. “I am incredibly proud of all our teams,” said director of hockey James Bateman. “They all gave outstanding performances – displaying excellent teamwork and making the most of the scoring opportunities. They deserve to win their places in the regionals.”

are also available for children who want to learn a new skill and rise to the challenge of ‘dancing in water’. Throughout half terms and summer holidays, Oakham Swim School runs five-day intensive swimming courses too. The Oakham Leisure Club offers membership from £100 per term or £240 annually per person. For more information contact Oakham School Enterprises: either email osel@oakham. rutland.sch.uk, telephone 01572 758754 or go to www.oakhamschoolenterprises.co.uk/ leisureclub.

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22/03/2019 12:29


Active Kids

Relaxed Kids at Stoneygate School

Leicester Grammar runs to victory RUNNERS FROM LEICESTER Grammar Junior School excelled themselves at the Copthill cross-country competition. Many schools attended the event which saw the runners tackle a series of obstacles over undulating terrain and in blustery conditions.  PE teacher Lucy Dowsett said: “Our pupils demonstrated great determination, pushing themselves to gain the best position they could

in order to achieve a low combined score for the team competition. “A special mention goes to Lucy Free for pacing herself sensibly from the start of the U11 (2.1km) girls’ race, gradually building on a significant lead and storming to victory. She was backed up by further strong performances from the rest of the team, and these positions meant the girls achieved first place team.”

STONEYGATE SCHOOL HAVE introduced Relaxed Kids sessions. Niki Hendry-Adams, the school’s Relax Kids well-being coach, teaches children the techniques to help them manage their emotions while building confidence. The unusually warm weather in February saw Niki’s year 2 class enjoying their weekly session outside. It was week six of their confidence boot camp and they played games using the parachute which helps to develop hand-eye co-ordination, co-operation and communication. The stretch section helps to release tension from their muscles and promotes strength, balance and mental calm. A story massage is used to relax muscles, improve circulation and reduce levels of anxiety and tiredness. Finally the session finished with visualisation to improve listening skills, memory and to develop imagination, creativity and promote deeper sleep.

Inspirational visit by England netballer OAKHAM SCHOOL WELCOMED England netball player and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jodie Gibson to help coach the U14 and U19 teams in preparation for their National Final competitions.   Jodie was able to put the girls through their paces and pass on a few tips to improve their knowledge, tactics, skills and agility.   Director of netball Lauren Nicolls said: “It was fantastic to welcome Jodie to the school to inspire the next generation of netball stars. The U14 and U19 teams really enjoyed their coaching sessions, which were a perfect mix of hard graft and fun. The lower school girls also loved their Q&A session and were mesmerised by Jodie’s speech about her netball journey.”

Charlotte rows to indoor silver medal CHARLOTTE BOLTON WON silver at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships. Rowing for Stamford High School, year 11 pupil Charlotte achieved the second fastest result in the U16 category of 1,599 metres in six minutes. Since her selection for the GB Rowing development programme, Charlotte has earned multiple medals, set a new GB record and won gold in the mixed junior relay at the British Rowing Indoor Championship.

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Reader challenges | Local cycling master plan | Club updates

ActiveSport The price of professionalism

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Martin Johnson wonders if there’s still space in sport for a more relaxed approach and a more rounded view of life

DON’T KNOW too much about a cricketer by the name of Harry Gurney, apart from the fact that he used to play for Leicestershire, now plays for Nottinghamshire, and bowls with his left hand. But the fact he recently suggested that club cricket should be exclusively confined to the Twenty20 format tells me he perfectly fits the description coined by the celebrated Trinidadian writer CLR James nearly 60 years ago, when he wrote: “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?” I think we can take it that Harry has not spent many of his 32 years immersing himself in cricket’s history, as this is the sort of narrowminded thinking you tend to find inside the hermetically insulated world of the modern professional sportsperson. Twenty20 is fine for evening club cricket, where it fits in well with fading light and a convivial end to the game with a pint or two. But please, not at weekends. This is when the grand old game beats to a natural rhythm, nurtured and developed over centuries. Where spectators can doze off in deckchairs, where plots and sub-plots develop, and the cucumber sandwiches are made by the opening batsman’s auntie. Gurney is clearly a product of the short attention span generation whose demand for instant gratification gave birth to T20 and which now – like the grey squirrel and Japanese knotweed – threatens to decimate the native species. The only clever bit about it is that it allows people to work out what’s happening without having to stop what they’re doing on a smart phone, or even to think. When Harry plays for Notts and someone hits a six, someone helpfully flashes up a giant ‘6!!!’ on the scoreboard, and when a wicket falls, ‘Hit the road Jack’ comes blaring over the Tannoy. T20 is all about making money and when money takes over in a sport, the old values become compromised. Footballers fall over for no apparent reason, cricketers rub sandpaper on to the ball, and you’re not sure whether that rugby player leaving the field with a blood splattered jersey has suffered a nasty clout or bitten into a sachet of tomato ketchup. This kind of thing didn’t happen when there was no money involved, but amateur sport is mostly a distant memory. If Baron de Coubertin was around today, and gave an interview on Sky saying “it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part”, he’d have had his belt and shoelaces confiscated before being frogmarched off to some secure establishment for heavy sedation and round the clock monitoring. It’s hard to think now of many major amateur events that have survived into the modern era. The Boat Race comes close, almost unchanged in nearly 200 years, with the same teams and more or less the same equipment, but the boats are now heavily loaded with mid-20s graduate students, many with American accents. Remember the old Amateur Cup? It was once

a big event on the soccer calendar, involving teams such as Bishop’s Stortford and Crook Town, and the final televised live from Wembley. However, having stared in 1893, it died a sudden death when the FA abolished amateur status in 1974. Tennis players were definitely better behaved when the sport was amateur, but it’s rare now to sit through a match without at least one hissy fit. And to demonstrate how out of touch the game is with the real world, what happens when someone like Serena Williams calls an umpire a liar, a thief and a sexual discriminator? She gets fined about half the cost of one of her earrings. Even a sedate game such as golf involves toys flying out of prams, with Sergio Garcia recently getting disqualified for taking chunks of turf out of the greens. But at least it retains a strong amateur connection and, in contrast to its professional equivalent the Ryder Cup, the Walker Cup is one of the dwindling number of major sports events combining great skills and old fashioned sportsmanship. You can even wander round the course with the players, as I did at Ganton in 2003 when Gary Wolstenholme was playing the American Casey Wittenberg in the final afternoon singles. It made for a fascinating clash – the monosyllabic Wittenberg and Wolstenholme, who could start a conversation in a Trappist monastery. The American took an early lead but soon came under pressure. Not from Gary’s golf so much, as his relentlessly cheery patter. He resisted heroically, like a captured war-time pilot volunteering nothing more than name, rank and serial number, but once Gary got on to the subject of Scarborough, where the American team were staying, the game swung decisively towards GB and Ireland. Nice town, Gary volunteered. A bit like Blackpool but not so vulgar. Had Casey tried the fish and chips on the prom? Were there toffee apples in the States? And what about… Casey’s eyes glazed over, and finally he broke his silence. “Uh-huh” he grunted. It was all over. Wolstenholme had broken him and cruised home by 3&2. Rugby was also a sport which allowed you to get close to the players when it was amateur. Martin Johnson is a The punters would rub shoulders with the stars journalist and author, in the upstairs bar, asking Dusty Hare how the and has written for lambing was going back on the farm, and the Leicester Mercury, having their pint served by Les Cusworth or The Independent, The Clive Woodward. Daily Telegraph and All the players had jobs outside the game – The Sunday Times. He currently writes Dean Richards was a bobby, Paul Dodge columns for The Rugby worked for the family printing firm – and thus Paper and The Cricket had a grasp of what was happening in the Paper, and has a book world outside. And you never thought, as I did out called ‘Can I Carry when I read about Gurney’s plan for club Your Bags?’ cricket: that boy really needs to get out more.

52 April 2019 / the activemag.com

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ActiveSport

District council launches get-fit campaign for leisure centres South Kesteven District Council unveils plans for a major multi-million pound upgrade of local facilities

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MULTI-MILLION POUND project to revolutionise leisure provision across south Lincolnshire has been unveiled. New leisure centres for Stamford and Market Deeping are planned, together with a complete refurbishment of Bourne Leisure Centre and major improvements to leisure facilities in Grantham which could see some aspects, such as the swimming pool, brought back into the town centre as part of the council’s wider regeneration plans. The council wants all four leisure centres to be community hubs for health and leisure, providing services such as physiotherapy and GP referrals, as well as housing facilities tailored to each town and the surrounding areas. The investment fulfils a commitment made by South Kesteven District Council leader, Matthew Lee, to transform leisure facilities across the district, including the provision of activities in rural communities through outreach programmes run by the centres in its towns. Lee said: “We want to provide first class leisure centres for our residents; community hubs where families and friends can relax and enjoy a range of activities that bring the benefits of exercise, from physical and mental well-being, to achieving goals to help development. “I want our leisure centres to go beyond gyms and studio classes. As important as these are, I want to provide facilities that become community hubs, with something for everyone, and a focus on overall health and well-being. That includes providing activities in our rural communities.” The council has identified potential sites for the new centres in Stamford and Market Deeping and talks with those landowners are underway. The proposal for Bourne Leisure Centre includes a £5million refurbishment which would double the size of the gym, create more studios and provide better café facilities. The council’s recently appointed sports development officer, Dominic Fieldhouse, said he was excited to be working on such an ambitious project, adding: “The new facilities will transform the way sport and activity is provided in the district, offering opportunities for the whole community. “We will engage with the community and organisations who use, or want to use, our leisure centres to ensure that we provide the facilities that our residents value.”

Proposals for South Kesteven’s four leisure centres: STAMFORD Built over 30 years ago, Stamford Leisure Centre on Drift Road has had no significant investment into the mechanical and electrical plant since it was built. SKDC wants to replace the current leisure centre with a larger building. Proposals include increasing the number of gym stations, providing multipurpose studios and a 25m pool along with a café and spa.

MARKET DEEPING Deepings Leisure Centre on Park Road in Deeping St James is now 45 years old. SKDC wants to replace this facility with a purpose-built modern leisure centre with plans including doubling the number of gym stations, providing studios for classes and other activities,building a ‘black box’ theatre, a 25m pool, and a larger café.

GRANTHAM The Meres Leisure Centre has wet and dry facilities and was originally built in 1960. It was extended in the late 1990s. A high-quality leisure and events offer in the heart of Grantham could deliver significant economic growth, attracting residents, shoppers and visitors throughout the daytime and into the evening, the council believes.

BOURNE Built in 1990, Bourne Leisure Centre has not had any wholesale replacement or upgrading for nearly 30 years. A soft-play area, an activity hall and larger café are just some of the proposals expected to be included in a major extension.

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Get the Spring look...

Endura Xtract Jacket II HiViz PRICE £66.49

Power through showers Rutland Cycling’s Kathryn Dickinson has some advice for kit to get you through the spring rain IT’S SPRING, AND that usually means some damper weather. With temperatures changing from morning to mid-afternoon it can also be tricky to plan what to wear and take with you on a cycle ride. If you head down to Rutland Water this time of year, the cycle track is quiet and the flora and fauna are starting to come back out after the harsh winter. We can’t recommend enough spending more time on two wheels but there are a few items that can make your ride enjoyable. We’ve put together our spring cycling essentials; whether you’re riding to work or trying to get more miles in at the weekend, these tips will keep your wheels turning until summer.

Breathable and waterproof jacket

Cheaper waterproof jackets will tend to do the job at keeping you dry but you may find that you quickly warm up while cycling in them. If

New riding kit from Chapeau Club Keep warm, stay dry and look cool with these latest additions to the range

Castelli Perfetto long sleeve jersey PRICE £180.00

you’re looking for a jacket, check what material it is made from and how breathable it is.

Gloves

Another item worth investing in is a good pair of gloves. It’s easy to think a cheap pair will do, but this generally always leads to cold, wet hands. You don’t need to speed a fortune but buying a pair with good insulation and a waterproof layer will make all your rides much more enjoyable.

Castelli Scalda Elite gloves PRICE £42.00

Waterproof trousers

Great for putting on over your jeans to keep your lower half dry on those wetter days if you want to cycle commute into work. These are a great addition if you don’t have a mudguard.

Backpack cover

A backpack cover that is both high-vis and waterproof turns any rucksack into the ideal riding bag.

Endura Luminite backpack cover PRICE £23.69 ALL AVAILABLE FROM Rutland Cycling

THE CHAPEAU CLUB Thermal jersey is an award-winning must-have for comfort and style through the cooler spring months. Built to take the edge off a chilly spring morning or for layering up in the depths of winter, the new jersey is the ideal three-season long-sleeve. Pair it with the matching base layer for the ultimate in cycling style. PRICE: £99.99 for Club Thermal jersey in obsidian blue and £34.99 for Mesh Base Layer short sleeve FROM www.juliescycles.co.uk

54 April 2019 / theactivemag.com

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ActiveSport MARKET OVERTON

15

CLIPSHAM 25

HOLYWELL 30

STRETTON

10 CARLBY

GREETHAM

ASHWELL

Distance: 40 miles Ride type: Road

35 ESSENDINE

20 EXTON

RYHALL

5

BURLEY

TICKENCOTE GREAT CASTERTON

S/F

On your bike!

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HIS MONTH IT’S a fast, mainly flat 40-mile road route with a couple of short climbs. Starting and finishing in Stamford, the route takes in the picturesque Rutland villages of Teigh, Market Overton and Clipsham. You can get route notes and download a GPX file for your GPS at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27520224

Rutland Cycling’s Sally Middlemiss rides a fast, flat training run from Stamford

Continue straight on to Casterton Rd/B1081 - 0.2 mi Turn left on to Empingham Ln- 2.9 mi Continue on to Exton Rd - 6.7 mi Slight right toward Oakham Rd - 7.4 mi Slight left on to Oakham Rd - 7.7 mi Slight right to stay on Oakham Rd - 8.2 mi Turn right on to Cottesmore Rd - 8.2 mi Turn right at Exton Rd - 9.3 mi Turn left on to Greetham Rd/B668 - 10.2 mi Sharp right on to Ashwell Rd - 11.3 mi Slight right - 11.3 mi Turn left on to Main St - 13.2 mi

40

Enjoy the ride!

Turn left on to Teigh Rd - 13.7 mi Continue on to Teigh Rd - 16.1 mi Continue on to Oakham Rd - 16.7 mi Continue on to Ashwell Rd - 18.2 mi At the roundabout, take the 1st exit on to Langham Ln - 18.5 mi Turn left on to Cottesmore Rd/B668 - 19.5 mi Continue on to B668 - 20.2 mi Turn right on to Toll Bar/B668 - 22.1 mi At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on B668 - 25.5 mi At the roundabout, continue straight on to Clipsham Rd - 25.6 mi Continue on to Stretton Rd - 26.5 mi Continue on to Main St - 27.0 mi

Turn right - 27.0 mi Turn right on to Main St - 27.1 mi Turn right on to Holywell Rd - 27.4 mi Turn right - 29.4 mi Turn left - 30.6 mi Turn right - 31.4 mi Continue straight - 32.7 mi Continue straight - 33.1 mi Continue on to High St - 33.8 mi Turn right on to Stamford Rd/A6121 - 34.3 mi Turn right on to B1176 - 36.6 mi Turn left - 36.7 mi Continue on to Ryhall Rd - 37.6 mi Turn left on to Old Great N Rd/B1081 - 39.2 mi Merge on to Scotgate/A606 - 41.2 mi

600 400 0

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A hello from Velo

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Niall Cooter, the new chairman of Velo Club Rutland, shares his vision for cycling in the region

TOOK UP cycling around 15 years ago as a way of trying to get fit. I enjoyed it but I also enjoyed beer and food quite a bit too. But I soon discovered that I could have the best of both worlds – I could eat and drink pretty much what I liked as long as I kept up the cycling. But cycling is not just about the physical health benefits – a loop of Hambleton peninsula in the evening is a great way of clearing your head and taking some of the stress out of the day. I’ve ridden with Velo Club Rutland for around six years and then, in January, I jumped in with both feet when I was appointed as its chairman.

In February we held our first committee meeting where we set out our shared vision for an inclusive, community-focused cycling club that we want to become the focal point for all things related to cycling in Rutland. As I looked around the committee meeting in my front room, I reflected on how this common interest in a healthy lifestyle choice has brought such a diverse group of people together. And this led me to believe that the vision that we had outlined was very much the right vision. We are truly blessed here in Rutland. It’s no wonder that more and more people are taking to two wheels to explore the area. It’s these people that we want to appeal to – the Lycra warriors, the mountain bike hipsters, the strava segment chasers, the social bimblers, the snake hipped speedsters as well as Suresh and Jane who just like to head out on their own when the weather’s nice. Over the coming months, we’ll be reaching out to local businesses, clubs and the council to explore ways of engaging with the wider community. In Rutland and the neighbouring counties we have many miles of safe, quiet roads that we share with a wide variety of other road users – cars, horses, runners and walkers, not to mention miles of cycle track and bridleways. Within our club, most people drive, many

run or walk for pleasure and several are horse riders; we are a homogenous community of road users. We’ll be looking to help create an atmosphere of respect between all road users, and put more emphasis on rider education, with larger organised group rides broken up into smaller groups with space for cars to pull in between. And we will continue to reinforce good ride discipline and the need to obey the Highway Code. Having a vision is one thing, but the bigger challenge will be to put that vision into action. The committee are all volunteers with busy lives. We’re therefore looking for the cycling community, current members and nonmembers, to come together to help deliver on this vision. So if you have an interest in promoting safe cycling for all and have an appetite to make something happen, please contact us. Similarly, if you want to know more about the club or want to join one of our rides, check out www. veloclubrutland.co.uk or email me at veloclubcommittee@gmail.com.

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ActiveSport What about the sport as a whole – what has golf given you both?

Michelle: “I think it’s a mixture of things – there’s a social element we really enjoy (we have made a lot of friends). It’s a great club with a great social atmosphere. The standard of golf in all categories is amazing and so it also offers a good environment for those who enjoy a bit of competition.” Mike: “The fitness element is a great bonus too – people joke that it’s a good walk spoilt! – but I’ve not played much over Christmas and really noticed the benefit I was getting from playing.”

At the drive-in Golfing couple tee-off 2019 as Burghley Park Golf Club captains

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WO GOLFERS WHO have an exciting year ahead are Mike and Michelle Powell; a married couple and members of Burghley Park Golf Club who have just been announced as the men’s and women’s club captains. Active spoke to the couple about the club and their plans at the captains’ drive-in to signal the start of their tenure.

be stuck-up or snobby; some of them do have reputations! But the reality at Burghley couldn’t be further from the truth. Michelle: “I signed us both up as members while Mike was at work in London! We’ve never looked back since. The club and its members are fantastic, warm and welcoming. It’s the best golfing decision we’ve ever made!”

How long have you been playing golf, and how long have you been playing at Burghley?

What do you have planned for 2019?

Mike: “We’ve both been playing ‘seriously’ since 2007, but I have been playing socially for 40 years.” Michelle: “I got into golf in 2007, which was part of why we both started taking things more seriously! We’ve been members at Burghley Park since December 2013.”

What attracted you to Burghley?

Mike: “We’ve known people at the club for many years and they were always asking us to join. Personally, as a Lancashire lad I just wanted some fun and a place to relax and have a drink afterwards. I was worried that a golf club might

Mike: “We’ve got loads of events coming up this year for people to get involved in, whether you’re a member or visitor. There’s an allinclusive captain’s weekend on July 6 and 7 which is a big date in the calendar. There’ll be fun competitions on both days, with evening entertainment on Saturday and a prize presentation and BBQ on Sunday afternoon. Michelle: “We’ll also be doing our bit for charity with a Captain’s Charity Day on April’s Bank Holiday Monday, incorporating competitions, a buffet and an auction. There will be many more opportunities throughout the year for raising money for our chosen charities, the Air Ambulance and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Golf participation in parts of the country is decreasing – what would you say to encourage someone to take up the sport?

Mike: “Don’t think that golf has to be a solo sport. Burghley offers a great family experience and even has an academy which welcomes families who are looking to start playing the game. Michelle: “Our match teams have had great success too and for those who are more eager to test their hand competitively, this is a great way to get around and play other clubs and meet people.” Mike: “I’d end by saying that golf is more than a sport. It can be a lifestyle, encompassing friends and family in social events and activities. At Burghley Park Golf Club the membership schemes give you the ability to do as much or as little as you wish.” To find out more about Burghley Park Golf Club, visit www.burghleyparkgolfclub.co.uk.

Women’s cricket grows at Uffington AS PART OF its on-going development of women’s and girls’ participation in the sport, Uffington Cricket Club has launched a number of initiatives this year. A new fully-netted area for children to play in safely, indoor and outdoor teams, and a softball side are building on the tremendous success last year that saw four girls playing in the South Lincs & Border League development side most Saturdays, with two of them going on to represent the county. Women’s development officer Virginia Bray said: “Uffington is the perfect location for

women and girls to learn cricket. We have one of the highest-rated wickets in the area which means it is safe and easy to play, and learn on, while being a little village club, the outfield is small which very much evens the game up for male and female players. On top of that we have excellent facilities and a family atmosphere, including this year, and new ‘safe area’ - essentially a fully enclosed netted area by the pavilion where kids can play safely without fear of cricket balls whizzing past!” For more information email Virginia Bray at ginny@customjoineryservices.co.uk.

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CHALLENGES

A mile every day By aiming to run at least one mile every day in 2019, Catherine Searcy is raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity – the UK’s leading charity dedicated to fighting this disease

Ankle woes for Tim With less than a month until the Brighton Marathon, Efficient Portfolio’s Tim Webb has been struggling with an ankle injury

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IKE MOST NEW runners, or those who have recently returned to running after a long break, the impact that prolonged pressure has on your joints can come as a bit of shock. Unfortunately Tim Webb has experienced this, which is the last thing he needed when training to a tight deadline. He started feeling pain in his ankle, which started to affect his training runs. He said: “I’ve always been keen on exercise and healthy living, so running a marathon wasn’t too daunting. I knew it would test me, but felt that I was very fit and strong enough to take on the challenge. When I was a teenager, I used to run long distances on a regular basis and aged 18 did the Rat Race at Burghley – a 20-miler but with obstacles as well so I was pretty confident that I could do it again five years later without too many problems. “At the start of my training, my fitness stood me in good stead. I was steadily clocking up the miles, reducing my times and feeling positive that I was on track. But at about six weeks in my ankle became almost too painful to even walk on. I really wasn’t sure where I was going wrong or what I could do. I didn’t want to sacrifice my training, but knew that if I carried on I could do some serious long-term damage.”

Tim decided to take a rest from running for two weeks and instead swam to maintain fitness; however, he was conscious he needed to get back into the swing. He added: “I was talking to Charlie, who is also part of the marathon team, about my pain and my concerns, and he recommended a great book called the ‘Bare Foot Running Technique.’ After some research, and with the help of the book, I learnt that I was probably running too quickly and with the wrong technique. I tend to run on the balls of my feet, which was having a massive impact on my Achilles’ tendon, so I concentrated on running using my whole foot to evenly distribute the pressure. “Thankfully, my ankle seems to have righted itself and I’m no longer experiencing pain; I’ve had to really push myself and jump straight back into running longer distances, increasing by two miles per week. I ran 14 miles last weekend with 16 planned for this coming Saturday. “Training for a marathon is like a game of chess! The fitness training isn’t a problem, as it’s just gradual improvements and keeping the diet in check, but not getting injured is the hard part and I’ve found that good technique is vital.”

CATHERINE SEARCY, FROM Market Harborough, has four young children, including twins who were born in January 2018. She has set herself the huge challenge of running at least a mile every day this year in memory of her brother-in-law, Steve Haynes, who passed away in December 2018. She has only this year managed to run her first full 5k and since beginning her challenge has knocked six minutes off her Parkrun personal best. Catherine, who is a virtual beginner to running, chose to run because it’s free and she can do it at any time of the day. She is alternating between running outside, including the Parkrun, and using a treadmill in the gym. She plans to run the Harborough Carnival 10k in June and Race for Life in July as well as other races. Catherine is now three months into her challenge. She’s smashed her target of raising £500 for The Brain Tumour Charity and plans to double that now. Catherine will keep us up to date with her efforts over the next few months. Catherine is sharing details of her fund-raising and daily mile via Instagram (@runamile365), Facebook (@ RUNaMILE365) and Twitter (@ RUNaMILE365). Donations can be made through her Just Giving sponsorship page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ runamile365

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ActiveSport

Target driven Iain Iain Downer has been lurking in shoddy hotel gyms training for his first triathlon, but now it’s time to take to the pool to improve his swimming THERE IS NOW just under 12 weeks to go until the Bloodwise Blenheim Triathlon. As training continues and the waistline begins to taper, reality has begun to set in. The next 12 weeks are going to be gruelling and will push me to my limit. I am competing in the sprint distance which is a 750m swim, a 19.8km cycle and a 5.4km run. For a beginner, or first time triathlete, the average time is about 1 hour and 50 minutes compared to 1 hour and 15 minutes for an advanced sprint triathlete. Provided I can get my fitness to a suitable level, I am aiming at 1 hour and 25 minutes. Training over the past month has been a challenge because I’ve been travelling a lot with work. The swimming pool and bike have had to be swapped for workout DVDs in hotel rooms and some particularly shoddy hotel gyms. But with a relatively free schedule travelwise over the new few months I am confident that I can make some progress. I have not had the chance to swim as much as I would have liked, and as this is my weakest of the three disciplines I will be spending a lot of time in the pool from now on. Injury-wise, there is still some soreness when my arm is at full stretch and I’m still having physio, but as long as I can resist the temptation to return to the rugby pitch before the season ends, I shouldn’t have any problems on June 1 (fingers crossed). I’d really like to put a bit more time into my fund-raising this month and want to have raised my minimum target of £300 by the middle of April. Any donations, all of which will go to Bloodwise, the blood cancer research charity, will be greatly appreciated: www. justgiving.com/fundraising/iain-for-gold

Cycling from west to east Ed Matthews has set himself a cycling challenge to celebrate his 50th birthday ED AND A friend from Southampton, Mike Foulds, who is 10 years younger at 40, will be cycling from St David’s to Lowestoft, across the widest part of the UK mainland between April 30 and May 5. This journey from the west to east coast is over 400 miles and they hope to complete it by May 5, which is Ed’s 50th birthday. But they’re not just doing it for pleasure, they are raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and

Alzheimer’s Research and hope to raise £5,000. The plan is to average 70 miles a day, but they have to factor in that the route takes them across the mountains of Wales and will involve 22,700 feet of climbing. Both keen cyclists, they are training hard for the main event and will update us next month on their progress. If you would like to join them on part of the route, find out more or donate, visit www. thewildride.co.uk

April 2019 / theactivemag.com 59

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21/03/2019 23:07


RUGBY

Stamford on for the double By Jeremy Smithson-Beswick

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FTER ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL month, Stamford stand on the brink of two massive prizes in league and cup. Promotion back to Midlands 2 is their first priority though and, given they haven’t lost a game since as far back as October, they are now deservedly very close to that goal. Coach Matt Albinson told me: “We’re two points ahead of third place and also two points behind first, but our gut instinct is that we’re going to win this league.” Experienced hands are returning after injury at just the right time for the all-important run-in and the cool heads they bring to the side were much in evidence in two of their recent games. At home to Rushden and Higham they put points on the board early on with a try from Jack Jones and further scores from Sam Hillary, Oli Johnson and Ross Haley made it 17-0 at the break. With the second half advantage of playing down Hambleton Road’s slope still to come, Town’s dressing room would have been confident – yet it was Rushden who went over the chalk first after half-time. This was not fated to be a comeback to rival Scotland’s at Twickenham however, as Town’s setback seemed only to redouble their efforts. Tom Wire restored the points cushion and, although the visitors were to go on to score again, Stamford closed out the game through a terrific solo effort from Gaz Ramsden and Rees Burns’ second try – which also took them past the half ton mark and to a final score of 53-15. The continued momentum and confidence from that result would be key the following weekend when they faced the daunting task of taking on Scunthorpe – a really top club playing three tiers above them – in the semi-final of the Lincs Cup. Yet it was to prove to be a game that Albinson called, with uncharacteristic understatement, “a decent day out” as tries from Joe McDonald, Rob Smith and Rees Burns landed them a famous 24-17 victory.

“This squad never knows when they’re beaten,” Albinson told me. “They’re built of sterner stuff – more stickability maybe than we’ve had in the past.” Scunthorpe were gracious in defeat, complimenting the home side by saying they’d not faced a team with such a high work rate all season, which is a fitting tribute to what was a fantastic team effort. That team ethic is so strong that Albinson can rarely be persuaded to pick out individuals for special mention so it is praise indeed that he asked me to mention Joe McDonnell. “He was exceptional,” he said. “The best performance from a back I’ve seen this season.” If Town do land the promotion that most feel they deserve, it’s not certain if Oakham will still be in Midlands 2 to greet them. They remain alive partly due to a much-needed victory over Stewarts & Lloyds in what the club’s Keith Crellin hailed as a great performance. “We started pretty well and were 14-0 up after 20 minutes,” he said. “Alas, that’s a bit unlike us this season, but what has been a recurring theme for us is losing games in the final quarter so, when it eventually got to 21-17 with a few minutes to go, the nerves were jangling. However, the last try went our way and it’s great to break what was becoming a bit of a hoodoo.” At this stage of the campaign the results of one’s relegation rivals are every bit as important as one’s own and there have been some surprises on that front, not least from Vipers, who have looked to be one of the weaker sides since week one, yet somehow contrived to beat a promotion contender in third-placed St Ives. Oaks have also been unlucky with injuries and Active’s best wishes go to Jamie Wray whose double leg fracture caused an early end to their fixture against Belgrave. There is still all to play for with four fixtures left (at time of writing)

as Market Bosworth stand with Oaks and Vipers within one solitary point of the drop. At the other end of the table, Market Harborough look to have put just enough distance between them and St Ives to claim the second promotion spot. Indeed, it’s not impossible for them to overhaul the leaders as three of their last four ties are against teams in the bottom third of the table, whereas Olney’s list includes sides placed fourth, fifth and sixth. Two wins this month have put them in that position and both were potential banana skins. First up was the visit of Belgrave whose pack have often denied Harborough enough quality ball to enable their superior backs to shine. This time, however, their pack was to function more effectively, as the club’s Caroline Miller reported: “The addition of a couple of older heads who also add a bit of weight definitely helped in the tight areas and provided a platform for some scintillating tries.” They scored five in all through Harvey Slade, Laurence Joel (2), Milkha Basra and Geordan Stout – all of whom are backs – to see them home by 33-10. They then travelled to sixth-placed Bugbrooke and, in what Miller called their “best all round away performance of the season”, prevailed by 45-15. Harborough again landed five tries, both Basra and Chris Bale with a brace and the fifth coming from Josh Purnell. Head coach Joe Hill said: “We asked for an away performance to be proud of and to impose our brand of rugby on the opposition. We did that today.” If they are promoted, a local derby next season in Midlands 1 will be against Oundle who, having looked like promotion contenders themselves for much of the year, have now fallen too far behind leaders Kettering and Paviors, having lost three of their last five.

60 April 2019 / theactivemag.com

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21/03/2019 23:10


The Roundup

Tigers talk Steve Moody is pleased Manu Tuilagi is staying, and watched a crazy game against Wasps

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to the Six Nations, and it’s probably best to gloss over a very heavy defeat away at Sale, albeit with a scratch side. Instead, let’s focus on the positives, and a remarkable game at Welford Road against Wasps, in which both scrum-halfs were MIA before half-time, with the aforementioned Evans playing on the wing and wing Jonah Holmes at scrum-half, with the referee needing a TV replay to rule out a winning Wasps try in injury time. It was a bonkers game, but Tigers played with incredible heart to win 19-14. More of the same now the international stars are back, please.

“It is sad to see young flanker Will Evans sign for Harlequins. He is a top prospect, but I imagine he hasn’t had as much time on the field as he would like”

Image: Tiger Images

HE BIG NEWS at Tigers over the past month was that Manu Tuilagi signed a new contract until 2021, rejecting the big money advances from France that the newspapers put as high as £2.5 million. As we said in this column last month, you couldn’t blame him for following the money but his heart is clearly in Leicester (no doubt he’s probably not going to be destitute on his

new deal, mind) and so it has proved. Perhaps the fans who spent months denigrating him for ‘leaving’ might like to revise their opinion. On signing, Manu said: “It was obviously a tough decision for me... when it came down to it, I wanted to stay. I’m glad I’m staying, you can’t beat living in Oadby!” It’s a huge coup for Geordan Murphy, because to have a major player like that commit to what you are trying to achieve says volumes, as Tuilagi added: “We’ve got something special with Geordie leading the charge.” At the other end of the spectrum, it is sad to see young flanker Will Evans sign for Harlequins. He is a top prospect, but I imagine he hasn’t had as much time on the field as he would like, due in part to injuries and also to the experienced Brendon O’Connor and brilliant Guy Thompson playing in his position. Last year, after Tigers had been beaten heavily in the Heineken Cup away at Castres, in as miserable a result as many fans can remember, Evans came off the pitch at the end, battered and on the verge of tears, as he apologised to travelling fans for the team’s performance. That commitment and humility will be sorely missed. On the pitch it’s been a quiet month, due

April 2019 / theactivemag.com

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21/03/2019 14:48


The Roundup FOOTBALL

Daniels’ play-off dreams die By Dean Cornish

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VER THE PAST few months in this column, there have been many bouts of optimism about Stamford AFC’s hopes of making the play-offs. The odd run of wins, a couple of big name signings, and even a few games in hand have given reasons to be cheerful. However, as we near the last knockings of the season, all optimism has gone and it looks almost certain that the Daniels will remain at Step 4 of the non-league pyramid. That will be the fourth straight season for Stamford at this level after relegation in 2016, and with Stamford’s facilities, support and budget, that’s unfortunately not good enough. In my opinion, Graham Drury is still the man for the job. His enthusiasm is infectious and he has built a good squad of players over the last few years. The one big issue has been the lack of a good striker, and that’s surely what has cost Stamford from getting back into the Evo Stik Premier Division. In fairness to Drury, he’s searched for that elusive 20-goal-a-season player. Finally he found one in Greg Smith who is destined to make the difference in the season run-in. However, Smith’s sending off 40 minutes into his debut meant he was suspended for the next three games, just when Stamford needed him most. The first game after Smith’s red card saw Stamford draw 2-2 away at Spalding United, after the Tulips equalised with, literally, the last kick of the game to deflate a large Stamford travelling support. Up next were old rivals Frickley Athletic, who frustrated Stamford with a goalless draw at the Zeeco Stadium to germinate the seeds of doubt among even the most optimistic of Daniels fans. At this point it was imperative for Drury’s men to go on a run and beat their play-off rivals over the next few games. The important run of

fixtures started terribly though, with a 2-0 home defeat against big rivals Ossett United. The Daniels didn’t play badly that day, and were unlucky not to at least get a draw after what looked like a definite penalty when there was just one goal in the game. Alas, when the luck isn’t with you, it really twists the knife, and in the next game Stamford played superbly to be 3-1 up away at second placed Brighouse Town with just five minutes to play; only for the home side to pull it back and equalise with two late goals. The following game saw Stamford also draw against another well-placed side (Sheffield FC), but at this stage draws just aren’t good enough, and even Drury would admit now that the play-offs are a mountain too high to climb now. Stamford are 11th in the division, and 11 points from fifth place. Let’s hope Stamford can start to build now for the new season and finally go up as champions in 2020. On a cheerier note, in the United Counties Premier Division, Harborough Town have had a blistering run of form with seven wins out of their last nine games to move into the top half of the table. Highlights in that run included a cracking 4-1 win over Boston Town and a 3-2 win against Eynesbury Rovers, who had been well placed in the division. A top seven finish is now realistic for the Bees which would be a good return after a shaky start this year. In the UCL Division 1, Blackstones have dropped back to fifth after a poor period of three defeats in their last five games. In fairness, two of the defeats came against excellent sides placed above Stones in the league and Stones are still on course for a top-six finish which would likely secure qualification for the preliminary rounds of the FA Cup.

But recent poor form could cost them the top-four finish they looked destined for. I still think that with Clarke and French in the management seats next season, Stones have a very good chance of promotion back to the Premier Division. In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Stamford Lions’ 15-match unbeaten run came to an end after defeat against Thorney on an afternoon where the conditions played havoc, at a ground that is already a difficult place to pick up a result. James Sheehan’s side also, perhaps surprisingly, only drew with Oakham United, but did pick up good wins against ICA Sports and Tydd FC. It looks like a top-four finish is beyond the Lions who will hope to push on and challenge for the top spot again next season. Ketton, meanwhile, have been in mixed form recently following the departure of Ian Abbott as first team manager, who resigned due to personal issues. After losing the cup semi-final, the boys from Pit Lane beat Peterborough Sports Development thanks to a Jacob Smitheringale goal, and followed that win up with a decent draw against Whittlesey Athletic. Ketton’s aim now will be to finish in the top half of the division. In Division One, Uppingham Town have had an excellent season. They will be disappointed by defeat recently away at Crowland Town, but when you consider their last league defeat was in September, you can see how well they’ve performed. Defeat in that game meant Uppingham’s wrath was taken the following week against local rivals Oakham United Reserves, with the game ending 8-0 to the boys from Todd’s Piece. Uppingham’s unlikely chances of winning the league are gone for good now, but their promotion back to the Premier Division should still be confirmed. In the same division, Stamford Bels have finished very strongly after a dismal start to the season. Lewis Morley’s side are now fourth in the league after some great recent results, including a 4-0 win at Oundle, 2-0 away at Oakham United and a very creditable draw away at Uppingham Town. Could the Bels follow Uppingham back up to the Premier Division next season? Let’s hope so.

Show your support for local sport Email advertise@theactivemag.com April 2019 / theactivemag.com 63

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23/03/2019 14:46


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The Roundup EQUESTRIANISM

Eventing gets underway in sunshine and snow By Julia Dungworth

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HE EVENTING SEASON is well and truly underway and BEDE events had a very successful start at Oasby with some truly British weather to contend with. They ran three days with some of the top horses and riders in the country making their debut performances. Piggy French, Izzy Taylor and Oliver Townend as per usual dominated the bigger intermediate sections, with Oliver having an astonishing 16 horses entered over the four days. Although it’s good to see all these Badminton-entered horses running this early in the season, it isn’t always that easy to spot the future winners as they are often having quiet runs, so the good solid double-clears are the ones to watch out for. Richard Jones did just this with Badmintonbound Alfies Clover and Bramham-bound Kilballyboy Bob with good solid performances. Poor Willa Newton couldn’t say the same with her Badminton steed Caja 20 suffering an early 20 penalties at fence five. There were many other notable placings from

Heidi Coy has enjoyed a successful month in the saddle with placings at Oasby and Lincoln

our locals – Heidi Coy in particular, who was second in the under 21 open intermediate finishing on her dressage score of 28. She also finished second on Halenza with exactly the same score in another intermediate section. She will definitely be one to keep an eye on throughout the season. Alas on the morning of the fourth day, they cancelled proceedings due to yet more overnight rain and the snow was starting to settle! Heidi then headed off to Lincoln Horse Trials the following weekend for yet more inclement weather, with the end of Storm Gareth ripping through the showground. However this didn’t stop her winning streak, pulling off first and second place in the under 21 open intermediate on the same two horses, and just adding a few time penalties to her very good dressage scores. Other locals fared well; Etti Dale had her first win on her second string, 9-year old Samwise, in the novice section. Richard Coney had his

first win of the season in the open novice on Master Ping, with both finishing on very credible sub-30 scores. It was also nice to see Oliver Townend winning the open intermediate on his 2017 Burghley winner Ballaghmor Class, finishing on his very impressive dressage score of 23.6. The Cottesmore Hunt had a glorious day at Garthorpe at the end of February for their annual point-to-point, with nearly 70 runners for the seven races. As usual it was the place to be seen early on in the season, and the hundreds of spectators were not disappointed with a great day of racing. Gina Andrews pulled off the only double of the day with trainer Tom Ellis. The first win, ironically, was in the first race of the day on Samarani to win by four lengths, and then they had to wait all day for the last race for their second victory, in the Stamford Garden Centre open maiden race. It had the maximum 18 starters but her mount General Arrow won easily by three lengths for the Odd Sock Partnership, which among others includes Samarani’s owners Trevor and Mary Bourne. Gina nearly pulled off a treble in the Rutland & Cotswold Construction ladies open race where she was second on the favourite Can Mestreet; she was beaten by some 14 lengths by novice jockey Jennifer Harbinson on the dual Coronation Cup winner Brackloon High. There was also a local victory in the RoR-sponsored conditions race nine-year old and over, for Minella Friend and Belvoir’s own George Chatterton, riding for his grandfather Mike, which is their third win in the season.

“The Cottesmore Hunt had a glorious day at Garthorpe with nearly 70 runners for the seven races” April 2019 / theactivemag.com 65

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21/03/2019 23:11


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66 April 2019 / theactivemag.com

66 kitbag OK.indd 66

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // April 2019  

SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // April 2019  

SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...