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ISSUE 69 // MARCH 2018




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





ISSUE 69 // MARCH 2018


Wymondham and Cord Hill / South Croxton and Baggrave Hall Local school stars / Acupuncture / Get slope styled / Rutland CiCLE Tour

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


Fitzwilliam Hospital

Editor’s Letter I HAVE TO START OFF WITH AN APOLOGY: I’m very sorry that your talented, committed kids aren’t included in our ‘stars of the future’ feature in this issue. Because I know for a fact that while we have packed three pages full of children of uncommon ability and dedication, we have barely scraped the surface of this particular subject. So my promise to you is that we will make this a regular thing, showcasing the abilities of as many children as we can over the next few months. Please get in touch by email and tell us what they’ve been up to and what they have achieved. It might seem that it’s not the English way to boast and promote but think of it as giving kids a boost, recognition for all their hard work, the hours of training, the tears, losses and the triumphs too. I know from experiences with my own kids that it is really easy for them to become disillusioned or find it all just too hard: school and modern life is hectic and hard work, and finding time and energy for all the other activities can be difficult. Also, there’s the attraction of films, TV, computer games and social media to contend with too. So we’ll do our best to applaud their successes as much as possible. Email me at editor@theactivemag.com with what they’ve been up to, with a high resolution photo too, and we will do our best to get them in Active. We’ve also taken a long look this month at a subject most children aren’t interested in: gardening. I’ll admit to not being particularly green-fingered myself (in fact I’m hopeless) but for many the garden is their primary source of exercise and relaxation. From now on, I’m delighted that we’ll be having a regular gardening columnist, Teresa Kennedy, to give horticultural help. I’m hoping I might even manage to learn something, too. Enjoy the issue.

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

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


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

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

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ISSUE 69 / MARCH 2018


Great things to do for all the family

Updates on our intrepid fund-raisers



19 HOW TO... Make a delicious Spanish soup


The lowdown on stunning Seville


The chiffchaff, bees and crocuses


The George and Dragon at Seaton

32-33 PEOPLE

The Curve Theatre’s Alexa Penny


Wymondham and South Croxton

The Times writer on the Winter Olympics


The latest kit to get you active


A great route around Rutland

76-82 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring


The essentials for age-fluid dressing

FEATURES 26-30 FOOD FOR THOUGHT We meet The Mindful Chef


How gardening can make you feel good


Avicenna Clinic on acupuncture


Advice from the Ashleigh Clinic

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r e g g i B n e v E 2018 for son a e s

with more obstacles and new challenges

Opens 26th May 2018

Great for individuals and Groups of all sizes. Exclusive use sessions available.

For tickets, vouchers and to check availability go to

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Activelife Mothering Sunday ideas ● Help the Rutland Poppy Project Sample the delights of The George and Dragon in Seaton ● Visit Seville in the spring ● Cook Spanish lentil soup ● Discover ‘age-fluid’ dressing ● Meet the Mindful Chef

Edited by Mary Bremner

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POPPIES FOR RUTLAND Vickie Goddard and Lizzie Nowell, who are based at Catmose College in Oakham, are running an art project to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I. They are appealing to the community to help make 10,000 ceramic poppies which will be displayed at Oakham Castle over the remembrance period in late October and into November. They are planning to make 1,000 poppies a month with the help of local groups. This feat is gaining momentum with schools, groups and friends all joining in. A kit is provided to make the poppies, and they are very simple to create, taking about 10 minutes. If you have kiln space that you can spare it would be much appreciated. Get in touch with Vickie or Lizzie to find out more about how to hold a poppy party or to join them at Catmose to help paint finished ones. They will also be holding poppy making events in the coming months – keep an eye out for dates. The plan is to donate 100 poppies to each parish in Oakham after the display has been taken down, and the remaining poppies will be sold. They are looking for sponsorship from

businesses and anyone who wants to help is very welcome. To find out more go to Rutland Poppy Project on Facebook or on Instagram @rutlandpoppyproject2018 or email RutlandPoppyProject2018@gmail.com

COULD YOU BE A RUTLAND CYCLING AMBASSADOR? Rutland Cycling is seeking applicants to join #TeamRutland as an ambassador and to share your inspiring cycling stories – whether you’re a roadie, mountain biker, old hand or newbie. Rutland is looking for people of all disciplines and abilities to share their enthusiasm for all things bike – to inspire people to ride through the inspiring riding that you do. Chosen #TeamRutland Ambassadors will get: A bike for 12 months Full #TeamRutland kit Access to the latest new products Exclusive discounts on products and services. As an ambassador you’ll have to produce blog articles, product reviews, social media posts, photos and videos to show off your riding and some of Rutland Cycling’s great products. For details go to www.rutlandcycling.com. Applications close on April 1.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Race for Life has some events coming up this year so there’s plenty of time to get training before the big day. Sunday, May 20, is Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy for Kids at Prestwold Hall near Loughborough. Sunday, June 10, is the Race for Life (5km) in Loughborough town centre and Sunday, July 8, is another Race for Life (5km and 10km) at Victoria Park in Leicester. If you are feeling particularly energetic you can take part in all three! www.raceforlife.org

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BECOME A RAINBOW Rainbows, part of Girl Guiding, is for girls aged 5-7. Rainbows learn by getting their hands dirty with arts and crafts, cooking and playing games, and it’s great fun joining in. The 1st Cottesmore Rainbows meet on alternate Saturdays at the village hall from 3-5pm and are looking for new recruits. To find out more contact Samantha Shorten, the unit leader, on 07540 664847 or email samanthashorten@hotmail.co.uk



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NO TO COUNTING CALORIES Meg Ellison (pictured right), a pupil at Stamford High School, has taken exception to Public Health England’s campaign encouraging parents to only allow their children two 100 calorie snacks a day. She feels so strongly that she has set up a petition to raise awareness about the negative implications of the campaign, feeling that it can lead to counting calories and giving the wrong message to impressionable children. “I agree with the promotion of healthy eating and reducing the amount of sugar but disagree with using 100 calories as a mark of health,” she said. “Many processed snacks are under 100

calories and healthy snacks are more. We should be teaching children to nourish their bodies while having a healthy and balanced diet. “We have a responsibility to teach children that individual needs differ and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. We should be teaching about intuitive eating rather than restriction and calorie counting. Food is fuel and is designed to be enjoyed by all – it is more than numbers”, added Meg. If you wish to sign her petition go to https://www.change.org/p/public-health-englandchange-public-health-england-s-new-100-caloriesnack-campaign/w?source_location=petition_show

GENOMES AND THE SCIENCE OF FAT Linking in with Meg’s campaign (above) is the Cambridge Science Festival running from March 12-25 entitled ‘What does the future of healthcare look like?’. Lectures will be delivered daily covering topics such as genomes (that can determine mutations which cause cancers and genetic diseases), making sense of unhealthy behaviour, how should we eat and exercise for a healthy lifestyle, as well as many other subjects. During the first weekend of the festival (March 16-17) Cambridge Guildhall will be open to the public so they can find out more about DNA, cells, diet and exercise. The Department of Pathology will also be open on March 17 so visitors can find out more about disease and infection, from bacteria and parasites to viruses and immunity. www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk or ring 01223 766766.

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Launde Abbey

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Cyclists and walkers very welcome

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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

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Rose Rodgers

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

● It’s point-to-point season again with racing at Dingley and Garthorpe this month. The Belvoir meeting is on Saturday, March 17, at Garthorpe, while the Woodland Pytchley is on Saturday, March 31, at Dingley. It’s always a good day out with exciting racing, a bar, food stands and plenty to keep the kids occupied. www.dingleyraces.com / www.garthorpe.com ● The National Garden Scheme raised more than £17,000 in Rutland last year and is hoping to raise even more money this year. As well as delightful gardens that are only opened once a year, you are guaranteed to find some delicious cakes on sale as well. The first garden open this year is Gunthorpe Hall on Sunday, March 25, followed by The Old Hall at Market Overton on Sunday, April 29. www.ngs.org.uk ● Entries are now open for the 10th anniversary Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride which takes place over the August Bank Holiday from Friday, August 24, to Monday, August 27. All cyclists are welcome and accommodation, food and transport for luggage is provided. Last year almost £10,000 was raised to support the work of The Connection at St Martin’s, which helps homeless and vulnerable

people in central London. www.queeneleanorcycleride.org.uk ● Local artist Karen Neale will be holding her ‘Sketching Stamford with Karen Neale’ workshops starting in April, based at Stamford Arts Centre. Everyone is welcome whatever your ability. Her first session will be on Monday, April 16 and there are five sessions in total (April 23 and 30 and May 14 and 21). The five sessions cost £60 or are £15 each. You can book at the Arts Centre box office or contact Karen on 07710 406967. www.karenneale.co.uk ● St Ives Antiques Fair is taking place over the Easter weekend on April 1 and 2. There will be up to 50 dealers offering affordable antiques, vintage pieces including jewellery and china, and much more. www.stivesantiquesfair.co.uk ● Make Mother’s Day special with afternoon tea on Sunday, March 11, at Barnsdale Hall Hotel, or treat her to an Easter break of two nights including dinner, bed and breakfast and afternoon tea, including prosecco, on one of those days. www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk

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EASTER FUNNIES Ways to entertain your children this Easter holiday CHURCHILL SUMMER CAMPS Churchill Summer Camps offers Ofsted registered multi-activity camps for children aged between four and 14 during the holidays. It has an extensive range of more than 30 activities to suit all ages and interests including quad-bikes, archery, rifle shooting, arts and crafts, swimming, athletics, orienteering, unihoc, circus skills, tennis, bouncy castle, mini golf, sweet making, badminton, nature trails, fencing and kwik cricket. The day camps are based at Brooke Priory School in Oakham, The Peterborough School and Stamford Junior School. They are a great opportunity for children to make new friends and to try out new activities in a safe environment, surrounded

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by supportive and experienced staff. Tel: 01572 868 304 www.churchillsummercamps.co.uk

INFANT AQUATICS Infant Aquatics Baby and Toddler Swim School is very passionate about what it does and has ensured it is ahead of the game with new advice and techniques. Essential is creating a lovely, nurturing environment for parents to bond and create strong connections with their baby, which continues well after the swimming class has finished. Sessions are child led, which means working at the child’s pace, not forcing or pressurising, to allow them to explore, find their confidence and learn. If baby has a positive experience, the body releases all the

feel-good, happy hormones which they love and want more of. They then want to repeat the experience, and as baby changes, so do the holds and activities, making it varied and progressive. Classes are now held across Northamptonshire, Rutland and Bedfordshire. www.infantaquatics.co.uk www.facebook.com/iaquatics/

PEPPA PIG’S ADVENTURE IN KETTERING Join Peppa as she gets ready to go on an exciting camping trip to the woods with George and her school friends, including Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe. With lunch-boxes packed and Daddy Pig driving the bus, Peppa and friends are excited about their outdoor adventure, full of games,

laughter and live music. The happy campers soon settle down to sleep and listen to the gentle pitter patter of rain. Safe and warm inside their tents the excited group can look forward to morning time, when there will be lots of muddy puddles to play in! March 21 & 22, 10am, 1pm and 4pm The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Tel: 01536 414141

TOM FLOWERS CRICKET COACHING Tom Flowers Cricket Coaching offer a variety of cricket coaching opportunities for children across Leicestershire, Rutland and the surrounding counties. TFCC’s most popular offerings include Easter, May half-term and summer holiday camps, which run for three to five days from 9am-5pm at a variety of venues in the local area. Courses are led by Tom and his professionally qualified ECB coaching staff, and include batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping skills, plus games, competitions and prizes. TFCC also offer individual cricket lessons, as well as club and schools coaching, seeing 100’s of young local players on a weekly

basis, including coaching at affiliated clubs such as Burghley Park CC, Oakham CC and Uppingham CC in the local area. Owner Tom Flowers, ex-Sherborne School cricket coach and current ECB employed coach, says: “Our professional staff are passionate about cricket coaching and are dedicated to meeting the needs of every individual we work with. Improvement is inevitable when in a fun, safe and competitive environment, and we strive to maximise any individual’s potential, from beginner to advanced. We work with a variety of local youngsters all year round.” Tel: 07815 647892 www.tomflowerscricketcoaching.com

selection of instructor-led River Nene trips for family and friends to enjoy, and stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking birthday parties for up to 12 children for hours at £90. www.adventurerutland.com

ADVENTURE RUTLAND AdventureRutland is back at Yarwell Mill Country Park (near Peterborough) after a successful launch of Paddle Boarding and Kayaking Hire and River Nene Trips during 2017. New for 2018 are archery taster sessions running every weekend, Kids Holiday Clubs full of outdoor activities this Easter and Summer, a

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SEDUCTIVE SEVILLE Take an early spring break in Seville and enjoy the orange blossom Seville in southern Spain is the capital of Andalusia. It’s renowned for its Gothic architecture, flamenco, bull fighting, tapas and sherry and has recently been named ‘best city to visit in 2018’ by Lonely Planet. March is the perfect month to explore the city as it’s not too hot. Temperatures usually range between 15 and 20 degrees, so it’s warm enough to sit outside at lunch time and enjoy the gentle spring sun on your skin – just what the doctor ordered after a miserable long winter at home. You will also get to enjoy the orange trees in full bloom and their scent while sitting in one of the numerous plazas enjoying coffee. Tapas is what the city is famous for and there are more than 1,000 bars to visit! What is lovely about Seville are the tiny little bars on street corners... you’ll be sitting on the pavement enjoying the tapas, but what better way to people watch. Or, if that’s not for you, try some of the slightly larger bars – there are plenty to choose from. The city is compact so is easy to walk around, and much of it isn’t navigable by car as the streets are so narrow. The main part of the city

lies on the right bank of the river Guadalquivir. The very centre of the old part of the city is enclosed within a city wall, the Casco Antiguo, and within this is the Barrio Santa Cruz. This old Jewish quarter is a must to visit – it’s a maze of narrow cobbled streets interspersed with tiny tiled squares and flower-filled balconies. Make sure you find the bull ring, whatever your views on the sport. It’s beautiful architecturally and, again, surrounded by lots of authentic tiny bars. What must not be missed is the cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world where you will find Christopher Columbus’ tomb. Seville is easy to get to with numerous budget airlines flying there with fares well below £100 one way. There are plenty of hotels from budget upwards, or try Airbnb to find a centrally located apartment.


www.airbnb.co.uk www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/seville www.booking.com/seville/hotels www.skyscanner.net/seville

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23/02/2018 11:13



MAKE LENTEJAS CON CHORIZO (SPANISH LENTIL SOUP) This delicious, wholesome soup is easy to make, tastes wonderful and invokes memories of happy times eating tapas in Spain. And the smell of the smoked paprika while it’s cooking is fabulous. It’s very easy to make a vegetarian version, too – just drop the chorizo and add more veg. Likewise, different regions of Spain use different meat, so add chicken, bacon... whatever you like.

Ingredients 2 cups lentils 1 chorizo, sliced 5 cloves of garlic, crushed 1 onion, diced 1 large potato, peeled and diced 1 large carrot, sliced 1 tbsp smoked paprika Olive oil Salt and pepper

Method Wash the lentils and place along with chorizo, potato, carrots and garlic in a large pan. Cover with water at least four fingers above the contents. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Fry the onions in olive oil until slightly brown then add the paprika and stir. Add the onions to the pot of lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

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The George and Dragon, Seaton The beautifully refurbished George and Dragon pub at Seaton is the ambitious new venture from Ralph Offer, formerly of the Stamford Wine Bar.

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

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

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

Telephone 01572 747418 - 2 Main Street, Seaton, Rutland LE15 9HU

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

Ralph Offer - Owner Omar Palazzolo - Head Chef

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THE CHIFFCHAFF For many birdwatchers the simple ‘chiff-chaff’ song of this warbler in March is one of the first signs of spring. As winters have become milder it may be heard earlier and a few birds now winter at sewage treatment works (such as Geeston) and in reed beds at Rutland Water. It is fortunate that the chiffchaff has such a distinctive song for there are few clues in its plumage to help identify it. It is one of the birdwatchers’ ‘little brown jobs’. Slightly smaller than a robin, it is brownish above and buff on the under parts, with blackish legs and a fine bill. Chiffchaffs are birds of woodland and well grown hedgerows where mature trees provide song posts. The nest is built near the ground, in brambles or low bushes, and up to seven eggs are incubated for two weeks; the young fledging two weeks later. Two broods are sometimes reared. Food is mainly insects. Between Rutland breeding bird surveys in 1988-1990 and 2008-2011 chiffchaffs showed a remarkable increase in numbers and there were few suitable areas where they were absent from, with many more found on farmland. Most of our breeding birds winter around the Mediterranean with most leaving by mid-October. Terry Mitcham

THE CROCUS Part of the iris family, this small perennial is one of the first bulbs to flower in early spring. Crocuses (or croci) are native to woodland and meadows and have been cultivated by

gardeners. If left undisturbed they will spread quite quickly. The spice saffron is found in the stigmas of crocus sativus, an autumn blooming species, native to Spain.

The bumblebee Look out for the first bumblebees on warm March days. These will be the queens that have survived the winter and are looking for nectar and pollen from newly flowering spring flowers. A common sight from March onwards, bumblebee colonies are quite small, with only about 200 workers in each nest. Unlike honeybees, they do not make prolific amounts of honey, nor do they cluster, so the queen is usually the only one to survive the winter.

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The George and Dragon, Seaton Steve and Julian find a pub under new ownership, and discover food of remarkable quality


eaton is a very nice little village, nestled as it is beside the Harringworth Viaduct, but it’s not really somewhere you would go to, seeing as the road through it doesn’t really lead anywhere much other than back to the bigger road you would have pulled off in the first place. Now however, it is a place you should be going: it’s on the map, it’s the place to be, it’s a Destination with a capital D. And that’s because of The George and Dragon. From the outside, you might think The George and Dragon looks like a well turned out village pub that probably does some decent food and drinks. The reality is more exciting than that: in here, I’ve just had one of the best meals I’ve had in the area for years. We visited on a dark Thursday night and on entering the bar were hit by a wall of chatter. People everywhere enjoying themselves in the newly refurbished room – the kind of atmosphere you wish on every village pub. Fortunately we had a table booked, or we might have struggled. The pub has been taken over recently by Ralph Offer, formerly of the Stamford Wine Bar, and the chef is Omar Palazzolo, who has previously worked in London at various restaurants including Nobu and Tom’s Kitchen. At this point can I declare a certain amount of scepticism

before my visit. I’ve seen this before: city chef comes to the country and brings their sophisticated, worldly palate and intricate plating to the yokels. The result? Failure, more often than not. The menu here is succinct yet varied, with five starters and four mains, which change daily depending on what is on offer. To begin with, I went for confit duck and orange salad and Julian, who manfully stepped in at the last minute when Chris pulled out with a hurty cough (a decision he may be regretting subsequently), opted for rainbow beetroot. My duck was fabulous. Confit can sometimes be either a bit rich or a bit dry I find, but this was succulent and tasty, pak choi nibbles and cashew nuts adding a crunch while alfalfa sprouts added further nuttiness. This was all then given a smack in the chops by ginger pickle and the chunks of orange, which fairly made the whole thing leap off the plate at you. Refreshing yet wholesome, it was a very, very good start. For me though, it was about to get better. I’m not sure it was for Julian. He reckoned his starter was up there with the best he’d had – chunks of red and yellow pickled beetroot, strong enough to make your ears tingle, well matched to the orange and hazelnut dressing, blueberry puree and chunks of goats cheese. It disappeared at an astonishing rate.

Above It may look like a regular pub, but the food coming from the kitchen is far from ordinary. There’s a great wine list too at very reasonable prices

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For main I had chosen Skrei cod served with Jerusalem artichoke, new potatoes, mushrooms and vermouth sauce. Skrei cod is called the ‘Norwegian miracle’ – teenage cod that travels 600 miles across the Arctic Circle to spawn and you can only catch it in our waters off Scotland during a couple of months early in the year. But one had made it to my plate, and it was one of the best pieces of fish I’ve ever had. Firm, lean and consisting of thick plates of meat, it was cooked to perfection, which in itself would have been good. But it was surrounded by a thick vermouth sauce that had a depth of flavour only the very best restaurants can serve up. Two nutty mushrooms, four crispy roasted new potatoes and a light sliver of artichoke resulted in a dish that was elegant, fulsome and beautifully tasty. This is cooking at its very best, stylish and modern without being fussy and showy, and all topped off with an excellent, sharp glass of riesling. On the other side of the table, Julian was battling with a local Aubrey Allen 28-day sirloin. It was a big, 10oz plate of beef and I’m ashamed to report he couldn’t finish it, despite giving it every last inch of effort. However, the taste was phenomenal and the beef was beautifully tender and well cooked, all served with a thick, luxurious port jus, of which there was enough to cover the meat and have

plenty left to act as a dipping sauce for the crispy French fries. I ate some of his fries to help, and even considered piling into what was left of the meat (which wasn’t much in fairness). I’m good like that. It seemed only proper to finish a meal of such quality with a pudding, and I had the bourbon cappuccino, a boozy creamy confection of loveliness, while Julian had a crème brulee with cinnamon spiced shortbread, a wonderful homemade pudding – big on indulgence with a proper crispy sugar top. Every part of the meal was superb, cooked perfectly and put together cleverly, and then there was the cherry on top. Starters and puddings for less than £8 each, and my fish was £19 (the steak was a more expensive £26 but that’s not outrageous for what is was): so not only does The George and Dragon serve food that is among the best you can find for miles around, it does it at half the price of more salubrious establishments. If that’s not worth making the trip to Seaton for, I don’t know what is.

Above Cosy bar area was full of locals on our visit, creating a great atmosphere. Local produce is used where possible, resulting in stunning plates of food

2 Main Street, Seaton, Oakham LE15 9HU 01572 747418 www.georgeanddragonseaton.com info@georgeanddragonseaton.com

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BOXING CLEVER Chris Meadows met with Mindful Chef founders Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries to discover how a fishing trip spawned one of the biggest healthy food box companies in the UK IT WAS CLEAR to see why Mindful Chef has gone from a small start-up from meagre beginnings to the successful, crowd-funded, national brand it is today. Founders Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries are passionate about what they’re doing and have been since the start, not letting 70-hour weeks at the outset dampen their spirits. Shipping out thousands of meals each week to health-conscious customers is no easy task, but it’s one they seemed have excelled at. Refusing to pack any refined carbohydrates in the boxes requires continually imaginative recipes. They now have a bank of more than 600 on their website, and along with chef Louisa that list will no doubt continue to grow. Having raised millions through crowdfunding, a method they speak highly of, they now have their sights set high. Where did Mindful Chef begin? Giles It was late 2014 when we got together, along with the third co-founder Rob, who prefers to be behind the scenes. We wanted to start a business and we saw recipe boxes going gangbusters in America, and we also saw a real gap in the UK market. No-one was focusing on the healthy, premium end of the market and tapping in to the wellness trend. So we decided to launch one that was free of refined carbs... which meant no pasta, no bread, no white rice. Myles Tell the real story. Tell the romantic one! So we are all from Devon; Giles from Sidmouth, I’m from Exeter and Rob is from Lympstone. We were out on one of Rob’s friend’s fishing boats, a very small boat, with a three-man crew. In the winter they’re all brickies and carpenters and in the summer they’ll all go out and fish. You come in after a day’s catch and text the 50 or so villagers saying ‘if you want anything we’ll be there at about six’. And then when you come in there are a load of people there wanting to buy the fish you’ve landed.

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Giles Very Devon! Myles It was a eureka! moment though. This is how food should be sourced. It shouldn’t be in warehouses for months on end or stuck in supply chains. It should be able to go from the supplier straight to someone’s plate. That’s the great thing about food boxes – we can get the fish on a Friday morning and it’s on people’s plates on a Sunday night. So it is really fast transition times. What is Mindful Chef? Myles The mission we really started out with was for Mindful Chef to make healthy eating easy. Then stemming on from that it’s all encompassed in the name of what mindful stands for. From the sourcing of the suppliers to the ingredients we’re putting in your food to help you feel healthier and better, right down to the culture of the office atmosphere and how we treat our customers, in the way we want to be treated. Giles Practically, for those who don’t know anything about recipe boxes, we gather fresh ingredients into a box once a week and deliver it to your doorstep. But it’s not just fresh ingredients like a traditional veg box. You get the exact precise ingredients along with the recipe cards that you need to make the recipe. Myles Healthy food has come on leaps and bounds, since the 1980s and ’90s, when the perception of healthy food was simply chicken, broccoli and rice. That’s what’s great about recipe boxes – every week you get variety. You’re experiencing different flavours and different cuisines from different cultures, and that’s more likely to help you stay on track because it doesn’t feel like you’re eating the same boring, bland meal again. Instead you’re cooking up Moroccan Persian salmon or teriyaki chicken skewers on a Monday night, all in just half an hour. It’s all about variety.

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Activelife Where do the recipes come from? Giles Originally from us. Myles How difficult can cooking be, right? It can’t be that hard. We found it is very hard. Especially when you’re cutting out refined carbs, it’s gluten-free, it’s dairy-free and has to be done in less than 30 minutes. So there are a lot of parameters we have to work around. Thankfully, we had a girl approach us initially to intern, a trained chef, who had gone into food PR and become disillusioned. She worked for us for a couple of weeks and we loved her cooking so much, we asked her to stay. Giles Louisa was employee number one. She’s a professionally trained chef and is fantastic. Every week she creates new recipes. We offer 12 recipes every week, all different from the previous week, and we never repeat one within 12 weeks. We have a bank of 600 online now. Louisa, along with Myles who looks after the nutrition side of things, will constantly be in our test kitchen creating new recipes to add into the mix. Myles Louisa does a great job, if you think of the top chefs at restaurants might not change their menus very often, and she’s doing it weekly. Where does the inspiration for the recipes come from? Giles I came back from Portugal having eaten some lush stuff, Myles came back from Bali and Louisa goes travelling all the time to places such as India. Now we’re up to almost 10,000 customers a week, all over the UK, we get customers that are really proactive. We were recently asked to look at doing more Caribbeanstyle dishes. And we’ll constantly listen to feedback to make sure we get the right mix.

can work out cheaper in the long run. With the direct debit coming out each week, it actually allows our customers to budget their weekly spend. There are a lot of people that are happy with the convenience of having a chef create a recipe, having it all tested, having it all packed up into the specific ingredients and then delivered to your door. How did you get funding? Giles Through crowd-funding. From a small business point of view, crowd-funding was amazing for us. We’ve raised £3 million via two crowd-funding websites. None of us are bankers or knew loads of wealthy people, but we had a good idea and put it out to the crowd. Anyone that’s considering opening a business should consider it. Having the support of high-profile athletes such as Andy Murray, Victoria Pendleton and Will Greenwood, along with others, must feel like a great accolade? Myles We’ve been speaking with Glen Kearney, Andy Murray’s nutritionist too, along with the English Institute of Sport and their nutritionists about them coming on board. That’s kudos that we’ve done something right. Andy came on board when we crowd-funded, and Victoria was already a customer through her husband’s name for about six months prior without us knowing. We speak to her on and off all the time. It’s one of those products for athletes who are so focused on training that they tend to let themselves down on the nutrition side because they don’t have the time or knowledge. Or it

gets really boring as they’re just eating chicken, broccoli and rice. Giles I think that’s key, they get so bored of that so they love the variety of Mindful Chef. When you’re an athlete needing to get your macronutrients in, it’s a much nicer way of doing it than boiled chicken and broccoli. Our customers like the fact that they’re eating the same meals as the likes of Victoria Pendleton and Tom Daley. The English Institute of Sport approached us to help expand their athletes’ cooking repertoires. What’s next for Mindful Chef? Giles Customers ask us to add in frozen smoothie packs. That’s one thing we will do, along with other possible add-ins, but we don’t want to take our eye off the ball from the main proposition because it’s such a complex operation. We’d also love to open up Mindful Cafes and Mindful Delis. Myles We’re improving our social responsibility too, we’ve partnered up with a charity called One Feeds Two. So for every meal our customers buy we donate a school meal for children in Malawi, and we’ve already donated more than 200,000 meals, which is a testament to our customers. It also helps to encourage children to go into school. Turn over for Giles and Myles’ favourite recipes

READER OFFER £15 off your first box USE CODE – ACTIVE15 www.mindfulchef.com

What sets Mindful Chef apart from other food box companies? Giles There are two big boys, Hello Fresh and Gusto, who are a couple of years older than us, but we’re catching them fast. The principle difference is that every single one of our meals is gluten-free and dairy-free, 100%. This essentially makes us the healthiest recipe box by a country mile. What would you say to those who question the cost using recipe boxes? Myles We set ourselves out to be a premium box because we wanted to be able to use better suppliers and more premium ingredients. I think our customer base realises that food isn’t cheap, and to have the convenience of it being delivered, they’re happy to pay a little more. We did British prawns recently, but despite it being one of our most expensive meals, more than a third of our customer base picked it. Giles We’ve moved to flexible pricing, where meals start at £4.50, with quite a few around the £5 per person mark, but it keeps you out of the supermarket and being tempted by offers. So it

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FACT Mindful Chef will never source fish and meat from abroad. The prawns are sourced from Newark

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Favourite recipe: Giles

Favourite recipe: Myles

“Playing rugby, I want dinner to be filling and this recipe does just that”

“I love the good flavour combinations in this recipe”

Beef meatball & tomato ragu, squash noodles We’ve used squash noodles as not only are they an excellent alternative to regular noodles but they’re also a great source of healthy carbohydrate, magnesium and antioxidants Ingredients 180g cherry tomatoes 1 red onion 1 tbsp oil 2 garlic cloves 2 tsp chipotle paste 2 x 150g beef mince 300g butternut squash 80g spinach Medium handful of fresh basil Macros 382 calories • 26g carbs • 17g fat • 36g protein Method 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Finely chop or crush the garlic and finely slice the onion. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters and finely slice the basil leaves. 2. Peel the butternut squash. Using a peeler, slice the squash into long thin strips. Place the squash noodles on a baking tray, lightly toss in 1/2 tbsp oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, and place in the oven for 15 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the beef mince, garlic and half of the basil leaves. Shape the mix into 14-16 balls. 4. Heat a frying pan with 1 tsp oil on a medium-high heat and brown the meatballs on all sides for 10 minutes, until cooked through. 5. Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized pan with 1/2 tbsp oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes on a medium heat, then add the tomatoes, spinach and chipotle paste and cook for 5 minutes. 6. Remove the meatballs from the frying pan and add to the tomato pan with the remaining basil. Place a lid on the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes. 7. To serve, place the squash noodles on a warm plate and spoon over the beef meatballs and tomato basil sauce Recipe for two people, halve the ingredients for one person.

Find these recipes and over 600 more on the Mindful Chef website - www.mindfulchef.com/recipes

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Teriyaki salmon, crispy kale & choi sum Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids for healthy brain function, while the zingy ginger in our homemade teriyaki sauce is great for digestion Ingredients 1 lime 1 red chilli 1 tbsp oil 200g choi sum 2 garlic cloves 2 spring onions 2 tbsp honey 2 tbsp tamari 2 x 150g salmon fillet (skin on) 4cm fresh ginger 80g kale 80g quinoa Macros 528 calories • 49g carbs • 22g fat • 40g protein Allergens Fish, soya Method 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4 and boil a kettle. 2. To make the teriyaki sauce: finely chop the garlic, chilli, and peel and finely chop the ginger. Mix the garlic, chilli and ginger in a bowl with the tamari, honey and half of the juice from the lime. Cut the choi sum stalks from the leaves. Cut the stalks into 1cm thick slices. 3. Rinse the quinoa and add to a saucepan with 300ml boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes until cooked. 4. Heat 2 tsp oil in a medium-sized pan on a medium heat. Place the salmon in the pan skin side down and fry for 5 minutes each side. Add the teriyaki sauce to the pan for 3 minutes, then add the choi sum leaves and stalks and cook for a further 5 minutes until the choi sum is tender and the salmon is cooked through. 5. Meanwhile, roughly chop the kale and place in a bowl with 1 tsp oil, spread out on to a baking tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes until turning crispy and golden. 6. Thinly slice the spring onion into ribbons. Drain the quinoa and season with sea salt & black pepper. Stir in the remaining lime juice and the crispy kale. 7. To serve, spoon the crispy kale quinoa onto two warm plates, top with the choi sum and place the salmon over this. Drizzle over the remaining teriyaki sauce from the pan and top with the spring onion ribbons. Recipe for two people, halve the ingredients for one person.

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23/02/2018 11:13


MEET ALEXA PENNY Kate Maxim chats to the resident company stage manager at the Curve Theatre in Leicester about dinosaurs and red shoes

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have a rehearsal period, but that could be three weeks, or it may be six. Something like Matilda would be months in rehearsal. It’s our current visiting production so they’ve rehearsed in London but do their technical rehearsals here with their own team. The programme changes all the time and we can have two or three different things on each week. It’s different every year but we produce approximately 15 to 20 shows ourselves annually, including our youth theatre performances. We’re producing a new musical (An Officer and a Gentleman) this spring, and once it’s over it will go out on tour.

Active What does your role entail? Alexa I run the rehearsal rooms with the directors, look after the different elements such as lighting, sound and costumes, and I have to ensure a safe environment for everyone to work in. I also have to uphold the artistic vision of the show, so when the director isn’t around I make sure we’re putting out the same product to the audience every night. Anything can happen during a show and I have to deal with each situation as it happens and make decisions on the fly. It may be to fix something that’s broken, there and then. Or to cut it from the show. Active Does the job vary depending on the production? Alexa The basics are still the same. We always

Active How did you get into this line of work? Alexa I was very fortunate – I knew when I was 10 years old I wanted to be a stage manager. I’d acted with a local amateur dramatic group when I was nine and I noticed people working on the set and costumes. Then the following year we did Oliver! and I paid much more attention to what was going on backstage. Once I started secondary school I got involved in any plays or concerts I could get my hands on, probably to the detriment of some of my lessons! You don’t have to get a stage management qualification, you just get out there, making contact with as many people as possible. I decided to do an arts management degree to broaden my skills base, but so far have been lucky enough to stay in stage management. I started out with the Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds and toured with them, and other productions, for 12 years around the UK and Europe. I worked on the tenth anniversary tour of We Will Rock You and on Walking with Dinosaurs, which was an arena production with massive animatronic dinosaurs. It was bonkers and you do wonder sometimes what other job would pay you to do this stuff! I’ve been full-time here for a year but before that was freelance, so came to do shows when required. A lot of theatres don’t have a residential company stage manager but here at Curve we’re busy producing loads of shows ourselves on top of the many touring productions as well. Active What’s it like working at Curve? Alexa We have a good reputation in the industry as we put on so many exciting productions that people want to be involved in. The middle section of the building houses the theatre spaces and the foyer goes all the way round the outside, and it’s open to the public. We have a large adaptable stage in the big theatre with around 900 seats, depending on the set and the size of the orchestra pit. In the studio there’s around 300 seats and another area – rehearsal room two – has been adapted into a performance space with banked seating. We don’t have a traditional backstage area where the cast would enter through the stage door and

go to their dressing rooms without being seen. Here the cast walk through the public areas so they can be seen in costume going to and from the stage. We also have walls on the side of the main stage that we can lift out at the end of performances so the audience can see what’s going on when they leave. It makes everything more accessible and demonstrates that theatre is not just about what you see on stage; there’s so many other elements too. Some people love that, but some think it ruins the whole magic of the theatre. Personally I love it and it’s great to hear the audience feedback as they walk past and see us beavering away. People are always amazed to see just how big the stage is. Or conversely, sometimes how small and tight for space it is. It’s a big jigsaw puzzle and I’m constantly trying to move things around and make everything fit. Active Do you have a favourite type of show? Alexa I love working on musicals because they’re big and busy, with a lot of people involved. There’s never a dull moment for me. And I’m always in awe of anyone who can dance. Equally, I really like watching plays even if they can be quiet and slow paced to work on. And I love ballet. Matthew Bourne’s Red Shoes blew me away last year – everything about it was beautiful: the staging, choreography, design and costumes. Active It’s obviously not a 9-5 job. How do you find that? Alexa When we haven’t got a show on I do office hours Monday to Friday. When I’m working on a show I’ll come in at 9am to get the rehearsal rooms set up and start rehearsals at 10am, then work through until 6pm Monday to Friday, and on Saturday mornings. In technical rehearsals I work a 12-13 hour day, six days a week. Whilst in performance it changes again. It can be hard when you can’t attend family events because you’re committed to a job. But now I’m based in one place I’m getting a better work/life balance than I’ve ever had before. For the first time ever I know what I’m working on for the whole year, and when I can take time off. Active What is the best part of your job? Alexa There are so many things to choose from. I get to work with loads of amazing people, both actors and crew. You make a lot of lifelong friendships very quickly, as you work with people so intensely, and you’re spending so many hours with them. Another thing I love is giving backstage tours to the public. It brings me back down to earth when I see how excited people are when they see the stage for the first time and watch what we do. It reminds me how I felt when I started. Curve Theatre: 60 Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1SB. www.curveonline.co.uk

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THE FINISHING TOUCHES Today you can no longer guess a woman’s age simply by what she is wearing Edited by Mary Bremner

FASHION FOR ALL Fashion is changing, and it must be a wonderful thing for the retailer. Clothing is no longer age-centric but based more on attitude these days. Age fluid is perhaps the correct term to use today – it is increasingly hard to guess a woman’s age by the way she dresses. Twenty-year olds, 30, 40 and even 50-somethings are often choosing the same item of clothing, possibly wearing them in slightly different ways, but they are all in the market for the same dress, jumper, pair of boots or jeans – and fashion retailers must be delighted. Their market has increased dramatically with some

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items of clothing appealing to every age group and being snapped up by all. I noticed this when I met my daughter who was wearing the same jumper, albeit in a different colour, that I had bought a couple of days earlier; and my other daughter is always ‘borrowing’ one of my fake fur coats (and it never gets returned). Twenty five years ago I would have been mortified if my mother and I had been wearing similar clothing. How times, and attitudes, have changed. It’s not that the more mature lady is dressing more ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ – far from it. Age groups are meeting in the

middle, and no-one seems to mind. Twenty somethings are fed up with cheap fabrics and tackiness, while those of more mature years have long discarded shapeless cardigans and elasticated waistbands. Many years of toiling away at the gym has kept figures, and attitudes, young; clothing choices now reflect this. Good quality, timeless clothing suits all comers, and they are being snapped up by all age groups, but worn differently. Every age group wants a classic cashmere jumper, long sleeved midi dress, timeless pair of boots and stylish handbag, and there’s plenty to go round (see far right).


And finally...

Kate Maxim treats herself to a makeover at Space NK, and it cost her absolutely nothing

Age-fluid essentials

I didn’t need a makeover for a special occasion; I simply wanted advice on how to update my make-up routine, if you can call it that. I spend, on average, about two and a half minutes applying foundation, a touch of powder, eyeliner, mascara and a bit of lipstick. And I’ve used practically the same products for the last decade. It was time for a change. I’d booked an appointment with a visiting consultant but you can walk in off the street and there is usually an adviser available to sit you down and talk through the vast array of products in store. There are currently 10 make-up brands in the Stamford store and masses of skin care products. It is a minefield, but much more easily navigated with help from one of the very knowledgeable members of staff. It’s probably advisable to book a slot in advance, particularly at weekends, if you want a full hour. And the best thing of all? It’s completely free. Before we began on the make-up I had a consultation from the visiting representative from Odacité, which is a Californian skincare brand that uses a blend of organic and wild crafted plant extracts. As the skin is the biggest organ of the body it makes sense to use ingredients that are as fresh and pure as possible. You choose from a range of serum concentrates tailored to different problems and add drops to a base delivery cream that slowly releases the different properties throughout the day. Or you can add them to your own moisturiser. I was advised to try the anti-inflammatory camelina and chamomile for sensitive skin; the rosehip and ylang ylang for deep wrinkles (she was very tactful when suggesting this one) and green tea and lemongrass for radiance. You would use four drops at most but that may be one drop of one, two drops of another, and so on. They work together to feed and rebalance the skin and, the bit I like the most, they come in 5ml bottles so they maintain the potency of the pure

ingredients and you can choose different ones as the seasons or your hormones change. Some people even use different serums on specific areas of their face. Then I was handed over to Alice to do my make-up. It was really useful to have a discussion about the type of ‘look’ I was aiming for; in my case as light and natural as possible while providing enough coverage to even out skin tone and hide blemishes. I think, sadly, the dewy-look ship has sailed for me. And I wanted to learn how to draw in eyebrows – so vital nowadays. I was introduced to primers for the first time, and I have to say I will be buying one as they do allow make-up to just glide on top. Alice used Laura Mercier radiance primer, followed by CC cream from By Terry, then two different eyeshadows and a rose gold eye stick. My eyelashes were curled, my eyebrows pencilled in, a muted powder palette was applied to sculpt my cheekbones, then a lip to cheeks blusher from RMS Beauty on the apples of my cheeks, and finally a dusting of powders to fix it all in place. Phew! I know for a fact I’ll only do a fraction of the different steps at home, but it was great to sit in the centre of the shop and watch a whole range of customers browsing, testing the products and chatting with the friendly staff. Altogether it was a fun experience and not intimidating in any way. Space NK Apothecary, 63 High St, Stamford, PE9 2AT. 020 3931 8601.

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How acupuncture can help you, get out in the garden for health and fitness, plus amazing local challenges Edited by Steve Moody

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ACTIVE BODY suffering from, such as sleep disturbance, pain, anxiety and nausea. This may be related to the old Chinese traditional belief that an energy, or ‘life force’, flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as qi (pronounced chee). It is believed that acupuncture can restore the flow of qi, and alleviate unpleasant symptoms. This added bonus is useful in chronic pain management, as we know that pain can affect all areas of our lives and not just the part that is injured. Acupuncture treatment for pain management can be offered after conventional history taking and examination. The technique uses a combination of tender points and segmental points in the body. Treatment is usually provided once a week over a course of six weeks. However, the number of session varies depending on the response to treatment. It is best used in a holistic context to pain management and it would not be unusual to prescribe rehabilitative/ self management exercises alongside acupuncture so that pain relief is translated to improvement in function, return to work and improvement in sleep. The role of acupuncture in conventional pain management is well established. There is also good evidence from clinical trials that acupuncture is effective in the short-term relief of tension type headache and migraine. In addition, acupuncture is also often used to treat other musculoskeletal conditions (of the bones and muscles) and pain conditions, including: ● Chronic back pain and neck pain, joint pain (e.g knee pain secondary to arthritis). ● Pain secondary to trigger points – also called myofascial pain. ● This is not a complete list and many other conditions have been treated with acupuncture.

PAINS AND NEEDLES Dr Suchitra Kanagasundaram, a consultant in pain management at Peterborough’s private healthcare facility, Avicenna Clinic, explains the role of acupuncture in pain management Acupuncture is often seen as a form of complimentary or alternative medicine that falls outside of mainstream healthcare. Derived from ancient Chinese medicine, western medical acupuncture is an adaptation that relies on conventional history taking, examination and needling of tender and segmental points. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine needles through the skin that are briefly left in position. You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when the needles are inserted but shouldn’t experience any

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significant pain. It is generally very safe and side effects are transient and low. We understand that acupuncture stimulates sensory nerves in the skin and muscle and can produce a variety of effects. It increases the amount of natural pain killers, called endorphins, and this may modify the painful signals and are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture. One of the useful benefits of acupuncture treatment is that it takes into account all symptoms the patient is

Avicenna Clinic believes that acupuncture should be incorporated into conventional medicine and used as a therapeutic tool alongside other available treatments. A consultant pain management specialist will give every patient an initial assessment, including history taking, examination and investigation if necessary. The pain specialist can also use their wider medical knowledge to offer alternatives and additional treatment for your condition – for example medication reviews, injection treatments and advice on rehabilitation. At Avicenna clinic, we have a range of specialist consultants, operating theatre and in-house imaging facilities – including state-of-the-art MRI, ultrasound and X-ray scanning equipment. To book a consultation or for more information, contact the clinic on 0330 202 059

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GET SLOPE STYLED Craig Mortimer, consultant physiotherapist at the Ashleigh Clinic, on some pre-slope training to help you avoid injury while skiing It’s that time of year again where many of us don the ultra-cool skiing gear and head for the slopes (not forgetting the après ski, of course). But before we go on our adventure, how well did we prepare for the sudden activity and do we know the risks? Many local ski statistics vary. Certain statistics are common in virtually all areas of the slopes around the world. ● Males represent over 60% of emergency department visits. ● In Scandinavia, a breakdown of these injuries shows 72% occurred on-piste, surrounding terrain 19% (although there’s no explanation as to whether après ski is involved!), off-piste 3% and make sure you watch out for the ski lifts as this accounts for 6%. So hold on tight! ● Statistics for skiers showed most are lower limb injuries, with 24% knee and 34% upper body. Head accounts for 15% and spinal 6%. ● However, snowboarders were 17% lower limb with upper body 59%. Would you prepare for a game of football or rugby with little preparation? All too





often we do with skiing. The first thing to remember is kit up well. Make sure you take advice on the right gear for you. Including a helmet. Next, think how you can help condition yourself to what you are about to take on. There are many exercises you can do. I personally like the ones you can do at home, simply because there is more of a chance that people will do them. Make them as relevant to your activity as possible. TRY THESE EXERCISES Make sure you use your breathing, control your core and work on performing the exercise well with good form. You get more out of a well drilled exercise and less injuries. Be realistic. Some people can do more than others. Start low and build up. If in doubt ask your physiotherapist or personal trainer. 1. Double leg squat It’s easy. Just stand, feet shoulder width apart and then bend your knees together and hold for five seconds. This can then be


repeated. Try to progress this so you don’t actually stand upright and therefore take a rest. Maintain slight flexion in your knees. This then mimics your skiing. 2. Single leg squat With this we work on weight transference, just as in skiing. Lean to one side and squat. Keeping the other foot on the ground. Then repeat the other side. This helps with strength and balance. This can be progressed by taking the other foot off the ground when squatting. 3. Agility squats In standing imagine two markers just wider than your shoulders. Bounce side to side from one dot to the other in a relatively upright position, using your arms to balance. This can then be progressed by jumping a little wider and then by moving in an ‘X’ to opposite corners. 4. Low squat jump twist Squat slightly and jump your feet side to side working your arms in the opposite direction. 5. Ski poles With a little thought these exercises can be performed afterwards using your poles for upper body strength and co ordination. It’s very functional and relevant to skiing.

Remember. Keep things simple – because skiing is. Strength and co-ordination are the most important things you can do. Add a cardiovascular routine if you can. It is important that you are as injury free as possible before starting this program. Don’t start with an injury. If in doubt give us a call at Ashleigh Clinic, Leicester, on 0116 2707948 and will only be too happy to advise so you can enjoy a fun and injury-free skiing trip.

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Feature /// Gardening

GARDEN CENTRED The foundation of your well-being is at home, and as spring approaches the garden can be your oasis of health and calm

MODERN LIFE IS BUSY, stressful and often cluttered, and it can be hard to escape or switch off from the pressure and noise. But the vast majority of us have the perfect space in which to do just that: the garden. Gardening is beneficial for mental health, fitness and well-being – numerous studies have shown its benefits to be extensive. Not only can regular gardening fight depression and anxiety, but it can also reduce stress and combat high blood pressure, as well as improving overall physical fitness. A study in the Netherlands showed that every 10% increase in exposure to green spaces translated into an improvement in health equivalent to being five years younger, with similar benefits found by studies in Canada and Japan. Research has also found that a three to four hour session of gardening can burn as many calories as an hour at the gym, and all exercise releases endorphins – the ‘happy hormones’ which makes people feel satisfied and relaxed – whether it’s a hardcore burn in the gym or an afternoon pottering about in the garden. For well-being, gardening is great too: instead of worrying about bills, work or the everyday stresses of life, our minds are focused on the task at hand – whether that’s repotting, chopping, weeding or hoeing, whilst caring for and nurturing plants offers a sense of responsibility and fulfilment. Concentrating hard on a physical task is good because it gives our minds a break from those things that might be getting us down and if you feel like things are getting on top of you, gardening puts you back in control.

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Feature /// Gardening

TIME TO SPRING INTO LIFE! Garden designer and landscaper Teresa Kennedy has some easy inspiration for your spring garden I have yet to meet anybody who is not moved by the arrival of spring. Finally we feel like we can get outside and feel the delicate warmth hidden in sunny March days. These little nuggets of warmth are uplifting to the human soul and make us look forward to the long hazy days of summer (hopefully) ahead. Now is the time to start thinking about how you want to enjoy your outdoor space. Every year there are new trends. This year embrace mindfulness, veganism and cleaner living, meaning less plastic. These trends, that affect our daily lives, always feature in outdoor designs. With these in mind pastels will feature heavily, matching this need for calm and clean living. You might think these themes are not for everyone, but anyone can incorporate them into their garden with small, simple steps...

MINDFULNESS IN THE GARDEN Focusing on the here and now is beautifully represented by the cyclical form of nature. There can be no better – or easier – way to reap all the benefits of this psychological process than by being a part of your garden. From the tending, nurturing and watching growth, to the sitting back and relaxing; this is mindfulness in its perfectly simple form. Historically gardens were places to seek health benefits. Norman castles would have a small enclosed space where you could escape from the stresses of life. Simple spaces of grass

and wild flowers with natural seating offered a certain sanctuary. The Mindfulness movement suggests the garden garden as ‘the place to unwind’ offering the answers to modern life that so many of us are in search of. Still reflections on large pans of shallow water allow the mind to focus. Allowing this feature to stand-alone will instantly bring a strong design element to your space; soften it by bringing it into your planting. Consider rusted steel or natural stone as materials for holding your water.

H OW TO I N C O R P O R AT E PA S T E L S I N T O YO U R GARDEN Pastels work beautifully with a less structured planting form and are very easy to incorporate into your garden. Think ribbons or splashes of colour rather than blocks. But if blocks suit your style choose a richer pastel, plant densely and then mix through a supplementary lighter shade. With pastels you are creating an environment to slow the mind and deepen the breath. Blues bring the sky in, yellows reflect the light and pinks envelop and warm us. A few pastel recommendations are: Pinks: Dahlia ‘Pink Princess’; Papaver orientale ‘Coral Reef’ (oriental poppy) Yellows: Rosa ‘Buttercup,’ Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Lemonade’ Blues: Veronica Gentianoides. Echinops bannaticus (globe thistle).

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Feature /// Gardening

VEGANISM This very ‘on-trend’ movement will lead to a resurgence in the grow-your-own movement, which is no bad thing. It is also an excellent way to reduce your use of food products wrapped in plastic. There is, of course, a beauty in the consumption of your home grown produce, but do not under-estimate the value of the growing process itself – it feeds the soul as well as the family. This brings me right back to my early career where I created kitchen gardens based on the historic French potager style. Small, structured, beautifully designed and productive, perfect for today’s gardens. Again, start small and consider: Salad leaves – year round Peas/beans – early/mid-summer

Salad potatoes – summer Sweetcorn – late summer Greens – autumn/winter This range will give you year-long produce, with the legumes and salad being the only ones that will require regular tending and re-sowing. If you have a greenhouse or a hot, sheltered area against a south-facing wall then I can assure you that popping a freshly harvested sun-warmed tomato in your mouth is one of the best experiences. But if growing your own veg doesn’t appeal, try herbs. I buy pre-grown herbs, split each into three and replant to give myself a plentiful supply with very little effort. Flat leaf parsley, mint, basil and rosemary are all prolific growers.

HOW TO USE LESS PLASTIC Look for natural pots rather than plastic, they are becoming more readily available – and use recycled wooden lollipop sticks or mark up your own foraged sticks for seed labels. You could also make your own

newspaper pots for seedlings. Many nurseries will take your plastic pots back to use again, or perhaps keep plastic pots to re-use for seed sowing and potting on.

ABOUT OUR NEW COLUMNIST Over the coming year I hope to inspire you to re-evaluate your outdoor space. For almost eight years I have created and styled spaces for clients so they can make the most of what they have, ensuring a working connection with this natural room. I love it and my work is an extension of a deeply-rooted passion which I aim to share with you. It doesn’t matter if you have a balcony or a wide expansive garden, I’ll introduce design ideas and new trends to help you bring it all to life. Teresa Kennedy www.viridisdesign.co.uk 07726 334501

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WORKOUT IN YOUR GARDEN Physiotherapist Jacqueline Knox’s tips for getting fit in the garden... Spend a few minutes walking around your garden just to get the body moving and prepared for the work ahead. See this as a kind of mental preparation. Warm up by doing some step ups and some mini squats to get the blood flowing around the muscles. Then do some gentle exercises to get the body mobile enough to be able to do the activities that lie ahead. These mobility exercises should be gentle. Start slowly as you would a gym workout. When pushing a wheelbarrow around the garden try and use the legs and core. By using your ‘core’ and bottom muscles the load is dissipated throughout the body rather than being taken just by the neck and shoulders. Do smaller loads rather than one that is too heavy. This will mean more walking backwards and forwards and thus help improve cardiovascular fitness. Change position often so that you combine activities such as weeding, walking and digging. By varying the activities your body gets a rest from staying in a sustained position for long periods of time. Allow some time at the end of gardening to admire your hard work and do some gentle stretching and relaxed breathing. Remember to remain hydrated throughout as dehydration can lead to unnecessary muscle stiffness. Jacqueline Knox co-wrote ‘Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness’ with Bunny Guinness in 2008. Contact her on 01780 740242 or visit www.barnhousephysio.co.uk

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Feature /// Gardening

SPRING JOB LIST We asked local gardening experts for their top tips for the season ahead “Trickling water will mask sounds such as traffic and chatter, so it’s worth bearing in mind when looking at what to bring into your garden this spring.” Teresa Kennedy “Prune roses to a forward facing bud and wisterias to two or three buds. Cut back buddleia, dog wood, willow, ornamental grasses and summer flowering clematis to a pair of buds just above ground level. Prune any ornamental garden trees to ensure they remain healthy, safe and in good shape.” Tom Sexton “Apply a layer of bark chippings or mulch to your garden borders to help suppress weeds and improve soil moisture retention.” Tom Sexton “Plant your summer flowering bulbs, pansies, and lift up and divide overgrown clumps of perennials.” Tom Sexton “Scarify your lawn to allow the soil to absorb more oxygen and accelerate growth, and turn your compost heap to give it an influx of oxygen that will speed up the decomposition process.” Tom Sexton “Give your fence a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint while you can still get to it!” Tom Sexton “The grass is ready to grow, so get it fertilised, and once dry, use a stiff brush to remove worm-casts. For a green lawn, remove the moss by scarifying and aerating the grass. Finally, clear the weeds out of the beds and borders and plant your summer bulbs.” Shane Scott

“An easy and inexpensive way to invigorate your garden is to look at your hard landscaping. “We build patios, paths, driveways, raised beds, decking using different types of gravel, granite and wood chippings, top soil and turf to refresh the different areas.” Ben Freeman “Spring jobs such as weeding, preparing ground for sowing by digging in organic matter, raking moss from lawns before a spring feed, pruning certain shrubs and trees, tidying borders after the winter – all these tasks involve stretching, twisting, bending, squatting and lifting. Try to vary tasks every 20 minutes or so and end your workout with a hot bath or shower to rest any aching muscles. Annie Burns, Welland Vale

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“Start to plant up the vegatable garden – put broad bean seeds into the ground in 15cm wide rows with the seeds placed at 4cm intervals. Plant early potato sets in rows at 30cm spacing, also onion and shallots at 15cm. Feed shrubs with a suitable fertilizer such as blood fish and bone to give them a good start to the season.” Angela Holland, Kibworth Garden Centre OUR EXPERTS Ben Freeman Landscaping 07703 337128/01780 238376 www.benfreemanuk.co.uk

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Shane Scott Diamond Gardening Services 01858 466858/07913 131219 Angela Holland Kibworth Garden Centre 0116 279 2754 www.kibworthgardencentre.co.uk Annie Burns Welland Vale 01572 822729 www.wellandvalegardeninspirations.co.uk

GET SOME INSPIRATION AT TOLETHORPE Throughout summer the Stamford Shakespeare Company will be presenting three classic plays at the Rutland Open Air Theatre in the grounds of Tolethorpe Hall. More than 34,000 people enjoyed the gardens last year. Tolethorpe Hall – 01780 754381 (box office 01780 756133). Plays run from June 12 to September 1. http://stamfordshakespeare.co.uk

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Feature /// Challenges

CHARLIE CHANGES CARS Rutland-based hillclimber Charlie Martin tells us about her new challenge in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge series After a spectacular finish at Le Mans last November, this year is all change as I leave hillclimbing after 11 years and start my first season circuit racing. I’ll be joining local team Richardson Racing, based in Corby, to contest the Ginetta GT5 Challenge, racing at some of the UK’s top tracks, with Spa Francochamps in Belgium featuring as an overseas round in July. I was already thinking hard about this change as early as last summer, and having tried my hand racing MINIs at Knockhill, I jumped at the chance to drive at Le Mans. This being my first endurance race (three hours) there was a lot to take in. That it would be at such a legendary venue was mind blowing. I first went to watch the Le Mans 24 hours aged 19, and had no idea then that I’d actually race here one day. Having raced the Norma M20FC all season on closed roads with rocks, trees and buildings in very close proximity, it was an incredible feeling to stretch the car’s legs with a little more room to manoeuvre. Taking the first turn at

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150mph felt absolutely mega! I was sharing the car with its owner Nicolas Schatz, a very quick racer who had spent the 2017 season driving an LMP3 car in the European Le Mans Series, so the pressure was on to keep up the pace. To finish in third place felt like an incredible achievement – the pinnacle of my career so far. I think I was smiling all the way into Christmas! The GT5 Challenge is one of the most popular single-make series, featuring grids of 30 cars and supporting the British Touring Car and GT Championship. With spectator numbers over 30,000 and live coverage on ITV4, it means some fantastic exposure too. Testing can’t start soon enough. I’m obviously keen to get as much seat time as possible before the opening round at Oulton Park over Easter. Fortunately Richardson Racing have a simulator as well as a driver development programme working with the Training Shed (the gym where I currently spend a lot of my time). I couldn’t be more excited about the season ahead! www.gocharliehillclimb.com

HARRY’S TIME HAS COME! After months of planning, Harry Brooks is finally joining the Clipper Round the World Race After the New Year celebrations in Hobart, the Clipper fleet raced up the east coast of Australia to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Airlie Beach hosted the fleet, which is now halfway through the epic journey. As with any highly tuned racing machine, these 70ft Clippers require a lot of work to keep them competitive. The first day of any stopover is always the deep clean. Everything is stripped off the boat, including floorboards and wall fittings, and the whole boat is scrubbed and polished. Next is maintenance, kit and

equipment, the engine, generator, plumbing, etc are all checked thoroughly. Then it’s sail repairs, the true engine on board these boats, with sails so thick that to sew them back together a hole must first be drilled through the cloth for each of the stitches. The reward for this hard work is then a few days to relax – particularly enjoyable in the Whitsundays. And then it’s time to prepare for the next leg of the race. Current crew leaving the fleet fly home and new crew members join. The new teams must now ensure all the provisions and

meal plans are set, the stores are replenished and the boat is once again fit to race. And, at last, I am one of the new crew members. I am writing this from the UNICEF boat on the night before we leave Airlie Beach for the Chinese island of Sanya. The 4,280 nautical mile journey will be the first of three races that complete my 12,500-mile journey. But, strangely, this is the beginning of the end of my Clipper experience. I first became aware of the Clipper race when I left Stamford School during the 2013-14 race. Since then I have gone through applications, interviews, training, briefings and crew events, all building up to this moment. And here I am, sat at the bow of the boat, looking at my home for the next three months, contemplating what is to come. I’m slightly nervous – and very excited. www.clipperroundtheworld.com

TIME FOR THE ICE ULTRA! Simon Davies is planning to complete a grand slam of the three hardest ultra-marathons in the world this year

TIME FOR THE ICE ULTRA! At the time of writing I’ve got just 10 days I’ve been helped massively by Jöttnar which left until the start of my first race, the Ice Ultra, which is a 150-mile self-sufficient race inside the Arctic Circle. The time since my last article for Active has been a blur of training, fund-raising and organisation. To some degree the physical training has taken a back seat. That’s not to say it’s been easy but it’s really just been a case of building up the weekly mileage and gradually increasing the weight of my pack. I’m now running around 20 miles every Saturday followed by another 15 miles or so the following day. I’m also doing two 10-12km speed sessions after work during the week. It’s been a challenge getting used to the long runs on a Sunday with tired legs but during the race I’m going to have to run for five consecutive days so I’m keen to replicate this to some degree. On top of the running the last month has been spent trying to research, acquire and test all the clothing and equipment I’ll need.

has supplied me with specialist clothing. I need a layered clothing system that’s lightweight and super warm, but can also pack down as small as possible. Leicestershire business Burton McCall has also come to my aid by supplying me with a range of equipment including a lightweight Jetboil stove, medical kit, Bridgedale socks and a CamelBak rucksack and drinking system. Accurately planning my food for the race is vital. I’m aiming to consume around 3,000 calories per day so it’s a case of finding foods that contain the most amount of energy for the least amount of weight. I’ll have access to hot water at the evening camps so will be using Expedition Foods dehydrated meals. Each meal has around 800 calories but weighs only 130 grams. Eating on the move is more of a challenge. Normally I’d rely on energy gels and bars but these foods will freeze and become

inedible. I’ve been experimenting and trying to find foods that can be eaten whilst frozen. I’ve been sticking various high-calorie foods in the freezer overnight and trying to eat them the next morning. I’ve found that shortbread works well, as does dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Some good news is that peanut M&Ms also pass the test! Fund-raising for Rainbows Hospice is also going well with donations from businesses across Leicestershire including Second Sight, Effect Digital and Market Harborough Building Society. We’ve raised more than £14,000 – I wanted to reach half of my £25,000 target before the first race so I’m pleased that I’ve managed to exceed this. www.icedesertjungle.com

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23/02/2018 15:55

Feature /// Challenges

LAKE BAIKAL BECKONS Ash Routen is on the final countdown for his mammoth trip across Lake Baikal The final countdown has begun and, as I write, it’s only 16 days until we depart these shores for distinctly colder climes. As well as getting kit ready, I’ve been keeping a keen eye on the weather in Siberia. I’ve spent time reviewing the last 10 years of satellite images of the lake. The period when Baikal freezes over fully is usually late January or early February (for some reason it takes longer to freeze than other local bodies of water). It’s amazing how quickly it freezes though. A few days ago our start point was water; now people are out walking on the ice, from what I can see on the webcam. This rapid freeze is largely due to a good period of deep cold that has seen temperatures drop into the minus 40s (with wind-chill). That might sound a little hellish to some of

you, but when you’re planning to walk across a big old frozen lake, I’d much rather it be on the chilly side! But we do still expect to come across leads (sections of open water), and where they can’t be stepped across or jumped over, we will have to walk parallel with them until we find a suitable crossing point. Luckily, from my research we are unlikely to encounter the large areas of open water that you might face in the Arctic Ocean on a Geographic North Pole trip. We do also expect to come across areas of thin ice, and it’ll be a learning curve in the first few days to be able to spot, and avoid, these sections. To help us keep an eye on the temperature, wind speed and any incoming storms, we’ve partnered up with a Gibraltar-based meteorological company (meteogib.com) which will be sending us daily weather updates via

EAT, EAT AND DRINK Mark Smith is upping his calorie intake in his quest to run from one end of the UK to the other to raise charity funds Training has ramped up again, with increased intensity in the gym a couple of times a week, all under the guidance of Adam Jackson at Code Fitness. I must admit that while the sessions are hard, I can really feel the benefit. I’m feeling stronger and with much more awareness of my posture and balance. In terms of the running itself I think the photo (right) says it all – cold. With the weather and work commitments I’ve not been able to put in the

miles I would have liked to, but working on my core strength has been my main goal. February has seen my diet change again, working myself up to 2,816 calories per day consisting of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. I’m also drinking 2.7 litres of water a day. That’s a bigger challenge than the main event at the moment. My body fat percentage is remaining at 14.1% or even reducing a little, and my weight increasing to 64.8kg. The scale of the challenge is also starting to

our satellite phone. This vital bit of kit will also allow us to keep in touch with our loved ones, and hopefully get through to the BBC Radio Leicester team for a live interview out on the ice! We’ll also be carrying a GPS beacon which will allow you to follow our progress in real time. You will be able to follow us here from February 26 (we hope to take around 20-22 days for the 550km crossing). I’ll also be tweeting daily updates via @ashrouten. This will be my last update before we head out to Russia. I look forward to sharing the stories and photos on our return. You can find out more at www.ashrouten.com. Our trip is kindly supported by Sub Zero Clothing, Sigg UK, Nordisk Outdoor, Fuelling Your Adventures, Expedition Foods, Grangers, MeteoGib and A-B Tours.

have an impact. I am going to run the length of the country – 895 miles! I have become acutely aware of other people’s reactions when we talk about it. This is huge in every sense – logistically, physically and emotionally. Alex’s Wish, the charity I am doing this for, has been amazingly supportive, helping to arrange accommodation, marketing and just being there to listen. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/marksmith6

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Feature /// Staff challenges




“Two rounds in the early nineties, when you play off 13 and are looking to halve that, suggests all is not going entirely to plan. However, I’m not too worried yet, because Burghley Park pro Mark has been making a few adjustments to my swing, which once they bed in should see me hitting the ball like Rory McIlroy. Or so he tells me. Essentially, I’m trying to create a wider arc with less arm action and more shoulder turn and it feels alien at the moment, with the result I’m tending to catch the ground a bit before the ball. But when I get it right, my shots are flying high and far and I can draw and fade them almost at will too, so I know it’s in there – it just stays hidden quite a lot of the time. To the range it is then, to hit hundreds of balls and groove my new action. The other thing I’ve been working on is analysis: really keeping tabs on where you lose or gain shots, and the results are fascinating. My irons and wedges, even with the tweaks, are by far the steadiest part of my game. Driving is all over the place (as usual) and costing me as many as half a dozen shots a round, especially on a tree-lined course such as Burghley, but to play off single figures there is very little room for wastage, and chipping and putting are by far the most profligate. So as the weather improves, I can see myself spending a lot of time on the practice greens.”

“I started at 113kg at my NHS medical in early December. That converts to 17 stone and 11 pounds. Admittedly that was in my clothes and shoes but I have just dipped under 17 stones (in my underwear) for the first time, so the plan is working thus far. The main thing I have changed is eating fruit instead of chocolates, crisps and sweets every time I want a snack or pudding. It’s not always easy but I realised that if I don’t buy the unhealthy stuff in the first place then it’s not there to eat. I have also tried to reduce my beer intake but Christmas, New Year and a weekend in France following the Leicester Tigers made that tricky. My waistline doesn’t seem to have reduced, but hopefully that will come.”

Climbing back to the top of the eventing ladder

Just email the editor – steve@ theactivemag.com – with the subject line ‘TeamActive Challenge 18’ with what you are planning to do and when, and then we’ll give you some dates when we’ll need short monthly updates, and we will feature you in the magazine, and hopefully give you some much needed inspiration to keep going! It can be a fitness, wellness, sporting or self-improvement goal – we’d love to hear about your challenge.

JULIA DUNGWORTH, EQUESTRIAN CORRESPONDENT “Another quiet month in the eventing world, filled with yet more snowy days and bad weather. We’ve had two days of show jumping training at Aena UK where we discovered that if I use my core strength to sit up more on the last stride before we jump then we stand a much better chance of leaving the fence up! Possibly going to Bounce for a fitness session in between my lessons wasn’t my shrewdest move; however, my six-pack, which has been well hidden all winter, is starting to show again! Then we met the lovely Sophie Wells for a training session for the Dodson and Horrell Masterclass on the March 17.”


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Feature /// Staff challenges

TRY A TRIATHLON CHRIS MEADOWS, PUBLISHER “It’s been a frustrating month, having all started so well. At the start of the month I met up with Dawn Revens from The Compeater again to chat about nutrition. She had asked me to keep a food diary using the myfitnesspal app, a relatively easy app to use once you get the hang of it, and it’s quite eye-opening when you look back over the previous week. I wasn’t supposed to change any habits, but it’s very difficult not to at times when you scan something and see the nutritional values, or lack of. You also have to be honest, or you’re only cheating yourself. Nutrition is key to making sure I can train properly, so Dawn hooked me up to her metabolic testing machine, one of the few in the country. It’s a non-invasive test that takes about five minutes to assess your resting metabolic profile – the information it provides though is very useful. Understanding and working to optimise my metabolism will help me train efficiently in the run up to The Dambuster, and any help is much appreciated. The optimal fuel ratios your body should be working to are 80% fat and 20% glucose. The report generated showed that I am within the normal bracket with fat burning at 69%, so no excuses there. Although, that does leave room for improvement. In order to get nearer to the optimal ratio Dawn suggested some simple changes to my diet – more fruit and veg to help balance glucose levels and encourage more shallow peaks and troughs, more protein and less refined carbohydrates. She suggested looking at some of the Mindful Chef (mindfulchef. com) recipes too as they are great for ticking all these boxes. I also met up with Mary Hardwick from Inspire2Tri at her studio in Manton. Following a chat about what I wanted to achieve (survival!), Mary put me on the WattBike to


see how I got on. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting; I do need to invest in some padded shorts, though. My limited cycling experience is something I need to address, highlighted when Mary started talking about ‘bricks’. It’s not something I’ve had to worry about on a Sunday morning ride round Rutland Water before. It quickly became clear though that not only do you have to worry about the three disciplines, but the fact your body doesn’t like swimming followed by cycling. Apparently the opposite movements can be a shock for your body, so Mary has given me some training suggestions. However, since meeting Mary I’ve yet to be able to put the knowledge to use thanks to a variety of bugs that have been doing the rounds. I’m keen to get in the gym and get started… I never thought I’d say that.”

“I thought I’d better up the ante as they say, so I’ve increased my time on the treadmill. “I may only spend 15 minutes in the morning before work (and definitely not every morning) but now instead of just brisk walking I’m trying to run for longer than I walk. I’m also keeping up my fitness levels with the boxfit. I’ve lost a few pounds and have definitely toned up. And then I well and truly surprised myself! I decided to brave the elements on a very wet day with my dogs and see how I got on running in the great outdoors. A friend came with me but as she was injured she walked and I went on ahead. I didn’t imagine I’d last very long even with the encouraging words ‘Run Forest Run’ which kept popping into my head. In fact I ran for just less than 20 minutes straight without stopping. My pace wasn’t anything to write home about though as when I turned round my friend wasn’t too far behind. And I must take some music with me next time as I got a little bored just focusing on the path in front of me. I also don’t actually know how far I ran as I don’t have a proper app to measure it. I know I’ve got a way to go to run 5km without stopping but it’s a start.”

Shave 10 minutes off my half-marathon time AMY ROBERTS, ADVERTISING SALES “It’s been a tough few weeks fitting training in with the cold weather, half-term activities and social events. But I got training in where I could; I even tried a five-mile run under the stars which was a new and pleasant experience. Don’t worry, I had a high-vis vest on and Ross, who I ran with, had his torch. I’ve done a couple more Parkruns with the Swayfield Stragglers, which was well worth it as I got my time down to 26.54 minutes. However, I feel my goal of shaving 10 minutes off my time may have been a little out of reach so I’m going to aim for five minutes and see how I get on.I’ve trained harder than I ever have for

anything fitness related and I have to say it’s been very rewarding. Tonight I’m off out to push some cardio and get the heart rate going with some HIT work-outs in between – something to keep the body thinking and to burn off that chocolate bar I ate this morning. The big battle is to combat the nutrition side to benefit the training, so I’d best get to the supermarket and clean out the cupboards. Not long now until the Rutland Water Spring half-marathon – these weeks are flying by but I’m looking forward to April 8.”

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23/02/2018 17:06

Feature /// Great walks TOP STAT

ndmill Wymondham Wi shops are Tearooms and 200-year based around the ich has old windmill, wh been partially restored.

WYMONDHAM AND CORD HILL There’s plenty to see on this pleasant country stroll, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


Park in Wymondham and walk south down Spring Lane, following the path out of the village. Almost immediately you will pass through Spring Farm. Follow the path with some woodland on your right until you come to a junction where you turn left into a narrow grassy field. Walk to the bottom of this field and turn left and then cross the footbridge and then almost immediately turn right to pick up the footpath to Cord Hill. (There are a number of inter-linked footpaths around the southern half of the village but there is only one path up to Cord Hill.) Once you are on the right track the route to the top is pretty obvious and, even though it’s not particularly steep or high, the panoramic views from the top are outstanding. With Whissendine Station and Stapleford Park Hotel in the immediate vicinity and plenty more

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further afield it’s worth stopping to enjoy the view for a while. When you have had your fill of the scenery make a sharp left turn at the stile at the top to then follow the path as it gradually drops down to a gated road where you turn left and follow the road for a kilometre. It’s a lovely quiet lane and you won’t see many vehicles as it winds its way down to the junction with Edmondthorpe Road. When you get to the junction head straight on and walk into the attractive little settlement of Edmondthorpe. Stay on the road until you pass the pretty little church on your right and then after about 150 yards take the footpath off to the left. Bear right at the first junction and then turn left to head north and back towards Wymondham. Just before the path reaches the road outside Wymondham there is a left turn which brings you into the village over a stream and ultimately back to the church. But it’s worth having a stroll around and, if you have timed it right and booked ahead, going for lunch or dinner in the excellent Berkeley Arms.

Clockwise, from main picture

The view from Cord Hill back towards Wymondham; the Berkeley Arms has a great reputation; turn right shortly aer this bridge to pick up the path to Cord Hill; a fine view of Rookery House

Where to park On Main Street in Wymondham, near the Old Bakery Antiques shop, and Spring Lane.



Highlights Panoramic views from the top of Cord Hill, pretty little Edmondthorpe, Wymondham Windmill and the excellent Berkeley Arms.

➛ ➛

Distance and time Four miles/an hour and a quarter.

Lowlights There’s an extensive ground nesting bird programme around here so you have to keep the dog on the lead more than you would want. I wouldn’t go on a cold day – it’s fairly exposed. Refreshments The Berkeley Arms and Wymondham Windmill Tearooms. Difficulty rating Three paws; there’s nothing tricky here. The pooch perspective Restricted because of the ground nesting bird programme but my two still enjoyed it.

For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.


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Feature /// Great walks

SOUTH CROXTON AND BAGGRAVE HALL Baggrave Hall makes a good focal point for this gentle country stroll, as Will Hetherington reports


ve supposed to ha Carr Bridge is late 1700s been built in the wesby called for a vicar of Lo hunt could Carr so that the ss more easily cro Brook. Queniborough

Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


Park in South Croxton near the Golden Fleece pub and take the first footpath which heads out east less than 100 yards south of the pub. Initially the path goes into a private drive but it soon cuts off to the right. (There is another path a little further south in the village which will ultimately take you to the right place but there isn’t much to choose between the two). Once you have the village behind you it’s pretty easy to follow the path as it winds through a small field, some hedges and trees. Then you are out into open country and a gradual uphill

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stretch as you head south past George’s Spinney and then through New Covert before coming to the large barns and sheds of Waterloo Lodge Farm. The path runs around the northern and eastern edges of the farm buildings, so just turn left before you get to the farm and you will find the post in the field. Once you have got round the farm you will come to the access road where you turn left and head south east on the road. You will shortly come to the road down to Baggrave Hall but keep heading south east until the road makes a sharp right turn. Carry straight on here along the bridleway for another half a kilometre, until you come to a four-way footpath intersection just after a gateway. Turn left here on to the Midshires Way and head downhill through three field boundaries to Carr Bridge over the Queniborough Brook.

Main picture and above

The imposing Georgian splendour of Baggrave Hall; Carr Bridge crosses Queniborough Brook

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Feature /// Great walks

Cross the bridge and keep to the hedge on your left for a brief uphill section until you come to the stile in the hedge. Take this turn and then head north west with the brook down on your left. Cross three fields with Bell Dip Farm up on the hill to your right, and then take the turn into the woods to take you right past the north side of Baggrave Hall. This path goes through woodland with lots of pheasants and a small narrow lake before it comes out on the road with good views of the front aspect of the Hall. The path continues heading north-west across the open parkland. It’s clear on the OS map but I couldn’t see a marker so I just trusted the map. From here the path crosses back over the brook and then takes a meandering route through grass fields, trees, pasture and a smallholding before eventually picking up Kings Lane which brings you out in South Croxton right next to the Golden Fleece.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park On Main Street in South Croxton, just south of the Golden Fleece. Distance and time Four miles/an hour and a quarter.


Highlights Baggrave Hall sits majestically in its own parkland with woodland and Queniborough Brook to the north. The 18th Century Carr Bridge is a wonderful nod to a distant past. And there are some good southerly views from the bottom edge of Waterloo Lodge Farm. Lowlights It’s not the longest walk but it could be easily extended by heading as far south as Hungarton from Waterloo Lodge Farm. Refreshments The Golden Fleece in South Croxton and the Black Boy in Hungarton. Difficulty rating Three paws; it could be quite muddy in places in the winter but it’s not too challenging. The pooch perspective The dogs loved this one. Carr Bridge over the Queniborough Brook came at just the right time for a dip, but you won’t want your dogs to go in the water nearer to Baggrave Hall. 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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Fitness that’s ‘strictly’ fun!

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23/02/2018 15:54

Guest column

A gold medal in glorious failure The Winter Olympics has provided ample evidence of what we are best at in sport, Martin Johnson reckons... he BBC made a largely sound choice for their studio panel of experts at the Winter Olympics, otherwise I’d be none the wiser about whether that Norwegian girl impersonating a cat falling from a fourth storey window was performing an alley-oop or a double cork. I do, on the other hand, feel they missed a trick by not including Eddie the Eagle, given that no-one is better qualified to provide a meaningful insight into one of the great British sporting traditions – heroic failures. TV viewers know what I mean. You pop out to the kitchen to make a pot of tea, and come back to find just a pair of skis sticking out of a snowdrift. And you instinctively know that when the bulldozer has finally cleared away a scene straight from Tom and Jerry, the tearful soul giving a sheepish wave to the crowd will have a union flag on what remains of the helmet. I don’t know why we expect our Winter Olympians to come back home with anything other than third degree bruising, never mind a medal, with a climate like ours. Even when the tabloids are rolling out their ‘Britain Set To Shiver!’ headlines, the same temperature in places such as Oslo and Vienna has the locals putting up deckchairs and lighting the barbeque. While congratulations are due to all those Brits who made it on to a podium, our national empathy for the gallant failure means that the most vivid memory from South Korea will be the sight of Elise Christie hitting the boundary boards like a Formula One car hurtling over the gravel trap and into the tyre wall. Not just once, either, but every time she strapped on her skates. In most countries, this kind of serial disaster would be greeted with a sorry shake of the head, and an instant pledge to cut off the funding, but not for a nation raised on the notion that Dunkirk and Scott’s trek to the Antarctic were glorious triumphs. It’s the reason Michael Edwards, or Eddie as he’s become known, remains our most famous winter Olympian. At Calgary in 1988, while the Finns and the Swiss soared through the air like golden eagles, Eddie’s descent was more like a grouse that’s run into some pellet gun flak over a Scottish moor. He came flat last in his two events, and was instantly afforded official hero status. We have a word for the Eddies of this world, the same word we used to apply to Tim Henman during all those years of failing to win Wimbledon. And the word is ‘plucky’. Andy Murray shed his own plucky tag the minute he won the thing, and he’s never been as popular as our Tim. In soccer, we celebrate losing to the Germans on penalties, and conversation down at the pub is never more animated than when getting beaten by some minnow or other. The recording of the Norwegian commentator when England


lost 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Oslo is now a more treasured part of English sporting folklore than Norwegian. “Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Atlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana, Margaret Thatcher… your boys took a hell of a beating!” Ah well. With implosions like Christie’s in Pyeongchang, it was comforting to have the BBC bringing bad news to the nation. When it comes to flying the flag, the Beeb comes across like one of those World War Two Pathé newsreels. “So come on Elise! Dust yourself down, throw away those crutches and show Johnny Foreigner just what we Brits are made of!” Even if a British bobsled was coming downhill at about the same velocity as an OAP’s shopmobility scooter, the excitement in the BBC studio was off the Richter scale. And when Elise finally limped out with a damaged ankle, with a promise to return in four years’ time to demolish another course in Bejing, the Beeb found just the right tone for her farewell interview. Well, it wasn’t so much an interview as an exercise in sycophancy so over-the-top it was almost impossible to get through without one of those airline vomit bags. “Watching you,” gushed the man from the Beeb, “has been a lesson in resilience, grit and courage. You’ve inspired so many people back home.” The only thing missing was a soundtrack of Land of Hope and Glory, and I’d have preferred a bit more in the way of informed comment. Such as what the person sitting behind a bobsled driver actually does, apart from try not to fall out on the way down. Not every sport at the Winter Olympics offers its competitors a better than even money chance of returning home with several broken bones and eyes only visible through a couple of slits in a head bandage. Curling, for example. The strangest story of the entire games involved a curler testing positive for a banned substance. Why on Earth would anyone need to take drugs for curling? I suppose those people with the brooms need to be pretty fit, but if you’d have asked me to identify anyone in Pyeongchang who needed testing, I’d have referred you to the BBC commentary team over at the half-pipe course. In one event, we were told you “didn’t need to be a rocket surgeon” to work out the scoring, after which the sight of the favourite performing an involuntary cartwheel and ending up nose down in the snow fused the commentator’s entire wiring system. “He’s gone! He’s gone!” came the agonising cry. “This is a man who sprinkles pressure on his breakfast cornflakes! I can’t believe it!” Fingers crossed the poor chap recovers in time for Bejing. Not the half-piper. The man from the Beeb.  Martin Johnson has been a sports journalist and author since 1973, writing for the Leicester Mercury, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. He currently writes columns for The Rugby Paper and The Cricket Paper, and has a book out called ‘Can I Carry Your Bags?’.

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23/02/2018 17:46

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23/02/2018 15:54

Feature /// Gear 2.


Hi-viz, waterproof and breathable, this ladies Luminite II jacket by Endura has been designed entirely for safety and comfort. Price £49.99 (was £99.99) From Rutland Cycling (available in store and online)

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Stay prepared with this lightweight, waterproof jacket that fits in your pocket. Made of compact translucent breathable/waterproof fabric with a lightly padded collar and storm flap, the back panel allows race numbers to be seen. Price £37.49 (was £77.99) From Rutland Cycling (available in store and online)



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5. HUPcc children’s clothing

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Feature /// Cycling

THE UK’S OWN CLASSIC For one weekend every April the hills and lanes of Rutland and Leicestershire come alive with sound of whizzing carbon, churning gears and laboured breathing and one of the biggest cycling races in the UK descends on the region – the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic. An internationally-recognised event, the CiCLE Classic draws more than 30 professional teams including some of the top cycling teams in the country, as well as a number of European teams to do battle on the unique terrain that Rutland offers. With a blend of wide roads around Rutland Water, together with narrow and treacherous farm tracks more reminiscent of the Spring Classic races found in northern France and Belgium, the race has a very special character which makes it one of the toughest days out for the pros – and one of the best days out for a spectator.

6 6 M A RC H 2018 ///


This year, the race takes place on Sunday, April 22, starting in Oakham at 11am and finishing in Melton Mowbray around 3.30pm. You can watch at any point along the route but the best place is probably in the small village of Owston, which the race heads through several times and includes the famous Manor Farm Feeds off-road section. With big crowds and an announcer on hand, the race passes through here from 12.40pm to around 2.30pm.


Fancy tackling the same roads as the pros? The Rutland CiCLE Tour sportive departs from Giant Store Rutland Water at Normanton on Saturday – the day before the main race. Run by ITP Events and with three distances, the routes are carefully planned to provide you with the best cycling routes Rutland has to offer,

incorporating quiet, picturesque and challenging terrain. The 58-mile route is ideal for those new to cycling and cyclo-sportives, but still hard enough to provide a personal challenge. The toughest challenges come from the 80and 105-mile options, which feature the most picturesque lanes and villages the area has to offer. Taking in not only Rutland, but also neighbouring Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, the long route has almost 5,000 feet of climbing and includes views of Rutland Water, the Vale of Belvoir, Eyebrook Reservoir and the Harringworth Viaduct. All routes are on-road and there are several feed stations, plus post-event food, electronic timing, mechanical support and an event medal included in the £32 entry fee. Sign up at www.itpevents.co.uk/event/the-rutlandcicle-tour


A Giant Neos Track cycle computer Sign up for the Rutland CiCLE Tour and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a Giant Neos Track GPS bike computer, worth £149.99. With 33 hours of battery life, breadcrumb navigation and ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, you can plan a great day on the bike without losing your bearings, all while keeping an eye on those key stats.

It’s all about the bike… If you’ve got the CiCLE Tour, or any other sportive, in your sights this year, you’ll need a decent road bike to tackle the challenge. Over the longer distances and rolling terrain of the CiCLE Tour, your best bet could be an endurance-oriented road bike such as the Giant Defy Advanced or women’s Liv Avail. Designed for longer days in the saddle, this style of road bike offers a more relaxed geometry and builds a little more comfort into the frame, so you can eat up the miles. With lower, wider-ranging gears – usually with a compact front chainset and larger spread of gears at the rear – you’ll have ample gearing to tackle even the toughest hills Rutland has to offer. And once you’ve done the uphill, you get to enjoy the downhill! With most bikes of this style these days, you’ll find disc brakes to provide better stopping power and modulation. With the UK’s biggest and best demo bike fleet and more than 200 demo models, Rutland Cycling can give you the chance to test ride a new bike before parting with your hard-earned cash. Rutland’s Giant Store at Normanton has the full 2018 Defy Advanced and Liv Avail ranges available seven days a week. Give the store a call on 01780 720888 to book a ride.

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Feature /// Ride out

Distance 44 miles

ON YOUR BIKE! This 44-miler takes in some of the Rutland CiCLE Tour route This month’s 44-mile road route traces part of the Rutland CiCLE Tour sportive and is provided by Ian Penrose, the sportive’s organiser. It’s a picturesque route which incorporates several sections you’ll recognise if you’ve followed routes we’ve published previously. There are some challenging sections around Lyddington, Launde and Brooke, so be sure to pace yourself and take plenty of energy food and drink with you. Enjoy the ride!


● At the roundabout, take the 1st exit on to Manton Rd 0.3 mi ● Turn left 1.3 mi ● Continue on to Edith Weston Rd 1.7 mi ● Turn right on to Luffenham Rd 1.8 mi ● Turn left on to The Green 1.9 mi ● Turn right at Pinfold Ln 2.3 mi ● Turn right on to Morcott Rd 3.1 mi ● Continue on to Top St 3.4 mi ● Top St turns slightly left and becomes Wing Hill 3.7 mi







Turn left on to Preston Rd 4.0 mi Turn right on to Oakham Rd/A6003 4.9 mi ● Turn left on to Main St 4.9 mi ● Turn right on to Church Ln 5.1 mi ● Turn left towards Ridlington Rd 5.2 mi ● Turn right on to Ridlington Rd 5.3 mi ● Slight right on to Brooke Rd 6.4 mi ● Turn left on to Braunston Rd 8.0 mi ● Slight right on to Wood Ln 9.2 mi ● Turn left on to Cedar St 9.6 mi ● Turn left to stay on Cedar St 9.6 mi ● Turn left on to Knossington Rd 9.7 mi ● Slight left on to The Wisp 10.1 mi ● Continue on to Oakham Rd 11.4 mi ● Turn left 11.6 mi ● Turn left 13.0 mi ● Turn left on to Belton Rd 14.3 mi ● Continue on to Loddington Ln 15.3 mi ● Turn right on to Chapel St 16.1 mi ● Turn left on to Nether St 16.2 mi ● Nether St turns slightly left and becomes Littleworth Ln 16.3 mi ● Turn right on to Leicester Rd/A47 16.7 mi ● Turn left on to Main St 16.7 mi ● Turn left on to Hallaton Rd 16.8 mi ● Continue on to Allexton Rd 18.3 mi ● Turn left on to E Norton Rd 19.8 mi ● Continue on to N End 20.0 mi ● Continue on to Medbourne Rd 20.1 mi ● Continue straight on to Hallaton Rd 21.2 mi ● Turn right on to Main St/B664 22.6 mi ● Turn left on to Drayton Rd 22.7 mi ● Continue on to Medbourne Rd 23.6 mi ● Turn left on to Nevill Holt Rd 24.9 mi ● Continue on to Drayton Rd 25.7 mi ● Continue on to Holt Rd 26.3 mi ● Continue on to Uppingham Rd/B664 27.3 mi ● Turn right on to Stockerston Ln 28.3 mi ● Turn left 30.1 mi ● Turn right 32.2 mi ● Slight left on to Main St 33.0 mi ● Continue on to Stoke Rd 33.8 mi ● Turn right on to Main St 34.7 mi ● Continue on to Gretton Rd 35.0 mi ● Turn left on to B672 35.9 mi ● Turn right on to Seaton Rd/B672 38.2 mi ● Turn left on to B672 38.4 mi ● Turn left to stay on B672 39.7 mi ● Turn right on to Peterborough Rd/A47 40.5 mi ● Turn left on to Stamford Rd/A6121 40.5 mi ● Slight left on to High St 40.6 mi ● Turn right on to Willoughby Rd 40.9 mi ● Continue on to Glebe Rd 41.1 mi ● Turn right on to Lyndon Rd 42.9 mi ● Continue on to Pinfold Ln 42.9 mi ● Continue on to Edith Weston Rd 43.2 mi ● At the roundabout, take the 1st exit on to Normanton Rd. ● ●

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23/02/2018 15:53

Feature /// School sports

ROUND THE CLOCK EVENT RAISES MONEY FOR CHARITY Robert Smyth Academy hosted a 24-hour sponsored sports event to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Mind (charities chosen by 6th form students). More than 130 students participated in teams in 14 activities (including football, dodgeball and basketball) throughout the 24 hours with students playing sport on a rotation. The event was opened by three former students who have gone on to be successful in the world of sport: Josh Knight (defender at Leicester City), Dylan Fletcher (Rio Olympian and current world/European 49er champion) and George Thornton (Wasps rugby). Former Tigers player Boris Stankovich open proceedings.

Above Participants in the sporting lock in event

TIGERS LAUNCH HEALTHY SCHOOLS PLAN Primary school youngsters enjoyed a behind-the-scenes visit to Leicester Tigers’ Oval Park training ground at the launch of a new healthy schools initiative across Leicestershire. Global Payments Healthy Schools is a free week-long programme delivered by Leicester Tigers representatives to primary schools to engage and educate pupils on the importance of healthy eating and living. Tigers player Tatafu Polota-Nau and Tigers head of strength and conditioning, Alex Martin, hosted a talk about the role a healthy diet and exercise has in the game. The group also had a tour of the

Above Pupils look around Oval Park

training ground as well as an introduction to what Healthy Schools is all about. So far, 11 primary schools have signed up to take part in the programme.

Ashleigh Theobald, Leicester Tigers; health officer, who will be visiting each of the schools, said: “Childhood obesity is a real issue for many and Leicester as a city has recently announced plans to drive change across the region. “Healthy Schools is all about educating pupils to make the right decisions and understand the impact diet and exercise can have. “We’ll be kicking off the programme at Fosse Primary School at the start of the new term, with a view to reaching over 4,500 kids in total this year.” For more information, contact ashleigh.theobald@tigers.co.uk or call 0797 061 9444.

OAKHAM NETBALL TEAMS QUALIFY FOR NATIONALS Both the U14 and U19 netball teams at Oakham have qualified for the national finals, following wins at their regional tournaments. The U19 girls beat all their opponents in their pool including Bourne (14-4), Nottingham Girls’ High School (7-3), Trent (13-3) and Oundle (16-5), and West Bridgford in the semi-final (15-4). They claimed the Midlands title against Stamford in the final, winning 14-4. The U14 squad (pictured) won every game in their pool, beating West Bridgford (11-5), Repton (9-7), St George’s (14-4), and Northampton High School (8-6), as well as Oundle in the semi-final (9-7). They secured a place at the nationals as regional runners-up.

COPTHILL SUCCESSES Copthill School competed at the ISA Championships at Adcote School in Shrewsbury. The U9s demonstrated how much they have improved in just a year. Set floor in particular saw huge improvements with Flo Cavaciuti scoring nine, Florence Keeble 9.25 and Ava Turner 9.25. The standard was very high and the girls finished in fih place. The U11s also had a good competition considering in the week before they had three of the five girls injured, with Annabel Hayes achieving a score of nine for her handspring, while on the set floor the girls competed with confidence and Ivy Kettlewell in particular demonstrated her strength and composure scoring a 9.2, which she also managed to replicate on voluntary floor with another 9.2. The U11s finished fourth with Ivy Kettlewell finishing in 7th place individually. The boys have made huge improvements. Raife Brownlow was placed third and James Hayes seventh. The boys team were awarded fourth place overall. Elsewhere, Copthill entered the Regional Independent Schools’ Association five-a-side football tournament. Copthill ended up as runners-up of their group and advanced through to the final having won a penalty shootout. Although they were beaten 2-0 by Alleyn Court in the final, they qualify for the national finals.

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Feature /// Future stars

LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM IT’S NOT OFTEN that a young lad going to school in Rutland ends up as a YouTube sensation, watched by 2.5 million viewers and then find himself heading to the USA to play American Football in front of thousands of people, despite never having played the game before. It’s the stuff of a Hollywood blockbuster. But that’s what has happened to 18-year old Tyrese Johnson-Fisher. Olympic gold medallist Crista Cullen, England strike bowler Stuart Broad and the Leicester Tigers pair of Tom Croft and Matt Smith represent just a selection of the distinguished sporting alumni of Oakham School. Now, if all goes to plan, it will have another to add to the list in the form of TJ, as he is known. He came to prominence after his performance in the NatWest Schools Rugby Cup final three years ago having had a staggering 2.5 million views. Yet it’s not rugby where he sees his future. Doubtless to the chagrin of not only Leicester Tigers’ Academy but also English Athletics – he recently won the national indoor 60 metres final – he’s leaving the UK to pursue his ambition of becoming a professional American footballer. “I’ve always dreamt of going to the US,” he told me in late February when we met at the school, “and I’ve been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since I was small, so when the chance came I just had to take it.” And what a chance it was. It seems that YouTube clip has been watched with interest beyond these shores, as TJ recently became the first ever non-US national in history to be invited to play in the All-America High School

Tyrese Johnson-Fisher is a YouTube sensation and sprinting champion. Now the Oakham pupil is off to try and break into American Football. Jeremy Beswick meets him Football event in Florida, where the top 100 prospects nationwide are showcased. This is a big deal – and it seems the organisers were happy to go to some lengths to get him, in spite of having no experience of playing the game. It’s a tradition that each youngster picked is presented with a commemorative jersey before the event and, to ensure TJ was no exception, a contingent from the organisers flew to the UK to make that happen. How did he find the experience of wearing all the gear? “I felt so heavy. My helmet didn’t really fit at first – it’s difficult with dreadlocks – but you get used to it after four or five times and forget about it. Also I was so wide with the shoulder pads I could hardly fit though the door.” It had plainly been a steep learning curve, performing with others who’ve been playing the game almost since they could walk. “The most difficult thing was understanding

the plays,” he said. “I’d been studying the play book they sent me but the day I got there I was swapped to another team. I can’t explain how difficult it was, watching for the signals and so much more.” So it was rather different from rugby? “It’s crazy. There’s so much to learn. Trying to catch the ball when it’s coming over you from behind is not something you do in rugby, and it’s made more difficult because of the limited peripheral vision inside the helmet. I wasn’t very good at that, but it’s a skill I’ll have to learn. “The tackles are really painful too – even with the armour on, more so than in rugby. There’s even a different technique of running. In rugby you can get away with being upright, but you need to be low.” In spite of all that, he must have done OK because he’s leaving in July having won a place at college in South Carolina where he can continue his education in the game and take a business degree. “I’ll need a good couple of years learning more before I’m likely to get drafted,” he said “but at Coastal Carolina I’ll be able to get up at six and be on the turf by seven. I’m really looking forward to having everything close at hand. There’ll be more freedom too because I’m that bit older, but I like to think I’m mature enough to know what I should be doing.” Having already made his mark in the history books at a tender age, I suspect there is more to come from this talented and charming young man. Oakham will be watching with interest.

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11+ Testing Information Evening Tuesday 6 March 2018 7.00pm

Parents of Year 5 students are invited to attend an Information Evening on the 11+ testing process. The Headteacher will give a short presentation on the 11+ tests and how to apply for a place at Bourne Grammar School. Drinks will be served after the presentation and there will be an opportunity to collect an information pack, register your child for the test and ask any questions of the Headteacher and Admissions Staff.

www.bourne-grammar.lincs.sch.uk Untitled-3 1

16/01/2018 09:23

Feature /// Future stars FFION TRUNDELL Ffion is an all-rounder par excellence, excelling in cross-country, biathlon and swimming. She was a multiple winner in all disciplines at the Deepings club championships, third in the East Midlands biathlon and a regular top 10 finisher in the Lincolnshire XC League.

MADDIE MUNRO-HALL Maddie Munro-Hall, the Stamford High School 1st VII netball captain, is an exceptionally talented and committed netballer. Maddie is a circle defender and is not only playing for the top team in the school but has also represented England and was part of the U17 squad that won the Europe Championship in 2017. Maddie currently plays for Superleague team Loughborough Lightning in their NPL squad.

ANGUS MALONEY Up and coming cricket star Angus was the top wicket taker in the Leicestershire U11 team and took five wickets in a match against Derbyshire. He has been busy training all winter and is looking forward to this next season of U12 county cricket.


HUGO AND LILIA DUNN Hugo, aged 9, has recently been selected as one of the top four boys to tennis play for the Midlands against Scotland (snowed off), against the East of England and against North of England over the last few months. At half-term playing in Grade 4 tournaments, Hugo won playing up an age group and beating the number one and two seeds in both tournaments, who were regional players. Hugo is also playing in the U10 Nottinghamshire county team at Number 1. Lilia has played for Nottinghamshire, helping beat Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Northants to become a division winner.

MATILDA CRAVEN Matilda Craven, aged 12 from Witham Hall, had a great outdoor archery season this summer, gaining both the Metric and Imperial National titles for her age group (under 12). In November she went on to win the Indoor National Championships for the third year in a row. Matilda achieved two UK records during this year’s outdoor season. She set her first UK record in April and went on to beat her own record later in the year.

Know some exceptional sporting kids? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at editor@theactivemag.com

In November 2017 Eliza, aged 11 from Witham Hall, qualified through regional competitions for the British Modern Biathlon Championships. She came fourth nationally in the U12 girls’ event. In a few weeks time she competes again at national level, having qualified for the National School’s Biathlon Championships!

MILLIE LUDIMAN Millie was the only team member in the Cottesmore Pony Club who jumped a clear round in the Burghley Horse Trials team show jumping competition, over a 1m 10 course, against 18-year olds. Millie also competed in a couple of British Eventing competitions, placing second at Shelford and seventh at Solihull.

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


Deepings on a winning run as Stamford struggle BY JEREMY BESWICK


hile many of us were engrossed in what was a fascinating Six Nations tournament during February, our local grassroots rugby teams continued to offer us their own brand of action and drama. Amongst them all, there’s no doubt about who is the in-form side at the moment – it’s Deepings, whose recent 27-23 home victory over Bedford Swifts meant that they had won six on the bounce and eight out of the last nine. This game was a close-run thing, however – the away side led by 13 points at half-time and it took a storming second period by Deepings – and some yellow cards for Swifts – to get them back into the match. Promotion from the Midlands 4th tier will still be a big ask for them (although they’re in second place, St Neots in third position have several games in hand) but it’s good to see them in the mix. Skipper Lance Charity will be delighted. Oakham’s form also continues to improve, although wins still proved hard to come by. After drawing against Olney (and only being denied by a last-minute try) they lost away to Pinley on a swamp of a pitch that could have been specifically designed to stifle Oaks’ running style, but then came back with a fine 44-12 victory over Stewarts and Lloyds. Meanwhile, rivals Stamford continue to struggle, alas. Bottom of the table, they seem destined for the drop and lost heavily last month to Old Laurentians, Luton and Olney. Oundle also endured a sequence of

three losses – to Old Northamptonians, Wellingborough and Paviors. Yet coach Peter Croot still saw much to be positive about, commenting after their narrow loss to ONs that it was nevertheless “a real indication to what this team is capable of in our first year at this level” and that “Oundle keep learning, and closing the gap on the top teams”. They’d been 8-0 down after the opening exchanges until Simon New’s converted try and then actually went on to dominate the remainder of the half, according to Croot. They then took the lead through a penalty from Craig Tandy but conceded a try from the re-start. On another day Croot felt they could easily have won and he lamented three crucial refereeing decisions that didn’t go their way. There were no such complaints about the loss to Wellingborough however, staged at Peterborough Lions as Oundle’s own pitch was unplayable. They went down 24-5 to a well-motivated side fighting relegation, which was followed by that third loss at Paviors. All will be relieved that they subsequently bounced back against Peterborough with an emphatic 40-14 score to end their losing run. Up a couple of tiers in National League 2, South Leicester’s season seems to be fizzling out with five straight losses in spite of them, or perhaps because of them, being comfortably in mid-table with no prospect of promotion or relegation. In the same league, Leicester Lions had a slightly better time of it this month and

now sit alongside South in the table. Their supporters wouldn’t have been surprised to see them lose away to second placed Stourbridge but, having been 13-0 down at half-time, they had a good second period with winger James Wise going over followed late on by debutant Reece Harris to see them far from disgraced at 23-12. “A valiant effort,” according to the club’s Michael Howkins. They were back to winning ways the next week against Wharfedale. Alex Wilcockson landed two tries in the first half with another coming from danger man Devon Constant. Tom Aviss got the bonus point fourth try 10 minutes into the second half, which was followed by a fifth from Luke Veebel. In spite of their opponents also landing four scores of their own, Lions were good value for their 37-28 win. By the way, the next time the Six Nations comes around do consider going to watch it in the clubhouse of your nearest team. The beer will be cheaper than in the pub, you’ll be surrounded by people who really know the game, there will be a great atmosphere and – by patronising the bar – you’ll be putting money back into the sport. Elsewhere, Leicester Arena will host the first ever Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations tournament. Team GB will be joined by the USA, Australia and Japan from March 9-11. The four sides, all ranked in the top five in the world, will play each other on a roundrobin basis before the pool leaders contest the final on March 11.

76 M A R C H 2018 ///

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Tigers Talk Jeremy Beswick feels the relief as Tigers end their losing run

Above Some of the best wheelchair rugby players in the world will be in action in Leicester this month

One of the highlights of the Invictus Games and the Paralympics, this is a fantastic sport and a tremendous spectacle. The GB squad includes four members of Leicester Tigers’ own team – Nick Cummins, Muhammed Islam, Gavin Walker and Jamie Stead and the tournament will be sponsored by Leicester City’s owners, King Power. Apart from all the fun, excitement and skill on display this is a truly worthy cause. Some time ago I spoke to Nick Cummins who summed up his first experience of the sport: “I had a negative view of disability

and therefore of my new self. What I came across were exciting, rounded people doing university degrees, holding down good jobs and with families. “Now I’m playing for GB I’ve been places and had experiences I would never otherwise have had and, perhaps ironically, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m fitter and healthier than I was when I was able bodied”. Tickets start at £5 with special offers for groups and families. www.wrquadnations.com

February was one of the tensest Tigers press conferences I’ve been to in my six years of attendance. The banter and bonhomie was still there but there was an unmistakable undercurrent of stress as Matt O’Connor and his side prepared for their must-win game against Harlequins. They’d performed well in the previous game against high-flying Gloucester and were arguably unlucky to emerge with no more than a bonus point, but the focus and determination to beat Quins was palpable. Speaking about the Gloucester match, O’Connor said: “We’d prepared really well and felt we should have got more out the game. In isolation to go to Kingsholm and come away with a point is not a disaster, but...” Earlier, I’d heard Brendan O’Connor say “Our other recent losses compounded to make this one even more frustrating”. Are the players trying even too hard? “Definitely that can be a problem” he replied. “It can have a negative effect – there’s no lack of effort, it’s just that we’re not clicking. In spite of it all, we’ve got to stay confident and back ourselves.” All of which leads me to hope that their 33-18 win, inspired by Matt Toomua’s first outing for Leicester as a fly-half, may put the wind behind their sails again. Aer the game a mightily relieved O’Connor said: “To finish the game like we did and dominate the last 20 minutes was really pleasing and gives us a lot of confidence moving forward.” It’s that confidence and the momentum that comes from it that, I suspect, will define the rest of their season. The international matches the weekend before bode well for the club’s longer-term future with two young prospects captaining their countries, and facing each other, at under-20s level. Back row Tommy Reffell skippered Wales in the match against England with his opposite number being scrum-half Ben White. More good news was to follow as Tigers announced Mark Bakewell as forwards coach. O’Connor added: “We took the decision to make sure we got the right person and we are incredibly pleased that Mark has decided to join the environment. He has worked with Bristol most recently and had a good stint at Bath around the 2008-10 seasons when they were very successful. “The new voice is powerful. Even if it is the same information, the new voice helps to shi attitudes and behaviour.”

/// M A R C H 2018 7 7

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ROUND-UP Football


Things hotting up as season enters the ‘business end’ BY DEAN CORNISH


here are many joys to experience during the onset of spring: improved weather, lighter nights and, perhaps the best of them all, the glorious business end of the football season. After toil in the winter months, supporters now have the chance to smell some glory as the season reaches towards its climax. Of course, for plenty of teams there is only mid-table obscurity to look forward to, but thankfully for fans of Stamford AFC there is a mouth-watering battle shaping up for promotion to the Evo Stik Premier Division. It’s been a good month for Stamford with results in the last four weeks seeing Graham Drury’s men pick up 10 points out of a possible 12, with three of those four games against teams in the top five. It’s been a testing period, but the Daniels have come out of it very well, and following those results (and also some teams being deducted points for administrative issues) Stamford now sit in fifth, just three points away from second position and possible automatic promotion. Perhaps the most impressive of all those results was the 3-1 win over Basford, the runaway leaders at the top of the division. Basford were unbeaten all season prior to their visit to the Zeeco, but their expensively assembled squad were put to the sword by a rampant Stamford side in front of their exuberant fans. Even well-known national journalist, Henry Winter, was impressed with the

celebrations, tweeting a video of the scenes to many thousands of his followers! Following that game, Stamford then won 1-0 away at Kidsgrove, before once again picking up three points in a nervy game away at third placed Bedworth United. Stamford rode their luck towards the end of their 2-1 win, but it was a superb team performance and one that started to give fans belief that second position isn’t just a pipe dream. The two away wins were then followed by a huge game at home against second placed Alvechurch. Stamford really needed a win, but the visitors were happy with the point and defended well to secure a goalless draw. With 11 games of the season left, it’s sure to be a fantastic end to the campaign. One division below in the United Counties League Premier Division, Harborough Town have moved up a spot to seventh in spite of a poor February which has seen the Bees lose their last two league games – a 4-1 drubbing at Wellingborough Town and a 2-1 reversal after the long trip to Holbeach United. They did recently pick up three away points too though, after a great first half saw them cruising to a win away at St Andrews. The home side did pull back two goals in the second half though to make it a nervy finish, but Harborough held on for a 3-2 win. In the United Counties League Division One, Stamford’s other side, Blackstones, are now fourth in the league after a great run of form seeing them win their last three games. The most impressive of the wins was

probably against Irchester United who had been unbeaten in their previous nine games. Other recent wins included a 2-1 away win at Huntingdon Town and 4-0 thrashing of Lutterworth. In the same division, Oakham United remain rooted in the bottom two after another run of five defeats, after they had stopped the rot slightly with a 0-0 draw at Irchester just before Christmas after an incredible run of losses. The Tractor boys did lead 2-0 in their game against Harrowby, but the home side recovered to win 3-2. Oakham have a young side though, and look set to build for the future. In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Stamford Lions look to have lost their chance of winning the league title after a couple of mixed results have seen them drop from the top of the table to third in the league. A 1-0 loss against Thorney and an away score draw at Whittlesey have seen James Sheehan’s side lose ground to Moulton Horrox and Netherton United at the top of the table. Lions are just two points off the top, so it’s not over yet, but they’ve played a couple more games than the top two, so it looks an uphill task now. Ketton have moved up to tenth in the same division after scoring five in their last two games against Warboys and Langtoft United. Stamford Bels are mid-table in Division One, recent highlights being a 6-0 victory over Netherton Reserves as well as winning through to a league cup semi-final.

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Dragons on fire


ourne Deeping Ladies played Huntingdon Ladies 1sts, who are languishing in the lower half of the division. Bourne Deeping Ladies knew they had to go the whole nine yards to stay top of the table, and turned up the heat in the first 10 minutes but couldn’t find the back of the net. Great linking from defence through to midfield and upfront players gave the Dragons a few opportunities to have shots on goal which were stopped by Huntingdon’s goalie. Constant pressure led to two Dragons goals; however, this was countered by Huntingdon’s solitary goal. A morale boosting goal before half-time ensured the Dragons came out in the second half with a taste for victory, putting more pressure on Huntingdon. Players of the match Carol Murray, Emily Murray and Izzie Oakley linking up in midfield running down the right side of the park passing the ball into the D giving Oakley the opportunity to score four goals, for an 8-1 final score. The men’s second team hosted March Town expecting a top of the table fight after inflicting March’s only defeat of the season. What was to transpire was the complete opposite, with March Town’s first drubbing in years. The Dragons started the game strongly and after five minutes Stuart Biggs picked the ball up in his own half and after rounding several March defenders, drew out the keeper and calmly slotted the ball into the corner of the


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goal. This was followed by some sustained pressure from March but to no avail as the Dragons struck a second thanks to the ever present Biggs. A third was quick to follow, Robin Edlington won a short corner for the Dragons and a drag flick was saved by the March keeper which sprung up off his pads only to be met with an overhead smash into the goal from Ollie Browne. What happened next was farcical: Dragons keeper Joe Wray came out and misjudged the pitch of the ball, it spun, glanced off his chest to leave the March forward with an open goal – 3-1. But then some stunning play from the Dragons and excellent skill from Edlington put the ball on a plate for Biggs to tip the ball off the keeper’s toe for his hat-trick. Two minutes later the ball was picked up on the right and finally squared to captain James Taverner who smashed the ball into the bottom right of the goal. Next up was some very poor defending which allowed a March forward to pick up the ball unmarked, pick his spot and slot home for a half-time score of 5-2. In a strange second half the Dragons added four more goals and had it not been for a very well worked March goal would have walked off the pitch ecstatic but were more annoyed they couldn’t make it 10 and some of the play wasn’t as it should be – however, 9-3 was a fantastic result and a statement to the rest of the league.


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Vox Fox 12 months is a long time in football, says Steve Moody It is remarkable to think that only a year ago last month, Claudio Ranieri was leading his Leicester City side on a Champions League run that was just as improbable as the Premiership one was a year earlier. Unfortunately, it was a year ago they went out of that tournament to Sevilla, and Ranieri got his marching orders too. To many supporters it will feel like a generation ago, not 12 months, such has been the pace of change since, with his number two Craig Shakespeare surviving in the job for barely more than six months, to be replaced by much-lamented Claude Puel (remember when people didn’t think much of the Claudio Ranieri appointment either?). But City in that time under Puel have matured and look much more like a side able to weather the unceasing storm of the Premiership than the counter attacking high wire act that flamed so brilliantly and so briefly. The Frenchman has also managed personnel changes well too, and the loss to injury of such iconic players as Wes Morgan has been countered by the excellent form of youngster Aleksandar Dragovic. Riyad Mahrez has been brought back into line too aer his transfer window tantrum, and is showing great form, which suggests that Puel’s comment that he has drawn a line under the affair might well be true. For now, anyway. A recent stuffing at the hands of Man City aside (aer all, who hasn’t suffered that?), City have been steady if not spectacular in the league and sit in a solid eighth place, while continuing to move along in the FA Cup, aer a 2-1 win over Sheffield United in the fih round. We said in this column last month they would be a good bet for the final – but in the quarterfinal this month they will have to overcome Chelsea (and a couple of old teammates), a club they have never beaten in the cup. But then, it’s been a funny old year for the Foxes, so it would be wise to expect another twist.

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ROUND-UP Equestrianism


Burghley Pony Club thrives



t is Burghley Pony Club’s 60th anniversary this year and already it is going great guns with membership at an all-time high. Burghley’s own Greta Mason has achieved yet another honour by becoming one of 12 Pony Club ambassadors for the year. The ambassador scheme is designed for members who have demonstrated their commitment and enthusiasm for their club. They will be a voice for other members, act as a role model for younger members and attend the championships, among other things. Peterborough-based Greta had a very successful season last year, finishing with three clears at Osberton in the 1 and 2* and also passed her A Test. I’m sure she will be one to watch out for this season. Becci Williams of the Cottesmore Pony Club has also achieved the same honour of becoming an ambassador. It’s so rare to have two so close, and we are very lucky to have such talent coming through. Becci also events at novice level, as well as competing within the Pony Club. One of the reasons behind this may have something to do with coach Linda Pearce

who trains the Cottesmore; she has just been awarded coach of the year. Linda was one of six shortlisted for the title and received her award at the main coaching conference at Bury Farm in early February. Linda said she was feeling quite humbled as the other candidates were so talented and she is looking forward to carrying on her duties. Although not an actual Pony Club event, 12 of the Burghley younger generation headed out to Maidwell Hall for its team showjumping. There were four classes and the winning teams in the 50, 70 & 80cm classes were all Burghley members (and the winning 60cm team were two-thirds made up of Burghley riders). In total there were 15 red winning rosettes in the team competition and 14 were taken home by Burghley combinations and a whole host of individual and other team placings. Further afield, Team GBR has had an amazing Winter Olympics so far including Lizzy Yarnold retaining her Olympic title and Laura Deas taking bronze on the skeleton in Pyeongchang, making it Britain’s most successful day at a winter Olympics. Both of whom started out in the Pony Club!

Laura then took up eventing and successfully competed internationally up to 2* level. The Cambridge University Drag Hounds met locally at Milton Park and Great Gidding recently; both have been hugely popular with both amateurs and professionals. Drag hunting is trail hunting, where they have a planned (natural scent) route for the hounds to follow – as it’s planned you get some lovely rides over the parklands with a lot of optional fences. Burghley’s meet will be held on March 3 and also has the added value of a great photo opportunity, which arises as you canter through the lake by the Lion Bridge with Burghley House in the background. Again, as it is planned you will normally have about three runs with a good 15-minute rest in between, so altogether your day out will only take a couple of hours. There are just a few hunt meets left for the year, most finishing around the first or second week in March. The ground is particularly wet at the moment, but please do keep going out in support of your local hunts, even if it is just on foot.


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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // March 2018  

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

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // March 2018  

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