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ISSUE 43 // JANUARY 2016



Stamford & Rutland’s sport and lifestyle magazine

Mix a Bloody Mary Poach the perfect egg Spot a grey wagtail Buy the best skiing kit

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E P I C! Inside: brilliant ideas for a fitter, healthier, more active year

ISSUE 43 // JANUARY 2016



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Get over it!

The ins, outs, up and downs of obstacle racing in 2016

Are you D-pleted?

Get more vital sunshine vitamins this winter

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Editor’s Letter I WENT TO THE STAMFORD SCHOOL rugby lunch the other week, and then went to see the First XV play St Albans, who they larruped 66-5 to continue an unbeaten home run that stretches for five years. Of course, the nature of school sports being what it is, the players who started, and maintained that unbeaten run have long left. But as I watched the current crop clearing rucks with precision, offloading instinctively and chopping down every opponent mercilessly, it illustrated what really top-notch coaching can do for a team, and in particular what incredible effects it can have on young athletes. So if you think you have something to give to your local clubs, get in touch – I’m sure they would be delighted to hear from you. Over the past three and a half years, we’ve been gratified by the reaction we have had to Active. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve commented positively on it and we find it extremely humbling that people like what we do. And although it has developed and evolved over that time, this is the first issue of a fairly significant redesign. We hope you like it. The perception of the magazine has been, rightly or wrongly, that it’s about people running around muddy fields. Although important, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s about getting out and doing things, whether it be gardening, crafts, birdwatching, walking or cooking. It’s about making yourself busier, fitter, healthier, looking great, dressing well and living a fuller, better life. I hope you enjoy the changes, and Happy New Year! Steve

Publisher Chris Meadows Editor Steve Moody Deputy editor Mary Bremner Production editor Julian Kirk Art editor Mark Sommer Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Sandie Hurford, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Withers Amy Roberts Editorial and Advertising Assistant Kate Maxim Accounts Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789 A member of the Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@ If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@ Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. ISSN 2049-8713 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318 Disclaimer

Twitter // @theACTIVEmag Facebook //

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

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SOLD IN 2015


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Your local property experts in Stamford & Rutland



Located in a quiet position overlooking an open green space is this well presented THREE DOUBLE BEDROOM end town house offering a spacious accommodation arranged over three floors including a master suite with en-suite shower room and dressing area, a kitchen diner, living room, a well maintained rear garden and two designated parking spaces in a private parking area.

Situated walking distance from Stamford’s town centre is this two double bedroom middle terrace property ideal for first time buyers or a perfect investment opportunity for those looking for a buy to let. The property in brief comprises a light and bright front to back lounge, a modern kitchen diner and a UPVC conservatory overlooking the rear garden.

Price: £249,950

Price: £149,950



Tucked away in the corner of a quiet cul-de-sac and located close to Malcolm Sargent School is this three bedroom link detached family home offering a lounge, kitchen diner, conservatory, garage and parking. The property in brief comprises a welcoming lounge with bay window and feature fireplace, a modern kitchen diner with wall and base level units, space for a dining table and patio doors leading out to a spacious conservatory ideal as an extra reception room overlooking the rear garden.

Price: £225,000

Set within walking distance of Stamford’s Town Centre, the Endowed Schools and many amenities is this exclusive development of four properties designed by local Architectural Consultant Jonathon Hartley and being constructed with a Stone facade by Orchard Building Contractors. There are four bedrooms, a spacious kitchen diner, two further reception rooms, two private parking spaces and an enclosed rear garden.

Prices from: £450,000

Stamford Office

Oakham Office

4 Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL

6 Market Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6DY

01780 754530

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I am thinking of downsizing and buying a hassle free, low maintenance new home; can you help me find a buyer for my country house and a new property to buy?

meet Zoe & Annabel Zoe has over 15 years’ experience in the residential new homes market and can advise buyers on a new property to suit them as well as advising developers on locations, specifications, pricing, target markets and producing market appraisals for a wide area.

Annabel has over 12 years’ experience in the property industry and heads up the residential sales office in Stamford. She is also a qualified Chartered Surveyor and can help you with residential property sales in Lincolnshire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire from £300,000 up to £1 million and beyond.

Zoe Noyes

Annabel Morbey

01733 209 948

01780 484 694


ISSUE 43 /// JANUARY 2016



Another tasty recipe from Riverford Organic

16-17 HOW TO...

Make a Bloody Mary, poach an egg and chop firewood


The seasonal delights on offer outdoors


Cavells stylist Rosie Charlesworth


Great things to do locally for all the family


We meet the Rutland Conquerors basketball team


Get yourself prepared for an obstacle race


Get your ideal body in three months with our fitness plan


More expert advice from our sports injury therapists




How to ensure you get enough vitamin D


The Sunday Times writer offers some predictions for 2016


Essential gear for winter sports action


Will Hetherington heads to Fineshade Woods


We try out The Wheatsheaf in Oakham


Our focus on the latest achievements from local pupils

60-66 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring


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Anonexclusive home the edge of Oakham The Haybarn Barn conversion An exclusive 4 bedroom, double garage

£550,000 as shown on the left.

Also in Oakham

Buttercross Park 2, 3 & 4 bedroom homes

£162,500 to £249,995


Oakham Sales Office Opposite Catmos College, Off Barleythorpe Road, Oakham LE15 7EE

Tel: 01572 722262

Show apartment open daily 10am – 5pm

...better, because we care. Prices and information correct at time of going to print. Number of remaining properties is subject to change. Image is for illustrative purposes only.

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In Play

Don’t try this at home (or on the Welland!) Professional wakeskater Ollie Moore from Tallington takes on a weir on the River Welland, as a winch flings him over the edge. Although this is a local stunt, Ollie travels the world wakeskating – which he describes as ‘skateboarding on water’.

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ONE-POT BASQUE CHICKEN INGREDIENTS 2 chicken thighs Salt and pepper Olive oil 1 large onion 1 red pepper 2 tomatoes 2 garlic cloves 100g cooking chorizo 1 vegetable stock cube ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ½ tsp dried thyme 150g calasparra paella rice 60ml white wine 30g black olives 1 orange

METHOD Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Put the casserole pan on a medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides.

tomatoes. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Remove the skin from the chorizo and break into small chunks.


Dissolve the stock cube into 400ml of boiling water. Put the oven on to 180 degrees or gas mark 4.

Add the chorizo to the pan, turn up the heat a little and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme, rice and a pinch of cayenne. Turn everything lightly to mix then cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and wine. Cook until most of the wine has been absorbed.


Pour in the stock and bring everything to a simmer. Slice the olives in half and add to the pan. Zest ¼ of the orange and keep for later (2). Finely slice the rest of the orange and add to the pan.

Nestle the thighs deep into the rice (3). Pop the lid on the casserole and bake in the oven until both the rice and chicken are tender – about 30-40 minutes.


Check the seasoning and add more if needed. Divide between two bowls and garnish with the orange zest.

Whilst the chicken colours, peel and finely slice the onion. Deseed and slice the red pepper. When the chicken thighs are nicely coloured remove from the pan. Put to one side and add the onion and red pepper.

Cook the onion and pepper gently for 10 minutes until starting to soften, stirring often (1). While they cook roughly chop the

Tip: use a metal casserole dish so you can cook on the hob before placing in the oven. This dish is a mixture between paella and stew with the rice absorbing all the flavours.

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

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

great value for money. No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: to

find out more or call 01803 762059.

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Make the perfect pick-me-up

A BLOODY MARY Ingredients 2 shots of vodka ½ a glass of sherry, red wine or port 150 ml tomato juice A few drops of Tabasco sauce 6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce Celery salt White pepper Large squeeze of lemon juice Stick of celery Mix all of the ingredients together (bar the stick of celery) and mix well in a cocktail shaker if you have one, otherwise give it a good stir. Serve with a stick of celery, ice and a slice of lemon. Courtesy of The Wine Bar, Stamford


Poach an egg perfectly Perfect to go with your Bloody Mary, poached eggs are healthy and delicious. Make sure your eggs are fresh. Use a wide, large pan, fill it with water and bring to the boil. Simmering over a medium heat, add a pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar. Crack your egg into a cup. Create a gentle whirlpool in the water and slowly pour the egg in. It will start cooking immediately, don’t worry if the edges look slightly scruffy.

A softly poached egg will take a couple of minutes, a slightly firmer one about four, but this will depend on the size of the pan and if you’re using the eggs straight from the fridge. To check if the egg is done remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and gently push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft pop the egg back in the pan for another minute or so – use your instincts. Serve on buttered wholemeal toast sprinkled with black pepper.

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CHOP FIREWOOD There’s nothing better than sitting in front of a roaring fire toasting your feet in the depths of winter. Release your inner lumberjack, grab your axe, wrap up warm and get outside to chop some wood. Set the log you are going to split on to a larger unsplit one: this will raise the target and save your back. Put the log upright, hold the axe with both hands, take aim and swing. But save your back by bending your knees and using your legs. You want to split the log like a pizza, in half, then quarters and keep going until you’ve got the size you want.

Household tip of the month… Next time you squeeze a lemon don’t throw it away. Give your slightly whiffy fridge a treat instead. Place the lemons in a bowl and leave them in the fridge for two days – you’ll notice the fresh citrus smell immediately.

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Activelife NATURE

SNOWDROPS Snowdrops are the very welcome first sign that spring is on its way. Look out for them towards the end of the month when they usually start flowering. They can often be found in churchyards, woodlands and many gardens, large or small.

GREY WAGTAIL Grey wagtails are typically found by fast-flowing upland streams and rivers, but in our area they have to make do with weirs and sluices. Locally they have bred at Tinwell Pumping Station, Fort Henry Ponds and Langham Brook. In winter they are more widespread found by reservoirs and sewage works, where they feed on the clinker beds. They have been recorded by garden ponds in Oakham. Despite their name, it is often the yellow vent which first catches the eye as they fly off with a loud ‘tzi, tzi’ call. They are clearly wagtail in outline with a long, constantly moving tail and a running gait. The back is grey with darker wings and a pale yellow breast and belly. Males have a black throat in the breeding season. Nests are usually concealed beneath a steep bank, often over flowing water. Four or five eggs is the usual clutch and two broods may be reared. Grey wagtails are badly affected by cold snaps in winter. Terry Mitcham

Wood louse A crustacean with 14 parts to its body rather than an insect, it can curl into a ball to protect itself. Found all over the world and very common in our gardens and houses it feeds on decaying leaf and plant matter. Have a look in your garden today, you’re sure to find one.

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Get your career back in shape for 2016 2016 is here, you’re probably focussing your time and energy trying to work off some of that Christmas excess… Apply some of that time giving your career a health check-up. The One Group are the number 1 choice for all your recruitment needs whether you’re a business or a candidate. Speak to one of our Consultants and we will show you how recruitment should be done!

Recruitment as it should be




T: 01604 210888

T: 01733 234000

T: 01223 237888


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Activelife HEALTH

BENEFICIAL INFUSIONS Mushrooms and their nutritional values are well known. But some mushrooms have been found to have extraordinary health benefits, including antioxidants, that help maintain a healthy mind and

body. Ganoderma lucidiam is such a mushroom, and has now been infused in teas, coffees and hot chocolates. To find out more about why you should drink them and how to buy them, visit www.

SHOP OF THE MONTH Neal’s Yard Remedies in Stamford recently celebrated its first anniversary in the town and is a welcome addition to the High Street. Specialising in organic, natural skin care and beauty products visiting the shop is an uplifting experience. You are welcomed by friendly staff and wonderful aromas. Beauty treatments are also available.

Stroke risk: is your pulse regular? Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common condition, but sadly it is not always picked up before it causes a problem. Over the last 30 years medicine has concentrated on monitoring and treating high blood pressure as a means of preventing stroke, but recently there has been more interest in screening for atrial fibrillation (AF), by measuring the rate and rhythm of the pulse. The pulse irregularity associated with AF can produce strokes and sadly these are oen the most severe form of the condition. As we age the risk of rhythm disturbances of the heart increase. Other factors include alcohol intake, high blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, diabetes and stress. If the rhythm of the heart is irregular, this can be investigated further by an electronic recording. This is called an ECG and can be done at the surgery or hospital. If atrial fibrillation is picked up by an irregular pulse and confirmed on an ECG, this normally needs further investigation and treating with medication. We now know that controlling the rate of the pulse and thinning the blood to prevent clot formation in the heart can prevent strokes. Previously AF was treated with warfarin - this is an anti-coagulant, but can interact with other medication and needs careful monitoring. Newer medications called NOACs are making it easier to treat this condition, and do not require frequent monitoring like warfarin. However, up to 80% of strokes in people with atrial fibrillation can prevented, and risk can also be reduced by lifestyle changes: • Eat more foods from plants, such as vegetables and beans, whole grains and nuts. • Eat more seafood in place of red meat, poultry, and eggs. • Limit the intake of sodium, solid fats, added sugars, and refined grains. • Reduce calories you eat and drink and increase calories you burn through physical activity. Unfortunately atrial fibrillation and the irregular pulse it produces is oen asymptomatic and can go undetected. A simple pulse recording and further investigation if indicated can make a big difference to your future health. Dr Nigel S. Hume, private GP

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Friday mornings during January First session on 8 January from 11am is free, followed by a Q&A in the cafe

Isn’t it funny? Join us for Pooh Sticks on Winnie the Pooh Day, 17 January

E. H. Shepard

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We’re open part-time in January Visit us on 2-10, 15-17, 22-24 and from 29 onwards

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Rehabilitation Exercise Functional Rehabilitation with the Philip Cutts Pain Management & Rehabilitation Group Mobile contact : 07742 072182

Sponsored by Organo Gold - A selection of Gourmet Teas, Coffees & Hot Chocolate.

VE 10 SA £ on TOr pers UP pe

Save up to £10 per person with our


Available in our Pizza Pasta and Raceview Restaurants Silver Package Entry and Race Programme Starter Main course Dessert Hot beverage Silver Packages now FROM just £9.75 in our Pizza Pasta Restaurant and £13.00 in our Raceview Restaurant!

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Gold Package Entry and Race Programme Bucks Fizz on arrival Starter Main Course Dessert Cheese and biscuits Hot beverage Silver Packages now FROM just £13.75 in our Pizza Pasta Restaurant and £18.00 in our Raceview Restaurant!

Please call 01733 29 69 39 and quote ACTFREE for your FREE upgrade on your chosen date. Peterborough Greyhounds First Drove, Fengate, Peterborough, PE1 5BJ

*FREE upgrade is only redeemable against dates in January 2016 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Not available for use with Corporate Suite bookings.

11/12/2015 16:12


CANINE COMPANIONS WANTED Would you like a dog but don’t want the commitment of having one 24/7? Barking Mad may have just the solution for you. Kerry Wells, owner of Barking Mad, is always looking for hosts to look after dogs when their families are on holiday. She said: “We can cater for everyone who would like to host a dog. From those who are willing to take on dogs for fortnights at a time for much of the year, to those wanting a companion for the odd weekend. And we can place older, small dogs that don’t need so much exercise with the more elderly or less able carers. All are welcome and it’s a great way to keep fit and enjoy some canine company, but on your own terms.” To find out more ring Kerry Wells on 01780 322008

ROWING THE ATLANTIC An intrepid quartet of Old Uppinghamians have been preparing for a gruelling 3,500-mile row across the Atlantic to raise money for two charities. This month it has all come to fruition and they took to the sea a few days ago. Before they left they filled us in about their final preparations. The boat was shipped out to La Gomera a few weeks ago so before the boys left to join it they managed to fit in a few more training sessions focusing mainly on strength training as they will need this to battle the huge waves. Along with the boat went the food rations – 1.2 million calories in total including 1,000 ration packs, 700 packs of biltong and 1,200 packets of nuts.

There was one final thing to do before heading out to La Gomera – to attend the ‘Last Supper’ – a charity ball (pictured left) held in London for 600 guests. The committee had hoped to raise £50,000 but thanks to everyone’s generosity the final figure raised was £70,000. Next month we will let you know how they are getting on with their challenge. Happy rowing boys!  The team, known as Ocean Reunion, are raising money for cystic fibrosis and Teenage Cancer Trust. Follow them on Facebook and at which has a link to their Just Giving page.

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The Sport of Fitness

first class completely free

Meet the challenges of 2016

monthly memberships to suit everyone

discounts offered to emergency and military personnel

Group personal training for any fitness level not your average gym community orientated Nutrition see results Tel: 07881 021796 Unit 10 ȥ Oakham Enterprise Park ȥ Ashwell Road ȥ Oakham ȥ Rutland ȥ LE15 7TU

Greater Health for Women Workshops Philip Cutts Are you between the ages of 35-65?

FORM - FIT - FUNCTION £5.00 Off All Sports Bras in January POZE The Lingerie Boutique, 2 Star Lane, Stamford, PE9 1PH 01780 753886 @pozelingrie

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Then this workshop is designed specifically for you. These monthly workshops cover how, when and why to exercise and give daily tools to manage your perfect nutritional intake (taster sessions included). We shall look at oestrogen depletion and how to keep your bones strong and healthy, along with improving skin and body tone. Working within health, fitness and sports medicine for a number of decades, Philip Cutts lectures and workshops are not only informative but very entertaining. The first workshop will be held at the Stamford Arts Centre Sunday 24th January 3.30pm to 6.00pm. Tickets £10, to include gourmet tea and coffees and can be booked from Places are limited so please book early.

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A day in the life of



really love my job. I am very lucky that it varies so much daily, from marketing to buying, merchandising, to putting on events. Yesterday we had one of our fashion mornings in the shop. This was an opportunity for 21 ladies to enjoy a morning of fashion tips, followed by lunch at Hambleton Hall. It is my favourite part of the job as it’s very satisfying to be able to help ladies with fashion styling. At Cavells we are extremely lucky to have so much space so can accommodate many brands, but we do realise that sometimes this can be rather overwhelming to customers. These mornings offer a capsule look at styling suitable for the time of year. Fashion should never be taken too seriously: it’s all about feeling comfortable in what we are wearing but occasionally having the confidence to step out of our comfort zone. I’ve worked in fashion all my working life. I started working for an independent company in Somerset when I was 19 and ended up running five stores. It was a very full-on position which I loved, but I was married to the job. My boss there was definitely my mentor and I blame him for my funny precise ways! I moved to Rutland over nine years ago, when my little boy was a baby and I joined Cavells a few months later. It’s a very family orientated company so my job has evolved from one day a week to the five I do now. As my son has got older I have been able to commit more. We pride ourselves on all the fabulous brands we offer, such as Marc Cain, Oui, Joseph and Mulberry, to name but a few. Tiff, our head buyer, works very hard to find brands which are eclectic and sometimes quirky so that the store always looks different and the brands we stock are different to those you would find on the high street which is full of disposable fashion, so we are very aware of needing to mix our price points. Our South Street store carries brands that we consider to be more affordable such as Whitestuff, Levis and Seasalt. Upstairs in Cavells Country we have a great range of country clothing including Schoffel, Barbour and Dubarry. We stock clothes for all shapes and sizes. I am not very tall but have never found my height a hindrance. I love clothes, so will find a way of making something work – it’s all about getting the right proportions. We pride ourselves on our customer service and have a great team of girls on the shop floor so if anyone is unsure of what suits them, they

‘I really love my job and feel honoured to be working with such a great team’ are always there to help. We stock sizes 8 to 18 in most brands and try very hard not to alienate anyone from the store. My wardrobe and my head have very different lifestyles. In reality I live in jeans: my current favourites are from Hudson and my wonderful trainers are from Ash. I love the fact jeans can take you anywhere; jeans in all different colours should be a staple in anyone’s wardrobe. I tend to be a little fickle with my own clothes,

especially as we start a new fashion season, then items from the previous one suddenly become obsolete. I do try to recycle my clothes to family and friends to ease my conscience. My mother was incredibly fashion conscious and could never buy just one of anything – her wardrobe was vast, so I must follow in her footsteps. Working in fashion may sound exciting but most of the time it is not at all glamorous but I really love my job and feel honoured to be working with such a great team.

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KICK START 2016 • Cardio area and resistance equipment • Large free weight area • Fully Air Conditioned • Qualified level 4 Pilates instructors • Sauna and Steam rooms • Highly experienced PTs • NEW CRECHE Facilities coming soon. • Free parking for all members. • Functional training area to include Powerplate, TRX and Boxing • Extensive studio and Indoor cycling studio offering over 35 classes per week to include Kettlersize, Insanity Live, PiYo, Powerhoop and Zumba • Luxurious locker rooms with complimentary toiletries • Free nutritional advice and Full Body stat analysis available to all members • Full gym induction and programme review every 4 – 6 weeks

“With 20 years’ experience in the industry westside is a popular, friendly health club which has something for everyone.”

CONTACT US TODAY: 01780 480651 Westside Health & Fitness Club West Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2PN

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WHAT’S ON Get out and explore all the great things on offer in Stamford and Rutland medicine expert. The two-hour workshops, covering long-term plans for general health, well being and natural products (samples will be available) will be held at Stamford Arts Centre once a month starting on January 24. To find out more email drinkhealthydrinks@

■ The Riverdance Tour of 2016 is coming to Leicester’s De Montfort Hall on March 29-31. Celebrating 21 years of Irish dancing, the show will be selling out fast so book your tickets on 0116 2333111. ■ Keep the first Friday of each month free to see a film at Lyddington Village Hall. Popular films such as Lady in the Van and Suffragette will be shown. Tickets cost £5. To find out the running, ring Katherine Gregg on 01572 822296.

free. The project is run by donations and Simon is also seeking other specialists. www. ■ Greater Health for Women is a workshop run by Philip Cutts, health, fitness and sports

■ Anthony Gray has recently opened a personal training studio in Uppingham at Sidings Place on Station Road, specialising in body transformations. He will talk to you about your lifestyle, eating habits, likes and dislikes, as well as your training needs and will come up with a personal plan just for you. He will then train you 1:1 in his studio. To find out more visit his Facebook page Anthony Gray – Fitness or ring him on 07739 355997.

January deals so visit www. to find out more. ■ Sacrewell Farm is hosting a beginner’s Nordic Walking session this month on Friday mornings followed by an optional social in the café afterwards. The first session is on the 8th January at 11am and free to all. Nordic Walking is an ideal way to get fit as well as benefitting from being out in the fresh air. For details see www.

■ If you’re bored with going to the gym, or don’t like them, try what Stamford Boot Camp has on offer. Unique, great fun and full of variety you’ll make new friends and get fit at the same time. They have some special

■ Stamford Community Orchard, at the end of Christ Church Close off Green Lane, is holding a Wassailing event on January 9. Proceedings to drive away evil spirits and awaken trees start just after sunset at 4.30pm. ■ The Foot Project – Calais, started by old Stamfordian Simon Miles, provides free lower limb healthcare to the migrant camps in Calais. This month Simon is taking 10 foot care specialists to the camp who are offering their services for

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Feature /// Basketball

CONQUERING HEROES The Rutland Conquerors are an exceptional basketball team. Jeremy Beswick meets them Photography: Pip Warters ONE COLD EVENING I went to hang out with the Rutland Conquerors for a while at their training centre at Oakham’s Catmose College and bumped into team coach John Smith in the car park as I arrived. I didn’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out it was him. Even had he not been resplendent in his Conquerors’ kit, ex-professional basketball player John wasn’t hard to spot – especially in Rutland – being about eight foot tall and speaking with a low southern drawl as evidence of his upbringing in Columbia, South Carolina. Big John, as his charges call him, has been with the Conquerors for five years now and it’s clear that he loves working with them. “I know that if any kid is just willing to try, whatever their capabilities, I can make them better,” he said. “Some days I get to walk away from work with a big smile on my face and that just makes it all worthwhile.” You may be curious about who this team is if, like me, you’ve not heard about them before. Their mission is ‘to provide teens and young adults with special and additional needs the opportunity to play basketball’. You’ll find siblings without special needs playing here too, supporting their brothers and sisters. They regularly host

and participate in tournaments such as the Leicestershire Special Olympics and the Leicester Disability Basketball competition. As Big John told me: “This is about special needs – and that’s one of the things that makes it special.” Since their inception in 2007 the club has gone from strength to strength and chair Debbie Sowter told me they were in the process of affiliating to the Special Olympics to compete at the National Games in Sheffield in 2017. The number of players attending the weekly coaching sessions is increasing – but there’s still plenty of room for more... Debbie founded the club nine years ago with Sharon Tait after taking the group on a residential trip and discovering that they were really rather good at the game. She said: “Young people with special educational needs and disabilities rarely have the opportunity to join mainstream clubs, let alone excel as many of ours have. So we saw a ‘gap in the market’ as the saying goes and decided to fill it. My son Edward would never dream of missing his Wednesday night training session – he just loves it.” As the players warmed up in the sports hall I mingled with some of their parents. Jacqui Darlington has been here since the start, as have her sons Joshua and Ashley. “When it began we mums had to play to make up the numbers,” she remembered. “We got knocked off our feet by our own children but loved it and believe it or not some of us, like me, still play just for the fun of it.” I can confirm that’s true having seen her strut her stuff on the court that evening. “The thing is,” she continued, echoing Debbie’s point,

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“some of the schools the less able go to don’t do sports at all, and those who go through mainstream education struggle to compete with their classmates, so this is ideal.” Mike Kemp’s son Alex is another member. “Alex loves it,” Mike told me. “Before he came here he was quite shy but he’s really come out of his shell now with the camaraderie, friendship and competition. At the start it was quite an alien concept to him but now he understands team play, keeping possession and has learnt a heck of a lot. Over the years I’ve seen many of the others develop in the same way and Big John is just great with them.” Although all of them are stars, there’s at least one exceptional talent here too. Gill Southwell’s son Chris gave me the honour of being the only gold medal-winning athlete it’s been my privilege to meet. Debbie told me: “We first played in the national games in 2009 and that was the start of Chris’s rise. Four of our team, including my son Edward, were selected to play for the East Midlands team and after that tournament Chris then made the GB side for the Special Olympics World Games in Athens, and then in Los Angeles four years later where he landed that gold.” Mum Gill told me he’s even more proud of his trophy for winning Active Rutland’s Disabled Sportsperson of the Year. One might think that representing your country would bring central funding but disappointingly that’s not true. To get Chris to the USA to compete, mum Gill and friend Heather had to organise several fund-raising events including “Six Men in a Boat” in a catacanoe on Rutland Water (although they cheated by including the far-frommanly Faith Vanne in their crew) and a sponsored bike ride from Greetham to Oakham by fellow Conquerors team member and Faith’s brother Matthew. Not so impressive you might think until you learn that he is, amongst other things, blind. Some limited financial assistance for the club does come from existing backers who are (take a bow and well done

you) The Lions, Land’s End, The Buffs Club, Smithers Purslow, Greetham Village Shop and Rutland Council’s Aiming High, but I reckon there must be someone out there who would benefit from becoming main sponsor and help them with much needed funds to take them to another level. Debbie said: “The sports hall at Catmose is fabulous and suits our needs very well but we do struggle to afford it.” Big John explained how special needs basketball clubs are widely scattered and that, other than Leicester, the nearest ones are in Birmingham and Sheffield. It would be great for the Conquerors to play against them regularly to improve, to build friendships and have more tournament play – if only they could afford the travel costs. I had a blast with everyone there that night and really enjoyed my evening. I reflected as I left that they are aptly named. Although many of these fine young people have much more to conquer in their journey through life than their opposition on the basketball court, it’s good to know that the Rutland Conquerors are there for them, helping them to do both.


The number of players attending the weekly training sessions at Catmose College in Oakham is growing, but there’s always room for more. The club is coached by ex-pro player John Smith, otherwise known as Big John

E-mail me at if you’re moved to help or, if you’d like more information about the coaching sessions and the club generally, check out RutlandConquerorsInclusiveBasketball

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ÂŁ20.16 a happy new you! 4 4 4 4 4

No Contract Unlimited Gym 80+ classes a week Online Booking Discount on other activities at the centre

Available until 11th January 2016 *Fee is first month & activation fee. Terms & conditions apply

01572 490 030 Catmose Sports Centre, Huntsmans Drive, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6RP

children’s activites LEARN TO SWIM WITH...

Aqua Ed is our learn to swim programme, it encourages children to learn a skill for life. All our lessons are instructed by qualified and highly skilled swim teachers.

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at Catmose Sports Centre


This session is designed to help get your children involved in playing football, whether they have never kicked a ball before or they are a keen footballer we welcome any ability. All sessions involve fun football based games to help the children get familiar with the basic skills of football. All sessions are run by an experienced and qualified football coach.


Our holiday play scheme is fun and packed with lots of different sporting activities including football, swimming, dodgeball, cricket, hockey and much much more. The camp is designed to help the children have a memorable half term whilst keeping them fit and healthy.

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This session is aimed at all abilities and ran by a highly qualified instructor. Each session participants are taught different aspects of the game and then those aspects are put into game situations at the end of the session.

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The Bull & Swan at Burghley High St, St Martins, Stamford PE9 2LJ 01780 766 412

11/12/2015 11:03

Guest column

‘Bonjour mon canard’ and other need to knows for 2016 Martin Johnson offers some predictions for the sporting year ahead oothsaying, like nostalgia, isn’t what it used to be, which is hardly surprising given that history’s great predictions have all come from peering into tea leaves. These modern bags just aren’t as reliable, so I’m sadly unable to guarantee every one of my predictions for 2016. Apart, perhaps, from Leicester City for the Premier League title. The pundits greeted their rise to the top with a unanimous ‘they’ll never keep it up’, but why not? Quite a few people would have predicted at the start of the season that City’s last match – away to Chelsea – would be for one side to clinch the title, and the other to avoid the drop, but not the other way around. Even if it’s only a top four finish, City fans can already start planning for next winter’s assault on Europe. Two seasons ago, they were tapping Barnsley, Doncaster and Yeovil into the sat-nav, but next winter they could be warming up for the big game with a plate of oysters on the Champs Elysees, or a bowl of pasta overlooking the Colosseum. I’m already planning to publish a book of handy phrases for those away games against the likes of Paris St Germain and Inter Milan, along the lines of ‘bonjour mon canard’ and ‘ciao mia anatra’. Which, if you hadn’t guessed, translate into ‘hello me duck’. Just across the city, however, my tea bag reveals a large and angry gathering of Tigers fans outside Welford Road. Mounted policemen and water cannon are being deployed in case the situation gets out of hand, but mostly the demonstrations are confined to chants of ‘Boring, boring Tigers!’ and ‘Mauger out!’. It’s all down to the new, all-singing all-dancing Tigers, and an overnight revolution involving things like flinging the ball out to the wingers and scoring lots of spectacular tries. It’s a culture shock to all those weaned on a diet of arm wrestling, and eight very large sweaty men all heaving together for pushover tries, and I see large groups of St John Ambulance volunteers administering smelling salts to badly disorientated Leicester supporters. In the end, I see mass resignations at the club, and the world’s press gathering to greet the return of a Leicester icon, Dean Richards, as the new supremo. Richards promises the immediate abolishment of what he calls ‘this wholly unacceptable fancy Dan stuff’, and pledging that while Tigers were still committed to selecting wingers, they will now be charged for admission like the rest of the spectators. However, it will be just the opposite in Formula One, with sweeping new changes in order to try and reverse the trend of doctors substituting Mogadon prescriptions for their patients with


DVDs of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Which, like every other F1 race, begins with David Coulthard rushing up and down the pit lane to bring us the fascinating news that Felipe Massa will be starting on the super soft compound tyres, and that Jenson Button has fixed the problem with his Kers, but is now a bit concerned about his DRS. Swiftly followed by two Mercedes cars droning round and round at the front. No longer. From next season, the F1 bosses will give up trying to make anything exciting happen on the track, and concentrate instead on the pit stops. This will involve the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg having to come in for petrol just like the rest of us, paying by credit card and waiting for a VAT receipt. On top of which the tyres will have to be changed by a Kwik Fit fitter, armed with a wheel spanner from B&Q. The tension could be unbearable. Just imagine, the entire championship boiling down to whether Hamilton can get to the counter ahead of that woman buying a packet of fags and lottery ticket, or Rosberg pulling in for a tyre change and finding out that the chap in the overalls is having a fag break and reading The Sun. Further perusal of my tea bag, even though it’s drying out a bit by now, reveals a major overhaul at FIFA. Blatter and Platini have gone, and the new chief executive – the head of the Columbian drug cartel in Medellin – announces that all future World Cups will be awarded strictly on merit rather than the old system of who bungs them the most. Adding that there is no reason to believe that the award of the 2026 World Cup to the Sultan of Brunei’s back garden is connected in any way to the gift of an oil well for each member of his family. Finally, I see major advances in the field of player safety in all contact sports. Rugby union now has already introduced concussion management guidelines, and in 2016 football will make similarly impressive strides in this area. Up until now, medical experts have been baffled by the sight of footballers falling over for no apparent reason, even on non-windy days, and particularly when entering that part of the pitch known as the penalty area. Research has involved trying to find out whether people with an imbalance of the inner ear go on to become footballers, or whether this is a condition which only afflicts people after they go on to become footballers. In 2016 however, I see a dramatic change as rugby-style health measures kick in. Namely, anyone falling over without coming into contact with anything other than fresh air will be instantly removed to hospital, and left lying on a trolley in a corridor for several hours before an over-worked doctor can spare the time to examine them. As historic sporting revolutions go, pink balls in floodlit cricket matches aren’t in the same league.

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with Buddhist nun Gen Nyingpo

Meditation classes

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You don’t need a bat, racket or expensive kit for this exercise. Just a ball. Less than a mile from the A1 Now with more than 70 dealers, the centre has a variety of antiques unmatched in the surrounding area. Items range from £5 to £5,000 and regular turnover of stock frequently brings customers back for more. Open 10am-5pm Mon-Sat

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11/12/2015 11:03

Feature /// Gear



THE LATEST KIT TO KEEP YOU ACTIVE ON THE SLOPES 1. Icebreaker Everyday longsleeve half zip


Constructed of a soft, breathable 200gm merino rib fabric, this top is both warm in winter and cool in summer, and only becomes more comfortable with age. Wear it as a baselayer, a superlight midlayer, or a jersey during sports; the natural odour resistance of merino ensures you can wear it for several days between washing. Price £60 From

2. Atomic Hawx 110 ski boots A lightweight, warm and comfortable 3M Thinsulate liner has been added to this boot, helping to keep your feet warm on the coldest and dampest days. For a personalised fit the Hawx 110 feature a memory fit shell which can be moulded perfectly to your foot shape. Price £296.99 From www.

3 Schoffel Lacoquette Stylish mid-layer featuring elaborately stitched panels and a faux fur collar. Fleece is the optimum intermediate layer, featuring a high thermal rating in relation to weight. Price £159.90 From



4. Oakley Canopy Factory Pilot

snow goggles


Oakley’s designers have created a low profile frame whilst expanding lens volume, giving a wide view and excellent downward vision. Price £127.99 From www.

5. Icebreaker Sierra gloves The Unisex Sierra Glove is made from 200gm brushed RealFLEECE, with touchscreen index finger and thumb. Great for active adventures when you still want to use your devices. Price £30 From

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The new Rex helmet includes 20 vents, full cranial coverage, low 270g weight, a ratcheting visor and a built-in action cam mount. Price £149.99 From

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For people who want to live healthier. The Microsoft Band tracks your health and fitness goals by recording heart rate, exercise, calorie burn and sleep quality Price £199.99 From

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Feature /// Obstacle races

UP, OVER, UNDER, DOWN, THROUGH AND ROUND… Extreme obstacle course runs are increasingly popular, and they require commitment and training, as well as choosing the right challenge for you. Here’s our definitive guide to this year’s events

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A YEAR OF EXTREME Which obstacle race would suit you? We preview the races taking place in the region THE AVALANCHE RUN Distance: 5km, 10km, 20km When: February 27

A series of winter endurance runs to test you and your body to the max in this extreme mud run. There’s also a quest to ‘catch the Yeti’, suggesting this is going to be a cold one! Based on farmland, the run goes through bogs, streams and quarries, and the course has been set up by special forces and army PT instructors. Address: Wrongs Farm, Welford Road Sibbertoft, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 9UJ


Distance: 5 miles, 10 miles When: February 28

The Winter Beast is a double or quit trail race of about 40 obstacles, many of which are usually tackled by four-legged challengers. But for the two-legged racers, there are steep hills, water, mud, water, more hills and a few surprises… Address: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PF


Distance: 5 miles, 10 miles When: March 12 Don’t be fooled by the beautiful location; Rockingham Castle’s Great Park deserves respect. Set in 400 acres of hills, mud, slopes and

forest, this is not for the faint hearted, and there are three races for adults, with The Pain & Suffering the most extreme: 10-mile minimum distance and more than 35 obstacles designed to break even the fittest. There are also less tough (all relative!) The Suffering courses, and a kids one, too. Address: Rockingham, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 8TH

INSANE TERRAIN Distance: 5km, 10km When: April 10

Boasting significant water runs, a 4×4 course and spectacular scenery to run through, Grange Farm usually offers up some tough challenges, usually reserved for horses or cars. The organisers have altered the course and added more obstacles this year. Address: Wittering Grange, Wansford, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE8 6NR


Distance: 10 miles When: April 16 Set in Deene Park, a rugged 4,500-acre estate in deepest, darkest Northamptonshire, this is an obstacle course with a difference. In daylight, the paintball snipers, dark, dense woodland, long tiring hills, freezing rivers, huge lakes and

obstacles would be tough – but this event is run at night. Address: Deene Park, Corby, Northamptonshire, NN17 3EW



Distance: 10 miles, 20 miles When: May 7 One of the original, and one of the best, obstacle races – 200 obstacles over 20 miles face entrants to the Dirty Weekend in Burghley Park. Now an established national event, the challenges will be more fiendishly innovative than ever, and for those that make it, there’s a beer tent and party with live headline act afterwards. Address: Burghley Park, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3JY


Distance: 3km, 12km, 6km When: May 14 The Iron Run is a great family event, with distances for serious entrants, those out for some fun and kids too, and they promise that the marshals won’t be out to punish runners, like at some events. That’s not to say the obstacles aren’t hard though, but it’s an ideal event for an active family to do together. Address: Cranford Hall, Kettering, NN14 4AL

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Feature /// Obstacle races

Capital adventures There are dozens of obstacle races all over the country, so why not make a weekend of it and do some sightseeing too? Bear Grylls Survival Obstacle Race 10km, 30km Trent Park, North London, EN4 0PS August 6 London River Rat Race 10km ExCel Centre, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL July 236 Mens Health Survival of the Fittest 10km Wembley Park, London, HA9 0WS November 26


Distance: 10 to 12 miles, 5 miles When: May 21-22 Tough Mudder is a team-oriented 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit. Tough Mudder puts camaraderie over finisher rankings and is not a timed race but a team challenge. There’s also a Half Mudder event for those wanting something less extreme. Address: Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Leicestershire, NG32 1PE


Distance: 5km, 10km, 10 mile When: June 11 Airfield Anarchy is an obstacle event combined with a headline music festival. This super-tough race is held at the site of RAF Winthorpe, a disused WWII airfield combining rough undulating terrain with around 40 obstacles (man-made and natural) and is unique – the course is permanent which means it is worked on all year round to improve it and make it uniquely challenging. Address: Newark Showground (RAF Winthorpe), Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 2NY.


Distance: 10km When: June 11-12, 2016 The Wolf Run is Wild Running – a combination of three kinds of off-road running: mud runs,

trail runs and obstacle runs. The only Wild Run in the UK, it’s a hardcore run across raw natural terrain, including open ground, woodland, lakes and thick mud. Running in a pack, or as a lone wolf, you’ll tackle a series of tough obstacles – both man-made and natural – designed to test your mental and physical strength, skill and stamina. Address: Stanford Hall, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6DH



Distance: 10 miles June 26 If you couldn’t make the races earlier in the year, there’s another chance to get round Rockingham Castle’s Great Park, although hopefully the sun will be shining and the going good to firm! Address: Rockingham, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 8TH


Distance: 13km When: September 4 Based at Elton Hall’s 3,800-acre estate, in which the River Nene runs, the 5km+ course with more than 15 obstacles is perfect for anyone new to Spartan, or a seasoned athlete looking to set new personal records on this super-fast course. You can do two parts of the Trifecta and complete the Sprint on Saturday and the Super on Sunday. Address: Elton Hall, Peterborough, PE8 6SH

Mens Health Survival of the Fittest London Night Run 5km Wembley Park, London, HA9 0WS November 26 Beer Belly Running 5 miles 80 Farringdon St, London EC4A 4BL August 6

WIN YOUR ULTIMATE EXTREME YEAR! You can win entry to two of the best local obstacle runs in our competition. We are offering: 1 x entry to Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley worth £140 2 x entries to The Suffering at Rockingham Castle worth £86 To enter, go to www. competitions

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GETTING OVER IT! Local obstacle racers Leah Jennings and Nick Crowson talk about getting the extreme running bug, battling hypothermia and camaraderie

How did you get into extreme events?

Leah: I’m a runner at heart but periodically fall in and out of love with it. Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) seemed a good way to spice my running up. I had seen the inaugural Rat Race at Burghley Park and I decided there and then that I had to complete the 20-mile, 200-obstacle course the following year in 2014. Nick: Leah hoodwinked me into it in January 2014 one night in the pub. Her argument was that, “if Active publisher Chris Meadows can do it, so can we”. I drunkenly agreed and then regretted it the next morning.

How hard did you find them at first and how much training are you doing for them now?

Nick: The Rat Race was brutal. 20 miles is a long way, but it’s the cold water in the lakes near Wittering that really messes you up. Both of us had the first stages of hypothermia at this point (shivering, loss of co-ordination and concentration). After

that the others didn’t seem as soul destroying. Leah: Training-wise, I run with Stamford Striders when I can, have a personal training session with Emma Brewster once a week and do classes at the gym. The beauty of OCRs is that any type of training is good training.

What events did you do in 2015 and what were your highs and lows?

Leah: In 2015 we did the Rat Race (Burghley Park), Pain & Suffering (Rockingham Castle), Iron Run (Kettering), Tough Mudder (Boughton House) and Bear Grylls Ultimate Survivor (London). Nick: The Suffering was our favourite – tougher than expected, good fun and great value for money. The obstacles made good use of the natural terrain. Leah: All my highs come from crossing the finishing line and feeling like a warrior. My lows are all the cold water obstacles. I love water, but not when it’s freezing. Nick: I agree with the hypothermia. My

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Feature /// Obstacle races

KITBAG EXTREME You can’t take on the hardest obstacles and challenging conditions without the right kit. Here’s our pick... 1. Merrell All Out Terra Trail running shoes Get 360° protection from rock and debris as you dig into rugged terrain with a built-in sock liner and deep, diamond pattern lugs. From Price £100

4. Tribesports tights The Tribesports men’s running tights combine the latest tech and highest quality fabric to keep you warm in a wide range of conditions and help you perform at your best, on the road and on the trail. From Price £35

2. ON running – Cloudcruiser personal low was the Bear Grylls race. The course was disappointing and I was tired and grumpy before I even started, which led to a miserable four hours of running. I’m sure Leah will testify that I wasn’t particularly happy that day. Leah: No he wasn’t! His constant moaning had us all laughing.

What are your plans for 2016?

Leah: More of the same, although I am currently back in love with running again so more of that too. Nick: No OCRs for me, although I really fancy doing the Greenland marathon in the snow and ice in October and the Las Vegas ‘Rock n Roll’ 5km fun run! OCRs have been a great stepping stone towards other challenges. Leah: I’m also hoping to do the Greenland, event – definitely one to tick off the bucket list.

What would you recommend to readers in terms of training and any top tips during the race?

Nick: Miles under the belt. Running pure and simple and a bit of upper body work. Leah: I would say to cross train. Don’t neglect your strength training. Incorporating circuit-type training and weight training can only stand you in good stead. Train hard, race easy. Nick: These events are all about being social, so enjoy them with friends and fellow competitors. There is little element of actual racing in OCRs for most people so have fun and enjoy the mud. Leah: I love OCRs for the simple reason that you can’t really complete them on your own. Racers help each other over the really tough obstacles so there’s a real sense of camaraderie. Enter into the spirit of the race, get your family and friends to spectate and cheer you on and celebrate properly once you’ve crossed the finished line. Nick: I think we would both agree that the people you meet and the friends you bond with are what make these things really worthwhile. Not many people call it quits after they do their first OCR.

The Cloudcruiser offers outstanding impact protection and takes full advantage of the patented CloudTec system with 15 highprofile ‘Cloud’ elements and a flexible midsole giving you both a cushioned landing and a powerful takeoff. From Price £125

3. Athletics8 calf sleeves A8 calf sleeves give all the benefits of comfortweave medical grade sports compression, reducing muscle cramps and improving your performance. The best value for money sleeve on the market. From Price £28 (special Active magazine offer – 10% off with discount code ACTIVE8)

5. Tribesports Capris You can work up a sweat when training for a race, so Tribe has equipped its women’s running capris with stretchy fabric that allows smooth, natural chafe-free motion, and strategic stretch mesh leg panels that shed excess heat as you get going. From Price £32.50


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Best value for money calf sleeves on the market

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Feature /// Obstacle races

TOP THREE PREPARATION TIPS FROM OBSTACLE COURSE PRO KATIE KEEBLE Prepare as best you can, use the right equipment and, possibly the easiest of all, get some sleep 1. PREPARATION

“Make a list, go through the race in your mind from waking up, travelling to racing. You do not want to be distracted by last minute dramas! Taking longer to get to the venue than planned is the most stressful thing. Think about pre, post and during race nutrition.”

2. KIT!

“This can make or break a race – in the run up to an event attempt to work out and keep a diary of what kit works well for when; for example: ‘it’s 14 degrees and sunny - didn’t need gloves, but needed arm warmers and full length running tights’.” “Finding yourself too hot or too cold during an event can be catastrophic. I live in my Athletics8 - pre, during and post race, drinking coffee, cycling to work, under my scrubs at work.”


“Sleep is training! Any decent book I have read, research I have studied suggests sometimes to skip a training set to sleep. If you are on point with your training you will have room in your schedule to allow for this.”

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‘NEW YEAR, NEW YOU’ FITNESS PLAN Kick your body into shape in the New Year with this healthy and lean fitness plan, designed to make you feel good and achieve your ideal body in three months. By Gareth Sapstead Over the next three months personal trainer Gareth Sapstead will outline a fitness plan that leaves no stone unturned. Whether you’re looking to lose body fat, drop a dress size, gain some definition or just feel fitter and healthier; this plan will be your ultimate guide. This month it’s all about the Phase 1 ‘Setting the Foundations’ plan. Next month we’ll show you the Phase 2 ‘Define Yourself’ plan, and in month three the Phase 3 ‘Shape and Sculpt’ plan, where you’ll be fine-tuning your body for the final four weeks. PHASE 1 PLAN – SETTING THE FOUNDATIONS The Phase 1 plan is all about building your fitness foundations. Think of Phase 1 of the 3 Phase plan like building a brick house; the foundations need to be built strong and sturdy before the rest of the house is developed, in Phases 2 and 3. The stronger the foundations the longer the house will last, and the better the structure will be. In this phase you will improve both strength and fitness whilst getting your body into shape, and kicking your new fitness journey into gear. The exercises in Phase 1 are also aimed at developing basic movement patterns that will set you up for more complex exercises to come in Phase 2 and 3. For the end of January you will aim to have improved drastically at the Phase 1 exercises, lost a little unwanted body fat, gained some shape and definition, and be ready and raring to hit Phase 2 as hard as you can. HOW TO DO THESE WORKOUTS You’ll have two separate workouts to do in Phase 1 of the plan. Ideally you’ll do four workouts each week, Workout 1 twice and Workout 2 twice, alternating between the two. Workout 1 will be based around a full-body resistance training session, while Workout 2 will be your ‘steadystate cardio’ day, designed to burn calories, and lay the foundations for more high-intensity ‘metabolic- style’ training in Phase 2. Workout 1 includes 3 supersets of exercises – exercise A is performed

back-to-back with exercise B without any rest. These exercises are designed to work the entire body, kick your metabolism into gear, and enable short, fast and highly effective workouts. Stick to the plan below until the end of January and you’ll be ready to hit Phase 2 hard in February knowing you’ve set the foundations for pushing yourself harder and one step closer towards achieving your ideal fit body.

3b feet elevated plank (picture left) or long lever plank (picture right) – 3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold, rest 1 minute, back to 3a.

WORKOUT 1 Warm-up – 10 minutes of foam rolling and dynamic stretching exercise 1a kettlebell deadlift – 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions, move straight to 1b. 1b inverted row – 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions, rest 1 minute, back to 1a. 2a goblet squat – 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions, move straight to 2b. 2b suspended push-up – 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions, rest 1 minute, back to 2a. 3a dumbbell box step-up – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions each leg, move straight to 3b.

Option 2: 30-40 minutes. Brisk walking on a treadmill set to a level 8-10 incline, maintaining a heart rate of 70-80% of its maximum (3-5 out of 10 in level of perceived exertion).

WORKOUT 2 Option 1: 30 minutes. Running on a treadmill at a slow-moderate speed, maintaining a heart rate of 70-80% of its maximum (3-5 out of 10 in level of perceived exertion).

Gareth Sapstead MSc CSCS Gareth is one of the leading personal trainers in the UK, a fitness writer, book author, healthy recipe conjuror, and award-winning blogger at For personal training enquires contact Gareth via his website (www. or on 07825 640837.







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Long-term shoulder pain. Catching in the joint. Aching, stiff shoulders. All terms we hear daily at Function Jigsaw. One of the most common sporting injuries across all sports involving the upper limb is non-traumatic shoulder pain. Shoulder pain of this sort can come on from any number of things: playing sport that involves lots of overhead movement such as swimming, water polo, weightlifting, cricket and tennis. It can also present itself in sedentary individuals: poor posture from sitting at a desk for long periods of time can also lead to shoulder issues and injuries. This is the sort of niggling, nagging, long-term issue that clients often say has come on seemingly from nowhere, with no clear ‘injury’ event, and no matter what approach they take, it does not seem to go. But how do you treat this sort of pain? What is the most effective way of relieving such a longstanding, debilitating injury? Shoulder pain, often referred to as impingement, tendinopathy, sub-acromial pain, or even labels such as arthritis, can all be correct definitions, but this sort of injury is often misunderstood and mistreated. This is often because not many athletes are able to identify and fix the root cause of their pain. To understand how to fix shoulder pain, it’s essential that we understand a little bit about the anatomy of the shoulder joint, what a healthy shoulder looks like, and how somebody can take themselves from an injured state over to the ‘healthy’ model that we should all be striving for in training and performance. THE SHOULDER JOINT The shoulder joint itself actually resembles a golf ball sitting on a tee. A very shallow socket that gains its stability from close interaction between a large number of muscles: most notably the rotator cuff, a group of four muscles that constantly act on the ‘ball’ part of the ball and socket joint. These four muscles work together to make sure the ball never falls from the tee, and stays stock centre in the joint no matter what position we choose to move

our arm into. In order to gain full range of motion around the shoulder and get our arm behind our back, over our head, or way out in front of us, the socket portion of the joint must also be free to move. If you feel for the edge of your shoulder blade sitting just behind your armpit, and move your arm over your head, you should feel the shoulder blade actually slide around your ribcage, creating a stable, yet mobile platform for the shoulder joint to function from as it effectively floats around the ribcage. In a similar way to the rotator cuff muscles constantly working around the shoulder joint, bigger, stronger muscles like the pecs, the latissimus dorsi, the trapezius, rhomboids, and the levator scapulae (one of the muscles coming off the back of your neck) work to position your shoulder blade as your arm moves into different positions. If any one of these muscles is weak, short, tight, injured, or painful, then effective and healthy movement of the shoulder blade relative to the ribcage breaks down and will often present as pain in the shoulder joint itself. GOOD MOVEMENT This movement of the shoulder blade is often the most overlooked factor for good shoulder health. If you habitually have your arms overhead in a sport such as swimming, but you don’t have the full ability to move your scapula into a strong position due to stiffness in the pecs and lats resulting from a 9-5 desk job, the structures working over time to stabilise your shoulder joint are the rotator cuff muscles. These then become overused and painful in the same way as an Achilles or quad tendon in runners, and the tendons of the forearm in people with tennis elbow. Once this pain sets in, the difficulty then comes from the fact that the pain actually weakens the muscles further, causing more overuse, and more pain. The key to breaking this cycle of pain leading to weakness, weakness leading to more pain, and so on and so forth, is simple: to remove the root cause of pain. Whilst the cause of shoulder injury is

different from person to person, the first thing that should always be addressed is any lack of mobility. Tight, short muscles are the first things to affect movement in negative ways. If we do not have a full range of motion available because a muscle is too short, inevitably another muscle or joint will have to pick up the slack and move further. Think of the skill of throwing a cricket ball: if you have a stiff, tight shoulder and tight pecs, this won’t stop you throwing the ball, you’re still going to perform that skill as best you can, but based on what physical traits you have available to you. Instead of throwing with perfect technique, your body will naturally compensate, gain range of motion from other body parts such as the hips, ankles, or spine, and you run the risk of injury somewhere else in the body. With this considered, look to improve your range of motion first by stretching out and mobilising the muscles of the chest, back, neck, shoulders, and hips, before undertaking appropriate, well thought out, good quality strength and movement training exercises, designed to encourage good movement of the shoulder blade and stability of the shoulder joint. This sort of exercise includes lots of strength work to the upper back and shoulders, rotator cuff exercises, and stability exercises using bands, kettle bells, medicine balls, or unstable surfaces such as wobble pads and cushions. This sort of upper limb ‘balance’ training helps to train the muscles of the shoulder to work together, keep the golf ball sitting dead centre on the tee that is the joint socket, and ensure your long term, pain free, healthy shoulders.

@FunctionJigsaw / @maxhartman4

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SUNRISE AND D-LIGHT The main source of vitamin D is sunlight, so what do we do about it during the long, dark winter months? Our diets can help... By nutritional adviser Helen Cole

WHY DO WE NEED VITAMIN D? Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphate from food and so is essential for healthy bones and teeth. It is also thought that this vitamin has functions in the brain, the nervous system, cellular growth and regulation of the immune system. The main source of vitamin D is by exposing the skin to the UV radiation in sunlight and we are unlikely to obtain all the vitamin D we need through diet alone. SYNTHESISING VITAMIN D Our ability to synthesise vitamin D is affected by our skin pigmentation – the darker it is, the less we can produce. There are three sorts of people who may have difficulty in synthesising enough vitamin D – older people, especially those who are bedridden or unable to go out easily, and clients who live in regions with limited sunlight. The same goes for people whose clothing completely covers their skin, either for protection or for cultural or religious reasons. RECOMMENDED INTAKE As our bodies store vitamin D, it does not need to be consumed every day. Most people should be able to meet their vitamin D requirements through sun exposure and a balanced diet. However, at this time of year, the emphasis is on diet. For adults under the age of 65 and children over the age of 3, there are currently no UK guidelines as to how much vitamin D we should have each day. However, the World Health Organisation recommends 15 mcg for over 65s, 10 mcg for 51-65 year olds and 5 mcg for everyone under the age of 50. DO WE NEED SUPPLEMENTS? In the UK, the Department of Health recommends the following people take daily vitamin D supplements: • All children aged six months to five years old • All pregnant and breastfeeding women • All people aged 65 and over • People who are not exposed to much sun • People with darker skins such as people of African-Caribbean and South Asian origin. CAN WE TAKE TOO MUCH? Although it is unlikely that we will consume too much vitamin D through natural food sources, there is a danger if we take additional supplements when we don’t need them. Because it is a

fat-soluble vitamin and is stored in the liver, too much vitamin D can be toxic. Taking 25 mcg (0.025 mg) or less a day of vitamin D supplements is unlikely to cause any harm. SOURCES OF VITAMIN D The best dietary sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, eggs and smaller amounts in meats. Fortified foods such as margarines, cereals, yogurts and soya milks also have added vitamin D. LEVELS OF VITAMIN D IN SOME FOODS: Grilled chicken breast 0.4mcg Boiled egg 0.6mcg I bowl of Weetabix 1.3mcg Half tin of tuna 2.5mcg Grilled trout 14.9mcg Tin of pilchards in tomato sauce 21.7mcg ** mcg = micrograms. 1 mcg = 1 millionth of a gram ** Cole Nutrition offers a full dietary analysis to identify the requirements for each individual. Together, we look at current eating and lifestyle patterns or habits and identify possible changes in realistic and achievable terms. Whatever your lifestyle, Cole Nutrition will endeavour to find the perfect balance for a happy, healthy you. If you would like to book a consultation or find out more about what we offer, please contact Helen Cole on 07966 050 193, email colenutritionh@ or visit our website at

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THE FINISHING TOUCHES Edited by Mary Bremner

Welcome to our new health and beauty pages, The Finishing Touches. You’ve done all the hard work in the gym, playing sports and getting fit, and now have the body to die for – or are getting there at least. So now is the time to add the finishing touches and show it off! All the sweating at Zumba or working on the weights might have made your hair go limp and frizzy. Or running up and down a pitch in the elements means your skin needs a bit of tlc.

And the odd massage to soothe those aching limbs wouldn’t go amiss. These are the pages to turn to when you are looking for the latest treatments and trends. And once your skin is glowing and your hair is gleaming, take a look at some of the latest fashions on offer to complete that new look. You’ve worked hard to achieve those sculpted muscles, so add the finishing touches and get out there to show it all off…

GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL Sometimes you just need to get away from it all, pack your bags and clear off for a bit of head clearing and ‘me time’. Whatever life throws at you (and January can be a month when you are feeling particularly battered) there is nothing that can’t be solved by beating a retreat. This could mean getting on a plane and going to a swanky resort where you indulge in numerous therapies in an idyllic setting and

emerge as a new person – nice if you get the opportunity – or something as simple as heading to the beach solo and sitting on the sand contemplating life, just taking time to gather your thoughts. Whatever your options, it’s a good chance to clear away a few cobwebs, regroup and return to everyday life ready to catch and throw back whatever life has in store for you this year.

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EASE AWAY THOSE ACHES AND PAINS WITH A SWEDISH MASSAGE Strains and stresses often deposit themselves in your neck and shoulders, and the build up can cause stiffness and soreness. The ideal way to get rid of it is to have a massage. A Swedish massage is a traditional technique that can be adapted to suit your particular need, and release endorphins so you are left invigorated, too. At Serenity Loves, our masseuse Lucy gave a lesson in what a Swedish massage can achieve: long, smooth strokes, along with kneading to loosen up muscles. The firmness was part-pleasure, part-pain (in a good way!), as the tension – created by lactic acid which causes knots that feel like gristle – was eased away. A massage releases the lactic acid, flushes the toxins into your body and the experience was incredibly soothing. At the end of the 20-minute session we were almost asleep. Unique to Serenity Loves is a supervised playroom so you can have a treatment knowing your child is in safe hands. A similar treatment at Serenity Loves in Peterborough costs £25. or call 01733 687835.

And finally... The latest fashions to show off

BOOST YOUR ASSETS It’s important to have regular bra fittings, as it’s amazing how many women wear the wrong size. And if you’ve lost weight or changed shape you need a good bra to show off your new contours. A well-fitte d bra can make a difference to your posture and overall appearance too, making you look slimmer. Go to a good lingerie shop where an experienced fitter should quickly be able to put you at ease. You don’t have to take all your clothes off, as they can do it with your top off, but bra on. A quick glance and they should be able to judge your size accurately, then measure the torso, ask you what sort of bra you want, and find the perfect one.

To ensure the bra lasts longer, fasten it on its loosest fitting and as it loosens with age use the tighter clasps. Alternatively, if pregnant or a growing teenager try the bra on its tightest setting so that there is room to grow into it.

Essentiel, Kinzafur down coat Fun and fashionable, and very warm Price £398 From Cavells, Oakham

TIPS FOR GOOD BRA FITTING ● 80% of the breast should be supported by the back of the bra with 20% coming from the straps. ● The back strap should be level and fit smoothly. You should be able to fit two fingers under it. ● The wire on the cups should sit on your ribcage not cut into the breast. ● The cup should be smooth with no ‘double boob’ over the top of the cup. The middle of the bra should fit snugly against your breastbone. Poze The Lingerie Boutique, 2 Star Lane, Stamford.

Enchantee Cherry bra A pretty half-cup bra Price £56 From Poze, Stamford

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Feature /// Great walks

Duddington and Fineshade This walk in the woods offers some interesting views across the Welland valley, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington Difficulty rating (out of five)


We parked near the Royal Oak at Duddington which has a decent sized car park which you can use if you are planning on heading in to this friendly pub for something to eat afterwards. Once you have parked take care crossing the busy A43 but don’t take the first footpath. Keep walking south west for less than 100 yards and take the Jurassic Way which runs uphill. This track is wide enough for vehicular access but it makes for a pleasant way to approach the woods and has clearly been in use for many centuries. Just before you reach the woodland you will pass a large gas installation on your left, which is a necessary evil but thankfully doesn’t make for too much of an eyesore on the edge of this ancient woodland.

The Jurassic Way continues straight on through this eastern section of Fineshade and you will pass a number of other routes which criss-cross the woods and all lead to the Top Lodge visitor centre on the western edge of the woods. We didn’t head over that way on this visit but have done so many times before and it’s a great facility if you have young children, with a playground, café and lots of easy and well-marked routes. Although in truth on this occasion it was refreshing to steer well clear of the busy end of the woods. Staying on the Jurassic Way for about a mile from the A43 will bring you to the point where Fineshade Wood meets Westhay Wood. We turned left here and headed north east along the path on the northern edge of Buxton Wood. At the end of this path turn left again across one field, over a wooden bridge in the hedge, across another small field and then back into Fineshade Wood. When you come to a major route running east/west through the wood turn right and stay on the path as it curves round and

passes through a very wide cut ride in the wood. This looks like an airfield which it may once have been but presumably it is now useful as a fire break and for deer control. From here you will very shortly come to the north east edge of Fineshade Wood. From this elevated position there are excellent views all the way across the Welland Valley. Once you have got your bearings you will be surprised how far you can see, although it’s an exposed spot so you may not want to hang around too long before you follow the track along the woodland edge for a couple of fields before bearing right and heading downhill with Gore Piece on your left. From here all routes lead back to the A43 and Duddington beyond as you quickly lose altitude and get out of the wind ready for refreshments. Clockwise, from above

There are a number of paths through and around Fineshade and Westhay Woods; the Royal Oak at Duddington is a good place to finish your walk; heading into the woods; the latter stages of this walk offer good views of Duddington and the Welland Valley

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naged by the Fineshade is ma ission and was Forestry Comm ckingham once part of Ro sive royal Forest, the exten ds. un gro ng nti hu

➛ ➛

➛ ➛

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park Either on the road near the Royal Oak or in the pub car park if you are popping in later. Distance and time Three and a half miles. One hour and a quarter. Highlights Some lovely paths through the woodland and surprisingly good views of the Welland Valley. Lowlights The Forestry Commission is undertaking some heavy duty felling there at the moment and some paths are being closed temporarily for safety reasons. This shouldn’t pose too much of a problem because there numerous paths and tracks through the woods. Take care when crossing the busy A43 with fast moving traffic. Refreshments The Royal Oak at Duddington is the obvious choice. Difficulty rating Two paws. There are no stiles and it’s very easy underfoot, apart from the very odd bit of heavy plough. The pooch perspective All dogs love a sniff around in the woods and this walk offers plenty of scope for that. There’s not much in the way of fresh water for cooling down but it’s not too long a walk and there’s plenty of shade so it’s not a major problem. 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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A brilliant all day café A brilliant day café and bar hasalljust opened and has just opened on bar the A47 at Morcott on the A47 at Morcott

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11/12/2015 11:03

Feature /// Sportsman's Dinner

The Wheatsheaf, Oakham Will and Matt indulge in some traditional winter warmers at this town centre pub Will Well Matt, I think the whole of Oakham knows we are here now thanks to that Honda Civic Type R you are driving at the moment. I certainly didn’t need you to ring the bell when you came to pick me up earlier. I could hear the car three streets away. Matt Ha ha, sorry about the noise but I didn’t hear you complaining when we nipped past a couple of lorries between Empingham and Whitwell. Anyway, it’s nice in here. I seem to remember we popped in one Sunday during the cricket season when the game was rained off and enjoyed a pint or two. Will Ah yes, one of those famous Sundays when nobody on the team is allowed to call home to let them know the game has been cancelled so we can have an invaluable team bonding session in the pub. As it happens I missed that day but I can see The Wheatsheaf would have been a welcome stop on the way around town. Being on Northgate it’s almost bang in the middle of Oakham and it’s really rather welcoming, with three rooms and the bar right in the middle. Matt I even refused a mince pie and a doughnut in the office this afternoon to make sure I didn’t ruin my appetite, so I’m glad my starter of

creamy garlic mushrooms with a bread roll (£4.25) was a generous portion. And this pint of Everards Tiger is in pretty good nick too. Even though it’s not exactly freezing outside it’s nice to have the fire on my back.

fish and chips (£10.95) really hit the spot. It was a decent bit of cod with a light batter and substantial chips. Although I managed to polish all mine off unlike you. And all washed down with another pint of Tiger.

Will I have a lovely view of the impressive church out of the window. It’s all very cosy in here and there seems to be a decent number of regulars enjoying a friendly drink at the bar. My breaded camembert with a side salad and cranberry sauce (£4.95) wasn’t quite as hearty as your mushrooms so I still have plenty of room for the main course. I did a seriously undulating five-mile walk and played squash today so I feel I’ve earned it.

Matt Well we both said we didn’t need a pudding but the lovely waitress was so persuasive we both weakened. And she was right, the chocolate brownie (£3.95) was not too heavy and made for a nice finish to the meal.

Matt Homemade steak and ale pie with chunky chips and vegetables (£10.95) has left me very glad I turned down those treats at work. In fact I can’t quite finish my chips off. Perhaps I’m still suffering from the aftermath of the cricket club dinner at the weekend. Or maybe it was the day-trip to the Tigers on the train… Will Yes, those trips to Leicester do seem to get out of hand more often than not. But I think you should blame the others. They shouldn’t lead you astray like that. But back to the food... that

Will Yes it was a well judged pudding with a dollop of ice cream – not too heavy or too much. And the atmosphere all evening was really welcoming. The landlord clearly knows how to serve a decent pint of beer and keep the regulars happy. And it was good to see fellow Active contributor Jeremy Beswick glued to the bar. It’s his local and he couldn’t have looked happier. In fact I could have stayed for another pint with him but I suppose it’s a week night and the Honda beckons. Ear plugs ready Oakham!

The Wheatsheaf 2-4 Northgate, Oakham, LE15 6QS. 01572 756124.

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09/12/2015 14:48



Reasons to choose Banks & Banks Local Business

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The Broad Street Practice 20/21 Broad Street, Stamford. Telephone 01780 480889

11/12/2015 11:03

Feature /// School sport

Ben qualifies for nationals

Five years unbeaten at home for Stamford Stamford School First XV produced a fantastic second half display to beat a strong Denstone College XV 32-12 to take their home unbeaten record to five years. The visitors started brightly and scored two early penalties to take them to a 6-0 lead. Stamford responded strongly as full back Ollie Johnson shot down the blind side, before prop Mason Coulam showed fantastic footwork to finish in the corner. Minutes later centre Callum Corbett ran through, brushing off two tackles to dive over at the line. Great carrying from captain Henry Wills and hooker Corey Lewis kept Stamford in the opposition’s territory and scrum half Sam Evison added a long range penalty to take them to a 15-6 lead. It was Denstone, however, who finished the half the stronger as Stamford were punished for being over-eager at the breakdown and two penalties took the score to 15-12. Stamford played superbly in the second half; some great work up front from Bateman and Bramachari got the home side on the front foot and good service from Smithson sent Hatt into the corner after beating his opposite number. Isaac Troughton capped off a superb individual display, crashing over from a lineout, and fly half Gabriel Smithson scored the side’s fifth and final try of the afternoon with five minutes to go. Evison’s fourth conversion took the score to 32-12 and the amazing home record remained intact. Captain Henry Wills said: “We don’t want to be the team that lost the record and that was obvious today with the work the boys put in.”

Bourne cross-country success Two teams from Bourne Grammar School competed at the ESAA Cross Country Cup National Final, with one student achieving third place overall. There was a strong performances by the Inter-girls (year 9-10), being led home by Isabel Spinley, to finish 23rd as a team. The girls finished in respectable positions despite a tough start in a bottle-necked start area. But the Junior girls team had a stronger outside start position to their advantage and undoubtedly the run of the day was by Flo Brill, who led through much of the race to finish third overall. This was the highest individual finish ever achieved by a Bourne Grammar School student, made even more impressive by the fact Flo is still in year 7 and competing alongside the year above. Battling up the hills and using the difficult terrain to their advantage the other Juniors

followed suit, with Elin James crossing the line in an impressive 17th place. Anya Gregory finished strongly again shortly preceding Hattie Knox and Phoebe Payne. Unfortunately, the juniors were hampered by an injury to Maisie Brownlow who, after bravely attempting to battle through, had to withdraw from the race.

Catmose College Year 10 student Ben Higgins competed at the Northern Athletics Indoor Open Meeting at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield recently in what was also his first competition in the U17 age group. He came second in the 60-metre hurdles in his first ever race over the higher hurdles in a time of 9.02 seconds. He ran 60 metres in 7.51 seconds, smashing his previous personal best time of 8.04. His times mean he has qualified for both events at the UK National Indoor Championships in February even though he has only just moved up into this age group.

Pop star visit for SES lecture Founder of the Self-Esteem Team, Natasha Devon, and Frankie Bridge of pop group The Saturdays visited Stamford High School to give a talk to pupils about confidence and selfesteem. Natasha Devon spoke about the mental health and body image issues young people can often encounter. Natasha and her team travel the country in order to challenge stereotypes, reduce stigma surrounding mental health and educate young people. Frankie was fronting a documentary for the BBC on self-esteem and positive body image which was broadcast on The Victoria Derbyshire Show. After Natasha’s talk, Frankie spoke to a group of pupils about the pressures of personal appearance and the impacts of social media. Head of Stamford High School, Vicky Buckman, said: “Feeling positive and confident is one of the most important life skills we can give our pupils. That’s why we were absolutely delighted to welcome Miss Devon. It’s an area that can affect so many young people, and it is great that Frankie came here to raise further awareness of these issues.” /// JA N UA R Y 2 0 1 6 5 7

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11/12/2015 11:02

Feature /// School sport

How to choose the right swim school The New Year is a great time to enrol your child in swimming lessons, but choosing the right swim school can be confusing. Discovering the swim school’s method of teaching is essential, as it will help determine whether it suits your child and your expectations. Conrad Nancarrow (pictured), Oakham Swim School’s swim manager, offers some helpful advice: “Age and ability quite often don’t go hand-in-hand in swimming, so it is important the teacher takes time to assess each child’s capability before deciding which stage they should join. Swimming in a smaller group allows more focus on the individual child, particularly if an assistant is working alongside the teacher.” It is important to choose a swim school with a structured approach to progression – Oakham Swim School follows the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) Learn to Swim Framework offering Stages 1 – 7. These stages take your child through the ‘FUNdamental Movement’ programme and are based on developing core skills, teaching through fun as well as practice. Conrad recommends: “Choose a programme that fits your child’s preferred method of learning. If they have the fundamental skills but don’t seem to be progressing, consider an intensive course – delivered once a day over a week to really hone their skills and grow their confidence. A good swim school will recognise the need for a

little bit of extra coaching, and can offer individual sessions or a group crash course. “Look for a warm and friendly atmosphere when you arrive. Starting or changing swimming lessons can be a daunting prospect, so staff should be welcoming and considerate. It is also a good idea to book a free trial session to make sure it does meet your expectations. Swimming lessons can be a busy experience, but try to talk with the teacher either before or after the lesson to find out what you can do to support your child’s progress.”  Call Conrad Nancarrow on 01572 758754 to find out more

Check mate! Pupils from Oakham School were challenged to a simultaneous chess display by grandmaster Graham Lee. The school’s resident chess grandmaster challenged 20 pupils, many of whom take part in the school’s chess club, to see if they could beat him. They took their turns one by one as Lee progressed around the room playing moves in response. Lee orchestrated his moves in such a way that he was able to checkmate six pupils consecutively. Two students managed to earn the offer of a draw, which both accepted, having successfully deflected Lee for an impressive amount of time.

Matt in Tigers A League win Oakham School pupil Matt Riddington was part of the team who won the Leicester Tigers Aviva ‘A’ League team who enjoyed a 9-7 victory over Sale Jets at Welford Road on Monday evening. Matt’s rugby prowess has long been recognised by both the school and the Tigers.

Vale’s Daniel becomes British Judo champion Nine members of Vale Judo’s competition squad were in action recently in the biggest competition of the year for juniors. Under 15s category Three girls were in action, fighting hard to justify gaining places in the England squad. First on the mat was Mary Tomblin competing for the first time in this national event in the under 44kg category. Despite fighting hard she narrowly lost two contests, but gained good experience. Next up were Holly Woolman-Lane and Bryony Cutforth competing in the very competitive under 57kg category. Both girls fought hard to win through to the bronze medals fight offs with Bryony gaining a

to win his next with a well-timed foot sweep against a squad player. A loss in the next contest meant he was unable to progress to the bronze medal knockout.

bronze medal and Holly having to settle for a fifth place this time round. Ryan Doyle competed in the under 50kg category for the first time, in a large group of 24 boys which included several current England squad members. Ryan lost his first contest but recovered well

Under 18s category James Reseigh competed successfully for the first time in this category in the under 42kg group by progressing from his pool to the medal knockouts and taking a hard-earned bronze medal. Igor Levitin competed in the under 73kg but failed to progress to the medal knockouts having lost his second contest to a strangle. Daniel Bennett fought in the tough under 81kg group and fought his way through to the final with an impressive display of judo tactics and

techniques – Daniel dominated the final contest in front of a large number of spectators and convincingly won the title of national champion by throwing his opponent for a full score. Sofia Palmer and Alex Cutforth fought in the large under 63kg girls category, Alex had a tough draw against seeded players and failed to progress to the medal knockouts despite working hard and showing progress. Sofia started the day well by winning with convincing throws and progressed to the last 10 girls in the medal knockouts but had to settle for a ninth this time round. Vale Judo is now the biggest judo club in the East Midlands and has more than 220 members. For details visit /// JA N UA R Y 2 0 1 6 5 9

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


Shock for Stamford after a good month BY JEREMY BESWICK


ongratulations to Stamford Town’s under 10s who have won the right to play at Tigers’ Welford Road stadium having reached the last eight of the Prima Cup by defeating Melton Mowbray, Mansfield, Dronfield, Paviors and Scunthorpe in the Mellish RFC tournament. Good luck in the quarter final lads. Meanwhile, town’s first team have been doing their bit by getting behind ‘Bleeding for England’ – a campaign to raise 100,000 new blood donors. Their players have always been said to bleed purple, so there must have been some raised eyebrows at the clinic. The experience doesn’t seem to have drained any of their strength in the league however, with another successful month seeing them remain at the top of the table, but first team coach Matt Albinson will have been disappointed with their 25-12 loss at Spalding. This was something of a shock, as it represented top versus bottom of the league. Strangely there was no criticism from Matt

directed at the eight absent first team regulars who had been instructed to go Christmas shopping with their wives instead of playing – sorry, I meant to say were struggling against the odds on the treatment table doing their utmost to be match fit. Whether that was because Matt was away for the match at a wedding I leave to the reader to decide. They opened the month with a 20-17 win away to Nottingham Casuals, to who they’d lost 40-13 last season in what Albinson admitted was a ‘thumping’. Casuals had not lost at home since February and took the lead with a try against the run of play but Bruce Parker soon levelled matters after a driving maul in the corner, quickly followed by another from Alan O’Connor in a similar scenario. Dan Griffin scored a third before half time but Casuals came back at them hard in the second period and, with two players yellow carded, some heroic defending was needed to see them home but they held on. Albinson said: “Every opening that appeared to give Nottingham an opportunity

was slammed shut. James Ragg was outstanding, as were Kristian Naylor, Alex Stephens and Jack Jones in driving runners back around the ruck time after time.” Their victory against Southwell was another close affair, 15-13. Town had to select an unusual front row due to injury with a debut for Chris James at tight head and Kristian Naylor as hooker. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Southwell pack dominated although Albinson said euphemistically: “Debate will reign as to whether or not the Southwell loose head’s binding and boring was instrumental in Southwell achieving the upper hand.” An exchange of penalties brought the scores to 3-3 after a rather dull first half. Further frustration followed in the third quarter with the opponents adding another penalty and Albinson reaching for his diplomatic thesaurus to conclude: “The black and whites gave away penalty after penalty, at times completely bewildered by the referee’s decision.” However, captain Austin Schwartz was not





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Tigers talk Richard Cockerill was, understandably, in bullish mood aer the Tigers’ recent victory over arch rivals Bath which continued their good start to the season. Traditionally a side that starts slowly then builds momentum as the campaign progresses, third place in the table is more than satisfactory for the Tigers at this stage. “The players showed great spirit to find a way to win when we were under intense pressure” he said. “We’re in a good place right now, but we know that can change very quickly”. In spite of the inclement weather, Welford Road had been a good place to be on that Sunday. There was even a collectors’ piece – Dan Cole’s first try for 78 games – and the milestone of Ed Slater’s 100th cap. If you’re yet to visit this season, you’ll be surprised by how much the match day experience has improved overall, and not just because the side is now playing much more with the ball in hand. The recently installed big screen is a huge bonus, not least because it dampens the tedious questioning of refereeing decisions. Furthermore the new stand is nearing completion, there seems to be more glitz and glamour surrounding the main event and even the new strip is easier on the eye. Of greatest importance, of course, is the innovation in their style of play. “What’s key is that we’ve been able to freshen things up,” said Cockers. “On reflection, I made a mistake in not replacing Matt O’Connor” (the attack coach who le for Leinster in 2013). “With Aaron Mauger here it’s exciting now. Our core values, culture and heritage remain the same but it’s been refreshing. All the new backroom staff are good blokes, and Aaron knows and respects the culture of the club having played here”. He added: “Sure, we have some robust discussions but if we all agreed on everything we’d be a bad coaching team.” He was also full of praise for their new number seven, Kiwi Brendon O’Connor. “He’s one of those players that’s not manufactured. Rugby comes naturally to him having played since he was a child. For example, if you join in at every breakdown you might win the turnover steal stats but cost your side in other ways defensively. He’s smart. He knows when to go in and when to stand back”. This new side feels as if it has more natural talent and flair. It was a to be fazed and his crunching hit on the opponent’s inside centre saw the ball spilled and both Steve Taylor and James O’Shea hacked the ball on and over the try line before Schwartz won the race to touch down. Southwell then scored their own first try after a series of penalties on town’s 22 which left them leading by 13-8 with only four minutes left. Well and truly in the last chance saloon town won a line out seven metres from the try line. Albinson takes up the story. “The ball was thrown to four but not secured until Tom Mutter at the tail of the line pounced on the loose ball. Smith guided the play well from the base and backs and forwards alike smashed through the


Matt Smith in action againat Stade. He’s relishing the new style of attacking play

revelation to see them run the ball from deep against Bath not just once but three times, including an effort from five metres from their try line that included a long lobbed pass over the head of a Bath shirt. Wing/centre Matt Smith told me: “We’ve been told that we’re expected to make some mistakes, but to take the risk nevertheless. If the space is there, run the ball. Even from the deep. The phrase we use is ‘get your Vs up’ – it means make sure you’re using your peripheral vision to spot where there’s space and then exploit it.” Another side desperately in need of a different philosophy is England and Cockers’ attention turned to new coach Eddie Jones. “One of his main challenges will be the relationship with the clubs and how that works. It will be new to him not to have centrally-contracted players, but we here want to make that relationship work and get as many players into the England squad as we can. I’m sure he’s looking for experienced assistance, someone who knows northern hemisphere rugby and knows the clubs. There are plenty of talented people around. It would be silly not to at least have a look.”

Southwell narrow side defence. With only two metres to go Kristian Naylor stepped up to lead the carrying and he smashed over the line to score his first try for the club and level the scores at 13 - 13. Ross had a kick from out wide to take the win. Poised with a backdrop of silent supporters and a coach who could barely watch, Ross stroked the ball high and true to record a 15-13 win.” Oakham will be looking to consolidate their mid-table position as soon as possible, as rising star Callum Crellin is shortly to depart for a few months in Australia, so they would have been pleased to narrowly beat Rushden and Higham 14-12 in diluvial conditions that negated their usual attack-minded play. The

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weather was miserable for players and spectators alike and the match itself was no better, the handling understandably below par. Although the players of both sides are to be applauded for their application and there were some heroics from the likes of Henry Hives, it’s best left there. A narrow loss away to Belgrave was followed by a 26-0 win at home against Biggleswade, although a somewhat uninspiring month also saw them exit the cup at the hands of Southwell. Elsewhere, Stoneygate lost their unbeaten record away to Belgrave, Stamford College Old Boys beat Thorney and Deepings bade farewell to the Midlands Junior Vase in the second round, beaten 34-12 by East Retford.


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11/12/2015 18:01



Can Drury turn it round at Stamford? BY DEAN CORNISH


t’s not been an easy start to Graham Drury’s third tenure as manager of Stamford AFC, but then again, I don’t think anyone would have expected even Jurgen Klopp could have turned fortunes around quickly, such is the plight that the Daniels have got themselves into this season. There are signs though that Drury is building the team back up though, and I have a sneaky feeling that they’ll have a good Christmas and give themselves a chance to get out of the bottom four in the New Year. We reported in last month’s Active about Drury’s first two games back in charge, losing both of them away from home at Frickley and Salford. There were signs of improvement though in both games, so a crowd of nearly 400 expectantly packed into the Zeeco stadium for the game against fellow strugglers and local rivals, Grantham Town, hoping to see only the second league win at their new home. However, in spite of taking an early lead, I’m afraid it was a poor performance and the bevvy of boisterous Grantham fans travelled

back north in high spirits having defeated the Daniels 3-1. Drury’s men then had a week off, with the scheduled opponents involved in an FA trophy fixture. That small break gave Drury some time with his squad, and also allowed him to bring in some new faces in Drury’s famous revolving door approach to non-league management. That period seemed to do the trick, with the Daniels next going to Mickleover Sports and coming away with a magnificent 1-0 win, courtesy of recent signing Jake Duffy’s goal. Stamford are still deep in relegation trouble of course, currently second from bottom and seven points from safety. They currently have 15 points, and will need around 50 to stay up so they’ll need to win almost half of their games between now and the end of the season. The Christmas period is absolutely crucial. If they go on a bit of a run and pick up 10 points in December, I back them to stay up in a nail biting end to the season (again!). Meanwhile, in the UCL, Oakham United are the current leading lights of our local sides

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in Division One. Wayne Oldaker’s men are currently fifth, with recent good wins away at Thrapston Town and at home against Rushden & Higham United. The Tractor boys also got a good win (0-2) in the Leicestershire cup away at Cottesmore Amateurs. They did crash out of the Hinchingbrooke Cup though at the Quarter Final stage, losing 1-0 away at Yaxley. Oakham’s recent good form has coincided with the return of hotshot Lewis Leckie, who has boosted morale also by turning down moves to two higher league sides. A top-four finish in their first season in the UCL would be a cracking achievement for Oakham whose new ground and facilities would welcome possible promotion to the UCL Premier Division. Blackstones meanwhile are having a much better season than they’ve had in the last few years. They’re currently 12th in the league, and are looking more than capable of finishing in the top half of the table after a few years of fighting relegation. Under the leadership of Phil Gadsby, Stones are much improved this

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Action from the match between Ketton and Deeping Rangers Reserves

season, although recent form has been mixed, with two heavy defeats in their last two games, going down 4-1 away at Thrapston and 0-3 at home to Lutterworth Athletic. I would still predict Stones to finish in the top half of the table but they need to recruit new players after a spate of recent injuries. In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Ketton FC lead our local sides with a very respectable position of eighth in the table after last season’s promotion. The boys from Pit Lane are under the guidance of their third manager of the season, with Rob Ward the current incumbent after previous spells this season of Darren Edey and Andy Gray. The new man got his first

win at home recently with a cracking 3-0 win at home against Deeping Rangers Reserves in the league. Uppingham Town, meanwhile, are fourth from bottom of the league and haven’t had the best of seasons, but their recent form has been superb. They’ve won their last three games in the league, including a superb 6-1 away win at Crowland Town, with Rob Montgomery scoring two goals. In the first division, the Stamford Lions are top of the league with their sights firmly on the title and promotion up to the Premier Division. James Sheehan’s side have lost only one league game this season and showed their credentials with a superb 5-1 home win

recently against Sutton Bridge who also fancied themselves as possible promotion candidates. In the same division, the Stamford Bels are struggling meanwhile. Paul Downes’ side have a very poor defensive record, having conceded 41 goals in 15 games – 11 of those goals came in their last two league games, with a 7-0 home loss against Wisbech Town and 4-1 away at Netherton United. The pressure is on Downes, but he’s said he’s not considering resigning, citing a four-year plan to turn things round. The Bels’ reserve side, meanwhile, are still flying high towards the top of Division 4, in spite of a recent loss away at Tydd St Mary.

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Winter league action GREETHAM VALLEY At Greetham Valley the third round of the Seniors Winter League was played on the Lakes course in surprisingly gentle conditions given the recent amount of rain and high winds. Playing a stableford format over 10 rounds with the best five aggregate scores to count towards the overall winner, competition was intense with 14 players scoring 36 points or better. In third place was seniors’ captain Peter Wood with 38 points in a round which would have been so much better had he not put his ball out of bounds on the second hole which cost him a zero score. Second place went to John Taylor, also with 38 points, who likewise would have liked to keep his ball on the fairway on the eighth hole and avoid a zero score. The overall winner was Ian Kelham, playing off 18, who scored on all holes to accumulate 39 points. Ian’s round was a model of consistency with only two double bogeys but a pocketful of par scores. After three rounds of play no clear leader is yet to emerge on cumulative scores but there are a number of

players who have all chalked up consistent mid to high 30 scores so competition will be intense over the next rounds. In the Gents Winter Order of Merit the field is also closely bunched after 3 completed rounds with only sixteen points separating the top 10 players. Leading the field is Carl Causbrook with 76 points but he is closely followed by Jim Wheeler on 74 and Neil Crees on 70. With two more rounds to follow before the halfway stage at the New Year there are opportunities to be had for all entrants. NORTH LUFFENHAM In the Sunday medal for November there was a three-way tie for top spot in division 1, all scoring 35 points, John Fursdon (off 8) won on count back from Peter Barker (off 9), with Richard Young in third off 12. In division 2, Dale Pettitt led the way with 33 points (off 22), followed by Paul Barefoot (off 28) scoring 31 and beating Bill Murray (off 22) on countback. In the midweek medal, every player found scoring difficult, except winner Graham Ball with a magnificent 38 points (off 15). Trailing

behind in second place was Graham Dexter (off 21) with 31 points and captain Bob Matthew further back on 29 points (off 20) in third place. The annual ‘Turkey Trot’ was held at the end of November in relatively calm conditions. Leading the field was Bob Dixon scoring an excellent 36 points, closely followed by John Fursdon with 35 points, Dale Roberts in third scoring 34 points and Keith Bellamy in fourth place on 33. The Sunday medal for December was played in blustery conditions, but the course was in good shape though very wet, making scoring difficult. The division 1 winner was Keith Bellamy (off 16) scoring 33 points, with Dan Freckingham (off 12) in second on 30, beating Jim Ashworth (off 14) on count back. New member this year, Mark Luxford, was the only one who really tamed the course scoring an excellent 39 points, resulting in a two shot reduction in his handicap to 22. Dale Roberts on 35 points came second and also saw his handicap reduced by one shot to 24, with Fred Baxter (off 21) in third with 31 points.

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Boxing Day hunt finds a new home in Oakham BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


he Cottesmore has suffered yet another blow, with Oakham Town Council deciding that the Boxing Day meet could not be staged at its usual spot at Cutts Close – this ancient tradition and great presentational event has been stopped with no warning, no reason and no explanation. Although this did make the national news, I wouldn’t panic too much. After a bit of research, it was found that the Cottesmore used to meet in the Market Square, so even though the final meeting place is yet to be confirmed, I have been assured that the Cottesmore will meet in Oakham and they will hunt on Boxing Day. The headquarters of JumpCross, although now held at centres all around the country, is at Grange Farm, Wittering. They have just had their last event in the calendar which sees the end of their leagues for the year, and are always highly anticipated as there are great prizes on the line. The Junior Group 3 winner was Charlotte Mair on Delphi Liath. The Senior Group 3 was Lisa Reid on Abbey, with Vanessa Lowther on Just Guest House coming in second place.

Vanessa has had a great season as she also took the Group 2 league and she has got herself a new youngster for next season, so she’ll definitely be one to look out for in 2016. JumpCross will start again on March 12 for training and the first competition is the following weekend on March 19. Also Grange Farm is hosting Wittering Academy’s Eventer Trial series with their new sponsors NagsEssentials of Narborough, which means they have some amazing prizes too for the league winners in each section. The first is being held on December 20 with three classes at 75, 85, and 1m, with training sessions the day before. Two competitions will follow on January 24 and February 21. Please look on my FaceBook page ‘Julia Dungworth Eventing’ for more updates and information. Local rider Lisa Freckingham has moved her horses to Somerby to the Gemini Stud, where she will continue to event over the 2016 season. Lisa has been riding for the PreciSpark team and finished an impressive second in the Dubarry Young Event horse final. She’ll be one to watch out for next year. Victoria Jones from South Luffenham has

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been taking the dressage world by storm. Victoria has been scooping up wins wherever she goes, and in fact she’s had so many in the last couple of months it’s difficult to keep track of them. On November 24 she won two advanced mediums at Arena UK on Wiepke to finish her qualification for the Winter Regionals. Victoria competed in juniors and Young Riders a few years ago now, but unfortunately suffered with ill health and then had two children, but she’s back now, fighting fit and here to stay. The point to point season has just started and these are your local dates...  Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chase, February 7, Horseheath, Cambs  Cottesmore, February 28, Garthorpe, Leics  Belvoir, March 19, Garthorpe, Leics  Woodland Pytchley, March 26, Dingley, Northants  Quorn, April 23, Garthorpe, Leics  Fernie, May 1, Dingley, Nothants  Melton Hunt Club, May 8, Garthorpe, Leics  Fitzwilliam, March 14, Dingley, Northants.

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // January 2016  

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 // January 2016  

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