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Play up! Play up! And play the game! How the amateur ethos is alive and kicking at Stoneygate RUFC ISSUE 42 // DECEMBER 2015


How to be festive and fit! ISSUE 42 // DECEMBER 2015

The food and exercise that still lets you indulge this Xmas

How to be

festive! t i f d n aThe food and exercise dulge that lets you in s this Christma

Water babies

Our new regular column on how to get your kids swimming

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Panic buys!

Stuck for a gift? Check out our last minute kitbag

Walks with Will

Blow the cobwebs away around Witham-on-the-Hill

www.theACTIVEmag.com 1112

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Ross Drive, Stamford ÂŁ275,000 Set in a tucked away location, this three bedroom detached family home provides stylish accommodation and is presented immaculately throughout. The Master bedroom features and en-suite, whilst on the ground floor is a breakfast kitchen and a spacious lounge diner which leads to the garden. To the rear of the property is a patio and lawned garden with country views to the side. There is ample off street parking to the front which leads to a single garage. This home is offered with NO CHAIN, with viewing highly recommended.

Main Road, Uffington ÂŁ350,000 This charming character cottage has been extended by the current owners and is located in the desireable village of Uffington which is situated approximately two miles away from the market town of Stamford and has views across to Burghley House. Accomodation comprises of: Entrance hall, sitting room, kitchen diner, bathroom, Two double bedrooms and a study/bedroom three. To the front is a gated driveway which provides ample off street parking and leads to a large garage with power and light. To the rear is an enclosed patio and lawned garden with out building and herb garden.

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Editor’s Letter ARE YOU A 30-GOAL-A-YEAR HERO FOR your club? Do you rip golf courses to pieces like Tiger in his pomp, or streak away from the competition as though they are running through porridge? Do the shoulders of team-mates visibly sag when you say you’re not available the following week? Do you have a BMI lower than a professional triathlete? No? Then you are probably like the rest of us. Trying to fit in some exercise whenever time allows; not as fit as you would want to be; eating and drinking the wrong things more than often than you should. In fact, you’re the typical Active reader. Ever since we launched the magazine, we’ve battled a bit against the perception that Active is for the sporting heroes in our community. It’s not: it’s for everyone that just wants to look and feel a bit better, trying to get out and do more things. So this month, we have some useful tips from local experts on how to get through Christmas without piling on the pounds. Probably like me, you’re going to over-indulge – and why shouldn’t you! – so we’re not advocating some hairshirt approach to the festivities which involves a Christmas dinner of micro salad and superfoods, but just some small changes that will help. That’s always the focus of Active. It’s about giving you advice and ideas to look better, feel better and live more healthily. And to this end, next month we’re launching an expanded health, wellness and beauty section, because ultimately that’s what our readers are aiming for: improving both body and mind through thinking and being, the ‘Active’ way. So enjoy Christmas, have lots of fun, drink and eat plenty and we’ll get back on the health and fitness regimes in January! Enjoy the issue, Steve

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 Mark Sommer mark@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Sandie Hurford, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Withers lisa@theactivemag.com Amy Roberts amy@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 A member of the Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce 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 2049-8713 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318 Disclaimer

Twitter // @theACTIVEmag Facebook // www.facebook.com/theACTIVEmag

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2015. 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.

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This delightful period residence sits in the peaceful hamlet of Wardley and there are captivating country views throughout the house. It retains much of its original charm with wood lintels, beams and open fireplaces, whilst additions include natural stone flooring and contemporary bathrooms. A recent extension has created light-filled living spaces with doors to the garden and a stunning master Bedroom. EPC Rating: E



A stunning contemporary property with superb views towards Stamford and open-plan living spaces that are flooded with light. Sliding glass doors open the house seamlessly to the garden, whilst the interior design features a ‘floating’ oak and glass staircase, Italian lighting, a ‘Cesar’ designer kitchen and an impressive Pool Room. The integrated sound system, under-floor heating, solar panels and air-source heat pumps also make this an energy-efficient property. EPC Rating: B

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Ideally located, close to Stamford and with views over the Welland Valley, this stunning Grade II listed property has been refurbished and extended to create a stylish, spacious, light-filled home with a mix of open plan living space and cosy family rooms. Features include vaulted ceilings and original beams whilst the stunning contemporary Kitchen & Family room has French doors on both sides opening to the secluded grounds. EPC Rating: Exempt





In the heart of the village with views over parkland, this splendid period barn is built of local stone and has recently undergone total refurbishment. It retains original features including exposed beams, vaulted ceilings and high barn-door windows, whilst new bi-fold doors and French windows throughout the living areas make the most of the wonderful views and allow an easy flow between inside and out. EPC Rating: C

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Specialists in bespoke construction projects, from extensions to entire new builds as well as period property restoration. Working with a trusted team of local craftsmen to create the property of your dreams

Thorpe Construction Ltd Tel: Stamford (01780) 749599 l Email: info@thorpeconstructionuk.com l www.thorpeconstructionuk.com Find us on www.facebook.com/thorpeconstructionukltd Company registered in England No. 8917848

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17/04/2015 11:15

We helped many people’s wishes come true this year. Here’s to doing the same in 2016.

Reasons why people moved this year: 48% Moved to a bigger home 17% Moved to a new area 11% Invested or redeveloped a property 10% Moved to a smaller home 8% Bought a second home 3% Moved to the UK for a new job 3% Other wishes

Annabel Morbey Head of Residential - Stamford 01780 484694 amorbey@savills.com



ISSUE 42 /// DECEMBER 2015


Details of Burghley’s annual Santa Fun Run

16-17 WHAT’S ON

Great days out in and around our area


Another tasty recipe from Riverford Organic


Local teacher and rugby player James O’Shea


Which shows are on and where


Editor Steve Moody updates us on life with chickens


Help to get children swimming


The Sunday Times writer on sporting under-achievers

36-37 KIT BAG

Last minute Christmas gift ideas





Focus on Stoneygate Rugby Club

38-43 A HEALTHY CHRISTMAS How to keep the indulgences in check


The latest on looking and feeling great


Will Hetherington heads to Witham-on-the-Hill


We try out The Bombay Cottage in Stamford


Our focus on the latest achievements from local pupils

60-66 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring


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What do you expect from your recruitment partner?



Unparalleled customer service and strong candidate relationships?


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19/11/2015 10:14

In Play

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Hundreds at MTB day More than 200 riders descended on Wakerley Woods for Rutland Cycling’s annual mountain bike demo day. The event is the largest of its kind in the region, with riders coming from far and wide to attend and try out the 2016 bikes.

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Feature /// Active Rutland Sports Awards



sponsored by Sandicliffe Ford & Kia Melton Mowbray


Rebecca Watt, Ketton Panthers Triathlon Club

On Wednesday 18th November, the Active Rutland Community Sports Awards 2015 were held at Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre. 14 Awards were presented at this prestigious event which celebrated the efforts and achievements of individuals and the unsung heroes who help and inspire the community to take part and succeed in sport and physical activity.


sponsored by Rutland Cycling


Daniel Bennett (represented), Vale Judo Club

Dave Crooks, Nordic Walk It

Zoe Smith, Rutland Running and Triathlon Club

Photography: Toby Carter, Catmose College Media Team.










sponsored by Uppingham School Sports Centre

Lottie Lemon, Rutland Rockets Netball Club

Issy Simmonds, Rutland Rockets Netball Club

sponsored by Think Digital Print

Toby Williams, Rutland Sailing Club

James Reseigh, Vale Judo Club

sponsored by Rutland County Golf Club

Mary Tomblin, Vale Judo Club

Bryony Cutforth, Vale Judo Club

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sponsored by Catmose Sports Centre

Marcus Speed, Rutland Polo Club

Jamie Tylecote, Sailing, Athletics, Triathlon, Football and Cross Country


sponsored by Lands’ End

Christopher Southwell, Rutland Conquerors

Steve Baker, Rutland Sailability


sponsored by Inspire2Tri

Simon Murton, Rutland Running and Triathlon Club

Barry Palmer, Rutland Exercise Referral Scheme


sponsored by Rutland Agricultural Society

sponsored by Rutland Lions

sponsored by Rutland Radio




Peter Ashworth, Rutland Sailing Club

Molly Boylan, Rock Blok


Rutland Rockets Netball Club - U14

Caroline Hattee, Ketton Panthers Triathlon Club

Samantha Griffin, Rutland Rockets Netball Club

Nordic Walk It










sponsored by Anglian Water

sponsored by Greetham Valley

Oakham Artistic Gymnastic Academy

Royce Rangers Girls Football

sponsored by Active Magazine

Step 2 It

David Wilkins, Rutland Sailing Club

Deanna Dennis, Ketton Healthy Walking Group

Ketton Healthy Walking Group

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2765 KL-AM December Full Page Advert-FINAL_KL-AM December Full Page Advert 17/11/2015 11:30 Page 1

KNEAD Love this winter? Have a bottle on us! Receive a complimentary bottle of House Wine with every 2 main courses purchased throughout January & February. Just pick up a KNEAD Love Card from one of our pubs and register it before the end of February. You will then receive a weekly voucher to redeem this offer. * This deal cannot be used in conjunction with our pizza deals. * Main Courses are on the Main menu and sandwiches are not included. * A code will be emailed to all KNEAD Love Customers for January. * The KNEAD Love Card must be swiped to enable the wine to be received.


Available Monday to Sunday at all KNEAD Pubs throughout January & February, 12pm-2.30pm & 6pm-9pm. This offer is exclusive to KNEAD Love Card Holders only.

Stamford t. 01780 763136

Bourne t. 01778 426819

Stamford t. 01780 753800

Feel The Love! Pick up a card from one of our pubs. Gain points and receive great offers!

Newark t. 01636 918121

Find out more information at www.kneadpubs.co.uk

Oakham t. 01572 868340

Activelife GREAT THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO SEE, PEOPLE TO MEET // Edited by Mary Bremner


Santa Fun Run Remember to enter the Santa Fun Run to be held on Sunday, December 13, in Burghley Park. Organised by Stamford Burghley Rotary Club, the event starts at 11.30am. Last year’s race raised more than £12,000 and had record attendances – this year organisers are hoping for even more people, from the serious runner to the enthusiastic dog walker.  To find out more and to enter go to www.stamfordsantafunrun.com

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Activelife EVENTS

What’s on  The boys at Stamford Rugby Club (pictured right) have got behind the Bleeding For England campaign. The aim of the campaign is to recruit at least 100,000 new blood donors to make up at least half of the 200,000 users needed to register this year to keep blood stocks stable. Donor sessions are held at Barn Hill Methodist Church and at Borderville Sports Centre. www.blood.co.uk  Rasell’s Nurseries and Tea House in Little Bytham is holding a Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 12, from 10am to 4pm. There will be lots of local producers selling gifts and plenty of festive plants available from the nursery. Make sure you nip into the Tea House to enjoy some delicious Yuletide treats. www.rasells.co.uk  Local artist and Churchill Fellow, Karen Neale, is exhibiting at Stamford Arts Centre between December 12 and January 4. Her work on display will consist of 50 canvas prints from her fourth book ‘A Fellow Traveller – A Sketchbook Journey Inspired by World Heritage Cities and Sites.’ Her book will be available to buy. Karen is also inviting visitors to create their

own building to add to a large map in the centre of the exhibition to create a Magical Metropolis. www.karenneale.co.uk  An ideal place to buy Christmas presents is at the Stamford Quality Market held at Stamford Arts Centre on Sunday, December 13. They have

lots on offer including art, jewellery, beauty, bags and toys. Or why not try the Oakham Quality Market at the Victoria Hall on Saturday, December 5, which will be selling similar items? A chance to do all your Christmas shopping in one go.


Rutland Water Santa ride Head to Rutland Water to take part in Rutland Cycling’s annual Santa Ride on Sunday, December 20. Departing from the Whitwell store at 10am, enjoy a couple of hours of gentle pedalling with the whole family. And then be rewarded with a hot drink and mince pie. Bike hire is available for £1 if booked in advance. Prizes for the best fancy dress and goody bags for the kids. All proceeds will go to charity. Rutland Cycling customers who spend over £10 will benefit from a free hour’s parking at Rutland Water until the end of February.

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Body Matters marks 10 years in business Congratulations to Kirsten Pearson from Body Matters who has been in business for 10 years. To celebrate this achievement Kirsten is holding an open evening for her clients at her premises in Brownlow Street on December 1 to thank them for their support over the years. She is also offering special deals on treatments in the next few months – during December, January and February she is offering four treatments for just £50. She said: “I want to thank my clients for all their support and am offering special deals on treatments that are open to all existing and new clients.” As another nod to the salon’s tenth birthday, treatments in January and February will be charged at 2005 prices.  To make an appointment ring the salon on 01780 270002 or email info@ bodymattersstamford.co.uk.

Leisure Leis issur ure Clu Club lu ub

No joining fee this December Saving up to £199

› Swimming Pool › 2 Spa Pools › Steam room & Sauna › Crazy golf › 2 Squash courts › 6 Tennis courts › Studio fitness classes › NEW & IMPROVED Gym


Camera classes These days digital cameras are virtually idiot proof. You point and click and the camera automatically focuses and gives you a pretty good image. But it might not always come out with the image or exposure that you want. This is where Peter Hallam (pictured below), director of Going Digital East of England comes in. Peter runs courses showing you how to get the best out of your digital camera and how to make it do what you want it to rather than use the auto setting. One of his courses is held at Burghley House and concentrates on demystifying the camera and moves on to photographing birds of prey. Or why not learn about flower and landscape photography at Barnsdale Gardens or motorsports at Mallory Park?  To find out more, and about the other courses on offer, contact Peter on 07742 614393 or visit www.goingdigital.co.uk

Tel: 01572 771 314 www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Nr Oakham, Rutland, LE15 8AB

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WARM BACON SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE, PEARS AND ROSEMARY FRIED POTATOES INGREDIENTS Salt and pepper 400g potatoes 100g watercress 50g walnut pieces 10g rosemary Oil for frying (olive or sunflower) 150g bacon pieces 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp honey 1 tsp cider vinegar 2 pears 75g Perl Las blue cheese METHOD Put a pan of salted water on to boil. While the water heats up, wash and peel the potatoes. Cut into small 2-3cm cubes. Wash the watercress well and leave to drain, picking off any large stalks. Pick some of the rosemary needles off the stalk and chop finely enough so you have a good 1 tsp worth. When the pan of water is boiling add the potatoes (1). Cook until just tender, but not too soft, approx 4-5 minutes. Test one by inserting a sharp knife. Once the potatoes are cooked drain them in a colander to dry them out a little. While the potatoes are cooling put the walnuts in a dry frying pan. Heat them gently, stirring now and then, for a couple of minutes,

RECIPE BOXES Riverford recipe boxes are a simple and inspiring way to cook. Every week, we deliver everything you need to make three tasty organic meals. Inside each box, you’ll find the freshest, seasonal organic produce, step-bystep recipe cards and all the ingredients in exact quantities. The recipes are quick to cook and ideal for week nights – most are ready in under 45 minutes. Think well balanced and nutritious,

until lightly toasted. Make sure they don’t burn. Put to one side. Add 1tbsp of oil to the same frying pan. Add the bacon pieces and fry on a reasonably high heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Put on one side. Put the mustard, honey and cider vinegar in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk together with 3 tbsp of good olive oil to make a dressing. Quarter the pears removing any stalks. Chop out the core then thinly slice each quarter into four or five thin slices. Put the frying pan back on the heat. Add a splash of oil. Add the drained potatoes and chopped rosemary. Fry for a few minutes turning frequently to lightly colour them. If the pears are hard add them too at this stage so they soften slightly. Add the bacon and walnuts. Gently warm through for about a minute carefully tossing them together. Crumble in half of the blue cheese and season with pepper (2). You will not need salt because of the bacon and cheese. Toss the watercress with the dressing. Arrange the watercress around two bowls or plates. Serve the warm salad in the middle with the rest of the cheese crumbled over. Perfect!



TIP You can use any blue cheese as an alternative to the Perl Las.

with a few treats thrown in. Our cooks come up with nine new recipes every week, so there is always plenty of choice. There are three different varieties of recipe box – choose from vegetarian, quick or original. A box for two people ranges in price from £33 for the vegetarian box, to £39.95 for the quick and original boxes. Delivered straight to your door, with everything you need to cook included, generous portion sizes, and three delicious meals per box they offer great value for money.

No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to find out more or call 01803 762059.

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A day in the life of


Local primary school teacher and rugby player for Stamford Town




have always wanted to be a teacher. I suppose it’s a bit of a family tradition as my grandmother, mother and aunt all taught. I left Stamford School, which I attended with my two brothers, and headed to Liverpool to study for a sports science degree, even though I didn’t want to be a PE teacher. I did my post-grad in science, concentrating on chemistry, so qualified for my PGCE as a science teacher. I then started in a secondary school in Liverpool and hated it, which was a huge shock. Teenagers and I just didn’t gel – I now feel great sympathy for some of the teachers who taught me! I decided to head home to Stamford and got roped in by a family friend to spend a day as a teaching assistant at a primary school in Bourne. I absolutely loved it so spent a couple of terms there before taking a supply job at King’s Cliffe Endowed School. I started there as a permanent NQT (newly qualified teacher) in September with my own class of year 3 pupils. I love my job and really enjoy the interaction with my class of 21 seven and eight year olds who spend the whole day with me. This gives me the chance to get to know them really well and it’s a delight to see how they progress and mature during the academic year. I’m not only teaching science but all the core subjects so have had to get up to speed with my English, history and geography skills as well. We try and spend as much time outside as possible and I enjoy incorporating my lessons within this environment. French and music are all part of the curriculum so my schoolboy French will be put to good use. As it’s coming up to Christmas it’s an exciting time. We shall be having a Christmas production involving all year groups so rehearsals are well under way. It’s a magical time of year for the children and staff. It’s exciting times at King’s Cliffe as plans are afoot for us to relocate to a new school building and expand the school up to year 6. Building is due to start soon and us teachers are very pleased and excited to be involved with the planning and furnishing of the classrooms. I’m not the only NQT at King’s Cliffe – I am one of four, but I am the only man. This doesn’t faze me at all, I’m getting in touch with my feminine side and, as I am so tall, I can be pretty useful when it comes to putting posters up! To counteract all the female company I get during the day I play rugby for Stamford Town. I played all sports at school, hence the sports science degree, and loved my rugby. Unfortunately during a line out I fell and injured my back so that put paid to rugby for a few years. I started going to the gym to strengthen

‘I had some inspirational teachers who I look back on with great respect and admiration’ my back and in my third year at uni started playing again. I used to be a flanker but could no longer do that so started as centre. Stamford had a position on the wing so that’s where I play now. I train with the team twice a week and play on Saturdays. If I’m not playing or training I’m in the gym and hope to carry on playing for as long as my body holds together. A typical day for me is to be up at 6am, down some porridge for breakfast and be at school between 7 and 7.15 so I have time to prepare for my day. I’ll then be in the playground to greet everyone before the start of the school day at 8.45am. We always work on the core subjects in

the morning. PE lessons are fun in the afternoons. This term I am planning to teach my class tag rugby. I’ll spend a couple of hours after school catching up with the day’s work and then head home and then on to the gym or training. I try to eat healthily during the week, but thoroughly enjoy catching up with my mates for a few beers after a match on Saturday night, so hopefully I strike a fine balance. I had some inspirational teachers at Stamford who I look back on with great respect and admiration. They inspired me to do well and I hope I can do the same for my pupils.

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well ntle be ike . gs

Activelife EVENTS

It’s panto time!  Beauty and the Beast is playing between January 7 -10 at Stamford Arts Centre with two performances a day and three on January 9. 01780 763203

 Follow Dorothy on her adventures in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz showing at The Cresset in Peterborough from December 12. 01733 265705

 Join the Stamford Pantomime Players (pictured below) at the Corn Exchange between December 28 and January 2 to see Cinderella. 01780 766455

 Snow White, starring Benidorm and Loose Women’s Sherrie Hewson, is showing in Leicester at the de Montfort Hall between December 12 and January 4. www.tickets.demontforthall.co.uk

 The Key Theatre in Peterborough is showing Aladdin between December 3 and January 3. Full of slapstick humour. www.vivacity-peterborough.com



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Your first steps towards

the mountains! Learn to SKI or SNOWBOARD at Tallington Lakes Dry Ski Slope

000 tel: 01778 34 7 es.com k la n to g in ll a .t web:www 20% off Season Pass, during December, when mentioning Active Mag.

hardware & clothing far CHEAPER than ski resorts www.tallingtonlakesproshop.com Tallington Lakes Barholm Road Tallington Lincolnshire PE9 4RJ

Delicatessen Fine Wines Coffee Shop Post Office, Now Open!! 9am till 5pm Mon/Fri. Saturday mornings till 1pm We keep Euros in stock. Top up your mobile phone Service with a smile!

Bakery There are daily deliveries of artisan breads from Hambletons Bakery, winner of Britain’s Best Baker, with special orders taken, given three days notice

Delicatessen Coffee Shop A wide range of chutneys, dressings and jams. Sugar free and gluten free produce in stock. The renowned Grasmere Farms meat, pork pies, haslet, hams etc all reared locally

A variety of coffees are available, using only the finest coffee beans. Filled rolls, fresh home made cakes are available and ice cream. Come relax in the coffee shop with free WIFI and daily papers.

Lots of free parking in the Market Square outside The Pantry Market Place, Corby Glen, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG33 4NH Tel: 01476 550108 Email: thepantrycorbyglen@gmail.com

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3 WHERRYS LANE, BOURNE, PE10 9HQ T: 01778 392735 /SESSION365UK


info@session365.uk www.session365.co.uk

20/11/2015 10:49





Give yourself or someone special a Christmas treat, four treatments for just £50, and select your very own package:

Select one from here: File and polish on hands File and polish on toes Half leg wax Eyelash tint



Select one from here: Full body massage Customised facial Microdermabrasion


(sAVING £25)

Select two from here: Eyebrow or lip or chin wax Eyelash or brow tint Bikini or underarm wax Available as a Gift Voucher

Bodymatters (Stamford) Ltd•Brownlow Street•Stamford•PE9 2EL www.bodymattersstamford.co.uk•info@bodymattersstamford.co.uk

01780 270002

*Terms and conditions apply



Avendita Units 25 and 27 Springfields Outlet Shopping Camelgate Spalding PE12 6EU

at up to DESIGNER %


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Avendita Unit 3 Rutland Village Ashwell Road Oakham Rutland LE157QN




20/11/2015 10:44

Activelife LIFESTYLE

COOPED UP After eight months, Steve Moody looks back over the chicken-keeping experience. Initially sceptical, a ready supply of gorgeous, fresh eggs seems to have converted him


o, at the end of the year, eight months after I was tricked by the rest of the family into keeping chickens, I suppose it’s enough time to draw some conclusions about the experience. They are: The eggs First and foremost, after all the other hassles (of which there are a few) is the fact that the eggs are like none you’ve ever eaten before. Every now and again I have to eat or cook an egg that has not been laid that day, 40 yards away. And it’s a shock. They are insipid, pale, tasteless things; not the fulsome, bright, thick eggs we’ve got used to. This is by far and away the best thing about keeping chickens – and I would thoroughly recommend it. Your egg life will never be the same again, I promise you. Get a good coop and speak to an expert We were lucky enough to be helped out by Carrie at The Clever Coop Company, with advice and expertise and, of course, their

fabulous chicken coops. This makes a massive difference, because the coop is very quick and easy to clean, and keeps the chickens warm and healthy. I think there’s a link between the cosiness and cleanliness of their home and egg production figures. These coops might cost a bit more than a wooden one, but they are worth every penny. Also, Carrie advised us to get hybrids as they tend to lay more. Cute little rare breeds might look prettier, but if they’re laying tiny little eggs and not very often, what’s the point? A chicken is for life, not just for Christmas (or Sunday roast!) There’s quite a bit of responsibility when keeping chickens. They’re pretty stupid at the best of times, so you need to keep an eye out for them getting trapped in random places, or

escaping their run and not being able to get back, and just generally keeping them fed and watered. So if you’re away a lot you need some understanding family members or neighbours. That said, they’re not as hard work as I thought they’d be, they don’t smell anywhere near as much as people claimed they would, and as for the claim they attract vermin – well, I’ve not seen any or evidence of them either. They are certainly less bother to keep than a cat, for example. But keep them out of the flowerbeds, as they can cause carnage. It is worth it. I promise I was very sceptical about becoming a chicken owner. But it is worth it, for the small amount of effort necessary. And if you don’t believe me, pop round for a poached egg...


How to spot... the dunlin Visitors to Eyebrook Reservoir or Rutland Water between October and March may see this starling-sized wader as it potters around, searching for invertebrates. Their non-breeding plumage is an unobtrusive greyish-brown above with white underparts. Dunlin have short black legs and a medium length bill for probing the mud. Because they occur so frequently at our reservoirs birdwatchers use them as a yardstick to compare against other, less common, waders.

They are usually in small flocks of up to 20 birds but much larger counts are sometimes made, with over 200 noted in some winters. The birds are abundant visitors to coastal marshes and estuaries with over 40,000 regularly present

around the Wash. Many winter much further south – a July 2015 bird at Rutland Water had been ringed in Spain in September 2013. Dunlin are northern breeders, nesting on the Arctic tundra. However, small numbers breed in British uplands from Scotland as far south as the Pennines and north Wales. In breeding plumage the Dunlin is a smart bird. The drab winter plumage is replaced by a reddish-brown back, black belly and a white dark-streaked breast. Terry Mitcham

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Less than a mile from the A1 Now with more than 70 dealers, the centre has a variety of antiques unmatched in the surrounding area. Items range from £5 to £5,000 and regular turnover of stock frequently brings customers back for more. Open 10am-5pm Mon-Sat

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Have fun learning to swim Teaching children basic swimming safety is essential, but should also be fun! Most children take to the swimming pool like ducks to water. As parents, we are only too aware of the potential hazards, but how can we help them learn the basics of water safety without spoiling their fun? Barbara Brouwer, Oakham Swim School’s swim consultant, says it is important to think of swimming in three ways...  Being happy and confident in water  Learning to swim and developing technical ability  Learning survival skills. Barbara is passionate about teaching simple techniques. She said: “Learning to float on your back and breathe is a great start. Practising simple survival techniques gives all swimmers a much better chance of getting out of trouble. Learning these in childhood helps overcome fears of the water and progress in swimming classes. “Work towards your child being comfortable with getting their face wet. Being splashed unexpectedly can be a shock, but by practising through play, it makes it fun.” For example, parents could try:  Blowing bubbles on the surface of water, soly as if blowing through a straw or forcefully like blowing out candles.  Playing catch with a so ball can distract from the splashes of the water.  Cupping water in their hands and getting them to sprinkle it on both of your faces. She added: “Every child progresses in their own time, but with support and practice they can become confident swimmers who are equipped with fundamental survival skills.” Oakham Swim School runs individual and group classes for children aged 4 – 16 years throughout the year. You can join any time and your child can move classes according to their progression.  For more information, contact Conrad Nancarrow on 01572 758754.


52 in 52 Last month was a hectic one for the team of four sports enthusiasts. Their aim is to complete 52 sports in 52 weeks and they are well on track. With them travelling all over the country Lucy has been coached in table tennis, Alec had a go at Aikido, Holly joined a women-only taster session at snorkelling and scuba diving and Carys trained with a ladies rugby club – they’ve been busy. So far the team have completed 11 sports and raised just over £800 for Cancer Research UK in two months. If any clubs, teams or coaches would like to offer a session please contact them on 01572 813531, they will be delighted to hear from you.  To donate to their cause please visit www.justgiving.com/ Challenge52/

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Feature /// Rugby

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A club with a remarkable history and imbued with the amateur ethos is enjoying a remarkable renaissance in its new Uppingham home. Jeremy Beswick visits Stoneygate RUFC Photography: Pip Warters

RUGBY HAS BECOME increasingly professional, not just in the rarified level of the Premiership, but in local clubs too, and many old stagers lament the passing of the amateur ethos along with it. Yet that Corinthian spirit, of playing for the love of the game and the joy of competition – with winning an added bonus – is still alive and well at Stoneygate RUFC. Stoneygate is a rugby club with a long and illustrious history. Founded in 1888, they would appear to have played at a high standard from the very outset in spite of not having a permanent home until 1927, with their first international, Jackie Miles, being capped in 1903. Their first recorded fixture was against Oadby – a side they may well meet again soon. ‘Gate’ formed what was to be an enduring partnership with Leicester Tigers in the early days which survived the interruption of both world wars, although some members seem to have preferred not to be seen as a feeder club or junior partner and so left to found rivals Westleigh – now Leicester Lions - in 1904. The resulting ‘rivalry and friendship’, as they put it, remains between them to the current day even though more than a century has passed. Perhaps their most successful decade (to date) was the 1950s, an era in which Michael Green played for the club and penned his brilliant best seller The Art of Coarse Rugby in which he introduces the reader to the finer points of

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Visit the practice during December and pick up a FREE festive bandana for your pet. Join in our ‘out and about’ festive photo competition for your chance to win a photo shoot with your pet. For more information about our Christmas opening hours please visit: www.oakhamvethospital.co.uk Oakham Veterinary Hospital, Ashwell Road, Oakham, Rutland LE15 7QH Equine/Farm: 01572 722647 Small Animal: 01572 722646


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Feature /// Rugby

tactics, such as winning by getting the opponents drunk. As many of you may recall, a coarse rugby player is one that plays for reasons other than the enjoyment of the game, such as to get away from his wife or because he dare not admit he is too old. The club website insists “Those of you have read this and thought it fiction should think again. Truth is stranger ...” After a somewhat peripatetic existence they finally (or, as we shall see, penultimately) settled at Covert Lane, Scraptoft, in the 1960s. The club continued to be a regular source of recruitment for the Tigers and the future looked bright when their centenary came in 1988, but the introduction of league rugby shortly afterwards proved problematic. Having played the same friendlies every season for more than 100 years against various illustrious names the new fixtures – and the advent of professionalism – were not to their advantage. After a tricky couple of decades, just over two years ago the club took the difficult decision to move from Covert Lane to their new home in Uppingham, where they now play at the Community College. It’s fitting however that the turf at the old ground still feels the imprint of rugby boots, it being leased to the Tigers for academy training. I went along to their clubhouse, a dedicated room above The Vaults pub courtesy of its owner and ex-player Robert Wills, to meet club captain Cillian Brugha and President Martin


‘GATE IS ABOUT THE CORINTHIAN SPIRIT. YOU PLAY BECAUSE YOU LOVE THE GAME AND THE PEOPLE YOU PLAY WITH Dearman. Martin explained: “We took the decision some years ago that we would not pay players to play. Gate is about the Corinthian spirit. You play because you love the game and the people you play with – and against. We faced the same teams every year – first as minis, then as colts, then the first team and finally as vets, so we certainly got to know our opposition and so made lifetime friends - not only within the club but also with those opponents that you fought against and then raised ale with every season.” The tradition continues as far as they are able. “We still always have a beer afterwards,” chipped in Cillian, “and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. After the game the supporters,

Gate place great emphasis on playing for the love of the game – and also enjoying a pint aerwards

players, every man and his dog come back to the Vaults for that all-important social side to the game – and some superior pub grub.” Apart from the odd pint or two, Martin fondly remembers that other honourable rugby custom – singing. “We went carol singing every Christmas to various pubs and, surprisingly perhaps, were encouraged by them to do so. Then there were the songs that you wouldn’t share in public. I reckon we had a repertoire of about 30 numbers. Nowadays you get Swing Low and that’s about it, alas.” However, many of their players still travel from all over Leicestershire and beyond to turn out for them, when there any number of closer clubs they could play for instead, because of the tradition. As Martin said: “We’re a ferociously famous name in Leicester rugby.” The move to Uppingham meant rebuilding from the bottom up, but their two seasons there so far (having been nomadic for so much of their history, they are now there to stay) have been a roaring success with league and cup doubles in both campaigns. As they move inexorably up the divisions the quality of rugby is improving too. “In the beginning we were beating teams 70

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Feature /// Rugby

‘WE HAVE SO MANY DEDICATED CLUB MEMBERS WHO WORK TIRELESSLY’ or 80 to nothing,” said Cillian, “which got boring after a while, but so far this season it’s been much more competitive following our successive promotions and the league restructuring. That’s much more enjoyable for the players and hopefully for the supporters as well.” Uppingham seems to have taken Stoneygate to its heart too, not having had a rugby club to call its own before, with healthy numbers attending each match, the town proving a rich source of player recruitment and the Mini’s section thriving. Every Sunday morning between one and two hundred young lads and girls are coached by first team members and ex-players, many of whom are dads themselves. “These boys are our seed corn,“ commented Martin. “A lot of the mums get involved as well. It’s a feast for both sides, the kids gorging on sweets and the adults on bacon sandwiches. Just what you need on a Sunday morning.” If you think your son or daughter might want to get involved – and I agree with Martin that there’s no better way of forging friendships for life – subs are £50 a season for the first child, and only a total of a further £25 for any number of additional siblings. Association with the club will doubtless mean an invitation to their famous and splendid summer ball too, which is a must, and I’m told a new social committee is currently working hard on other events, almost certainly including something extra special for Christmas. Cillian was keen to give credit to the contributions of club stalwart Graeme Ough and chairman Bruce Cooper in making a success of the move to their new home. “We have so many dedicated club members who work tirelessly and I wish we could mention them all,” he said. “But Graeme was the one who was brave enough to stand up at the AGM and point out we couldn’t go on as we were at the old place. “Who knows what would have happened had he not done so and the current committee under Bruce have really grasped the nettle and made it work. Now two years on, success is breeding success. We’ll hope to win the league again this season but at the very least we’ve finally found a level at which we’re comfortable.” So the future is bright again for this old giant of a club and I, for one, wish them well. Tradition matters and for them, as the motif on every Stoneygate shirt reads, “Sic Itur In Altum”. It goes deep.

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There is no word to describe Il Vicolo other than simply delicious Italian food. Situated in the heart of historic Stamford . A family run Italian restaurant serving a variety of traditional and modern Italian cuisine emphasising high quality local seasonal produce. Thriving to provide a wide range of excellant Italian wines. We hope to see you soon and we wish you well. Grazie e arrivederci

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Guest column

From hero to zero: the great British sport star Martin Johnson on Sam Burgess and other under-achievers ritain has something of a history of people named Burgess defecting, although Sam giving up a brief flirtation with English rugby union to rejoin his rugby league team in Australia is not quite as big a story as Guy giving up his Foreign Office job back in the 1950s and re-appearing in Moscow clutching a briefcase full of MI5 secrets. Burgess – Sam, that is – gave up after only 21 club games with Bath and five caps for England after claiming that he really didn’t enjoy rugby union. And in that respect at least, I understand precisely where’s he coming from. The Aviva Premiership is possibly the most boring competition in British sport, never mind rugby union, revolving as it does around brute force, attrition, blitz defences, re-cycling, aerial kicking, set pieces, tackling – just about everything bar skill and trickery. But whatever his reasons for jumping ship, Burgess joins a long list of British sportsmen and women who have been given the full fanfares and every other component of the big build-up, only to fail to aspire to the superstardom everyone had predicted for them. It’s not just true of British sportsmen and women of course (although we do have a particular propensity for it), but if there is one way to more or less guarantee a glittering career disappearing straight down the plughole it’s to go from being not British to British. And how does this happen? It happens mainly when someone in charge of a particular sport in this country arrives at the not unreasonable conclusion that they’d win things more often if they had better players, and if it so happens that these better players happen not to be British, well, the solution is pretty obvious. You steal them. Except, of course, that the very process of turning yourself into a Brit carries the risk of inheriting the British DNA and going from highly successful to plucky failure. Such as the time a tiny South African girl named Zola Budd, who could barely speak a word outside of her native Afrikaans, suddenly found herself pounding around athletics tracks wearing a GB running vest. Budd, banned from running internationally because of apartheid, didn’t achieve very much in a British vest, apart from tripping up the American favourite Mary Decker in the final of the Olympic 3,000 metres in Los Angeles in 1984. Although if she’d have run as fast as the Foreign Office managed to find her a passport she’d have won more Olympic golds than Steve Redgrave. Another foreigner who became British more or less overnight


because of his sporting prowess was the Canadian tennis player Greg Rudedski. You couldn’t help but warm to Greg, in as much as he at least tried to win over the public by developing an English accent. Sadly, though, he ended up sounding about as English as Maurice Chevalier singing: “Thank ‘evvens, for leetul guls.” Another daring overseas raid secured the services of the prolific Zimbabwean batsman Graeme Hick, whose talents were denied a bigger stage at a time when his own country was not a Test playing nation. Hick was soon scoring mountains of runs for Worcestershire, but when invited to do the same for England, the one major flaw in his armoury was ruthlessly exposed. He couldn’t play fast bowling, which, in an era when the West Indies had about a dozen fast bowlers with a preferred target area somewhere between throat and cranium, was a decided disadvantage. The much heralded new British star turning into the much lampooned one is not entirely down to foreign imports. There are plenty of home grown ‘talents’ who proved to have a lack of exactly that. It was, for example, a drawback to embark upon a career as a professional boxer without having any inclination to either throw a punch, or be on the receiving end of one. However, this didn’t deter a British fighter called Audley Harrison, who, after gloriously winning Olympic gold in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, carved out a pro career in which he was mostly known as Fraudley Harrison. Hoping he would become the new Frank Bruno, he was paid a ludicrous sum of money by the BBC for the right to televise his first 10 pro fights, all of which would follow the same pattern. Audley would spend the build up telling everyone how brilliant he was going to be, and Fraudley would spend the fight demonstrating that if the task at hand involved removing the skin from a rice pudding, the rice pudding would win on a unanimous points decision. Golf has had its fair share of players who were apparently destined for stardom, but who suddenly vanished without trace, and among the Brits on this list are Paul Way, Steve Richardson and Gordon Sherry. But when it comes to players apparently about to take the world by storm, then turning out to be huge disappointments, there is no sport quite like soccer. Fortunately, we Brits are not alone with under-achievement on this front. Every other day there’s a photo in the paper of a manager and his new signing holding up the club shirt, and most of them turn out to be vastly expensive flops. And guess which manager has signed more useless players than anyone in the Premier League’s history? Denilson, Kleberson, Bebe, Veron, Zaha and, so bad they named him twice, Djemba Djemba. You’ve got it. Sir Alex Ferguson.

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Feature /// Gear


The latest kit to keep you active this winter

66 Degrees North Thorsmork Parka

If a cold snap hits, don’t mess about with coats made by us so Europeans: 66 Degrees North is Iceland’s premier cold weather clothing brand and its goose-down filled parkas with fur lined hoods will keep you warm in any temperature, no matter how far below zero. Price £400 From blacks.co.uk

Ilse Jacobsen Three Quarter Rubber Boot

Cavells has a stunning range of Ilse Jacobsen wellies in stock from shorties to knee length, ensuring that no matter how muddy or treacherous it is underfoot, you will positively glide stylishly and elegantly over the surface. Price £129 From Cavells, Oakham

Tree of Life Printed Yoga Mat This lightweight mat has a light tack non-slip surface for a secure and safe practice. The green colour which promotes nature and calmness, printed with a signature Tree of Life print, will leave you feeling calm and serene post practice. Price £14.99 From John Lewis

2016 Bianchi Infinito Carbon Road Bike

Comfortable endurance geometry combined with Bianchi speed, the new Infinito CV provides the ultimate performance to dominate sportive or long races. Featuring Bianchi’s CounterVail vibration cancelling technology, the Infinito CV glides over rough surfaces with ease - ideal for British roads - without adding weight. Price £3,399.99 From rutlandcycling.com

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Men’s/Women’s Adrenaline GTS 15

The best-selling Adrenaline GTS running shoe is renowned for its dependable support and ample cushioning, making it the reliable choice for runners looking for an unbelievably smooth and balanced ride. Price £115 From leicesterrunningshop.co.uk

Wacky Sox

There are ever more styles of thick, high quality and warm Wacky Sox to suit everybody, every activity and every mood, including Christmas, Snow and Rainbow themes. Price £7.99 medium/£9.99 large From Rutland Sports

DJI Phantom 3 Standard

This drone simply must go on your Christmas list. Easy to fly and comes with a camera as standard, this gorgeous drone will beam whatever it sees back to your smartphone, which you can mount on the easy to grip controller. The automatic hover mode takes the stress out of take-off completely. Price £619 From dji.com

Wacky helmet covers

Spruce up your ski or snowboard helmet with these Wacky covers. The back has an opening so that ski goggles can be fitted, and can be pulled tight at the back for optimal fitting to the helmet. Price £19.99 From helmetheads.co.uk

GoPro HERO4 Session

50% smaller and 40% lighter than other HERO4 cameras, the HERO4 Session is the most wearable and mountable GoPro ever. With a sleek, versatile design, it’s at home anywhere — from the surf to the snow to hanging with friends. Price £249.99 From gopro.com

Under Armour ColdGear gloves

Slip your hands into these gloves on the course this winter and feel instant benefit from the cold, as well as a better grip when standing at the tee and that all important hole. Price £20 From underarmour.co.uk

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Feature /// Healthy Christmas



Personal trainer Gareth Sapstead offers some useful tips for keeping active between the parties and presents

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• Can’t get to the gym? Have 20 minutes to spare? Try this quick and simple bodyweight routine from home: EXERCISE REPETITIONS Repeat for 2-4 rounds A) Any Plank Variation Hold for as long as you can in a correct position. Move to B. B) Bodyweight Forward Lunge As many as you can alternating for 30-45 seconds. Move to C. C) Any Push-Up Variation As many as you can for 30-45 seconds. Move to D. D) Bodyweight Side Lunge As many as you can alternating for 30-45 seconds. Move to E. E) Burpees As many as you can for 30-45 seconds. Rest for 1 minute.

THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD is a time of year where ordinary life and daily routines can completely mess up. Often it’s the happiest time of the year, but with all this festive fun there comes a price; less exercise, more TV, and a load more junk food! And why not?! If there’s any time of year you can let your hair down and take your gym trainers off; it’s the Christmas holiday season. That being said, there are still ways to maintain, and even push to achieve your health and fitness goals during this time of year. You just have to be smart about it, and maximise the time you do have. Here are eight essential tips to help you keep your fitness journey on track during this difficult (and tempting!) time of year: • Every opportunity you get to exercise, make it count – in order to make a positive change to your health, fitness and body shape; it’s essential that you include some form of progression in to your exercise routine, and you push yourself every chance you get. As you might be short on time, and even motivation during the holiday period it’s important that you make the most of every opportunity you have to exercise. Set mini-goals for your sessions, strive to get better, try to break personal bests, whether it’s 15 minutes or one hour you have it’s enough of an opportunity to get better at something. Strive for progress! • Try some resistance-based circuit training for time-saving results – this form of training offers a huge bang for your buck; it can boost your resting metabolism for up to 36 hours, help shape and build muscle, turns you in to a fat burning machine, easy to set-up and can easily be done in less than 30 minutes. Just set-up a circuit of 4-6 resistance exercises and perform them back to back with minimal rest. Once

you’ve completed one circuit rest for 1-2 minutes and then repeat again until you’ve done it 3-5 times. Quick stretch and then go home. Exercise done for the day, and a few more mince pies you’ve burnt off! • Stay active outside of the gym – the Christmas period is often a time of year where a lot of it is spent at home, or around friends and family. And as much as you may want to, sacrificing seeing that Great Aunt you haven’t seen for years to get to the gym probably isn’t going to go down well! Instead, plan your days to be active ones; go for long walks with the family, go and hunt and chop down your own Christmas tree, do some gardening, catch up on jobs around the house. Anything that might get you a little sweaty will help with damage control from all that eating, and much better than sitting on the sofa with a bowl of nuts or tin of sweets in front of you!

• Try something outside of your comfort zone – use this holiday season as an opportunity to do some exercises, routines or a new sport outside of your comfort zone. Routines and weekly training schedules are all over the place, so you might as well try something new, who knows you might find a new favourite love. If you’re a gym bunny, try getting outside and going for a run. If you’re a runner then try training like a powerlifter for a month. Organise a little 5-a-side football match with your friends. You get the picture; just push your comfort zone out a little. • Perform bodyweight exercises and stretches throughout the day, any time you have two minutes spare. The above routine will give you some ideas, but you can’t go too wrong here with exercise choice. By making sure you’re moving constantly through the day you’re ensuring that your metabolism is staying alight; it’s a bit like throwing some extra coal on to your Christmas fire, you’ve got to keep that fire and that metabolism stoked up and burning! • Find yourself a personal trainer – a good personal trainer will assess your body type, your movement, strength and weaknesses, factor in your time constraints and daily habits, and structure a programme base around your individual needs. A personal trainer is accountable for your results, so at least if you’re not achieving any over the holiday season you’ll have someone you can blame!! • Use the 90% food rule – make healthy food choices 90% of the time. It’s unrealistic to be 100% compliant to a healthy diet throughout this time of year, but with 90% you can still expect great results, and still feel healthy. This allows you 10% of your week to indulge in whatever you desires and to enjoy yourself without guild. At the start of January you’ll be in a good place to start your New Year fitness plan. New Year with a brand new healthy and happy you!

GARETH SAPSTEAD MSC CSCS Gareth is one of the leading personal trainers in the UK. Based in Market Harborough, he’s a fitness writer, author, healthy recipe conjurer and award-winning blogger at thefitnessmaverick.com. For personal training enquires contact Gareth at: www.thefitnessmaverick.com/contact Mobile: 07825 640837

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Feature /// Healthy Christmas

12 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY AND INDULGENT CHRISTMAS Nutritionist Helen Cole with some clever tips for healthier, but still fun, festive eating

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most of which are loaded with trans fats (found in foods fried in hydrogenated oils). Add healthier options to the usual mix such as homemade avocado dip or homemade smoked mackerel pate, to boost essential fatty acid intake (which lowers cholesterol). Serve both with vegetable crudités to load up on your five-a-day. • Healthy fats for your roasties. While we’re looking at fats and as tempting as it is, avoid using animal fats for your roast potatoes and opt instead for a plant oil, such as rapeseed oil. Animal fats are saturated (i.e. they are solid at room temperature) and increase the risk of heart disease, whereas plant oils are rich in monounsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and some cancers. • Boost your immune system. Add sweet potatoes to your tray of roast potatoes. They are packed with vitamin D, which is really hard to get enough of at this time of year and is critical for our immunity and overall health. They are also a good source of magnesium, the relaxation and anti-stress mineral which, if you are hosting Christmas, you may need plenty of! • Love your sprouts steamed. Brussels sprouts are exceptionally rich in protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but if you boil them, you are destroying most of these wonderful nutrients. Opt for lightly steaming them instead to lock in the goodness. You could even try shredding them and gently steam-frying them in a deep frying pan with lid. Just add a little water to prevent them from catching.

WE ALL LIKE TO INDULGE a little and the festive period is when we do so in abundance. Most of us eat more, drink more and exercise less – it’s just the way it is. We start to feel sluggish and a little jaded, which bizarrely just makes us do it more. That’s all well and good, but how about making just a few small changes to your usual eating and drinking habits without feeling you’ve sacrificed anything. Here are a few tips on how you can enjoy a healthier yet indulgent Christmas. You’ll feel so much better and ready to embrace the New Year with a spring in your step. • Start the day fresh. What we eat first thing can influence our choices for the day. If you eat high fat and high sugar foods, or skip breakfast, you’re more likely to eat high fat, high sugar

foods throughout the day. Eat at least 1 portion of fresh fruit before you have anything else. You may find you’ll then only want 1 slice of toast or a smaller bowl of cereal. • The morning after. Before you head for the bacon, make a ‘berry-fast smoothie’ (recipe on the next page). You’ll feel energised and revitalised and you’ll get an instant hit of vitamins and antioxidants. If you still require carbohydrate, have 1 slice of granary toast with a teaspoon of peanut butter. This has been tried and tested by family and friends after a heavy night and they are always amazed at how good they feel afterwards. • Add in a few healthy nibbles. Drinks and canapés are everywhere over the festive period,

• Recycle your cooking water. Even though steaming helps to lock in most of the nutrients present in your vegetables, some is still lost. Steam all of the vegetables you would normally boil, using the same water each time (you may need to top it up as it reduces down). Use this in your gravy as you would normally – by the time you’ve steamed all your vegetables you’ll have a good amount of nutrients left in the water. • Add chopped chestnuts to your stuffing. Unlike other nuts, chestnuts are relatively low in calories as they carry less fat and are chiefly made of starch, making them nutritionally more comparable to sweet potatoes. They are incredibly rich in vitamin C, fibre, folates, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. I could go on but in a nutshell (pardon the pun), they are incredibly good for you.

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Feature /// Healthy Christmas

• A lighter option for a quick dessert. Make or buy a batch of individual meringue nests and top with 0% fat greek yogurt and berries. Meringues keep in an airtight container for a few weeks, so you can make this dessert when required. You also won’t have a fridge full of half eaten puddings (those you always have to eat when you open the fridge door). Lighter in calories, and refreshing you’ll top up your 5-a-day without even realising it. • Eating at the right time. I use these timings every year as it fits in with wishing everyone in my local pub a Happy Christmas. Have your usual breakfast (to include fresh fruit) and at lunchtime – early afternoon, serve canapés. Make these serve as your starter too and go straight in to your healthier Christmas main course at 4-5pm. Finish with your desserts and you won’t need to hit turkey sandwiches and mince pies later. • Turkey leftovers. Turkey is a great source of protein and, with the skin removed, pretty low in fat. However, if you’re making sandwiches avoid loading with butter, mayonnaise and leftover stuffing and bread sauce. Use instead, some of the avocado dip, add salad leaves and tomato and choose wholemeal / granary bread where possible. If you make turkey soup – ensure you skim off any fat from the stock you’ve made and add your leftover vegetables for extra nutrients. • Alcohol – understand your measures and make the right choices. Choosing your alcohol carefully can dramatically alter the effects it has

on your health. Beer and wine are pretty high in calories and sugar, so try swapping the occasional pint of beer or large glass of wine for a single measure of a spirit with a low calorie mixer, such as a gin and slimline tonic, or have a small measure of white wine topped up with soda water. My Christmas store cupboard essentials: 1. Frozen berries – either buy already frozen or fresh and freeze at home. Use for smoothies and defrost for desserts 2. Porridge oats 3. 0% fat greek yogurt (not Greek style) 4. Dried fruits and nuts (to sprinkle on breakfast cereals or eat as a snack) 5. Avocados 6. Selection of vegetables for crudités or a quick snack 7. Ground cinnamon and ginger (these can really liven up porridge, smoothies or desserts) 8. Meringue nests 9. Chestnuts 10. Slim line mixers Berry-fast smoothie recipe Per serving: 1 handful of frozen berries (such as raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries) 1 ripe banana 1 dessert spoon of 0% fat greek yogurt 1 dessert spoon of porridge oats ¼ - ½ pint skimmed milk Simply place all ingredients in to a blender and blitz for 30 seconds or until smooth. Drink immediately. Fewer calories, less alcohol and helps you to remain hydrated.

HELEN COLE At Cole Nutrition we develop a lot of our own recipes, which we share with our clients. We offer a full dietary analysis to identify the requirements for each individual. Together, we look at current eating and lifestyle patterns or habits and identify possible changes in realistic and achievable terms. Whatever your lifestyle, we will endeavour to find the perfect balance for a happy, healthy you. If you would like to book a consultation or find out more about what Cole Nutrition can offer, contact Helen Cole on 07966 050 193, email colenutritionh@gmail. com or visit the website at www.colenutrition.co.uk.

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Get three hours of your day back IS TOO MUCH time commuting making you tired, stressed, depressed and unfit? Perhaps it is time to get your life back. Commuting to and from work can have negative effects on your health, research has found. According to the Office for National Statistics, journeys lasting between 60-90 minutes have the most negative effect on a person’s well-being, and the average commuter loses a year and three months of their life – a whopping 10,634 hours. Professor Jenny Roberts, from the University of Sheffield, has researched how well-being is affected by changes in commuting times by tracking 7,000 men and 7,000 women over 13 years. She discovered that women were more adversely affected by commuting. “The only reason we could come up with was trip-chaining,” Prof Roberts explains. “Women tend to make more interim stops on their journey, via the nursery or the school or the shops, so they have less flexibility and do more multiple activities. This adds stress to commuting.” Commuting affects well-being because of the link between stress and mental health, which is well established. The stress is caused by a lack of control during commuting, caused by delayed trains, traffic jams and unpredictable weather, for example. Research also shows that boredom and social isolation among commuters can lead to unhappiness. There is also a hefty financial cost. A basic annual season ticket on the Peterborough to London train costs in excess of £6,000, excluding underground travel – a staggering 23% of the UK’s average salary. Leading financial services organisation, BGL Group, headquartered in Peterborough’s Orton Southgate, is experiencing an increase in the number of people who are trading in the daily commute to cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and London, for careers much closer to home, in an effort to achieve a better work/life balance. This meaning that commuters no longer need to spend up to three hours of their day travelling to work as there are a host of great careers far closer to home. Caroline Raines from Bourne joined BGL two years ago as senior PR manager, having previously worked in Manchester. She spoke about the improvements in her home life since joining the group: “I can walk my dog every morning, and with flexible working now firmly part of the culture, I can even take my girls to school now and again, which makes a huge difference to them and to me. All of this without compromising my career development. I’m really not sure why I didn’t do it sooner.” Corporate affairs manager Andy Gray commuted to London for a year before joining BGL. He said: “The change in my work/life balance since joining BGL has been dramatic! I’ve got the best part of three hours of my day back, and feel much more energised and happy as a result.”

Top five things to do with your new-found time: Join a gym: You can improve your health and wellbeing by working out before or aer work. Spend more time with your loved ones: See more of your family and friends. Eat healthier: Ditch the junk food on the go lifestyle and replace it with a home cooked, healthier option.

Boost your social life: Use your evening to go to the cinema, have a stroll around the local park or join your local sports team. Learn something new: Make the most of your new found free time to improve yourself. Try things like yoga, playing the guitar or taking a cooking class.

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// Edited by Sandie Hurford

Take a leaf out of Puss’s book – don’t let Christmas stress you out

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN: Reduce your Chistmas stress Christmas is typically one of the most stressful events of the year. The expense of buying gis, the pressure of last-minute shopping and the heightened expectations of family togetherness can all combine to undermine our best intentions. Some practical suggestions can help you reduce your ‘Christmas stress’. BUDGETING FOR CHRISTMAS For many of us, the Christmas aermath includes massive credit card bills that can take months to clear. Christmas doesn’t have to be a financial headache if you plan ahead. Stress reduction strategies include: ■ Work out a rough budget of expected Christmas costs as early as possible. This includes ‘hidden’

expenses such as food bills and overseas telephone charges. ■ Calculate how much disposable income you have between now and Christmas. A certain percentage of this can be dedicated each week (or fortnight or month) to covering your expected Christmas costs. Don’t be discouraged if the amount seems small. If you save £5, £10, or £20 per week over a year, it can provide you with a hey nest egg. ■ If your nest egg isn’t enough to cover your estimated expenses, consider recalculating your Christmas budget to a more realistic amount. ■ If you have trouble keeping your hands off your Christmas nest egg, consider opening a ‘Christmas Club’ account.

PRESENTS If you have a large circle of extended family or friends to buy gis for, it can be very costly. You might be able to reduce the stress and cost of Christmas for everyone if you suggest a change in the way your family and friends give presents. For example, you could suggest that your group: ■ Buy presents only for the children. ■ Have a ‘Secret Santa’, where everyone draws a name out of a hat and buys a present only for that person. ■ Set a limit on the cost of presents for each person. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING According to a recent study, around 60% of people

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Active Fit

dislike Christmas shopping, just 20% plan their shopping expeditions, and the majority of us (nearly 75%) oen come home without a single purchase for our efforts. Stress reduction strategies for successful Christmas shopping include: ■ Make a list of all the gis you wish to buy before you go shopping. If you wait for inspiration to strike, you could be wandering aimlessly around the shopping centre for hours. Get to know the interests of family and friends to help you when choosing gis (remember money is also a great gi as it allows people to choose what they want). ■ Cross people off the list as you buy to avoid duplication. ■ Buy a few extras, such as chocolates, just in case you forget somebody or you have unexpected guests bearing gis. ■ If possible, do your Christmas shopping early – in the first week of December or even in November. Some well-organised people do their Christmas shopping gradually over the course of the year, starting with the post-Christmas sales. ■ Buy your gis by mail catalogue or over the Internet. Some companies will also gi-wrap and post your presents for a small additional fee. THE CHRISTMAS MEAL Preparing a meal for family and friends can be enjoyable but tiring and stressful at the same time. Some tips to reduce the stress of Christmas cooking include: ■ If you are cooking lunch at home, delegate tasks. You don’t need to do everything yourself. ■ Consider keeping it simple – for instance, you could always arrange for a ‘buffet’ lunch, where everybody brings a plateful. ■ Make a list of food and ingredients needed. Buy as many non-perishable food items as you can in advance – supermarkets on Christmas Eve are generally extremely busy. ■ Write a Christmas Day timetable. For example, 11.30am – put turkey in the oven. ■ You may need to order particular food items (such as turkeys) from your supermarket by a certain date. Check to avoid disappointment. ■ Consider doing your food shopping online and having your groceries delivered to your door. ■ Book well in advance if you plan to have lunch at a restaurant. Some restaurants may be fully booked for months before Christmas, so don’t wait till the last minute.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: • Save a percentage of your disposable

income throughout the year to provide a nest egg for Christmas expenses.

• Make a list of all the gis and food you wish to buy and shop early.

• Don’t expect miracles – if you and

certain family members bicker all year long, you can be sure there’ll be tension at Christmas gatherings.

can’t (or don’t want to) step off the social merry-go-round, at least try to eat and drink in moderation. ■ Get enough sleep – plan for as many early nights as you can. ■ Keep moving – keeping up your regular exercise routine can give you the fitness and stamina to make it through the demands of the festive season. ■ People under stress tend to ‘self-medicate’ with alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs. Try to remember that drugs can’t solve problems or alleviate stress in the long term.

■ Family members involved in aer-lunch activities (such as cricket on the back lawn) are less likely to get into arguments. Plan for something to do as a group aer lunch if necessary.

When things get too much...

THE LITTLE EXTRAS Other ways to reduce stress include: ■ Write up a Christmas card list and keep it in a safe place so that you can refer to it (and add or delete names) year aer year. ■ Write your Christmas cards in early December. Book a date in your diary so you don’t forget. ■ Christmas cards with ‘Card only’ marked on the envelope can be posted at a reduced rate during November and December. ■ Overseas mail at Christmas time takes longer to arrive. Arrange to send cards or presents in the first half of December to avoid disappointments (and long queues at the post office). ■ For great savings, buy Christmas necessities (such as cards, wrapping paper, ribbons and decorations) at post-Christmas sales.

The extra financial burden, dealing with relatives, an overload of people, alcohol, food, and over-excited children can all contribute to increasing levels of stress and anxiety. Stress can cause everything from lost libido and depression to a heart attack and is one of the biggest health problems facing people today. As an antidote to pre-Christmas stress, hypnosis has been shown to be an effective and powerful tool in aiding relaxation and combating stress, and with the Relaxation and Stress Management CD/MP3, it takes just half an hour in the privacy of your own home to feel refreshed, calm and in control. The CD’s narration is based on the Maggie Howell method of hypnosis and includes positive suggestions to manage stress on a daily basis. By listening for half an hour each day, you may benefit from better sleep and feel more confident and in control of your life. The Relaxation and Stress Management CD RRP £11.99/MP3 RRP £10 is available from www. natalhypnotherapy.co.uk , www.amazon.co.uk and itunes

GENERAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING Some other ways to keep your stress levels down include: ■ Try to be moderate – it may be the season to be jolly, but too much food and alcohol is harmful. Drink driving is a real danger and is illegal. If you

While it’s chilly on the outside, stay chilled on the inside

RELATIONSHIPS Stress, anxiety, and depression are common during the festive season. If nothing else, reassure yourself that these feelings are normal. Stress reduction strategies include: ■ Don’t expect miracles. If you and certain family members bicker all year long, you can be sure there’ll be tension at Christmas gatherings. ■ Avoid known triggers. For example, if politics is a touchy subject in your family, don’t talk about it. If someone brings up the topic, use distraction and quickly move on to something else to talk about. ■ Use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or focusing on your breath to cope with anxiety or tension.

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// Active Fit

Kidology Function Jigsaw’s Max Hartman on how kids develop at sport and how they should learn and train WITH SO MUCH opportunity for participation in schools and local clubs, summer seasons and winter seasons, what should your children be doing to ensure that they grow into the best athlete they can be? At Function Jigsaw we are proud of the fact that we have a history of successfully managing the treatment and injury rehabilitation of a number of young athletes participating in sports at a high level. One thing that we often see cropping up is that the plan for their physical development is often far from optimal and in some cases is a significant barrier to achieving their highest levels of performance. The age-old adage that weightlifting stunts the growth of young athletes is again something that comes up time and time again. Parents wanting the best for their children often push to play more sports, train more times a week, or play harder for longer.

The Long Term Athlete Development model

The Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model was proposed by the Canadian National coaching Institute in 2004 and proposed that the development of young athletes was dependant on certain ‘windows of opportunity’ as they grow up, suggesting that depending on their age children would respond differently to being trained for speed, agility, strength etc. As this model has evolved, our understanding of the principles has altered dramatically. One recurring theme across many of the studies on training young athletes is that training must be matched to the age of the individual. While age is most easily measured in terms of years of age (chronological age), the most effective way to train young athletes is in relation to their proximity to peak height velocity (PHV), which is the period during which the child has their largest and fastest

growth spurt, usually around the age of 14 in boys and slightly earlier in girls. Before this physical maturation, most physical development through training is brought about by improvements in movement skills and the development of the nervous system.

Improving movement, not strength and endurance

So what does this mean for mum and dad taking their son to the local football club? If your 10-year-old’s coach has the team doing endless pushups, sit-ups, and shuttle runs to try and get them fit, stop them right there! At this age, before physical maturation has occurred, training for speed and agility, improved coordination, and movement quality will all yield the best results and the greatest reduction in injury risk. As children go through this period of development, from the age of 5 – 13, most of their characteristics for acceleration

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// Active Fit

and maximal speed begin to develop, and so training should focus on short duration, high intensity efforts that teach and train your child to move fast and change direction quickly. Furthermore, including heavy strength training or cardiovascular work at this age will often prove ineffective, as children do not possess the hormonal maturity to respond well to weightlifting or endurance training. Instead, focus should be placed on complex fundamental movements that teach the youngster to control their own body effectively and move in efficient ways. Going back to our ‘biological age’ idea, pre-peak height velocity we should be aiming to improve the quality of movement such as squats and lunges, jumping and landing, running, rolling, pushing and pulling, before we can even begin to consider making the child ‘strong’ in the muscle groups involved in these movements.

Picking a sport

So, what does this mean for picking a sport for your child to participate in? Which sports are the best? Then answer to this is really that no one sport is king in developing athletes, and that sport for children should be about giving the individual as much opportunity to practice these movements in as many situations as possible to develop the movement as fully as possible. With that considered, playing different sports, playing in different positions, and taking different roles in different games is essential

when providing young athletes with opportunities to develop. It should come as no surprise then, that sports such as gymnastics yield fantastic physical development from an early age. Being able to run and jump, tumble over boxes, flip into foam pits, and try complex movements, all performed in a safe environment allows children to explore their own movement and develop these characteristics to a great level. Other sports such as rugby, football, cricket, and other field sports all offer similar opportunities, and are often utilised best when children do not specialise early, move from position to position to develop as many physical characteristics as possible up to the age where they develop physically and mature.

Physical maturity

Upon physical maturation, we actually often see a significant decrease in the physical abilities and co-ordination of athletes as they begin to adjust to a bigger, taller, heavier, and more cumbersome body.

The brain is essentially playing catch-up for 6-18 months after a child has their biggest growth spurt. With this considered, all of the training mentioned already should be continued to ensure that this coordination is retrained as fully as possible and movement quality is maintained. On top of this, after PHV has occurred, usually around the age of 14-15, we can start to consider training children for strength and endurance as their body is more readily equipped to adapt to the stress of training. This means introducing work with heavier weights, more endurance and fitness training, and the possible introduction of ‘specialist’ positional training. It should still be said that up until the age of 18-20, the participation in multiple sports is still encouraged and can continue to be of great benefit to an athlete. Several high profile cases have been documented recently in the media of elite level sporting institutions encouraging multiple sports for their young athletes. Barcelona FC were recently applauded for providing basketball coaching to their young academy scholars with the aim of developing better spatial awareness, jump and land mechanics, and challenge their movement under different constraints. It is also of particular interest that the USA women’s soccer team that won the world cup last year played no fewer than 14 sports between them up to college age, showing that pursuing multiple athletic endeavours to a later age can help you to perform at a higher level once late specialisation into one sport or position has occurred.

So in conclusion, play everything…

So, to answer our question, what should children be doing exactly? In my mind, under no circumstances is physical activity damaging to a child when it is correctly coached and delivered in appropriate volume. Encourage good quality movement from an early age and challenge your child physically whenever possible. If your child is very good at football then by all means encourage the pursuit of a high standard of football, but think of other sports that will benefit footballing performance in the long run: basketball, athletics, gymnastics to name just a few. Aim for long term athletic development and prowess, and avoid the temptation to pursue one sport at an early age. One national championship at under 15s level is a memory to look back on fondly, but does not necessarily guarantee or underpin long term sporting success. Being first and foremost an athlete is a much more important quality to instil than being a school phenomenon! Move well, move often, and enjoy your time spent being active, success is sure to follow.


For further information regarding any of the content covered in this article, please contact Function Jigsaw on 0116 340 0255, @FunctionJigsaw info@FunctionJigsaw.co.uk

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Feature /// Great walks


This walk is just the right distance to blow the cobwebs away, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


I parked on the road by St Andrew’s Church but you can park anywhere in the village. Take the footpath which runs down the left side of the church, go through the gate and head down the hill. Turn left just before the bridge over the stream and then follow the path to the gateway. Turn right here and walk straight up the road and out of the village, gradually climbing as you go. The path here is actually a well-established roadway so it’s pretty easy going. You will continue with some woodland on your left and an open field on the right. When you come to the thin belt of woodland on your right hand side you will see the path heading off to the right before the next gateway. Take this path through the trees and you will soon come to

a footpath junction with a signpost. Take the left hand option and you very shortly come out into a large open field with views out towards Toft. Turn left and follow the path with the hedge on your left all the way down to the end of the field. Here you will see the gateway leading to the road up towards the tiny hamlet of Lound. Walk up the hill to the road junction and turn right towards Toft. This tree-lined country lane between Toft and Lound is extremely quiet and, as roads go, it’s a pleasure to walk on. After about half a mile you will find yourself walking around a left hand bend and you will see the Toft House Hotel immediately on your right. Turn right here and head out of Toft, staying on the right hand side of the main road with the golf course to your left on the other side of the road. Take care when walking over the narrow hump back bridge with cars coming into the village at some speed. It’s best to wait until there are no cars approaching before nipping over, and then almost immediately afterwards take the footpath which veers off to the right and over the

fields and up the hill. From here it’s pretty much a straight line back to Witham but you do have to cross a few fields and boundaries on the way. The footpath is marked but not always very clearly but you can see your destination in the distance so you will find the way.

Clockwise, from above

To House Hotel is a convenient half-way stop-off point; quiet country lanes are a feature of this walk

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n To railway The little know Eastern & the on tunnel the north of the Midlands line to village connected th the east the Midlands wi coast ports.


➛ ➛


ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Distance and time Three and a half miles/one hour and a quarter. Highlights A decent combination of contours means you will be well exercised but not exhausted. Witham is an attractive village. Lowlights You have to wait for a gap in the traffic when crossing the hump-back bridge in To. Refreshments The Six Bells, or the To House Hotel for a quick drink halfway round. Difficulty rating Three paws. Not too challenging but there are a few contours and the uphill climb on the return to Witham might be a bit heavy underfoot depending on the weather. The pooch perspective Hardly any livestock on the way round when I did it but not much fresh water either.

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Feature /// Sportsman's Dinner

The Bombay Cottage, Stamford Will and Wendy pay a visit to a perennial favourite Indian restaurant Will The Bombay is one of the most established restaurants in the area, having been running for 22 years. In that time it has seen a few pretenders to the crown of best curry house around but still stands firmly on top of the tree. As Stamford residents we are regular customers, either dining in or picking up a takeaway on the way home. In fact the only problem we sometimes have is that they are so busy it can be hard to get through on the phone to get that order in! Wendy It always feels special here. The friendly bar in the reception area works really well and allows for the brilliant team to greet every single diner with a big smile and a handshake. We all like to be made to feel welcome when we go out and other restaurants and pubs could take a leaf out of the Bombay's book. Will They certainly do and it’s clear from looking around the almost full restaurant tonight that everyone is very happy. Many of them seem to be regulars and there are plenty of familiar faces. On a Thursday night after what has already been a very busy week it’s hard to beat a fresh pint of Cobra and a crisp poppadom, mango chutney, mint raita and lime pickle for sheer relaxation. It’s a simple recipe but it just works.

Wendy It certainly does, although I only have a half pint! They have put up some new pictures since we were last here and I really like them. It’s a listed building with lots of exposed timbers in the high ceiling and the new pictures of colourful tuk-tuks and fishermen in Bangladesh are so vivid they really work in contrast to the traditional old English building. Will We don’t usually have a starter because poppadoms do that job pretty well but I’m glad we decided to share Tawa king prawns (£4.95) tonight. Tossed over the griddle and served sizzling away with a spicy sauce and grilled vegetables it’s a treat for all the senses. Wendy Just the smell on its own was fantastic and the sight and sound of the sizzling plate makes it quite a spectacle. It’s really well spiced yet you can still taste the prawn and the lemon – I’m just concerned that it might have made quite a dent in my appetite. But I have been to the gym twice today so I’m sure I will manage. Will I thought it was a nice light starter. Good job really because my main course was so good I would have hated to have left any! Achar Gosih-ka-salan (£8.50) is tender and tasty pieces of lamb cooked in yoghurt, pickled spices,

mustard and hot green chillies. With some mushroom rice and sag bhajee (fresh spinach cooked with garlic and light spices) it was not far from the perfect curry. Another pint of Cobra was the icing on the cake too. Wendy I don’t recall you ever leaving anything on your plate! But I’m glad you were here to help me finish my gigantic tandoori mixed grill. Chicken, chicken tikka, sheek kebab, lamb chops and king prawns (£12.90) seemed like enough for two and the lamb chops and beautifully marinated and cooked chicken were the highlights. That chicken was so succulent I want to know exactly how they make it. Will It’s such a pleasant atmosphere in here and the food is so good it’s hardly a surprise it’s so popular. They are looking forward to a busy Christmas period and I can’t think of anywhere better to come and have a delicious curry with some friends and family over the festive period.

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Feature /// School sports

Pupils on fast track to success Pupils from local school raced their hand-made Go-Karts against each other in the Goblin Karting event, held at RAF Wittering recently. The pupils have been building and personalising their own Go-Karts since the beginning of this term as part of Greenpower’s IET Goblin Karting initiative. The project aims to inspire children aged between 9-11 to take an interest in engineering in a fun and engaging way. Two karts are sent to each school flatpacked, and pupils must then build their karts and develop their own personalised panels for them. Teams are then marked in terms of outright speed and on their kart’s design. The week’s bad weather had cast doubt on the event but thankfully a break in the rain allowed the racing to take place. Competing teams were Stamford Junior School, St Gilbert’s, Malcolm Sargent and St Augustine’s primary schools. They first competed against each other in a series of drag races before each kart took on a three lap time trial on a track specially designed for the event. Stamford Junior School year six class teacher, Ellie Quare said: “The Greenpower Project has been an invaluable learning experience for the pupils. They have found out more about engineering as well as teamwork, responsibility and project management. Their energy and enthusiasm carried them through even when problems arose. They loved every minute and are now keen to act as advisors to the next group of pupils who will undertake the project.”

Stamford are county netball champions Stamford High School’s 1st VII netball team became Lincolnshire county champions after convincingly winning the county tournament hosted at Stamford High School in November. Six teams from the region qualified for the round robin tournament and SHS remained unbeaten, scoring an impressive 76 goals and only conceding 17 throughout the tournament. SHS’s first game against Casitor Grammar – last year’s county winners – set the tone for the rest of the tournament, winning 15-4 in just 20 minutes. Spalding Grammar proved a tricky game, the wind hindering the girls’ shooting. Despite this the team managed to clinch an 8-2 victory. The third match against Carres Grammar resulted in a 20-2 win. The final two games against Bourne Grammar and Priory LSST Lincoln saw convincing wins of 19-6 and 14-3 respectively. SHS proved their credentials as a strong team with a defensive unit led faultlessly by Maddie Munro-Hall. Velvet Cordial and Honor Munro-Hall proved unstoppable in the D scoring all 76 goals between them and Isabel Chedd, Emily Grace, Alex Wilkinson and Eliza

Above, from le

Alex Wilkinson, Maddie Munro-Hall, Deanna Alderman, Velvet Cordial, Emily Grace, Honor Munro-Hall (captain), Eliza Kay, Isabel Chedd and Charlie Crombie

Kay held the centre court well.  Maddie Munro-Hall, has become one of the youngest players ever to be selected for Loughborough Lightning’s national Super League Netball squad. As a current member of

the long squad, Maddie currently trains with England international players every Thursday evening. Additionally she is being coached by former England players Karen Atkinson and Olivia Murphy.

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21/11/2015 18:15

Bourne Grammar teams through to regional cross-country finals Following the success at Crowland in the first round of the competition, all four of the Bourne Grammar cross-country teams progressed to the reginal finals at Chesterfield last month. This is the first time in a number of years that Bourne Grammar boys and girls junior (year 7 and 8) and the inter (year 9 and 10) teams have all reached this stage of the competition and arguably produced the school’s best ever performances. Hills, wind and rain made ideal conditions for cross country as the athletes gained experience in competing on a wet and muddy course. With the competition at a high standard the students’ exceptional effort, attitude and commitment was going to be needed to reach the national final in Bedford on December 5. At the end of the three races the Bourne Grammar Junior Girls finished in third place and the Inter Girls team had claimed second position, therefore both would progress and for the seventh time in eight years, Bourne Grammar will be represented in the national final. The inter boys and junior boys teams both came fourth, narrowly missing out on a place in the final.

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58.indd 1

20/11/2015 10:46

Feature /// School sport

U16s win Midlands hockey tournament Oakham’s U16 Girls Hockey team won their Midlands tournament to secure themselves a place in the regional final. The zonal round was held at Trent College with schools from across the Midlands competing – including Trent College, Kings High, Warwick, Oundle and Moreton Hall. “The girls grew in strength and confidence throughout the tournament to bring home an impressive win,” says director of girls’ sport, Michelle Northcott.

National U18 football call Two of Oakham School’s talented footballers were thrilled to be selected to play for the Independent Schools Football Association National U18 representative squad. Alicia Schwarzenbach and Penny Skipper, who are both sport scholars at Oakham, played two games for the ISFA U18 team during the half term break. Alicia scored in both of the matches in which they played. Both players have chalked up a number of accolades over the past year, having previously been selected for regional and national ISFA squads. They were also part of Oakham’s winning 1st XI squad, who were last year crowned national Independent Schools Football champions. Oakham School football coach Rob Johnson said: “It is clear to all who watch these two play that they are natural talents, the likes of which you rarely come across. “The whole Oakham squad continues to enjoy their success and benefit from their generous guidance on the training field and in matches.”

Catmose cross-country success In November, the Catmose College Year 7 boys’ cross-country team travelled to Thomas Estley, Broughton Astley to take part in what turned out to be another successful Leicestershire and Rutland Cross Country Cup event. The weather initially was appalling with strong winds and rain but by the time the race was due to start the weather had improved. The boys were extremely excited, as they are currently top of the league, but were also anxious that they may not achieve their goal. The strategy was to be positioned in the top three and remain as close as possible to the front runner. William Way went off strongly and finished his lap a close third which gave Jack Welch the opportunity to overtake into second place on the next leg. Archie Cropper retained this position and very nearly caught up the front runner. Sam Lowings was now in a strong position to win the race, and during the early part of his lap he took the lead and finished first convincingly. The boys were delighted and received medals and a cup for their efforts.

Oakham win netball title Oakham’s U19 Girls won the Leicestershire Schools County Tournament held at Leicester Grammar School. “The girls played brilliantly throughout the tournament, displaying excellent teamwork,” says director of girls sport, Michelle Northcott. “If they can take these same skills and this positive approach into the regional tournament, they have a strong chance of progressing to the Nationals in March 2016.” /// D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 5 9

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20/11/2015 16:09

Roundup The scores, star performers and stats from a month in local sport


A hat-trick of wins for Stamford and Oakham BY JEREMY BESWICK


Saturday afternoon watching amateur rugby on the touchline is the perfect antidote to England’s World Cup disappointment, and there was much to enjoy and admire from our local sides this month, with both Stamford and Oakham registering a hat-trick of wins. Having so nearly been relegated last season, Stamford sit proudly atop their division with a near-perfect record. First up for them was an away fixture at Market Bosworth – a testing trip as Bosworth themselves were also close to the top and town had lost this fixture 32-8 last time around. Head coach Matt Albinson summed it up: “With the majority of the squad being the same as last year, memory served to reinforce that Bosworth would provide a stern test, especially upfront with their heavy pack.” Nerves were settled by Steve Taylor, who claimed the opening try within the first five minutes and a well worked catch and drive from a line out saw number eight Bruce

Parker increase town’s lead to 12 points before a quick tap penalty from Bosworth – taken while captain Austin Schwartz was still being spoken to by the ref – reduced the deficit to 12-7. This spurred Stamford on to play their best rugby of the match and a further try by Tom Dove – “with not one Bosworth hand touching a Stamford jersey it was as clean a training ground move as you are likely to see on a rugby field,” according to Albinson – and a second try from Parker saw them go into the break leading by 22-7. Town thought themselves unlucky to have two men sin-binned in the second period but Albinson admitted they lost their discipline a little as Bosworth came back with two tries, but ultimately their class told and they held on to win 22-19. Town would also need to overturn last season’s form for the visit of Melbourne the following week, who’d done the double on them in that campaign, so a 34-10 victory was yet another proof point of their remarkable improvement. Once again, Stamford came out

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with all guns blazing in the first half with tries from Ross, Taylor and Mutter (as well as three disallowed tries) seeing them to a comfortable 17-0 lead at the break. Melbourne pegged them back early on with a try of their own, but scores from Taylor, Schwartz and a 75-yard interception try from James O’Shea saw them home in some comfort. Albinson was particularly pleased that town had shown they could win not only by playing open rugby but could also prevail in a physical battle. “We’re growing as a side week in week out, and with a renewed level of confidence and expectation the coming weeks are going to be extremely exciting,” he said. Town completed their treble with a narrow 20-17 win away at Notts Casuals. Oakham’s young side now seems to be coming good as they gain experience after a worrying start. Having lost their opening three fixtures, they’ve now won four on the bounce. After breaking their duck at Vipers, fellow early-season strugglers Olney were the

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Tigers talk A thought-provoking press conference from Richard Cockerill this month. Amongst the usual nuts and bolts about injuries and forthcoming games, two interesting overlapping themes developed; the need to embrace southern hemisphere rugby philosophy and the criteria for appointing the next England manager. Cockers, as an ex-hooker managing a side that have always been renowned for their physical approach, can sometimes come across as a dyed-in-the-wool ‘forwards-first’ man, but in fact he’s always been more nuanced than that. However, whilst I wouldn’t describe him as having had a Damascene conversion since the recruitment of several Kiwi and Australian backs-oriented personnel to the coaching and playing staff, the mood music has certainly changed. “We have to keep Leicester Leicester,” he said. “And certain things are sacrosanct. We know Tigers will always be combative, but we also need to change and add some southern flair on top. It’s a matter of the subtleties of the game, that magic chemistry. We’ve all got a lot to learn, including me. I know what I don’t know – and I know I’m not the best man to coach the team how to attack.”. Kiwi Aaron Mauger (pictured), however, is. “Now we’ve got a really good balance in the coaching team. We have robust conversations but he gets the best out of the backs personality-wise. The dynamics are really good and I’m enjoying it. It’ll make us both better coaches.” The harder grounds down south mean that open rugby is feasible all year round but, as Cockers pointed out, it’s a learning process for Mauger too. “When the rain, snow, ice and mud come, you have to learn that maybe you don’t throw the ball around all the time.” As the conversation turned to his opinions about England’s search for a new man, some echoes from the back room at Welford Road reverberated visitors to the Showground and, as director of rugby Andy Williamson said: “With both teams at the foot of the table and targeting the encounter as a ‘must win’ game, it promised to be a tight affair, and so it proved.” The game started with resolute defence from both sides, but Oakham’s scrum was in the ascendancy and rising star Callum Crellin – a product of Oakham’s Colts – soon broke through to slip a pass to James Padley who went over, Crellin slotting the conversion. An exchange of penalties resulted in 10-3 half-time scoreline but Olney fought back in the third quarter and possibly deserved more than the three points they were able to gather in that period, but Oakham’s scrum continued to have the upper hand and Dan Watkins went over for another try after a penetrating break from James Beanland. Olney went over themselves late on to make the score 15-13 and ensure a nervous end, but they held out.

around the press room. “A head coach is only as good as the people around him” said Cockers. “You need to know what you’re not good at and recruit accordingly. We’ve got the sort of line up here that England need. A local guy through and through at the head but southern experience in the mix.” A braver man than I asked if he was miffed that his name never seems to be mentioned in connection with the England job. “Crikey – are they scraping the barrel that much?” he joked. “I’m not sure my personality suits the RFU. It would be interesting though if anyone from the union ever asked the Premiership managers about certain candidates. Also, Aaron’s amazed that no-one from there ever comes to see them in New Zealand and see how they do elite, high intensity coaching.” But wouldn’t he like to test himself at that level? “Not at this point, but in the future, yes. Whoever it is will need common sense, to believe in what you believe in and have the balls to stand up for it.” Alas, those are unlikely to be the Union’s criteria, but if they were, I reckon we were listening to the right man for the job.

Next up was away to rivals Peterborough, a fixture in which the scrum ascendancy was reversed, this time Oakham’s being the one under pressure with an injury-depleted front row. Peterborough had the better start and took the lead from a penalty, but substitute James Beanland notched up the opening try from a driving line out after 20 minutes. A penalty from Crellin increased their lead until Peterborough returned the compliment with a driving line out of their own and the conversion put them 10-8 ahead. One more penalty restored Oakham’s narrow lead before half time and, in the second with the wind at their backs, Beanland went over again and Oakham began to play with width and confidence. The ball bounced kindly for them from a Crellin box kick and Nick Wackwitch was able to score his first try for the Oaks as a result. With the score at 25-10 they seemed to have the match won but

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Peterborough kept coming back at them with scores of their own. Fortunately, each one seemed to rouse Oaks out of their slumber to reply with one of their own, the final result being 35-27. Some fortune was required to finish off their trio of wins at home to Rushden and Higham, who missed a last gasp conversion with the scores at 14-12. They now stand at fifth in the table. Deepings are having a better season this time around and victories against Bedford Swifts and Bourne have seen them climb their own league to also occupy fifth position, with fly-half Alex Arch impressing, but Stamford College Old Boys remain rooted to the foot of that table having lost all six of their opening fixtures, but even here there is light at the end of the tunnel as a home win against Thorney in their last match demonstrates. Let’s hope for better news from them next month.

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20/11/2015 16:13



A devastating month for the hunt community BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


his month has been a truly devastating one for the local hunting community, which started with the death of Cottesmore joint-master Gems Mccormick at the Fitzwilliam opening meet at Milton Park on November 4. Gems was a retired helicopter pilot and suffered a major brain bleed and crush injuries. From Melton Mowbray, Gems (44) was a very keen horsewomen, owning about 10 horses, most of which show jump with other riders, including the very famous Dougie Douglas who has just been sold at Gorsesbridge in Ireland record breaking 1.4 million Euros. Gems was best known on the hunting field though. She was a Cottesmore master from 2012, a wonderful joint-master and generous supporter of the Cottesmore. “We were lucky to have her. Always immaculately turned out, quietly and efficiently fulfilling her role and a pleasure to hunt with,” a spokesperson for the hunt said. Etti Dale also suffered a fall with the Belvoir

Fund-raising calendar Local rider Georgie Fenn took a bit of a tumble from her horse whilst out on a hack last year and required the assistance of the Air Ambulance. She has since organised a barn dance which raised a whopping £2,000 for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and now she plans to reach £10,000 aer putting together a naked calendar with a group of friends! It’s very tasteful, themed around the countryside and all proceeds go straight to the Air Ambulance aer generous sponsorship from Augean and Hanson towards the printing and postage costs.  To add some lovely artwork to your walls, or to just brighten your day with some spectacular country views, buy an ‘Around the Farm’ calendar at just £12 from www.aroundthefarm.co.uk the following Saturday at their Leicestershire opening meet at Long Clawson. She was lucky to walk a away with just three broken vertebrae. Etti, from Castle Bytham, is most local people’s equine physiotherapist, but will

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unfortunately be on box rest for at least two months. You’d be forgiven for thinking Dominic Gwyn-Jones was local as he spends most of his time out with the Belvoir and the

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20/11/2015 16:11



Gems Mccormick, joint-master of the Cottesmore, who died aer a fall from her horse at the Fitzwilliam’s opening meet of the season

Cottesmore, but he actually lives in London, and he too has broken his leg. He was kicked by his own horse. When I asked if that was done at the lorries or while on the floor, the reply I got was quite shocking, “No, my girlfriend was riding it.” I bet that made for some fun conversations! However, Dom will be fine and has had his leg pinned, therefore is weight bearing already and should be fine for the up-and-coming hunt ride season at which he is becoming famous. Although all of these accidents are

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unrelated, it is also coincidental that William Fox-Pitt is still recovering from a head injury, Andrew Nicholson is recovering from his broken neck and Michael Jung (this year’s Burghley winner) has a broken leg. There are a plethora of safety talks about to get underway. I am unsure of how they are going to make riding any safer. It is a risk that we are all made too well aware of. However, I do think it is time to ditch the Beagler out hunting, which is basically an old fashioned hunting hat, with no chinstrap and no cushioning inside. I personally have fallen with one on before and it rolled down the

road in front of me. I haven’t worn it since! I do see it as unnecessary risk in light of recent events. Similar arguments also come up with the new air jackets, but surely one death is education enough for all of us? On a lighter note, although the Cottesmore cancelled their meet the following day out of respect, hunting numbers aren’t dwindling, the Belvoir had between 80-90 mounted at both their opening meets as did the Fitzwilliam with some great days planned over the Christmas meets. Do please go and follow on foot or on horseback and support your local hunt in these trying times.


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Third time lucky for Drury’s Daniels BY DEAN CORNISH


s you probably know, this report is written on a monthly basis. Last month, for the first time since Active’s inception, I had to write about a sacking of a manager at Stamford AFC. In true ‘London buses’ style, it’s all change once again at the Zeeco stadium. Thankfully the Daniels aren’t turning into Leeds United. You won’t see Bob Feetham and the rest of the board hiding behind long hair and sunglasses, and sacking managers at the first sign of poor results, but instead, in this instance they should be applauded for taking decisive action at the right time. After David Staff’s departure, the board employed Andrew ‘Stan’ Wilson, who I mentioned last month was a risky appointment. That did indeed prove to be the case, with the inexperienced manager being sacked just 40 days into his tenure. While Wilson may have cause to complain that he wasn’t given enough time, the fact is that form was poor and without swift action the Daniels could have gone into the New Year floating

downstream without a boat, let alone a paddle. One win in 10 games isn’t good enough, and they were floating further and further from safety. So, the Daniels needed a man experienced in getting teams out of trouble, a man who knows the league, a man with knowledge of the local game, and a man with more contacts in his little black book than Peter Stringfellow. There was only one man for me who fitted the bill, and thankfully the board deemed it time again for Graham Drury to take the hot seat. Drury has twice managed the Daniels before, and both times has done an excellent job. However, in spite of his credentials, there are many who didn’t want to see ‘Gresh’ back at the club after he’d twice ruined the good work he’d been doing in the past by deserting the club by taking positions at firstly, Corby Town, and then at Boston United. In non-league football, managers do come and go, but it was the manner in which he left, especially for Corby, which really rankled Stamford fans. That season, after Drury’s departure, the Daniels dropped from eighth in

the league in January to finally being relegated on the final day of the season eight years ago. The team that escaped from being bottom in January to finally being safe? Yep, you guessed it... Corby Town. Drury did a great job down the A43, leading them to safety that year and then to the Conference North and twice into the FA Cup first round proper. That’s all history now though. Drury is back, and he is desperate to do the same for Stamford. He’s a passionate man, and I’m looking forward to the good times flooding back to the Daniels. In the UCL First Division meanwhile, it’s not been a good period for Oakham United. A month ago, they were riding high in third position in the league. Since then, three consecutive league defeats have seen them drop to seventh, conceding five goals away at Irchester United and five at home to Peterborough Sports on the way. Now just three points behind them, and with three games in hand, are the ever Continues over

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improving Blackstones, ably lead this season by Phil Gadsby. The ex-Langtoft manager showed his tactical prowess recently, leading the Stones to a 3-2 win over S&L Corby, with two of the goals scored by substitutes, namely Rhys Ford and Stephen Mastin. In the Peterborough League, Ketton FC have dropped to ninth after only featuring once in the league recently, and only picking up one point from it, albeit a very creditable draw away at Holbeach United reserves. They did pick up some great goal scoring confidence though in the PFA Senior Cup, smashing Crowland 8-1 away. Andy Gray has now stepped aside after his sterling temporary stewardship in which he won five games of his seven in the dugout. Uppingham Town finally have something to cheer about meanwhile. After a shocking period which saw them lose six games on the bounce, the last two weeks have been a lot kinder, with a cup win away at Deeping Rangers Reserves followed by a surprise 4-2 away win at Langtoft United. In Division 1, the Stamford Lions drive to the title has slowed somewhat after successive draws recently. In fairness, both games were

Action from the Daniels’ match at home to Nantwich Town – Stamford lost 4-0

away at difficult opponents in Warboys and Moulton Horrox, so I’m sure James Sheehan’s men won’t be too disheartened. The Lions remain the side to beat, and I still think they’ll finish top of the pile come April. At the other end of the table, the Stamford Bels have lost their last two games and are now third bottom in the league. After a 2-1 league defeat against Wittering, they then lost

5-0 in the cup away at East Lincs combination side Tetney Rovers. The Bels reserve side, meanwhile, are performing well in Division Four, with manager Iain Evans talking up a possible promotion push. If you’re looking for a way to get out of the Christmas shopping in the next few weeks, do head along and take in some local football. You’ll love it. Promise!

Robert Duffin Hedgelaying. Fencing. Groundwork. Demolition. Clearance. Concreting. Ditching. Decking. Menages. Fully insured 07834 243966 01572 787632 rob_duffin@hotmail.com www.robduffin.com

Peterborough Milton Golf Club

Stocking all the leading brands at great prices Full Custom Fit service Individual and group coaching All golf repairs Click and Collect service available Winter Warmer (inc. 18 holes and 2 course meal for £25) www.pmgcproshop.co.uk 01733380489 pmgcproshop@live.co.uk

6 6 DE C E M BE R 2015 ///

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // December 2015  

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 // December 2015  

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