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Meet Leicester Tigers’ groundsman Active Rutland’s sports award winners A Christmas Postie’s lot is a happy one Christmas fashion tips New eco tips column! Walks from Folkingham and Benefield


Wonderful Winter Sports

! E E R F

Reap the benefits of all that mountain air and exercise

SPEND A FAMILY CHRISTMAS IN A HOME FROM HOME w w w .t h e a c t i ve m a g . c o m

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Join Stamford Our Schools work together to provide an outstanding day and boarding education for girls and boys aged 3 to 18. We take pride in developing intellectual curiosity and a love of learning, while helping to shape wellrounded individuals who are fully equipped for the next stage in their lives.

Entrance Examinations (Year 7 Entry 2020) Application Deadline 8 January 2020

Stamford School Discovery Mornings (Boys 11 - 18)

Stamford High School Discovery Mornings (Girls 11 - 18)

Stamford Junior School Discovery Mornings (Girls and Boys 2 - 11)

March and June 2020

March and June 2020

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To book your place, visit stamfordschools.org.uk or call us on 01780 750311

Editor and Publisher Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Art editor Matt Tarrant matt@theactivemag.com Contributors Will Hetherington, Jeremy Smithson-Beswick, Pip Warters Advertisement Sales Director Lisa Chauhan lisa@theactivemag.com Production assistant Gary Curtis Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, Eventus Business Centre, Sunderland Road, Northfield Industrial Estate, Market Deeping, PE6 8FD If you have information about a club then please get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. yo wo ld li e to sto ti e magazine please email distribution@theactivemag. om. ti e magazine is p lished monthly 12 times per year. ISSN 2059-8513 Published by Triangle Publishing Ltd Printed by Warner’s of Bourne



opyright riangle lishing td . ll 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 nat re witho t prior permission rom . ny iews or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the iews or opinions o or its a liates. is laimer o ia ility. hilst e ery e ort has een made to ens re the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, TPL and its a liates ass me no responsi ility as to the a ra y 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. d ertisers are solely responsi le or the ontent o the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. and its a liates are are not responsi le or 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 prod ts or ser i es o ered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

E DI TO R ’ S L E T T E R “Winter sports aren’t just about the physical, your mental health really benefits from being out on the mountains breathing in that Alpine air” CHRISTMAS IS JUST around the corner and we are all frantically trying to buy last minute presents, wrap them, buy food and clean the house, whilst still trying to keep up with work and other commitments. It’s certainly a busy time of year; but take the time to enjoy it all despite the mad rush. If you are still looking for presents turn to our new columnist, Lizzie Davies who is suggesting some sustainable, eco friendly ones. In the coming months Lizzie will be suggesting ways we can all do our bit to help the environment and I’m very much looking forward to her tips. December is usually the start of the winter sports season so this month we ha e o nd o t more a o t the di erent sports a aila le and spoken to some readers about their passion for the snow. Winter sports aren’t just about the physical, your mental health really enefits rom eing o t on the mo ntains reathing in that lpine air and enjoying the sensation of being on the snow. We might not have quite the same mountain air here but take the time to wrap up warm and get out for a long walk or two over the Christmas period. It will help clear the head and aid digestion as well as getting you some much needed exercise before the next large meal and egetating in ront o the fire pleasant as that is. Whilst we are all rushing around madly preparing for Christmas spare a thought for the person delivering all our cards and parcels. ery m h en oyed meeting one o o r posties and finding o t about her round and Christmas deliveries. Sophie is certainly a lady who gets a lot of exercise! Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and healthy New Year. Hopefully you will all have time to relax and enjoy some downtime; now do I have room for one more mince pie? Of course I do! Mary - Editor FIND US ONLINE



INSTAGRAM theactivemaguk

WEBSITE theactivemag.com

December 2019 / theactivemag.com

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THE HEADMASTER’S SCHOLARSHIPS 5% - 25% of fees available for Year 7 candidates. For outstanding performance in the January Entrance Examination, which will take place on 16 January 2020 leicesterhigh.co.uk/scholarships

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I S S U E 90 / DE C E M B E R 201 9



Local news updates


Catch up with what’s going on locally


Winter landscapes and eco tips


Rent a large house for a family Christmas



Will enjoys a tri village walk starting from Folkingham

28 FINISHING TOUCHES Christmas fashion tips



Meet a Christmas postie


Get the lowdown on di erent winter sports


Aly Dilks advises how to avoid the Christmas excess


ACTIVE KIDS 49 Local school news



Meet Ed Mowe, head groundsman at Leicester Tigers


earn a o t the enefits o


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Front Doors


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∠䴀愀渀甀昀愀挀琀甀爀攀爀猀 愀渀搀 䤀渀猀琀愀氀氀攀爀猀 漀昀 琀栀攀 瘀攀爀礀 戀攀猀琀 愀氀甀洀椀渀椀甀洀 最氀愀稀椀渀最 猀礀猀琀攀洀猀 昀爀漀洀 愀挀爀漀猀猀 䔀甀爀漀瀀攀 ∠䠀椀最栀氀礀 琀栀攀爀洀愀氀氀礀 攀昀昀椀挀椀攀渀琀 愀渀搀 椀渀挀爀攀搀椀戀氀礀 猀琀礀氀椀猀栀⸀ 倀愀猀猀椀瘀栀愀甀猀 挀愀瀀愀戀椀氀椀琀椀攀猀Ⰰ 眀栀攀渀 爀攀焀甀椀爀攀搀 ∠䠀椀最栀氀礀 欀渀漀眀氀攀搀最攀愀戀氀攀 猀琀愀昀昀 眀栀漀 漀昀昀攀爀 攀砀挀攀氀氀攀渀琀 愀搀瘀椀挀攀 ∠䔀砀挀攀瀀琀椀漀渀愀氀氀礀 栀椀最栀 猀攀挀甀爀椀琀礀 爀愀琀椀渀最 漀渀 愀氀氀 瀀爀漀搀甀挀琀猀Ⰰ 洀愀渀礀 愀挀栀椀攀瘀椀渀最 倀䄀匀 ㈀㐀

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ActiveLife Christmas fashion tips | Meet a Christmas postie Local news | Will’s walks | Christmas present eco tips E DI T E D BY M A RY B R E M N E R

Winter sports guide p.36

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Active life

Oakham’s Thai holistic spa HERB AND HEAL in Oakham is a boutique Thai and holistic spa located at 21 Burley oad. hey o er traditional and therape ti hai massage sport massage and holisti therapies. hai massage has een pro en to enefit many onditions and a hes and pains and helps with poor posture, sciatica, sports injuries and mobility. The holistic therapies o s on the mind ody and spirit to help the ow o energy thro gh the ody. s well as ll ody massages er and eal o er traditional hai head a e and foot massages. Some beauty treatments are also available including waxing and the Thai facial lift revival and Thai collagen recharge facial are to be recommended. www.herbandheal.co.uk

Vouchers for Foodies LAMBERT’S IN CHEYNE Lane in tam ord are o ering gi t o hers this Christmas; ideal for foodie friends or family the vouchers can be for afternoon tea, breakfast or dinner at one of their themed evenings, or anything in between. www.lamberts-stamford.co.uk

New Yoga Studio for Market Harborough THERE’S A NEW independent yoga studio opening at 74 St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough at the end of November, Optimum You Yoga and Wellness. The purpose built studio will have two yoga studios and hold numerous classes with the plan to build a local, thriving yoga community for everyone in the town. Classes will include Hatha, Vinyassa, Restorative, pregnancy yoga, yoga for seniors and many, many more, too numerous to mention; he o t their we site to find o t details. Owners Jenny and Neil already run the Hotpod Yoga studio in Leicester, and will continue to do so but have naturally gravitated to teaching more healing types of yoga, mindfulness yoga and yoga therapies and as they live near Market Harborough have decided to branch out into this new studio as well. www.optimumyouyoga.com


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If you are thinking about your future or that of a loved one, now is the time to register your interest in our brand new care home or apartments. With beautiful views, stunning interiors and our usual first-class care coupled with our events and activities programme, this will be the home of ‘excellence in care.’ Contact us today to register for your interest and we’ll make sure you’re kept up to date

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12 Two-bedroom & 6 One-bedroom Apartments for the Over 55s

Uffington Road, Stamford PE9 3AA alysiacaring.co.uk

Active life

New face at Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Leisure and Spa BARNSDALE HALL HOTEL, Leisure and Spa has a brand new management team. yode al er now heads p the leis re and spa area and together with his team he’s keen to make changes to the a ilities and range o treatments on o er. st in time or hristmas and the ew ear they re o ering some l rio s spa pa ages to rela and re i e their stomers. i t o hers are easy to p r hase online and an e sed either or a hotel stay dining or or se in the wellness spa. here s a wonder l re io s oments gi t olle tion to hoose rom too. www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk

New Wellbeing Centre IRONSTONE WELLBEING CENTRE has recently opened in Ironstone Place on the new Kettering Business Park and is proud to be orthamptonshire s ďŹ rst p rpose ilt ell eing entre. hey ha e three studios which are perfect for classes as well as four consultation rooms. s the entre is rand new and p rpose ilt there is plenty o par ing a aila le. he entre o ers a range o lasses and treatments designed to promote mental and physical wellbeing including classes for Hot Yoga and Pilates, yoga classes, mindfulness and meditation, pregnan y yoga m a and m h more. n m er o di erent therapists in l ding physios sports masse rs and re e ologists are also on site. his new entre o ers something or e eryone whether yo e an a sol te eginner or old hand. here s e en a a on site to en oy a light l n h or o ee with riends a ter a lass. www.ironstone.club


December 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Perfect Gifts for Men With over 50 different designs and colours of premium socks, there’s a perfect gift for every man to reflect his favourite team, school, or club at Win or Lose. And if you don’t want to give socks this Christmas there’s a great range of knitwear and underwear to choose from.

Shop online at www.win-or-lose.com

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FREE access to facilities: swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Steam & Sauna Complimentary robes, towels and footwear provided.

a Barnsdale Hall Hotel

Tugby Orchards, Tugby, LE7 9WE I 0116 259 8063 I www.cafe-ventoux.cc By bike follow the Route 64 Cycle way

Now selling homemade pizza on Friday evenings (from 6th December) from 4pm to 10pm serving late night coffee, wine, local beers and a selection of spirits. (Pizza also available for takeaway). We will also be open on Boxing Day from 10am til 2pm serving coffee and a selection of cakes. Open seven days a week from 9.30am to 3.30pm Mon to Fri; 9am - 5pm weekends.

Northamptonshire’s first purpose built

Wellbeing Centre

Offering a range of classes and courses from Yoga, Pilates, Hot Yoga and Pilates to Tai Chi, Zumba, Mindfulness and Meditation, Children’s Yoga and more. The perfect place to nourish the mind, body and soul.

Memberships, class packs and pay as you go available. Visit www.ironstone.club for more information.

Active life

What’s on...

Great things to see and do in the region


UTLAND ADVENTURER SARAH Outen’s feature length documentary about her epic 4 ½ year solo round the world expedition will be shown at Stamford Arts Centre on Sunday e em er at pm. he film is made p o ootage arah filmed whilst on her journey. The CATS Crackers will be held on Sunday December 29. Described as a Sunday ride with a purpose, it’s a mountain bike orienteering event; you are given a map with a number of checkpoint locations to visit and three hours to do it in. It starts at Loddington and Mawsley cricket club near Kettering. To register go to www.bmba.org.uk To coincide with Stamford’s late night Christmas shopping event on December 12, watchmaker Robert Loomes is to host two tours and tal s at his premises a o t i torian lo and wat h ma ing. ta will be in period costume and will show you around the workshops. Tours are free (2.30pm and 5pm) but please book your place by emailing robertloomes@googlemail.com

Carols in the Castle will be held at Oakham Castle on December 13 at 6pm – 7.30pm. Enjoy Christmas carols in the fabulous setting. The event is free but please reserve tickets. Refreshments will be available. Visit www.oakhamcastle.org/events It’s panto season so we’ve found some local productions. Stamford Pantomime Players will be performing Dick Whittington from December 27 – January 1. Tickets are on sale now at www. stamfordcornexchange.co.uk Aladdin is showing at De Montfort Hall in Leicester from December 14. To book tickets visit www.demontforthall.co.uk. Scrooge the Musical, courtesy of The Seaton Starlights will be performed at Uppingham Theatre on December 11-14. For more information go to www.uppthearts.co.uk The English Bridge Union (Northants) and the Stamford Bridge Club start a new 10 week course on how to learn bridge on Thursday January 9 from 7 - 10 pm in Exeter Gardens, Stamford, PE9 2RN with a morning course at the same venue starting on January 27 from 9.30 - 12.30pm. Absolute beginners and improvers welcome. £65 for 10 weeks. For more information email marcusstamfordwitt@gmail.com

December 2019 / theactivemag.com

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We’re family when family can’t be there Driving Miss Daisy® offers the UK’s first national safe, friendly and reliable companion and driving service.

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THE ENGLISH BRIDGE UNION, NORTHANTS COUNTY, AND STAMFORD BRIDGE CLUB Invite you to learn bridge with us on Thursday 9th January 7.00 - 10.00 pm (10 weeks) or 27th January 9.30- 12.30 (10 weeks ) at Stamford Bridge Club, Exeter Gardens, Stamford PE92RN Absolute beginners and Improvers welcome. Join us for this exciting opportunity to learn bridge in a friendly environment and keep your mind agile whilst having fun. Lessons £65 for the 10-week course.

Stamford Bridge club

email: marcusstamfordwitt@gmail.com on behalf of The English Bridge union and Northants County invite you to

AN EXCITING OPEN EVENING OF CARD GAME FUN and information about what our club can offer you

Friday 1st November 6.30 for 7pm- 10pm. Stamford Bridge club, Exeter Gardens, Stamford PE92RN Cheese and wine provided.

email marcusstamfordwitt@gmail.com or 01780757789

Conservatory too hot in the summer and too cold in winter? Classic have the answer to this problem and you do not even have to change the existing windows/doors, although you can. Structurally very strong which means your new sun room meets full Building Regulation Approval.

visit our showroom 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm

Tel: 01780 654321 Email: sales@classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk

Active life


Yule Log A Christmas staple which the kids will love to make with you. INGREDIENTS



eat o en to degrees • Grease and line a 23 x 32cm Swiss roll tin in baking parchment eat eggs and g aster s gar together ntil thi and reamy • Mix 85g plain flour and 2 tbsp cocoa powder together then sift into egg mixture. Fold in gently then pour into the Swiss roll tin ha e the tin rom side to side gently to spread the mi t re e enly. a e or min tes • Before taking the cake out of the oven lay a sheet of parchment on the work surface. Tip the cooked cake onto it and peel off the lining paper then roll the cake up from its longest edge with the paper inside. Leave to cool

• 3 eggs • 85g golden caster sugar g sel raising o r • 2 tbsp cocoa powder


g tter • 140g dark chocolate t sp golden syr p • 280 ml double cream g i ing s gar • icing sugar and sprigs of holly to decorate

or the i ing melt the tter and dar ho olate together in a owl o er a pan o hot water. emo e rom the heat and stir in the golden syr p and t sp do le ream. eat in g si ted i ing s gar ntil smooth • Whisk the rest of the double cream until stiff. Unravel the cake, spread the cream over the top then re-roll into a log t a thi diagonal sli e rom one end o the rolled log. t on a plate then arrange the other sli e to ma e a ran h as per the images • Spread the icing over the whole lot, leaving the ends clear, then use a fork to make it look like bark. Scatter with icing sugar to resemble snow and then decorate with holly

December 2019 / theactivemag.com

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The latest laser and injectable cosmetic procedures performed by fully qualified GP or Nurse Practitioner

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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: info@launde.org.uk Charity No: 1140918

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Active life


Eco Christmas presents Lizzie Davies offers some sustainability tips for Christmas presents FOR THE LAST 10 years I have worked in the world of sustainability and horticulture helping ‘nudge’ people into small behavioural changes that cause less harm to the planet and o er personal enefits o well eing and ost. I’m delighted to have been asked to write this column so let’s start with hristmas gi ts that don t ost the earth. Here are some ideas: · Seek out antique tools - so beautiful, tactile and very robust. · Make your own herb oils and vinegars; rosemary is still available now and chive flowers work well in the summer. · Dry your own bay, rosemary or thyme leaves and ask friends if they have spare that you can cut. Look for healthy leaves, tie into bunches and air dry. · Keep decorative jars and bottles or check out www.freecycle.org - a great site for free stuff and for getting rid of unwanted items. Make sure you sterilise jars before using. · Make your own growing kits in a re-used plastic pot. Garlic is a good choice for planting now - see www.gardenorganic. org.uk/growyourown to print off growing instructions. · Reduce your packing footprint - use magazines, jute twine and natural decoration such as sprigs of ivy, berries and rosemary. You can follow Lizzie on Facebook @catalpacloud or @lizcatalpa on Instagram


The Wonder of Winter Landscapes Garden designer Teresa Kennedy recommends you take in the bigger picture this month


ANDSCAPES ARE MY thing, particularly in the winter when the leaves are gone, branches are bare, the lush green growth of summer has disappeared and the bare bones - the structure of the land - stand proud in all its glory lo e it. The few short hours of daylight at this time o year need to e made the most o . o take a break from maintenance in your own garden and get out to enjoy the local scenery and ea ty aro nd s. t will re harge yo .

What can you gain from this and what to take note of Even though large scale, the features that attract you can be brought into your own personal spa e. am always drawn to the fold of the land, the creases and turns, hillo s and the horizon. his translates itself to curves and level changes, the delicate dips and rises that I bring into o tdoor spa es. For you it may be the trees, the way they p n t ate the iew with their pright orm. You can obviously bring trees into your

garden to replicate this but you can also capture the same upright statement by using str t re or s lpt re instead.

With the hard features such as hedgerows, dry stone walls, gates and buildings consider the straight lines in your space; do you need different areas to create zones?

An outdoor area that is your own private space should be designed to comfort you in some way. inter is the time to ta e a reath and it allows s to listen. hile yo are out enjoying the visuals make sure to listen as well noti e the water and the wind. Movement and sound are key elements in garden design, the skill comes from being a le to represent these reati ely.

Landscapes I recommend · The gentle hills around Uppingham and those to the west of Oakham

· Exton parkland for trees · Burrough Hill for long views · Harringworth viaduct for structure

www.viridisdesign.co.uk 07726 334501

December 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active life


Christmas Getaways Emily Atkinson makes some suggestions for an away from home family Christmas

Image: Angus Bremner


HE MONTHS LEADING up to December always seem to go by in a ash and e ore yo now it yo are opening the first door of your Advent calendar, frantically attempting to untangle the knotted Christmas tree lights, and stocking up on mince pies. For many of us Christmas is about bringing the whole family together, but sometimes this is not always easy; it could be down to la o spa e or e tended amily isiting or fitting e eryone aro nd the dinner table is just impossible, the pressure on this year’s hosts and cooks, or the struggle to keep everyone entertained for the day. Squeezing grandparents, parents, siblings and their partners along with n mero s grand hildren nder one roo an e a tight fit nless you are blessed with a large, roomy home. So, why not try something new and go away en masse? Renting a large house that can accommodate the whole extended family, plus the dogs, can ease the pressure of being on top of each other squashed into too small a space. It can also mean that because you are somewhere unfamiliar none of the usual familial squabbles can come to the fore and e eryone an e gi en di erent tas s so poor old m m doesn t ha e to do the lion s share as per s al i erent s rro ndings an often help ease the pressure if the dynamic within the family has changed, be it divorce, death or new arrivals. If you fancy a Christmas Day walk along the beautiful Cornwall

coastline, a cosy retreat tucked up between the rolling hills of the Lake District, a large Scottish manse or a farmhouse in Wales; you really are spoilt or hoi e. here are n mero s ompanies o ering large holiday home rentals, just scour the internet and you’ll come up with plenty of websites to choose from. Christmas is, of course, a time for giving, and that does not have to be limited to the family presents you have accumulated under the tree. The Landmark Trust, a charity that raises money to preserve historic buildings by making them available to rent, is the ideal way to give a little more this year. The Landmark Trust’s website has its own page dedicated to Christmas rental options and has plenty of properties that can accommodate over 10 people including the property in our photo, Auchinleck House, other Scottish mansion houses, a townhouse in the centre of Bath and Regency country houses, and many are dog friendly. Or what about a spot of Youth Hostelling? It’s not as daft as it sounds. At the YHA you can take over a whole property be it a shooting lodge, log cabin or mansion and some are in the most idyllic spots with prices starting at £199 a night. www.exclusive-hire.yha.org.uk / www.holidaycottages.co.uk www.landmarktrust.org.uk / www.sykescottages.co.uk

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ACTIVE INFO Folkingham used to be on the main London to Lincoln road hence the grand appearance of the Greyhound Stagecoach Inn, and of course the modern A15 is still a busy route, but the Greyhound has been converted into flats.

W I L L’ S W A L K

Folkingham, Walcot & Pickworth A tri-village ramble over undulating land with some lovely views, as Will Hetherington discovers.

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Active life The old Greyhound Hotel is an A15 landmark.

Gentle rolling countryside is a feature of this area of South Kesteven.

Difficulty rating TH E ROUTE

Images: Will Hetherington

I parked on West Street very close to the New Inn. The footpath leads north o est treet less than metres west o the ew nn. nitially it goes ehind a modern ho sing estate with lo ely iews o the h r h to the right e ore lea ing the illage ehind and getting o t in to open armland. ollow the path o er the fields and ear le t where signposted then head diagonally o er the fields thro gh a line o trees and then diagonally again to find the gap in the hedge where the path goes. On the other side yo will find the iet o ntry lane rom ol ingham to al ot. rn right to head north on this pretty o ntry road. o will grad ally go downhill towards al ot t e ore yo get to the ottom o the dip t rn le t at the ootpath sign here yo an wal in and o t o al ot whi h might e a etter option . yo ta e the first option then a ter yo ha e le t the road loo o t or the stile on yo r right within a o t yards. ross o er here and then ross o er the ne t di lt stile and t rn le t. o will ery shortly see the ord ahead whi h my two dogs oth a sol tely loved. he path learly heads o to the west st e ore the ord so t rn right here and or the ne t mile yo will wal along the wide alley ottom in wild grassland and past reland. here will pro a ly e li esto here e a se o the nat re o the land and a o t hal way along yo will ross a wooden ridge. n oy the tran ility o this se tion ollow the path and ltimately yo will ome o t on the road st to the east o i worth. rn right and a ter a o t yards yo will see a ootpath sign pointing to the le t st on the edge o the illage. nless yo want to e plore this pretty illage ta e this t rn and ollow the path ro nd the a o some ho ses and then o t a eastwards. rom here the path o ers two ilometres and a series o mi ed se fields o er higher land than the pre io s se tion e ore arri ing a on the edge o ol ingham at the oot all gro nd. a e yo r way a into the illage and ha e a i stroll aro nd the grand ildings at its ore.

December 2019 / the activemag.com

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Active life

Folkingham’s grand buildings are matched by St. Andrew’s church.

Essential information WHERE TO PARK Near the New Inn on West Street in Folkingham.

HIGHLIGHTS Wonderful tranquility around Walcot. The ford is fun for the dogs and children (and maybe the adults too). Grand old Folkingham is easy on the eye.


DISTANCE AND TIME Four miles/an hour and a half.


LOWLIGHTS Probably best avoided on a day with a cold northerly wind. REFRESHMENTS There are shops and the New Inn in Folkingham. DIFFICULTY RATING Three paws. There are one or two tricky stiles and it’s a decent length but generally OK underfoot. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE This walk covers a lot of farmland and some of it will have livestock but by no means all of it. And apart from the ford there are other opportunities for the dogs to access fresh water. 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.

Even the stretch on the road between Folkingham and tiny Walcot is rather special.

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ACTIVE INFO Benefield Castle was in Lower Benefield, and was originally the site of a Norman manor house. A stone ringwork fortress was built in the 13th century but it was abandoned by the early 14th century. The site is next to the church of St Mary the Virgin but all that’s really left is a broad ditch which represents the original moat, with a bank surrounding that.

W I L L’ S W A L K

The Benefields This stroll between the two villages is a good option in wet weather. By Will Hetherington Images: Will Hetherington

This established path between the two villages makes this a good walk when it’s very wet everywhere.

Difficulty rating TH E ROUTE

I parked on Causin Way in Lower enefield ery lose to the illage all. o will see the ootpath sign to pper enefield ery learly on the north side o a sin ay. a e the path whi h firstly goes diagonally o er a large past re field and then a ter a raised wooden wal way it ontin es north west to pper enefield.

t or this se ond phill se tion the path is tarma whi h ma es it handy or ery wet weather whi h we ha e seen a lot o this a t mn. t may not e pi t res e in the r ral sense t it ma es or ni e easy wal ing on this stret h. o will arri e in pper enefield thro gh ammas arm and on the main whi h ise ts the illage. rn le t and wal or nearly hal a mile ntil yo rea h oronation res ent on the le t. rn in here and yo will soon find the ootpath whi h leads so th west and downhill away rom pper enefield. ollow this o io s path thro gh two

field o ndaries and then rom the se ond hedge yo will see a small wooden ridge dire tly ahead as well as another ridge o er to the right. al down to the ridge straight ahead t t rn le t st as yo get to it. hen ollow the path east along the edge o the stream initially and then thro gh heepwal pinney. eep going or another ilometre aro nd the field edges with glimpses o the h r h spire ahead st peeping o er the horizon and yo will e ent ally arri e a at the wooden oardwal . rn right here and wal grad ally phill a to ower enefield o er the ridge and rrow past reland.

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Active life This bridge is between Spring Wood and Sheepwalk Spinney.



Essential information WHERE TO PARK On Causin Way in Lower Benefield somewhere near the Village Hall. DISTANCE AND TIME Just under three miles/about an hour.

The route goes through Sheepwalk Spinney on the way back to Lower Benefield.

HIGHLIGHTS Good between the villages for really wet weather because of the tarmac section of path. Nice views of the churches in both Lower and Upper Benefield. Very tranquil down by Sheepwalk Spinney. LOWLIGHTS No pub in either village, although Benefield Cricket Club in Upper Benefield have a very fancy new pavilion with a lovely bar if you are there on a sunny Sunday in the summer. REFRESHMENTS Nearest pubs are the Queen’s Head in Bulwick or a few options in Brigstock. DIFFICULTY RATING One paw. This is an easy walk and at just under three miles it really shouldn’t be too challenging. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE No livestock when I did it and a lovely stream for the dogs on the return section. Obviously need to keep the dogs under control alongside the A427 in Upper Benefield. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.

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Meet Frank & Rose Kate Maxim enjoys an exclusive treatment at Stapleford Park and agrees with the Wise Men


VISITED STAPLEFORD Park Spa on a beautiful autumn day when the light was streaming in through all of the windows including the large glass doors of the gym. The stable yard was empty as I walked through it and in through the heavy door to the front desk. Peace at last. t wo ld ha e een a ompletely di erent s ene when it was ilt in the late nineteenth century by John Gretton, a wealthy brewer who bought Stapleford because of its proximity to Melton Mowbray and the hunting. Then, the stable yard would have been ringing from dawn to dusk with the sound of horses, carriages and grooms. I was thinking about that when I was lying on a gently heated bed, wrapped in warm towels in what would have been one of the groom’s quarters upstairs. He wouldn’t believe what his bedroom was being used for nowadays. Today it was being used for a 90 minute Frank & Rose facial which

is a range and treatment exclusive to Harrods, Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa in Chelsea and, now, Stapleford Park. Created by a long-standing beauty therapist at Harrods, Ava Kindler, now working with her daughter Nadya, the ingredients are 100% natural and vegan and ultra luxurious at the same time. e ore s m ed to the treatment first hanged into a ro e in the hanging rooms downstairs whi h had om orting nder oor heating and gorgeous old-school wooden lockers. After a cup of tea in the lo nge was ta en down the long landing leading to di erent treatment rooms. Emma, my therapist, ushered me into one and I soon settled myself on the bed for a top to toe treat. Emma started with a back and leg massage using rosehip butter and oil to soften the muscles, drain the lymphatic system and start the detoxifying process. If you have the shorter 60 minute treatment this part isn’t included but it certainly got the ball rolling in terms of

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Active life

“My skin had absorbed gallons of the active ingredients so it felt completely enriched and plumped up.”

relaxation for me. Then Emma positioned a steaming machine using distilled water to really open the pores on my face while she cleansed - not once but twice - with the signature ingredients of frankincense and rose along with lemon. Full of minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and natural enzymes, the range aims to nourish, soothe and restore radiance. It focuses on moisture loss, improving skin tone and promoting elasticity by drawing o t any e ess id dead ells and to ins. s well as the do le leanse she sed an e oliator with itamin and papaya to ni le away at the dead s in ells. tip mma ga e me was to exfoliate at night as that’s when your skin renews itself so obviously the clearer the pores, the easier it is for skin to repair. Next came the cupping therapy. Emma used small plastic cups to suck up the skin, moving them across the face and décolletage to drain any e ess id. t s an odd sensation t yo do eel as i it s doing yo good. t s per e t or p y s in and yo really do end p with a tighter and brighter complexion. Next up is the hydrating masque with jasmine, argan oil, pumpkin and frankincense and while that’s working its magic, you’re given another massage on your arms, legs and feet. I’d never really come across frankincense before but each time Emma removed the cleanser, exfoliator and masque she used a hot cloth doused with a few drops of it. It smells delicious –

very fresh and invigorating and I now understand why it’s one of the main ingredients in the range. o top it all o was treated to a nourishing moisturiser with meadowfoam, which is a natural UV protector, jasmine and vitamin E. I came away feeling not just uber relaxed from being in such a lo s s rro ndings with riendly and attenti e sta t my s in had absorbed gallons of the active ingredients so it felt completely enri hed and pl mped p. ll an say is that those ise en new what they were doing bringing a gift of frankincense. You can book onto a spa day or pick and choose from one of the many treatments on o er. Or with hristmas oming p a good pressie would be a gift voucher for use in the spa, on the golf course, or for afternoon tea. A Frank & Rose 90 minute facial costs £135; a 60 minute facial £95. www.staplefordpark.com | 01572 897588

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The Oxymoron Outfits


HRISTMAS PARTY TIME is the time of year when we are able to justify pushing the boat out when dressing for a night out. Often during the rest of the year a night out can just mean changing your top, grabbing your bag and heading out of the door (well it is for me anyway). But Christmas and New year is as good a time as any to actually enjoy getting glammed p and ma ing st that little it more e ort or oth se es. And there is joy in getting dressed up. For many of us it doesn’t happen very often so enjoy pushing the boat out. A man in tails always looks good, whatever his age, height or stature, and the same can be said for a woman. I’m a big fan of women wearing tails or a t om orta le t with that loo o e ortless glamo r just add some heels and you’re onto a good thing. Today a party dress does not have to be a party dress, if that doesn t so nd li e too m h o an o ymoron. he staple is no longer a staple. o an get away with a t as said or a trouser suit, skirt and pretty top, summer dress, trousers. You name it you can get away with it as long as you are seen to have made an e ort. ro a ly est to lea e the trainers at home though. Feather trims, trophy skirts, three quarter sleeves and pretty tops, take your pick and if you buy wisely you can chop and change and re-wear for years to come. And don’t forget the dress agen ies and harity shops yo an find some real argains and classic party gear at very competitive prices, or why not raid a friend’s wardrobe?

ASOS design long sleeve embellished top with faux feather trim £65

John Lewis Tuxedo Blazer £120 www.johnlewis.com

Red 1940s vintage ¾ sleeve bodycon pencil dress £39.99

Iris and Ink striped metallic ribbed knit midi skirt £100




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Active life

Slim fit aubergine velvet jacket £199.95 www.ctshirts.com

And for the men…


OU DON’T HAVE to wear the ubiquitous Christmas jumper, in fact I would strongly advise that you don’t. For some men it is vital they up their game, the usual trainers, sweatshirt and jeans will not go down well. But go too OTT and you stand out like a sore thumb. Black tie for men is easy, but can be dull. You don’t have to invest in a full suit, look at a velvet jacket instead, midnight blue, plum or dark green are all great colours and can be dressed down with a pair of jeans for less formal wear; note you’re getting your money’s worth by being able to wear it for both black tie and other occasions. And to stand out from the usual jacket, shirt and tie why not wear a la roll ne nder yo r a et t ma es yo loo slightly di erent but you’ll look sophisticated and stylish, what’s not to like, and again you’ll probably get more wear out of it. If the dress code demands a Christmas jumper; ignore it! There’s nothing worse than eing made to wear a na mper that yo ll immediately throw away after one wear. But to avoid being too much of a party pooper invest in a Fair Isle print or something similar, you’ll still be in the ‘Christmas jumper mode’ so will look festive but will be able to wear said jumper throughout the winter, so worth paying a little more for better quality. Again, shop wisely and you’ve got years of wear out of these items of clothing.

Polo Ralph Lauren Merino turtleneck £135 www.johnlewis.com

Fair Isle crewneck sweater £34.97 www.gap.co.uk

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Active life

It’s party time Christmas What makes a fantastic vice party? We offer some ad


NCE YOU’VE BEEN pampered, your skin is glowing and you’ve hosen a spar ly o tfit to wear it s time to head out for some festive fun. That may be to a work’s do, an annual Christmas reunion with old pals, or to spend some quality time with family without one person responsible for cooking and clearing up. Whatever the occasion, we wondered what ingredients you need to ensure a great Christmas or New Year party at your chosen venue.

A welcome drink puts everyone in the party spirit

No-one wants a crush at the bar when you first arri e yo want a drin in yo r hand without much fuss so you’re ready to mingle straight away. Stephen Fitzpatrick from The eorge at reat O endon says it s all a o t good organisation to ma e the party ow. “We set up Prosecco stations and bottled eer ars and en o rage o r g ests to rela on our squashy sofas before heading into dinner rather than squeezing into the bar.” t s important to remem er the designated drivers too, so guests and hosts need to ma e s re they re o ered a wide hoi e o soft drinks.

Get the menu right

As well as being organised with the drinks trolley, it’s a good idea if you’re in a large group to pre-order your food as the more organised your party, the better the service will e. andlords want to o er the same high standards as they do all year round, but when they’re faced with hordes of revellers at a Christmas party, it’s better they o er a set men ordered in ad an e so there’s less chance of things going wrong. “No one wants their guests to be disappointed, so we encourage parties of 10 people or more to pre-order,” says Stephen. e o er a alan ed men with si starters main courses and puddings, and we skip the turkey roast until Christmas Day when we o er it etween pm. n the r n p to Christmas we serve a turkey parcel wrapped in pancetta which goes down really well.” The food needs to be hot, served promptly, with loads of trimmings such as pigs in blankets, rich cranberry sauce and tasty gravy. A dense and delicious Christmas pudding is a must too.

Get the party started

Many works’ parties share large venues with other companies for their festivities, so

creating a convivial atmosphere for all to get along is key. Most people work with their colleagues on a daily basis but, for some, it may e the only time they mi with people in accounts or from the warehouse so it’s important to find ways to rea the i e particularly if people from an entirely di erent ompany are on the ne t ta le. his is where the host or compere at the venue comes into their own to pull the evening together. Photo booths with props are really popular and party games and quizzes get the ball rolling too. Later, music everyone can dance to is vital - live or played by a superb DJ. Just remember if you wouldn’t normally dirty dance with the boss, perhaps don’t do it at the Christmas party either!

Enjoy a winter wonderland

Not every venue is huge, but people often orget to se o tdoor spa e in the winter. the venue has a garden, it only takes a little bit of thought to create a cosy winter wonderland outdoors using patio heaters and y r gs. hristmas de orations outside are always fun and mulled wine tastes better in the fresh air too.

Time to go home

warming rish o ee and min e pie is a lo ely way to finish the night parti larly i you’re loathe to leave the fun and games, but eventually you do have to go home. ort nately some landlords now o er a ta i service in their local area, which is a great idea on these long, dark nights. Happy Christmas everyone! www.thegeorgegreatoxendon.co.uk

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A Postie’s Lot is a Happy One Mary Bremner meets postie Sophie Antonucci to find out more about Christmas deliveries


ow long have you been a post lady for and why did you want to do it? I’ve been working for the Royal Mail, based at Werrington for seven years. I was what is termed as a ‘spare’ so didn t ha e my own ro nd and wo ld fill in all around the area. Then in April I took over the Northborough and Maxey round and have been doing it ever since. This is classed as a rural round so I had a couple of days’ training to learn the route. The postie I took over from had been doing the round for years so had ig shoes to fill t ha e been made very welcome. first too the o as sed to e a oot all coach training 16-19 year-olds at college so wanted a part time o or when wasn t coaching. Gradually I was doing less coaching so became a postie full time. The o really s its me as am a le to tra el to see friends in New Zealand every year and am heading that way in January. Hopefully I will be able to keep my round when I return after fi e wee s t nothing is onfirmed as yet. ml y as there aren t many o s whi h wo ld allow me to ta e fi e wee s o at a time. Tell me about your day. y o ial ho rs are am pm si days a week. The six days are my choice as I am sa ing or ew ealand. an finish earlier than pm i e finished my deli eries t that ery rarely happens and definitely not at this time of year! head to the sorting o e or am where sort all the post in a delivery frame. There are

slots for each property so I do that and load my york (which is a big trolley) with parcels and wor o t my ro te. ha e properties on my route, spread over a wide area. Timed deliveries mean I sometimes have to change my route to make sure they are delivered on time. I then load my van and leave the depot, usually by about 9am. My round is a lovely round as everyone is so friendly and knows each other and I get out in the countryside, which I love. I’ve got to know people which is great and have worked out who will take parcels in if need be. I’m lucky as there are many retirees and people working from home so I can usually o oad par els whi h sa es stomers ha ing to go to Werrington to collect them the following day. I drive to the village and park my van e ore gra ing my ag and setting o . average about 24,000 steps a day. In October I wal ed miles in eptem er and e em er will e m h higher he o eeps me fit and the ag arrying eeps me strong. What are the hazards of the job; dogs? I love dogs and have one myself and haven’t met an unpleasant one yet. But that’s not to say they don’t exist, I’ve seen some colleagues with some horrid bites so there’s always that risk. We have a dog awareness week to help prote t the postman and the dog. ome o the worst in ries an ome rom a dog snapping at the post when it’s put through a letterbox. ggestions are made to owners o these dogs to cage the box so that their post (and the postie’s hands) are safe. Most dog owners

are pretty sensible and are aware of their pet’s foibles. How does it change at Christmas? It gets much, much busier! From late November onwards life is chaotic. I start wor ing ho r wee s not finishing wor ntil or pm. his arries on ntil Christmas Eve when it all calms down. It will be nicer this year as I have an established route and know it well. I obviously have many more parcels to deliver and many more houses to call on. It’s hectic but people are

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Active life

on holiday so par el deli eries drop o . his is good because when it’s hot it can be pretty tough doing the round in high temperatures. When you’re not working, what else do you do? Every day after work I come home and take my dog a ross the fields or at least minutes. I walk him early morning and e ening as well t st or a i min te trot round. Afternoons are his main walk. You’d think I’d have had enough of walking but I love getting out into the countryside with him. I still play football weekly, training on a Tuesday with match days on Sunday. I’m just about hanging on and reckon as long as I can stay fit and an eep p with the yo nger players I’ll stick at it. I love playing and enjoy it even more now that I’ve stopped coaching. I play in the ICA league in Peterborough and have played with the same group of people or at least years. either play as goalie as cover) or left back. y o eeps me fit with all the wal ing and I’ve noticed that my stamina has really increased. I try to run at least once a week and can easily run a 5k without any training, doing it in min tes and se onds re ently. do r n e ery day an ary e ery year with a group of friends which is a really great way to start the year. This year I will have to exercise in the airport when I’m on a change o er rom my ights I love skiing and have worked a few seasons over the years and also enjoy cycling. riend and who are years apart did a miler ride or me and a one or her a ew years ago and plan to do the same for our th and th and pwards. his was on road bikes but I also enjoy mountain bike riding in Cannock Chase and Derbyshire.

“From late November onwards life is chaotic. I start working 70 hour weeks, not finishing work until 5 or 6pm. This carries on until Christmas Eve when it all calms down.”

usually pleased to be getting post. I’m lucky as I don’t have any grumpy customers. This year is going to be even busier because of the General Election so as well as having cards and parcels to deliver I’ll have e tra lea ets rom all the politi al parties. t it’s all extra money and I need every penny for my New Zealand trip. Does it quieten down in January? No, January is always pretty busy because sinesses seem to send o t a lot o lea ets then. The summer is the quietest, people are

What is your least favourite and favourite part of the job? he weather he really wet days that we have had recently can be tough. It’s amazing how many coats that claim to be waterproof, aren t tremes o temperat re hot and cold – are tricky as well. Everyone always comments that posties wear shorts all year round, and we do. At the moment I am wearing mine with leggings underneath but as I’m sure you can imagine you get warm not hing p steps a day. t s hilly first thing so wear layers that an strip o as and the day, warm up. I really enjoy the job, it suits me and Royal Mail is a good company to work for. I like the e i ility and that an wor longer ho rs i want and an ta e time o to tra el. lo e my round where I have nice, friendly people and I get outside into the countryside. What’s not to like?

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T’S THAT TIME of year again: the beginning of the ski season conjures up visions of beautiful s nny days ma esti mo ntains and ho rs filled with laughter, food and drink. Between December and April skiing has always been a popular winter holiday choice and suits people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Skiing is usually the top choice for snow sports lovers but there are a number of other options; snowboarding, tobogganing, skating, cross country or ski-touring anyone?

Pick your Pastime Skiing: The favourite of winter sports enthusiasts, skiing has become a widely enjoyed activity for both adrenaline junkies and dabbling holidaymakers. Gliding through alpine valleys or perfecting your balance at local dry slopes, skiing is a fun and family-friendly activity that can be enjoyed on a range of budgets. Cross-Country Skiing: his o ers an alternati e e perien e in the mountains, allowing skiers to traverse snowcovered landscapes away from crowded resorts and bustling slopes. Ski-Touring: The skiers’ answer to hiking, ski-touring is about earning your descent back down the mountain. Kitted-out with wider, shorter skis than those used for alpine skiing, ski-tourers walk up the slope before skiing back down it. Snowboarding: Strapped to a single board and freed from the complication of poles, opportunities for learning to snowboard are widely available at both ski resorts and dry slopes. Despite being considered harder to initially learn than s iing snow oarders o ten i ly master omple tricks. Tobogganing: Child-friendly, nostalgic and endlessly fun, tobogganing is a great way to enjoy fresh snowfall. Glacier skiing: Although technically a winter sport, glacier skiing can be enjoyed all year round. The consistently colder temperatures high up in the mountains mean that even skiing in summer is possible. Bob sleighing: Teams of two or four people make timed runs down narrow, twisting, ice tracks in a gravitypowered sleigh – not for the faint hearted. Ice Climbing: Scaling waterfalls or other ice formations sing ropes spe ialised rampons and i e a es. Only accessible naturally for a few months of the year, but you an lim artifi ial i e walls in ario s lo ations in the .

Put in the leg work before you go to reap the benefits Winter sports are energetic and work your muscles hard so it is sensi le to train or at least si wee s e ore yo r holiday to raise fitness le els. Do plenty of leg exercises: Shin splints and cramps can be a problem and both tend to be caused by doing too much too soon with not enough preparation. Strengthening your calves and ankles will help prepare for skiing in heavy boots. Have a dry run before you go: Have a go on a dry ski slope before travelling to trigger muscle memory or to learn how to handle s is or the first time oth will e o enefit. allington a es o er a range o pri ate and gro p lessons on their dry ski slope. Keep an eye on their facebook page for taster sessions for skiing, ski-touring and tobogganing. Be ready to fall: It is inevitable that, at some point on your ski trip, you’ll fall - sometimes spectacularly. It happens to e eryone so la gh it o and learn rom yo r mista es. inter sports are n and the added enefits o eing outside in the mountain air are numerous giving both physi al and mental health enefits.

“Gliding through alpine valleys or perfecting your balance at local dry slopes, skiing is a fun and family-friendly activity.“ December 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Physical gains

Tips for avoiding injury

Improved flexibility and balance: Skiing is good for impro ing the e i ility o oints and m s les while alan e will also nat rally impro e. Weight loss: hilst not o parti lar importan e yo are on holiday a ter all the a erage day s iing will see yo rn three times as many alories as a normal day nless yo get distra ted y the apr s s i Improved cardiovascular performance: iing is a high intensity wor o t. esear h has shown that downhill s iing impro es ins lin resistan e ody omposition and meta olism and helps red e lood press re. Strengthens lower body muscles: hen s iing yo spend a lot o time s atting and shi ting yo r weight rom side to side relying on yo r lower ody m s les to eep yo alan ed and pright. Strengthens the core: strong ore is the o ndation o a fit ody and is essential when it omes to e i ility whi h is ital or s iing.

Maintain a balanced diet: ltho gh s iing is good or rning alories it is important not to o er ompensate and gorge on nhealthy oods in etween r ns on the slopes. oo m h ood or al ohol will lea e yo lethargi and is li ely to impair yo r per orman e and re epti eness. Warm up: iing an e ery physi ally demanding so preparing orre tly is important or getting the est o t o yo r day. arming p m s les e ore hitting the slopes in the morning is sensi le parti larly i yo are eeling slightly sti rom the day e ore. Be respectful of others: t is important to always e aware o yo r s rro ndings and not to ma e any s dden ne pe ted t rns. he general r le is to always loo o t or the s iers in ront o yo and those ehind yo will loo o t or yo . o not t people p do not pass too lose to them or steal their lines and eep yo r poles to yo rsel Get equipment fitted: etting fitted or oots s is and a helmet an e one o the most important parts o the trip. lways wear a helmet. Know your level: he slopes are graded or a reason. yo are a eginner it wo ld not only e dangero s to attempt a la r n t o ld a se a signifi ant hazard to others i yo are na le to stay in ontrol and are o ten alling o er.

Boosts to mental health Improved mood: part rom o ering a wel ome rea rom the stresses and strains o wor and a rea rom yo r daily ro tine a day in the mo ntains an pro ide pea e o mind and lea e yo in a etter mood. Social benefits: etting p early in the morning dragging yo r a hing ody o t to spend the day in the reezing old might not seem li e m h n t it is a han e to spend time with li e minded people. Better proprioception: roprio eption is the awareness and sense o sel mo ement and ody position ital or s iing. Improved concentration: iing and snow oarding an oth e dangero s sports and it ta es a lot o on entration to a oid a idents or ollisions when ying down at high speeds while also learning a new s ill. Personal pride: eeling good a o t yo rsel is important and the satis a tion gained rom s ess lly na igating a parti larly tri y ro te a hie ing a aster time or e en learning a new s ill an lea e yo in a positi e rame o mind.

“Research has shown that downhill skiing improves insulin resistance, body composition and metabolism, and helps reduce blood pressure.“

38 Deember 2019 / theactivemag.com

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P Augier

“The Olympic Bobsleigh Track in the French alpine resort of La Plagne will have you speeding down 19 bends and 1,500m of non-stop fun”

Phillipe Roye

The Ultimate Destinations Simon Gill from Luxurychaletbook.com recommends some places to go The main winter ski season in the Northern hemisphere is between December and April but it is always possible to find high gla ial slopes open thro gho t the year at a sele t ew destinations in l ding ermatt in witzerland or stria. or those who want to ent re rther afield ew ealand stralia rgentina and hile are the places for fresh snow and open ski lifts whilst the beaches o rope are sizzling in o r s mmer. he Olympi o sleigh ra in the ren h alpine resort o a lagne will ha e yo speeding down ends and m o non stop n and will ens re yo r ool nnings dreams are lfilled. t oritz is one o the original glitzy lpine destinations and o ers a ri h heritage o winter sports rom ross o ntry s iing along the alley oor and is where he py ho o ed e was filmed. or those loo ing or the ltimate winter town in rope head to hamoni . et eneath ont lan the highest mo ntain in western rope here yo will dis o er some o the most amo s o piste s iing in the world t remem er to hire a lo al mo ntain g ide. hilst here yo an also ti o any n m er o mo ntain ased et list a ti ities in l ding i e lim ing or try a tandem parapont and glide li e a ird amongst the st pendo s s enery. he harming strian resort o t nton is a great pla e to learn to ski tour. This will open up a world of possibilities

away rom the rowds and let yo head o into the mo ntains or an o ernight stay in mo ntain re ges eneath a star filled s y. histler is the largest s i resort in orth meri a. t s a magnet or some o the est snow oarders in the world with its almost endless mountain terrain and world class snow parks. or those who need to get their fi all year ro nd ana a or eenstown on the o th sland o ew ealand o ers a st nning and laid a ase to e plore the lo al s i resorts o ardrona re le one he emar a les and oronet ea . h smaller than the mega ropean resorts the warm lo al wel ome and n orgetta le s enery rom la e to mo ntain pea will lea e lasting memories.

WINTERY WEBSITES TO PLAN YOUR ADVENTURES www.skiline.co.uk www.luxurychaletbook.com www.winter.la-plagne.com www.aurora-arktika.com www.tallington.com

December 2019 / theactivemag.com 39

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Reader Kirsty Milner recalls sailboat skiing in Iceland A trip to Iceland for a combination of sailing and ski touring sounded like a real adventure, and so it proved

What’s It Really Like? Our advert designer Gary Curtis tells us what snowboarding means to him had always wanted to s i and lo ed i nday first learnt to s i at allington a es dry slope while still at s hool and pi ed it p i ly a ter a o t three lessons was sing the slalom poles on the slope. first started to snow oard a o t years ago going a to allington or lessons. t was a lot harder than s iing raining yo r mind and ody to lean sideways down a slope too some getting sed to t a ter three lessons was a le to snow oard naided so then de ided to try it on real snow. oo ed a wee in lo enia whi h had read was a great pla e or eginners. oo ed a wee s worth o lessons treated mysel to a oard indings and oots and headed o to the lps ll o e itement and ner es. he moment got on the snow new this was or me. t was i er and easier than the dry slopes and soon was lin ing t rns. was p t into an intermediate lass d ring my first lesson and the whole resort was open to s. lo ed it. was in my early s and didn t eel too tired a ter the wee was hoo ed. lo e witzerland so went to aas ee where i ly learnt more s ills and elt onfident eno gh to try more hallenging r ns the legs a hed a ordingly he spa e and size o the wiss resorts ha e allowed me to progress to a de ent le el and ha e e en en oyed the par s with the mps and rails. he lear mo ntain air s nshine and reedom is amazing or yo r mind and ody nothing else ompares. o will all o er snow oarding a lot t s a sport that ta es some patien e initially t the rewards are well worth it. still all o er sometimes t that s e a se p sh mysel . One thing that has hanged or me the snow oarder aggy eanie has e ome a helmet. now oarding is a sport that in ol es high speeds and alls so tho ght sho ld e more sensi le and wear a helmet. e atta hed an a tion am to it so an reli e the r ns at home. find a de ade later that my legs a he more t r n to eep my fitness le els p. y ad i e or anyone tempted start at a dry slope or one o the snow domes aro nd the o ntry. sh yo rsel and don t gi e p. ire the it they will e a le to ad ise yo on the est gear or yo r style o riding. now oarding is a rela ed sport oth in attit de and lothing whi h really appeals to me. promise all the hard wor and mps are orgotten on e yo stand at the top o the mo ntain loo ing o t. t s tr ly spe ial.

y h s and and had pre io s s i to ring e perien e t had ne er een ased on a ya ht e ore. his trip starting in sa ord r in north west eland in ol ed sailing to the ornstrandir national par then mooring in ario s ays and going ashore or day s i to rs. e were a mi ed gro p meri an erman ren h and ritish who all shared a lo e o s iing ad ent res loo ed a ter y iggi the aptain and Or ar o r g ide. a h day they wo ld pi an itinerary depending on weather and snow onditions we wo ld e erried ashore s i all day and e olle ted again later grad ally wor ing o r way aro nd ario s ords. t the end o ea h day we wo ld ond with o r ellow s iers o er a hearty meal t ed p inside the osy galley o o r ya ht. i to ring is wal ing phill on s is with a s in atta hed to grip the snow. is ha e a to ring inding whi h allows the heels to e ree and so ter s i oots with a wal mode are sed whi h ma es tra ersing and as ending e en the steeper slopes a hie a le. On the way down the heels are fi ed into the s is li e a normal downhill s i. ins are ta en o oots li ed into s i mode and then o yo go with a res o n pisted mo ntain to on er. he attra tion o s i to ring is getting away rom it all and eing at one with nat re and the mo ntains. ea agging as when ell wal ing is an added on s altho gh it is all a o t the o rney thro gh the lands ape. find pea e on the way p eng l ed y the stillness and iet interr pted only y the rhythmi la ing o the heels on the s is. t s a great time to get lost in tho ght and ta e in all the wonder l s rro ndings. nd what s rro ndings we had in eland mo ntains alling into deep l e ords ntra ed alleys and pea s sightings o seals p ns and e en an r ti o . nd then omes the downhill. e s ied rom s mmit to sea ea h day thro gh narrow g llies wide snow fields down mellow and steep pit hes. he ariety was antasti and we only saw one other gro p o si s iers in the wee . O r oray into s i to ring started a o t years ago and now we are hoo ed. in e o r eland trip we ha e s i to red in ran e witzerland orway taly and ha e e en managed a day in otland hat eeling o eing s rro nded y nat re eing part o a ast lands ape ar rom the rowds is hard to eat and yo really don t ha e to e an e pert s ier to go to ring. i e it a go yo ll lo e it.

December 2019 / theactivemag.com

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ActiveBody E DI T E D BY K AT E M A X I M

Resist Temptation Nurse practitioner Aly Dilks recommends we keep up the gym sessions and sensible eating over the Christmas period, or at least try to...


S THE NIGHTS draw in and Christmas nears all thoughts of alorie o nting y o t o the window and gym sessions ta e a a seat ntil the ew ear as all spare time is filled with shopping and celebrating. But is it really necessary to over indulge to s h an e tent that yo ha e to spend the first three months o on a crash diet feverishly working out in the gym? The Christmas period is a wonderful time to catch up with friends and family but this usually involves lots of food and copious amounts o al ohol. ew small hanges an ma e a ig di eren e. It is not necessary to pile your plate high as if this is your last ever meal sti to the same antity yo wo ld normally eat and remem er to fill most o yo r plate with a rain ow o deli io s egeta les and go easy on the rich sauces and gravy that are laden with calories. Turkey is a very low fat meat if you avoid eating the skin and stick to the breast meat. Pigs in blankets are a must for your Christmas lunch, but stick to one or two. Fresh fruit and zero fat yoghurt make a delicious dessert and clean the palate as well as being low in calories. Most restaurants will provide a jug of tap water free of charge so you can alternate drinking a glass of wine followed by a glass of water to reduce the calories and prevent tomorrow’s hangover. This will also stop you becoming dehydrated and help with the natural digestion of your food. l ohol is pa ed with alories an a erage pint o eer is alories while a large glass o wine is a whopping ompared to a single gin and slimline tonic which is only 54 calories and can be sipped slowly to make it last longer. Despite all the good advice it is easy to get carried away and drink too much and wake up the following morning with a hangover. According to www.nhs.uk hangover cures are generally a myth, but there are steps you can take to avoid one. TIPS TO AVOID A HANGOVER · Don’t drink more than you know your body can handle, if you are unsure what this is, be careful. · Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Before you go out have a meal that includes carbohydrates such as pasta or rice. The food will help to slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol. · Don’t drink dark coloured drinks if you’ve found you are sensitive to them. They contain natural chemicals called congeners, which irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain and can make a hangover worse. · Drink water or non fizzy drinks between each alcoholic drink. Carbonated (fizzy) drinks speed up the absorption of alcohol so should be avoided. · Drink a pint of water before you go to sleep and keep a glass by the side of the bed to sip during the night.

If you wake up the following morning feeling terrible, you probably didn’t follow my advice. There are unfortunately no instant hangover cures, you have to rehydrate the body. Painkillers such as ibuprofen can help with a headache as they have an anti in ammatory e e t t an anta id may e re ired first to settle your stomach. Sugary foods may make you feel less trembly. Hair of the dog (drinking more alcohol) does not help and often is just delaying the hangover until later in the day. If you have had a heavy drinking session medical advice is to avoid alcohol for 48 hours to give your body time to recover. Try to get to the gym as restarting in the New Year can be painful. nstead o sitting in ront o the fire a ter a large meal wrap p warm and go for a brisk walk. This will aid digestion and prevent bloating. While we all know that responsible eating and drinking over the festive period is the sensible option, most of us will get carried away and eat and drink far too much, but hopefully some of this information will help to make your Christmas a little more healthy. Happy Christmas! Aly Dilks - Founder of Simply Menopausal.co.uk www.simplymenopausal.co.uk

December 2019 / theactivemag.com 43

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The Pain Killer Physiotherapist Sarah Babbs from Stamford’s Broad Street Practice discusses pain


RECENTLY SPENT a weekend at a conference run by forward thinking people leading change within the pro essions in the m s los eletal field mostly physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors. There were also patients telling stories about their own experience with pain and injury. It was excellent, challenging and thought provoking. There is a famous story about when a ilder trod on a nail he was in agony as the nail had gone straight through his boot. He was taken to hospital and had an X-ray taken with the boot on to not damage the foot when removing the nail. The X-ray showed that the nail had actually gone between his toes causing no damage but the pain had been absolutely real to the poor chap. In contrast is a man who felt what he thought was a heavy raindrop on his head during a storm. He tho ght he was fine ntil an ray showed a piece of metal had pierced his skull. These two stories show just how the brain and body can be tricked with regards to pain. There is a body of evidence to show that pain can be felt when there is no longer tissue damage present. The explanation is the nervous system “remembering’’ pain and sending out warning signals even when this is no longer necessary. It is as though our threshold has changed, rather like when the ho se alarm is too sensiti e and goes o when a spider gets into the sensors rather

than when someone is breaking into the house. The alarm - or pain - is real despite there being no actual threat to our body. After what is known as sensitisation the body can recognise pain for long after an injury has occurred. For an excellent explanation of this process watch pain specialist Lorimer Moseley talk about Why Things Hurt at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=1ylbrkstYtU. or done with people s ering rom longer term chronic back and other pain has advanced enormously. How we have been brought up to deal with pain, how we have been dealt with when we have had an injury or pain, how “Dr Google” has frightened us a o t the a ses o o r pain all o these will have an impact on recovery. Imagine hearing “that is the worst scan I’ve seen,” as a number of my patients with fairly normal for age changes on their scans have been told. It is unsurprising that they are struggling. “Bone on bone”, is another comment that

creates an unpleasant picture and we know that X-ray changes often have very little correlation with pain. I’ve heard these expressions in clinic more times than the proverbial hot dinners and the vast majority o those people ha e impro ed signifi antly with an understanding of their pain, exercises appropriately taught - and learnt often achieving what they used to be able to do or finding new things they lo e. Many of these people have gone through n mero s treatments with di erent practitioners, often over many years. A gentleman at the conference described how he had tried everything from traction to snake oil (possibly not actual snake oil!) to help with his back pain. But it was only when he met a physiotherapist who listened properly and worked with him looking at all of the factors around his pain, his beliefs and concerns and between them they came up with a plan and things started improving. This collaborative plan was ‘sleep, fuel, move, breathe and repeat.’ He lives a full life, manages his pain and helps others to do the same. Learning how to deal with pain is often a o t finding the right person or yo working together (this is vital) sometimes over a surprisingly short time and learning how to live again. To make an appointment with Sarah ring The Broad Street Practice on 01780 480889 or contact her directly on 07780 900201.

“After what is known as sensitisation the body can recognise pain for long after an injury has occurred.”

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The Magnificent Seven 5

Seven acts of kindness

Operations director Olivier Bluche promotes health and wellbeing at work and at home with his seven simple but magnificent top tips


HAVE ALWAYS tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercising and watching what eat t the idea or my agnifi ent Sevens came from when I attended a course called Fit to Lead. Half way through we discussed how we could use what we were learning about wellbeing to encourage other colleagues to do the same. Men, in particular, are often reluctant to talk about depression or health scares; by choosing to incorporate these seven steps into daily life, increased fitness and an impro ed sense o well eing should naturally follow.


Seven hours of sleep

According to research a good night’s sleep can boost memory, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, help recovery from illness and reduce your chances of becoming stressed or depressed. find se en ho rs ninterr pted sleep o ten di lt to manage mainly determined by what time I go to sleep rather than what time I get up, so a regular bedtime is crucial.


Seven pieces of fruit and veg

or years the enefits o eating fi e portions of fruit and veg a day has been accepted and well publicised; but increasing to seven-a-day would further improve our health. According to the latest research highlighted by the NHS, ‘people who eat seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a 33 per cent reduced risk of death – particularly from heart disease or cancer – than those who eat one portion or less.’ One point to note: our beloved potatoes are not classed as a vegetable.


No emails before 7am or after 7pm

Technology is a wonderful thing but with enefits o ten omes nintended consequences. Technology is making sure that we stay connected 24/7 and that is not a good thing. Nobody has ever told me to check my email around the clock, but most of us do it. By checking and replying to emails at 9pm or during the weekend, are we not implying we also expect the same from others? This often causes stress and anxiety, including to o r wor olleag es. eing a le to swit h o should be respected.


Seven types of exercise

The combination of a healthy diet and e er ise an ma e a h ge di eren e to o r physical and mental health. Today’s challenge has moved from living longer to living well; longer, so introducing exercise into our busy daily routine is key. Combining work with exercise is one solution. Have you tried a walking meeting, working on a treadmill, or sitting on a power ball or bike-seat? Using other forms of transport instead of driving may add a little time to your journey but can be an opportunity for some exercise. Try walking or cycling to work, or even doing a spot of yoga on the train…

Evidence suggests that showing gratitude and performing acts of kindness will undoubtedly improve your wellbeing. Committing or witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin which helps to lower blood pressure and also to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. So it seems random acts of indness are enefi ial oth or those on the giving and receiving end.


Seven minutes of mindfulness

Having managed to stick to my seven hours of sleep, that leaves me with just over min tes o ons io sness so finding seven minutes for mindfulness should be easy. But let’s be honest, when do you ever stop for two minutes (let alone seven), sit down, close your eyes, empty your mind and concentrate on you or your immediate surroundings? The idea is to focus your senses on the wind rustling through the leaves, the birds singing in the trees, the warmth and aroma o a p o o ee the hoi e is endless. t s all about doing less and being more, just for seven minutes.


Incorporating the Sevens into your life

y last agnifi ent e en is to in orporate them all into my daily routine so they happen without me noticing. But building habits does require some personal discipline to start with, so I would suggest getting help from friends or colleagues, using images or objects as reminders, or seeking advice from experts. It’s a process that once implemented on a daily basis quickly leads to rewards. s with all my agnifi ent e ens the choice is yours.

“By checking and replying to emails at 9pm or during the weekend, are we not implying we also expect the same from others?” December 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active Kids E DI T E D BY M A RY BR E M N E R

Oakham’s netball success OAKHAM’S U19 NETBALL team is once again celebrating securing their place in the Regional Tournament for the eighth year running. To secure their place they won all eight games at the recent County Tournament. Good luck in the Regional rounds.

Twickenham Triumph for Ruby STAMFORD JUNIOR SCHOOL pupil Ruby Wright, as part of the Rutland Primary Schools TAG rugby team, has won the Chase Bridge International Rugby Tournament for year 6s held at Twickenham recently. The tournament came down to the wire with Ruby’s team winning the tournament with a golden try in extra time.

Well done Witham WITHAM’S U11A HOCKEY team has alified or the ational Finals. They recently competed in the Repton Regional IAPS where they were the only school to win all of their matches in the group stage s oring a ma im m points. hey then lost a semi final mat h e ore ali ying y winning the rd th pla e play o s.

December 2019 / theactivemag.com 49

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Active Kids

Sam’s Success SES STUDENT SAM Hughes, who is in year has alified to ompete or reat ritain in at the athlon hampionships y oming se ond at the re ent ropean ge ro p athlon alifiers. a ing in the s gro p despite eing only am needed a top three position in his age gro p to ali y. e ame first in his age gro p and se ond o erall in the nder s le el well done am has re ently een sele ted or the ast idlands e elopment ad whi h gi es him a ess to antasti training a ilities at o gh oro gh ni ersity.

Gold and Silver Medals for Tom LEICESTER GRAMMAR’S BIATHLETE om i on who we mentioned last month has gone one step rther and won an indi id al sil er and team gold medal at the iathle orld hampionships that were held in lorida at the end o O to er. ear om is now part o the ast idlands riathlon ademy the first step on the er orman e athway rogramme or elite athletes.

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RUTLAND’S TEENAGE F4 dri er eddy ilson has re ently appeared at the ei ester siness esti al with mar eting g r and a thor rian ims. he two teamed p with rian sharing his in depth nowledge o all things mar eting and in the motorsport ind stry with eddy setting the ar in a ra ing sim lator ompetition where attendees o ld attempt to eat him. rian has re ently een mentoring eddy in his id to mo e rom to the oad to ndy in the .

LEICESTER GRAMMAR JUNIOR hool s ho ey and r g y teams ha e een ha ing a sy time re ently playing hosts to g y esti al and o ey esti al wee s. he s hool hosted lo al prep s hools who attled it o t on their pit hes. t was impressi e to see all o the hildren trying their est and showing e ellent team spirit thro gho t the esti al said tea her y aylor.

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Dev’s Den

Sailing Successes for SES THE CAPTAIN OF tam ord ndowed hool s sailing team li e y r has won the ritish o th ailing eam a ing ational hampionships held re ently. s well as her s ess the rest o the teams did well in the nior and o th ategories with ale el winning a ronze and other team mem ers oming si th and twel th.

STONEYGATE PUPILS, PARENTS and sta ha e re ently held an o ial opening or e s en a wooden treeho se in memory o m h lo ed p pil e who was tragi ally illed in a ar a ident last year. e who was in year lo ed to lim trees in the gro nds o the s hool and it was agreed to raise nds or a treeho se to e ilt in his memory. ithin months a staggering was raised y the toneygate arents sso iation or the treeho se whi h is to e a pla e where his riends an re e t and remem er him. he s hool wish to than i horne o r reeho se who designed and o ersaw the ild and onstr tion o e s en.

Professor Winston visits SES RENOWNED SCIENTIST AND tele ision presenter ro essor inston has re ently een enthralling the p pils rom tam ord ndowed hools rom the yo ngest to eldest. e ďŹ rst spo e to the nior hool e ore mo ing to the senior s hools where more than st dents had the han e to as a ariety o estions ollowing his tal on in itro ertilisation and h man li e.

Open Morning LEICESTER GRAMMAR JUNIOR hool is holding an early years hristmas Open orning. rospe ti e parents are in ited to ring their hildren aged etween two and si to oin the n on onday e em er etween . and pm.

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Meet Leicester Tigers’ groundsman Ed Mowe | Local club updates | Reader challenges Spotlight on ballet | Essential skiing kit | The Active Rutland sports awards

ActiveSport On your bike! This month Gary Waterfall gets in the festive spirit with a 40 mile ride from Burghley House near Stamford. A 1,800ft climb, it’s the ideal way to work up a Christmas appetite.





Distance: 39.2 miles Elevation:1820ft Ride type: Road






TARTING FROM BURGHLEY Park, head north and cross the A1 before enjoying the long, straight, peaceful Racecourse Road to Easton on the Hill. Join the A43 and enjoy the stunning views of the Vale as you coast down to Ketton, before paying the price as you cycle back up the hill to Empingham. The lanes that take you past Exton to Greetham are lovely and quiet but try not to be tempted by the smells of Hambleton Bakery. You’ll soon e in lipsham i a mid point o ee is needed he Oli e ran h is very cycling friendly – before winding your way past the newly sculpted Yew Tree avenue on your way to Castle Bytham and then the

gentle climb to Witham on the Hill. Take care crossing the A6121 into Manthorpe; it’s not the easiest road to see clearly both ways. You are now on the at oast home. hro gh the illages o ilsthorpe reat ord ngton and then t rning right at arna or one last gentle incline to Pilsgate before a coast back to Burghley. hy esti e a e a while to meet the deer and steal that first Christmas kiss under plentiful supplies of mistletoe in the Park. After the ride the Orangery s hot ho olate is an ideal way to warm p with lots of cake to choose from too. Happy Christmas! http://www.strava.com/routes/22349151

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Active Rutland Community Sports Awards 2019



Photography: Pip Warters



OCAL SPORTS STARS from across Rutland have re ently een re ognised or their e orts and achievements as athletes, coaches, volunteers and clubs at The Active Rutland Community Sports Awards, sponsored by arma . or more in ormation a o t the wards or to ďŹ nd a sport, activity or club near you go to www.activerutland.org.uk





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Uppingham School Sports Centre Junior Sportsman of the Year WINNER: Wyatt Bryson - baseball, athletics, long distance running and cross country Runner Up: Toby Smith - sailing


Roger Begy Memorial Trust Junior Sportswoman of the Year WINNER: Grace Coulam - archery Runner Up: Grace Hornsby - tennis


Rutland Agricultural Society Young Sportsman of the Year WINNER: Ben Tylecote - sailing, athletics and running Runner Up: Lewis Darlington football


Think Digital Print Young Sportswoman of the Year WINNER: Izzy Christopher netball and taekwondo Runner Up: Carys Attwell - sailing, hockey, indoor rowing and athletics


Greetham Valley Young Volunteer of the Year WINNER: Annie Dudin - athletics Runner Up: Tom Riddell - running


Rutland Community Wellbeing Service Volunteer of the Year WINNER: Dick Richardson - sailing Runner Up: Steve Duffy - football Rutland Marathon Sportsman of the Year (not pictured) WINNER: Oliver Maxwell - cycling



Inspire2tri CIC Disabled Sportsperson of the Year WINNER: Sam Burton - basketball Runner Up: Abbie Gray basketball


Lands’ End Coach of the Year WINNER: Rochelle Holmes - dance Runners Up: James Organ and John Stanhope - rugby


Rutland Radio Team of the Year WINNER: Uppingham Town Football Club 1st Team Runner Up: Stoneygate Rugby Club 1st XV Senior Team



Rutland Tennis Academy Physical Activity Programme Award WINNER: Rutland Water Junior Parkrun Runner Up: Junior Open Water Coaching


Catmose Sports Centre Active Lifestyle Award WINNER: Prudence Cotton canicross and swimming Runner Up: Darren Barratt running and cycling



Active Magazine Club of the Year WINNER: Stamford and Rutland Junior Netball Club Runner Up: Rutland County Netball League


Anglian Water Lifetime Achievement Award WINNER: Gordon Reekie - tennis


Rutland Cycling Sportswoman of the Year WINNER: Helen Schofield marathon and ultra-running

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Mowe By Name Mow by Nature Mary Bremner meets Ed Mowe, head groundsman for Leicester Tigers; a man with the perfect name for the job


ow did you get the job at Leicester Tigers? ame to the igers rom t eorge s ar whi h is the s training a ademy in rton. e ore that had een at ei ester ity or years. new the old groundsman there as we had dealt with each other whilst I was at City and the Tigers played on o r gro nd. e now een with igers or nearly three years. t was ni e to come back to Leicester as my home is in in ley so it s ited me or wor and home li e. Did you always want to be a groundsman? y ather was a gro ndsman so sed to help him when was little. s grew p arried on wor ing with him then went o to ollege to do a e h in eis re t dies and eis re anagement. hen finished started wor ing with dad ll time as his dep ty had st le t. lo ed wor ing with him then went back to college, to Brooksby, to study amenity horticulture as I knew this was what I wanted to do. I moved to Leicester ity when was as assistant gro ndsman and wor ed my way p d ring my years there. saw lot o hanges. How does it differ working on a rugby pitch rather than a football one? istori ally oot all l s had a lot more

money so more was invested in the pitches, but the rugby clubs are getting there and huge improvements have been made to the grounds, particularly here. The rugby teams are definitely at hing p with the oot all clubs. I work across both Tiger bases, the main pit h at el ord oad and here at the training ground, The Oval, where we have three more pitches that we share with the local team Oadby Wyggs. That sounds like an awful lot of mowing, but I imagine there is much more to it than that? es an aw l lot more O io sly we do a lot o mowing t that is only a tiny part o the job. he pit h at el ord oad is grass with an artifi ial lipse it h sta ilising system underneath that was supplied by o nty r . t s a lly onstr ted pit h ased on sand so well drained and ree owing meaning it doesn t get water logged although the weather recently has caused a ew heada hes. n all the time e een here we e ne er had to all a mat h o e a se o the ondition o the pit h than lly he lipse sta ilising system means di ots aren t s ally a pro lem. e lose grass o erage in the winter e a se o the mat hes and the stress on the grass rom the players and the weather so re ently re seed at this time o year.

Then we have a hybrid pitch at The Oval which is grass and synthetic. The synthetic element gives the pitch more stability and has a 45mm depth. The green polypropylene fi res are sown into the str t re o the pit h giving good stability. Without getting too te hni al o the pit h is artifi ial with the rest being grass. This means that grass coverage is maintained and that the players can practice on these pitches throughout the year. it h and the g s r a e are also oodlit meaning the players can train in the e enings. e an also in ate a dome o er the 3g during winter to keep the players dry and prying eyes o t he oodlights mean the local team Oadby Wyggs, who we share these pitches with can train and play in the evenings. it hes and are soil ased and are near a roo so in lined to ood in the winter. e aerate them as much as possible but struggle during wet weather, so as you can imagine this a t mn it s een tri y Last year it was too dry so we had to water the pit h e ery day and this year it s too wet. s yo an pro a ly tell m o sessed with the weather and constantly check it. The rain shes the n trients away so ta e a lot o soil samples to check the soil and apply ertiliser and n trients when needed. We use electric cylinder mowers that are good or the en ironment health and sa ety and help eep the s r a e o the pit hes firm. he ele tri mowers are iet so it means we can mow next to the players while they are training. We have nine mowers in total in l ding hand held ylinder and a ride on triple mower. o yes we do a lot o mowing e ery day and sometimes twi e a day at the height o the growing season. We always mow the pit h at el ord oad e ore ea h mat h and at this time o year we are mowing twi e a wee . t as yo an see there s an aw l lot more to being a groundsman than cutting grass. There certainly is! When is your busiest time of the year? We are busy all year but summer is the most intense. he players ha e fi e wee s o and in this time we need to pull up all the old pit hes re seed new ones we grow rom seed) and then get the pitch match ready. We also do general maintenance around the site. his season e a se o the world p we started later than usual but we still have 36 fi t res at el ord oad so the pit h m st e able to withstand all those scrums, mauls and he ty men r nning on it. On o r training pit hes we sometimes ha e lads o t there so the wear and tear is immense. In some ways it must be heartbreaking to see your perfect pitch being spoilt! ot really. t s ni e to see the players a a ter their rea and they are respe t l o

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the pitch and all the work we do. Coaches and players are sympathetic and understand if we ask them to avoid a certain part of the pitch because of maintenance during the week. And they will often apologise to me; coach and players if they damage the pitch. We have a good relationship and the players respect the pitch, there’s a lot of give and take. We are a team, all of us together. It’s a great l to wor or and ery di erent to the football clubs. There are nice people here, it’s very much a family club and everyone gets on really well. We all respect each other and eel that am a al ed mem er o sta . I imagine the winter weather must give you quite a headache? Yes! The perfect winter would involve no frost. When frost is forecast we cover the pitch to protect the grass – hence the obsession with weather apps. If there is snow or frost the players can’t train as the pitch is too hard. To combat this we insulate it by covering it with Tildnet frost sheets using in ata le rollers that reates an air po et keeping the soil warm. As you can imagine this is very labour intensive and throughout the winter we can e p tting the o ers on and o or days in a row. If snow is forecast we put the covers on

them. I’m always happy to take work experience students, it’s a great industry for kids to get into. As well as maintaining the pitches we also look after the ground at Welford Road, clearing it of snow and gritting for the spectators if necessary and general maintenance. And, of course, we also mark the pitches painting the lines on. then ha e to r sh all the snow o e ore removing the covers so they can train. We start at 7am, earlier if necessary, and it’s cold! It’s the same with the frost. My ideal winter would be a dry, mild one – here’s hoping, but it’s not gone that way so far. How many do you have in your team? here are o r o s me two ll time sta and an apprentice. Cheryl Hill will have been at Tigers for 30 years in January. Then I have James Keywood who’s my deputy. He came from Oakham School 2 ½ years ago. He’s a keen sportsman playing rugby and cricket. My apprentice is Josh Pawley who is doing his level 2 at Brooksby. He’s in his second year with us now so is here just about full time, spending a day a week at college. I’m delighted to see apprentices come through the system, the sport and grounds need

Do you watch the matches and do you talk to other groundsmen? Yes, I come from a keen sporting family so enjoying watching the matches. I used to play rugby for Hinckley up to Colts level at centre or full back. I do chat to other groundsmen, we keep in touch and sometimes swap ideas. I love watching Wimbledon but have to confess to being more interested in the courts; how they keep them playable for a fortnight is amazing. I love the job. I like the variety, there’s always something going on and I see lots of people. I enjoy the challenge of producing good quality pitches and the science that goes into that. Best of all I’m outside in the fresh air. I enjoy the buzz of the game days, and m not st in an o e. www.leicestertigers.com

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Catherine Keeps Running Catherine Searcey, who was a non runner a year ago, has continued her pledge to run a mile a day, and has now completed her first half marathon WHEN I WROTE for Active Magazine in the July issue, despite setting myself the goal of running a mile every day for 365 days, I was toying with the idea of setting myself an even bigger personal challenge, running a half marathon. The monsoon weather of the Harborough Carnival 10 hadn’t deterred me, nor had the tropical weather of the Leicester Race for Life 10k. So in July I started on my third training plan of the year and began a free BUPA 12 week ‘Beginners Half Marathon’ programme. Using Harborough Athletic club nights as my interval training sessions the summer was spent gradually building up the distance of my runs, eventually going as far as 10 incredibly hard miles; followed weeks later by nine incredibly enjoyable miles. The astly di erent e perien e etween the two goes to show that no two runs are ever the same. I perhaps naively chose to tackle the Rutland Half Marathon, thinking it wouldn’t be too hilly and the views would provide a distraction as I plodded round. I had a plan to refuel every three miles and with my husband cycling between various points on the course providing jelly babies and bananas everything was going pretty smoothly until between miles 10 and 11. The turning point for heading a to the finish line seemed to ta e ore er to appear and hit a huge brick wall. But teaming up with other runners around me we motivated each other to keep going and after 2 hours 38 minutes I finished my first e er hal marathon going rom o h to to

to half marathon in nine months; and all the time fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity while running in memory of my brother in law Steve. Over the last few months I’ve continued to try to ‘give back’ to both my local running community, by volunteering at my local parkrun and also The Brain Tumour Charity by marshalling at their Warwick 10k Twilight Walk in September. It was incredible to be part of such a special event supporting people from all backgrounds who have all, in some way een a e ted y rain t mo rs. December 1 is the 335th day of 2019 and it’s great to now be counting down the days left of my commitment to run a mile a day, only double digits left! It still means there’s time to continue ndraising tho gh and to plan ne t year s hallenges too

Active wants to hear from you! If you have set yourself a challenge, be it the most simple to the most ambitious, we want to hear from you. Get in touch well before your challenge date then we can follow your training, trials and tribulations as well as your actual triumph. Email mary@theactivemag.com

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If you are aged 16+, currently inactive (doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week) and living with a longstanding health condition, we can help you lead a healthier and more active life. The Exercise Referral Scheme can support you to increase your physical activity levels, improve your physical and mental wellbeing and have better management of your medical condition. We have seen people lose as much as 10 stone, lower their blood pressure to healthy ranges and reduce their need for medication. We have helped many people return to fitness, and we can do the same for you. We can help you to:


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Spotlight on ballet Royal Academy of Dance Teacher Annie Bladon explains the beauty of ballet


ALLET ORIGINATED IN the 15th century in the Italian Renaissance courts and then spread to France where it gained huge momentum, hence the French terms used. Ballet training often starts at a young age. Baby ballet, toddler groups and nursery dance classes are a staple on any dance school’s timetable. Students start by learning how to move their bodies, how to skip, run and balance. The phrase “feel over form” is often used by dance teachers when describing how they teach young children. Enjoyment of movement to music and self-expression are strongly encouraged. As students progress they begin to learn the more formalised positions of the arms and feet that set ballet apart from other dance forms. They learn the strict rules that dictate how the body moves from one position to the next. These rules are what create the clean lines, elegance and beauty of ballet. Alongside the technical elements, students are taught musicality and performance skills, as it is important to know how to perform the steps and sequences rather than simply executing them. Not only does ballet build strength and stamina, it also teaches body awareness, develops coordination and improves balance. allet an help to ild sel onfiden e tea h patience and self-motivation. Skills learnt in

ballet class will stay with students for life. Ballet may be perceived as only for children or professionals, with many students stopping when they feel they aren’t going to make dance a career. However, I encourage students to keep going for as long as they continue to take joy from dancing. You don’t have to be working towards a goal such as an exam or becoming a professional dancer to take a ballet class; if you enjoy dancing that is the only reason you need. Recently there has been a rise in the number of older adults attending ballet classes. This is in part due to a new range of classes developed by the Royal Academy of Dance. Silver Swans ballet classes have been spe ifi ally designed or older learners and are aimed at the over 55s (although there are no age limits so students of any age are welcome). Whether you danced as a child or have never before set foot in a studio, anyone can join a Silver Swans class. Ballet may not be an obvious choice of fitness a ti ity t there are many health enefits asso iated with dan e. allet an improve posture as well as balance which is proven to reduce falls in later life. It strengthens and tones muscles in the arms and legs and helps to create a strong core. By providing a gentle aerobic workout it can improve energy levels, reduce stress and aid weight loss. It can improve the immune

system and help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. s well as the many physi al enefits there are many mental health enefits to allet as well. Dance increases cognitive function and can help create new pathways in the brain which could reduce the chances of developing dementia in later life. It can help to reduce the symptoms of depression. Classes are a great place to meet new people and extend your social circle which can help reduce loneliness and increase your sense of wellbeing. I currently teach three adult ballet classes at our studio on the outskirts of Market Harborough and they are some of the most lfilling lasses o my wee . t dents regularly tell me how much they enjoy the class and how quickly the hour has gone. Ballet requires a lot of focus, not only do you have to think about where to place your arms and legs, you have to maintain a good posture and keep up with the music. There isn’t room to think about anything else which makes ballet classes a great place to come to swit h o rom the o tside world. It doesn’t matter if you are two, or 92, ballet classes can be enjoyed by everyone. They will help yo eep fit stay a ti e learn new s ills and meet new friends. It’s never too late to start. www.afbdanceacademy.co.uk / 07722 571121

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Jeremy Smithson-Beswick catches up with news from some of our local clubs


ONGRATULATIONS TO STAMFORD Tennis Club on the recent celebration of their 25th anniversary. Tucked away near the sports entre o ond it oad it is one o the largest l s aro nd with some terrifi facilities. I’d call it an undiscovered gem if it didn’t already have 360 members - who play at all levels. To mark the occasion over ninety of them attended a celebration evening at the rts entre where the ood and wine owed accompanied by live music. Chairman Mark Anderson handed out the club awards with club founder Trevor Veitch looking on, no do t re e ting how ar they d ome sin e 1994. Social tennis is very much on their agenda and new members are always welcome. Should you wish to improve your game an extensive coaching programme is available if you want it and there are also members who are approaching the upper echelons of the sport, such as youngsters Chase Burgess, Issy harp and a tones who ran first seventeenth and thirteenth respectively in their age groups in Lincolnshire. All in all they run sixteen league teams in which around half the membership compete. Talking of membership, winter packages have just gone on sale ranging from £25 for students and

juniors, up to £270 for an all-family package. tam ord is too ar afield there are other thriving clubs all over the area including Oakham, Market Harborough, Uppingham and Ketton. The LTA website has a handy tool or finding the one losest to yo . o al net all side harnwood tland Warriors also have bases across the region including Oakham, Brooksby and Loughborough and tell us they’re looking forward to their “biggest season ever.” Formed two years ago as a merger between tland o ets and harnwood apphires they number 200 players from under 8s to their National Premier League side. The social and development side of the club is in great shape with numbers steadily growing, perhaps getting a boost from this year’s World Cup in Liverpool which saw England win bronze. If competitive netball’s more your thing, then elite coaches such as England players lla lar ess haw and e e a Airey are on hand to help you reach your full potential. he first team finished third last year and is aiming for promotion to Division Two.

ead oa h am ri n told s t s important for us to keep developing our U14 and U16 sides to build on the success we have had in previous seasons and to continue to build on our reputation as the largest, and one of the most successful clubs, in the East Midlands and to continue to put East Midlands netball on the map.” She added that it’s also key to their overall progress to “develop coaches and umpires to grow the game at all levels.” Sam’s own coaching experience is already extensive and developing even further as she works within the ngland oses athway and as oa h for Loughborough Lightning.

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Elsewhere, there’s been good news from Stoke Rochford Golf Club whose Juniors have won the Lincolnshire Championship. They’ll also be mightily pleased to have just been named on Golfshake’s Top 100 Must Play courses for 2020. The list is compiled by comparing hundreds of thousands of independent reviews from individual golfers across the country and rates the club on factors such as course layout and condition, value for money and facilities to give them an overall score, so it s a fine a olade. One of the most eagerly awaited local sporting fi t res a ross the oard is the r g y derby between Oakham and Stamford. This year’s Showground Showdown saw visitors Stamford arrive with an unbeaten league record and top of the league whereas Oakham’s early form had been patchy, but it was to be the home side that prevailed in what was not only a local derby but a tie that might ma e the di eren e to oth sides in their quest for promotion. n tr th it was Oa s first hal per orman e d ring whi h they had the enefit o the weather at their backs that won it, together with the boot of Callum Crellin. There was

just the one try in that half from Rhys Grieve so the rest of their haul of 16 points was down to Crellin, who also slotted another penalty just after the break. At this stage - at 19-0 Stamford looked out of it but, with the wind and rain now in their favour, they started to mount a ferocious comeback. Tom Wire got them back in it with an unconverted try and then coach Austin Schwarz also went over the line, this time the conversion successful to make it 19-12 and put the away side within a single score. It was time for Oakham to show some grit and they were not found wanting, repelling attack after attack despite incurring two yellow cards to prevent the breakthrough. As a result Stamford moved down to second place with Oakham rising to third. Lastly, Rutland can be proud of our own Rachel Williamson who has been named as Team UK Captain for the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague. A former medic and PT instructor for the RAF she’ll be competing as swimmer, rower and athlete in what will be her second games and be looking to improve on her impressive haul last time – two golds, three silvers and a bronze. We can almost claim the Vice Captain as one of our own too,

“Rachel Williamson who has been named as Team UK Captain for the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague.”

as it will be David Morris from not-so-faraway Sleaford. Organised by Help for Heroes under the patronage of Prince Harry the games are one of the most inspiring of events. As one competitor put it: “Up until my awareness of the Invictus Games, all I had been doing was living in my memories. In my mind my life was over and I was just waiting to be done because I’m not capable of doing or living as I used to. I’m starting to think, however, that my game has just begun”. Tickets are on sale now at https://invictusgames2020.com/tickets/

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Active gear 1. Vans Standard MTE Black White Snow Boots 2020


These Vans MTE will keep you protected from the harshest nights in the resort while looking good. With a Lug Sole pattern for optimum grip and a removable insulated liner. PRICE £164.99 FROM www.tallingtonlakesproshop.com


2. Avalanche Women’s Padded Ski Jacket - Navy

Padded for warmth, with a snowproof outer, detachable snowskirt and faux fur trim. PRICE £69.99 FROM Mountain Warehouse, Stamford and Market Harborough www.mountainwarehouse.com

3. Percko’s Lyne UP

This posture t-shirt uses ‘explosive elastic’ to remind wearers to manage their posture during any activity including sport, walking, gardening or whenever they begin to slouch. It’s comfortable to wear, lightweight, allows freedom of movement and alleviates back pain. PRICE £110 FROM www.percko.com

Kit Bag

4. Oakley Clifden Polished Black Prizm Snow Sapphire Iridium Sunglasses

Help prevent ‘snow blindness’ with these functional sunglasses which include side shields. These are sunglasses for the mountains, snow and cloud conditions with 13% light transmission. PRICE £159.99 FROM www.tallingtonlakesproshop.com


December’s ski wear

5. Drysure Extreme Ski Boot Dryer

Dries boots wherever you are, requiring no heat or electricity. Lasts up to 10 days absorbing sweat and moisture, suitable for ski and snowboarding boots, and any boots that get damp or sweaty. One size fits all adult ski boots down to UK size 3.5. PRICE £29.99 FROM www.tallingtonlakesproshop.com

6. Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots



With a high performance Vibram® sole, these canine boots protect your pets in snowy conditions so they can ski with you! Choice of black, blue or red. PRICE £44.95 per pair and £84.95 for a set of four FROM www.innerwolf.co.uk

7. Men’s Ski Package

Five items for one price including a snowproof ski jacket, snowproof ski pants, beanie, ski gloves and socks. Choose from a range of colours and patterns. PRICE £89.99 FROM Mountain Warehouse, Stamford and Market Harborough www.mountainwarehouse.com

6. 7.

66 November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Authentic Mexican party with sombreros

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // December 2019  

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

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // December 2019  

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