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You r sport a n d l i f e st y l e m ag a zi n e




CHALLENGE www.theACTIVEmag.com

ISSUE 67 // JANUARY 2018

What are you going to achieve this year?

Alistair Brownlee / Fish Tank Sushi / Trapp’d / great things to do this month Adventure Holidays / Langham Lamb / Wreake Valley & Braunston walks


12 stores at: Rutland | Peterborough | Grafham | Pitsford | Fineshade | Cambridge | Nottingham

In Store | Online | Click & Collect ACTIVE_MAGAZINE ADVERT_JANUARY_2017_05-12-17.indd 1

www.rutlandcycling.com | 0330 555 0080 07/12/2017 11:50:21

Editor’s Letter I’M NOT BIG ON SELF-IMPROVEMENT, principally because as I get older just about maintaining the status quo seems to require enough effort as it is. But in 2018, things are going to change. We have declared 2018 the year of Challenge Active. We have asked around the office and have challenged everyone to take up a challenge, and then to put it in print. The beauty of this is the spectre of public humiliation and opprobrium if not enough energy or commitment is put into making it happen. The key to a good challenge, though, is to target something you really want to do, and the benefits of succeeding are plainly obvious to you personally. There’s no point giving yourself a goal which seems either pointless at the end, or one where the work required to get there isn’t remotely enjoyable to you. Then it just becomes a slog, and something you are saddled with rather than inspired by. You can find out some of our plans on page 55. But it’s not all about us: we want to hear from you too. We are very lucky at Active that we have one of the most engaged and committed readerships who love getting out there and doing things, so in the February issue we’ll feature the best of your challenges for the year, and then follow them in subsequent issues. So if you’re toying with trying something, please email me at steve@theactivemag.com, and we’ll select some to feature on a regular basis, hopefully helping to provide you with some inspiration and motivation over the coming months. Happy New year, and enjoy the issue. Steve

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2018. 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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Great things to do for all the family

Updates on our intrepid fund-raisers



17 HOW TO...






26-29 TRAVEL



76-82 ROUND-UP

Arts Fresco’s Nina Boteva-Thomas Make a delicious Stilton soup

Braunston and the Wreake Valley The modern madness of sport diets

Mackerel and chickpea couscous Fish Tank Sushi in Oakham

The latest kit to get you active Five tips to get you on your bike

Top 10 adventure holidays

Successes from our local schools

Glam up to beat the January blues


We meet triathlete Alistair Brownlee

46-53 GET FIT IN 2018

Tips for a healthy and happy year


Ways to get your gut healthy


Avicenna Clinic advice on groin injuries


Ashleigh Clinic tips on strains


More advice from Dr Nigel Hume


4 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 ///


How clubs in the area are faring


Contact us


tel: 01780 782328 email: thepapermills@gmail.com facebook: @thepapermills

Monday - Sunday 11.30am till late Lunch served from 12-2.30pm Mon - Sat Dinner served from 6-9pm

Come and get cosy in The Paper Mills this January! Warm those winter blues by our roaring fire in the newly refurbished bar or join us for a delicious evening meal in our restaurant! Offering fresh, locally sourced food in a traditional, family owned, country pub. Taking bookings for January now!

Our friendly team look forward to welcoming you to this traditional English pub. Good selection of lager and ales. Popular wine list sourced locally. Food is freshly cooked to order.

Locally sourced ingredients from within 30 miles of the area. We maintain close relationships with the local farms, bakeries, butchers and breweries.

6 course menu for New Year’s Eve. Serving between 7 and 9pm, deposit required

Dogs allowed in bar area or garden 40/50 seater restaurant paper mill.indd 1

13/12/2017 14:21

A STATEMENT OF STYLE. MINI CLUBMAN FOR THE STYLE VISIONARIES OF THIS WORLD. The MINI Clubman is evidently bold, distinctive and designed to cause a stir. Loaded with innovative and practical features to enhance your driving experience,it includes satellite navigation as standard, a unique 6-door configuration and a spacious, flexible boot space. Who’s in? Search: sycamoremini.co.uk or call us on 01733 707074 to find out more and book a test drive†. Sycamore (Peterborough) Ltd. Papyrus Road, Werrington Peterborough PE4 5HW www.sycamoremini.co.uk MINI FINANCIAL SERVICES Official Fuel Economy Figures for the MINI Cooper Clubman: Urban 46.3 mpg (6.1 l/100km). Extra Urban 62.8 mpg (4.5 l/100km). Combined 55.4 mpg (5.1 l/100km). CO2 Emissions 121 g/km. Figures are obtained in a standardised test cycle. They are intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. Ts&Cs apply. †Test drive subject to status and availability.

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13/07/2017 11:24

Activelife Release your fashion beast ● Cook some fabulous food ● Plan your holiday Get those vocal chords working ● Meet Nina Boteva-Thomas, the lady behind Market Harborough’s Arts Fresco extravaganza Edited by Mary Bremner

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GROW YOUR OWN FOOD Stanford Hall near Lutterworth is launching a community supported agricultural scheme on seven acres of its grounds. This scheme is a new way of producing and distributing the food that we eat. By connecting the community with the people and place that grow their food, it is hoped that greater sustainability and trust can be formed. By offering the land Stanford Hall is supporting the scheme and offering the expertise of a grower and giving the wider community the chance to become involved. To find out more there are two educational garden days being run on January 8 and 15. www.stanfordhallcsa.co.uk

CULTURE IN LEICESTER De Montfort Hall in Leicester has put tickets on sale for a number of well-known artists who will be performing there this year. Vocalist Caro Emerald, who is well known on the festival circuit (including performing at Glastonbury), will be appearing in October. And legendary duo Chas and Dave, who have been together for more than 45 years, will be at De Montfort on October 28. Comedian Kevin Bridges, a regular on panel shows such as Have I Got News For You, is doing two nights on November 30 and December 1. www.demontforthall.co.uk


LANGHAM LAMB Langham Lamb is a family-run business that opened in December. As the name suggests, it sells lamb – grass fed and finished Ryeland lamb – that have been bred, born and reared on the family farm in Langham. This traditional old breed of sheep offers a fantastic flavour and tastes ‘just like lamb used to taste’. The flock has taken seven years to build up, and have all been home bred and reared. As the lambs are only fed on grass, the fat in the meat offers health benefits to the consumer. The sheep are slaughtered a couple of miles from the farm and then butchered in the newly opened butchery on the farm. All meat is hung for at least seven days. Sales are online, or you can collect from the farm, and at the moment you can buy either a whole or half lamb jointed to your requirements. They also offer sausages and burgers and hopefully will offer smaller boxes in the near future. As the service is so personalised your order will take about 10 days to prepare, this is because you can specify joint sizes, boned or not boned, particular joints. Langham Lamb offers traditionally reared, delicious meat and you know exactly what you are getting and where it is from. This really is ‘buying local’. www.langhamlamb.co.uk

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LEARN TO SING FOR FREE WITH HEREWARD HARMONY There are many men who would love to sing. Most never get around to it, don’t have the opportunity, or may be too self-conscious to give it a go. The simple fact is that just about everyone can sing, so what could be better than a free course that will help you discover your voice? Hereward Harmony is a well-established male barbershop close harmony chorus. To celebrate its 30th anniversary it is running a learn to sing course at the Orton Wistow Community Centre in Peterborough. The course will be held each Thursday from 7.30pm to 10pm from February 8 to March 15.

You do not have to read music and will sing a part alongside at least one of their experienced singers. You will receive sheet music and teaching tracks that will allow you to practice during the week. They are a friendly and sociable chorus and can promise that you will enjoy the experience. It doesn’t matter whether you are new to singing or can already sing but are looking for a different style of music. Progress will be rapid and you may be surprised at how sweet the sound of a four-part harmony is. Book your place by ringing Alan Lund on 07850 007057. www.herewardharmony.com

SPACE NK COMES TO STAMFORD Recently opened in Stamford’s High Street is luxury beauty retailer Space NK. This is its 59th shop and it has had an eye on Stamford for some time, waiting for suitable premises. It proved so popular that there were queues of people waiting for it to open its doors on December 8. It offers a huge range of beauty and skincare products, make-up and candles and also has men’s products as well. Staff are qualified make-up artists so can offer excellent free advice, including makeovers, and know about all the skincare products and make-up brands on offer. The shop is large, much larger than its nearest branch in Cambridge, so is able to offer a huge range. Pop in and have a look, you’ll get a warm welcome and won’t leave empty handed. www.spacenk.com

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Back for 2018 is Men United In Song, a men’s choir that raises money for Prostate Cancer UK. Launching in February, the project will sign up at least 40 local men with a range of singing experience, including those with none, to rehearse over 10 weeks culminating in a charity concert at the Cresset Theatre in Peterborough on April 14. But it’s not just about singing, it’s about having fun, making new friends and enjoying numerous trips to the pub after rehearsals. The benefits of singing have been proven to lift the mood and help with mental and physical health – ideal for keeping those winter blues at bay. There are introduction sessions at the Key Theatre in Peterborough on February 1, 2 and 3; rehearsals will then be on Thursday evenings. Remember they are not looking for experienced singers, just men who want to enjoy the buzz of singing together. To find out more either contact Jo on 01733 425194 or email info@ peterboroughmvchoir.org.uk.

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15/12/2016 17:27

Launde Abbey

Open daily for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea

Cyclists and walkers very welcome Why not start your walk or ride at Launde then reward yourself with a delicious lunch at the end? Visit our website for maps and routes at www.laundeabbey.org.uk Launde Abbey, East Norton, Leicestershire LE7 9XB T: 01572 717254 I E: info@launde.org.uk Charity No: 1140918

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14/12/2017 16:31


WHAT’S ON There’s lots going on in your area this month, why not try some of these?

Cambridge ● An antiques fair is taking place on February 11 at St Ives in Cambridgeshire. About 40 dealers will be offering affordable quality antiques and vintage pieces. www.stivesantiquesfair.co.uk

Leicester ● Comedian John Bishop is extending his sell-out UK tour, Winging It, and will be performing at the Leicester Arena on February 2. www.list.co.uk

Market Harborough ● Gasping by Ben Elton is being performed at Harborough Theatre from January 16-20. Described as a ‘poisonously funny morality play,’ Ben Elton takes a satirical look at the world of big business. www.harboroughtheatre.com

Peterborough ● Join in and help the rangers at Ferry Meadows by attending the family and friends volunteering day on January 14. By offering two hours of your day you will be helping the rangers and learning at the same time, as all tools and training are provided. www.neneparktrust.org.uk

Stamford ● The pantomime Rapunzel – A Tangled Tale, is being shown at Stamford Arts Centre from January 4-7. www.stamfordartscentre.com ● Stamford Shakespeare Company is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The box office is now open for ticket sales for three performances starting in June – The Merchant of Venice, The School for Scandal and The Merry Wives of Windsor. www.stamfordshakespeare.co.uk

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Your dog’s holiday starts here We provide home from home short break/ holiday care for your dog with our dog loving sitters in their homes. Everything is arranged, overseen and supported by us with your dog being suitably matched to ensure they have a great holiday too!

BarkingMad.uk.com | 01780 322008 kerry.wells@barkingmad.uk.com

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A day in the life of

NINA BOTEVA-THOMAS Arts Fresco organising committee vice-chair


he first time I came to Arts Fresco was in 2008, when my kids were still in pushchairs. We were living in a nearby village at the time and came to Market Harborough for the day. I’d never seen anything like it before – I was amazed and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Arts Fresco is a street theatre festival which for a day transforms Market Harborough into a giant theatrical set where professional street performers from all over the world entertain the audience for free. With the acts, the performers and the atmosphere, it is like being in Covent Garden! That year the spectacular act were gigantic fire ants – as in two storeys high – walking through the streets to the amazement of young and old. George Kitson and his fellow members of Harborough Theatre started the festival 15 years ago. The original idea was that people came across the street acts as they went about their business, shopping or visiting town. The event became very popular; it grew with more sponsors and more people visiting and gradually turned into a destination event. I got involved with the organising of Arts Fresco in 2013 when two local people, Ian Joule and Martin Hill, set up a meeting in the theatre to find out if people wanted to revive Arts Fresco after a two-year break. I read about it in the paper, told my husband, we went along to the meeting and here I am four years later with four festivals behind me. I love Harborough and I love the festival; it is quirky, arty, exhilarating and fun. Organising Arts Fresco has its challenges, especially when you try to juggle family, work and other commitments. But when the day comes and I see the town full of people with huge smiles on their faces, I feel genuinely happy. I didn’t have any festival experience before this; I work as a programme manager by trade. I have two wonderful twins, Zara and Mikey, age 11 with my husband Mike, who is also involved in Arts Fresco. I’m a school governor, I’m a member of the Welland Valley Rotary Club and yes, it can get busy sometimes! GATHERING LOCAL SUPPORT What is so special about the festival is that all the people on the committee are professionals in their own areas and are doing Arts Fresco for free using their strengths and skills. I do the fund-raising, as well as a lot of the promotional work and networking. I work with local

businesses. In all the years we’ve been running, we’ve got lots of support from Harborough District Council, Harborough Building Society, the Angel Hotel, The Bowden’s Charity, the Chamber of Trade, Rotary Club and the Lions Club. We’ve been working closely with the local community and various businesses, including Duncan Murray Wines and Gildings, to mention a few. The committee has been together for almost five years, and we’ve established ourselves in our various roles. It works really well. There is a saying: ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’, and we’re a perfect example of how people from different backgrounds can pull an event together and become friends because of a love for an idea and a love for the town. When talking about the organisation of Arts Fresco, I do hesitate to use the word ‘volunteers’ because it sounds like it isn’t professional, but we work to a high standard especially since we’ve started networking with other festivals and organisations, such as the Hull Freedom Festival and the Independent Street Arts Network. They’re always surprised when we say we’re not paid for our work. It’s a huge operation that takes most of the year to plan. Last year we had 22 performers from the UK and abroad and at least 11,000 people came. We have an Arts Fresco Audience Choice Award, where people vote for their favourite act. The Street Comedy is a firm favourite. My aim is for it to become a UK recognised award for street theatre performance because there isn’t one right now. We also run an Arts Fresco photo competition where people take photos that best represent the spirit of the day. There are loads of things going on, like the children’s village. We’re constantly working to improve and last year we introduced accessibility areas for disabled audience members to watch the static performances. We are considering how we can make the festival more interesting and better and move it up to the next step. The challenge is to find the time and the resources to develop it further; Arts Fresco is one of the hallmarks of Market Harborough and a pure work of love. We’re aimed at a wide audience, with the idea of bringing the unexpected, to challenge perceptions and inspire. We want to build a day where people are baffled, amused and properly entertained.

‘Arts Fresco is one of the hallmarks of Market Harborough and a pure work of love’


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Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm

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12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN




The ideal way to use up leftover Stilton after Christmas, this soup is delicious and nutritious. The perfect antidote to cold weather. Ingredients 1 large potato, diced 1 onion, diced 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock 250g Stilton (or more if you have it) Salt and pepper 1 tbsp olive oil 25g butter

Method Melt the butter along with the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sweat gently until soft. Add the potato and cook for a further five minutes, then add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Take off heat, allow to cool slightly then liquidise until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, then return to a minimum heat and add the crumbled Stilton. If you have more than 250g of cheese, just add it as well. The cheese will melt as you stir it in. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

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Clear Start

Puppy Pack Clear Ridge Veterinary practice aims to help your new puppy settle in as quickly as possible and to help with this very important time in their lives. Take a look at the details of our ‘Clear Start Puppy Pack’. This starter pack caters for all of your puppies needs and includes vaccinations, health assessment, flea treatment, worming treatment, microchip, nurse appointments, information folder and free insurance*. We also offer great discounts off future consults and treatments.

The Clear Start Package covers all of your young puppy’s essentials for three months: • First full course of standard primary vaccinations - We offer Lepto 2 vaccinations. We recommend puppies are vaccinated from 8 weeks of age. The course consists of 2 vaccinations given either 2-4 weeks apart. Your puppy will then be vaccinated against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo virus and Para-influenza virus and Leptospirosis. Yearly booster vaccinations will then be recommended to maintain immunity. • A general health check - You will have a 20 minute consultation with one of our vets which will enable you to discuss any questions or problems you may be experiencing.

• Nurse consultations - As your puppy grows and develops into a young dog, you are sure to have questions. Our nurses will be there to help and advise you along the way. They can discuss: Diet, weight, suitable play/ toys, behaviour & training tips, exercise requirements, preventative dental care and neutering. • • • •

One worming treatment One flea treatment Microchip 10% off subsequent flea & worming treatment for 1yr • 10% off 1st annual booster vaccination (at 12 months) • 10% off your next consultation • 4 weeks free insurance*

All for just £50.00. For more information or to discuss any part in more detail, please call and speak to any of the Clear Ridge Team at our Stamford practice: Tel 01780 764333 or Orton Wistow Tel: 01733 230000


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Commonly found on the Lincolnshire and Norfolk coastlines, the female grey seal breeds in the autumn congregating at pupping sites called rookeries. Born towards the end of the year, when sea and land temperatures drop dramatically, the grey seal pup has to be able to withstand the elements from day one. The adult seal’s defence against cold conditions is a layer of blubber, up to 12cm thick in places, that reduces heat loss and shields vital organs. The female’s milk is extremely rich (60% fat) so the pup rapidly gains weight and develops its own blubber. Within a month it is independent and fishing for itself. Numbers have doubled since the 1960s and grey seals are now a common sight when visiting the coast. During the winter grey seals can be found on rocks and islands and close to the shoreline, occasionally coming on to the beach to rest.

THE RAVEN After an absence of 99 years, the harsh ‘kronk’ of the raven was heard once again over the Rutland countryside in 2004. The raven, the largest of the crow family, had been expanding eastwards across the Midlands for many years before it became established locally. With their black plumage, ravens are easily overlooked as they closely resemble the more common carrion crow or rook. They are usually betrayed by their call. When seen fully, the long narrow wings and diamond shaped tail are good field marks, along with the massive bill and beard of loose throat feathers. Ravens are early nesters, often incubating eggs by the end of February. The nest is a bulky structure usually built in a tall conifer, on a quarry face or in an industrial structure. At least five such sites are known in Rutland. Their diet is very varied and includes carrion, small mammals, fledgling birds, eggs and molluscs. Ravens now occur throughout Rutland, especially in the west, where flocks of up to 50 have been seen. Terry Hatcham

Gorse A spiny evergreen shrub with bright yellow flowers, gorse is usually found on banks, heaths and cliffs. It flowers virtually all year and is a welcome sight to brighten the scenery in January. Gorse thrives on poor growing areas and little moisture. It is a valuable plant for wildlife as it provides cover for nesting birds. Gorse flowers are edible and can be eaten in salads or made into a tea.

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2 mackerel 50g raisins 25g pine nuts 1 onion Oil for frying 75g couscous Olive oil Salt and pepper 2 lemons 15g chervil 30g parsley 1 garlic clove 200g chard 1 tin chickpeas

● Rinse the gutted mackerel then put to one side. Put a kettle of water on to boil. Put the raisins in a mug of cold water to plump up a little. ● Put the pine nuts in a dry frying pan and heat them gently, stirring now and then until lightly golden and toasted. Don’t let them burn. Transfer to a plate and keep to one side. ● Peel and finely dice the onion. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the frying pan. Fry the onion on a low heat for 10 minutes. Stir now and then to stop it catching; add a splash of water if need be. ● Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pour over enough boiled water to cover the couscous by 1cm. Leave to soak. Fill another large saucepan with the rest of the boiled water and pop on to the hob to heat up for the chard (1). ● Finely zest and juice a lemon (2). Keep the zest and juice separate. Finely chop the chervil and parsley leaves. ● Peel and finely chop one garlic clove. Stir it into the softened onion. Cook for a further two minutes, then remove from heat.

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

● Wash the chard well. Strip the leaves off any large, tough stalks. Boil the leaves until wilted (this takes about a minute), then drain, rinse under cold water to cool then squeeze to remove excess moisture. Finely chop the leaves. ● Drain the raisins and chickpeas. Fluff the couscous up with a fork then add the onion, chickpeas, chard, pine nuts, raisins, chopped herbs, half the lemon zest and juice, a glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Mix everything together. Add more lemon zest, juice, oil or seasoning to taste. ● Heat your grill to a high heat. Make three to four diagonal slashes in the fish skin. Rub the fish with oil and season, inside and out. Lay them directly on a grill rack to catch any juices (3). ● Grill the fish for about four or five minutes on each side, turning carefully to preserve the skin, until just cooked through. Serve the mackerel with the couscous and wedges of lemon.




Tip: Make sure the skin of the fish is properly dry before you cook it. The flesh of the fish should easily pull away from the bone when it is cooked.

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

included, generous portion sizes, and three delicious meals per box they offer great value for money. No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to

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Fish Tank Sushi, Oakham New converts to sushi, Kate and Amy enjoy a lunchtime feast. By Kate Maxim


o I have to admit from the outset, I am pretty much a sushi novice having only eaten it twice before, and that was a pre-prepared selection from a supermarket. Having eaten lunch at Fish Tank Sushi in Oakham, I just can’t put them in the same culinary bracket. Fish Tank opened just off Church Street in the late summer and has built up a loyal and passionate following already. Owner and chef Sam Letteri knew his food would be popular among young professionals and students used to travelling and sampling food from all over the world, but he’s also seen a steady influx of a slightly older clientele – spending their grey pound – who seem to love this novel addition to the usual choice of high street restaurant. Also it’s completely geared up for families. It’s a bright airy place with plenty of room for pushchairs; only the second baby-changing facility in the town and a menu full of exciting, healthy yet good value-for-money choices for hungry little mouths. And that’s without pointing out the many vegetarian and vegan choices for the growing army of non-meat eaters out there. The menu also lists the ingredients that may cause food allergies in each dish so all bases are covered. It’s called Fish Tank Sushi because of the huge windows looking out to Baker’s Yard, but customers don’t need to worry there’s only raw fish on the menu: there’s plenty of meat and vegetables too. The fish I ate tasted so fresh

you’d think it had come off the boat that morning. Sam has an arrangement with a Japanese fish supplier who generally supplies restaurants in London; a Japanese bakery and meat supplier so he knows he’s getting the best ingredients for his kitchen. Then everything is made fresh to order. In a way, there’s a downside to that as you can’t pick one tuna nigiri here, and one chilli and kimchi maki there. You get three or six pieces from each creation, so it’s good to share, and that’s the beauty of it as eating sushi is a very sociable affair. You order a selection of dishes, slates are brought to the table in all their colourful and beautifully presented glory and everyone can pile in. If you don’t have time to spare, you can order food to take-away. And the specials at the weekend sound delicious. It could be prime wagyu beef or otoro tuna, washed down with a wine from local supplier Bat and Bottle, followed by the new Fish Tank Sushi Blend coffee made from beans roasted by Two Chimps Coffee in Oakham. At every level Sam and his wife Romy are keen to use local suppliers and specialists, to help promote the growth of a micro economy. And this care and attention to detail shows in every aspect of their business. For lunch Amy and I chose spicy tuna maki (£5 for three/£8 for six); crispy duck rolls (£6 for three/£10 for six) and avocado and vegetable duck rolls (£5 for three/£8 for six). Each slate had a wasabi garnish and young, tender

Above Sushi is a healthy meal option and the restaurant is attracting a broad range of customers in Oakham. The restaurant also offers a range of vegetarian and vegan meals

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Below The dishes served are a delight on the eyes as well as the tastebuds

ginger strips coloured a beautiful pale pink as it’s pickled with Japanese radishes. It may be a cliché to say we eat with our eyes but, in this case, we certainly did. Every mouthful of sticky white rice; chunks of fresh asparagus, avocado and cucumber and spicy soft pink tuna was a delight to look at and even better to taste. And then we added a crispy prawn katsu curry with rice and pickles (£10) and chicken yakitori skewers with shredded vegetables and sesame dip (£6). The textures and tastes just kept on coming and it’s a supremely healthy choice too. The Japanese have one of the highest levels of life expectancy in the world and their diet is a major factor in that. Fish is high in protein and oily fish, in particular, full of Omega-3 fatty acids, and the brightly coloured vegetables and seaweed (nori) are packed full of vitamins and minerals. Yuzu is a citrus fruit with three times more vitamin C than a lemon. We could have opted for the yuzu salmon parcels but we were stuffed. We couldn’t manage a pudding either, but we were intrigued by the black sesame seed ice cream and the red bean and walnut dorayaki. Guess we’ll have to go back again. Fish Tank Sushi, Bakers Yard, Oakham, LE15 6AA. 01572 720077. www.fishtanksushi.com



Chef Sam Letteri’s recommendations

Tips from Fish Tank Sushi Drink lots of water: the body often mistakes hunger for thirst. Also, if you do not drink enough, this can often result in fatigue. The extreme sense of tiredness is directly related to your body not having sufficient fluid to help your brain and body function. ● Have a healthy snack in between meals. Snacking and consuming extra food might sound counter-intuitive but eating a fibre rich, healthy, nutritious snack will ensure you don’t reach the ravenous, starving stage in-between meals where you’ll gobble up anything in sight! ● Moderation is key. It takes courage and willpower to resist the lure of wine and dessert in the evening, but one of the most powerful ways of changing your diet and lifestyle for good is having the awareness to live (and eat) in moderation. ●

Our dorayaki (traditional Japanese filled pancakes) are a joy, particularly the matcha green tea and custard one. Enjoy with a scoop of our gluten free chocolate and miso ice cream for pure indulgence! Fish Tank’s new vegan soy bean ramen noodle soup with tofu and wild mushrooms is a delicious, nourishing and filling dish that contains no added nonsense or guilt! As for our ‘signature dish’ and what we are most proud of, being the only venue in Rutland that sells it, is a platter of impeccably fresh sashimi grade fish. Japanese chefs consider sashimi the finest fish in formal dining and Fish Tank takes great care in forever changing the daily selection.

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Activelife TRAVEL


If adventure holidays are your thing, here are the 10 countries that should be on your bucket list for 2018 January... the month when thoughts turn to holidays and sunnier climates. If you are seeking destination inspiration, here are 10 countries that have been tipped to top our bucket lists for those keen on adventure holidays. The list ranges from countries on the rebound to places which are becoming more accessible including Sri Lanka, Russia, Columbia, Kyrgyzstan, Portugal, Morocco, Hawaii, Bolivia and Oman. With such an array of unusual destinations, it’s apparent our travel tastes and holiday habits have come a long way – both attitudinally and in terms of the actual distance travelled by the average trip taker – since the first package holidays to the Costa Brava in the 1950s and ’60s. In fact, last year 45 million holidays abroad were enjoyed by UK residents – almost double that of 10 years ago –with places such as India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Peru being some of the most popular 2017 adventure destinations, with adventure travel appealing to a broad range of age groups. And despite our ‘Brits abroad’ reputation, research shows an overwhelming majority say they try to enhance their exploration of new places by immersing themselves in local cultures and traditions such as eating at locally-

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owned restaurants, shopping for locally produced souvenirs and observing local customs and traditions. The research by G Adventures also shows that while climate and cost remain important considerations for our travel choices, a third consider broadening of the mind and authenticity as key elements of their wanderlust, with economic impact on the local economy and environmental factors also playing a part.

TOP DESTINATIONS FOR 2018 SRI LANKA The ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’ is having its moment in the sun. Sri Lanka aims to double the number of tourists to five million by 2020. G Adventures is driving some of these numbers, with a tripling of global demand for tours booked to Sri Lanka in the past year. Its new seven-day Sri Lanka sailing trip, priced from £1,099 per person, embarks in February and can also be combined with a land-based itinerary to create a 14-day Sri Lanka ‘land and sea getaway’, priced from £1,999pp. Sri Lanka 12 days from £2149 including free home pick up – www.my-destinations.co.uk

RUSSIA The world’s largest country will be firmly in the spotlight in 2018 as it plays host to the FIFA World Cup. The Russian embassy has rolled out the welcome mat, waiving visa fees to fans attending. Simon Reeve recently travelled across Russia with the BBC, and beyond the football it’s a culturally rich destination, with G Adventures experiencing 57% growth in the past two years. New for 2018 from G Adventures is the Backroads of Russia tour, priced from £1,549pp for a 12-day trip from St Petersburg to Moscow, with departures from May 2018. Russian River Cruises from £1249 including free home pick up – www.my-destinations.co.uk

KYRGYZSTAN Kyrgyzstan is benefitting from investment in tourism by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The focus is on immersive culinary experiences and active trips, with more than 2,500km of newly marked treks being developed throughout the country. 2018 will also see Kyrgyzstan host 40 nations in the biennial World Nomad Games, a championship of traditional nomadic sports and culture, with competitions in eagle hunting, stick wrestling and horseback battles – even Genghis Khan would have been impressed. A nine-day trip Best of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan trip is priced from £749pp – www.gadventures.co.uk

COLOMBIA A high-profile 12-year peace treaty, a Nobel Peace Prize for its president, and national investments in marketing the country overseas have all combined to boost Colombia’s reputation as a great place to visit. Tourism has rocketed by more than 250% in the past 10 years, outpacing tourism to all other South American countries. Early 2018 sees G Advenutres launch a new exit route with the indigenous Wiwa people on the relatively unknown Lost City trail. Priced from £499pp for a seven-day Lost City Trekking trip – www.gadventures.co.uk

BOLIVIA With its new US$150 million, 119-mile Tupiza-AtochaUyuni highway set to open in mid-2018, connecting the eastern and western ranges of the Bolivian Andes, travel to and from the famed salt flats will become more accessible. G Adventures is bringing its social enterprise model to an 11-day Bolivia Discovery tour, which features guest stays at the Jukil Community salt lodge in Santiago de Agencha, and iving experiences to learn about indigenous culture. Bolivia Discovery tour priced from £999pp – www.gadventures.co.uk

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HAWAII The Hawaii Tourism Authority is granting US$3.5m to local community tourism and conservation groups in 2018 to promote the Pacific Island state’s cultural and natural heritage, and to set the islands up as leaders in sustainable tourism. For the first time, G Adventures will offer travellers the opportunity to explore Maui, Oahu and Kauai in 2018. These new trips are ideal for people looking for more adventurous, cultural experiences beyond coach tours and resorts. An eight day Hawaii Adventure – Oahu & Kauai trip is priced from £2,199pp – www.gadventures.co.uk

PORTUGAL This year’s hosts of Eurovision have had a record-breaking year in 2017 as travellers seek affordable European destinations with fewer crowds, quality food and wine, and perceived security. To welcome the increase in demand, G Adventures has added a seven-day itinerary dedicated to the sights, sounds and tastes of Portugal. The Highlights of Portugal trip is priced from £799pp for departures from April 2018 – www.gadventures.co.uk MOROCCO Foreign tourist arrivals to Morocco rose more than 13% during the first eight months of 2017 versus the same period in 2016, bringing eight million visitors. Travellers with G Adventures are contributing strongly to this growth. The opening of the new Yves Saint Laurent Museum in October this year has also helped publicity for Marrakech, one of the country’s main hubs. A 15-day Highlights of Morocco trip is priced from £949pp – www.gadventures.co.uk

EGYPT G Adventures believes 2018 is still set to be a popular year for travel to Egypt despite recent terrorist attacks. The new Grand Egyptian Museum will open in late 2018 as the world’s largest archaeological museum. The museum is expected to attract a lot of attention, which will hopefully contribute to Egypt’s tourism comeback. Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped by 170% in the first half of 2017, while G Adventures’ bookings grew 24%. See it now, before the crowds return. An eight day Best of Egypt trip is priced from £799pp, and new for 2018 is a 22–day Best of Egypt, Jordan and Israel itinerary priced from £4,399pp – www.gadventures.co.uk OMAN Rounding out the top 10 destinations for adventure in 2018 is the ‘Switzerland’ of the Middle East. G Adventures added Oman to its line-up for 2018 after seeing an increase in demand for trips to the Middle East with 36% growth in bookings to the region between 2016-2017. Eight-day Highlights of Oman tour is priced from £1,499pp with departures starting in September – www.gadventures.co.uk

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THE FINISHING TOUCHES January can be a miserable month, but not if you opt for leopard print clothing Edited by Mary Bremner

RELEASE THE BEAST January is not the best of months for many... Christmas is over, New Year’s resolutions have often fallen by the wayside, and the nights are long and days are short. You feel like pulling the duvet over your head and hibernating for the month. But there is a bright spot to the gloom – January sales are in full swing and the best bargain to bag this month is something in leopard print. It’s the pattern of the season and will certainly brighten up a dull winter’s day. It’s a bold fashion statement and you will certainly stand out from the crowd, but it’s surprisingly versatile. You can go the whole hog on glamour and invest in a coat – a full length sweeping leopard print coat oozes sophistication, or a faux fur short one can make you look slightly edgy, particularly if you pair it with biker boots (think Kate Moss). If a coat is slightly too over the top for you invest in some boots or a handbag, both will go with everything. If you wear a lot of black a leopard print scarf is the perfect antidote to lift your outfit. But be careful, leopard prints can look cheap so avoid clingy, stretchy and short. It’s best to stick to the classic colour so it won’t date. It might sound a bit of a misnomer that leopard print is a safe choice, but it is as it’s such a classic and never goes out of fashion. Go on – release the beast…

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And finally...

According to Mel Rose, the beautician at Good Hair Days salon in Uppingham, our skin health can be dramatically affected by our environment, particularly central heating, and our fluctuating hormones. So it was very useful to hear that my skin type was, in fact, more dry than combination – something I’d been told a few weeks previously during a spa day – before I opened the new toner for combination skin I’d just bought. So that would shortly be going back to the shop! A skin mapping consultation is the first step during a full Dermologica facial and it enables the beautician to have a good look at the state of your skin before settling down to work for the 90-minute treatment. Unfortunately, I only had time for the hour-long micro-zone treatment but it was wonderful to stop rushing around, lie down on the heated bed and let Mel’s bubbly personality wash over me as she worked wonders on my skin. This is her favourite treatment and she loves the brand. Dermologica products were developed to promote skin health rather than just beauty and are free of irritants and artificial products that can cause problems to skin. They’re also designed for all skin types including

Bring out the beast

people with acne or slight scarring and Mel sees noticeable improvements in most of her clients, as they significantly boost circulation, particularly for those who have regular facials. Every time I have a facial I promise myself I’ll schedule them into my diary more often but, sadly, those good intentions often fall by the wayside. Mel agrees that time constraints and affordability are the most common barriers to regular facials but here you can have the best of both worlds because you get the high-end Dermologica products and, as the salon offers four facials for the price of three when you book and pay for them in a monthly cycle, they immediately become more affordable. I particularly benefitted from the multi-vitamin power mask and the microfoliant that was kind to my increasingly sensitive skin, and I walked out with glowing, plumped up skin ready for the weekend. A full Dermologica facial (90 minutes) costs £47; a micro-zone treatment costs £35 and an express facial £25 from Good Hair Days Uppingham. 01572 823370. www.goodhairdaysuppingham.co.uk

Marlow ankle boots £117 www.boden.co.uk

Smith and Canova Kelly style bag £79 www.jdwilliams.co.uk

Leopard print coat £89 www.marksandspencer.com

Hallhuber leopard print winter scarf £39 www.houseoffraser.co.uk

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Why wait for treatment? If you are tired of waiting for treatment, or can not get a particular treatment in your local area, Fitzwilliam Hospital can offer you the choice to be treated at your convenience. Contact us today on 01733 842 304 and our friendly Hospital Service Advisor will help you choose your Consultant and book an appointment for you.


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Heads, shoulders, knees and toes – and everything in between! Our new Active Body section gives you all the information you need to keep you in prime working order Edited by Mary Bremner

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as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. But it is thought that fatigue, depression, allergies, skin issues, mood swings and joint pain are all related too. What’s involved? A gut cleanse is essentially eating a clean diet of unprocessed, unrefined gut-friendly foods as well as some supplements. For more serious health complaints, commit to a four-to six-week cleanse; for general wellness opt for two weeks.

GOOD GUT HEALTH Get your insides detoxed, fit and firing after the festive excesses With a diet of heavy, rich food and possibly the odd glass or two over the festive period, now is a good time to ensure that everything inside is in great working order. The gut is the basis of our health – it’s the first line of defence against pathogens, and is the place where we digest and absorb vital nutrients. Poor gut health is now thought to be linked to a compromised immune system and poor mood regulation, and plays a role in arthritis and obesity too. So a gut cleanse is a necessary step in repairing a poor gut, replacing foods that aggravate and compromise gastrointestinal health with gut-friendly foods that do three things: ‘heal and seal’ the gastrointestinal tract, provide probiotics for healthy gut bacteria, and provide fibre for bowel health. All animals and plants appear to establish symbiotic relationships with microorganisms, and, within us, the trillions of good bacteria in our gut can be thought of as a forgotten, additional organ – metabolising, detoxifying and activating many crucial components of our diet. The health-promoting effects of our good bacteria include boosting our immune system, improving digestion and absorption, making vitamins, inhibiting the growth of potential pathogens, and keeping us from feeling bloated. Should bad bacteria take roost, however, they can produce carcinogens, putrefy protein in our gut, produce toxins, mess up our bowel function, and cause infections. The symbionts – the good bacteria that live in symbiosis with us – are largely nourished by fruits, vegetables, grains and

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beans. Pathobionts, the disease-causing bacteria that may disrupt our microbial balance, instead appear to be fed by meat, dairy, eggs, junk food and fast food. Indeed, what we eat determines what kind of bacterial growth we foster in our gut, which can increase or decrease our risk of some of our leading killer diseases. Who needs a gut cleanse? Gut cleansing isn’t just for those with tummy issues. There are many health complaints that may benefit from a gut cleanse including the usual suspects such

How often should you cleanse? Generally you should commit to a cleanse once or twice a year, under the care of a health professional. After holidays is also a good time to cleanse as alcohol and treat foods wreak havoc on gut bacteria and gut lining. Post-cleanse you should continue to include gut-friendly foods and nutrients as a part of your regular diet. The best foods for your gut ● Apple cider vinegar (this stimulates digestion) ● Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, coconut kefir yogurt, kombucha, kimchi (these foods promote a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut) ● Turmeric powder (this has great antiinflammatory properties) ● Fresh ginger (to aid in digestion and nausea) ● Psyllium husk (a great source of fibre for bowel function) ● Cabbage, kale, broccoli and other brassica vegetables (these enhance detoxification and are a good source of fibre).

Gut cleanse cheat sheet Foods to include ● All fresh seasonal vegetables, especially brassica vegetables ● All fresh seasonal fruit ● All fresh sprouts ● All fresh herbs and spices, especially ginger and tumeric ● Unsweetened almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk ● Fermented foods ● Apple cider vinegar ● Gluten free grains (rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet) ● Chicken, eggs, fish, turkey (all organic where possible) ● Avocado, extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts and seeds (including psyllium husk), nut butters, coconut oil ● Herbal tea and green tea

Foods to avoid ● Dairy (natural unflavoured yogurt is ok) ● Gluten (wheat bread, couscous, pasta, rye, spelt) ● Legumes (such as beans, peanuts) ● Deli meats, red meat, bacon, sausages ● Processed/refined foods (breakfast cereal, canned foods, chips, biscuits, pastries, muffins) ● Sugar, sweets, milk chocolate, jams, fruit spreads ● Chips, burgers, fried foods ● Alcohol, coffee, soft drinks ● Margarine, commercial dressings, sauces, artificial colours, flavours, additives, flavour enhancers and hydrogenated fats

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Exclusive to the Rutland area. Fish Tank serves a delicious and eclectic mix of fish, meat, vegetarian and vegan sushi as well as exciting pan Asian cuisine. Relaxed ambiance with friendly staff on hand to welcome you to enjoy an exceptional sense Of good value and an exciting alternative to the dining experience. Fully licensed. Reservations available.

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GROIN, GOING, GONE Hany Elmadbouh, founder and senior consultant at Peterborough’s private healthcare facility Avicenna Clinic, talks about groin sprain – one of the most common sport-related muscle injuries Ice hockey has become a very popular sport over the past few years, as seen by the increased number of players in recreational leagues and the expansion of the National Hockey League into the east of England. Because of the growing number of hockey players, more doctors, physiotherapists and athletic trainers are becoming involved in the prevention and rehabilitation of hockey injuries. One injury that hockey fans and sports medicine professionals are becoming all too familiar with is the groin pull – otherwise known as ‘the hockey groin’. But it’s an injury that affects not only hockey players but also footballers, martial art enthusiasts and plenty of other athletes at both amateur and professional levels. A groin pull or strain specifically affects the adductor muscles. These muscles are located on the inside of the upper thigh and help to bring the legs together. The

injury usually occurs when sprinting or changing direction quickly or during rapid movements of the leg against resistance, such as kicking a ball, or because of over-stretching of the muscles such as in martial arts high kicks. Adductor injury is particularly common in hockey players. The skating motion in hockey involves rapid concentric and eccentric contractions of the adductors. During a quick skating start, vertical reaction forces can range from 1.5 to 2.5 times the player’s body weight, while lateral forces can reach as much as 80lb. Once a hockey player adds demanding skills such as stick handling, puck shooting and repetitive twisting and turning movements at high speeds, increased forces are placed on the hip musculature, and the athlete is predisposed to noncontact injuries such as adductor strains. Should you sustain an adductor strain, it is important to seek out medical attention at the first sign or symptom of a strain.

A ‘pulling’ or tearing sensation is often associated with a specific movement, followed by pain and sometimes swelling. What usually happens to the player who sustains an adductor strain is that they will continue to practice or play, electing not to tell anyone of the injury in hopes of it going away on its own. When the injury does not subside, and remains both unevaluated and untreated, however, continued playing can lead to muscle spasms, decreased the range of motion, muscle fatigue and overload, which could further impair the player’s function while also increasing the severity of the injury. The injured player will usually seek medical attention when their pain level has increased to the point at which they can no longer play effectively or comfortably, or when they are confronted by their coach. By that time, the player has altered his movement style to avoid the painful range of motion. This compensation may result in the strain remaining limited to the adductors but causing additional insult to other muscles The chronic long-standing groin pain usually has several contributing factors, including but not limited to the initial adductor strain, compensatory muscle imbalances, secondary muscle strains and lumbo-pelvic dysfunction. In this case the diagnosis of adductors tear may be difficult to differentiate from other causes of groin pain such as sport hernia, disorders of the hip joint or inflammation of the pubic bones. By making an early diagnosis of the injury and successfully completing and maintaining an overall exercise program, injured players of all skill levels will be able to return to the game and stay in it, doing what they enjoy most – playing.

Avicenna Clinic has a range of specialist consultants, treatment rooms for nonsurgical procedures and superior in-house imaging facilities – including state-of-theart MRI, ultra-sound and X-ray scanning equipment. They can assess and diagnose all sport injuries quickly and deliver comprehensive treatment plans tailored to you. To book a consultation or for more information on treating your sport injuries and available services, contact Avicenna Clinic on 0330 202 0597.

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Get back to what you love doing! Get access to our team of sports injury and pain management specialists now. Same day consultation, diagnostics, and treatment planning. #WhyWait?

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11 Hope’s Yard, Uppingham, Rutland. LE15 9QQ Phone: 01572 823370 www.goodhairdaysuppingham.co.uk

An independent salon offering our clients a professional and friendly service. Advanced colouring and cutting techniques using the latest products and 34 years of dedicated experience. In Uppingham we also offer a range of beauty treatments including Dermalogica Facials and Gelish nails.

Or visit our luxurious sister salon with ample parking at 1 Alexandra Road, Stamford, PE9 1QR. Phone: 01780 238280 www.goodhairdaysstamford.co.uk

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TAKE THE STRAIN OFF THE SPRAIN It’s vital to properly treat sprained ankles to ensure no recurrence or further problems, says Craig Mortimer, consultant musculoskeletal physiotherapist at the Ashleigh Clinic

the lower limb and your back mechanically, quite often, when fractures occur and after a period of time in plaster or a brace. You may find that you have limited movement experiencing pain in many areas. This may be attributed to the ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues in that area also being damaged. Contractures occur and limit joint movement. It is important to restore this movement again to allow normal function and return to activity. Common signs • Pain and swelling and heat in the tissues around the ankle • Very tender on palpation • Sometimes bruising • Loss of function • Limited ability to stand or weight bear depending on severity. It is important to discount fractures or dislocation of the joint. Sometimes this can be obvious but if in doubt always consult your physiotherapist or doctor where you may be referred for an X-ray.

The ankle joint is an amazing example of the human body’s functional inter-play between the bones, joints and ligamentous structures, with their combined action guiding an efficient movement pattern during activity. The hinge type joint is stabilised when pulling your toes up by the sculptured fit of the bones and as you point your foot down during a ‘pushing’ action when walking or running.

The soft tissues and ligaments take over to allow more flexibility to help change of direction such as when we play sport. Ligament injuries of the ankle are perhaps one of the most common of sports injuries we see at Ashleigh Clinic as a result. Commonly known as the ‘sprained ankle’, inadequate treatment and rehabilitation can not only lead to reduced function of the joint, but also increase the incidence of re-injury as well as affecting other joints of

Treatment Initial management of the injury on absence of the fracture is RICE: • Rest • Ice • Compression • Elevation. If weight bearing is too painful, then elbow crutches can be used. Seek advice and treatment at your earliest opportunity to help speed up the recovery process and a progressive introduction of specific exercise programs related to your needs and activity helps a speedier return to activity. If you return to activity and start experiencing further pain and swelling this may indicate the joint is still limited in normal function by the damaged soft tissues that surround it. Please remember: ‘Everything is function’. A full recovery in joint motion and soft tissue integrity reduces the incidence of recurrence and improves quality and ability to perform well.

If you would like to discuss any issues that you may have then call Ashleigh Clinic on 0116 2707948 to discuss any injury prevention or rehabilitation issues.

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THE DRUGS CAN WORK Assessing your mental health is the first step – the next is choosing a course of action, says Dr Nigel Hume Patients with anxiety and low mood have often suffered in silence before seeking help. In my last article, we discussed options that are available to manage early symptoms of impaired mental health. By the time a patient seeks the input of a health care professional, they have often struggled for several months with increasing mood disturbance. There are several tools that patients can use to help diagnose depression and anxiety. These are helpful to the patient, family and doctors, and allow patients to come to terms with a condition and allow the doctor some objective information as to the severity of the impairment. The two commonly used assessment tools are PHQ9 and the HADs form, these can be obtained online, and produce a score of severity. The questions cover a range of domains, including behaviour, sleep, appetite, fear, agitation, mood, motivation and self-belief. Patients who score their condition on these questionnaires often find it useful and allow the doctor and patient to make an informed decision about the need for medication. When self-help and lifestyle modification has failed patients often benefit from a trial of an antidepressant medication. At this

point it is important to gauge the degree of low mood, and the level of coexistent anxiety. Some patients have a high level of anxiety and the feeling of impending doom, but the level of depression may be modest. At the other extreme patients may have low motivation, low esteem, feel flat and generally low in mood. It can be helpful to gauge the balance of these symptoms, as this helps to inform the decision on the most appropriate medication. Currently primary care tends to use predominantly a class of drug called SSRIs. These are drugs that act on the serotonin system in the brain. An imbalance of serotonin in the brain is thought to contribute to depression, anxiety, poor mood, sexual dysfunction, OCD and stress. These drugs work well for moderate and higher levels of depression and to some extent in anxiety. Paradoxically in some patient they can increase anxiety and cause agitation. The choice of medication within this group is vitally important. Sadly these drugs do not help with an initial sleep disturbance that is common in depression, and can also cause rashes, gastro-intestinal disturbance, night sweats and sexual

dysfunction in men and women. Dreams may become more vivid, but taking the medication in the morning may help. SSRIs are associated with an increased risk of bleeding especially in patients who are taking NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac) or Aspirin. Medication within this class includes Citalopram, Paroxetine, Fluoxetine and Sertraline. These medications are not considered addictive, but some patients will notice a withdrawal reaction especially when coming off drugs in this class that are deemed longer acting such as Paroxtine. Once the decision to start medication has been made a GP or consultant would normally review the condition every few weeks to check on progress and monitor for side effects. If there is a failure to improve on one specific medication in this class then it is reasonable to try an alternative within the same group especially if side effects have been problematic. It is reasonable to consider changing medication if there has been no symptomatic improvement after eight weeks. There is little doubt that these drugs are effective if chosen wisely, and there has been a dramatic increase in prescribing in this class over the last ten years. Sadly these drugs do not help every patient and more ‘old fashioned drugs’ such as Tricyclic anti-depressant medication may be indicated, especially if there is a predominance of anxiety, agitation and insomnia. In more complex cases, especially where the commonly prescribed medications have failed, a GP may request input from a psychiatrist and drugs with more than one mechanism of action may be indicated such as venlafaxine and Duloxetine. The NHS has produced some information on this topic – www.nhs.uk/conditions/ ssri-antidepressants/ It is important to note that modern medications are effective and generally are not as sedating as those used prior to 1990. My belief is that patients benefit from some form of counselling or mindfulness along with the potential improvements provided by medication. Dr Nigel Hume Private GP The Broad Street Practice Stamford

/// JA N UA R Y 2018 41

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14/12/2017 11:58

Feature /// Alistair Brownlee

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TRI HARD Chris Meadows catches up with Alistair Brownlee after a tough year for the two-time Olympic gold medal winner Photography: Getty images


inning gold medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics has turned Alistair Brownlee into a household name. He’s the only athlete to have won two Olympic titles in the event, so you might think he is an obvious choice for selection for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. But this year hasn’t been plain sailing, and his inclusion was in doubt. He’s been ruled out of competition since the summer having needed an operation on his hip. An operation, he was quite keen to point out, to hopefully allow him to continue to do what he loves for many years to come. Fortunately his pedigree in the sport warrants him a place, but he’s fully aware of the training he’ll need to put in to achieve the high standards that are expected of him, and that he expects of himself. His support isn’t just UK based either – he has friends in high places in the Middle East too. Alistair currently forms part of Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa’s Bahrain Endurance 13 team, an innovative concept to help promote a culture of health and wellness and endurance sporting excellence across the Gulf region and beyond. Recently back from Bahrain, thr 29-year old is now back into training mode ahead of the games. His brother Jonny, Vicky Holland, Tom Bishop, Sophie Coldwell and Jess Learmonth complete the squad. The Commonwealth Games will also see para-triathlon featured for the first time and having been selected, Lizzie Tench is ‘hugely motivated’ for the games too.

into it now. Setbacks like this are never perfect, but I’ve got a bit of time now and I’m going to make the best of it I can. Active: What have you been doing with your time since the operation? AB: It’s allowed me to focus on my swimming a lot, which has been good, and to be honest I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym strengthening the hip to make it more robust as I return to training. Active: So what does 2018 have in store? AB: The main goal for the first part of the season is the Commonwealth Games in early April. It’s only a few months away so training now is going to be based on that. There are a couple of other races I’d like to do beforehand to help me prepare, as I can’t just turn up at the Commonwealth Games and it be the first race I’ve done in the best part of a year.

Below Alistair, centre, celebrates taking gold in the triathlon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, flanked by brother Jonathan (silver) and South Africa’s bronze medalist Richard Murray

Active: You’ve had a major setback with the operation this year. How’s that affecting preparations for the Commonwealth Games? AB: I did have a bit of a setback and it would have been fantastic to have a year where I could have enjoyed just doing different disciplines and such, it’s not been great. I had the operation four months ago, which means I’ve not trained properly for four months, but I’m getting back

/// JA N UA RY 2018 4 3

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Feature /// Alistair Brownlee

‘Getting into triathlons is much easier than people think. Find a local event, enter it and set it as your goal’ Active: Those looking at getting into the sport may see three disciplines and the costs involved as prohibitive. How would you suggest starting in triathlon? AB: Getting into triathlons is much easier than people think. You can do any distance, it doesn’t have to be the super long stuff you hear mad people doing. It can be a super sprint or sprint distance. A super sprint is only a 300m swim, a 10km bike and two to three kilometer run, so it’s really accessible for anyone. I’d also say you don’t need to buy that much kit if you opt for your local pool triathlon. That way you won’t need a wetsuit and you can pretty much do it on any old bike. You will need a pair of running shoes and a suit though, but it can just be a swimming suit. Find a local event, enter it and set it as your goal.

BROWNLEE CENTRE We caught up with Alistair on his home soil at the University of Leeds’ Brownlee Centre, named after the brothers. It forms part of the Bodington Playing Fields, and the centre had a £5m investment in 2017 to create world-class sports facilities. The Brownlee Centre is the UK’s first purposebuilt triathlon training centre and sits alongside a new one-mile Bodington cycle circuit, one of the longest in the country.

Active: Is it best to train on your own or join a club? AB: If you want to, find a local club and people you can train with, as that’s fantastic for learning stuff and for motivation, the social side is great. Then get on with it. There are no other barriers. You don’t need a coach initially and you don’t need loads of equipment. You just need to get out there and train consistently. Active: And for those that have already caught the triathlon bug... any general tips you could offer? AB: It’s an endurance sport, and as boring as this tip is, it is all about consistency. It’s not about doing loads of training one week and not much the next. It’s about being consistent, week in, week out. If you can do six sessions one week, try and do six sessions every week, but make sure it fits in around your life and doesn’t get too much after four or five weeks time. Organise to do it with other people too, whether that’s through a club or a group of friends. Then finally, I’d say enjoy it.

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Feature /// Get fit

HEALTH AND FITNESS 2018 Need some exercise and eating inspiration for this year? Try out these new trends and innovations to be fitter and healthier than ever

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Feature /// Get fit


If you’ve been screaming your way through a year of high intensity interval training (HIIT), perhaps it’s time to switch to the low version. Low intensity interval training (LIIT) will still burn the same calories as a solid HIIT session, but will take an extra 30-40 minutes to complete, and can be as easy as taking a walk. While you still need to incorporate intervals, the intensity isn’t as brutal. So the idea is you can still do the heart rate-raising first element of a HIIT, but the next step is a slower burn: a low-intensity cardio workout of 30 to 60 minutes spent at the fat-burning sweet spot of roughly 60% of maximal heart-rate effort. Experts say keeping that steady pace for an extended period of time can kick-start weight loss, increase blood flow and promote oxygen delivery within cells. Walking is ideal, but not just any old walking: researchers have measured the health benefits of varying walking speeds and found that 8% of energy used in walking is due to the energy our bodies require to simply stop and start. Changing the direction we walk, turning around or walking in a curve can burn 20% more than walking in a straight line. If you’re keen to swap your next HIIT with LIIT, head out for a 40-minute walk and keep your body guessing by changing direction and speed every five minutes or so.

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Self-limiting movement is designed to push your limits and strengthen you from the inside out. The basis of this fitness trend is to complete a combination of exercises which are almost impossible without correct form, such as

single-leg deadlift, goblet lunge and pull-ups. The aim of this style of training is to improve muscle imbalances and poor posture by improving the foundations of good skeletal and muscular health — grip strength, balance and correct posture. In self-limiting exercise, a person cannot just pop on the headphones and walk or run on the treadmill, fingering the playlist or watching the news on a well-placed monitor. Self-limiting exercise demands engagement. Barefoot running is the clearest example of self-limiting movement. Take your shoes off and jump on to the treadmill. Increase the speed to a comfortable running speed. The first thing you’ll notice is that you no longer heel strike – you will quickly adopt a more efficient forefoot strike. In order to maintain this, your cadence will naturally increase as you take shorter strides. All of this positions your foot contact underneath your pelvis (centre of balance) and creates a more upright posture. Take time to notice these changes. Another would be the farmer’s walk. Grab two kettle bells (12kg for women and 16kg for men). Walk up and down the sprint track. This exercise quickly adjusts your posture drawing on thoracic and hip extension, and reflexive core activation – failure to do either of these will pull you off balance. That’s if your grip doesn’t go first!


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Feature /// Get fit VIRTUAL FITNESS

This might cost a few quid to get going, but it is the future: virtual reality fitness. Tech firms are now offering treadmills that connect to a game and allow you to run, pivot, jump and crouch while wearing trainers that interact with sensors on the treadmill. So you can run after baddies, hide from zombies or race sports stars, and the result is you can keep very precise measures on steps and calories and track how hard your body is working during the game. The introduction of VR fitness also means you can go for scenic runs, travel the world and compete in global events without ever leaving your living room.


An often-quoted reason many people give up on exercise is they don’t enjoy it and many gyms, especially in the United States, have recognised this and are introducing new ‘child-like’ play sessions. Classes concentrate on playing games, running about and being far more relaxed, burning calories and getting fit while playing tag or British bulldog.


Sometimes with the busy lives most people have, it’s just not possible to get to the gym or sports hall. That’s where an increasing trend for live streaming sessions have taken hold. Essentially, you sign up to sessions, set up your laptop or tablet in your living room and follow the group and trainer online.

5 0 JA N UA RY 2018 ///

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Feature /// Get fit

HEALTHY EATING THE FAST LANE As more and more of a focus is placed on metabolism, it makes sense that consumers and health-conscious individuals will try to find ways to turn theirs in their own favour. Intermittent fasting, which involves cycling between fasting and nonfasting to encourage weight loss and maintenance, is already being promoted by a number of fitness celebrities and experts. Of course, make sure to consult with your doctor and nutritionist before attempting any dramatic dietary change.



DNA testing for peak fitness performance, from heritage tracking to allergy tests, is becoming more popular as people look for every edge they can get to be fitter. You can now sign up to apps, send off saliva samples and the results will tell you what foods work for you (and what don’t), and also give health and wellness insights about the way you’re built so that you can tailor your lifestyle to fit your biology, and change your fitness routine to get better results.


Boxing was all the rage a couple of years ago and is still a superb workout, but it’s now moved on and gone digital. There are now online workout programmes, usually a series of videos of choreographed sequences, which you can do at home so you never have an excuse to miss a workout, each running through shadow-boxing rounds, alternating with high-intensity intervals, often culminating in a ‘knockout round’ at the end.


Functional fitness exercises are designed to train and develop your muscles to make it easier and safer to perform everyday activities, such as carrying groceries or playing a game of basketball with your kids, by training your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. Using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness

exercises also emphasise core stability. For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair or pick up low objects. By training your muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks, you prepare your body to perform well in a variety of common situations. Functional fitness exercises can be done at home or at the gym. Gyms may offer functional fitness classes or incorporate functional fitness into boot camps or other types of classes. Exercise tools, such as fitness balls, kettle bells and weights, are often used in functional fitness workouts. Functional exercises tend to use multiple joints and numerous muscles. Instead of only moving the elbows, for example, a functional exercise might involve the elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles. This type of training, properly applied, can make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life. Functional exercise training may be especially beneficial as part of a comprehensive program for older adults to improve balance, agility and muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls.

Fermented foods are deliciously trendy right now, and that’s great news for our gut health. Think fermented foods beyond yogurt, such as kimchi, sauerkraut and fermented pickled vegetables. Restaurants like fermented foods because customers order them, but also because they keep well by nature, making them easy to keep in stock.

POWER TO SUPERFOOD POWDERS Maca, matcha, spirulina, turmeric and cacao are probably the most well-known superfood powders out there, and you’ll find these in granola bars, smoothies or sold as-is on the shelf. Turmeric is an easy superfood powder to get you started, because it’s available at any food shop or supermarket.


Stretching before and after a workout has been considered useful for some time now, but foam rollers, which offer more deep-tissue massage action, have become popular in the last few years. These tools, which come in smooth or raised-bump cylinders, improve circulation and relieve muscle tension.

/// JA N UA RY 2018 5 3

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This quintessentially English village pub has undergone a complete transformation, with three months of hard work creating an interior that is best described as snug country pub with an industrial twist – think bare brick and luxurious tweed, enhanced with thoroughly modern metal accents such as the spider web light fitting that illuminates the main bar. The downstairs area has been extended to include a welcoming sitting room completed with cosy armchairs and a piano – the perfect place to while away

an evening with a good bottle of wine. Ralph has put his wine knowledge to good use, creating a comprehensive drinks list including over thirty wines, as well as a selection of local ales, lager and spirits that ensures there is something for every taste. Upstairs, luxury awaits in the form of three individually themed guest bedrooms; Pheasant, Stag and Hare. Each has its own unique, elegant look which is coordinated down to the last mug and towel, and complemented by extra little luxuries such as Moulton Brown

toiletries. One thing that the rooms all have in common are stunning views over the picturesque Rutland village of Seaton, with the village church and rolling hills beyond creating a perfect panorama to wake up to in the morning. However, the main attraction is the new fine dining menu, masterminded by chef Omar Palazzolo. After seventeen years spent working in some of London’s best kitchens, including Nobu and Tom’s Kitchen, Omar has big plans for his own menu at the George and Dragon. He describes his take on food as ‘purist’, with

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a focus on simple flavours and quality, locally-sourced ingredients which offer both great taste and nutrition for the body and soul! Expect a creative, ever-changing selection of dishes with influences from many of the cuisines that Omar loves, from modern Italian to Japanese. The George and Dragon is undoubtedly the perfect country destination for anyone looking for a great meal, a warm reception and a good drink. Ralph looks forward to welcoming you through the door!

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14/12/2017 16:31

Feature /// Challenges

#TEAMACTIVE2018 CHALLENGES What are you going start, improve or do this year? We’d love to hear. At Active, we are challenging you to take up something for this year, and then tell us about it every month. It can be a fitness, wellness, sporting or self-improvement goal – we’d love to hear about your challenge. We have decided to lead by example and have set ourselves individual challenges for 2018. Next month, we’ll see exactly how plans have progressed and follow all progress, or lack of it, through the year.

HALVE MY HANDICAP Steve Moody, Editor “Having started playing golf regularly in the past 18 months, it’s time to properly train to get down to a good handicap. I suggested the Mark Jackson, the pro at Burghley Park Golf Club, that I could halve my handicap from its present 13, he looked at me like I was mad. He has seen my swing after all. “But why not? More practice, more coaching and improve a little in every area, and I should be able to shave a few shots off so that by the time the Winter League comes around at the end of 2018, I’m regularly shooting the sorts of scores a 6.5 (seven for competitions) handicap would.”

TRY A TRIATHLON Chris Meadows, Publisher “I play various sports and regularly walk, but I wouldn’t say I was fit. And my fellow teammates would most likely back up that statement. My ability to complete challenges tends to derive more from sheer stubbornness to succeed than physical fitness. “Having met Alistair Brownlee recently, who is a world apart in terms of fitness, I was inspired to give triathlons a go. Well one at least. I’m not a keen runner, I don’t own a road bike and my swimming technique is not in the slightest bit akin to a fish but I’ve done all at some point. Putting the three disciplines together, however, is going to be a real challenge both for my body and my determination. “With Rutland Water on our doorstep I’ve decided to aim for the Dambuster Triathlon in June, run by Pacesetter Events. It’s a 1.5km swim, 42km bike and 10km run. I’m not entirely sure what I’ve let myself in for. What I have done though is drafted in some experts to help me along the way. Thankfully Rutland Cycling know more than a thing or two about bikes and I’m hoping Mary Hardwick from Inspire2Tri can help keep me afloat!“

IMPROVE MY BATTING AVERAGE BY 10 Dean Cornish, Football correspondent “My batting average, for the past five seasons has been, on average, 21. I reckon I have some strengths that are very useful as a batsman: decent hand-eye co-ordination, determination and stubbornness. “The result is that I can score runs, and do get the occasional big score. But my technique sometimes lets me down. A programme of training from cricket coach Tom Flowers, focussing on areas he thinks I need to improve will hopefully see me become a lot more consistent, and result in higher scores and therefore a higher average.” Dean will have an assessment from Tom, and be given goals ready for the first nets of the season. Then he’ll be telling us how he gets on through the summer months – lots more fifties, less ducks, let’s hope…

CLIMBING BACK TO THE TOP OF THE EVENTING LADDER Julia Dungworth, Equestrian correspondent “I’ve realised I’ve been slipping down the eventing ladder and not through choice: one or two quiet years has turned into three or four mainly due to having a very bad fall and then a beautiful daughter arrived who constantly craves my attention. Now she’s a little bit older and one of my new horses, Gortmore Ballyneety, has all the credentials to make a top horse. “I bought him late spring last year, and he had done nothing but a bit of hunting, but he is very keen and clever, although rough round the edges. I am planning to have him running competitively at Intermediate by late spring and taking me back up to the top of the ladder there after. That’s four BE Eventing levels in under a year, which would be pretty good going!”

REDUCE MY WAISTLINE AND LOSE WEIGHT Will Hetherington, Walking and country sports correspondent “I turned 40 in 2017 and had my resulting NHS health check. I weighed in at 113kg (fully clothed and shoed) with a waistline of 41 inches. The nurse said my BMI of 34 was not a fair reflection because of my physique but a slightly high cholesterol level and those reasonably high measurements were enough to aim for a change in diet and exercise. “I’d like to get the waistline down to 38

inches and get below 100kg (fully clothed and shoed as I was for the original weigh in). I was given a very simple chart of what to eat and what not to eat to reduce the cholesterol and drop some weight so I know what to do on that front. “In terms of exercise I do plenty of brisk walking but not much else so I will be looking to play more squash, do some more two and three mile runs and there are some longer term expeditions on the horizon so I will have to be careful what impact they have.”

LOSE AT LEAST HALF A STONE AND COMPLETE A PARK RUN Kate Maxim, Editorial Assistant “So I’m nearly ten years older than Will and also have slightly raised cholesterol. However, unlike Will I am not declaring my weight here! I’ve been attending Andy Chambers’ Fighting Fit classes in Gretton and for the first time have actually enjoyed exercise as the team games and sparring are great fun, and the conditioning exercises so varied. “I’m hoping to build on these this year to tone up, lose at least half a stone and get fit enough to start running – something I’ve never done before through choice. Ultimately I’d like to run, not walk, a Park Run in less than 35 minutes. Now that doesn’t sound too hard….”

SHAVE TEN MINUTES OFF MY HALF MARATHON TIME Amy Roberts, Advertising Sales “With the challenge of having two young children, finding time to exercise has been difficult. Last year I set some goals and completed my first half marathon – the Perkins Great Eastern Run. It was really tough but my running husband Paul Philips got me to the finishing line bang on 2hrs 30mins which was very satisfying. So I’ve decided to push myself and try and shave a bit of time off attempting the Rutland half marathon in 2hr 20mins in April with Paul. “It’s going to be a real challenge as my husband kindly points out I’m not a runner, but I learnt a lot from the Perkins run. If I manage to complete this in the time, I then hope to go on to complete the Perkins half marathon in October in an even faster time.” Only time will tell… I’d best get training!


Email the editor (steve@theactivemag.com) before January 20 within the subject line ‘Team Active Challenge 18’ with what you are planning to do and when, and then we’ll give you some dates when we’ll need short monthly updates, and we will feature you in the magazine, and hopefully give you some much needed inspiration to keep going! Good luck.

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Feature /// Adventure

IF IT WASN’T FOR THOSE PESKY KIDS... The Active team come over all Scooby Doo in a bid to break out of jail and steal the jewels in cowboy country at Trapp’d Peterborough. By Steve Moody As a kid I was a fan of Scooby Doo (still am, if I’m honest) and the way Mystery Inc would solve puzzles and defeat the villain through cunning observations and clever use of clues. So entering the mysterious world of Trapp’d in Peterborough with the Active team seemed a bit like one of those classic cartoons. As we were walked blindfolded into a room, and heard the clang of what seemed to be a cell door locking, I did wonder who out of our gang was going to be more like the brainbox Velma, and who were likely to turn out as the Scooby and Shaggy? God forbid anyone should reveal themselves as Scrappy-Doo incarnate, but I had my suspicions who might… So this is a review of the brilliant new “The Outlaws of Red Rock’ room they have at Trapp’d except, of course, I am loathe to tell you anything for fear I might leave a trail of clues that could make it easier for you to succeed. Instead, I shall quote the website, and its publicly available information: “After a vain attempt to break into the bank and steal the towns infamous prized jewel you now find yourself ‘trapp’d’ in the sheriff’s jail cell and sentenced to be hanged at dawn. With mortality drawing nearer by the minute, you and your fellow criminals decide to give the robbery one last shot. “The sheriff has been called out to an ambush shooting just outside the town so now is your chance! Find a way to break out of the jail and make your way to the bank. The last train out of town leaves in 60 minutes and you want to make sure you’re on it – with the jewel in hand!” What I can tell you is that the rooms are themed beautifully, with lots of inspired attention to detail (again, I’m not going to ruin the experience by telling you what they are – you’ll have to find out for yourselves!), and you can find yourself feeling very smug at solving some of the many riddle very quickly, only then to be utterly stuck up blind alleys or stood, utterly bemused, at how to progress next, waiting for that lightbulb moment. The key, as you might expect, is to work as a team and communicate with each other very clearly. I would suggest that we started well in this way, but then split off into random little groups trying various things on our own. Quite what a psychologist would say about the Active team dynamic and our behaviour, I dread to think. But you’ve only got an hour, and what starts out fairly relaxed becomes more and more frantic as you try various approaches and they either fail, or succeed. It is however, very good fun indeed, and following a hunch which then proves to unlock a new level is very satisfying. I think we did pretty well – and didn’t fall out too much –but unfortunately missed out on escaping by just one pesky minute (those last few minutes as the clock ticked down were very hectic), and looking back it was obvious not how the puzzles were solved as such, but more how we should have worked together to solve them.

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There’s another set of rooms at Trappd’d, called Madam Curio’s Cirque Delirium, and I reckon that a few of the puzzle solving lessons and teamwork strategies we learned in The Outlaws of Red Rock would stand us in very good stead for that. So I would thoroughly recommend this as a great way to spend an hour, either with a group of friends, or a more enjoyable work or club team-bonding activity. And who proved to be the Velma, and who the Scooby-Doo? Well, all I’ll say is Chris the publisher certainly qualified for one of those roles. But he won’t need to wear any glasses for it… www.trappd.com

PETERBOROUGH BRANCH The Peterborough Greyhound Stadium • Fengate • Peterborough • PE1 5BP t: 01733 590078 e: peterborough@trappd.com Leicester branch coming soon Prices dependent on number of players and time: peak price for team of six is £89

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Feature /// Challenges

ICE, DESERT, JUNGLE Meet Simon Davies, who has decided to run the three hardest ultra-marathons in the world, all in one year I’m going to attempt a grand slam of the three hardest ultra-marathons in the world this year – The Ice Ultra, Desert Ultra and Jungle Ultra – to raise as much money as I can for Rainbows, a children’s hospice where terminally ill children from across the East Midlands can find care, support and love. The wonderful team of people at the hospice help relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, support parents and siblings through their bereavement and care for children until the very end. I live in Leicestershire with my wife and 18-month old son and run a design and advertising agency called Makalu just outside Leicester. I would describe myself as a dedicated, but average 41-year old runner. I’ve run a few marathons and completed the Marathon des Sables in 2014, but I want to push myself even further and am taking on this challenge to raise money for Rainbows as I have seen first-hand the difference they can make. I’ve completely funded the challenge myself so every penny raised will go directly to those who need it most. During the three races I’ll be running nearly

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18 marathons over 15 days on three continents, some days running more than 60 miles. Each race is self-sufficient so I’ll need to carry my entire kit including food, clothing, equipment and survival gear. I’ll be racing across snow, ice, sand, jungle trails and river crossings – in temperatures ranging from -30˚ to +40˚. It’s fair to say I’m apprehensive about what’s to come. The first leg of the journey – the Ice Ultra – is a 150-mile self-sufficient race inside the Arctic Circle. The event is split into five stages running across snow fields, mountain tundras, ice forests and frozen lakes. It kicks off on February 18 which gives me about six weeks to train and prepare. To make matters worse, I’ve been suffering with a damaged Achilles’ tendon which has made running virtually impossible over the last couple of months. I’m therefore feeling really grateful to have the assistance of the Training Shed in Market Harborough – not only have they made a generous donation to Rainbows but they’re also helping with the rehabilitation of my damaged ankle and providing me with a strength and conditioning programme so I can keep as much

of my fitness as possible while I’m unable to run. The last couple of months have been spent doing core strengthening work, leg exercises and a seemingly infinite amount of calf-raises. I’ve also been swimming and cycling to keep my endurance stamina until I can get back to running properly. I’m finding it really frustrating not being able to go out and do some proper running but I’m trying to remain patient. The last thing I want to do is over-do it too soon and risk damaging the tendon further. I’m worried that if it goes again there won’t be enough time left for it to heal before the first race. Friends, family and local businesses have already been incredibly generous with their donations. So far we’ve raised an incredible £6,500. Everyone’s kindness and generosity is giving me even more drive and determination to get this injury sorted and arrive at the start line in the best possible condition. I want to raise a significant amount of money for the incredible team at Rainbows and I can’t stress enough just how much difference any financial donation can make. If you’d like to read more about my challenge, or if you’re able to donate some money, you can do so at icedesertjungle.com. Any money you can spare will be hugely appreciated. As I mentioned, all the expenses for Ice Desert Jungle will be fully covered by myself so every single penny you can spare will go directly to where it’s needed the most.

ONE STEP BACKWARD, TWO STEPS FORWARD Adventurer Ash Routen tells us how the best laid plans for his Siberia trek can go wrong Last month my head was firmly entrenched in the details of flights, visas and in-country travel for my trek across a frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia. As with all good plans however, they sometimes fall apart before coming to fruition. And just like that, they did – my two teammates had to pull out due to unexpected house moves and work drying up. Don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic – I can always go on my own, in the back of my mind I had quietly prepared for that possibility. But I could have one last throw of the dice, and see if anyone I knew had a month and £2,000 to spare – not much to ask really? In April I spent eight days alone, just me and my sledge, on a popular high mountain polar training ground in Norway. So I know I can do it. But there is something special about heading into inhospitable places with others. Adventure is something that is often scorned in the media, but in today’s world it can teach us a lot about getting along with our fellow humans. When you are reduced to focusing on walking, eating and finding warmth and shelter, you have to rely wholly on the co-operation of your team-mate to make it happen. Individual ego, ideals, beliefs, wants, needs, etc, go out of the window, Mother Nature cares for none of these. It’s just you and the equally fragile and powerless human staring back at you from the other side of the tent, and you have to rely on each other for survival. I don’t think I need to spell out what can be learnt in those scenarios. And with that being said, a few days after reaching out I now have a new team-mate –

Phil, a plumber from Nottingham, and a team-mate from a previous trip to Arctic Norway in 2016. Flights are booked and as I type this over breakfast, visa applications are next on the ‘to do’ list. One step backward, two steps forward… In the coming months I’ll be updating you on our progress with training, finalising equipment and clothing and logistics. In the meantime you can find out more at www.ashrouten.com or via Twitter @ashrouten. Our trip is kindly supported by Sub Zero Clothing, Sigg UK, Nordisk Outdoor, Fuelling Your Adventures, Expedition Foods and A-B Tours.

PLANNING AHEAD Mark Smith brings us up to date with his plans for running from one end of the UK to the other Training for such a challenge and actually completing it may seem tough, but try sorting the logistics of the event out. I have now put the first week’s route on my Facebook page and to give you all a flavour of the dramatic landscape through parts of Scotland, here is the route for day three (see below). In a weird way this is the reason I have added 25 miles on to the whole challenge, so I can run through this landscape. So, logistics... Sleeping in a campervan with, and being driven by friends, family, coach and sports osteopath, it has become very clear that this is as much of a challenge for everyone else as well. What size does it need to be? How do I get one for nothing? Food, drink, clothing and storage... the list just seems to grow and grow. On the up side I’m now eating 2,750 calories per day, as well as packs of sweets and cereal bars, when I’m on a training run and meeting some new friends along the way. This year is the big one. I will be 49 by the time you read this and embarking on something I would have never considered before. Happy New Year and thank you to everyone for your support and messages of encouragement. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ marksmith6

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13/12/2017 12:58

Feature /// Challenges

Above and left The Unicef boat, which local man Harry Brooks will join this month, celebrates victory in the leg from South Africa to Perth in Western Australia

TRAGEDIES AND TRIUMPHS Harry Brooks tells us about the good times (and the bad) that have been experienced during the Round the World Clipper Race this month It has been an emotional month for the Clipper fleet. The yachts set off from South Africa in early November on the third leg of eight, and turned out to be unlucky from the start. Within a few days of departure, disaster struck the fleet. The Greenings yacht, having already experienced problems on the first leg with the emergency evacuation of its skipper, was again struck with problems having run aground before rounding the Cape of Good Hope. And then, a week from the finish in Perth, Western Australia, the fleet was to once again experience another devastating blow. The Great Britain Yacht put out a mayday call reporting a man overboard. Simon Spiers, a 60-year old sea-faring veteran, had been working right at the bow of the boat in winds gusting up to 40 knots when he was hit by a wave. Simon was tethered to the yacht with a safety harness but the force of the wave caused the tether to buckle and he became separated from the yacht.

The crews train for this eventuality extensively and after 36 minutes Simon was recovered from the rough and near freezing Southern Ocean. The two doctors on board administered CPR in an attempt to revive Simon but unfortunately were unsuccessful. This shocking news had a huge impact on the fleet. Simon was loved by all his crew and everyone across the fleet knew him. He was an amazing character. A round the world crew member who set off from Liverpool back in August, and a sailor of many years, Simon did everything right. He was clipped on with his safety harness, he was wearing the recommended standard issue foul weather gear and the crew reacted exactly as they should, executing their ‘man overboard’ drills perfectly. This sport, however, is a dangerous one and Simon’s death has left us all shocked. During this leg there were further problems for other yachts in the fleet as well. Garmin had

to recover medical supplies air dropped by the Royal Australian Air Force to treat one of their crew members who was suffering serious abdominal pain. The race continued but having turned back south to help out Team GB, the Unicef and GB boats found themselves a long way behind the rest of the fleet with less than 1,500 miles to go until the end of the leg. Seeing this as an opportunity, Bob, skipper of my own Unicef team, entered stealth mode for 24 hours, meaning the other boats could not see us. We then re-emerged in first position. Over the 24- hour period we had climbed eight places, overtaking the fleet who were trapped in a wind hole to the north. This position was held for the last 72 hours of racing and we were crowned with our first winners’ pendant of this year’s race. We were delighted as we had helped both Greenings in week one and GB in the last week. And we were even more delighted to see that Team Great Britain, after all they had been through, crossed the line just to our stern in second place – a huge tribute to the memory of Simon Spiers. Every crew member in this race understands fully the risks and are inspired to continue this adventure in memory of Simon. The fleet will leave Perth at the beginning of December and will be in Sydney for Christmas, Hobart for the New Year and in Airlie beach by mid-January, where I shall begin my own adventure and join my team. www.clipperroundtheworld.com

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Feature /// Great walks



One of Rutland’s prettiest villages makes the perfect base for this walk, as Will Hetherington discovers

ior’s Coppice The ancient Pr ing species of low fol the ins conta ; nuthatch, flora and fauna rfly, wood orange-tip butte cuckooflower t, no et-m ge for and suplhur tu

Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


Park near the church and the Blue Ball pub in Braunston and walk south out of the village on Wood Lane and the Rutland Round. Stay on this quiet road uphill for 500 yards until the road turns left. This is where you keep heading straight on and leave the road. After 100 yards you will see the sign for the Leighfield Way and Leigh Lodge on your left. Follow this sign and head out over a couple of large rolling arable fields before following the side of Priors Coppice uphill to the high point of the walk at 168 metres. From here keep heading south and downhill with the large hedge on your right.

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When you reach the belt of woodland at the bottom stay on the track until the bottom edge and you will see the Leighfield Way sign on the stile leading into the sheep field on your left. Cross this field until you reach Leigh Lodge in the south-east corner. Go through the gate and turn left, ignore the first track on your left and then turn left up the Tarmac road by the lodge (I couldn’t see a signpost here when I did the walk, but as long as you take the road heading north you are on the right path). You are now heading uphill towards Leigh Lodge Cottages. This tree-lined avenue is easy underfoot and offers increasingly good views the higher you go. And after approximately one kilometre you will reach Leigh Lodge Cottages. There is a cut through the hedge on the left of the road gate and you will then see the entrance to Prior’s Coppice, a Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust

nature reserve. It’s not the best place for a dog walk but you can go and take a look around this ancient woodland. After the entrance to Prior’s Coppice stay on the road with good views of Braunston down to the left and towards Brooke on the right. You will eventually come to a t-junction just after Hibbitts Lodge. Turn left and stay on the road as it drops downhill. When you get to the bottom and the farm on the left, look out for the footpath sign on the right. Turn right here and go past the llamas on the left. Follow the path for nearly a kilometre before you reach a left turn which will take you the kilometre back to Braunston, with the embryonic River Gwash on your right. Clockwise, from main picture

It’s rural and rolling in this part of Rutland; the Blue Ball is one of two good pubs in Braunston; you will see this sign near Hibbitts Lodge; the Leighfield Way is a mixture of pasture and country lanes


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ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park Near the church and the Blue Ball pub in Braunston. Distance and time Four and a quarter miles, one and a half hours. Highlights Prior’s Coppice nature reserve, pretty Braunston, two good pubs and plenty of good views. Lowlights With a lot of livestock and game birds around you might have to have the dogs on the lead more than you would like. Refreshments The Blue Ball and The Plough in Braunston. Difficulty rating Three paws; lots of contours but also some good stretches of hard underfoot conditions. The pooch perspective A lot of livestock and game birds and surprisingly little in the way of fresh water. Although that may depend on recent rainfall.

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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Feature /// Great walks


THE WREAKE VALLEY This walk crosses the river twice and takes in four villages along the way. By Will Hetherington

terhouse The attractive Wa in 1794 by the ilt bu s wa e Bridg Navigation Melton Mowbray the River ke ma to y an Comp from Syston le ab vig na ke Wrea ray. to Melton Mowb

Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


This walk takes in four villages so there are lots of possible starting points, but I parked on the side of the road just by All Saints’ Church in Rotherby to walk the route anti-clockwise. The path goes north out of Rotherby from the left of the church and very soon goes under the Leicester to Melton Mowbray railway line. After the railway line you will soon see and cross the Waterhouse Bridge over the River Wreake. It’s a particularly striking bridge and easily evokes images of a quieter way of life. After the bridge turn right immediately and

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walk behind a couple of houses with the river on your right. From here keep straight on, leaving the river, and join the road on the southern edge of Hoby. Turn left and walk down the road for no more than 150 yards and you will see the Leicestershire Round footpath signposted off to the right. Leave the road and take this path. You will soon come to another minor road; cross here and skirt around the northern edge of Lodge Farm. After Lodge Farm keep heading west, ignoring the first bridge back over the Wreake which you will see on your left in a long thin field which hugs the meanders of the river. Pass through a sequence of smaller fields until you reach a well established lane. Turn left here and walk through the grounds of the old mill before crossing the river in a piece of woodland. Keep following the Leicestershire Round and

Clockwise, from main picture

The view of Hoby from Rotherby; the Waterhouse Bridge across the Wreake between Rotherby and Hoby

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Feature /// Great walks

The River Wreake is the focal point of this route, taking in four villages along the way



ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park I parked near the church in Rotherby but you can probably park in Hoby or Rearsby more easily. Distance and time Five miles, one and three quarter hours.

Highlights The Waterhouse Bridge, four villages and churches, and the convent buildings in Rearsby. Lowlights When I did this walk there were a lot of inquisitive cows in a couple of fields. Refreshments The Blue Bell in Hoby. Difficulty rating Two paws; it’s quite a long way round but there’s nothing too steep and there aren’t many stiles. The pooch perspective They’ll like the river but there is livestock at various points on the way round. 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.


you will soon cross the railway on the northern edge of Rearsby. Follow the Leicestershire Round signs into this large village and take the footpath just south of the entrance to the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace convent. The path leads up through a park and past these impressive buildings before eventually coming out on Church Leys Avenue. When you reach this road turn left (this is where you part company with the Leicestershire Round) and cross the main road. From here the path runs north-east and gradually uphill, giving good views over Thrussington on the other side of the valley and beyond. Stay on the path as it passes the Brooksby Melton College animal centre at Hive’s Farm and then goes round the back of Hall Farm and then another campus of the college, before crossing a piece of old parkland and coming in to the main campus of the college here. Turn left on to the road down the hill and after about 50 yards take the footpath on the right across the field which joins the road outside Rotherby just before the cattle grid.

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14/12/2017 16:30

Guest column

New year’s resolution? Carry on as before Special diets and health regimes didn’t appear in these sportsmen’s training schedules, says Martin Johnson Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” is a quotation which dates back to Biblical times - long before the strain on the waistline from a modern Christmas prompted many of us to give the sentiment a tweak. These days, after carving the turkey and raising a glass, the toast is: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.” Once Christmas is out of the way, and we count the pounds missing from the bank balance and the pounds added to the midriff with equal amounts of horror, January arrives with the traditional promise to lead a healthier lifestyle. When pavements are suddenly awash with middle-aged joggers and everyone joins a health club. Unless, of course, you happen to be a professional sportsman, in which case you can happily carry on smoking 40 fags a day, knock off eight pints of beer a night and order double portions of everything at McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. OK, we’re not talking Mo Farrah or Andy Murray here, but this is the kind of lifestyle in which it is perfectly possible – assuming you live long enough – to make a tidy living out of playing golf, snooker, darts, baseball and American football. Professional golf has changed quite a bit in recent years, with more and more players – Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy being prime examples – bulking up their muscles, but there are still several players, and successful ones at that, who’ve never been near a rowing machine in their lives. There’s a 28-year old golfer from Thailand, by the name of Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who wouldn’t look out of place in a sumo wrestling ring. A family of four could spend a camping holiday underneath one of Aphibarnrat’s golf shirts, and when his coach asks him to check out his ball position at address, you can imaging Kiradech replying: “I’d like to. But I can’t see my feet.” However, he’s won eight professional tournaments, and bagged more than £2 million in prize money. Which is not as much as John Daly, who won two majors weighing in at close on 20 stone, and getting through two packs of Marlboro Lights a day. I once saw him, during a long hold up at the Open championship at St Andrews, send his caddy off to one of the mobile food vans, and come back with a half a dozen doughnuts. While most sports carry some risk of injury, you can barely say that about either darts or snooker. With the former you could perhaps envisage one of its 20-stone contestants disappearing through the floorboards, but with the latter it would have to be something along the lines of overdosing on the Perrier water, or being hospitalised for loss of circulation to both buttocks. I once interviewed Canadian snooker player Bill Werbeniuk, and in a two-hour period in a pub near his house in Vancouver,


he consumed 17 pints of lager. And I still have a copy of the receipt to prove it. Bill was so large he once, while bending over a shot, ripped his trousers and had to go off and change. Alex Higgins, by contrast, would have fitted three times into one of Bill’s trouser legs, existing almost exclusively on a diet of vodka and cigarettes, but even he looked the picture of health compared to some of the darts players of the same era. Jocky Wilson, Leighton Rees and Cliff Lazarenko all played in the days when beer and cigarettes were not only allowed on stage, but were essential props. When Jocky was throwing his darts from one hand, the other one held a burning fag between fingers so yellow and podgy they resembled a bunch of bananas. Football demands higher levels of fitness than was once the case, but being podgy never stopped players like Ferenc Puskas becoming a legend for Hungary, or Ralph Hunt a legend for Newport County. Ralph who, I hear you ask? My schoolboy hero in the 1960s. He always arrived for the game smoking a fag, and if he ran more than 10 yards he’d need five minutes to get his breath back. And he couldn’t dribble or pass to save his life. But he scored heaps of goals. Cricket, for all its accent nowadays on diet sheets, workouts, and lightning fast fielding, is still one of those sports which can accommodate less than sylph-like figures while still demanding that its participants have to run around a bit. Samit Patel is one, and was sent home from an England tour to the West Indies for being overweight. Colin Cowdrey didn’t look as though he missed many meals, but he’s right up there as one of England’s best ever batsman. OK, he didn’t prowl around at cover point, throwing down the stumps with athletic swoops, but not much got away from him at first slip. Or indeed, given that he was almost wide enough to cover more than one position, second slip. Mike Gatting was a formidable trencherman, as was one of the most famous cricketers of all, WG Grace. And neither of them would have much enjoyed playing in this era of specialised diets. Gatt, for instance, would have starved to death had he been on England’s 2013-14 Ashes series in Australia, when the Sydney Morning Herald got hold of an 82-page dossier detailing the tourists’ culinary requirements. Gone was the meat, veg and jam roly poly staples of Gatting’s era, replaced by the likes of: piri piri breaded tofu with tomato salsa, quinoa and cranberry breakfast bar, pistachio and ginger biscotti, and kale and agave syrup. Fit? Magnificently. Athletic? You bet. Result? Australia 5, England 0.  Martin Johnson has been a sports journalist and author since 1973, writing for the Leicester Mercury, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. He currently writes columns for The Rugby Paper and The Cricket Paper, and has a book out called ‘Can I Carry Your Bags?’.

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13/12/2017 13:08




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Feature /// Gear



GREAT GEAR TO GET YOU ACTIVE 1. Sidi Shot Limited Edition Bahrain Merida cycling shoe

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2. Vi personal trainer

Vi is an artificial intelligence personal trainer that learns your workout and evolves over time. Throughout a workout, Vi trains you with a human voice and acts as a companion that responds to voice commands, and monitors heat rate, elevation, cadence, speed, time and location. Price £178 From www.amazon.co.uk



3. Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro smart watch

Finally, a fitness band you can exercise with while your phone stays at home. The built-in GPS tracks your running route, distance and speed. As it is water resistant, you can go swimming too – and using the Speedo app lets you track your stats. Price £209 From www.samsung.com


4. Polar M460 GPS

Polar’s new bike computer allows you to track the speed, distance, altitude and gradient of your rides. Connecting a heart rate monitor enables you to use Polar’s new smart coaching feature which includes fitness tests and motivational feedback. Price £199 (with heart rate monitor) From www.cafeventoux.cc

5. On Cloud X

The Cloud X remixes the classic On Cloud sole for those who don’t want to be restricted to one sport or type of workout. Giving you soft landings and explosive take offs, the Cloud X is super lightweight and fully cushioned. Price £125 From www.onrunning.com


6. Specialized S-Works Tarmac carbon frameset

With the most advanced material Specialized has made, this carbon frame gives you a super lightweight bike while still providing a sturdy feel, as well as a bike capable of taking your racing to the highest level. Weighing less than 800 grams, you will certainly feel the difference. Price £3,250 From www.rutlandcycling.com

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Wednesday 24th January 2018 10:00am - 2:00pm Oakham Library Advice and services to support you to become more active, maintain a healthy weight and eat well, support you to quit smoking or drink less and advice on mental health and wellbeing. Active Rutland - 01572 720936 - activerutland@rutland.gov.uk

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07/12/2017 15:30

Feature /// Cycling

SADDLE UP FOR 2018 Rutland Cycling’s David Hicks offers five top tips to get you out on your bike At this time of year when the nights are long, the weather is cold and the waistline has expanded, many of us (myself included) are beginning to think about how we can improve our health and fitness for the upcoming year and there is one easy and fun way to solve this problem – cycling! Riding a bike regularly can have a hugely positive impact on your physical health as well as your mental well-being, and fitting cycling into your routine – whether that be via riding to work, school or just in your spare time – could be your ticket to a fit and healthy 2018. Here’s our top tips to get started, and take your riding up a notch this year... 1. Electrify your ride! If the thought of heading out on the open road and racking up some miles seems a bit daunting, trying an electric bike could be the nudge you need. Several studies have shown that e-bikes have huge health benefits because they make you more likely to cycle in the first place and provide the same fun of being out on a bike without it feeling like an endurance challenge. But that doesn’t mean you just sit back – you work just as hard riding an e-bike, but you’ll just go further or arrive quicker. And you’ll be more likely to get the bike out again the day afterwards.

2. Try something new If you’re an experienced rider, 2018 could be the year to broaden your horizons. Trying a different discipline can offer a new two-wheeled experience, and can help improve your handling or hit weak spots in your fitness. So, reach for the cyclocross bike, mountain bike or road bike -– you might even find that you enjoy it more. 3. Set a goal or enter an event Yes, it’s the time of year to make a resolution and (most likely) forget about it before January is finished. So this year set a realistic cycling goal and go for it! Whether that be to lose weight, beat your best time up a hill or complete your longest ever ride, there’s plenty of events that can keep you focused and provide some milestones. Try the Tour of Cambridgeshire – one of the UK’s premier events with something to suit everyone, and all on closed roads.

5. Keep your bike running smoothly Nothing puts the brakes on your cycling (literally, sometimes) more than an annoying click or creak, let alone an all-out mechanical failure. Understanding the basics of bike maintenance can help keep you riding, and knowing what to do should something happen when you’re out on the bike can give you the extra confidence you need to get out in the first place. Fortunately, there’s loads of resources online to help, or you can join one of our regular maintenance classes at your nearest store.

4. Find some riding buddies Cycling is great on your own, but often it’s even better when you’ve got someone to share it with – plus, in winter, knowing someone else is going to slog through a ride with you can give you the extra motivation you need to get out the door. There’s a number of great clubs in the area, or you can join the regular night rides or women’s breeze rides from our Rutland Cycling stores.

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15/12/2017 15:36

Feature /// School sports

DEEPINGS SWIMMERS WIN 71 MEDALS AT BOSTON Deepings Swimming Club amassed 71 medals at the Boston Open Meet after a stunning weekend of competition. The squad of 43, aged from nine to 16, won 20 gold, 24 silver and 27 bronze medals, as well as achieving numerous county qualifying times. Among the stand-out performers were two of the club’s youngest swimmers – 10-year old Alex Sadler won seven of his nine races, collecting silver and bronze in the other two. Alex broke three club records in the 100m and 200m butterfly and 100m backstroke.

Nine-year-old Lucia Karic, the youngest member of the team, topped the podium in the 50m backstroke, 200m backstroke (where she achieved her first ever county qualifying time) and 200m freestyle. She also took silver in the 200IM. Also impressing was Bethany Eagle-Brown, who swam a new club record in the 100m freestyle, as one of her four golds. She dipped under one minute for the first time, at 59.05, making her the fastest 14-year-old in Lincolnshire so far this year. Other age-group gold medal-

winning performances came from Anita Wong (50m freestyle), Harry Cardell (200m butterfly), Holly Leggott (200m backstroke), Jessie Spooner (50m backstroke and 100m freestyle) and Tiffany Wong (50m backstroke). Deepings Swimming Club head coach Lynn Chapman said: “Once again our swimmers have exceeded expectations. “I’m delighted that we won medals across the age range which shows the strength of depth we have at the club with a number of exciting young swimmers coming through.”

STRONG SEASON FOR SPRATTON GIRLS Spratton Hall U11A girls’ hockey team had a wonderful season, coming runners-up at the Bloxham Festival. They were also runners-up at the Fairfield tournament and runners-up at the Leicester Grammar Festival, as well as winning the In2Hockey County round. As a result they will represent Northants in the regional round this year. They also won the IAPS U11 regional round at Rugby and went through to the national finals at Millfield. There were 28 schools from across the country including Scotland, and they finished third in their group of seven, so went through to the plate where they got knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Stamford U11A team travelled to Warwick School for their final fixture, knowing they would be well and truly tested by rugby stalwarts QEGS Wakefield, Warwick, Bedford and The Cro. They battled hard all aernoon and came away with four wins out of four and more impressively did not concede a single try. This is only a tiny portion of what they have achieved during their time playing rugby and other sports at SJS – they have only lost one fixture since U8 level (and that was in the national finals). A school spokesman said: “As a group of boys they have grown incredibly close over the years and they all possess the core values of which we associate with sport and rugby especially. “They like to listen, learn and improve as individuals and a team, they enjoy every training session or match like it will be their last, they like to have fun on the field of play even if it means making mistakes and more importantly they are true competitors. We are incredibility proud of them.”


STAMFORD WIN SECOND OSWALD ELLIOTT CUP After a successful inaugural debating event held last year at Stamford School, the second Oswald Elliott Cup debate took place in November, hosted this year by Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. A team of year 13 students from Stamford Endowed Schools – Daniel White and Daisy Jowers – retained the cup in their debate against a team of undergraduates from Fitzwilliam College. The motion of this year’s cup


was: this House believes that free speech should never be restricted. The historic links between the Stamford Endowed Schools and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, were re-established last year to commemorate the centenary of the death of Oswald Elliott, a former head boy of Stamford School and alumnus of Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge. The Old Stamfordian, who was a keen debater during his time at university, gave his life for his

country in the trenches of World War 1 in 1916. Karen Leetch, who runs debating at Stamford School, said: “Our students were thrilled to be competing against Fitzwilliam College once again and we were very fortunate to be able to hear Claire Fox, a key voice in our national debate about free speech. “We were especially pleased that the event gave so many of our students a very special insight into life at a Cambridge college.”

Leicester Grammar Junior School pupils woke up to falling snow on the final race of the Leicestershire Primary Schools Cross Country Championships at Prestwold Hall. But it did not stop 93 runners participating. They were delighted with their results in the medium school category: Year 3 boys – 3rd place Year 4 girls – 1st place Year 5 girls – 2nd place Year 5 boys – 2nd place Year 6 girls – 1st place Year 6 boys – 2nd place.

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14/12/2017 11:59

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


Harborough stretch lead over Stamford and Oakham BY JEREMY BESWICK


arket Harborough are flying high, lying second in the table around 30 points clear of their local rivals Oakham and Stamford. They started the month with an impressive 51-7 home victory over the latter, but it was not quite as straightforward as the scoreline suggests. They found themselves 5-7 down at the break after a “failure to stick to their game plan or play to their strengths” and choosing the wrong option by taking the ball back into contact and committing too many basic errors, according to the club’s David Nance. Stamford, who came into the match on the back of their first victory of the season, will take heart from that first half performance but it was one-way traffic in the second. Harborough scored eight tries in all, including one from debutant Tim Brown, to set them up nicely for their crunch match against table-topping Oadby Wyggs the next weekend, which was a cracker. As Oadby’s Charlotte Williamson said afterwards: “It had all the makings of a thriller, and disappoint it did not!” Harborough’s Ed Sumpter landed the first try and, although it was somewhat against the run of the play, they then added a second from Josh Haynes and a third through Harvey Slade – Haynes slotting all three conversions to give them a commanding 21-0 lead. By now, Nance observed the home support was revelling in a display of running rugby.

Oadby then showed why they’re the table leaders with two tries in response from Lewis Jones and Joe Lunn. In a match that was to ebb and flow throughout the whole 80 minutes, the tide first turned back Harborough’s way again as Michael Woodford went over in the corner and Ed Parker got their fourth. A penalty in addition made it 36-12 at half time and, as Williamson noted: “You couldn’t blame Harborough for having smiles on their faces at that point, thinking it was game over because most teams losing by that much would have let it finish there.” However, following some very strong words at half-time from Oadby’s management team they started the second period brightly and soon pulled one try back though Jones. Their skipper Bryn Bolton-Waugh then narrowed it to 36-24 by powering over in the left hand corner so, with half an hour of the match still to go, all was in the balance. Jones’ hat-trick try followed and the away team crucially drew level for the first time with just 10 minutes to go with a fine score from the other wing – Lunn’s second. The allimportant conversion made it 36-38. Harborough gallantly “threw everything at Wyggs” in the final minutes. First a penalty fell agonisingly short and then two try opportunities went begging – only a knock on and an interception denying them – but it was not to be and Wyggs held on for a famous victory. Make no mistake, this was a fantastic

contest. Oadby’s Neil Jones said: “In my 35 years at my club I have never ever seen a collective effort to win a match in which a team has shown such guts and desire.” Harborough’s Nance, whilst obviously disappointed they’d fallen just short, called it “a thrilling game of rugby”. Up a tier in Midlands One East, Oundle had a narrow win at home to Bugbrooke in an exciting 50-43 try fest and then, remarkably, followed up with another score over 50 away at Huntingdon – this time without conceding a single point after the home team’s prop was shown a straight red in the opening quarter. Nevertheless, it was a disciplined performance that suggested they’d heeded vice-chairman Peter Croot, who’d commented after the first match that “the Eagles certainly have the fire power to score tries, but game management and composure must be part of the game to close out matches”. The visit of title-chasing Kettering was up next, always likely to be a challenging fixture for the Eagles in their first season at this level against who are arguably the best side in the division and one of the biggest clubs in the area. It was also the first time the two sides had met. First blood went to Kettering with a try from their fly-half after a tap penalty caught Oundle’s defence on the back foot. They were to level matters, however; Saad Sait going over following a drive from the line out. Not to be out-done, Kettering restored their

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14/12/2017 09:47


Tigers Talk Jeremy Beswick sees Leicester consigned to an early exit from their tough Champions’ Cup group

Above Tigers coach Matt O’Connor

lead with a near-identical effort to Oundle’s and then stretched their lead further with a second try for their fly-half under the posts. Although two penalties kept Oundle in touch, they were to lose three players to injury before the ref blew for half time with the score at 13-21. The opening points of the second half went to Kettering with a classic forwards’ try after 13 minutes and, although Oundle pressed hard thereafter, they encountered a sturdy defence and several penalties against them relieved the pressure on the visitors. With 10 minutes left Kettering put things beyond doubt with what was to be the final

It was in mid-December that your intrepid Active team braved the snow and ice in order to bring you the latest from the Tigers’ training ground in Oadby. Coach Matt O’Connor was not in the best of moods as our visit fell just aer their first defeat at the hands of Munster. Probably just as well it wasn’t the following week as we may not have escaped with our lives. The snow added to a general feeling of angst around the place as the practice pitch was unplayable. “There’s no grass to train on,” he grunted, “so we’re watching the video of the game over and over which means I get to abuse the players again – which is no bad thing. There’s been plenty of that.” I think his tongue was in his cheek, but only just. The general view was that Munster had bullied them out of the game and O’Connor seemed to agree. “We didn’t deliver. Some of our inaccuracies were unforgivable” he added. “Now we’ve got to front up and put it right. There needs to be a big reaction this week. We’ve got to get back on track. “We were second best in the collisions and need to be more urgent – a bit more committed in the return. At least I can guarantee that the boys are keen to play aer my post-match... review”. There was a short pause before the word ‘review’ and it was obvious that another, somewhat stronger, word had first come to mind that he’d decided to censor. The only bright spot in O’Connor’s world that day was Saracens’ home defeat to Clermont, which seemed to hold some parallels for him to their own loss. “That’s cheered me up a bit,” he said, “they’re used to bullying, not being bullied.” I also sat down with winger Nick Malouf, who was right on-message with the party line. “Munster took their opportunities very well, but it was their physical intent that led to them getting those opportunities,” he said. “We got bullied and that should never happen to a Leicester side. Now we need to man-up. We’re hurting alright and definitely all fired up for the return.” On a lighter note, we wondered what this son of Queensland thought about the wintry weather. “This is something else isn’t it?” he said, looking out of the window with a sense of wonder. “Mate, I’ve never seen anything like this. Everything was normal when I went to bed and when I woke up the world was white, just like in a movie.” Not being used to the cold, had he resorted to wearing tights on the field yet? “No, but I was determined not to wear a skins top – until I arrived in Limerick. Then I had to give in and I’m not apologising either” he grinned. I suspect O’Connor will have made sure there wasn’t much grinning around the dressing room the following week.

try and, despite some valiant efforts from the Eagles, the game closed with no further score. Croot said: “While disappointment was the order of the day, it is a measure of how far the club has come to be competitive at the level of the leading club in the area.” A further two tiers upwards in National League 2, South Leicester will be delighted to be looking down the table at archrivals Leicester Lions, although somewhat chastened to see the third member of the local triumvirate, Hinckley, topping the table. After a poor start to the season Lions had turned things around with three wins

but then lost to both Huddersfield (despite drawing the try count three all) and then to Sheffield in December from a last ditch try when the game seemed to heading to a draw. Their humour would not have been improved by travelling all the way to Manchester to take on Sedgley Park only to find the game cancelled due to a frozen pitch. Meanwhile, South had drawn against Stourbridge, lost narrowly away to Wharfedale 28- 25 and then pipped Chester 21-20 at home on the same day that Lions had their fruitless journey to Lancashire, which doubtless contributed to an even more miserable ride home.

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14/12/2017 09:47

ROUND-UP Football


Daniels push up the league as Harborough falter BY DEAN CORNISH


hisper it, but Stamford AFC have finally started to look the real deal in the Evo Stik Division One South, and as well as playing well they’ve now started to score some goals and pick up the points that could see them challenge for promotion in the spring. Their recent good form has seen them move up to ninth, which doesn’t sound great but they’re crucially now just two points from the play-off positions and only six points from the second automatic promotion spot. Normally in this division, only the champions get promoted automatically and the next four teams go into the play-offs, but due to a league restructure there will now be two automatic promotion spots. With bigspending Basford almost guaranteed top spot, that distance to runners-up spot in the league becomes all the more interesting. Basford are already 15 points clear at the top, having beaten Stamford in November 2-1, although the Daniels felt aggrieved to have not come away with at least a point from the game. Since that defeat, Stamford have won their next two games without conceding a goal, with an amazing 12-minute Liam Adams hat-trick securing a 3-0 win against Belper, and then Graham Drury’s men going to a snowy Chasetown and comfortably beating a side who had won their previous five games. Stamford’s other side, Blackstones, are also in the promotion hunt in the UCL Division One. Since Andy Lodge left his position

for personal reasons, Stones have not only maintained their good form, but actually improved their fortunes under the new, inexperienced management duo of Daniel French and Lee Clarke. Stones are now up to fifth in the division after a 5-2 home win against Burton Park Wanderers, following up on another five-star performance the week before. In the same division, Oakham United are struggling badly with defeats in their last 15 games in all competitions, and only four goals scored in those games. New manager Ryan Hunnings has had a baptism of fire since taking over, but generally performances have improved. Let’s hope that good performances turn into some wins for the Tractor Boys, although they’ve recently been frustrated by the weather. In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Stamford Lions remain in the title hunt along with Netherton United, Peterborough Sports Reserves, and current leaders Moulton Horrox. James Sheehan’s side are currently second, five points off top spot. Rob Forster’s late equalising goal on December 9 against Netherton arguably kept them in the hunt. Defeat at home against their title rivals could have been disastrous. Ketton have dropped to 13th in the same division after back-to-back 3-2 defeats against Sawtry and Whittlesey respectively. In Division One, Stamford Bels have fallen back to Earth after their four-match winning streak was ended by Uppingham Town (3-2), before then Oundle Town beat the Bels at home by

the same scoreline. Bels are now 10 points off the top having played three games more than the league leaders. Meanwhile, Harborough Town’s seemingly unstoppable winning run in the United Counties League Premier Division finally came to a halt at home when they were beaten 4-0 by Wellingborough Town. The Bees, who had taken an impressive 28 point from the previous 11 games, just couldn’t get their game into gear and weren’t helped by influential skipper Ben Williams taking a nasty bang to the head which will see him miss a couple of weeks. The league is pretty relentless and manager Stuart Spencer wondered if the continuous run of games might have caught up with his side. Previously, Harborough Town had done a clinical job of knocking over league leaders, firstly chopping Leicester Nirvana down to size and then following that up with a 1-0 victory over Newport Pagnell. There’s plenty of discussion in the pro game about the impact of sacking managers and bringing in new leaders, but the decision of the Bees’ board to show Nick Pollard the door and promote his number two, who then brought ex-boss Chris Church in as his number two, clearly paid huge dividends. This run has seen Harborough march into sixth, and while the title might be beyond them, with Newport Pagnell and Holbeach looking like they have plenty of breathing room at the top, if the Bees continue their form after Christmas then a top three could well be in their grasp.

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14/12/2017 17:51

Vox Fox Delicious irony for manager Claude Puel


Football regularly throws up some delicious ironies and the sight of Foxes’ boss Claude Puel striding from the St Mary’s touchline aer his side had delivered a 4-1 thumping to Southampton was as delicious as it gets. Sacked by the Saints for playing dull football, Puel watched as Leicester City ripped his old club to pieces, with a revitalised Riyad Mahrez opening the scoring and then pulling the strings. In their glory season, Mahrez was the instrumental playmaker and he has struggled as the club have to hit those heady heights consistently again. But the appointment of Puel is clearly working for him, and the Foxes are twice the side with him firing on all cylinders, with this being his fourth goal since the change of manager. Not only did they get to enjoy a rampant away win, the Foxes fans got

to join in the fun as well. As the Saints supporters roundly booed their side, the cry of “boring, boring Leicester” would be heard, followed by the mocking query: “Are you glad you sacked Puel?!” One thing is for certain: with the right players (and you could argue at Saints he didn’t have the chance to bring any in), Claude Puel does not produce dull football teams. He’s proving this at Leicester, with 15 goals in eight games with just one defeat since he took over, and he reckons he’s a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character – being soly spoken and very polite away from the touchline, and pretty fierce as he nears the whitewash. It’s clearly an approach which is working for Leicester, imbuing the club with an energy and verve not seen in the last year or so. Long may it continue, because the Foxes were only five points off fourth place aer the win at Saints, and with Manchester City running away with the league, there might be some games there for the taking from the top third of the table in the second half of the season.

Above Action from Stamford Town’s game against Belper Town at the beginning of December

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14/12/2017 17:52




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23/11/2017 16:54



Table-topping clash BY STEVE MOODY


top-of-the-table clash with both teams unbeaten this season, Bourne Deeping ladies’ seconds knew it was going to be a tough game against Leadenham. The game started very positively from both teams with the midfield players being very tight on the marking. The effective play from Cam Braid nearly came to a fruition, but unfortunately an open goal was missed by Kirsty Martin. Bourne Deeping kept pressing in their D with a couple of short corners but their defending kept them out, with near misses on the post. But persistence paid off with Martin scoring from a great assistance from Braid. The fast-paced effective passing continued throughout the first half with a lot of linked up play between the whole team. Sophie Brittain and Lily Fitch held the midfield well as Leadenham struggled to pass through. Unfortunately Leadenham’s quick passing within the D and positioning on the goal paid off with an equaliser. With 10 minutes still on the clock with some great play through the middle with support from Fitch enabled Brittain to strike

at the top of the D and score making it 2-1. Bourne Deeping had a series of scintillating runs but against the play Leadenham back equalised at 2-2, meaning the teams are still locked at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Bourne Deeping’s men’s firsts secured their first win of the season against City of Peterborough seconds, beating them 3-2 thanks to a last minute winner from man of the match Andy Williams, although there were good performances by Stuart Biggs, Ben Slack and James Sharpe. They then followed that up with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Havering, suggesting their season is finally heading in the right direction. Over in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division, Leicester has had a tough first half of the season. Only hapless Canterbury are below them, with Leicester only so far netting two wins from 10 matches with three draws and five losses. A vital game just before the Christmas break: Leicester travelled to Canterbury, having already beaten them at home 4-1 recently. The tight turnaround in fixture ensured both teams knew what to expect of each other, and both were in need of crucial

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points ahead of the the Christmas break. The home side started the strongest but Leicester soaked up early pressure and took an early chance to open the scoring from a Rachel Mack strike. The game was end to end, both team creating opportunities. Leicester kept a 1-0 lead going into half time and knew they were in for a battle second half. Mid-way through the second half Canterbury’s persistence at the Leicester goal paid off with an excellent solo goal to find the equaliser. As both teams pushed for the winner, with tired legs the game became very open. Leicester survived a final onslaught from an aggressive Canterbury attack. Leicester’s penalty corner defence stood firm, despite a controversially awarded corner in the dying moments. Although disappointing not to gain all three points, Leicester fought hard for a point, and a goal difference of only -3 shows they are getting involved in some tight games, with a 4-1 loss away to the University of Birmingham their only heavy defeat. A slight shift from close loss to squeaking a win or two should see them climb the table in the second half of the season.


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ROUND-UP Equestrianism


Snow impacts on events BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


ory Bevin made the best of the weather and headed north to Alnwick point-to-point where he was victorious in the Newton Hall restricted race. This was the concluding race of the day with nine runners – eight of which were still in contention at the final fence. Rory’s mount Wayupinthbox had a driving finish and won by a short head from Worcester Pearmin and Crazy Penguin. The victory was a family affair with the sevenyear-old being trained by Rory’s mother Louise Bevin. Rory was wearing the colours of the Dowry Hillbillies Partnership, which is made up from a selection of family members including Oakham Veterinary Hospital’s William Bevin, his uncle, and an aunt on his mother’s side. The first dumping of snow for the year unfortunately put a halt to proceedings in the equestrian world. First and foremost was the cancellation of the Dianas of the Chase at Ingarsby Hall on December 10, with many competitors having flown in from America and Ireland to compete.

The only small consolation was that the pre-drinks held in the house still went ahead the night before, which was very well attended! Vale View equestrian centre also lost the BE JAS Arena Eventing early on the same Sunday morning, due to heavy snow and icy roads, much to the vocal disappointment of some competitors. Arena UK ran its five-day premier show just as the snow started, so unfortunately was slightly down on entries compared to the usual deluge of competitors. Jane Heerbeck’s Carolus K had another brilliant win in the 1.40m and also a fifth in the 1.30m, piloted by the very consistent Joe Clayton. Arena UK did however give up the fight with the weather by the Tuesday and cancelled their BD dressage. JumpCross has announced its eagerly awaited league results. Points are awarded down the scale and for clear rounds throughout the season’s competition and a lot of the riders have competed in all the competitions, so it was very competitive. Sophie Metcalfe on Ninon Du Matz was

a very convincing winner in the senior intro league, some nine points ahead of Kaesley Caffell on her mount Shad Fen Ernie in second. Then Linda Cowd took the spoils for the second year in a row in the senior group 3 riding her very consistent Tommahawk. Finally, please do go and support your local hunts in the new year – your continued support is invaluable to the hunts and the morale of the hunt staff. And finally, some dates for your diaries: January 7 British Eventing JAS at Arena UK January 27 British Eventing JAS at Keysoe February 25 Cottesmore point-to-point at Garthorpe March 8-11 Oasby Horse Trials March 17 Belvoir point-to-point at Garthorpe March 25 Burghley Open Spring Hunter Trials April 13-15 Belton Park International Horse Trials May 13 Melton Hunt Club point-to-point at Garthorpe May 18-20 Rockingham International Horse Trials

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // January 2018  

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 // January 2018  

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