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Use it or Lose it, keep your brain and body active Winter walks with Will Find out about social prescribing Bourne has a new running club Meet Tom Bourne, director of sport at Uppingham Community College ISSUE 91 | JANUARY 2020

! E E R F

An Aruban Adventure Visit one happy island

w w w .t h e a c t i ve m a g . c o m

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E DI TO R ’ S L E T T E R Editor and Publisher Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Art editor Matt Tarrant matt@theactivemag.com Contributors Will Hetherington, Jeremy Smithson-Beswick, Advertisement Sales Director Lisa Chauhan lisa@theactivemag.com Production assistant Gary Curtis Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, Eventus Business Centre, Sunderland Road, Northfield Industrial Estate, Market Deeping, PE6 8FD If you have information about a club then please get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine please email distribution@theactivemag. com. Active magazine is published monthly 12 times per year. ISSN 2059-8513 Published by Triangle Publishing Ltd Printed by Warner’s of Bourne



Copyright (c) Triangle Publishing Ltd (TPL) 2019. 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 TPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of TPL or its a liates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every e ort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, TPL and its a liates 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. TPL and its a liates 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 o ered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

‘As well as snorkelling in the Caribbean I’ve been trying my hand at golf’ HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let’s hope it’s a happy, healthy, peaceful one for us all. We’ve had a busy month here at Active what with getting the magazine out early because of Christmas, trying new sports and travelling to far flung corners of the world all good fun in a day in the life of the Active team. I was very lucky to be invited to spend a few days on the Caribbean island of Aruba recently and made the most of every hour I was there trying new sports, seeing new sights and enjoying the utter beauty of Caribbean sunsets and the heat. Read all about my time on ‘one happy island,’ and enjoy some winter sunshine in this issue. As well as snorkelling in the Caribbean I’ve been trying my hand at golf at Burghley Golf Club. Not a sport I’ve ever considered before but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it tied in really well with our ‘use it or lose it’ feature. As you know I’m a great believer in ‘use it or lose it’ be it your local high street or keeping yourself active. As well as our body we need to keep our minds active too. I’m ashamed to say my mental maths is very poor these days as I so rarely add up, unlike my student waitressing days when I could add a bill up within seconds (long before the days of digital tills). Apparently it’s been proven that even playing bingo keeps the mind on point, improving the memory. Bridge is another game that helps keep the mind sharp as well as being extremely sociable as we found on a visit to Stamford’s Bridge Club recently. This month we have learnt more about social prescribing, a new phenomenon which might help the S met ppingham Community College’s director of sport as well as some more interesting new faces around the area. January is all about new beginnings so get yourself out and try something new which will benefit the mind as well as the body. It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same things so a change of scenery gives a completely di erent perspective on life as well as opening up new horizons as well and January is the perfect time to do it. Enjoy the issue and here’s to the new decade. Mary - Editor




INSTAGRAM theactivemaguk

WEBSITE theactivemag.com

January 2020 / theactivemag.com

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I S S U E 9 1 / J A NUA RY 2020



Local news updates


Catch up with what’s going on locally


Great garden design advice and eco tips


An Aruban Adventure


Meet Barnsdale Hall hotel’s new spa and leisure manager




How to keep you brain and body active

ACTIVE BODY 45 SOCIAL PRESCRIBING An activity a day could keep the doctor away




Meet Tom Bourne, director of sport at Uppingham Community College

60 NATURAL BOURNE RUNNERS Bourne has a new running club


News from our local clubs

51 January 2020 / theactivemag.com

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琀㨀  ㄀㜀㜀㠀 ㌀㐀㘀㘀㄀㄀ 攀㨀 椀渀昀漀䀀欀氀漀猀攀渀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀 眀㨀 眀眀眀⸀欀氀漀猀攀渀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀 昀愀挀攀戀漀漀欀⸀挀漀洀⼀欀氀漀猀攀渀甀欀 䬀氀漀猀攀渀Ⰰ 吀栀攀 匀琀椀爀氀椀渀最 䌀攀渀琀爀攀Ⰰ 䴀愀爀欀攀琀 䐀攀攀瀀椀渀最Ⰰ 倀䔀㘀 㠀䔀儀

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ActiveLife Meet Barnsdale’s new leisure and spa manager Use it or lose it, how to keep brain and body active | Local news and new faces Will’s walks | Mary Bremner has a golf lesson E DI T E D BY M A RY B R E M N E R

An Aruban Adventure p.18

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Active life

Congratulations Nicola Oakey YOUNG RUTLAND BASED garden designer, 29-year-old Nicola Oakey, has won an award recognising her as one of the up and coming designers in the country in The 30 Under 30 awards. Nicola started her career when she joined an apprenticeship scheme mentored by local garden designer Adam Frost. She has since joined him as his assistant designer working for the last three years for him.

£40,000 in 40 years RUTLAND BASED ENGINEERING, surveying and architectural practice Smithers Purslow has celebrated 40 years in business by raising £40,000 for national and local charities. To mark their 40 year milestone the business set itself a £40,000 fund raising challenge in ay and since then sta have competed in the Three Peaks Yacht Race Challenge, run a German themed Oktoberfest at Uppingham School, hosted several charity golf days and o ce based events such as cake sales culminating with a reception at the Falcon Hotel in Uppingham at the end of November when the charities received their cheques. www.smitherspurslow.com


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All-terrain wheelchairs NENE PARK NOW has two all-terrain wheelchairs available to help visitors explore Ferry Meadows. Thanks to a generous donation the Nene Park Trust has ordered two all-terrain wheelchairs from the Mountain Trike Company who make the chairs in the UK. They will be provided at Ferry Meadows alongside the popular mobility scooter loan service the Park already o ers. www.nenepark.org.uk

January 2020 / theactivemag.com

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

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Oakham has welcomed some new businesses in the past few months Oakham’s new bakery… Award winning Lily & Honey bakery - 2019 Great Taste Award winners - have opened in Knights Yard in Gaol Street. Run by a couple who love to create and bake marvellous morsels the residents of Oakham are thoroughly enjoying their delicious cakes and breads. Mince pies and pecan brownies seem to be hot favourites at the moment. If you follow them on facebook you can find out what they are baking on the day.

… And podiatrist orthgate Well-being has been open a few months and o ers a chiropodist and podiatrist service as well as massage, baby massage, nutritional and holistic therapies and biomechanical assessments. www.northgate-wellbeing.co.uk

… And new florist… Nadinoo Clothing adinoo make down to earth clothing o ering simplicity, comfort, function and versatility with a good selection of designs aimed to take you through all stages of womanhood, eliminating the need for a change of style before, during and after pregnancy. Their studio is based on Oakham’s igh Street, no on the first floor, and all clothing is handmade to order there so they are very happy to o er a bespoke service. Pop in and say hello to find out more www.nadinoo.com


Don’t Settle, Petal florist has recently opened in ill Street. This aptly named shop is run by Jody Knapp, who has an obsession with flowers and has created a brand that is fun, empathetic and accessible for all. Enter her lovely shop and you are met with the fabulous aroma of scented candles (which you can buy) and a plethora of beautiful flowers. ody will make you a bou uet at a very reasonable price, you certainly get value for money and artfully designed bunches. Don’t settle, Petal o ers a weekly floral subscription service as well as weddings and other occasions. www.dontsettlepetal.co.uk

January 2020 / theactivemag.com

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Active life

And in Stamford Rutland Acorn The Rutland Acorn is continuing to grow. Made out of old horseshoes supplied by farrier Stephen Hill the children of Branston Road in Uppingham patiently remove the rusty nails before the horseshoes are welded into the shape of an acorn at Pickles End. Two tonnes will be used in total and the acorn will be 8 feet high. Conceived in 2013 by artist Adrian Haigh, the acorn is based upon the Rutland motto ‘Much in Little.’

Artists wanted If you are an artist living in Rutland, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire or Lincolnshire why not join Rutland Open studios on their 2020 Art Trail which takes place throughout the month of June. Their aim is to bring local artists together who then open their workshops and studios to the public throughout the weekends in une. To find out more go to www.rutlandopenstudios.co.uk

Natural skincare products Barnack based Lisa Armitage will shortly be selling her skincare products in Attic in Stamford. Lisa, previously a chef, concocts all her own lotions and potions from scratch and is proud that they are all chemical free and entirely safe, pure and natural. Try her best-selling multi miracle balm, it really does what it says on the box as well as much more. Cleansing, detoxifying, lip balm, all over body moisturiser and soothing. www.lisaarmitage.com

Stamford Contemporary Arts A new artists’ studio has opened right in the centre of Stamford giving artists the opportunity to develop their own work while also giving the public the chance to watch them at work as they man the space in Stamford Contemporary Arts, which is the concept of Beverley Wrigley-Pheasant. They will also be o ering timetabled workshops in the gallery’s studio behind. For a full range of studio workshops visit www.stamfordcontemporaryarts. co.uk or call in at 2 Maiden Lane to collect a brochure. Opening hours are 9-5pm every day except Sunday.

January 2020 / theactivemag.com

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

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Active life

What’s on... Great things to see and do in the region


HE OAKHAM SCHOOL Enterprises Ltd (OSEL) Team is looking forward to welcoming members back in the New Year to encourage adults and children to keep fit and have fun. The Oakham Leisure Club continues to grow and o ers a range of classes to suit everyone. Choi Kwang Do non-contact martial arts classes are proving very popular hour long sessions run on Thursdays from pm for year olds, pm for - year olds and a Self Defence evening class at pm for teens and adults. dult Pilates classes are held every Tuesday at pm and every Thursday there are two hour lunchtime sessions at pm

and pm in the upstairs Studio at the Oakham School Sports Centre. Oakham S uash Club operates on a pay as you play basis - . per court for a minute session. Oakham Swim School have numerous after school and weekend classes for beginners up to advanced stages, followed by Rookie Lifeguard classes and synchronised swimming sessions for more competent swimmers. Parent Baby Toddler classes run every Thursday from pm. or more information or to book a class or ctivity camp contact osel@oakham.rutland.sch.uk or phone 01572 758754

The dventure Travel show takes place at London Olympia on anuary - . The ’s only dedicated adventure travel e hibition brings together specialist travel companies and e perts under one roof. The show is renowned for its inspirational travel advice. Drayton village hall will be hosting a Lindy op strolls class starting on Wednesday anuary . This a fun dance class for all ages. o e perience or partner needed irst class , thereafter. traxx@hotmail.co.uk for more information. Oakham School has a two day hockey training camp on anuary and that T are hosting. Suitable for any child age - , coaching is given by e England players. Suitable for beginners upwards. ature Tots at erry eadows runs throughout anuary and ebruary starting on anuary at am. This fun monthly outdoor parent and toddler group has a nature theme and includes a messy craft activity along with time to e plore outside, story and song time. www.neneparktrust.org ack Whitehall will be back at the East of England rena and Events Centre in Peterborough on anuary with his Stood p Tour.’ Tickets are selling fast and are available via Ticketmaster. The Charlie Waller emorial Trust established in in memory of Charlie who took his own life at the age of whilst su ering from depression is o ering charity places in this year’s Cambridge half marathon which takes place in arch. or more information go to www.cwmt.org.uk/cambridge-halfmarathon-2020

January 2020 / theactivemag.com

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Active life


Chicken, lemon and olive tray bake It’s winter and it’s cold outside so thoughts turn to nutritious, warming, comforting food. This simple and easy chicken recipe lets the oven do all the hard work and it’s packed full of flavour and goodness.



• 250ml chicken stock • 1 lemon, quartered • Juice of 1 lemon • Pinch of saffron • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp ground ginger • 8 chicken thighs, unskinned • 550g new potatoes, halved • 2 onions • 3 garlic cloves • 100g pitted olives • 2 tbsp olive oil

dd the lemon juice, sa ron, cumin and ginger to the chicken stock. Whisk together and leave for a few minutes to infuse. • Put the chicken thighs into a large roasting tray. Add the potatoes, quartered onions and lemon and olives. Sprinkle over the crushed garlic cloves and olive oil and add salt and pepper. Toss together then make sure the chicken is skin-side up. • Pour the stock into the tray and roast for 50 minutes at 200 degrees until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are tender.

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Charcuterie • Deli • Café

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Open daily for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea

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

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Active life ECO TIPS

New Year - New opportunities Lizzie Davies suggests some small, easy changes we can all make as we start this year HAPPY NEW YEAR! Can I tempt you into a New Year’s resolution that is free, easy to keep and benefits everyone? Simply commit to recycling every piece of aluminium including cans, foil wrappers and bottle tops. Aluminium can be melted down and reformed over and over again without losing any quality (think Terminator 2). Doing this saves around of the energy needed to make the metal from raw materials. To make the aluminium easier to process wash it and roll it into balls if you can. January is the month of healthy eating pledges but it can be hard to source fresh nutritious food with a low carbon footprint. or a ready supply of vitamin packed goodies try seed sprouting such as alfalfa, peashoots, red clover, buckwheat and mung beans which only take around a week to grow: you can buy a special kit, or you can just re-use a plastic tray and line with damp tissue paper. Great for salads, stir fries or smoothies, and with virtually no carbon footprint. If I’ve grabbed your attention and you’re busy scanning the internet why not switch your browser to www.ecosia. org who use their profits to plant trees as you search; 76 million trees planted at the time of writing and being added to every second. www.alupro.org.uk/consumers/ why-is-recycling-aluminium-soimportant/ www.gardenorganic/growyourown and www.organiccatalogue.com You can follow Lizzie on Facebook @catalpacloud or @lizcatalpa on Instagram


Stand Out Designs Garden designer Teresa Kennedy reflects on what caught her attention design-wise last year


S WE END the year and start a new one, this month I have spent time thinking about what caught my attention with regards to garden design last year. Three things in particular stick out. They are e ective and simple and can easily be applied to your own outdoor space.

Use structure for balance as well

n overlooked town garden surrounded by high brick walls can feel small, low and dark overpowered by its surroundings. Anything brought into this space needs to detract from this rather than enhance it. Elevating structures such as planters and keeping to one colour will increase the feeling of space, but sometimes you need to go further, depending on how enclosed the area is. A pergola is high on the wish list for many clients but in a small garden it can be di cult to include without it feeling too heavy. In this situation removing the overhead lattice and installing the framework opens up the space further by raising the eye line and bringing in a window of sky which focuses attention on above rather than below.

Nothing is set in stone – the movable garden The simplicity of a moving garden, to be able to change the feel according to the

need, is a really useful design tool. I worked with clients who wanted to have this fle ibility in a small space. Wheeled, raised planters filled with evening plants scented, light-reflecting can screen areas o which is perfect for intimate evenings around the fire. Or herb planters can be moved ne t to an outdoor kitchen area and then moved elsewhere when they are no longer needed. Also what about a simple pergola situated on a hard, level space? This allows you to double up its use daytime cover for the summer sun and then perfect for intimate evening entertaining.

Sculpting – giving flat expanses a personality

Starting a new garden on a large flat site can be daunting. It’s di cult to build in intrigue and interest with only a large flat e panse to work on. Sculpting to alter the levels and include natural fluidity allows for sunken areas, turns and viewpoints which di er from every angle. Intentional and creative planting will further emphasise the flow totally changing the feel of the original space. Tall, slender trees add height and evergreens with their dense form are particularly e ective. ass planting of a single plant in swathes accentuates what is happening at ground level helping to add contrasts. www.viridisdesign.co.uk 07726 334501

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AN ARUBAN A DV E N T U R E Mary Bremner enjoys an Aruban welcome on one happy island


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HEN THE EMAIL arrived in mid September from the Aruba Tourism Authority inviting me on a press trip to the island I have to confess I’d never heard of it. So after a quick web search and frantic googling, how could I say no a five night press trip to the Caribbean in mid November is what dreams are made of. Aruba is one of the Lesser Antilles islands located right at the bottom of the Southern Caribbean Sea just miles o the coast of Venezuela which you can see on a clear day. And if you are a fan of The Beach Boys you will recognise it from the song Kokomo (Aruba, Bahama, Jamaica). Aruba has recently been named by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top countries for travellers in 2020, coming in at fourth place, so it was the perfect time to visit. This trip was to showcase the active side of the island so we would be experiencing the great outdoors including snorkelling, hiking, windsurfing, kayaking and much more. ruba is a Dutch Caribbean island with an interesting history. It is now a constituent country of the Netherlands but its history dates back centuries to ancient Ca uetio Indian roots through Spanish and Dutch rule. The Ca uetio Indians of the Arawak tribe from South America were ruba’s first inhabitants. They depended on the sea for survival. Spanish e plorer lonso de Ojeda discovered ruba in and claimed the island for Spain with the Dutch taking over in and it has stayed Dutch ever since apart from a brief spell of British rule during the Napoleonic Wars. Today ruba now boasts over uni ue nationalities all living happily together and welcoming visitors. The island is small, a similar size to the Isle of Wight, miles long and six miles wide. It lies south of the hurricane window and enjoys hot sunny days all year round, with relatively low rainfall for the Caribbean. It’s an island of contrasts. On the southern and western shores lie some of the best beaches in the world let alone the Caribbean, with Eagle Beach voted one of the best in the world. Over 20% of the island is a national park. The Arikok National Park is desert-like with enormous cacti plants, dramatic rocky formations and interesting wildlife. The ocean crashes against these rocks and the surfers and strong swimmers enjoy the spinetingling challenge of the waves. I left Birmingham airport on a cold, extremely wet, miserable ovember day arriving hours later in ruba and was immediately hit by the early evening heat as I left the airport. Hello sunshine!

Jeep Tour Our first morning on the island was a private jeep tour of the rikok ational Park. This was a jeep tour Caribbean style; an open sided vehicle driven at break neck speed (or so it seemed) over the rough terrain of the national park. It really was like a mountainous desert; harsh rock formations with the odd cacti tree interspersed. A quick stop at the California Lighthouse at the edge of rashi beach and we were in the park itself. The Arubans are very proud of their island and are working towards a ban on single-use plastics and reef destroying sunscreens in . Every four months the beaches are cleared of plastic and we all re-used our water bottles to minimise the use of plastic bottles. There are very strong rip tides on the island, particularly on the western side so in it became mandatory for every child on the island to learn to swim. I can see why, some of the waves on this coastline were scary looking. Willems, our guide, said they were only five foot on the day we visited, and are usually much higher. People were swimming, mainly locals as they come to this side of the island to be away from the tourists.

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“Swimming in the warm Caribbean Sea is a pleasure in itself, being able to don a mask and view the coral and sea life beneath the surface was an absolute privilege” San Nicolas and street art After our invigorating, thrilling trip through the National Park we arrived in the second city of Aruba, San Nicolas. City is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, small town would be more correct but for Aruba it is its second city. San Nicolas was an interesting place. Just outside the city had been a massive oil refinery which supplied oil to much of the Caribbean. This refinery provided large employment to the locals and many more from the other Caribbean islands. But it closed in the 1980s and everyone lost their jobs. San icolas su ered because of this and became very run down. ‘A bit of a ghost town,’ is how it was described and you could see that with some run down buildings and an air of neglect. But this is now being rectified with an art and fashion fair being held in the city every year. We were there a couple of weeks before this took place and the town was being given a makeover. Street art was on every corner, and it was very impressive. Aruban houses are brightly coloured, very brightly coloured, and each one is di erent. The murals on the walls added to this and we spent a fascinating hour or so wandering around the town admiring it. Food on the island is good quality and delicious with a strong merican influence as well as a local and European touch. s e pected, there’s a lot of fresh fish with shrimps (massive prawns) being on every menu, be it the local street food or the best restaurants on the island. Eating lunch at Zeerovers is a memory that will stay with me for a long time. Sitting on the decking with the sea beneath us, watching the boats, eating shrimps with bare fingers whilst sipping the local Chill beer takes some beating. One of the most exciting days on the island for me was our kayaking and snorkelling adventure. I am not a strong swimmer and it has to be really warm for me to venture into the water, particularly the sea, so I was not looking forward to the snorkelling, something I’ve never done before, or ever wanted to do. We would be kayaking out to sea to a jetty, to swim and snorkel and then kayak further to a private island, Harmony Island. Kayaking was fun, we didn’t use paddles but used our feet instead, a bit like a pedalo. Energetic enough to get the heart rate up slightly,

but relaxing to be on the water and enjoying the view. The turquoise of the Caribbean Sea has to be seen to be believed; it was so clear you could see the bottom.

Five go snorkelling Once we arrived at the jetty and left the kayaks we were instructed in the art of snorkelling. Dead bodies float, and so will you,’ said our local guide from Aruba Outdoors Adventures. In a typical laid back Caribbean way he managed to be very informative as well as very relaxed. None of us had snorkelled before and we were all slightly hesitant particularly when it was pointed out how far we would swim; could I even get that far? One by one we entered the water, me being last in. And I really wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. But once in, and giving myself a firm talking to and practicing the breathing (breathe hard) we were away. It is one of the best things I have done. Swimming in the warm Caribbean Sea is a pleasure in itself, being able to don a mask and view the coral and sea life beneath the surface was an absolute privilege; now I understand the film inding emo. The angel fish really are as bright as they look in photos, spiny sea urchins are to be avoided, barracudas are quite large and ferocious looking and the coral simply stunning. As we were all coping well we were then taken further out into the sea, out of the bay into much deeper water which was fascinating. Hearing the clicking of the fish as they communicate with each other was incredible, albeit I had to have this explained to me when I asked what the noise was. The tranquillity of kayaking to Harmony Island, an island made of coral, after the excitement of snorkelling was the perfect antidote. We had time to absorb what we had done and reflect on our achievement before clambering out of the kayaks to enjoy the peace of a private island. The locals use Harmony at weekends and often camp here. The island is made up of coral rock covered in mangrove trees that can survive on sea water. ere we saw bright blue lizards and pelicans flying overhead and my first hermit crab the island was full of them. I then made sure I swam at least once a day which was very easy as my hotel was on Palm Beach.

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Aruban wildlife One of my favourite parts of the trip was getting to meet the local wildlife. I enjoyed pelicans on the beach, wild goats in the National Park, numerous brightly coloured lizards and even shared a sunlounger with some iguanas. Yes, that really is true. Whilst relaxing by the pool at the hotel I noticed a large iguana under the lounger next to me. I was in a quiet spot on my own so just watched it. It was then joined by another one, and look, over there, two more! It was fascinating. They didn’t seem to be bothered by me and I wasn’t bothered by them so I dozed o enjoying the sun and the company. I did check when it was time to move that I didn’t have one under my lounger though. One of the myths that was dispelled is the existence of flamingoes on the island. irtually every beach on ruba is public so anyone can frequent them. Flamingo Beach though is a private one and an Instagrammer’s dream. Sadly though, as is often the case with social media, the photos don’t tell the true story. The flamingoes, with clipped wings, are not native to the island and are there only to be photographed.

Sunsets Aruban style Sunsets in ruba are uick, dramatic and beautiful. The sun rises at about 7am and sets just after 6pm. There are no long twilight moments, it’s dark within minutes. But while the sun goes down there are some beautiful sunsets which we enjoyed most evenings whilst dining in the beach restaurants.

Eagle Beach The award winning Eagle Beach is how you imagine a Caribbean beach. cres of white sand, tur uoise sea and home to the fofoti tree, the tree that points towards the Caribbean and which makes the perfect photo. Eagle Beach is third on the list of Best Beaches in the World and I can see why.

The pros and the cons ruba is a tourist’s paradise. nd because of this it attracts a lot of them and is the mainstay of ruba’s income. Cruise liners dominate the skyline in Oranjestad. ruba attracts over a million tourists a year, the majority of them from the S as it’s only a three hour flight from iami, with a good contingent from Europe too, many from Holland. There is a high rise and low rise area, this refers to the hotels and, as imagined, the high rise is highly populated with tourists. But it is not to the detriment of

the island, it seems to be able to absorb everyone and I never felt crowded. The island, like all Caribbean islands is expensive, so be prepared. But the pros far outweigh the cons. The island prides itself as being ‘one happy island,’ and it is. The locals are friendly and welcoming. I felt perfectly safe wherever I was on the island, even when alone. What I really liked is that the native rubans appear to live comfortably and are really invested in their island. They are proud of it and delighted to show it to you and share it with you. On my final day shortly before leaving the island I tried S P yoga for the first time. uite why you would want to do yoga on a floating board in the middle of the sea is beyond me but once I’d got used to the movement of the board and balance I enjoyed it. Lying on my board, floating on the Caribbean enjoying Savasana with the sun beating down on me is almost as good as life can get. It doesn’t get much better than this. www.arubatourism.com www.arubaoutdooradventures.com www.depalmtours.com www.aruba.com

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Barnsdale’s Breath of Fresh Air Kate Maxim talks treatments with Kyode Walker, Barnsdale Hall Hotel’s new leisure and spa manager


arnsdale is on the market, and there’s also a new management team, so lots of changes. You’re the leisure and spa manager. How’s it all going? I’ve been here since October 1st and it’s been a wonderful experience, very challenging, but the team is heading in the right direction. It’s a very exciting time for us knowing we might have new investors, as the site has been going for 30 years and it needs a modern touch. We’ve got lots of plans and have integrated the leisure and spa into one unit so people can come and get fit but then have the rela ing benefits of the spa. It’s about wellness and feeding the mind. The location is amazing. You couldn’t ask for better views over the water. That’s part of the journey because when you drive in the scenery is so captivating it immediately lifts your mood. That’s how I felt when I came to take on the post. It feels so di erent from anywhere else, everywhere you look is green and you’re away from anything else, in a quiet space.

years but it shows how passionate I feel about spas! It’s something I love, seeing people feeling well and happy after a treatment. Once I’d completed my degree I worked at the Aman spa at The Connaught Hotel for a year as a receptionist co-ordinator. While I was there I did my Masters in Luxury Hotel Management at the University of West London, then worked at the Crowne Plaza in Marlow for a short period; then I came here. How are you finding the change from city to rural Rutland? It’s a big di erence. I go back to London for the hustle and bustle but what I find magical is the quietness and serenity here. Things are much greener and fresher and I have more quality time now.

I love fitness so I teach the body attack classes and we’re aiming to run the Les Mills fitness programme so I’m currently giving our members a feel of what those classes are like. And they love it. We’re hoping to add the body pump workout. Les Mills was an Olympian from New Zealand who developed a programme of sports related movements with high energy music. It’s a high intensity workout but with levels for beginners, improvers and advanced, which we tailor to suit. It’s fun. We also o er more meditative classes like yoga, Pilates, and stretching classes. Then in the spa we focus on the skin, so when you’re fit and looking good it all adds to the wellbeing of the mind. It’s all about the sensory journey so we’ve created a soothing atmosphere. We’ll soon be introducing a lounge area and we have a sleeping room so guests who don’t want to leave quickly can go there afterwards. We don’t want anyone to feel rushed. Do you have to be a member to come? Anyone can come to the spa for a treatment but the members get preferential rates and access. Non-members would have to get a

Where did you work before? Before the credit crunch in 2007 I was working as a customer service supervisor for Camden council and I was made redundant. Then I worked for another council but also lost my job. Only a year earlier, I’d done a BTEC in Holistic Massage so I started to work for myself as a therapist. Within six months I had over 200 clients in Camden and Islington. People were asking for other treatments so I did lots of ualifications then I decided to do the International Spa Management degree at the University of Derby. I spent two years commuting from London to Buxton while still running my own business. It should have taken three

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day pass if they wanted to use the facilities although if they book a treatment of 60 minutes or more they can use the swimming pool, steam room, sauna and gym for free. We also have crazy golf, and push and pull which are popular, especially with families, and tennis courts. Do you still have the flotation room? Yes you can use it for 30 or 40 minutes and it’s very e ective for people with poor circulation, or who are feeling stressed or have eczema and rosacea. We’ve just introduced a new brand in the spa so as well as ESP we now o er Germaine de Cappucini. It’s a Spanish brand found in 5 star hotels and includes creams from as low as to as high as . ou won’t find them on the High Street; it’s exclusive to us in the area. ESPA is an holistic range using organic products while Germaine is on the more cosmetic side so having both gives our customers options. If you want to see fine lines go away straight away, you’d choose Germaine for a slower approach we’d use ESPA, they complement each other.

“I love fitness so I teach the body attack classes and we’re aiming to run the Les Mills fitness programme so I’m currently giving our members a feel of what those classes are like. And they love it.”

The fact you can do all the treatments yourself is great. Yes, I’m very hands on. The team is amazing and the therapists are very experienced and ualified but if someone is overbooked and I’m free then I’m happy to take on a treatment. I’m a fle ible and accommodating manager and don’t hide in the back. www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk/leisure/

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W I L L’ S W A L K

Wilsthorpe and Braceborough

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch in Braceborough, with its beautiful stained glass windows, is Grade 1 listed and the tower dates back to the 13th century. The porch was added in 1620 and substantial renovations were completed by the Victorians in the mid 1800s.

Relax in the tranquillity provided by this rural backwater, and enjoy a skyline dominated by an impressive church spire. By Will Hetherington.

Images: Will Hetherington

The East Glen river may be a welcome sight for your dogs.

Difficulty rating TH E ROUTE

I parked on the road right by the church in Wilsthorpe but you can also choose to start and finish in Braceborough if you prefer. The public footpath heads south west out of Wilsthorpe from right by the church. Initially you walk down a wide gravel drive then over a couple of grass fields before reaching the arable land beyond, with the anor ouse over to your left. Go under the power lines and you will soon come to the metal

bridge over the East Glen river. There are times of the year when there is minimal flow in this waterway but not this winter, and the bridge crosses the river just yards west of the point where it joins forces with the West Glen River. Cross the bridge and keep heading south across a big field, then go through the hedgerow and turn right. Stay on the path as it goes around a small spinney and then after yards or so turn right and cross over the new wooden bridge through the gap in the hedge. If you have the time and the inclination you can make a short detour to Greatford at this point and then retrace your steps .

rom here head north across one big arable field and then one smaller ridge and furrow type wild meadow with two or three lovely trees in the field edges. ou will arrive in Braceborough on the village green for want of a better description) and see the church and Braceborough all ursing ome straight ahead. It’s worth a stroll around the peaceful little place but to follow the route you need to turn right as soon as you get into the village. ollow the path through a farmyard then out on to the fields on a well established road. rom the edge of the village it’s less than one kilometre back to the metal bridge over the East Glen and Wilsthorpe beyond.

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Recently installed bridges make this a very easy walk.

Essential information


WHERE TO PARK I parked right outside the church in Wilsthorpe but you can start and finish in Braceborough if you prefer. DISTANCE AND TIME Two and a quarter miles/50 minutes. You can also extend the walk into Greatford.


HIGHLIGHTS Braceborough church is an impressive sight from the east and there is a soothing tranquillity about the whole walk. Nothing happens very fast in either of these two villages. LOWLIGHTS It’s not a long stroll but there’s likely to be a bracing winter breeze which will make you feel like you’ve been out for longer. REFRESHMENTS If it’s after 4pm then head to the Five Horseshoes in Barholm for as traditional a pub as you are likely to find in these parts. DIFFICULTY RATING One paw. It’s flat and no stiles to speak of, but it could be muddy in parts. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE I didn’t see any livestock when I did it and the East Glen provides a handy spot for a drink and cool off if the dogs can negotiate the bank.

The spire of St Margaret of Antioch Church in Braceborough dominates this fenland landscape from the east.

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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Active life ACTIVE INFO Rich local ironstone was used in the extensive re-building of Ashley in the Victorian era and this enhances the beauty of the settlement, particularly around the Grade 1 listed church of St Mary the Virgin in the heart of the village

W I L L’ S W A L K

Ashley and Stoke Albany If you don’t mind a bit of mud and a couple of hills then this walk will deliver rich rewards. By Will Hetherington. Images: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating TH E ROUTE

I parked outside Ashley in a gateway on Stoke Albany Road to the west of the village, but I think you would be better o parking in Ashley. Take the footpath which heads west away from Ashley from the right angle bend on the way into the village. During this wet autumn and winter it’s hard to find anywhere that isn’t muddy and I’m afraid this is no exception. You just have to plough on and think of the workout your legs are getting. The path goes almost straight and gradually uphill through three fields some with livestock on the day I walked here) for about half a mile before you turn left along a field boundary. ollow this and continue to gain height until you ultimately come to the wonderful six-way junction at the top of the hill. This is a lovely signpost on this wild spot and there can’t be too many like it in the UK. Make sure you take the second of

two options to Stoke Albany, which will have you walking on a slight diagonal towards the middle of the hedgerow on the southern edge of the field. When you reach the field boundary you will have a tremendous view to the south taking in Stoke Albany Golf Club and the hills of Dingley and Brampton Ash. There is a small private grave fenced o to the left but your route lies directly ahead and downhill past the solitary tree. fter five minutes at the most you will see the path uite obviously veering o to the left. ollow this and it will take you through a small wood with low hanging branches and then through some big fields with the golf course to your right over the hedge. You will ultimately come to the access road to the golf course near the clubhouse, but it’s clear where the path continues over the road. Continue through or around if necessary the ne t field and you will come out on to the road just to the north of Stoke Albany. Walk into the village and then turn left and out past the very pretty St Botolph church. rom here head north paying close attention

to any signs there and your OS map to ensure you keep to the path as it meanders over a couple of streams and around some woodland. I had to stop and work out exactly how to follow the path when it started going uphill because I couldn’t see any signage so do make sure you have a map. Once you are sure you are on the right track just to the east of Lower Lodge arm you will see the path clearly stretching ahead so keep heading north over two hills until you see Ashley spread out in the valley before you. The views ahead and behind on this stretch are really special and sometimes it seems like you are in a much more remote part of the country than Northamptonshire. Unfortunately at the bottom of this last hill the path goes through just about the muckiest gateway I have encountered in this area to get you back into Ashley. It’s where the cows enter the field from the neighbouring yard, which explains the problem. If you have your map I’d advise you to circumnavigate this gateway. And then you are back in the village.

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There can’t be too many six-way footpath junctions in the UK. Make sure you take the second one to Stoke Albany.


St Botolph church in Stoke Albany.

Essential information WHERE TO PARK I would suggest parking on the main road in Ashley.

Views like this make the hills and the mud worthwhile.

DISTANCE AND TIME Five miles/two hours. HIGHLIGHTS The beautiful views from the hilltops, Stoke Albany church, the village of Ashley and the six-way footpath junction at the top of the hill. LOWLIGHTS The mud and the gateway back into Ashley at the end. REFRESHMENTS The George in Ashley. DIFFICULTY RATING Four paws. With the hills and the mud, this is far from an easy option. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE There is some livestock on the way round so take care. There are a couple of streams on the return leg from Stoke Albany to Ashley and one down by the golf course. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.

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Meet Alicia Kearns, the new MP for Rutland and Melton Kate Maxim catches up with Rutland’s new MP


ongratulations on your appointment as MP for Rutland and Melton. I imagine you’re thrilled with the result. Before we talk about your plans for the county, what drew you to this constituency? The best men at our wedding both came from around here: one from Loughborough and the other from Market Harborough and we used to all meet up in Rutland with our families and friends. Who wouldn’t want to spend their time here? We have wonderful memories of the area, and when we visited in September we were saying to ourselves, can

you imagine if Sir Alan resigned and I was asked to be Conservative parliamentary candidate? I said it’s not on the cards, he’s never going to retire, but it would be the dream. And here I am. It’s a wonderful place, utterly beautiful with wonderful people, and it’s very much a dream come true. Will you move to Rutland? We already have. I live in Langham with my husband John and our son. I said I’d move here within a week if I became the parliamentary candidate so here I am. My husband is a geographer, a keen cyclist and

very supportive. He loves Rutland Water and we really want our son to grow up in the countryside as both of us did, being able to play outdoors in a beautiful area. Sir Alan Duncan will still live in Rutland, will that be a problem at all? No, he’s a lovely man and has been very supportive and I’m really pleased he’s staying in the constituency. Previously you were a counter terrorism expert. What exactly did that entail? I worked for NATO, the US government, the

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government and at the oreign O ce. I led interventions in Syria and Iraq to defeat ISIS, and also a global coalition against Daesh. I’ve done counter hostile based activities in Ukraine, and I worked in Morocco, Lebanon and Kuwait making sure we defeated ISIS and also groups like l- aeda. I did that at the oreign O ce and then went self employed where I did e actly the same thing. We were making sure that people didn’t get radicalised and, if they did, that they defect and leave the terror group. Why did you decide to leave that world and become an MP? At the time I was based in the UK and, having worked in the civil service at the oreign o ce, inistry of ustice and the Ministry of Defence I saw how often the bureaucratic system gets caught up in itself. The reason it’s there is to help people and make their lives easier and I realised very quickly that I’m good at challenging the system and asking if something will make a di erence. lthough the trappings of being an MP don’t appeal and it’s not something I’m attracted to naturally, being able to hold government to account and make it work harder is something I can do. People go to their MP in their darkest moments when things are going wrong and they need

“We’re very privileged to live in a wonderful place but there’s always going to be people who need support, having a tough time. ”

someone to make that system work harder for them. That’s why I left the career behind that I loved very much. It’s very quiet in Rutland. Are you going to find it dull after all that? o, there are di erent challenges and there’s so much we need to be doing. We’re very privileged to live in a wonderful place but there’s always going to be people who need support, having a tough time. What do you want to tackle first? This election was being fought on one issue which is Bre it so we need to get Bre it done so we can focus on day to day issues, be it the environment, health or social care. My priority is to fight for our fair share as Leicestershire is the worst funded county per head in the country. We need to get more money for Rutland to help young people, for

social care, improved broadband, and to make our roads safer. We have the Melton bypass coming and I’ll make sure that’s delivered. The A1 is the most dangerous road in the and we need to fi that. We need new GP practices in Melton and Oakham and I’m going to make sure we get those. We need to stand up for our farmers; food should be considered a national security issue. Farmers are working so hard, we just need to make sure we have a common sense approach to supporting them as they’re the ones putting food on our tables. And crime. We want more focus on rural areas away from urban areas. We’re lucky to live in a low crime area but we do need to tackle the crimes we do have. There are no uick fi es but over time I want to tackle these issues. That’s a lot to be getting on with. What do you do to relax when you do have spare time? Sleep! I have a fourteen-month-old son. Also, there’s nothing we like better than jumping in the car and e ploring places, and going for a long walk. We’re National Trust members and now we have 250 squares miles of Rutland and elton to e plore. We do like a pub lunch and spending time with family. I also love going to watch musical theatre but that may be o the cards for a few years. What’s your favourite show? I love Miss Saigon and anything by a guy called Jason Robert Brown, who is an American composer. Do you act yourself? I used to do a lot of musical theatre, opera and Gilbert & Sullivan so there’s a few pictures of me in dodgy costumes floating about somewhere. Some female MPs have experienced quite a toxic environment in parliament. Has this been the case for you? Women do often receive more abuse as candidates but I’ve not e perienced anything worse than my male counterparts so far. I have to ask. Can you see yourself as prime minister one day? I’m a long way o that idea y goal is to be out and about across the county in the streets, in the markets and the pubs meeting everyone.

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Thai Facial Lift Revival Lisa Chauhan visits Herb & Heal for a Thai facial


OW IT’S THE middle of winter and the cold weather is taking its toll and, as Christmas season excesses have left me feeling jaded, I thought my skin would benefit from some tlc so I treated myself to a Thai facial. You don’t always associate Thai treatments with facials, it’s usually deep tissue massages and the like that first spring to mind but erb eal in Oakham o er both massage and facials. The Thai facial lift revival is a face massage based on traditional Thai techniques that relax facial muscles, improve muscle tone and enhance the natural metabolism in the body and skin; sounds just what I needed! What better place to experience this than Herb & Heal in Oakham owned by Cholticha Vichathum. Ticha moved to the UK about 11 months ago and set up her business in Oakham, with the help of her sister, Tanita.

In Thailand Ticha was an IT teacher and then retrained in Thai massage and beauty; so a complete change of career and country. Greeted with a warm welcome I was given a cup of tea on arrival. Ticha then showed me through to the treatment room which is a nice, big room with a homely feel to it. Whilst cleansing the skin, the steam machine was turned on and aimed towards my face. I’d never experienced this before and it was pleasant, and I felt it really helped with the cleansing process. This was followed with a scrub to remove any make-up left on the skin. The next part I loved, a thick massage cream was applied to my face and again I could feel the steam on my face at the same time. When massaging the whole face Ticha

used quick upward strokes which felt very relaxing; a lovely technique. A serum (Vitamin C) was then applied, followed by a moisturiser. Job done! My skin felt very soft and my face muscles definitely did feel tighter. I could have happily stayed for longer and left feeling invigorated but relaxed. I would definitely go back for another Thai facial. I felt it did me a lot of good and has set me up nicely for the rest of the winter. The products used are made in the UK – Naturally Thinking. I was pleased about that. www.herbandheal.co.uk 21 Burley Road, Oakham 07500 716196 45 mins - £45.00 60 mins - £65.00 (includes natural facial mask)

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E’RE IN THE depths of the dark, cold winter months when all you really want to do is sit huddled in front of the fire, never wanting to poke your head outside let alone set foot out there. And sartorial elegance has flown out of the window. But we all need vitamin D and fresh air so wrap up warm and get yourself out and about, it will help blow the cobwebs away and any remaining party season hangovers. Sometimes the best outfit is a simple one a classic long wool coat, warm boots, chunky jumper and jeans. Something this simple is easy to put together, can be varied and instantly makes you feel better. good warm coat is a sensible investment and will last you years, becoming an old friend that can be made to look di erent with the addition of a scarf or handbag. nd it’s sale time so go and grab a bargain. Parkas and uilted duvet coats are still popular, and warm, whilst fake fur seems to get better each year. But a classic tweed coat is a firm favourite of mine. If it’s made from British tweed, in this country, it’s a sustainable piece of clothing with a low carbon footprint that will last for years. ow’s that for a virtuous piece of clothing?

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Burman coat £445 www.reallywildclothing.com

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USE IT OR LOSE IT The New Year is for a fresh start; this year we want to concentrate on keeping the mind as well as the body active IT IS BECOMING more apparent that with our bodies and minds it’s a case of ‘use it or lose it.’ Those of us who are active in our youth are more likely to keep being so in our adult life and well into old age; good habits learnt early are often adhered to. We all know that if you miss a few yoga or gym sessions your fle ibility and strength uickly diminish. And miss a few football training sessions, and that pitch seems twice as long. So in this case practice really does make perfect, or to be a bit more mundane, use it or lose it. But it’s not just our bodies we need to work on, we need to keep our brain active as well. It’s very easy once we have left full time education to never apply ourselves cerebrally again. Learning something new - however simple challenges us and stretches the mind. Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge keeps you young. new language can ta the brain, apparently Dutch and Swahili are the easiest languages to grasp. Try a new sport so you can combine the physical and mental challenge. There are many sports and activities where you learn routines so stretching the memory as well as the body; anyone remember the old style aerobics classes where it was so easy to turn the wrong way or start on the wrong leg, and how uickly you learnt the routine? Here at Active we’ve been scouting around trying new things and coming up with suggestions to keep mind and body active, often both at the same time. Remember, use it or lose it.


way to help think outside the bo is to try an escape room. Being locked in a room with no obvious way out is a very good way to concentrate the mind. Join up with a group of friends and you’ll uickly learn who are the team players, prima donnas and logical thinkers. We have a few escape rooms in our area including One Way Out in Oakham and Trapp’d in Peterborough.


oga is good for everyone helping improve fle ibility and strength. We become less mobile with age so it becomes more important to work on your fle ibility and to keep moving. The premise with each posture is that that you move your body to the point that you are able to. Hot yoga allows for deeper and safer stretching. Practicing yoga regularly can improve mental clarity, focus and wellbeing. Hot Yoga with Harry in Market Harborough and Leicester is o ering free sessions in anuary. To find out more te t arry on and uote ctive an. Optimum You Yoga studio has just opened in Market Harborough on St Mary’s Street. There are two studios available, lots of di erent classes and a new thriving yoga community to join in the town. The newly opened Ironstone Wellbeing Centre in ettering o ers three purpose built yoga and Pilates studios as well as treatment rooms. They have numerous instructors o ering di erent types of yoga ranging from the most gentle to challenging as well as Pilates classes, mindfulness and meditation and Tai Chi. Every discipline helps both the mind and body o ering increased fle ibility, strength and posture whilst helping to de-stress and focus the mind at the same time. Uppingham School Sports Centre has something for everyone of all ages swimming lessons adults too , group e ercise classes, dance classes, sports clubs and a s uash and rac uetball league. ou name it, they’ll most likely do it. If you come with a friend and join a class you are more likely to stick at it, so take their advice.


FitSteps with Izzy is based on choreographed routines from Strictly Come Dancing, it’s an upbeat dance class which gives a great body workout but is, above all, fun. Anyone can do it as it’s adapted to all levels and based around four steps to each dance, be it ballroom, jive, waltz, Latin or the Cha Cha. Learning the moves, and putting them into practice keeps your brain active as well as your feet. Book via the Ironstone Wellbeing Centre website www.ironstone.club/class/booking/


This inclusive organisation is a collection of locals who are developing sport for all around the region, aimed at everyone of all ages and abilities, so take a look at their website to find clubs, sports and promotions as well as what’s on near you.

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TRYING SOMETHING NEW Sue Peet meets a couple of readers who have blown away the cobwebs

purpose that playing brings. He has two lessons a week and is currently working towards his Grade 3 exam: “I feel I’ve got to have something to aim for. s for his goal, im had classical piano lessons at school where the nuns didn’t share his love of Rock n’ Roll So he plans one day to fulfil his early musical dreams by joining a band. In contrast, Leicester niversity researcher ay Phelps started Samba drumming as the prospect of her son leaving home approached. I needed to start doing things for me again, e plains ay, who tried out a Samba workshop and loved it. rom there, it was a short step from practice sessions at the ottingham School of Samba to the e hilaration of live performances ranging from festivals to fireworks nights. ay believes drumming brings many benefits. The three sounds of her chosen Brazilian timbau drum are woven into repeated rhythms, interspersed with numerous rhythmic breaks’. The brain juggles each element until the rhythms become second nature. “I’d had years of telling myself that I didn’t have space in my head to learn anything new. owever, drumming has brought a feeling of my brain working better, working faster, along with a renewed confidence and the joy which comes from making music with others. So whether you choose to dust down that old guitar lurking in the corner of the loft or fulfil a long-held passion to master the bagpipes, the challenge and excitement of music-making as an adult has a great deal to recommend it. nd no-one to check if you’ve done your practice

HAVE YOU DONE your practice today? A familiar question in countless households as parents eagerly await the transformation of a child’s early squeaks and scrapes into something recognisable, proficient and, ultimately, beautiful. The benefits of music-making on developing minds is widely recognised. Recent research has also found that musical training is beneficial for adults, bringing improvements to mental function, social interaction and stress reduction. Our brains forge connections throughout life; something called neuroplasticity. New experiences and challenging activities can provide the cognitive workout which is now regarded as of equal importance as maintaining a healthy diet or taking regular exercise. Consequently, many of us are turning (or returning) to music-making in our forties, fifties and beyond taking the opportunity to e plore new creative directions or fulfil long-held ambitions, and learning an instrument has the potential to tick these boxes. Jim O’Brien from Market Harborough took up the trombone after losing his partner. As Jim has been blind since childhood, figuring out the numerous notes associated with each trombone slide position is a daily challenge, especially when it comes to remembering scales. His practice, combining braille memos and recordings, gives im’s brain a daily workout as he commits new pieces to memory. Of e ual importance for im, however, is the sense of

January 2020 / theactivemag.com

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FORE! Mary Bremner has her first golf lesson and helps dispel a few myths I’VE NEVER CONSIDERED playing golf. I have to admit that I’ve never really liked what I’ve perceived to be the attitude of some of the clubs: sexist, chauvinistic and elitist and have often felt very unwelcome when I have interviewed people at some clubs. So much so that just to irritate I always park in the captain’s space when delivering magazines. Petty, I know, but it makes me feel better. And maybe I’ve watched too many 70s sitcoms that often featured golf; Terry and June anyone? And then Mark Jackson from Burghley Golf Club rang up inviting me for a golf lesson. It fitted in perfectly with our Use it or Lose it feature; something I’ve never done before and at my age it’s always good to try something new so I was up for the challenge and braced for the atmosphere. Mark and Burghley are keen to dispel the myth surrounding golf clubs and have worked hard to make their club more welcoming. They run an academy for newcomers that o ers fle ibility so is attracting more women to the sport as well as children. It makes sense, if you get mothers playing they are quite likely to encourage their kids to play as well. So I turned up on a December morning to give golf a try.

It was cold so I had layered up; no idea if this was the correct apparel for the golf links but I didn’t care, warmth was key. Apparently golf clubs vary in length according to your height but Mark had judged well when we headed to the range with an 8 and a pitch iron. Mark is jovial and knowledgeable so very quickly got me into ‘the swing of it.’ Grip is key, once you’ve got that sorted correctly the rest of the swing comes naturally. The grip took a while to get correct but after missing the ball with my first two attempts I was away. nd how satisfying is giving that ball a good whack and seeing it sail o onto the green? I was hooked. Hitting the ball squarely took some practice. I didn’t miss another ball but didn’t always hit it soundly. t first I was hooking the ball to the left but once I’d grasped the hang of the grip I was hitting the ball straight and thoroughly enjoying it. The 40 minute lesson was over in a flash, and I was very keen to keep at it. Who knew that hitting a golf ball could be so satisfying. Golf would appear to be a sport that you compete against yourself, if that makes sense. A bit like shooting, despite competing against others it’s yourself that you’ve got to do battle with; concentrate, get the grip right and the rest would appear to come naturally; easier said than done in certain circumstances I imagine. It’s early days but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am keen to have another go. Burghley Golf Club’s restaurant is open to non members so everybody is welcome and the food is excellent; Sunday lunch is proving very popular. The clubhouse and course sit on the edge of Burghley Park and, as expected, the surroundings are beautiful. By having a lesson and seeing for myself that they are a friendly lot my prejudice against golf clubs has been proved to be just that. Will I stop parking in the captain’s place? Possibly… To join the Academy costs £250. For this you get eight 40 minute individual lessons, booked at your convenience along with full use of all the facilities including the practice range, chipping green and three hole academy course as well as discounts for food and drink at the clubhouse. unior membership costs to include five minute individual lessons and use of the facilities. During school holidays group lessons are available during the week which are free. membership o er of months for for £995 is available at the moment. www.burghleyparkgolfclub.co.uk

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THE ENGLISH BRIDGE UNION, NORTHANTS COUNTY, AND STAMFORD BRIDGE CLUB Invite you to learn bridge with us on Thursday 9th January 7.00 - 10.00 pm (10 weeks) or 27th January 9.30- 12.30 (10 weeks ) at Stamford Bridge Club, Exeter Gardens, Stamford PE92RN

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Absolute beginners and Improvers welcome. Join us for this exciting opportunity to learn bridge in a friendly environment and keep your mind agile whilst having fun. Lessons £65 for the 10-week course.

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BRIDGE ANYONE? AS WELL AS keeping our bodies active we need to work on our brains and the use it or lose it analogy really does seem to apply to the mind; the more you use it, the more active it stays. How many of us are still as quick at mental maths as when we were at school when adding up all the time? We lose this speed unless doing it regularly. The perfect example of practice makes perfect, or certainly keeping your hand in. Sudoku, crosswords and now even bingo are all touted as useful ways to keep the memory sharp and brain active. Another game to embrace is bridge; a really popular card game that stimulates the brain as well as being very sociable. Bridge is a card game of strategy. The dealer initially distributes three cards to four players who play in pairs. The aim is for each partnership to score points by making a bid for trumps or by defeating the opponent’s bid. Players decide on the bid by counting their high card honour points and the winner (declarer) picks the trumps. A dummy hand (that of the opposite partner) is then put down for the declarer to play with. The cards are then dealt and the game played like whist. ‘It’s like whist without the bidding,’ is how one beginner described it. It all sounds very complicated but players can quickly reach an adequate standard to hold their own in a game. Basically the highest scoring pair win. Stamford Bridge club is one of the largest clubs in the country and its friendly and welcoming ethos attracts players from far and wide. Situated in Exeter Gardens in its own purpose built clubhouse it’s a really active club

CONTACTS BRIDGE CLUBS Stamford Bridge Club 01780 757789 sue.westcott@live.co.uk Rutland Duplicate Bridge Club https://www.bridgewebs.com/ rutland/ ESCAPE ROOMS One Way Out, Oakham www. onewayoutescape.com Trapp’d, Peterborough www.trappd.com

with games held most days and evenings as well. There is a competitive element to the club with some players playing in leagues, whilst others are happy to just play socially; either way you are very welcome. Membership costs £10 and £2.50 ‘table money’ each time you play, this includes tea and biscuits. ‘We can accommodate the most basic to the top players,’ says committee member Sue Westcott. The club has players of all ages ranging from 11 to 91. Some older players have come back to it in retirement ‘and want to keep the brain active,’ whilst others enjoy the social side of the game making new friends. Anyone can turn up and will be able to make up a pair to get a game and there are always buddies’ about to o er advice or to make up a pair. Groups ranging from the U3A to youth clubs are hosted at the club and they also deliver workshops at local schools as well as having a Youth Bridge Academy. This cleverly gets the children practicing their maths and observation skills whilst learning to play in teams. Stamford Bridge club welcomes newcomers and run very popular beginners courses throughout the year which are really well attended, during the day and evenings as well. ‘Bridge isn’t a passive game; it keeps your mind agile as you have to focus and concentrate,’ says Sue. Give it a try. To find out more about beginner’s courses starting in January email sue.westcott@live.co.uk 01780 757789

OTHER ACTIVITIES TO CONSIDER YOGA Hot Yoga with Harry 07973 392421 Ironstone Wellbeing Centre, Kettering www.ironstone.club Optimum You Yoga, Market Harborough www.optimumyouyoga.com DANCE CLASSES www.nickymorrisdance.com www.afbdanceacademy.co.uk Fitsteps with Izzy www.ironstone.club GOLF www.burghleyparkgolfclub.co.uk

UPPINGHAM Dance and fitness classes, and adult swim lessons www.sportscentre. uppingham.co.uk OAKHAM Oakham Choral Society (Oakham School Chapel) Catmose Sports Centre - adult swimming lessons

STAMFORD The Arts Society Stamford (lectures/ special interest mornings) MARKET HARBOROUGH Harborough Singers www.harboroughsingers.com Active Harborough District www.lrsport.org

January 2020 / theactivemag.com

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TO THE BALLET! Emily Atkinson caught up with ballet teacher Nicky Morris to learn about the benefits of dance on mind and body

In what way does ballet, and dance more generally, help maintain good physical fitness and dexterity? The nature of ballet is that it is meant to appear calm and e ortless, which re uires a huge amount of strength and muscle control. This comes from spending lots of time training and refining dancers’ co-ordination, balance and techni ue. So, of course, ballet is a fantastic way to keep fit. There is so much precision and detail involved, and all of my e ercises are set in a way that makes them possible for people of all ages.

asked to record videos of the routines we do so that people can practice them at home. If pupils are feeling unsure about the se uences, have missed a class, or want a way to integrate dance practice into their free time, these have been found to be really useful. That can help people feel a lot less daunted. There is a common misconception that ballet training and trainers can be uite harsh. In my classes it is the opposite. I am always very uick to praise and every se uence is taught in manageable parts to make training simpler.

The physical benefits of ballet are widely acknowledged but do you think ballet can improve mental wellbeing? irst of all, ballet is so uplifting. Every lady that walks out of my class feels so much more lively than when she walked in. The serotonin release that comes from e ercising, the sense of camaraderie with classmates, and the safe environment I create in my classes seem to have a really positive e ect on the mental wellbeing of my students. any people who come along to my classes, or one-on-one lessons, are su ering from some sort of physical or mental discomfort. or them, ballet class is a wonderful remedy, escape and release. any pupils tell me it has made them feel so much better. The classes are their special bit of time to clear their heads, push, and e press themselves creatively.

In what ways do you think ballet encourages increased brain activity? Ballet is really great for your memory. irstly, you learn a whole new way of movement. Routines and se uences are e tended and refined over a term, so we return to the same things fre uently. lso, a lot of ballet terms are in rench, and I don’t let my pupils shy away from that. That means that the learning phase goes through three stages of refinement perfecting the physical movement, referring that movement to the rench word, and then translating that word into English. It takes a lot of concentration and commitment, but worth the results

What is the age range of your classes? y students range between - years old and I also have uite a variety of people both in terms of ability and confidence. I try not to restrict people by putting an age range on my classes. or my adult pupils, I have icky’s Swans,’ popular with my older students, and Love Dance’, a more demanding class. I like to let people choose which is best for them.

You teach a range of different styles of dance.Can these other styles can also be good for keeping an active mind? Every class includes jazz warm-ups, fitness such as yoga or bodyweight training , barre e ercises, occasional contemporary improvisation, and varied fitness se uences around the room. I think this really builds confidence, and opens up students’ eyes to a variety of di erent techni ues and styles. Switching between these di erent genres is e cellent for keeping an active mind it really pushes my students’ ability to focus and retain information.

Some people may feel daunted at the thought of taking something like ballet up later in life. How do you reassure and encourage older students to take part? or each class, there are two sessions per week. The commitment is very manageable time-wise. It also gives pupils a real focus and project to work on. I often get

Where do your classes take place? I have group classes taking place in ppingham School Sport Centre, the shwell ub in Oakham, the Welland School of Dancing in Stamford, and South Lu enham illage all. ore details about classes are available on my website www.nickymorrisdance.com.

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

An activity a day could keep the doctor away Founder of The Health Network and CAN&WILL Fitness and Wellbeing, Beth Dawkins explains why social prescribing is good for you


E ARE ALL too aware that NHS waiting times seem to be getting longer, and resources are becoming more and more stretched. And with statistics showing that we actually have fewer working GPs in the UK (NHS Key Statistics: England, October 2019), primary care is also struggling to meet demands. But it is also clear to me, as a part-time GP receptionist on the ‘front line,’ that getting an appointment to see your doctor or nurse could cause more stress and frustration than the illness itself! I see both sides of the story and empathise greatly. People are now more invested than ever in improving their own health and wellbeing so in an e ective move away from the consultation room GPs are now referring more patients to social activities and other types of support to improve health and wellbeing, whilst aiming to reduce demand on the S. This initiative is called social prescribing’ and is set to transform the way we access healthcare. way from my S day job I am a fitness and wellbeing business owner at CAN&WILL and wanted to set up local workshops to bridge the gap between S services and the many private therapists and support groups in our area. I felt this concept could really benefit people far and wide and save precious time and resources, so I created The Health etwork, which o ers - hour Wellbeing Workshops’ featuring input from a variety of

GPs and healthcare clinicians, exercise instructors, coaches, therapists and those specialising in diet and nutrition. We work together so that people can learn about the many di erent treatment options available to them some free, some private, but most importantly, options for everyone. ollowing a pilot workshop covering Women’s Health in October 2018, The Health etwork will o er various a ordable workshops in 2020 on important health topics such as mental health, stress, menopause, new mums, weight management and diet, body positivity, cancer support and more. Workshops will be hosted at The CAN&WILL Studio in Market Harborough, in Leicester city centre and other venues around Leicestershire. Each workshop will feature short seminars from experts, Q&A sessions and networking. The aim is to bring people together, to open up conversations and make it sociable and enjoyable to talk about our health, since 10 minutes in the doctor’s room can be a daunting experience. Workshops aim to help attendees feel more informed and empowered before and after making an appointment with

the GP. We can also direct people to di erent charities and free services available in the local area if needed. I always advocate that in order to be healthy we must consider both the body and mind. Many of the clients I see don’t know that alongside regular exercise, complementary therapies can be fundamental in helping them to rela , recover and prevent injury, stress or illness. I very often share referrals to things like walking groups, reiki, massage, meditation, acupuncture, refle ology, counselling and support groups. There are hundreds of options out there and if one isn’t suitable, there is always another avenue to consider. ore often than not those clients come back to me and say how much they didn’t realise they needed it and how much better it made them feel, with improved focus, energy levels and mood. In turn, they also give me advice that I benefit from too! For information about CAN&WILL, upcoming Wellbeing Workshops and to book your space go to www.canandwill.net/thehealthnetwork or email hello@thehealthnetwork.uk

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“Symptoms leading to the need for joint replacement include pain that interferes with your daily activities or which require regular painkillers”

The Joy of New Joints Physiotherapist Sarah Babbs from Stamford’s Broad Street Practice discusses joint replacements


OINT REPLACEMENTS CHANGE lives. A survey recently showed that of all surgeries, including those for cancer, transplantation, etc, hip replacement surgery had been the most revolutionary in changing people’s lives enabling them to live a fuller, pain free and more active life. Most joints can be replaced; hip and knee being the most common, with shoulder, thumb and ankle coming up behind. Generally the surgery is done for arthritic joints but can follow fractures or even cancer. The numbers are enormous, 243,000 done in the 2016/17 calendar bringing the total in the UK to 2.35 million. And the news is good about longevity of the replacement joints. Joints are made up of two or more bones connected to each other via soft tissue. The so-called articular surfaces for the bones are covered in a smooth tissue called synovial cartilage which with inflammatory changes, mechanical changes often known as wear and tear, or direct injury, are altered. This can lead to sti ness, pain and swelling. When these symptoms become intolerable and limit active living, joint replacement can be a very satisfactory solution. Joint replacements do exactly what the name implies; replacing these surfaces with parts made from metal, ceramics and polyethylene in di erent combinations. recent development has been partial replacements leaving more of the original bone or joint in place. The most famous example of this has been Andy Murray’s hip “resurfacing” where the smallest possible

amount of bone was removed and a metal cup placed over the saved femoral head, leaving the rest of the femur una ected. This allowed him to return to playing at the top of his game and earlier than most people thought possible. The earliest recorded attempts at hip replacement were carried out in Germany in 1891 by Themistocles Gluck using ivory to replace the ball part of the joint. Dr Austin Moore used a metal implant in 1940 and Sir ohn Charnley in . oints known as the ustin- oore and Charnley are still very occasionally used today (and were the most common when I first started work Symptoms leading to the need for joint replacement include pain that interferes with your daily activities or which require regular painkillers. This will vary; not being able to walk five miles is an issue for some, while others just need to be able to potter to the local shop. Another factor might be pain during - or after - exercise, pain at night making it hard to sleep or waking with pain. Some will have sti ness and limited movement in a joint so are not able to put shoes and socks on. Some people will have all of these symptoms and may have been told that they need a new joint, often by concerned friends rather than professionals. Once examined many of these people are found to be not very strong generally, and around the joint, partly through diminished activity and sometimes by pain inhibiting their muscle strength. In these cases a good management programme including reassurance, strengthening, stretches and better

movement can address the symptoms and delay the need for surgery, sometimes for many years. For those that do need surgery one of the most important things found to improve outcome is “prehab” - preparation before surgery - which is exactly the same in most cases as those mentioned. If a patient goes into surgery fitter and stronger the results have been shown to be better than those less prepared, which is common sense really. This usually coincides with an improvement in symptoms and has been shown to reduce anxiety going into surgery. As improvements have been made in surgical and anaesthetic techniques time spent in hospital has reduced significantly from 10-14 days, 30 years ago, to 2-4 days now, with some centres trialling same day discharge. Follow up post surgery is obviously di erent but for most joints physiotherapy is arranged once home. This can vary enormously. Ideally those having hip, knee, shoulder and elbow surgery should have physiotherapy soon after discharge to enable them to get the best out of the surgery and be supported along the way. Rehabilitation can take place at home or in clinic and even transferring to gym work. Some people seem to recover faster and more easily than others. I often hear “my friend seemed to get on much better than me.” This may well be the case as people di er hugely in recovery, be it from pain, activity and emotional levels. It’s a little like having a baby, with a good number feeling quite blue a couple of weeks after the op. Obviously it is better not to have to have surgery. There has been an increase in joint replacements mirroring the increase in weight and sedentary lifestyle lived by many in the UK. This has created much conversation about the high cost to the health service of joint repair. This shows - as always - good physical fitness, weight management and general good health are vital. Whilst recently walking on the Camino de Santiago I got into conversation with a lady in her 70s who was walking 400km on her ankle replacement. If that doesn’t reassure us that life can be marvellous post surgery, I’m not sure what can… To make an appointment with Sarah ring The Broad Street Practice on 01780 480889 or contact her directly on 07780 90020.

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Cardio vs weights? World duathlon champion and director of Steels Fitness, Claire Steels, weighs up the benefits of both disciplines


HICH IS BETTER, cardio or weights? A question I have been asked time and time again. If you have clear and defined training goals then the answer is normally quite obvious. If you want to build bigger muscles and develop clear strength and size then chances are you will need to follow a regular and targeted weight training programme. If you’re aiming to run an ultra-marathon then you will need to develop your cardiovascular base with regular cardio training. Strength is fundamental for developing and maintaining a healthy body regardless of your goals, age or gender and the importance of it is highlighted in all of my training programmes and at my retreats. However, the majority of people are training with the aims of weight loss, reduced fat, improved energy levels, feeling better and improved general health and fitness. So which one is

best, cardio or weights? Cardiovascular training is the term traditionally used for activities such as running and cycling. Many people associate it with being a ‘fat burning’ activity. The health benefits of cardio training are well known and it is widely accepted that introducing regular cardio training will improve your heart health as well as lead to a reduction in percentage of body fat and weight loss making it a great training method for increasing all round general fitness and wellbeing. It is possible to trigger the muscle building stimulus (and therefore develop strength) through cardio training using sessions such as hill running and over gearing on a bike. However this stimulus response is limited to a few muscles and will weaken over time. Runners and cyclists will develop strength in their legs but not in their upper body and the repetitive nature of cardio exercises can lead to poor posture and an increased risk of injury. Resistance training or weight training develops muscular strength across targeted areas of the body. Many people associate this

with increased size, which can put some people o . But the two do not necessarily go hand in hand, and it is possible to develop strength without huge gains in size. Through a varied weight training programme it is possible to develop balanced full body strength, something that cardio training cannot do. Other benefits of weight training include a metabolic boost, increased calorie burn due to increased muscle mass, an increased range of overall movement and a reduced risk of injury, all great things But what about heart health? Maybe it shouldn’t be a case of cardio or weights but maybe cardio and weights. Many articles discuss the merits of cardio training, weight training and then HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) as a third separate type of training. However I like to think of HIIT training as a mix of both cardio and weight training. It involves bursts of high intensity exercises that elevate heart rate and weights to build strength. Cardio and weight training working together, providing benefits that counter the other’s weaknesses. It also ma imises overall health and fitness development, calorie burn and weight loss. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do any stand-alone cardio or weight training sessions but a mix of the two plus HIIT training should challenge your whole body, keep your training varied and interesting, keep motivation levels high and maximise results. For more information on Steels Fitness Retreats, personal training, or to enrol on her Majorcan Cycling Retreat go to info@ steelsfitness.com

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

Ratcliffe College Running Success Shaikira ing from Ratcli e College has won the second Prestwold Leicestershire and Rutland Schools Cross County league. Following this success Shaikira was invited to compete in the British Athletics Cross Country Challenge to run against the ‘best of year 7 and 8 girls’ and came third out of 141 girls, winning the bronze medal.

Oakham Old Boys at Leicester Tigers UCC table tennis county champions UCC U16 table tennis team have been crowned County Champions and will now represent Leicestershire and Rutland in the East Midlands event this month. Good luck.

Two former Oakham School pupils, Cameron Jordan and Sam Costelow, made their European debut with the Leicester Tigers in a recent match at Cardi rms Park. Sam played for Wales U20 in the World Cup this summer whilst studying for his A-Levels at Oakham. Cameron, who left Oakham in 2018 with a full-time contract to play for the Tigers, has already played in both Premiership Shield and Premiership Cup games for the team.

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Active Kids

Witham Play Hosts Witham hosted local prep schools for their annual U10 hockey tournament and rugby festival recently with the hockey team triumphing in the final by beating imbolton.

Stoneygate pupils at Rutland Water Equestrian Success for Stamford SES are celebrating show jumping success after two teams have become Lincolnshire county champions and ualified for the ational Show umping Championships. Three of the students have also ualified to compete at the Royal Windsor orse Show as well.

Year 9-11 pupils from Stoneygate have enjoyed a term of Sailing at Rutland Water. Over the last eight weeks pupils have learned the basics of dinghy sailing and have gained their Stage R sailing ualification as part of the Stoneygate Training and Enrichment Programme STEP for senior school pupils. The STEP programme is based on three core areas enterprise, students run and manage their own business leadership, students plan and lead a mountain expedition as well as sailing; and world perspectives, looking at a variety of global issues from economics and ethics to global events and world leaders. The first ear cohort sit their GCSE e ams in Trinity term .

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Oakham Shortlisted Oakham School has been shortlisted for the ‘strategic education initiative of the year’ category in the Tes Independent School Awards for its approach to enabling children to learn by finding out for themselves and for establishing The FOSIL Group. (www.fosil.org.uk) This open and free online platform allows educators to share inquiry learning approaches for the benefit of all students throughout the world.

Catmose Win Catmose year 8 netball team have won the Team Leicestershire etball finals winning it for the second time in a row. The year 8 boys football team are also doing well reaching the quarter finals of the Team Leicestershire Cup round.

SES Fives Success

Manor High Champions Congratulations to Will, Finn, Scott and Liam from Manor High in Leicester who have become U13 table tennis county champions. Well done!

Twelve Stamford Endowed Schools students recently took part in a Rugby Fives Association tournament with Zara Pollock and Chase Burgess winning the second tier trophy, the Lady’s Bowl. The tournament was to promote the sport of Fives to female beginners. ifty students from five schools competed with each female player being matched with either a young male player, a coach or a parent. Six girls and six boys entered the mixed doubles competition from the Stamford Endowed Schools, with each Year 10 girl being partnered with a Year 8 boy. The game of Fives, similar to squash but without the racquet, involves scoring points by hitting the ball above a ‘line’ across the front wall of a three- or four-sided court so that the opposition cannot return it before the ball bounces twice.

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Sessions in the Harborough, Blaby & Hinckley and Bosworth Districts

New reader challenges | Local club updates | There’s a new running club in Bourne Meet Tom Bourne, UCC’s director of sport | Spotlight on squash

ActiveSport On your bike! Gary Waterfall starts the New Year gently by tackling this 25 mile ride with just 1,000ft of climb to work off the Christmas excess without too much of a shock to the system.




HE FIRST RIDE of 2020 starts and finishes at The are og Caf and Charcuterie at Oakham Enterprise Park where there is plenty of room to leave your car. Go north through the villages of shwell and Teigh before turning left to follow a route clockwise around Stapleford Park. cheeky hill awaits before turning right through the village of Stapleford and then continuing clockwise until you enter Wymondham. On leaving the village the road is uite undulating but you’ll soon be in Thistleton where a sharp right turn will take you to arket Overton and then onwards to Cottesmore. ou can follow the full route, or if the legs have had enough at this stage, take a shortcut following the B to Burley on the ill it should save around miles or so . inally, down the hill to warm down, right at the roundabout and then tuck into the delicious co ee and a wellearned slice of cake at the are and og Cafe, back where you started. appy ew ear http://www.strava.com/routes/22767637




Distance: 26.1 miles Elevation:972ft Ride type: Road


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The Bourne Legacy Mary Bremner recently caught up with Uppingham Community College’s director of sport, Tom Bourne


hat does a director of sport do? I am in charge of all sport at the school, academic as well as sport played by the pupils. We o er PE at GCSE and also Cambridge Nationals which are a more practical ualification covering theory, leadership skills and the sport itself. I’ve got 50 pupils in year 11 and 55 in year 10 doing these two ualifications. passed their GCSE last year with 31% achieving a 7-9 grade. 100% of the Cambridge Nationals passed the course with the majority of students achieving the highest grade. We are very proud of our academic PE results and aim to continue to achieve well above the national average. We also have the Rutland Leadership Academy which is run in partnership with Rutland County Council. This is a sports leadership ualification for pupils in year for junior sports leaders and in 9-11 for senior sports leaders. At the moment I have 67 pupils taking this course. This ualification can then be added to in key stage 5 (sixth form) when our pupils move on to other schools. This ualification is free to do as it’s o ered by the Council so is open to everyone which is great. We have very good links with Rutland Council as well as a range of local sports clubs and coaches. I also run the UCC Performance Education site which is a virtual learning environment, filtered according to age groups, where I share motivational podcasts, articles, sports research and books with pupils who are interested. The aim is to inspire our pupils to maximise their potential and to reach their sporting goals. Out of the classroom I obviously also organise all the sports that the pupils play. And there are many of them; team sports as well as individual. In the lower years sports options change every six weeks so within a year pupils can have sampled di erent activities. We have mixed as well as single sex lessons so boys play netball with the girls, and boys and girls can play tag rugby. I

believe in a varied PE curriculum enabling students to develop knowledge and skills in a wide range of sports and health-related activities. How many teams do you have and who do you play against? There is at least one team per year group for every major sport, sometimes more than one team. I’m very proud that for the last two years the school has won the Ernie White Award which is for the highest number of teams and pupils representing their school. 38% of pupils have represented the school in a team with teams on o er in a year. We have the highest level of engagement in school sport within Leicestershire and Rutland. It’s an award I’m very proud of and I must give credit to all UCC students as well as my PE team of Nikita Hodgson, Adrian Rowan and Claire Craven and the non PE sta who help to manage the teams. We are in the Melton and Rutland sports partnership with the three other secondary schools in Rutland as well as three schools in Melton Mowbray so we get plenty of matches. The top teams from this league go forward to a knock out competition within the county. Our year 7 football, who were top of the Rutland league reached the quarter finals of the schools competition and our year

9 team reached the last 16. The U16 boys rugby team hold the county plate. Our year netball team were semi finalists and our U16 table tennis team are county champions too. And last year our swimming teams won both the local competition and were then crowned county champions. As well as the usual hockey, rugby, netball, football, etc we have basketball, volley ball, table tennis, tennis, handball, rounders and softball as well as obviously athletics and cross country teams. Mention must also go to the equestrian team, quite unusual for a state school. We also o er many e tra curricular activities including fencing, skiing and kickboxing. What about the non sporty, how do you get them involved? It’s vital that every pupil does some sort of sport whilst at school. I want to introduce them to as many sports as possible so that they find one they love and want to keep doing after they’ve left. Keeping active is vital for everyone. Sport is compulsory for everyone with four lessons a fortnight for years 7-9 and three a fortnight for and , five for those studying PE. But I do not expect every child to be running up and down a hockey or rugby pitch. For the non sporty, or those who don’t

“It’s vital that every pupil does some sort of sport whilst at school. I want to introduce them to as many sports as possible so that they find one they love and want to keep doing after they’ve left.”

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vision. The school has great facilities as well and was willing to invest more and was very committed to sport as a subject. We have a full size astro turf which is floodlit, meaning we can play all year round and o er great fle ibility within the curriculum. Since my arrival we have new netball and tennis courts, also floodlit. y wishlist is that every school in the country, primary and secondary, should have an astro turf and sports hall. There’s a lot of money in professional sport and it would be great to see it filter down to the grass roots so every pupil would get a chance to realise their potential.

wish to play in teams we o er a multi activity class which promotes wellbeing through sport. In this we o er yoga, fitness training, kick bo ing, non competitive team games, zumba dance and much more. We teach in smaller groups and it’s very popular. The motto of the PE department is to be better than before’ which applies to everyone. Our curriculum is very much values-based focusing on teamwork, responsibility and leadership vital life skills really, which sets pupils up well for the future. What was your sport, did you always want to teach and why UCC? I grew up in Loughborough and played every sport you could think of, tennis being my forte. I was in the county s uad and in the Loughborough Lawn Tennis Club. I started taking coaching ualifications, did level PE and then went to uni to study sports science at de ontfort in Bedford

where I was captain of the tennis team as well as playing other sports. I did think about a professional career as a player but decided it probably wasn’t very realistic, hence the degree instead. With hindsight I should have pursued a sports scholarship in the S but am more than happy with the way my life has turned out. On leaving uni I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to go down the coaching route, or the teaching one. I ended up getting a coaching job at ighgate School in north London where I then ualified as a teacher. fter years in London and seven months travelling the world I returned to my home county with a wife and two children that was years ago. I chose CC because it impressed me the most with the commitment from the sta , not just teaching sta but the grounds and site sta as well everyone is passionate about sport. I could see that I could take sport to the ne t level here as we all had the same

With the excellent facilities, award winning and so many teams; do you have any up and coming sporting stars? es we have a range of talented students who often win sports scholarships to Oakham and ppingham for the si th form. t the moment we have two players in orthampton Saint’s academy with more at Leicester Tigers. We’ve got some e cellent gymnasts and girls playing netball for Loughborough Lightning. We also have a pupil in year who plays for ottingham orest. e’s only but has played for the and s and has trained with the England group. We also have great cross country runners, mountain bikers and cyclists. I’m always keen to get professional athletes to come and speak to the kids and have had a B world champion, Olympic badminton player and gold medal hockey winner icola White. Our girls rugby team won a competition and visited the Sky cademy for a masterclass with onny Wilkinson. I think it’s great for all pupils to learn and be inspired by such positive role models. Sport isn’t just about sporting stars though. s I said earlier our motto is to be better than before.’ We allow our pupils, particularly the older ones to make informed choices when it comes to sport. By choosing something they enjoy be it badminton, table tennis, rugby or yoga they will hopefully carry it on in their adult lives helping them lead a healthy active life. That’s my main purpose as director of sport. I firmly believe that Physical Education and sport participation can lead to the development of fundamental values and life skills which enrich the individual. Recent research has proven that pupils with better health and well-being are likely to achieve higher results both in the classroom and in the sporting environment which is why PE and Sport should be supported and promoted across society. Sport for all is my ethos.

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Natural Bourne Runners Like any good idea, Bourne’s new running club – Natural Bourne Runners – was the result of a few summertime drinks in a beer garden!


TEVE COLE, HIS wife Natalie and friends Julie and Stuart Craig were enjoying a drink in the sun when the subject turned to running and what would make the perfect running club. Steve had never been a member of a club, preferring to run alone whilst both Natalie and Julie had ran with a couple of clubs over the years. Stuart is the non-runner of the four but the one who looks at everything with a fresh pair of eyes. He became the perfect club chairman. A month later Natural Bourne Runners was born. “We felt the perfect club should appeal to all runners, not just top-end, competitive ones. Our aim is to put together enjoyable sessions that help you become a better runner, regardless of ability, all in a friendly, enjoyable environment. And we insisted it should be free to all,” says Steve. “We felt strongly that the perfect club should be a sociable one. If we attend a parkrun we’ll encourage members to stay for tea and cake. If we enter an event we’ll enjoy a celebratory drink afterwards. After our Christmas Run we had mince pies and non-alcoholic mulled wine. Running is important but so is the social element,” he e plained. nd finally, we felt the run leaders should be ualified so ulie and I attended the British Athletics ‘Leadership in Running Fitness’ course and then we got the club a liated and fully insured with the Association of Running Clubs.” The club was launched in September 2019 with the first BR session having five attendees. Fast forward four months and they have 25+ runners joining their midweek runs and have over 65 signed-up members. These

numbers are growing by the week. The club caters for as many di erent abilities speed and fitness as it can. t the moment it doesn’t have a ‘Couch to 5km’ group but hasn’t ruled this out for the future. However, if you can run a couple of miles you’ll find the BR sessions are perfect. “We have a real mix of abilities, from relative beginners to some tackling ultra marathons. What’s great is that our sessions appeal to them all. Take our Monday Runs as an e ample. We run a figure-of-eight route with each loop being 5km. And we have three pace groups. Some run the first km only, some do the full 10km. We make a promise to all members that no-one is ever left behind.” “We have around 20 of us entered into the Oundle 5km and 10km race in January. Some want a PB, some just want to finish their first

ever 10km race whilst some just want an enjoyable run with likeminded people. It doesn’t matter what their goal is, as a group of runners we’ll help and support everyone and have a good time with it.” said Steve. The club meets four times a week: on Monday and Wednesday evenings with two further sessions on a Saturday. “Natalie, Julie, Stuart and myself are proud that we are helping people enjoy running and to meet new, likeminded people at the same time. Come and join us, we are a friendly bunch who all love running in a friendly, social environment,” he said. You can find Natural Bourne Runners on Facebook (search for ‘Natural Bourne Runners’) or email them at naturalbournerunners@gmail.com

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Spotlight on squash Market Harborough Squash and Racketball Club secretary Alison Avil explains the seriously social side to squash


ATING BACK TO 1830 with a heritage linked to Harrow School, squash is often considered to be a male-dominated sport, associated with aggression and ultra-competitive attitudes, but nothing could be further from the truth. On the wall of our club hangs a poster which reads: ‘Hit the ball against the wall. Repeat. Have fun’ and this is all there really is to squash. It’s a game which can be played by all and at this club, it is! The simplified rules of s uash the game is played between two players on a squash court using a squash racket, ball and non-marking shoes. atches are the best of three or five games. Each game is played to 11 points and If the score is tied at 10-10, a player must win by two clear points. The ball must be served onto the front wall above the service line and on its return must fall to the floor within the back quarter of the court opposite to the server’s box. The players then return the ball until one fails to make a good return. During a 40 minute game you can expect to cover between 3,000 and 6,000 steps while burning several hundred calories. Heart rates are raised, resulting in a great cardiovascular workout. Unlike many sports, squash and racketball only take 40 minutes to play so members can easily balance family, work commitments and squash, managing to get a full match in, have a quick drink afterwards and be back home within an hour - the ideal sport! Played indoors, squash isn’t seasonal and is played all year round.

Squash can be taught from the age of three upwards our club has nine ualified volunteer coaches. Games and leagues are organised on an individual’s ability, not age. Like chess, squash is a game of strategy. Hitting a ball really hard can be great fun, but it’s predictable. The best players are those who think where to place the ball and can read their opponent’s game. During a recent survey on the benefits of squash, nearly all respondents cited the social aspect as their top reason for being a club member. One of our members was looking for a new sport, something that would keep her interest all year round and help her get fit and it does just that. Sometimes there is more laughing than s uash, but that just means it’s good for mental health too. The Market Harborough Squash and

Racketball Club, started in 1972. It has a membership of around people a fifth are juniors, nearly are female, and most are aged between 30 and 65. It is a club that celebrates all aspects of squash from the social nights to running 22 internal squash leagues, a Doubles and Racketball league, as well as having teams who play across the Midlands. This really is a club run for, and by, its members. We’re never afraid to give something a go, and our overall aim is to help increase our members’ enjoyment of the sport. We also o er racketball which is brilliant for those who have su ered joint pain in the past. It’s slightly slower than squash as the ball bounces more, it’s easier to make the shots and create rallies. We regularly consult our members on what they’d like to see ne t from a bar refit to the Padel tennis courts we hope to have built next year. ‘Yes’ is one of our favourite words. Give-it-a-go sessions are planned for January , if you’re interested in joining a drop-in session to give either squash or racketball a try, contact us on 07754665900 or visit www.harboroughcsc.co.uk

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A Welsh Adventure Cycling from Stamford to Swansea, then a big run? Should be hawdd, not hard. A GROUP OF FRIENDS in Stamford have constructed themselves a challenge, in aid of charities close to their hearts. Dean, Ellie, John, Will, Steve and Matt (Active’s Art Editor) can get restless, and wanted to challenge themselves in 2020. So as well as various other events including some London Marathon runners, they plan to cycle 210 miles from Stamford to Swansea. Once in Swansea, the fun isn’t over, as they’ll be running the Swansea Half Marathon on Sunday June 14. The idea came about over a few drinks and a plan to ride to Swansea, where Dean is from. Why not time it to arrive in Swansea and then run the Half - after a couple more drinks - why not, they said. Joined along the way by other cyclists and runners, they’re planning to take three days for the ride, have an early night, and then complete the run. Charities supported will be Cavernoma Alliance UK and Scope, who do great work with families involved in the event. Asked about their challenge, here’s what the team had to say...

Dean: as ridden miles in five days, run several marathons and half marathons, including a Man vs Mountain. Dean’s looking forward to not having to do the house work for four days. Ellie: Loves a challenge, but normally of the marathon running variety. This is her first big bike ride and she is looking forward to getting back to what she knows best on day four! Steve: Rowed for Peterborough until a few years ago. He’s rowed the Channel and kayaked through Norweigen fjords. He’s never sat on a road bike or run more than 5k - scared face! Rich: Has competed in multiple commercial sporting events, running Man v Mountain and other Rat Race events. Not having ridden a bike since his paper round 25 years ago, this could be his biggest fitness challenge to date. Simon: Has a Sports Science degree, and genuinely got a B+ at Netball at University. Was coerced into running the Swansea Half Marathon in 2019 & the London Duathlon and has an unhealthy obsession with technical sportswear. John: Rides a a bike two or three times a week, but thats a stationary spin bike in the gym. e too cycled the ngton Cricket Club mile bike ride in five days, taking in

the five major test grounds in the country. e’s terrified of the Swansea alf arathon. Will: He cycled the 550 mile ride too, and completed the One Big E ort, a challenge to cycle from Paris to Calais, row across the Channel, run from Dover to London and then run the London Marathon. Prefers walking to running these days! Matt: Favours wearing white clothes while someone flings a little red ball at him in the Summer. Running is not his favourite thing, cycling is an old favourite and completed the Bourne Cicle Sportive in 2019. He once drove really far in a day but isn’t sure that counts. Shelley and Rachel: The crucial support crew; keeping the team hydrated, fed, muscles loose and not letting them in the support van! They’ll be joining the cyclists in running the Swansea Half Marathon once (if) they make it down there. They’re all really excited about the challenge and aim to raise as much as possible for their chosen charities. The team will be sharing their training stories over the next few months, discussing highs and lows, how they’re getting on and more about why they’re doing it. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ fundraiser-display/ showROFundraiserPage?pageId=1128722v

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The Ultra marathon man Steve Cole, co-founder of Bourne’s new running group ‘Natural Bourne Runners’, has marathons booked as training runs for a 100km race in July. Read his journey into the weird world of Ultra Marathons

High Flying Friends Meet Delia Calder who is planning a trek to Everest’s base camp DELIA CALDER WHO lives in Stamford - and a group of friends - is planning a trek to Everest’s base camp in May. This involves 12 days of trekking, seven to eight hours a day, up to a height of 17,598 feet so none of them know if altitude sickness will e ect them. ‘Peter and I have been friends for 30 years and for Christmas and birthdays we buy each other a memory day, such as a zip wire or something equally as challenging. For his 50th Peter climbed Kilimanjaro so for his 55th he said he wanted to do Everest. It’s something that’s always been on my bucket list so I decided to join him,’ says Delia. It turns out that there were a few other friends who also had it on their list so a group of 13 of them (four men and nine women) have put themselves up for the challenge. They don’t all know each other, but have mutual friends within the group and live all over the . ost of them have a background of flying being e or current cabin crew. ‘So we are all really looking forward to the flight into Lukka on a light aircraft which is supposed to be uite hairy,’ says Delia. But before then there’s a lot of planning and training to do, and we are going to follow them all the way. ‘I’m a cancer survivor, coming close to death nearly 30 years so I’m big into adventures and know every day is precious,’ says Delia. She’s fairly fit being a keen Stamford Striders member and has completed the London marathon, ‘that was hard,’ as well as attending regular spin classes and walking a lot. But she, and the group, know that they will have to train hard to achieve their goal. They are all training individually doing lots of walking and recently the group went to Italy for four days trekking taking some of the equipment they will need with them to get some practice handling it. In February they are planning a trip to the Brecon Beacons and will stay in youth hostels. ‘We need to get used to basic facilities.’ ‘I’m really excited and a bit apprehensive and will be very disappointed if altitude sickness prevents me reaching the camp. But we all know there’s nothing we can do about that. Therefore we have all made a pact, if one of us succumbs to it, the rest of us will carry on without them.’ Over the next few months Delia will keep us up to date with her training, plans for the trip, equipment needed and how she’s going to cope with the most basic of facilities, and blisters…

“NEVER, EVER AGAIN. Promise me, if I suggest another race make sure I don’t do it,” are the words I say to my wife Natalie after each marathon and my most recent 40-mile Ultra marathon. At that precise moment and for the following few hours I truly mean it. And then my attitude changes. After this year’s GrimReaper 40-mile Ultra marathon, whilst enjoying a post-race beer I can remember questioning how on earth people run 50, 60, 70 miles and beyond. I was knackered. I couldn’t contemplate running another mile. Later that evening Natalie and I walked, well she walked I hobbled, to the pub for a celebratory rehydration session when thoughts started turning to my next challenge. The following day I entered M2L, a 50-mile run from Manchester to Liverpool. A week later I entered Race to the Stones, this one being 100km (62.1-miles) in July. So, why ultras? This year I trained hard for the Edinburgh Marathon, desperate to get a sub 3hr 30mins time. A good friend, Jonathan Taylor, put together a brutal four-month training programme that helped me beat my 5km PB, half marathon PB ending with my new marathon PB of 3hrs 18mins and the all important seconds. I had never been fitter but I didn’t enjoy the race. It felt like a means to an end; to achieve a time. I had done it. My mission was complete. The end. n ultra is di erent. It’s me against the distance. Time goes out of the window. The pressure is finishing, not how long it takes. It’s social too. You run more slowly and often have to walk to recoup energy. You talk to people, you look out for people. Apart from an elite few, everyone’s in the same boat, just trying to finish. So, over the coming months I’ll keep you updated on my training; the highs and guaranteed lows of training for both races.

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

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12/12/2019 20:44

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


Those of you who do succeed in gaining some newly-found fitness in the winter will have the ideal opportunity to show it o in the spring – April to be precise - at Bourne’s annual Run in the Woods, at distances of either three or ten kilometres. Hundreds of entrants of all abilities enjoyed the event last year on tra c-free, hard tracks in a beautiful setting. And it’s well run with a water station, light refreshments, toilets, parking and storage for your bag – not to mention medals for everyone and trophies for the winners. Organisers, the Rotary Club, are encouraging fun-runners to raise money for charity and are hoping to break last year’s figure of , . Entry is for the , for the . Search for “Bourne Woods Run” for details.

lost two games so finished top of the league and also won the President’s Cup,” he told me. As a result they now play their rugby in Leicestershire Merit A and already seem comfortable there having won four of their seven matches. “It’s good to be playing more competitive rugby now,” said Michael. “Last year we were winning by ninety points on occasions and we’d all rather lose narrowly in a closely fought game than win by a street”. E -captain William endrick has come out of retirement as a result and they’ve attracted

some new faces including Fred Cracknell from Syston. The minis operation is also doing remarkably well with around kids every Sunday from four upwards which bodes well for the future, as does the hopefully imminent sale of their old ground midway between Leicester and Oadby, the proceeds from which they want to use to improve the facilities at UCC. Doubtless they were spurred on to do so by experiencing a pre-season friendly at Oakham (drawing 26 all) with Oak’s state of

Oakham RFC Images: John Butcher

ANY OF YOU, no doubt, have made New Year resolutions about taking more exercise; I know I have. Alas, perhaps your experience in previous years has been the same as mine - that the hard part is not starting o but keeping it up when dull, cold January evenings tempt us to stay home in the warm. Which often means the regular runs or visits to the gym fall slowly by the wayside. So, rather than pick a solitary activity that’s all too easy to shirk, why not join a team at one of our local clubs? Whatever your favourite sport is, or used to be, then a quick web search will doubtless find one not so far away. Don’t worry if your days of playing at a high level have departed (or, like me, never arrived . ou’ll find even the relatively elite clubs have third teams, veterans or social sides for those of us who just want to play for fun while losing a few pounds and getting those endorphins coursing through the veins. The thought of some bonhomie, good company and laughter awaiting you might be just what you need to get o the sofa when the good intentions start to wane....

It’s been some time since we featured Stoneygate RFC on these pages so I rang club captain Michael Scott to see how they’re getting on. I’m pleased to say they continue to thrive in their new home at Uppingham Community College. “Last season we only

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“The best wishes of all of us in the rugby community and beyond are with Steve Taylor and his loved ones.”

the art clubhouse, quite a stark contrast to their own changing rooms. They deserve better than something strangely reminiscent of a shipping container. Oaks themselves lie just outside the promotion places in Midlands 3 and look to be gradually improving after a shaky start. A recent highlight was their 31-22 victory against Daventry, all the more so as an ever lengthening injury list saw a host of youngsters and second XV players on the team sheet. Ex-president and proud grandfather Keith Crellin is used to seeing grandson Callum play a leading role for the side by now but will have been delighted to see the even younger Lewis score his debut try – duly converted by his brother. They did, however, lose their derby against Bourne who are having a fine season and challenging for promotion, level on points with Stamford and one behind leaders Stockwood Park.

Show your support for local sport Email lisa@theactivemag.com

arket arborough are successfully finding their feet in Midlands 1, the highest level they’ve ever played at, following last season’s promotion. They’re currently in a creditable mid-table position and head coach Joe Hill, who knows a thing or two about the game having been in Leicester Tigers’ academy and played for Leicester Lions at National League level in his time, told me he feels the biggest area for improvement is their game management; expansive play served them well last year but errors are being punished more heavily by the better teams in this division. Nonetheless he went on to say that we’ve built our confidence at this level and now know we’re capable of beating anyone in this league on our day.” All this has been achieved without skipper Josh Purnell who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in pre-season, but Joe was full of praise for colt oe La erty who has stepped

up to take Purnell’s number 9 shirt with Tommy Waterfield taking over the captaincy. Tom Herdman’s also been drafted into the firsts and has impressed. The club is now fielding three teams nearly every weekend which is a big improvement on where they were a couple of seasons ago. Finally, the best wishes of all of us in the rugby community and beyond are with Steve Taylor and his loved ones. Steve, a Stamford Town player who also appeared for Cardi Blues and the Wales Sevens side was badly injured in a car crash in Glasgow in late November and, at the time of writing, continues to fight for his life after over ten hours in surgery. Family and girlfriend Molly are by his side. There is often little one can do at times like these but in this case, to help his nearest and dearest give him their full attention without worrying about accommodation and travel costs - and the mortgage that can’t be paid whilst self-employed Steve is not working - you can help by donating at https://www. gofundme.com/f/4h565-please-help-steve

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // January 2020  

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

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // January 2020  

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