ISSUE 66 // DECEMBER 2017
HOW TO… Stamford & Rutland’s sport and lifestyle magazine
Make mincemeat Create tea light decorations Take up walking netball
Get set for Christmas! Great walks, food, gifts and ideas for a brilliant festive season ISSUE 66 // DECEMBER 2017
Tr avel l Specia rt o hern
See the N earch Lights and s out Santa
Will’s Walk Wadenhoe and The Lyveden Way
Cavern Deep, Mountain High The perils of Snowdonia
Raging Bull Rugby legend Phil Vickery’s store comes to the area
e nt Fe e d tm xe in T Fi ppo +VA 0 a st £10 fir ‘Our solicitor put me at ease very quickly and helped me greatly with her advice.’ Family Client
Fixed Fee Family Legal Advice Experiencing problems at home can be distressing. You may be unsure of how to proceed and may just want to find out what your options are before taking any further action. Pet erborough • St amford • Oakham We offer a one hour meeting with one of our highly qualified family solicitors for initial advice for just £100+VAT.
To discuss any aspect of your situation call our friendly team on 01780 752 066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See more at www.hegarty.co.uk/family.
For Business , for you, for life .
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Peterborough • Stamford • Oakham
Editor’s Letter I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I ALWAYS approach Christmas with some trepidation, not least because it is by far the busiest, most gluttonous couple of weeks of the year. That’s probably my own fault, as we end up having to drive from here to Wiltshire, back for a couple of days and then head to Cornwall, and then come back again. I do more miles over the festive period than a Yodel delivery driver. And in between those long car journeys, we sit at people’s houses, having very large meals, then sit in people’s living rooms, digesting those very large meals (and possibly washing it all down with quite a few drinks). So usually by New Year, I’m climbing precipitous trails in on the north Cornwall coastline, blowing like a steam engine with a faulty gasket. It’s not a good state to be in. This year, I plan to defeat this sad state of aﬀairs before it can even take hold. A pre-seasonal diet of gut-friendly foods, a spot of HIITing and a campaign of morning and evening dog walking that should see even my two usually game labradors rolling their eyes in anguish at the thought of another enforced high speed march. Then, when the partying (and sitting, and eating) come around, I shall be in peak condition to perform at my absolute best. That’s the kind of committed professional I am. Have a great Christmas and New year, and enjoy the issue. Steve
Publisher Chris Meadows email@example.com Editor Steve Moody firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy editor Mary Bremner email@example.com Production editor Julian Kirk firstname.lastname@example.org Art editor Mark Sommer email@example.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Chauhan firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Roberts email@example.com Editorial and Advertising Assistant Kate Maxim firstname.lastname@example.org Accounts email@example.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789
If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2016. 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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ISSUE 66 /// DECEMBER 2017
26 ACTIVE LIFE 13 WHAT’S ON
Great things to do locally for all the family
15 HOW TO...
Make mincemeat and decorate your Christmas table
18-19 RIVERFORD RECIPE
This month we cook a hearty venison cottage pie
In search of Santa in Lapland
FEATURES 26-31 ACTIVE vs SNOWDON
We climb Wales’ highest peak – and have fun underground
31 MARTIN JOHNSON’S COLUMN
The constant hype surrounding sport is getting tiring
ACTIVE BODY 36 SAFE SKIING
Expert advice from Avicenna Clinic’s Hany Elmadbouh
39 A MERRY MENTAL HEALTH CHRISTMAS Dr Nigel Hume on dealing with a stressful season
40-41 THE FINISHING TOUCHES
How to look great for your Christmas party
ACTIVE LOCAL 44-45 CHALLENGE UPDATES... Updates on our intrepid fund-raisers
49 SCHOOL SPORTS
Successes on the ﬁeld from our local schools
51 DAY IN THE LIFE OF...
Hambleton Hall’s head chef Aaron Patterson
52-53 GREAT WALKS
Taking in Wadenhoe and the Lyveden Way
57 SPORTSMAN’S DINNER
We try out Paten and Co in Stamford
58-61 NETBALL WITH A DIFFERENCE Jeremy Beswick tries out walking netball
How clubs in the area are faring
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tel: 01780 782328 email: email@example.com facebook: @thepapermills
Monday - Sunday 11.30am till late Lunch served from 12-2.30pm Mon - Sat Dinner served from 6-9pm
Beautiful, family owned country pub set in picturesque village of Wansford, just off the A1! Join us for a fun filled New Year’s Eve, with live music, a glass of champagne on arrival. Taking bookings for New Year’s Eve now.
Our friendly team look forward to welcoming you to this traditional English pub. Good selection of lager and ales. Popular wine list sourced locally. Food is freshly cooked to order.
Locally sourced ingredients from within 30 miles of the area. We maintain close relationships with the local farms, bakeries, butchers and breweries.
6 course menu for New Year’s Eve. Serving between 7 and 9pm, deposit required
Dogs allowed in bar area or garden 40/50 seater restaurant paper mill.indd 1
3 Star Lane, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1PH
Hambleton Road, Stamford £245,000 This extended three bedroom semi-detached family home has been finished to a high standard by the current owners, including a stylish new kitchen diner to the rear. Located in a popular residential location which provides easy access to the town centre, A1 and the Malcolm Sargent Primary School. The accommodation comprises of an entrance hall, sitting room, kitchen diner, utility room, cloakroom, landing, three bedrooms and family bathroom. There is off street parking to the front for two cars, whilst to the rear is a west facing patio and lawned garden. Viewing highly recommended.
17 STIRLING ROAD STAMFORD £375,000 An extended detached family home which offers spacious accommodation and is set on a good sized plot. The accommodation comprises of: - Entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, rear entrance hall, cloakroom, conservatory, landing, two double bedrooms a further single bedroom and a large shower room. A good sized block paved driveway provides off street parking and leads to a larger than average garage, whilst to the rear is a impressive patio & lawned garden with well stocked flowerbeds. NO CHAIN
Norfolk Square, Stamford £160,000 Situated in a cul-de-sac this three bedroom home offers good levels of accommodation and off street parking all within easy reach of the town centre. A spacious sitting room and well presented breakfast kitchen feature on the ground floor, with three bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor. The property has gas fired central heating and replacement windows. To the rear of the property is a long patio and lawned garden which is west facing. To the front of the property is graveled off street parking for two cars.
2 FIELD CLOSE COLLYWESTON £465,000 This impressive modern stone detached family home comes with a feature double storey bay window, spacious accommodation over three floors and is set in a quiet cul-de-sac location. The property comes with a stylish kitchen diner complete with granite work surfaces, a central island and under floor heating, there is also a spacious sitting room, wc and utility room on the ground floor. On the first floor the generous Master bedroom comes with fitted wardrobes and an en-suite, there are also two further bedrooms and a family bathroom. On the second floor are two further bedrooms and a shower room. An open staircase and landing areas give a real feeling of space within the property. To the side is a driveway that provides off street parking, whilst to the rear is a low maintenance patio & lawn garden which comes with a large storage outbuilding with ample space for bikes and garden equipment.
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Activelife CHRISTMAS IS COMING! TWO NEW HOSTELRIES OPEN IN TIME TO CELEBRATE. THEREâ€™S LOTS GOING ON LOCALLY, OR TRAVEL FURTHER AFIELD TO VISIT SANTA IN LAPLAND Edited by Mary Bremner
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WELL DONE EMMA Emma Brown Tweed, based in Preston, has recently been highly commended at The Rural Business Awards. Emma, who makes ladies tweed shooting and country clothing, is taking her ﬂedgling
business forward in leaps and bounds and is now well established in the country clothing market. Everything is made in the UK using English and Scottish tweed. www.emmabrowntweed.co.uk
Two new watering holes Ralph Offer, previously from The Wine Bar in Stamford, has taken on The George and Dragon at Seaton. After a full refurbishment the pub is now open for business. With a chef who previously worked at The Ivy in London, food is going to be a major part of the establishment. Using local produce, with meat coming from no further than 15 miles away, dinner will be served every night, and lunch at the weekend. There are also three newly refurbished rooms for letting. 01572 747418. Paten and Co, in All Saint’s Place in Stamford, is the latest addition to Mick Thurlby’s portfolio. Previously The Periwig, the building has undergone a major refurbishment. There will be craft beers on tap and it promises to be a very welcome addition to the town.
PRODUCT OF THE MONTH
Umoja Gold is pure macademia nut oil from Guatemala that has powerful antiageing properties when used as a moisturiser. But it’s more than just a moisturiser and can be used as a cleanser, hair and nail conditioner, shaving oil and aftersun lotion. It is great for soothing irritated skin and can help reduce scarring and stretch marks. It is also chemical and additive free. But it’s not just about the product – 25% of every sale goes back to Guatemala to projects that make sure mothers and their babies survive childbirth, because the country has a very high rate of maternal and new born mortality. www.umojagold.com
HEALTHY SNACKS Off the Eaten Path makes delicious snacks that provide ﬁbre, contain no artiﬁcial colours or preservatives and are made from ingredients including rice, green peas, pinto and white beans. Seasoning such as sea salt, sour cream or black pepper, to name a few, is then added to make for a delicious, healthy snack. Available from many retailers including Sainsbury’s and Ocado. www.offtheeatenpathsnacks.co.uk
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20% OFF DRINKS 4.00-6.00PM TUES TO FRI
Fresh produce menu • Roast dinners • Rotated ale selection • Craft beer • Courtyard Beer Garden
The Kings Head, Stamford combines a hearty menu (with good old fashioned pub grub as well exiting new dishes), craft beers and the warm welcome you’d expect from a traditional pub.
With a choice of mouth-watering meats from our local Stamford butchers - Nelsons, and specially chosen vegetables, The Kings Head is the perfect place to share a meal with family or friends, (and you can even bring your dog too).
ALE HOUSE • KITCHEN • COURTYARD
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S TA M F O R D • P E 9 2 A Z
To book please call: 01780 753 510 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Search Kings Head Stamford on
NSH Private General Practice
Dr Nigel Scott Hume PRIVATE GENERAL PRACTITIONER 25 years as local GP. Based in the heart of Stamford
Would you like time to discuss more than one problem? Would you like time to discuss complex symptoms? Consultations for up to 1 hour. • Polypharmacy - the interaction of multiple medications. • Chronic fatigue and tiredness • Thyroid disorder • Prostate - assessment and investigation
The Broad Street Practice 20/21 Broad Street, Stamford. Telephone 01780 480889
GLOW IN THE DARK DOGS With the winter months taking hold, it can be more difﬁcult to keep your dog warm and safe on the dark evening walks. Equaﬂeece recommends using its ‘high-viz’ ﬂeecewear, which provides 360 degree glowing visibility for on-coming drivers and cyclists while keeping your dog dry. It also means you can keep track of your dogs when they go bounding off in the dark, and it eliminates any ‘wet-dog aroma’ in the car afterwards. www.equaﬂeece.co.uk
INFINITY AND BEYOND Ragdale Hall’s latest exciting development is almost complete – the new rooftop inﬁnity pool and lounge are almost ready. The pool will be heated to 35 degrees so you can relax in the water and enjoy the magniﬁcent views across
LITTLE MIRACLES DISNEY TRIP 53 happy children have recently enjoyed a trip to Disneyland Paris, courtesy of the charity Little Miracles. The charity supports families who have children with additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions. Based in Peterborough, it offers advice, counselling and support for families as well as fabulous days out. The Disney trip was a highlight for everyone and it is hoped it will become an annual event. There are lots of plans for Christmas including a coach trip to Winter Wonderland, a panto trip for 680 people, and lots more. Fund-raising is vital to the charity’s survival so any help would be very gratefully received. www.littlemiraclescharity.org.uk
the Leicestershire countryside, whatever the weather. They also have a few dates in December where you can bring a friend for free to try out the new pool. www.ragdalehall.co.uk
Ease those aching muscles Bexters Soda Crystals originate from Australia and were developed to accompany the Bowen Treatment therapies. They are speciﬁcally aimed at easing aches and pains after hard training. The crystals have added magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) and peppermint essential oil which helps rejuvenate tired muscles whilst soaking in the bath. Local athletes are using them and say the crystals are helping. www.bowensuppliesbyhelen.com
PARKRUN PARTIES Rutland Water’s Parkrun has recently celebrated its second anniversary. To mark the occasion 305 runners turned up in tutus and enjoyed cookies and cake afterwards. To join the Parkrunners, turn up at Rutland Water at 9am on a Saturday – everyone is very welcome. www.parkrun.org/rutlandwater
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Festive Offer Take out any new leisure membership and receive 20% off all Spa treatments for the first 3 months.
50% off joining fee throughout December!
Nr Oakham | Rutland LE15 8AB www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk
Tel: 01572 757901
WHAT’S ON There’s lots going on in your area this month, why not try some of these? ■ Stamford Pantomime Players will be performing Beauty and the Beast between December 27 and January 1, inclusive. Tickets are on sale now at the Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre. www.stamfordcornexchange. co.uk ■ Anglian Water will be hosting its annual pre-Christmas music evening at Normanton Church on December 1 at 7pm. Local guitarist Nigel Truman will be performing and it is an ideal time to see the iconic church illuminated. ■ An eight-week mindfulness-
based stress reduction course is starting in Peterborough on January 16. Run by clinical psychologist Dr Andrea Woods and Jennifer Cramb, an accredited professional coach and consultant, anyone is welcome who wants to learn how to handle the demands of everyday life and develop more clarity. To find out more email jennifer@vivekacc. com or go to www.facebook.com/ breathingspacepeterborough
■ Uppingham Choral Society is holding its annual Christmas concert on Friday, December 15, at Uppingham Parish Church. The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets, which are available to buy on the door, cost £10. This charge will include festive nibbles and drinks. ■ The Nene Park Trust is holding a tree dressing day on December 3. Held at the Visitor Centre at Ferry Meadows, it’s free and runs from 11.30am. www.neneparktrust.org.uk ■ To fill the lull between Christmas and New Year pop along to Ferry Meadows to enjoy a Wild Wednesday. Starting at 10am, meet at the Discovery Den. Suggested donations of £2. www.neneparktrust.org.uk ■ Tom Flowers Cricket Coaching is running a Christmas cricket camp at Stamford Junior School between December 18-21. Suitable for ages eight to 15. To book call 07815 647892 or visit www.tomflowerscricket coaching.com
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Open daily for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea
Cyclists and walkers very welcome Why not start your walk or ride at Launde then reward yourself with a delicious lunch at the end? Visit our website for maps and routes at www.laundeabbey.org.uk Launde Abbey, East Norton, Leicestershire LE7 9XB T: 01572 717254 I E: email@example.com Charity No: 1140918
Superb range of Dress and Patchwork fabrics, haberdashery, Vogue, Simplicity and New Look Patterns. Pfaff sewing machines, Babylock overlock machines, Horn furniture, classes and workshops.
12 St Leonards Street Stamford, PE9 2HN
Tel 01780 654321 â€˘ firstname.lastname@example.org www.classicstamford.co.uk
Unit 1a Rutland Village/Rutland Garden Centre, Ashwell Road, Oakham, Rutland LE15 7QN 01572 756468 www.rutlandsewing.co.uk Open Tuesday-Saturday 9am - 5pm, Sunday 10am - 4pm
MAKE MINCEMEAT It’s very simple to make and tastes delicious. Also, it’s an ideal Christmas present which will be very well received. Ingredients 275g raisins 350g currants 100ml brandy 1 lemon, zest and juice 300g shredded suet 250g dark brown sugar 75g chopped mixed peel A grated small nutmeg 1 large Bramley apple, grated Method Soak the raisins and currants in the brandy and lemon juice for an hour, then drain and set the liquid aside. Mix the ingredients together and then stir in the brandy liquid when everything is mixed well. Spoon and press firmly into sterilised jars. Cover and leave for at least two weeks. This will keep in a fridge for up to six months, but it won’t last that long!
Create tealight table decorations This really is the most simple but effective way to make table decorations for Christmas. All you need is old jam jars, tealights and some pine tree cuttings, or yew if you prefer. Put a small piece
of fir in each jar, fill the jars almost to the top with water and pop a lit tealight in so that it floats. You can always add some cranberries, or use holly leaves with berries on if you want some more colour.
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VISIT OUR SHOWROOM VVI SI SI ITT OOUURR SS H H OOW WRROOOOMM
Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm
Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm
Tel: 01780 654321 Email: email@example.com
Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm Tel: 01780 654321 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk 12 St Leonard’s Lincs PE9 2HN Tel: 01780 654321 Street, Email: Stamford, email@example.com 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN www.classicstamford.co.uk
12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN
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HOLLY A small evergreen plant, easily recognisable by its spiky, glossy, dark green leaves and bright red berries. Perfect for Christmas decorations and making wreaths. It grows throughout the country and can be used for hedges due to its density and slow-growing nature. The berries attract native birds in the winter, but are poisonous to people and pets. And did you know that Harry Potter’s wand was made of holly wood?
The greylag goose
The greylag goose, the ancestor of our domestic geese, was formerly common before the Fenland area was drained. Its current high numbers are the result of introductions at gravel pits in the Nene Valley in the 1960s for sporting reasons. The development of reservoirs and ﬁshing lakes has encouraged its spread and it now breeds at reservoirs as well as at Burghley Park, Fort Henry Ponds, Exton Park and Banthorpe gravel pit. Large numbers assemble in winter – 1,003 at Rutland Water and 310 at Eyebrook in January 2016, from where they ﬂy out to feed on winter cereals in nearby ﬁelds. They can cause considerable damage to crops and the soil by trampling the surface. Greylag geese are now more numerous than Canada geese, with which they may interbreed. They are large birds with grey plumage and pale barring on the ﬂanks and wings. In ﬂight they show a pale grey patch on the fore-wing. Terry Mitcham
Sheep are often part of Christmas decorations and festivities thanks to their role in the nativity story. The type of sheep being reared in Roman times were predominantly fat-tailed and would have their lambs in the autumn and winter months rather than in spring, like now. Sheep are very common throughout Britain – in 2015 there were more than 15 million sheep in England alone. They can be found across all terrains, though mostly in upland areas, and in our area graze on land previously used for arable crops. An adult sheep produces one ﬂeece a year, which is removed by a shearer. The ﬂeece will be sold, but is not nearly as valuable as it used to be. Sheep are mainly reared for their meat and, in some cases, milk.
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1 8 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///
VENISON COTTAGE PIE WITH BUTTERED CABBAGE INGREDIENTS
800g potatoes Salt and pepper 50g butter Splash of milk 1 onion 1 large (or 2 small) carrots Oil for frying 300g venison mince 2 mushrooms 1 garlic clove 15g fresh thyme 1 tbsp tomato puree 50ml red wine 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp cornﬂour ½ savoy cabbage
● Peel the potatoes and cut into 2-3cm chunks. Put in a large pan with a good pinch of salt, bring to the boil and cook until tender. ● Preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Peel and ﬁnely dice the onion and carrots (1). Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, then fry the mince until nicely browned. Transfer the mince to a plate. ● When the potatoes have cooked, drain them and then mash with half the butter and a splash of milk along with a little salt and pepper. ● Add a little more oil to the frying pan. Cook the onion and carrot on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring now and then, until softened (2). Add a
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-by-step recipe cards and all the ingredients in exact quantities. The recipes are quick to cook and ideal for weeknights – most are ready in under
splash of water it if looks like catching. Return the venison to the pan and cook for 5 minutes (3).
● While the venison cooks, wipe the mushrooms clean with damp kitchen paper then ﬁnely chop them. Peel and ﬁnely chop 1 garlic clove. Pick the leaves from three or four thyme stalks. ● Add the garlic, mushrooms and tomato puree to the venison mix. Cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the wine. Cook for about a minute until the wine is almost absorbed.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme leaves and 250ml water. Season and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring now and then. ●
● Mix the cornﬂour in a small bowl with a splash of water then stir into the mince. Cook for a couple of minutes to thicken the mixture slightly, then pour the mince into an ovenproof dish. ● Spoon the mash over the mince, making sure the meat is well covered. Spike the mash up using a fork (this helps it crisp up). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp on top.
● Once the pie has been in the oven for 15 minutes, ﬁnely shred half the cabbage, cutting out and discarding any tough core, and wash well. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the cabbage and stir fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes or so until wilted. Stir in the rest of the butter. Season and serve with the pie.
Tip: Minced beef can be used instead of venison.
45 minutes. Think well balanced and nutritious, 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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EXPLORE A WINTER WONDERLAND ON YOUR DOORSTEP!
OPENING OFFER Free Parking or Lounge on all cruise or tour bookings (*t&c’s apply)
Book an appointment in our Oakam Office: 01485 505005 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Got a quote somewhere else? Let us beat it! Home appointments available!
Hambleton Hall, one of Britain’s finest country house hotels, overlooking Rutland Water, provides the most wonderful setting for a Christmas party
‘The Study’ – one of Hambleton’s fabulous private dining rooms is perfect for Christmas parties of 6 to 16 guests.
Terrine of Sea Bass & Artichoke Foie Gras Chicken Liver Parfait with Fig Wild Mushroom Risotto, Parmesan & Tarragon Middle Course Offer - the best fish catch of the day Fillet of Turbot, Cockle, Clams & Cucumber Merryfield Duck, Caramelised Endive, Cucumber & Plum Jacobs Ladder, Smoked Potato, Horseradish & Red Wine Jus
If you would like to stay after your Christmas party and book two or more bedrooms on a Sunday to Thursday, we are offering a special rate of £240.00 per night, based on 2 people sharing one of our Standard double bedrooms, including full Hambleton breakfast & VAT.
Prune & Armagnac Soufflé Golden Chocolate, Passion Fruit Sorbet Lime Meringue Pie & Lime Leaf Ice Cream
We are offering parties a Special Limited Choice Menu, Sunday to Thursday, £65 per person for 3 courses. (£80 per person for 4 courses).
Hambleton Oakham Rutland LE15 8TH
At the end of the evening why not stay the night?
Log fires, a beautiful Christmas tree, sensational Christmas decorations and bedrooms to rest your weary head...
Coffee, Chocolates etcetera All menus are subject to a discretionary service charge of 12.5%
t: 01572 756991
SEARCH FOR SANTA IN LAPLAND It’s Christmas which makes it the perfect time to go and visit Father Christmas in Lapland, in Finland. It’s a magical time of year and what could be more exciting than to go on an enchanting search for Santa in his homeland, releasing your inner child and making your own small bundles of joy ecstatic. As well as seeing Father Christmas and his elves you will most likely encounter his reindeers and have a sleigh ride. Skidoos are also usually part of the package as are husky sleds and, of course, playing in the snow. But be aware that these trips can be expensive – think around £2000 for a family of four for a two or three-night stay (or you can do a day trip which will probably cost about £500 per adult). Travel agent My Destinations has some last minute day trips still available, or can help you plan for next year. To ﬁnd out more ring 01485 505005 or email email@example.com. Remember that it will be cold... really cold... temperatures will be as low as -20 to -35C and daylight will be short, about ﬁve hours. Luckily during daylight hours the sun often shines and the air is dry, so you will need to make the most of the short days and pack in as much as you can. It’s best to take an organised tour as everything is done for you including supplying you with snowsuits and boots. But make sure
you take warm clothing as well – layers are advisable in these climates, lots of them. And we have it on very good authority that the hot chocolates in Lapland are exceptionally good.
Take plenty of warm clothing, layers are ideal for this climate. ● Don’t forget your sunglasses. ● Make sure your insurance covers you for winter sports – skidoos can be hard to handle. ● Flights to Lapland take about 3 ½ hours. ●
www.tui.co.uk www.canterbury-travel.com www.santaclaustrips.co.uk www.my-destinations.co.uk
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Feature /// Raging Bull
2 2 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///
22-24 SRSL FEATURE Phil Vickery OK.indd 22
THE RAGING BULL Chris Meadows catches up with ex-England rugby captain and 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Phil Vickery as he launches his latest Raging Bull outlet store at Springfields in Spalding You had a great rugby career, so what led you to starting a sports brand? The brand was always running alongside my rugby career. The sportswear side of the business, doing team kits, is something I’d been quietly building, and then we launched the leisurewear brand in 2006/07. Why the new outlet store at Springﬁelds? The farmer in me, the countryside boy in me. When we look at our demographic with stores with House of Fraser we do really well in areas where people care about where they come from, have a real sense of identity. I think the people in this part of the world are an incredibly proud of their area and where they live. They’re a very honest group. Inevitably the connection with the soil and the ground because of these rural farming communities is part of it. For me to open an outlet here at Springﬁelds in Spalding is just fantastic. Speaking to the store manager this morning, the relationship with rugby families makes me feel really proud. I’m not really a professional rugby player – I fell in love with the amateur game and became a professional. But everything I love about rugby is that amateur ethos and the amateur side of things. Seeing the lad outside who brought his young boy in to the store, and plays locally, it’s fantastic, that’s what sport is. For me, Raging Bull, the brand, what we
stand for, what we adhere to, the way we behave, how we do our business, is very much based on what the values rugby, rural communities and farming stand for and that’s something I’m extremely proud of. Raging Bull comes from the nickname that Sir Clive Woodward gave you. Did he approve of the name? He is aware of the brand. I haven’t seen him for a couple of years but what he does do brilliantly is he tries to follow all our careers, particularly the 2003 guys. Clive’s a great guy and an ambitious chap. If you had to talk about people who inspired you to want to do it and gave you the conﬁdence and courage to want to go and follow dreams, then that guy’s a pretty good example of what can be achieved. It’s not about ‘why not?’ it’s about ‘why can’t?’. Why is it not possible? I sit here today as a 41 year-old, who 22, 23 years ago was milking 100 cows twice a day six days a week down the end of a two-mile farm lane in north Cornwall, loving rugby but loving farming and wanting to have the best dairy herd of cows in north Cornwall. That was my ambition in life really. To be sat here now having done what I’ve done with my rugby career and Raging Bull is amazing; so don’t tell me things aren’t possible. You can achieve and yeah, of course you need a bit of luck along the way. And I’ve had my fair
share of good and bad luck, but I’ve worked hard like everyone else does. And it’s amazing what you can do then. Was that the best career moment for you? I think that’s a tough one. It’s in the moment. You can cherry pick walking round Twickenham, the Heineken Cup, being in a European Cup, being the Premiership champions, captaining England, the Six Nations, the ﬁrst Lions win in your ﬁrst game. But I can go back, and one of my most prized moments was the ﬁrst thing I ever won – a wood mannequin and a cork from a bottle of asti which is the plate competition in Cornwall colts, and that was the ﬁrst thing I was ever presented. Things like that stick in your memory. It’s so difﬁcult to choose one moment. But yeah of course, the Rugby World Cup Final – you stand on that ﬁeld, on that pitch having beaten Australia in their own country, and the stadium was full of white shirts. It was like being at a home game. I remember phoning home and speaking to my mum. I get quite deep about stuff as I’m quite an emotional guy. What you have to remember is all those people that sacriﬁced so much and did so much for you. And not always money but time and effort, and will. But there were the local businesses that sponsored me when I ﬁrst
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22-24 SRSL FEATURE Phil Vickery OK.indd 23
Feature /// Raging Bull
started to help me pay for kit and go on tour. People say that was only £100 or £150, but it was £100 that you might not have had that gave to someone that was just a pure punt. It’s all good and well saying now that well you went on to do – but no-one knew then. So all those little businesses and the guys you went to school with and your family who have lived the dream with you, it’s magical. Do people still ask you about 2003 a lot? Last week I was down in London, on the tube in Liverpool Street. Someone was there chatting, and of all the people they had to ask was me wasn’t it, ‘is this tube going to…?’. Quite an elderly couple, got all their bags and stuff. So I ran back to look at the board to see which way it was going, and came back and this guy was stood by the side of me just sort of laughing. He said to the couple, albeit a bit over-dramatically: “Do you know who this guy is? He’s a national hero, he won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, he was a world champion.” I thought, bloody hell you know what, it’s amazing. What are your thoughts on the current England team? I think it’s really exciting and I think the potential is there in what they’ve shown. Eddie
is now in and has gone through that cycle of new coach and the impact he’s had has been incredible. The players look really strong and they all look like they know what they’re up to, they have their vision this is what we’re about.
WIN a £100 Raging Bull voucher and a rugby ball signed by Phil Vickery
You’re not just a professional on the rugby pitch, you won Masterchef in 2011. Has cooking always been a passion? It goes all the way back to when I grew up. Watching my grandmother, mother and aunts all cook and coming from a farming background it was second nature. And when I had the opportunity to go on Masterchef I jumped at it.. I learned so much... how ﬂavours go together. Everything on the plate is there for a reason. When you go to a restaurant you should try a little bit of everything to get the full experience of what the chef is trying to achieve.
We have a £100 voucher to give away this month, redeemable at the new Raging Bull store at Springfields Outlet Shopping Centre in Spalding. On top of that we also have a size 5 Raging Bull rugby ball signed by Phil Vickery at the store opening. For your chance to win this great prize, head to www.theactivemag.com/competitions. Competition closes January 8. Our standard terms and conditions apply and are available at www. theactivemag.com.
Browsing through your Wikipedia listing, you’re apparently still a qualiﬁed cattle inseminator. Is this still something you keep your hand in? That all came about because of wanting the best dairy herd in north Cornwall. To do that it was a necessity, but then the rugby took over. But it goes back to don’t tell me things aren’t possible. You can’t do. You can achieve if you put your mind to it.
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22-24 SRSL FEATURE Phil Vickery OK.indd 24
2 6 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///
CAVERN DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH If you are looking for an adrenalin-filled few days away, why not try North Wales? Chris Meadows takes on Snowdonia, above and below ground… AS WE SAT IN PIZZA EXPRESS in January my wife Lucy and I decided we were going to be healthier in the year to come, and made the usual New Year resolutions that tend to ﬁzzle out by the 31st, if not before. We set ourselves the goal of walking up Snowdon. Feeling all self-righteous for making this important decision, we set back to the job in hand of devouring our large pizzas and bottles of Peroni. The thing is, that was January 2016. The trip to Snowdon never happened. So this year we once again set the goal, but with a plan to stick to it. It almost didn’t happen again – it’s too easy to ﬁnd an excuse not to do something. Planning around work schedules and other commitments, we worked out a window of opportunity during October half-term and set about planning our ascent. While both keen on playing sport, neither of us are avid walkers, let alone mountain climbers, so the ﬁrst port of call was to speak to local walking guru Mike Pratt, who it seems has climbed Snowdon from every conceivable angle. Naively I had only envisaged a path up and down, a tough walk up a fairly large hill. It’s not exactly Mont Blanc or Everest, is it? With route maps and suggestions we were now armed with some great advice. Mike had suggested his favourite path was the Crib Goch traverse, but mentioned that it was ‘very hands on’. Not really suitable for a pair of novices with a spaniel in tow. His next suggestion was the Rhyd-Ddu route, which starts at 193 metres west of the summit. So we opted for that. Mike had also offered some important advice with regards to what we’d need in terms of kit too. He recounted having seen many people while out on his travels somewhat under-prepared. We weren’t going to be in danger of that, more the opposite, a case of ‘all the gear, no idea’.
We stayed south-east of Snowdonia in a place called Llanwyddn, a quaint hamlet that sits alongside the dam that forms the impressive Lake Vyrnwy (I’m still not sure how to actually pronounce this!), which is just under a four-hour drive from Rutland. This meant a bit of a drive up to Rhyd-Ddu the following morning, so an early start, but it helped to break up one long journey nicely. Thankfully there was just time to explore the culinary delights on offer at the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa. Carb-loading for the trek ahead was important, of course. Setting off early on the Sunday morning it was clear that Storm Brian hadn’t fully dissipated. In fact when we arrived in Rhyd-Ddu it felt as if we were in Brian’s eye. Having come this far we were going to see how far we could go, but it might not be very far, it seemed. We failed at the ﬁrst hurdle. Change for the car park. I’d recommend taking your piggy bank with you, as you’ll need change at most places you park and cash machines aren’t readily available. Once we’d found a suitable, free, parking spot we kitted up. The key to kit is layers, good quality waterproofs and comfortable, correctly ﬁtted walking boots. As we started, the temperature was actually quite pleasant for a mid-October day and once you start to walk uphill we began to heat up fairly quickly. Being able to add and remove layers was vital throughout the day as we ascended, because it didn’t stay warm for long. The path was well marked out in the main. Due to recent heavy rainfall some of the paths had transformed into small streams but were still clear enough. As we reached the half-way point the weather started to take a turn for the worse. The wind was now picking up considerably. Mike had advised that anything over 55mph wouldn’t be pleasant. He was right. We met a ranger walking back the opposite way. Having chatted to him it was clear he
Stunning scenery in Snowdonia lulls you into a false sense of security... climbing Snowdon is far more demanding thank you initially believe
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FACTS Snowdon is surrounded by history, myths and legends. Below is a small sample of Snowdon’s trivia... > Snowdon is 1,085m/3,560 feet high > Snowdonia attractions include Surf Snowdonia, Mount Snowdon and Zip World > Snowdonia products include Snowdonia Cheese and Snowdonia Ale > Snowdonia Mountain Railway Line was opened in 1896 > Mount Snowdon is home to the extremely rare Snowdon Lily which can be found on its slopes
knew what he was doing, helped by the fact he walked the route on average ﬁve to seven times a week. His advice was to turn around, as he had done, and not attempt to go any further. Now I wouldn’t recommend ignoring the advice of someone with such experience, but for some unknown reason we did. I guess the sense of wanting to achieve something we’d ﬁnally committed to after two years of prevaricating over was the only reason. It was like the scene in the ﬁlm Cool Runnings, when the Jamaican bobsleigh team walked out of Calgary airport for the ﬁrst time only to walk out again moments later in everything they’d packed, including their holdalls. Having togged up in every single layer we’d carried with us to this point, along with hats, gloves, neck warmers, and we continued up towards what’s known as ‘the ridge’. Up to this point it had been a very pleasant walk. The ridge, however, tested us in every way. Thankfully there was another group taking the same route so we tagged along with them, as they seemed to know what they were doing. Lucy was more concerned we looked like we were stalking them, as every time they stopped for breath, we did too. That was the least of our worries. Along the ridge the wind was gusting up to 80mph and walking along a path with a substantial sheer drop either side wasn’t my idea of fun and given the comments coming from my wife, thankfully mufﬂed by her neck warmer, I think she felt the same. Despite moments of having to crawl on our hands and knees we made it to the summit. A very windy summit. What’s more, when you get to the top there’s a great café you can shelter from the elements in with huge glass windows to appreciate the view. Unfortunately the amazing views we were told about were completely blocked out by the clouds. The café is part of the station for the railway
that runs up the mountain. Yes, you can actually just get a train up instead. But where’s the sense of achievement in that? Having warmed up with a hot drink we kitted ourselves back up and headed back out into the elements. Retracing our steps wasn’t an option, the look we gave each other required no words to suggest it was even plausible. Having seen others in the café that had walked up in much more casual attire from the opposite side we summited, we made off in that direction. There were a couple of options – the Snowdon Ranger path and the Llanberis path. Having parked the car at Rhyd-Ddu it made sense to opt for the Snowdon Ranger path. It’s not the most exciting route, but we’d had plenty of excitement during our ascent. It’s incredible the difference direction of climb can make: on one face it was a pretty extreme ascent, blasted by a storm, on the other side a pleasant hike. We were both more than happy with a more sedate route down. Ticking off Snowdon allows us to say we’ve completed one New Year’s resolution... we just now need to start on the 2017 ones.
> Mount Snowdon’s peak offers stunning views in good weather. The view from the top of Snowdon was recently voted as the best in Britain > The Snowdon Race takes part annually in July. The 10-mile race involves running from Lake Padarn in Llanberis to the top of Snowdon and back down again > Wild camping in Snowdon is technically illegal > ‘Snowdon’ is old English for ‘Snow Hill’ > The Welsh translation of Snowdon is ‘Yr Wyddfa’
FOR A LIST OF WALKS VISIT https://www.darwinescapes.co.uk/ wp-content/uploads/Snowdon-PathsWalks765.jpg
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land & new homes
Feature /// Adventure While in Snowdonia, and thinking that reaching the summit of Snowdon would be a fairly sedate affair, I felt some adrenaline would be required. So I had booked us into Zip World in advance. We set off the following day to Zip World Caverns. Zip World has a few sites around the country, with two in Snowdonia. At Penryn Quarry it boasts the world’s longest zip wire, while in Blaenau Ffestiniog there are a myriad of zip lines all built into the old slate mine caves. Thankfully, given that the weather hadn’t improved, we’d opted for the Zip World Caverns. On arrival you’re kitted up with the help of the very friendly and knowledgeable staff, although there are a few restrictions that may prevent you from taking part, so check the website ﬁrst. Thankfully I’m under the 120kg limit. Just. Once you’re secured into your harness and have your helmet and safety gloves on it is time to head into the caves to learn how to use the equipment. The training takes about an hour, learning how to ensure you clip on correctly with your safety harness is a necessity for the course. After completing the training you’re let loose on the main course unaided, and it’s at this point you’ll be pleased you listened to the instructors, or panicking if you didn’t, as it starts with a zip line across a fairly big drop. Although with a mixture of ages taking part the techniques aren’t too taxing to get to grips with. The course itself will see you traversing round the edge of the cave walls, often with a considerable space between you and terra ﬁrma, not ideal for those who suffer from vertigo. There are a number of zip lines that you work your way around, all with a variety of obstacles to tackle between.
There’s a ﬁnal zip line that requires the negotiation of the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, a series of small metal steps protruding from the cave wall. It’s aptly named. Before you get to that you have the option of taking on a set of monkey bars or a wire line across the void below. I opted for the monkey bars, and survived, for nearly three rungs. I’m not really built for that kind of stuff and it was further than I managed in the kilometre long option at Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley Park. Lucy sensibly opted for the wire line. Having made it up to the top of the steps, which felt like we were once again negotiating the ridge at Snowdon, although thankfully this time I felt much safer thanks to the harness, it was one last zip line to end the course. In all we were underground for nearly three hours. Time ﬂew past. A great way to spend a day, and even better knowing that it was bucketing it down outside. We would both highly recommend it if you’re visiting the area. As you negotiate the zip lines you are likely to see kids jumping up and down and screaming with joy. In fact as I whooshed down one zip line I heard one exclaim, ‘this is the best thing ever!’. Zip World Bounce Below is a network of trampolines suspended high above the cave ﬂoor. So if you’ve got small kids, and big kids too for that matter, to entertain then why not give it a go. TIPS Wear warm, old, comfortable clothing Take £1 for the lockers Zip World www.zipworld.co.uk LL41 3NB, 01248 601444
EN ROUTE Travelling back from Zip World, we took the A5 route to Rutland and came across a thriving country café on the roadside, and stopped in. We were both glad we did. It’s a world away from your usual road side stop off and worth a visit. The Rhug Estate in Corwen, Denbighshire, is the main estate and home of Lord Newborough, covers 12,500 acres and at its heart is a 6,700 acre in-hand organic farm where beef, lamb, chicken, turkey and goose are reared. It has one of the largest organic farm shops in the UK with over 2,000 products with a real focus on Welsh and local produce. Its award-winning organic meat is served in Michelin starred restaurants around the world. Rhug’s online Christmas store is packed with lots of lovely things to buy from award-winning free range goose and turkey (loved by two Michelin starred chef Marcus Wareing) to ‘pigs-in-blankets’, cheese personally selected by Lord Newborough and luxury gifts. Rhug Estate www.rhug.co.uk Corwen, Denbigshire, LL21 0EH 01490 413000
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All that glitters is not sporting gold Martin Johnson is getting tired of the razzamatazz that accompanies every sporting match
here are various theories as to the major culprits in global warming – cars, chopping down forests, cows breaking wind – but I’ve yet to see scientists point the ﬁnger at the biggest of them all. Yes, you’ve guessed it. Every time there’s a rugby union international, another chunk of ice melts oﬀ an Arctic glacier. When I went to my ﬁrst rugby international, Wales v New Zealand at the Cardiﬀ Arms Park, I seem to recall the teams running out without the Welsh Rugby Union feeling the need to ignite a vast battery of incendiary devices. Which meant that, unlike today’s supporters, I wasn’t obliged to try and make out what was happening in the opening 10 minutes through a thick pall of smoke. You can get the same eﬀort from driving a bit further down the M4 to Port Talbot, watching the steelwork’s chimneys belching away. And without getting charged for it. The only drawback is that then you’d miss the national anthems, although I’m not sure that qualiﬁes as much of a loss any more. A capacity Cardiﬀ crowd belting out Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau used to be one of the most emotional experiences in sport, but nowadays their voices are drowned out by some female opera singer, or male voice choir tenor, neither of whom sings at the same tempo as the spectators. It’s the musical equivalent of having Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army on the microphone – always half a verse too late. It’s all part of the belief that today’s sports fan is such a dimwit that the experience has to be choreographed for them. Although not even Wales came up with the brainstorm that the RFU had in mind for rugby internationals at Twickenham, which was – before sanity prompted a re-think - to greet every England try with a blast of music. Just in case the crowd hadn’t noticed, presumably. It has inevitably seeped down to club level, and while most Premiership outﬁts are too mean to fork out for ﬁreworks, every one of them allows some complete charlie unlimited use of a microphone to ‘entertain’ the crowd with non-stop blather. Especially at half-time, when all attempts by spectators to have a natter about the ﬁrst half are thwarted by this chump bellowing out what he curiously believes is an amusing line in patter while volunteers are invited to try and tackle the club mascot. Cricket is even more adept at relieving spectators of the irritating burden of having to entertain themselves. This is especially true of T20 games, when everyone arriving at the turnstile is issued with a piece of cardboard. On the front of which is written the number ‘4!’ and on the back ‘6!’.
However, cricket’s administrators are a far-sighted bunch, and they were quick to see the ﬂaw in this enterprise. What if the spectator was too stupid to recognise the umpire’s signal? To the point where there was danger that he might wave a “6!” in the air when it was actually only a “4!”? Well, just in case the punters were unable to work out that the ball had gone over the boundary in the ﬁrst place, a posse of heavily made up schoolgirls wearing short skirts would leap into the air and, to the accompaniment of a blast of pop music, start waving pom poms. Thus alerted to the fact that something exciting had happened, the spectator could then direct his or her gaze to the scoreboard, upon which the relevant information would be displayed – in the form of a large ﬂashing ‘4!’ or ‘6!’. Years ago, cricket fans were pretty much left to fend for themselves, with no disco dancers or neon signs. Lunch intervals were especially boring, what with no mascot race or cheerleaders to alleviate the boredom. But then came one-day cricket, which kick-started the entire business of providing the fans with additional entertainment by having it written into the regulations that no limited overs international could begin until someone clutching the match ball had been dropped in by parachute . In a way, sport is just following the lead of business, which has solved the problem of how to keep customers entertained whilst making a phone call and hoping to speak to a human. Which is why, when you sit there with your life ebbing way waiting to be connected to someone from the claims department, your mood is uplifted by being treated to a rendition of Greensleeves. It was inevitable that sport would pick up on this brilliant idea, and we can expect even more thrilling innovations during lunch breaks at cricket, and half-time intervals at rugger, now that scientists have discovered that the average human attention span is getting shorter and shorter every year. Listeners to cricket on the radio have suspected this for some time, notably when Henry Blofeld has been commentating. A sample clip would be “and Root ﬂicks it away for a single, where it’s ﬁelded by, um, oh, look, there’s another pigeon just landed next to the square leg umpire...” But now it’s a scientiﬁc fact. According to research carried out in Canada, the average human ability to pay attention has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds today. Which makes us, oﬃcially, one whole second less attentive than a goldﬁsh. Martin Johnson has been a sports journalist and author since 1973, writing for the Leicester Mercury, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. He currently writes columns for The Rugby Paper and The Cricket Paper, and has a book out called ‘Can I Carry Your Bags?’.
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HAVE SKIS WILL TRAVEL… SAFELY Hany Elmadbouh, founder and senior consultant at Peterborough’s private healthcare facility Avicenna Clinic, on how to deal with skiing injuries With the winter months upon us, a huge number of people will be dusting off their salopettes and waxing their skis ready for a season on the slopes. In fact, it is believed that between them, they rack up more than 400 million skiing days per year globally. And with nearly 2,000 skiing resorts around the world, skiers aren’t short of destinations to try. But whether you are a novice or an avid regular, sound preparation and good safety principles are a must. Even though skiing isn’t perceived as the most dangerous of sports, like any high impact physical activity it comes with an inherent risk of injury. For many, this is simply wrapped up as part of the adrenalin rush. But it shouldn’t be taken with a pinch of salt and a few good planning tips and safety observations can go a long way towards a safe trip to the slopes. It is believed that for every 1,000 enthusiasts a day, around three of them will require medical attention. And this is not just about a lack of ability; about 10% of all
accidents result from a collision with another person or object, 5% are lift-related and 5% are due to equipment failure. So injuries are going to happen; they are inevitable in a sport involving hordes of athletes racing down a snowy piste. Not surprisingly, the most common types of injury in skiing are to the knee. This is because the body position, speed and changes of direction involved make the knee vulnerable, accounting for 30-40% of all skiing injuries. Whether this be ligament damage, a twisted joint, fractures or dislocations, they are likely to require medical attention as well as a degree of after-care. And then there’s shoulder injuries. These are slightly less likely and often a result of falling badly or landing awkwardly. Again, the injuries are likely to be bone or ligament related and can include rotator cuff strains, broken collarbones or dislocated shoulders. In addition, damage to the spine can be extremely serious too. This is mainly due to
the speed involved on the slopes; the faster you go, the more traumatic the force on your spine if you have an accident. It can be as simple as jarring or twisting the spine and surrounding soft tissue to more severe spinal cord injuries. Falling or self-correcting to avoid a fall can cause stress and strain to the spine, but a more serious back injury is likely to occur as a result of a high speed, high impact collision; albeit rare. In all of these types of skiing injuries, the symptoms are likely to be visible almost instantly with pain, swelling and a restricted range of movement. Early assessment of any type of bone or ligament injury is essential to a speedy and successful recovery. Initial investigations will look to diagnose the problem and, in some cases, treatment in the form of rest, fitting of a brace and an anti-inflammatory injection may be enough. For others, however, a more detailed exploratory investigation may be required through an x-ray, ultrasound or detailed MRI scan. This, in particular, can highlight the most complex of conditions – meaning your treatment plan is very specific and targeted at the exact source of your injury. Even better, an open MRI scan can allow an anti-inflammatory injection to be placed at the very core of your injury, sometimes meaning the difference between being able to move and not. There are also some ski-related injuries, particularly fracture or ligament related, where further intervention is required. This may be in the form or minor or major surgery, but the long-term effects are likely to be lessened, the sooner the diagnosis is received. This will also prevent other injuries developing as a result of your body over-compensating for any length of time. In essence, skiing places great mechanical stresses upon the musculoskeletal system, which inevitably brings a high number of orthopaedic injuries. At Avicenna, we have a range of specialist consultants, treatment rooms for nonsurgical procedures and superior in-house imaging facilities – including state-of-theart MRI, ultrasound and x-ray scanning equipment. We can assess and diagnose all snow sports injuries quickly and deliver comprehensive treatment plans tailored to you.
To book a consultation or for more information on treating skiing injuries and available services, contact Avicenna Clinic on 0330 202 0597.
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HAVE A MERRY MENTAL HEALTH CHRISTMAS! Dr Nigel Hume discusses the options for mental self-help over what is a very stressful season for many In my last article, we looked at the increased public awareness of mental health and the subsequent increased rate of consultation for these problems with GPs. Here we move on to look at what we can do to ease some of the symptoms of depression and improve our mental health ourselves. As the winter sets in and the clocks change, those already struggling with mood problems often note a deterioration in their condition. This can be further compounded by the stress surrounding the festive period and the pressure to have a happy and glittering Christmas. Indeed, the rate of consultation related to family stress and pressure escalates markedly after December 26. Many believe in a condition called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The medical profession has divided opinions on this matter. As a GP, I am very clear that changes in brightness, day length and weather have significant effects on mood. Those already struggling with low mood, often take a dip as the clocks change. The problem can be compounded by difficulty in accessing primary care, consultations are often hard to book in the winter, as GPs struggle with the increased work load. Those struggling with anxiety and low mood have a range of options; other than considering prescribed medication. Many of these are available locally and can be accessed without the need for a GP referral.
Cognitive behavioural therapy CBT is a type of talking treatment that focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour. It then goes on to teach you coping skills for dealing with different problems. It combines cognitive therapy (examining the things you think) and behaviour therapy (examining the things you do). It has been suggested by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence that the combination of CBT and antidepressant therapy is a more effective treatment than treating with just prescribed medication. In recent years the Government has created a scheme called IAPT (improving access to psychological therapies). The programme began in 2008 and has transformed treatment of adult anxiety disorders and depression in England. More
than 900,000 people now access IAPT services each year. The service allows patients, doctors and health professional to refer to a telephone tri-age system. Patients will then be directed to the most appropriate service. Patients can self refer by telephoning 0300 300 0055. The Samaritans also provide a confidential round the clock telephone helpline for those in crisis there is a free contact number – 116 123. We all must recognise that the Christmas season creates extra stresses and ironically often serves to highlight sadness. I would urge us all to be mindful of these issues and enjoy a healthy and happy Christmas. Dr Nigel Hume Private GP The Broad Street Practice Stamford
Exercise Don’t under-estimate the effect of regular cardiovascular exercise on mental health. Regular exercise can boost mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression. Joining a local gym helps with a structured exercise programme and includes some social contact. Light boxes These are now widely available from many stores, although opinions are mixed on their usefulness. Research from the numerous studies conducted over the years concluded that due to a low quality of evidence, no definitive answer could be given as of yet. However, many patients have embraced this therapy and have noted significant benefit. Counselling services Available locally at your GP surgery or via private counsellors.
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THE FINISHING TOUCHES Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, which means it’s party time – and party time means a new outfit! Edited by Mary Bremner
GLITZ AND GLAMOUR Christmas seems to come round more quickly each year... it only seems a few months ago that we were preparing for the last one. But amidst all the preparations, present buying, food shopping and cake decorating, spend some time looking forward to wearing a fabulous new party dress and killer heels – a girl has to be rewarded for all that hard work! Anna Couture in Stamford has got some lovely dresses on offer. She’s worth travelling to as, not only does she sell ready to wear dresses from London fashion houses, she will make one from scratch for you, or alter that perfect dress that you’ve found which doesn’t quite fit. What’s more, she’s a bit of an accessory
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queen – fascinators, shoes, handbags and jewellery are all on offer, and there’s lots of choice. Last year velvet was the must have fabric – and it’s still very popular – but this year it’s all about metallics. They are everywhere – dresses, shoes, jackets... you name it, it’s metallic. And don’t forget red, this is the colour of the season. Luckily it’s a colour that suits most people and it’s easy to be savvy with it. If you feel it’s too bright or clashes with your complexion or hair, wear it on the lower half of your body. Red trousers are extremely popular at the moment, and red boots are everywhere – the perfect antidote to brighten up a winter’s day.
Anna Couture, 17c Cheyne Lane, Stamford, PE9 2DG, 01780 765174
CACI EYE REVIVE TREATMENT I’d heard lots about non-surgical facelifts but hadn’t paid much attention to them, never thinking that they would be anything that I’d come across and they’d be prohibitively expensive. Popular with many celebrities who swear by the treatment, CACI Ultimate is a non-surgical facial toning treatment. Basically it’s similar to going to the gym, but is a work-out for your face and eyes. You work your body’s muscles at the gym, and your beautician works your facial muscles for you using cotton covered prongs that send electrical pulses into the muscles. And it’s proven to be effective. Equilibrium in Stamford has just had a major makeover and to celebrate they invited clients to come and sample some of the treatments they have on offer. I was down there like a shot to have a look, and the results are impressive. The ancient building, all low ceilings and beams, blends well with the modern décor. Think relaxing and calming. And, of course, the staff are always so welcoming. Back to the eyes – the gateway to the inner soul. My peepers could definitely do with some reviving. Sadly middle age is here to stay and, combined with being a notoriously bad sleeper, the bags under my eyes and wrinkles around them are my bête noir. The CACI Eye Revive treatment uses the same process as the Ultimate treatment. A micro-current is used to gently tighten and tone sagging muscles
around the eye area whilst reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment uses serum filled eye rollers that help reduce puffiness and dark circles. If you’re expecting a calming, relaxing facial that sends you off to sleep, you’re not going to get one. It’s not unpleasant, and certainly isn’t painful, but the skin does tingle from the pulsation and I certainly wasn’t going to drop off. But the results are worth it! Let’s be realistic, I am never going to look like a fresh faced 21-year old again, nor would I want to. But I did look like me on a particularly good day, a really good day in fact. I did look noticeably, but subtly, better round the eyes; my skin was tighter, puffiness was reduced and frown lines were less noticeable. If this is what one quick 15-minute treatment does for you I would definitely recommend the full 30 minutes. To have a permanent effect it is recommended you have 10 treatments over about six weeks and then topped up monthly or so. It’s not cheap, but I think it will be worth it. It’s going on my Christmas wish list.
And finally... Get ready to party
H&M sequin dress £79.99 www.hm.com
Equilibrium – 01780 757579, www. equilibriumstamford.co.uk. The Eye Revive costs £45. CACI treatments also available at Oasis Hair and Beauty, Narborough, 0116 286 6575, www.oasishealthandbeauty.co.uk Fatima maxi dress by TFNC £65 www.topshop.com
Metallic silver block heel Chelsea boots £40 www.riverisland.com
Pleated midi skirt £39.50 www.marksandspencer.com
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ACTIVE RUTLAND COMMUNITY SPORTS AWARDS 2017
Photography: Nico Morgan
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On November 15, local sports stars from across Rutland were recognised for their efforts and achievements, as well as athletes, coaches, volunteers and sports clubs. The overall sponsor for this year’s event was Tarmac. Go to www.activerutland.org.uk for more information about the Active Rutland Community Sports Awards or to find a sport, activity or club that’s local to you 1. UPPINGHAM SCHOOL SPORTS CENTRE JUNIOR SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Winner: Jamie Tylecote Runner-up: Logan Bell
2. THINK DIGITAL PRINT JUNIOR SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR Winner: Louise Kelly Runner-up: Millie Fionda
11. CATMOSE SPORTS CENTRE SPORTS PROJECT OF THE YEAR Winner: Open Water Swimming in Rutland Water Runner-up: Rutland Sailability
12. ROGER BEGY MEMORIAL TRUST YOUNG DISABLED SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR
Winner: Ryan Doyle Runner-up: Marcus Francis
Winner: Amelia Evans Runner-up: Logan Bell
4. PREIM LTD YOUNG SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
13. INSPIRE2TRI COMMUNITY INTEREST COMPANY DISABLED SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR
5. SANDICLIFFE KIA IN MELTON MOWBRAY SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR Winner: James Reseigh Runner-up: Ben Higgins
6. RUTLAND CYCLING SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR Winner: Jo Auciello Runner-up: Phoebe Andrews
Winner: Mark Watkinson Runner-up: Amy Casselden
3. PREIM LTD YOUNG SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Winner: Mary Tomblin Runner-up: Karis Haughton-Brown
10. RUTLAND AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Pat Crowley Runner-up: Valerie Millward
14. RUTLAND RADIO TEAM OF THE YEAR Winner: Bowmen of Rutland Ontarget Team Joint runner-up: Oakham Cricket Club under 13s and Rutland delegations of the East Midlands Special Olympics basketball squad (Rutland Conquerors)
7. ANGLIAN WATER COMMUNITY AWARD
15. RUTLAND COMMUNITY PHYSIOTHERAPY ACTIVE FOR LIFE AWARD
Winner: Rutland Water Parkrun Runner-up: Rutland FaME Classes
Winner: Pat Bulmer Runner-up: Janet Appleby
8. ANGLIAN WATER COACH OF THE YEAR
16. ACTIVE MAGAZINE CLUB OF THE YEAR
Winner: Richard Auciello Runner-up: John Smith
Winner: Ketton Panthers Junior Triathlon Club Runner-up: Rutland Sailability
9. LIONS CLUB OF RUTLAND YOUNG VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
17. GREETHAM VALLEY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Winner: Sam Toseland Runner-up: Jaskaran Jagdev
Winner: John Williams Runner-up: Paul Dear
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ASH IS HEADING TO SIBERIA Academic and part-time adventurer Ash Routen introduces us to his plans to walk across the world’s largest frozen lake, Lake Baikal in Siberia As a youngster I’d always dreamed of going on expeditions to cold or high places. Since then the years, while ﬁlled with hillwalking, rock climbing and cycling adventures, have been largely dedicated to the sedentary pursuit of crafting a career in academia. But now I’m determined to fulﬁl my dream. Two Arctic expeditions in Norway later, I’m now planning to lead a team of three British gents on a 700km expedition to cross Lake Baikal in Siberia. Baikal is the world’s oldest, deepest (1.6km in places) and largest volume freshwater lake in the world. It’s so big that it holds 22% of the world’s freshwater, and for many months of the year is frozen solid. Our team is a motley crew of 20 to 30 somethings: Ben, a professional photographer from Mansﬁeld; David, a climber based in the Lake District, and me, a sport scientist at Loughborough University. Our exciting plan, for the sheer fun of adventure, and not for charity, is to spend 25 days next March walking from the south to the north of Lake Baikal. We’ll be carrying all of our supplies and equipment with us in plastic pulks (sleds), without any outside assistance. We do have a local ‘ﬁxer’ who is helping us with anything from visas to sourcing local fuel for our stoves – we’ll need it as we expect temperatures to be between -10 and -30 degrees. We’ll be ﬂying from London to Moscow, and then onward via a domestic ﬂight to the city of Irkutsk which is 100 kilometres from our starting point on the southern shores of the lake. Flights, of course, are just a mouse click away these days, but obtaining a visa for a 35-day expedition is somewhat more convoluted. Our plan is to spend up to 26 days on the ice,
with the remaining time focused on transit and kit preparation. But this takes us over the 30-day tourist visa limit. The only feasible option therefore is to go for a business visa, which means paying a tourism company for an ofﬁcial invitation letter, and a trip to the Russian consulate in London to supply biometric information. All of this, as you would expect, comes with the payment of a princely sum to the tourism company to expedite the process. With a little
luck we’ll be over this hurdle in a few weeks, and better able to focus on some of the core training tasks. If you see two odd looking ﬁgures dragging tyres across farmland near Leicester airport in the coming weeks, you’ll know why! I’ll be updating you on our progress with training, ﬁnalising equipment and clothing, logistics etc over the next few months. In the meantime you can ﬁnd out more at www.ashrouten.com or via Twitter @ashrouten.
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Drama on the high seas Harry Brooks updates us on the third stage of the epic Clipper Round The World Race This week has been an emotional one for the Clipper race ﬂeet and the impact of ocean racing is really starting to take its toll. The 12-boat ﬂeet recently left Cape Town where it started race three. But within 24 hours of the race starting, one boat ran aground on the coast to the south of Cape Town. In the dead of night on the ﬁrst day of racing the Greenings yacht hit the rocks off a nature reserve about 100 miles south of Cape Town. The crew were evacuated to the life rafts and were rescued by the South African authorities. The tide went out leaving the boat stranded over night. My own yacht, Unicef, was placed on standby to assist the crew if need be. They were stood down the following morning and told to continue racing as it was revealed the crew were all safe. As the tide came in again the hope was that the Greenings boat would re-ﬂoat and be able to be dragged off the rocks, but as the tide rose the boat was thrown against the rocks and drifted further into the shore. This caused the hull to
rupture and the boat to ﬂood. She remains shipwrecked on the beach and will take no further part in the race. To make matters worse it is very difﬁcult to get at the boat because of the nature of the remote coastline. Some of the Greenings crew has been able to rejoin the race on board HotelPlanner.com to replace an injured crew member who was evacuated when the boat had to make an emergency stop in Port Elizabeth The rest of the ﬂeet is coping well with the high winds and cold temperatures of the Southern Ocean and we wish them well on the remainder of their passage to Perth, where the temperatures should be warmer. Perth is where I join my yacht at the beginning of December. www.clipperroundtheworld.com Editor’s note: Since this article was written we are sad to announce the death of Simon Spiers, a crew member with Team GB on board CV30. He was helping to change a sail when he was washed over the side of the boat during gale force winds.
FROM ONE END TO THE OTHER Meet Mark Smith, who has set himself an incredible challenge to stave of middle age Mark, who lives just outside Oakham, is planning to run from John O’Groats to Lands’ End in September 2018 to raise money for the charity Alex’s Wish, which is a small charity raising funds to ﬁnd a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Mark intends to raise £50,000 by completing this challenge and is welcoming corporate sponsorship as well as personal. Mark, a director of Stephen George and Partners based in Leicester, is reasonably ﬁt “no middle age spread as yet”, he says, having run for most of his life and played football until he was 33. He’s run the odd half-marathon but has much further to run this time – 904 miles in 30 days. And he plans to do it before he reaches his 50th birthday. The route has been planned and will range from 17 to 40 miles per day. Mark will be joined along the way by colleagues and friends who will run alongside him. Now it’s down to Mark to put in the training, and he’s ramping it up week by week. Mark has had to learn to change the way he trains. As well as running he is putting more time in at the gym. He has also changed the focus of his training, concentrating on time spent physically
running rather than distance covered in a certain amount of time. He is ﬁnding this difﬁcult as for years he has always concentrated on times, but he’s not going to be able to cover 904 miles at 10-minute miles. This is a marathon – many of them – not a sprint. Training with his wife Vanessa at weekends, Mark is keeping busy and is looking forward to the run where he will enjoy some dramatic landscapes. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ marksmith6
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3636 PAT-Full Page Active Advert.qxp_PAT-Full Page Active Advert 24/11/2017 09:55 Page 1
Paten & Co, in the early 1900s was a wine and spirits merchants to the local population. Now this building has been transformed in to an amazing bar serving Craft Beer, Fine Wines and Spirits once again with the occasional Cocktail thrown in for good measure. The kitchen offers open plan viewing with a state of the art Charcoal oven cooking meat from KNEAD Farm, fish and game.
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ACTIVE LOCAL 1.
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This men’s pullover is a throwback to the ’80s, with modern technology. Waterproof, breathable and with a fully taped seam, you will stay warm and dry throughout the day. Price £167.95 From Tallington Lakes Pro Shop
2. GoPro Karma with Hero 6 Black
Capture professional quality footage in the air with the GoPro Karma, which has a detachable stabiliser mount that reduces motion blur. The Passenger app is perfect for sharing your flight with family and friends. Price £1,149.99 From shop.gopro.com
3. Picture ski pants
All of Picture’s clothing have an element of recycled material in them. These women’s Slany Navajo pants are waterproof and breathable. Price £179.99 From Tallington Lakes Pro Shop
4 Arc’teryx boots
The Acrux AR is suitable for a huge range of conditions and combines the warmth of a double boot and the protection of a super-gaiter boot with the light weight a single boot. Price £500 From Cotswold Outdoors
5. Le Col cycling bib tights
Le Col’s winter tights have been designed with warmth and safety in mind – they feature front and rear reflective panels for visibility. Price £250 From www.cafe-ventoux.cc
6. Volvik Vivid golf ball
Never lose your balls again with these luminescent balls that can be seen from hundreds of yards away. Price From £30 for a dozen From Local pro shops
7. Metier LED cycling jacket A revolutionary new cycling and walking jacket with 11 high power LED lights sewn into the fabric for added safety. Price £250 From www.cafe-ventoux.cc
8. On Running Cloud
Get ready to hit the streets with the revamped Cloud lightweight performance running shoe, which now provides even greater comfort. Price £115 From on-running.com
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Puppy Pack Clear Ridge Veterinary practice aims to help your new puppy settle in as quickly as possible and to help with this very important time in their lives. Take a look at the details of our ‘Clear Start Puppy Pack’. This starter pack caters for all of your puppies needs and includes vaccinations, health assessment, flea treatment, worming treatment, microchip, nurse appointments, information folder and free insurance*. We also offer great discounts off future consults and treatments.
The Clear Start Package covers all of your young puppy’s essentials for three months: • First full course of standard primary vaccinations - We offer Lepto 2 vaccinations. We recommend puppies are vaccinated from 8 weeks of age. The course consists of 2 vaccinations given either 2-4 weeks apart. Your puppy will then be vaccinated against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo virus and Para-influenza virus and Leptospirosis. Yearly booster vaccinations will then be recommended to maintain immunity. • A general health check - You will have a 20 minute consultation with one of our vets which will enable you to discuss any questions or problems you may be experiencing.
• Nurse consultations - As your puppy grows and develops into a young dog, you are sure to have questions. Our nurses will be there to help and advise you along the way. They can discuss: Diet, weight, suitable play/ toys, behaviour & training tips, exercise requirements, preventative dental care and neutering. • • • •
One worming treatment One flea treatment Microchip 10% off subsequent flea & worming treatment for 1yr • 10% off 1st annual booster vaccination (at 12 months) • 10% off your next consultation • 4 weeks free insurance*
All for just £50.00. For more information or to discuss any part in more detail, please call and speak to any of the Clear Ridge Team at our Stamford practice: Tel 01780 764333 or Orton Wistow Tel: 01733 230000
ACTIVE LOCAL /// Schools
SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR OAKHAM HOCKEY TEAMS Oakham’s hockey players have swept the board at the County Championships with all seven teams progressing to the regional ﬁnals, with six teams being crowned County Cup winners. Most impressively, the girls’ 1st XI (U18 team) were crowned County Champions for the eighth year running, winning against Welbeck College, Loughborough and Uppingham. They also secured their place as indoor County Champions. The girls’ U16 team also won all of their matches (against Ratcliﬀe, Welland Park, Loughborough, Uppingham and Leicester Grammar) to take the top spot for the second year running. They also took the indoor county crown, again winning all of their matches. Not to be outdone, the U18 and U16 boys’ squads are also County Champions and both through to the regional ﬁnals. This is in addition to the U18s’ recent success
Le Oakham’s winning county hockey team
HAYDEN IN DUATHLON FINALS at the Independent School Festival where they beat Millﬁeld (4-3), Whitgift (3-0) and Ipswich (4-3). “For all of our teams to progress to the regional tournaments is a fantastic achievement,” said director of hockey James Bateman. Elsewhere at Oakham, the U14, U16 and U19 netball teams have all
secured their places in the England Netball National Schools Competition. Both the U19 and the U14 teams remained unbeaten, while the U19s won seven of their eight matches. All teams will now be playing at the Grand Team Netball Leicestershire Finals taking place on December 7 in Leicester.
STAMFORD SCORES HIGHLY IN ISI REPORT Stamford Endowed Schools were inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) and were rated as ‘excellent’ (the highest level of achievement) in ﬁve out of six reports and ‘good’ in the other. Academic achievement was recognised across the board as well as the outstanding pastoral care. Will Phelan, SES principal, said: “These achievements are the result of the Stamford community working together. Whilst we are naturally
delighted with our academic achievements, I am especially proud of the less tangible aspects such as ethos and strong core values, that have become synonymous with our students: this is a culture by which we live and work and testament to the hard work by the whole Stamford community.” Also, the school has recently announced its commitment to continue to provide more seven year bursaries for children.
COPTHILL IN ACTION Copthill School’s U9 and U11 gymnastic teams competed at the National Two Piece competition which is also a qualifying event for the Premier National Five Piece Competition in March. The U11s had an extremely tough competition as there were 17 teams in their section and 83 girls. Ivy Kettlewell ﬁnished in 12th place while Felicity Branton also had a personal best competition. The U9’s were next up and started on set ﬂoor. Ava Turner did extremely well in completing a handspring vault and Lucy Richardson overcame a block on vault to compete a squat through vault. The team consisting of Lexie Smith, Flo Cavacuiti, Lucy Richardson, Ava Turner and Elsie Brownlow ﬁnished in sixth place with Elsie as the highest placed Copthill girl in 14th. As a result the U9s and the U11s have qualiﬁed for the Premier National Finals.
Local duathlete Hayden Greaves has won a place in the Great Britain under 20s side for the European Duathlon Championships, which will be held in Ibiza. Hayden, who goes to school at Oakham, qualified to represent GB aer placing fourth in the qualifier at Oulton Park. He also came first in his age group (15/16) and was ranked 29th out of the 500 competitors overall. He finished the duathlon in a time of 1 hour 4 mins. Trefon Vandoros, Oakham’s director of athletics said: “I’m incredibly proud of his achievement. His level of focus, discipline and sacrifice is outstanding and he fully deserves this.”
NATIONAL SUCCESS FOR BROOKE GYMNASTS Brooke Priory was the only local school to take part in the recent London Festival of Gymnastics at the Brentwood Arena. The gymnasts performed a four minute ﬂoor routine to an audience of more than 1,000, with the youngest member of the squad only six years old. After that, entered four teams entered the Independent Schools Gymnastics Association National 2 Piece Championships. The U9 girls’ team performed particularly well with Jessica Ford achieving individual sixth place overall and the team achieving fourth place out of 10 national teams.
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A day in the life of
AARON PATTERSON HEAD CHEF AT HAMBLETON HALL
normally arrive in the kitchen at 7.45am and my ﬁrst job is to get my emails out of the way. The deliveries start to arrive so I check them in: I have people who turn up with blewits – wild mushrooms – from around the area, crayﬁsh from the local streams, watercress and game, local lamb and pigs, and pike from Rutland Water. We use a lot of ingredients from our kitchen gardens, which taste great as one minute they’re picked, the next they’re on the plate. The menu is written the night before so everyone in the kitchen knows what’s expected. I’m very lucky to have a very good team. There are 16 chefs with four or ﬁve people who have been with me for more than 12 years so we’re a really strong unit. I’ve worked for bullies and it put me off that style of teaching. Everyone understands what I want and what ﬂavours I’m trying to achieve. If I go through a day without creating something new, it’s a wasted day as far as I’m concerned. I’ve always got an idea. I’m really interested in the Japanese who always use lots of ﬁsh belly. Normally we throw it all away so recently when I was ﬁlleting some salmon I slow cooked all the bones in olive oil, lemon zest and stock, and added a little piece of salmon belly that’s really fatty and where all the ﬂavour is. I made this into a consommé and served it in a little cup with caviar and lemon diamonds as an appetiser. It had a really clear, intense ﬂavour. Star rating
We’ve just retained the Michelin star we’ve held since 1982. It’s slightly disappointing as I think it’s about time I got two, but I’m still really proud to have had one for so long. Last year I went to all the two-star Michelin restaurants in London because I wanted to try and get the second star, and by banging on the same drum as I’ve been doing I’m obviously not going to get it. I think the answer to why they have it, and I don’t, is that their dishes are much simpler. There’s more focus on the main ingredient and less room for error because there’s less on the plate. I ripped up the menu and wrote another one which was quite scary. So far it’s been received well. We’ve been put forward for ﬁve AA rosettes this year, which is the best you can get, and they were very complimentary about the new style. I enjoy the creativity of cooking the most and if I don’t get to be creative I feel
‘If I go through a day without creating something new, it’s a wasted day’ miserable. My father was a chef, so I was born into it and didn’t want to do anything else. I was dropped off here at Hambleton when I was 16 and rented a room in the village with a broken window and a mattress on the ﬂoor. After four years I went to work for Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir au Quatre Saisons. Then at Au Crocodile in Strasbourg, which had three stars; with Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire; with Anton Mosimann and with Marco Pierre White, then this opportunity came up and I didn’t want to be anybody’s number two. It was unheard of to be head chef at 23 and it could have gone either way but I won my Michelin star and owner Tim Hart became like a father to me. I don’t have a lot of time outside work but when I do I spend time with my family and exercise. I go to the gym a lot, play tennis and squash. I like cycling and I love running round the Hambleton peninsula and being near the water – anything that gets me outside, as I’m inside all the time. At weekends when I’m at home I often try out new ideas. Last weekend I went to the ﬁshmonger and bought ﬁsh I’d never even
heard of before. I want the customer to know what season they’re in when they look at the menu. It’s a sign that the guy in the kitchen knows what he’s talking about. Grouse and partridge are in season in the autumn; in the summer it’s strawberries or wild salmon; in the spring it might be a morel mushroom. I love Christmas pudding but I always think it’s too rich and I only want the ﬁrst mouthful so I make a Christmas pudding soufﬂé which is really light. For show I wrap up a turkey crown in salt crust pastry and make it look like a turkey, then wheel it into the restaurant where it’s cracked open and carved. Or I might make a Christmas dinner as a ﬁrst course using a turkey wing, little bits of cranberry and lots of different textures and ﬂavours. We have people staying all over Christmas and it can be really busy. They all have the same menu but with many different courses. The tree out at the front, and all the decorations in the rooms look great. Hambleton Hall. www.hambletonhall.com. 01572 756991
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ACTIVE LOCAL Great walks
ld was built Lyveden New Bie leted) circa mp co r ve ne t (bu Sir Thomas 1604-1605 for shton Hall. The Ru of am sh Tre on the estate of New Bield was , Lyveden his second home Manor House.
WADENHOE & THE LYVEDEN WAY Nearly seven miles of wonderful walking, with a well preserved village, plenty of woodland and an unfinished summer Elizabethan house along the way. Words & Photography: Will Hetherington
Difficulty rating (out of five)
You can park in Wadenhoe Village Hall car park which is at the bottom of the hill beyond the King’s Head pub. From here take the clearly signposted Lyveden Way west and up the hill towards the stategically well placed church. There are pleasant views down over the Nene from this point. Keep going beyond the church and through a large sheep grazing ﬁeld until you reach Wadenhoe Road. Turn left and after 150 metres you will ﬁnd the footpath on your right. Follow the path for 500 metres with the ﬁeld boundary on your right until you reach the next junction. Turn left here down the bridleway, which is a wide lane and was reasonably wet and muddy on the day I did the walk, so it could be quite hard work after some wet winter weather. Stay on this lane for half a mile until you reach
the ﬁrst footpath on the right. Take this path and head north west for the next two miles. The Lyveden Way heads ﬁrst through some sheep pastures, then along a narrow track and ultimately into the woods where you will pick up a well established forestry road. It’s pretty easy to follow the right track and it’s well signposted most of the way but you will probably need your OS map with you too (either the old faithful paper version or on your smart phone) just to make sure. When you are near the edge of the woods you need to make sure you take the signposted right turn off the road and on to a footpath through the woods. This will soon bring you to the northern edge of the woods and shortly you will come to a three way Lyveden Way signpost on the end of a hedgerow. Make sure you turn right here (the left hand Lyveden Way sign takes you to Fermyn Woods which is not part of this walk) and head east across the ﬁeld initially and then along the northern edge of Lady Wood. After one kilometre turn left after the gateway and then right to skirt
around the well established hedgerow protecting the southern side of Lyveden New Bield. Follow this round and you will come to the car park for this National Trust site. By now you’ve earned the right to enjoy the views and the ambience of this strangely unﬁnished building which has stood for 400 years without ever being occupied. Today it is a visitor attraction but for what it’s worth I think you get more out of it by approaching on foot than by car. Once you’ve soaked up the eerie atmosphere take the well marked path south east from the car park and across the ﬁeld, through Lilford Wood, through a small valley, and then around Wadenhoe Little Wood beyond. After this wood make sure you stick to the Lyveden Way and keep heading south east past Wadenhoe Lodge along the farm track (you can take the ﬁeld option past Aldwincle Lodge but this will mean returning into Wadenhoe on the same path you left). You will reach a very minor road where you turn right and then left after about 100 metres, to cross a ﬁeld and then cross another road and into some small ﬁelds on the edge of Wadenhoe.
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ESSENTIAL INFORMATION WHERE TO PARK Wadenhoe Village Hall car park at the bottom of Church Street.
HIGHLIGHTS Almost too many to mention. Wadenhoe is an attractive old stone village which has been carefully managed by the Wadenhoe Trust. The River Nene. A large piece of woodland. Lyveden New Bield. Even Lilford Bridge on the way to Wadenhoe from Oundle is a pleasure to drive over.
DISTANCE AND TIME Seven miles/two and a half hours.
LOWLIGHTS Parts of this walk will be muddy in winter. REFRESHMENTS The King’s Head or The Old Barn tea room in Wadenhoe.
DIFFICULTY RATING Three paws; there aren’t many hills, no stiles and in dry weather it’s easy underfoot all the way around. But if it’s been wet then there will be some tricky patches.
THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE There were quite a lot of sheep grazing in the early and latter stages when I did it and there’s not a lot of fresh water on the way around. But the dogs will like the woodland end. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it. ©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2017 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 044/17
Keep bearing left following the markers (one large arrow is painted on a tree) and you will eventually come back into the village through a gateway betweeen two houses and on to Main Street.
Clockwise, from above
The church at Wadenhoe; Lyveden New Bield is found two-thirds of the way around this walk; Wadenhoe is on the north banks of the River Nene to the west of Oundle
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ACTIVE LOCAL Cycling
handlebar-mounted unit. Generally the most cost-effective trainers available, they are noisier than ﬂuid trainers, for instance. Fluid turbo trainers Similar to magnetic trainers in the way that they mount, ﬂuid trainers generate resistance through a propeller which spins inside a ﬂuid-ﬁlled chamber. This system generally results in a quieter and smoother ride feel than a magnetic resistance unit, but is typically altered by changing gears rather than with a switch.
TURBO CHARGE We take a break from our regular cycle routes as Rutland Cycling’s Aaron Scott looks at how turbo trainers can help you maintain cycling fitness during the winter For many cyclists, turbo trainers are a necessary evil when the days begin to get shorter, the weather turns and the thought of riding in the dark and wet is just a pedal revolution too far. Although they often get a bad reputation, a turbo trainer can keep you warm, dry and safe while you keep your ﬁtness ticking over during the winter months and with the latest trainer technology, the indoor experience is gradually becoming less removed from the real thing. What is a turbo trainer? A turbo trainer is a static device which your bike attaches to, allowing you to ride your own bike in one place pretty much wherever you please. Most turbos work in a similar way with the rear wheel clamped into a frame which keeps the bike stable while you ride. For traditional turbo trainers, the rear wheel will sit in contact with a roller which is connected to a resistance unit and, as you pedal, the back wheel will turn the roller and generate resistance. The vast majority of trainers will have the ability to vary the resistance, meaning you can work harder if you so wish and allowing you to work through intense workouts (if you’re into that kind of thing). Recently, direct drive trainers have become increasingly popular – with this style of turbo, you remove your rear wheel completely and sit the rear dropouts of the bike on the turbo trainer. Why use a turbo trainer? While most cyclists will bemoan the boredom of sitting on the turbo, there are a huge number of beneﬁts related to jumping on the turbo.
1. Avoiding bad weather When the weather turns icy and damp in winter, a stint on the turbo will keep you warm and dry while still maintaining your hardearned summer ﬁtness. 2. Keeping safe Similar to above, riding in icy and wet conditions, or in the dark, can be treacherous and riding inside can be a much safer alternative to riding on the road once the nights draw in and the weather turns. 3. Targeted training The real beneﬁt of an indoor trainer is its effectiveness as a training aid. You can work on a speciﬁc area of ﬁtness and time your session to the second. 4. Time-effective With that ability to be so speciﬁc, the turbo can be a great training tool for time-crunched cyclists. 5. Pre-race warm ups If you’re of a competitive disposition, the turbo trainer, especially portable one, can be an excellent tool for waking your legs up ahead of your local crit or time trial. What types of turbo trainer are available? Magnetic turbo trainers Magnetic turbo trainers – as the name suggests – use a magnetic ﬁeld to control the level of resistance through a ﬂywheel and the magic of opposing magnetic forces. Your bike’s rear wheel will sit against the roller and the attached magnetic unit then creates the turning resistance on the back wheel which, in most cases, can be controlled by a
Direct drive trainers Noticeably different in design to their magnetic and ﬂuid based siblings, direct drive trainers sit in place of the rear wheel so, while you’ll need a second cassette to ﬁt to the turbo, you won’t need to worry about wearing out your tyres or fafﬁng around with turbo-speciﬁc tyres. Removing the contact between the trainer and your wheel makes direct drive the quietest option going. Generally more stable than the other types of trainer, direct drive trainers are also larger and heavier so are best suited to those with a dedicated pain cave where they can set up their turbo. Smart turbo trainers Smart trainers have the capability to connect with your smartphone or PC via Bluetooth or ANT+ so you can use trainer-speciﬁc apps such as Zwift, Trainerroad or the Sufferfest which help create the most realistic indoor riding experience. Using all the different modes of resistance, smart trainers can automatically adjust the resistance to simulate climbs on your virtual ride, or to guide your structured workouts. Will a turbo trainer work with my bike? Nearly every road bike will ﬁt on a turbo trainer as long as you use the provided skewer on the rear wheel and most mountain bikes can also be used, providing you ﬁt a slick tyre to the back wheel. The only bikes you might struggle with are BMXs. Do I need anything else? For the more traditional style of trainer where the rear tyre touches the roller, a turbo tyre is almost essential. Made of a harder compound rubber, it will prevent you from wearing out your usual road tyre and should reduce noise. A mat can reduce noise even further and can also protect your ﬂoor from sweat and spilt energy drinks. Many trainers will come with them, but a riser block and speciﬁc quick release skewer are essential – the riser block lifts your front wheel so that the bike is level, while a speciﬁc skewer is usually required to ensure the bike is mounted correctly. Lastly, a good size fan to keep you cool is almost a necessity for indoor training.
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ACTIVE LOCAL Sportsman's dinner
Paten and Co, Stamford Steve and Chris sample the food in this new Stamford bar. By Steve Moody Attention to detail is a hugely important element of a great pub or restaurant. At the newly-opened Paten & Co, the levels of attention and detail seem to be oﬀ the scale. I would imagine that owner Mick Thurlby and his team pored over every exposed brick, every Victoriana tile and every vintage light ﬁtting, such is its strikingly individual countrymeets-industry character. The result is a bar and restaurant in the deconstructed, post-modern sense, in that you could happily pop by for a day-wasting coﬀee or sweep in for a hugely lavish meal for a special occasion, and both could happily co-exist side-by-side. Having selected a couple of craft beers sprouting out of taps in a tiled wall, Chris and I settled into a couple of high-backed banquettes upstairs to have a look at the menu, suitably presented on rough hewn paper with the words seemingly clacked out straight from a 1950s typing pool. It’s a mouth-watering eﬀort which has more than a nod to a British past, with a modern twist, laced with a few global wildcards. If you like, you can plate your table up with a tweedy tapas of various dishes such as lamb scrumpets, baked bone marrow, beef short rib,
roasted squash and black pudding scotch eggs, which variously come with more contemporary, worldly eﬀorts such as salsa verde, quinoa salad and Vietnamese broth. We couldn’t really make our mind up so greedily opted for piri-piri prawns which had a magniﬁcent quinoa salad with more heat than the prawns, wonderfully unctuous bone marrow (one was enough each) and lamb scrumpets that seem to be the indulgent pickings of a roast, then deep fried. The salsa verde cut through and complemented this hearty treat perfectly. For the main course, it is more of the same, and I went for Talligton farmed BBQ brisket of beef with a Kentucky bourbon sauce. To add to it, side plates of rosemary salted skinny chips and kimchi Slaw. Chris opted for the hangar steak (often referred to as the bit the butcher keeps back for himself), with spicy chimichurri sauce. He was eyeing up my kimchi as a side, but thankfully had his own chips, which lasted no time at all. The brisket was a slab of rich meat the size and shape of an adult foot, slathered in sweet, thick sauce, which went really well with the garlicky, spicy zing of the kimchi. I agreed with
Chris’s view, that the rosemary tinted fries were superb. Paten & Co oﬀers up drink options to go with each dish, and they went beautifully together, although my 8% Kentucky Ale was a bit of a shock, especially as I was driving. I had a sip, and it was pretty good – not the usual bombastic fare most high alcohol beer is. There really was no room for puddings, but in the spirit of adventure, we gave it go. I went for cute little nuggety doughnuts with custard, which could have been more custardy, while Chris declared his deconstructed cheesecake delicious. Overall, Paten & Co oﬀers up a new experience for those looking for a night out in Stamford. It’s very high end and uniquely modern with a retro twist in many of the things it does, while doing what every one of Knead Pubs outlets do, which is to remain very welcoming and relaxed.
Paten and Co
7 All Saints' Place, Stamford. 01780 408647. www.kneadpubs.co.uk/paten-co
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ACTIVE LOCAL /// Netball
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WALKING IT INTO THE NET Walking netball is allowing its older participants to play competitive sport and get much needed exercise too. By Jeremy Beswick AS WE GET OLDER, many of us have to reluctantly relinquish playing a sport we’ve enjoyed for years, often one that’s been part of our lives since childhood. My own ‘last ever’ game of football (as I’ve promised myself) was about a year ago at the age of 60 and I admit it’s been a bit of a wrench. The biggest problem, if you’re anything like me, is not the playing itself but the recovery time from those inevitable knocks and scrapes afterwards. It seemed that what I was once able to shrug off easily started to take several days of discomfort to disappear. Similarly, Pip the photographer – not much younger than me – still plays veterans’ rugby, but is only half-joking when he says it takes him three hours to get out of bed the morning after a game. The trick for those of us who are no longer spring chickens is, I suppose, to ﬁnd a more suitable replacement for the rough and tumble rather than spend our declining years apparently sewed into an armchair, missing out not only on the beneﬁcial effects of exercise but also the camaraderie and social interaction that were, for most of us, what we most enjoyed about our favourite sport anyway. Fortunately, the gentler ‘walking’ versions of many games are becoming increasingly popular, with Saga reporting that new clubs are popping up all the country and noting that “the great thing about this type of sport is that it’s open to all – men and women can play alongside each other, less physically-abled individuals can also join
in, and everyone will beneﬁt from getting moderate exercise in a social setting”. Football, rounders and basketball are all popular in this format and, as I was to ﬁnd out, so is netball. I went along to Catmose Sports Centre in Oakham one morning to learn about the sessions they’ve recently started and, while I watched the participants warming up and listened to the laughter from all as co-ordinator Kelly Hicks put them through their paces, spoke to Active Rutland’s Amy Hammond, who’d also been responsible for starting the centre’s walking football initiative. “This is for anyone – of any age or ability, whether you’ve tried it before or not,” she told me. “It’s only our third week but we have seven regulars already and would like a lot more. All the medical professionals say that exercise beneﬁts people over 65 in terms of ﬁtness, a feeling of well-being and also the social interaction and I can promise that we won’t ask anyone to do something they’re not comfortable with.” The governing body, England Netball, is right behind them. They say “walking netball has evolved from a growing demand for walking sports. Often, one of netball’s strengths is that people never forget playing the sport and the memories as well as the love for the game never leave. Walking netball is a slower version of the game; it is netball, but at a walking pace. The game has been designed so that anyone can play it regardless of age or ﬁtness level. From those who have dropped out of the
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The George and Dragon, Seaton The beautifully refurbished George and Dragon pub at Seaton is the ambitious new venture from Ralph Offer, formerly of the Stamford Wine Bar.
This quintessentially English village pub has undergone a complete transformation, with three months of hard work creating an interior that is best described as snug country pub with an industrial twist – think bare brick and luxurious tweed, enhanced with thoroughly modern metal accents such as the spider web light fitting that illuminates the main bar. The downstairs area has been extended to include a welcoming sitting room completed with cosy armchairs and a piano – the perfect place to while away
an evening with a good bottle of wine. Ralph has put his wine knowledge to good use, creating a comprehensive drinks list including over thirty wines, as well as a selection of local ales, lager and spirits that ensures there is something for every taste. Upstairs, luxury awaits in the form of three individually themed guest bedrooms; Pheasant, Stag and Hare. Each has its own unique, elegant look which is coordinated down to the last mug and towel, and complemented by extra little luxuries such as Moulton Brown
toiletries. One thing that the rooms all have in common are stunning views over the picturesque Rutland village of Seaton, with the village church and rolling hills beyond creating a perfect panorama to wake up to in the morning. However, the main attraction is the new fine dining menu, masterminded by chef Omar Palazzolo. After seventeen years spent working in some of London’s best kitchens, including Nobu and Tom’s Kitchen, Omar has big plans for his own menu at the George and Dragon. He describes his take on food as ‘purist’, with
Telephone 01572 747418 - 2 Main Street, Seaton, Rutland LE15 9HU
a focus on simple flavours and quality, locally-sourced ingredients which offer both great taste and nutrition for the body and soul! Expect a creative, ever-changing selection of dishes with influences from many of the cuisines that Omar loves, from modern Italian to Japanese. The George and Dragon is undoubtedly the perfect country destination for anyone looking for a great meal, a warm reception and a good drink. Ralph looks forward to welcoming you through the door!
Ralph Offer - Owner Omar Palazzolo - Head Chef
ACTIVE LOCAL /// Netball sport they love due to serious injury, to those who believed they had hung up their netball trainers many years ago, it really is for everyone.” Back on the court, while the action continued, I managed to prise Janet Horwood away from the fray. “I think there are such a lot of people out there who should come. It’s great fun, a good way to meet new people and a real giggle,” she told me. “Longer ago than I care to remember I played at school and it’s very nostalgic to start again – it quite takes me back to when I was 12 or 13 years old.” That just underlines England Netball’s point, which goes on to reckon that women the length of the country have begun playing the game for the fun, laughter and camaraderie the social session brings, as much as the health beneﬁts on offer. It can give those who feel isolated an outlet, it reckons, provide an activity for those who don’t deem themselves ﬁt enough to run anymore and offer a stepping stone for those looking for a pathway back into netball. Lynn Cooper from Braunston has been coming since the ﬁrst session. “I just wanted to improve my stamina and ﬁtness,” she said. “Now I’ve started it’s spurred me on to other things too. I’ve started swimming again, which I hadn’t done for years, but then again it had probably been 55 years since I’d played netball! It’s fun. There’s nothing too intense and we all enjoy a coffee and a chat afterwards.” Team sports are ideal for building friendships, particularly netball as there’s no alternative but to work together on the court – there’s practically nothing an individual can achieve on their own in this game. The Centre for Ageing Better also notes the health advantages, saying it enables people to stay connected to their friends and communities, maintains and improves muscle strength and balance, which can help people in later life live independently and reduce the risk of falls. Then there are the maintenance of cognitive function, reduction of cardiovascular risk, the retention of the ability to carry out daily living activities and improvements to mood and self-esteem. Barry Palmer is 66 and told me: “It’s not overly energetic but is good exercise nevertheless. It’s open to everyone and I wouldn’t mind a few younger ones coming to help out us oldies. There’s no reason men shouldn’t play – I could really do with a few more turning up to help me out with all these ladies.” Lucky fellow! He went on: “The staff here are very good. It’s nice and informal with nothing too regimented – a good compromise between being competitive and enjoying yourself. The social thing is ideal, particularly for people who live on their own. I met someone here that I hadn’t seen for years who lived two doors away from me when I grew up.” As I said my goodbyes, Amy summed up what she’d like to say. “Please do come, we’d love to have you. There’s something for all abilities and it’s a great opportunity to make new friends”. And you’ll have no trouble getting out of bed the next morning, either.
Fun and games for all ages, and sexes, at the Walking Netball sessions at Catmore Sports Centre
WANT TO JOIN IN? Sessions take place on Tuesday mornings from 10.15am11.15am and Thursday evenings from 6pm-7pm at Catmose Sports Centre, Oakham, with more sessions being added at a later date. For non-members of Catmose Sports Centre the session will cost £3; for existing members there is no charge. For more information call Catmose Sports Centre on 01572 490030.
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Roundup The scores, star performers and stats from a month in local sport
Stamford struggle, Oaks and Oundle off form BY JEREMY BESWICK
t’s proving to be a tough season so far for both Oakham and Stamford in Midlands 2 East (South). Oaks, with only two wins from seven at the time of writing, lie in eighth place in the 12 team table while only pointless Pinley are below Stamford, who have yet to win this campaign and have only a solitary bonus point to show for their eﬀorts. Oakham had an away local derby at Corby’s Stewart and Lloyds at the beginning of the month, a ﬁxture that they would have had high hopes of winning seeing as their opponents had lost all of their opening games of the season. The hosts started much the stronger, however, and were soon 5-0 up; Oaks director of rugby Andy Williamson accepting that at this point, 13 minutes in, they’d “hardly touched the ball”. Worse was to follow as, after a period of sustained pressure, the home side went over again to make it 12-0 at half-time with Oakham hardly in the game in spite of having both slope and wind in their favour. Coach Bill Kingdom brought the evercombative Stee Vukinavanua into the fray for the second period and his strong running markedly improved matters “putting S and L on the back foot for the ﬁrst time in the game,” according to Williamson, and they were rewarded with an excellent try from James Beanland to put them back into things at 12-7. Nevertheless, that was to prove the high point as it was to be only S and L that trou-
bled the scorers for the rest of the tie, eventually winning 22-7. Spirits at the Showground will not have improved after the following weekend either, when they lost 30-17 against old rivals Belgrave. Stamford Town started with a home ﬁxture against Olney and were one try to the good at half-time thanks to Jack Jones and, with the slope in their favour for the second period, would have been considered odds-on to post their ﬁrst victory. But Olney, it seemed, had not read the script. They were to cross the line four times in the second half and Stamford’s loss by 3112 would have been wider had Rees Burns not grabbed a try late at the end. Next up were Market Bosworth, who piled on the agony by thrashing them 65-5. After a bright start to their debut in Midland One (East), Oundle have also found the going tough of late. Their early season form means they are still respectably placed in mid-table but they have lost their last four. Following reverses at home to Paviors and away to Peterborough the next home ﬁxture saw them play Syston for the ﬁrst time in their history and it was the visitors who drew ﬁrst blood with a push over try. Oundle were still holding their own but, apart from a penalty from Will Carrington, failed to make the most of their chances and Syston made them pay with two further tries before Gabriel Smithson replied to make it 8-20 at the interval.
Oundle were the better of the two sides early on in the second period and Smithson bagged a second to narrow the gap and then landed a penalty to bring them within two points. Alas, they were not to score in the match again and Syston were to go over three more times; Oundle oﬃcial Peter Croot summing up that “a late interception try ﬂattered the visitors but they deserved the victory”. Full time score 40-18. Next up was a visit to Bedford with a weakened team. “Toby Snelling away, Mark Carter, Simon Andrews and Vernon Horne all injured. Jack Sharpley and his brother Luke Sharpley, also late withdrawals” noted Croot. Oundle started well but conceded on the counter from a cross-ﬁeld kick. They were then weakened further by the loss of hooker Joe Roberts to injury, replaced by Michael Griﬃths who was making his ﬁrst ﬁrst-team appearance for three years. An interception try widened Bedford’s lead yet although it looked like a rout was on the cards Oundle were unbowed. “The visitors seemed always competitive and actually controlled long spells of possession,” Croot obeserved and they were to score a try through Carrington before half time. What ﬁnished them oﬀ was four quick tries early in the second period and despite a second try for Carrington and one for James Keane they were ultimately out-gunned by 65-17.
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Jeremy Beswick chats with Matt O’Connor about young players and the departure of Tom Cro Although a young Tigers side lost narrowly away to Bath in the Anglo Welsh Cup, Matt O’Connor was pleased with the performance when I spoke to him aerwards. They’d been leading until the last seconds of the game and he told me: “The young guys performed well. It’s good for them to have a run out.” Development squad members Jordan Olowofela, Tom Hardwick and Tommy Reffell were making senior debuts and nine academy graduates in all were in the first XV, with a further five amongst the replacements. “The test break is their opportunity to shine,” continued O’Connor. “They were fantastic – the performance was very professional and determined.” He went on to praise ex-player Anthony Allen for his work as Academy head coach. “It’s a luxury situation to have Ant there who well understands what our values are and now he’s driving those values in the 17, 18, 19-year-olds. You may be on a different stage on the pathway but, with those values being the same, when they come into the first team it’s easier for them slot in.” In contrast, one former academy graduate reached the end of his own personal pathway this month, with the sad announcement that Tom Cro is retiring from all forms of rugby at the age of 32 on medical advice. Chief executive Simon Cohen said: “Croy displayed a unique talent – a natural ability but also worked hard on his game which made him one of the leading back row forwards in the world.” That talent gained him 40 England caps and two Lions tours in a distinguished career and I, for one, will never forget the rousing reception he got when coming off the bench to resume his England career just months aer a life-threatening neck injury. The man himself said: “Leaving the game has been a massive decision, it is all I’ve known since leaving school. I’ve played professional rugby at Leicester for 12 years and in that time I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I’ve played alongside and against some incredible players and made lifelong friends in the game.” As we said goodbye to Cro, five players cemented their future at Welford Road and announced new contracts on the same day – Dan Cole, Mike Williams, Matt Toomua, Telusa Veainu and Greg Bateman. The day aerwards I sat down with front row Greg Bateman, who’d made his own mark in the record books last season by being the first Leicester Tiger to play in all three front row positions. Having played both hooker and prop, how would he compare his forward team-mates, I asked? “Coley (Dan Cole) is Mr Unseen Work. The vital stuff that sometimes is less understood. What he does in the scrummage, the mauls and the breakdown is incredible. One hell of a defender who always makes his tackle. Ellis Genge on the other hand is maybe more X-factor. A tremendous carrier of the ball and dynamic. Mind you, the way Coley turns the ball over is a bit X-factor too.” With Australian international hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau also joining, there’ll be no shortage of competition for those three Above places for the remainder of Tom Cro has called time on his rugby career the season.
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ACTIVE LOCAL Round-up
Time for Daniels to deliver in the push for play-offs BY DEAN CORNISH
here’s a deﬁnite feelgood factor around the Zeeco stadium currently, with most terrace sages agreeing that Graham Drury has assembled a Stamford side capable of securing promotion back to the Evo Stik Premier Division. The problem is that they’re playing well but just not picking up the points that most agree they should be. At the start of the season the problem was goals, or more speciﬁcally a goal-scorer, with fantastic build-up play just not converting itself into goals. Since the return to ﬁtness of Pearson Mwanyongo, that problem has been alleviated slightly, but still there are too many games that Stamford come away from as being the far superior side, but without the three points to show for it. With so many points dropped, in particular away from home, Stamford won’t challenge for the title now. They do have a good chance, though, of making the top ﬁve and entering the lottery of the play-oﬀs. The Daniels lie 11th in the table, but just six points from third. This month especially, the luck hasn’t run for Stamford with a defeat away at Basford that could so easily have been a win, and drawing at home to Sheﬃeld FC in spite of leading against 10 men in the 92nd minute; a freak late goal robbing Stamford. They did get a good 4-1 win at home against Kidsgrove which included a Mwanyogo double. Stamford’s run in the FA Trophy also came to an end, with Droylsden winning 2-1 for Stamford’s ﬁrst home defeat of the season.
On Saturday, December 23, Cottesmore Amateurs Football Club are taking on a rowing challenge to raise money for the Matt Hampson Foundation and to fund a new playing kit. The target is to row the distance of the English Channel in seven hours using rowing machines. The event will be taking place at the Co-Op Supermarket on Burley Road in Oakham. To support this event please contact Rob Lewin on 07902 243405. The next few weeks are crucial for Stamford – between December 2 and January 2, Stamford have eight league ﬁxtures with the pick being the big derby game against Corby on Boxing Day. If Stamford can go on a run now, they can get themselves in a good position to consolidate a position in the top ﬁve, before hopefully pushing for that second place in the division and ensuring a home draw in the play-oﬀs. Stamford’s other side, Blackstones, have also had a decent season so far although sadly for them, manager Andy Lodge has recently left the club for personal reasons. Lodge had built a good side and leaves them in sixth place in the division. ExDaniels and Posh player Daniel French and current player Daniel Lee Clarke will takeover, hoping to continue the push for promotion. Even though Blackstones have had a good season, they’ve dropped oﬀ the boil
in recent weeks, with away defeats against Harrowby and Lutterworth recently and a draw against Long Buckby. Hopefully the new management duo can re-inspire the side and push them closer to league leaders Pinchbeck, who are nine points ahead. In the same division, Oakham United are struggling badly with defeats in their last 15 games in all competitions, and only four goals scored in those games. New manager Ryan Hunnings has had a baptism of ﬁre since taking over, but generally performances have improved. In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Stamford Lions’ march to the title has stuttered in recent weeks. After an amazing autumn period where James Sheehan’s side couldn’t stop winning, they’ve since drawn away at Sawtry and Thorney and lost at home to Holbeach United Rserves. It could have been worse against Thorney, but thankfully the Lions twice came from behind thanks to strikes from goal machine Luke Ball, and Shaun Sanderson. Ketton are now 12th in the same division with decent wins over Deeping Rangers and Stanground tempered by heavy defeats against Netherton and Warboys Town. In Division one the form team is undoubtedly Stamford Bels, with four wins in their last four games meaning they are dreaming of promotion back to the Peterborough Premier Division. Bels have been in great form, with their recent run including a 9-1 win over Netherton United Reserves.
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ACTIVE LOCAL Round-up
Huge support for local hunts BY JULIA DUNGWORTH
old frosty mornings have set up some wonderful hunting days already this year for local packs. The opening meets have again been fantastically well supported both by mounted and foot followers. The Fitzwilliam had its opening meet in Milton Park, and as usual there was a fantastic turnout with more than 100 mounted and a lot of local eventers out with their youngsters, including myself, Richard Skelt, Richard Jones and Holly Campbell. We had a fantastic day over the old parkland and jumped a huge amount of the small timber fences under the brilliant guidance of joint master Tracey Riddington. Then on to The Melton held on November 19 at Withcote Hall in the heart of Leicestershire’s ﬁnest hunting country. There was a huge ﬁeld of 57, and to some this is the climax of the year and often one to tick oﬀ the bucket list for others – like winner Zoe Gibson for whom it is the start of the season. They were blessed again with beautiful weather, which meant a huge turnout, nearly 200 cars were in the car park and many more strewn round the roads.
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Dominic Gwyn-Jones, one of the favourites, had an unfortunate incident early on and managed to ‘wipe out’ some of the other favorites including Richard Walker, Rory Bevin and Rowan Cope! Harriet Walker also managed to hit a tree; they have both survived to tell the tale although her horse is a having a short stay at Oakham Veterinary Hospital. Geoﬀ Bridges from Wittering had a slightly more eventful ride than planned, not only was he fresh out of plaster having broken his thumb ﬁve weeks ago (falling oﬀ team chasing) but disaster struck in the lorry park when somehow he managed to snap the ring oﬀ the bottom of his gag, which meant he had no steering at all and ended up just following whomever was in front of him, even when they started jumping a part of the course which he hadn’t walked. Geoﬀ was (fortunately for us) wearing his infamous headcam. If you get chance, please do watch the madness unfold, as it is easy to ﬁnd on YouTube. But I will warn you it does need to be after the watershed! Rebecca Bullock from Allington has made a very successful comeback in the show
jumping world having had a small crisis of conﬁdence earlier in the year. She won a very competitive speed class at Vale View in the 1.05m, and then followed that up by winning the Area 16 qualiﬁer for the Riding Club Championships at Arena UK on November 5. Rebecca was one of very few to jump two double clears followed by a speedy jump oﬀ for Howden and District Riding Club in the 1m class. Rebecca and her team will go to Bury Farm in the spring to represent them. Kelly Hetherington was also ﬁfth in the 90cm for Howden and the Rutland Riding Club also ﬁnished in fourth. Burghley Pony Club held its very popular Hunter Trials in the park. It was combined for the ﬁrst time with the riding stage for the Tetrathlon, which yet again was another brilliantly organised event by Claire Daly and Laura Leicester. Teams travelled from as far aﬁeld as Yorkshire and Hertfordshire. Burghley again came home victorious with wins and places in most classes including Harry McEuen, who was second in the Open Boys, and Will McEuen, who was also second in the Junior Boys.
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SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...
Published on Nov 29, 2017
SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...