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NEW! Health and Fitness section Advice from experts on how to train, eat and play better ISSUE 35 // MAY 2015


Revitalise your

weekend! ISSUE 35 // MAY 2015

Don't sit about - make your days off count: spas, sports, walks, food, fitness. Our complete guide!


Dog walks and training l G reat recipes l H ealth & fitness advice l

Small steps to big strides

How Stamford Striders can get you running again

Rutland Cover 35.indd 116

Relegation Day

Fierce survival battles: how major local sides fared

Spring's here: time to get out!

www.theACTIVEmag.com 05

Every great event in our region this month featured

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M1 A1101

A606 A50












UPPINGHAM Enjoy a restful break at the Falcon Hotel, our stunning 16th century coaching inn. Experience an innovative twist on brasserie food at A1DonPETERBOROUGH Paddy’s, or simply M1 relax with a local ale in our cosy traditional English pub, The Vaults. A47


















A6116 A43


We are located just off theA14 A47 between KETTERING A14 Leicester and Peterborough, situated in M1 Uppingham’s historic Market Place.







A509 A6






Falcon Hotel 01572 823535 info@falcon-hotel.co.uk Don Paddy’s 01572 822255 info@donpaddys.co.uk The Vaults 01572 823259 info@thevaultsuppingham.co.uk


Sat Nav LE15 9QH




Advert Don Paddy Falcon Vaults 285x220v2.indd 1

23/01/2015 13:00:04

Editor’s Letter I QUITE OFTEN GET TO MONDAY MORNING and someone asks: “What did you get up to at the weekend?” Quite often the answer includes a few umms, errs and can’t quite remembers. Thing is, when we’re all so busy during the week, it’s easy to get to Saturday and Sunday and just do as little as possible. That’s no bad thing from time to time, but there’s just so much out there in our region to do and in this issue we’ve listed some of the great ways we think you can make the most of your time off... from jumping out of planes to lying on a massage table, and everything in between. At this time of year, it also feels like we’re coming out of hibernation a bit too, so it’s a good opportunity to get some dates in the diary for the summer months before those weekends get filled up with chores. In this issue, we have also launched a new fitness section, giving advice on how to train, eat and recover better while we also reveal the winner of our Rutland Cycling Specialized bike competition. When we started this competition, we really didn’t have any idea how massive it would be, but in the end our shortlisted riders ended up getting nearly 4,000 votes from readers between them. That’s a quite staggering number, and shows just how engaged and interested you, our readers, are in what goes on in our humble pages. And for that, I thank you very, very sincerely.

Enjoy the issue, Steve

Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Production editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art editor Mark Sommer mark@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Sandie Hurford, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth, Neil Moverley, Dean Cornish Photographers Nico Morgan, Harry Measures, Jon Clarke, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Withers lisa@theactivemag.com Rachel Meadows rachel@theactivemag.com Office administration & accounts Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789 A member of the Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing 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. Distributed by Grassroots Publishing Ltd. ISSN 2049-8713 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) 2015. 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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Water Newton


Set along a quiet lane with views over open countryside, this is a handsome three storey house set in sheltered, landscaped gardens. Inside, the house has elegant, spacious rooms and extensive accommodation and has been designed and fitted to the highest standards with features including solid oak doors, double-glazed timber frame windows and under-floor heating. The simple décor is immaculately presented with a sunny Conservtory and Kitchen & Breakfast room that opens out to the terrace. EPC Rating: D



Stocken Hall, Rutland


A delightful period apartment located on the ground and first floor of Stocken Hall, an historic Grade II listed mansion set in rolling Rutland countryside. Situated within the main house, The Peregrin is one of the few properties to have a private entrance, and inside, it retains much of the style of the original house with elegant, well proportioned rooms, high ceilings and sash windows with views of the grounds. The apartment is immaculately presented throughout, with a light-filled Living Room and an elegant master Bedroom with a lovely square bay window. EPC Rating: Grade II Listed

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Banthorpe, Lincolnshire


With a secluded location surrounded by open countryside, this is an attractive barn conversion built of mellow local stone with an attractive west-facing façade overlooking lawns that run down to the River Glen. The original barn is around 200 years old with an extension added 10 years ago and inside, the house has a stylish, light-filled interior and many lovely original features including impressive oak beams and exposed stone walls. There is a semi-open plan design to the ground floor with an easy flow between the main living areas and the sociable Kitchen has French doors that open on to a sunny, sheltered terrace. EPC Rating: D


Wing, Rutland


This is a charming thatched cottage, recently restored to create a light-filled home combining period character with stylish contemporary updates and modern fittings. Believed to date from the early seventeenth century, the cottage is built of mellow local stone and inside the light-filled rooms retain period features including solid oak beams and two impressive inglenook hearths. Recent additions such as under-floor heating, an electric AGA, air-source heat pump and solid wood floors have further enhanced the character whilst updating the property to make it a welcoming and practical family home. EPC Rating: Exempt Grade II Listed

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Main Street, Wakerley ÂŁ750,000 This stylish five bedroom family home has versatile accommodation set over three floors, an additional bedroom in the separate annexe across courtyard and a double garage with an office above it. The rural setting of the property provides pleasant views over the neighbouring countryside. Three of the bedrooms are en-suite, with two having dressing rooms as well. The annexe and garage offers superb flexibility for anyone wanting to work from home or who has a hobby requiring a little more space. The courtyard gives ample space for parking, whilst to the rear is a landscaped patio, decked and lawned garden, with further country views.

St Peters Court, Stamford ÂŁ265,000 Situated in a tucked away location within minutes of the town centre, this modern town house has a great deal to offer. Having a large lounge/diner with a separate kitchen on the ground floor, a large Master bedroom, further double bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. To the front is a paved courtyard garden and allocated parking just a short walk away.



King’s Cliffe, Northamptonshire

Croxton Kerrial, Lincolnshire

A striking farmhouse positioned in a rural location with far-reaching views, believed to date from the 19th century. The property extends to approximately 2.77ac. Storm porch, sitting room, dining room, music room, kitchen, breakfast room, family room, utility room, cellar, and 2 WCs. Master bedroom with en-suite shower room, 4 further double bedrooms and a family bathroom. Large mature gardens with dining terrace, garden store with greenhouse, 2 paddocks and 2 stables with tack room. EPC E Guide price £1,050,000




A principal village house set within the heart of this popular former Estate village, with westerly views over the garden and open countryside. With the benefit of planning permission for a further cottage in the grounds. Covered porch, 3 reception rooms, garden room, study, kitchen/breakfast room, ante-kitchen, utility room and WC. Master bedroom suite, 2 bedrooms with en-suite bath/shower rooms, 2 further bedrooms and a family bathroom and linen cupboard. Double garage, sunken hot tub, boiler room, garden and wood stores and gardener’s WC. Beautifully maintained gardens, mature trees, drive and parking area. EPC F

2.77 ac Guide price £1,000,000




1.87 ac

Easton Walled Garden National Photogr aphy Competition in association with Smiths Gore Easton Walled Gardens are famous for roses, sweet peas, meadows, swallows and cream teas - everything that makes for a great British summer. Now we want to see how you see summer through the lens of your camera.

Br aceborough, Stamford

There are six categories to enter and the overall winner will be an image that truly reflects the Essence of Summer.

A well designed, contemporary 4 bedroom house with versatile living space. Detached double garage with store room over and with potential to create an annex. Positioned close to the Church on a no-through road. Three reception rooms, open plan kitchen/breakfast room, pantry, conservatory, utility room and WC. Master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, 3 further bedrooms, one with 1 en-suite shower room, and a family bathroom. Parking to the front and side of the house with garden predominantly to the rear. EPC C

All winners and finalists will have their work displayed in an exhibition at Easton during early 2016. Thousands of people will see your work!

Guide price £497,500

Stamford office t 01780 484 696 e stamford@smithsgore.co.uk




Entry is free Competition closes end of September 2015 Send your entries to photos@eastonwalledgardens.co.uk

0.24 ac

Annabel Morbey

Lois Simpson

Heather Lemmon




Contents NEWS

ISSUE 35 /// MAY 2015


12-13 MEET OUR BIKE COMPETITION WINNER Su Mansell won our amazing Rutland Cycling prize


Local homes open to public as part of nationwide event


Another tasty recipe from Riverford Organic

20 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF... Oakham equine vet Alex Knott


Update from round-the-world cyclist James Peach



Including larks, scarecrows and the Rutland County Show


27 WIN TICKETS TO THE BIG OUTDOORS SHOW Family ticket to sport and leisure event up for grabs


The Sunday Times writer ponders local sporting greats

34-35 KIT BAG

Essential gear for the sporting summer


Jeremy Beswick meets the Stamford Striders

36-41 REVITALISE YOUR WEEKEND Make more of your Saturday and Sunday


The latest on looking and feeling great

17 36


More great advice to make life with your pooch easier


Will Hetherington heads to Empingham


We try The Black Bull in Market Overton


Our focus on the latest achievements from local pupils

60-66 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the Stamford and Rutland area are faring

8 M AY 2015 ///

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In Play

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CiCLE Classic serves up a quality race. Based upon the legendary Paris – Roubaix and RondEe van Vlaanderen spring classic races of Northern Europe, the Rutland – Melton is a race between Oakham and Melton Mowbray. This year’s winner was Australian Steele Von Hoff from the NFTO Pro Cycling team.

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In Play

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Su good! Revealed: Su Mansell is the lucky winner of our fabulous £2,000 Rutland Cycling Specialized competition Su Mansell will ride her fabulous new Specialized road bike from London to Paris in July, having won it in our fabulous Rutland Cycling competition. A lead practitioner at Stamford Hospital, Su is raising money for children’s charity Action Medicine during the four-day, 300-mile challenge. She won the bike with over 600 votes from a total of almost 4,000 voters across all finalists in our competition. Su said: “I still can’t believe that I won. The fact that so many people voted for me is wonderful and makes me even more determined to succeed. “The bike is just stunning. It is light and responsive. I love it - I’ve already given it a name! She’s called Ruby.” Having never done a challenge like this before, Su has been training hard and said that the new bike has given her even more determination to succeed. Part of the near-£2,000 prize was to have the bike fitted by expert Andrew Shore at Rutland Cycling’s state-of-the-art Bike Fit facility at Whitwell, where her technique was studied and riding position analysed with cameras and computer analysis systems so that the bike fits perfectly. Andrew said: “Most people just get on a bike, adjust the saddle and off they go. But everybody is different, and in order to ensure that they have a fully comfortable saddle, and aren’t putting undue pressure on key areas of the body such as the back and knees, it’s vital to be fitted properly.” Su has seen a huge improvement as a result, which means she can train longer and harder: “Being fitted for the bike is incredible and it makes such a difference in terms of comfort and the amount of power you can generate, which obviously will be very important on such a long ride. “It also helps that the bike is so light in comparison to my old one, and all of this has made me a lot more confident that I can complete the challenge. Rutland Cycling has been very supportive too with advice and training.” Su will be riding with her husband and a friend, and aims to finish on the Champs-Elysées on July 25. We’ll be following Su’s training progress over the next few months, and her epic ride. You can sponsor her at www.action.org. uk/sponsor/susanmansell.

/// M AY 2015 1 3

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Active Rutland


The Active Rutland Hub at the Oakham Enterprise Park in Ashwell is here to provide sports clubs, educational establishments, community organisations and other providers of health, recreation and physical activity with a home base for club sessions, training, classes and competitions. The facilities include; a 3 court sports hall, a multi-purpose studio and an artificial turf pitch. The overall aim for this venue is to increase participation in all ages and abilities by providing clubs, groups and organisations with an opportunity to deliver activities to accommodate the needs of the growing population. If you are interested in running some sessions at the Hub, have any further questions or would like to view the facilities, please contact the Active Rutland Hub Co-ordinator Glynn Attiwell on gattiwell@rutland.gov.uk or 01572 722577.

Coming Soon…to the Hub:

The Rutland Play Touch Rugby League are currently recruiting players

Rutland Play Touch Rugby League is

and inviting any individuals interested in giving it a try to come along to the Active Rutland Hub on Wednesday 3rd June from 7pm until 9pm. If you would like to get involved or require some more information please get in contact with Ben Eshelby on 07800 967927 or alternatively visit www.playtouchrugbyleague.co.uk.

bringing an extraordinary new format of Rugby League to Rutland. It has been designed by the Rugby Football League to make playing the sport much more accessible to a wider audience. The game offers all the thrill, excitement and camaraderie of the traditional game but without the high impact tackling. It is based on four key principles:    

Improves health and fitness. Able to fit it in around a busy lifestyle. Social. Follows an inclusive format therefore open to everyone no matter their gender, age, ability or disability.







Calling all Runners! Could you help beginner runners get started? Are you:  Supportive  Passionate  Patient  Excited by the success of others?  Keen to share your love of running?

Become a Run Leader! Funding Available! For more information please contact: Active Rutland Team activerecreation@rutland.gov.uk 01572 720936

Pop in-store today for your

FREE Superfood Starter Kit

plus 15% discount voucher & recipe card*

Super Green Smoothie Energy Boost

Turmeric powder Antioxidant-rich

Organic Greens Complex Vitality booster

Baobab powder Calcium-rich energiser

Neal’s Yard Remedies, 53 High Street, Stamford PE9 2AW *Free Superfood Starter Kit includes sample superfoods to make one smoothie (serves 2), recipe card and 15% discount voucher. Available at Neal’s Yard Remedies Stamford store only until 30th June 2015, on presentation of this original advert. No purchase necessary. No cash or other alternatives.

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17/04/2015 12:54

Activelife GREAT THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO SEE, PEOPLE TO MEET // Edited by Mary Bremner


Open season The National Gardens Scheme has been opening gardens to raise money for nursing and caring charities since 1927 and last year donated £3 million to several charities such as Macmillan, Help the Hospices and the Carers’ Trust as well as supporting young gardeners by sponsoring traineeships. This year it is aiming to do it all over again, thanks to the support of all the visitors and the generosity of those who open their gardens. Admission ranges from £3.50 to £5 (children free) and there are always delicious refreshments on offer. For more details visit www.ngs.org.uk

RUTLAND GARDEN OPENING DATES Sunday, May 3: Barleythorpe gardens, 2-5pm Sunday, May 17: Manton gardens, 12.30-5pm Sunday, May 24: The Old Vicarage, Burley, 1.30-5pm Sunday, May 31: Burrough gardens, 2-5pm /// M A Y 2 0 1 5

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1 onion 2 garlic cloves 2 fennel bulbs Oil for frying 1 large potato 70g preserved lemon Vegetable stock cube 30g fresh coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground ginger Pinch of saffron 30g pitted green olives 100g wholemeal couscous Salt and pepper 2 teaspoons ras al hanout 2 tsp olive oil


Preheat the oven to 160 C/gas mark 3. Boil the kettle. Peel and slice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Wash and slice the celery. Wash the fresh coriander and shake dry.

Trim the fennel bulbs by removing any stalks at the top and excessive root at the bottom. Discard the tough looking outer layer. Cut each bulb into 8 wedges. Wash and peel the potato and cut into 1 1/2cm cubes (Picture 1).

Warm some oil in the pan and fry the onions and celery for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the fennel and cook for a further 5 minutes, turning up the heat to allow it to take on some colour (2) .While the onions cook, dissolve the stock cube in 400ml of water. Remove the seeds and pulp from the lemon with a spoon and

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

discard. Slice the skin into thin strips. Chop the coriander stalks roughly, keeping the leaves for later.


Add the coriander stalks to the pan with the sliced lemon skin, garlic, potato, ground coriander, cumin, ginger, saffron and olives. Fry lightly for 3 minutes to release the fragrance from the spices.

Pour over the stock and bring to a simmer giving it a good stir to release any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan (3). Cover with the lid and put in the oven for 40 minutes.


Put the couscous in a pan. Add a good glug of olive oil, a pinch of salt and the ras al hanout. Mix well so the oil coats the couscous. Pour over enough boiled water to cover the couscous. Cover and leave to stand.

Remove the pan from the oven, everything should be cooked but holding its shape. Add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. If it needs longer to cook put it back on the hob, uncovered for a while.


Fluff the couscous up with a fork. Roughly chop the coriander leaves and stir into the tagine, served on a bed of couscous. Absolutely delicious!


Don’t worry if you don’t have a tagine, a casserole dish with a lid does the job just as well. We found that the fennel could have been cut into slightly smaller pieces.

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

No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to find out more or call 01803 762059.

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A day in the life of


Former triathlete and now an equine vet at Oakham Veterinary Hospital


y wife was a triathlete and competed in the world championships in Beijing. After watching and waiting for her to come back from training, I thought I’d like to have a go. Last season I raced in three halfIronman competitions and had two top-10 finishes. But last year we had a baby and I didn’t want to come in from work, get changed, go straight back out to train and get in again at 9pm to eat and fall asleep – if I did I would never see my son. I’ve kept up with my swimming as that was my weakest discipline and to fill the competitive void I’ve been learning to race a twoman boat at Rutland Water. It’s something I can do without a massive time commitment but still get a physical and competitive fix. I’m a desperately competitive person and I find the physicality and speed of racing a Laser 4000 or RS500 great fun. Also it’s hopefully something I can take up with my family and we have such an amazing local resource on our doorstep. I go open water swimming on a Sunday and once the water temperature comes up mid-summer it’s an incredible feeling – it beats being in a pool. My alarm goes off at 6.30am and if I’m swimming I’ll creep around the house hoping not to wake my son, have a cup of tea then head straight to Oakham pool. I then get to work for 8am where I eat three Weetabix. Doing the rounds My first job are the hospital rounds where the vets, students and interns examine the cases and discuss treatment. I’ll see from five to 15 horses per day depending on where I am. I usually spend 60% of my time in the hospital and 40% on the road. I mainly deal with performance problems, usually lameness. It’s a lot of detective work – as a horse can’t tell me what’s wrong – and I spend much of my time with an ultrasound machine looking at bones and soft tissues. The horse may need surgery, injections, rest or farrier resolutions. I work straight through until lunch when I’ll buy a sandwich if I’m driving past a shop, or if I’m at the hospital I’ll nip out to buy something to eat while I’m perhaps waiting for a horse’s leg I’ve numbed to take effect. I was brought up with horses and in my final year at university I was offered a job with a good equine practice in Huntingdon. After three years I was thinking of doing a stud season in Australia but was lucky enough to get this position. The countryside around here is great and I like the type of horses we look after: we have a variety of competition clients and hunting horses.


‘I’m a desperately competitive person and I find the physicality of racing a Laser 4000 or RS500 on Rutland Water great fun’ We have three partners, 11 equine vets, nine veterinary nurses, five equine receptionists, lab technicians and a stud manager who now manages the breeding services for artificial insemination I set up when I got here. We’re also a teaching hospital for the University of Nottingham so I always have a student with me. I finish work between 6 and 9pm and am on call once a week and also one weekend in five.

When I leave here I put my horses to bed and then go home to bath my son and put him to bed. I love cooking and spending time with friends who don’t have a clue what I do on a day-to-day basis. Being part of running a veterinary practice takes a lot of emotional and cognitive effort, so my idea of relaxing is doing something that makes you focus on something else. www.oakhamvethospital.co.uk

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2532 GPL-GLR Active Half Page Advert-FINAL_GPL-GLR May Active Half Page Advert 16/04/2015 17:04 Page 1

Come and visit our outdoor tent display

and test ride our eleCtriC bikes


vango Chair £25

roodog electric bike £1,095


vist our shop. open tuesday-sunday. next to Cotton traders.

vango Capri 500Xl airbeam, £530 with Footprint

e. info@getlostinrutland.co.uk t. 01572 868712

rutland village, ashwell road, oakham, rutland, le15 7Qn – Free  parkinG! outwell Collapsible pot £59.99

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You don’t need a bat, racket or expensive kit for this exercise. Just a ball.

Why not look after someone’s dog while they’re away.

Become a host with Barking Mad It’s great fun, all of the benefits of dog ownership without the emotional or financial commitment. We carefully match dogs to your home.

Kerry Wells 01780 322008 kerry.wells@barkingmad.uk.com BarkingMad.uk.com

Caring for you is our passion

Spire Leicester Orthopaedic Services We treat the following areas: • Shoulders: keyhole diagnostic procedures to shoulder replacement • Hips: minimally invasive hip replacement and revision surgery • Knees: from sports injuries and arthritis to knee replacement • Hands and wrists: from carpal tunnel and arthroscopy to reconstructive work • Ankles and feet: from bunions to ankle surgery Whether you have private medical insurance or not, our services are available to everyone and we are able to offer you a bespoke fixed price package tailored to your individual needs.

0116 265 3021 info@spireleicester.com www.spireleicester.com

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James Peach is on the adventure of his life – to cycle around the world and in the process raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. This month he’s in India


’m looking forward to getting to India where things are a bit calmer,’ is a sentence I imagine no-one has ever said before. But compared to Bangladesh, the madness of India should be a doddle. After a week traversing Bangladesh we crossed back into the West Bengal region of India to begin the journey north towards Nepal. Bangladesh was as challenging on my legs as it was my patience. With three times the population of India there are people everywhere – a standard lunch break meant an audience in advance of 80 staring at me. Crossing into West Bengal made no difference to the desperate levels of poverty we’d seen. The following week was a brutal display of the forgotten people of India. Naked children, the disabled and animals searching through immense rubbish dumps together, impoverished families begging by roadsides and the worst possible levels of sanitation. Spinning past these scenes on expensive bikes felt wrong. A few days later we had made our way up to the Darjeeling region and crossed into Nepal with relative ease. Illness and wind affected progress as we pushed across the Himalayan foothills. Luckily we were back in better health by the time the road turned towards the mountains we had been flirting with during the past few days and we took a night’s rest before the real climbing began.

Left after right, push after push, switchback after switchback I slowly climbed up into the Himalayas. When starting climbs like this I’ve learnt to stop wishing for the top – it’s a lot easier to resign yourself to it and try to enjoy it. And enjoy it I did, incredible views stretching across the Himalayas with layered farmlands as far as I could see. After 11 hours of climbing I finally reached the summit town. Having purchased a small bottle of whisky (for insulation purposes) I turned off the road onto a bit of disused farmland to pitch my tent and lie beneath the stars, dreaming life away and peering at the distant peaks lit up by the moon. This is what cycling is all about. With a mix of exhaustion, thin air and whisky I fell into a blissful slumber.

As we made our final approach back to India for the third time I was extremely nervous as I had stupidly applied for a double entry visa (both of which had now been used), so I should not be allowed back in the country. My only hope was that the authorities wouldn’t pay too much attention to the numerous stamps and wave me through. After a long sweaty wait the officials questioned me on a number of things but luckily nothing that actually mattered. The cycling gods smiled upon me and I was back in. Now very relieved to be back on the flats of India, we headed through the sights of Lucknow on route to Agra and the Taj Mahal before finally finishing in Delhi under the India Gate. It’s fair to say we’ve had a lucky run. Myanmar land entry, Bangladesh land visas, against the odds, crossing Manipur state without military intervention and finally getting back into India without a proper visa. Unfortunately the luck has run out. The situation in Pakistan means we cannot go west, and to the north is Afghanistan with similar restrictions. So we are left with no choice but to fly due north to Kazakstan from where we can pedal all the way home, as long as we can navigate our way through the visa minefield of the Middle East. So the next chapter starts at Almaty. See you there. To follow James visit www.thelifecycle.org which will let you to donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

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Providing for all of your eye care needs We are proud to announce our new sunglasses range by As worn by Pippa Middleton, Kylie Minogue, Bradley Cooper, Rita Ora and many more.

Launched in September 2013 by British designers Hugo Taylor and Charlie Morris, Taylor Morris focuses on a tradition and heritage of classic design reinvented and modernised for today’s most discerning eyewear collectors, enthusiasts and any one who shares our passion for creating the highest quality frames. Taylor Morris Eyewear encapsulates the best of British design imbuing it with a timeless elegance.

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FIVE THINGS TO DO IN MAY Be up with the lark and join the Dawn Chorus Walk and Breakfast at Rutland Water on Sunday, May 3. Meet at the Lyndon Centre at Rutland Water to depart at 5am, returning at 8am for breakfast. The dawn chorus should be at its peak this month so there should be lots of activity. £15 per person.

Don’t forget the Uffington Scarecrow Festival on May 3-4. The theme this year is cinema so head to see the villagers’ take on Hollywood. Enjoy the challenge of the quiz and make sure you visit the refreshment tent, the cakes are to die for, cooked by the villagers. And look out for the fly past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on both days. A grand day out….


Summer’s on the way!

Time to dead-head and plant your pots... but beware of late frosts There’s lots to do in the garden now. Dead-head and divide clumps of daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs. There’s still time to divide hardy perennials to improve their vigour and create new plants. Divide hostas as they start growing. Tie sweet peas to their support frames to encourage them to climb. And, of course, as it’s maximum growing season remember to top dress your beds with fertiliser. Now is the time to start planting up your hanging baskets and pots. But, beware, there can still be some late frosts so keep an eye on the weather forecast before putting them out. And, if it’s dry remember to keep them watered. Hopefully the weather will be warm enough to spend a few hours sitting in your garden, gin and tonic in hand enjoying life….

■ Allotment Corner May is a fabulous month. Days are longer, temperatures are hopefully higher giving us a promise of the summer months to come. It’s also a busy month as it’s time to start sowing seeds. But be aware of the weather forecast and avoid planting small seedlings if there is frost on the way. Start hardening them off so that, towards the end of the month, when the soil has warmed up, they can be planted outside. May is the month for asparagus and there’s nothing more delicious than freshly harvested spears. It grows rapidly so check every day for new growth. Rhubarb should be ready to harvest this month. Pick when the stalks get to about 12 inches, don’t let them get much longer or it will get too stringy.


How to spot a sedge warbler The sedge warbler is one of a number of small songbirds which winter in Africa and migrate to Europe to breed. Slightly smaller than a house sparrow, sedge warblers are brown with darker streaking on the head and buffish white underparts. A clear white stripe over the eye is a good identification mark, helping to separate it from the similar reed warbler. As its name suggests this is a bird that frequents damp areas with reeds and scrub by rivers and lakes. It is a common bird at Rutland Water and is found by the River Welland near Tinwell and further upstream, and also at Leighfield Fishponds.

Like most warblers, sedge warblers are more often heard than seen, so a knowledge of their song is key to finding them. It is loud, chattering and very fast, usually delivered from cover. Don’t despair – sedge warblers have a song flight which takes them into the air, singing furiously, before dropping back into the vegetation. Insects provide the sedge warbler’s food and in late summer they fatten up on aphids, almost doubling their weight before making their return flight to West Africa. Birds ringed at Rutland Water have been re-trapped in Spain, Portugal and Ghana. Terry Mitcham

■ Visit the annual Rutland County Show on Sunday, May 31. There’s something for everyone at this fabulous show in Britain’s smallest county.

Hopefully now spring has sprung it’s the ideal time to make the most of the sunny weather and sample the delights of Stamford’s bars and restaurants with outside seating areas. The George is always a fail-safe, The Crown a lovely sunny spot and The Wine Bar is a bit of a hidden gem with a surprisingly large garden that is a real suntrap.

Don’t forget that Run4Fun are starting their Saturday morning sessions for running novices. Starting on May 16 at 9am at Werrington Sports Centre, the seven-week course aims to get every participant able to run non-stop for 5k by the end of it. For more details visit www.run4fun.co.uk

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TBOS-local ad-(90x125)_Layout 1 20/04/2015 15:16 Page 1


23RD-25th may 2015


is located close to the centre of Peterborough, providing easy access to all of our facilities.


We offer an extensive range of activities throughout our premises to suit the needs and abilities of all our members and guests.



www.thebigoutdoorshow.co.uk www .thebigoutdoorshow.co.uk

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Ham Lane, PE2 5UU

01733 889802 www.neneoutdoors.co.uk www.facebook.com/neneoutdoors

24/04/2015 10:32



Win! Big Outdoor Show tickets

Active has a weekend family pass for two adults and two children up for grabs Active has teamed up with The Big Outdoor Show to celebrate the great outdoors. The event is taking place in Milton Keynes from May 23-25 and our competition prize is a pass for two adults and two children to camp at the event for the whole weekend. Plus, we’re giving the lucky winners the chance to learn survival skills from ex-Royal Marines Commando John Sullivan with tickets

to see his exciting seminar. John is just one of the line-up of speakers including Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Felicity Aston. As well as learning from expert adventurers, you can also explore different outdoor activities including kayaking, paddleboarding, climbing and sailing. You can also get up close and personal with Exotic Animal Encounters, or watch

demonstrations in water safety from Newfoundland dogs (pictured), or be amazed by what the Action Sports Tour can do on two wheels. There’s something to suit everyone. Visit www.thebigoutdoorshow.co.uk for more details. To enter, email the answer to the question below to bos@theactivemag.com by May 14. Question: Which young lady is speaking about water safety with her canine friends?


What’s on...

DRAGON BOAT RACE The Dragon Boat Festival takes place in Peterborough on Saturday, June 13, in aid of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. Many teams have entered but they are still looking for more to help add to Thorpe Hall’s £6 million appeal. There’s lots of bankside activity to keep everyone entertained. www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/ peterborough

SPONSORED BIKE RIDE It’s time to get the bikes out. The NSPCC Business Support Group is hosting a 17-mile sponsored family fun ride around Rutland Water on Sunday, June 7. Entry cost is £10 for an adult, £5 per child or £25 for the family. All fund-raising entrants receive a complimentary goodie bag and a free hog roast at the finish line. www.rutlandbikeride. eventbrite.com

GRAN FONDO IN TOWN The inaugural Gran Fondo Tour of Cambridgeshire takes place from June 6-7. Roads will be closed to allow for a UCI World Cycling Tour time trial and on the 7th a 132km Gran Fondo. Each event starts and finishes in Peterborough. You can also partake in the race or just be part of UK cycling history by enjoying a leisurely ride on closed roads. www.rutlandcycling.com

STEAMPUNK IS COMING TO NENE VALLEY They’ve gone slightly Victorian at the Nene Valley Railway and are holding their second Steampunk event on May 24-25. Visitors will be encouraged to join in the fun and view the fantastic costumes and jewellery, have a go at brolly fencing and tea duelling. www.nvr.org.uk TRAVEL THE WORLD Stamford Shoestring’s next production is Travels with my Aunt to be held from May 12-16 at Stamford Arts Centre. Tickets are £10, £8 for concessions. Box office: 01780 763203 /// M A Y 2 0 1 5

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Feature /// Running

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From first steps to long strides Stamford Striders isn’t just a club for marathon runners and triathletes. It caters for even the most nervous novices, as Jeremy Beswick discovers IF YOU’RE ANYTHING like me, the history of your periodic, not to say spasmodic, exercise regimes will be similar to your dieting ones. It starts with an initial burst of motivation when you can’t get into an old pair of trousers or – as happened to me – you catch your reflection in a shop window unawares and realise that the rather portly person with bad posture is you. So you make a firm resolution to exercise regularly. It goes well for a couple of weeks, but gradually yet inexorably becomes more and more of a chore as the motivation degrades over time like a blunting razor, until it finally peters out into nothing and all you’re left with is a vague feeling of failure. Worse, the more times you repeat this scenario will reinforce the sub-conscious belief that exercise is not for you

and you’ll never succeed as you fall back into your old habits. Well, despair not! What if exercise was a pleasure, not a pain? What if you looked forward to it because it was fun, sociable and light-hearted? That’s the aim of the Stamford Striders, a running club with a difference. There are serious runners to be found here to be sure. Sub-three-hour marathoners, triathletes and endurance event competitors, but the emphasis is on inclusivity, including those who’d start by struggling to make a few hundred yards of light jogging. Suzanne Moon joined the Striders when she moved to Stamford and soon found she had a new social circle to boot. “It’s egalitarian and the emphasis is on

enjoying it,” she told me. “It was a great way to meet people when I arrived in town. Because it’s so sociable I go to catch up with friends as much as anything.” This is a club for all shapes and sizes - and all ages too. “The only limit we have is you must be over 18,” says Suzanne. “But some of our runners are certainly in their 60s.” That they don’t take themselves too seriously comes across when she adds: “Striders can often be found in Stamford’s pubs after a race or run, and we have regular social events arranged by the club. We joke that we’re really a drinking club with a running problem.” That would please fellow member Ed Fancourt, who sells wine for a living. “I’ve made a lot of friends at the club. Not

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Rutland County

Show Sunday 31st May 2 015 The Rutla nd Showground, Oa


183 rd


Early Bird tickets available online until 15th May Gate Price £12.50/£10 Accompanied under 14’s FREE

Contact: 01572 757110 or 07568 181616

www.rutlandcountyshow.com A family day celebrating farming and the countryside • The Mounted Games of GB • The hilarious Sheep Show • Canine Partners & Military Dogs • Livestock & Show Jumping • Cottesmore Hunt and Hounds • Leicester Tigers • Vintage Classic Cars & Tractors • Fabulous Shopping

Gates Open 8 .30am Free Parking The Rutland Show ground, Show ground Way Barleythorpe, Oakham LE15 7TW (LE15 6US fo r Sat Nav)


• Delicious local food and drink

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Feature /// Running

Clockwise, from far le

Strider Andy Wade prepares for the Valentines 30k; the beginners’ club handicap race; the focus is as much on enjoyment as fitness; all shapes and sizes (and ages) turn out with the club

‘THE FIRST TIME I WENT IT WAS LIKE I’D KNOWN THEM ALL MY LIFE. THEY GREETED ME LIKE A LONG-LOST FRIEND’ everyone looks like a finely tuned athlete to say the least and there’s a good cross-section of people. “When you join a club like this it’s hugely different from running on your own. You go because you want to see your mates,” he adds. That’s a theme that seasoned club runner Andy Wade picked up on. “It gives me a reason to go even when it’s raining or cold. Funnily enough, the times when I really didn’t fancy going are the times when I enjoyed it most. When you come back from running you’re on a high. You’re alive again.” Andy’s been there for around eight years and seen the number of members mushroom to the current 230-odd. “There’s always been a terrific atmosphere here and I guess that’s one of the reasons that we’ve grown. We run a beginners’ class once a year and when we have a few new devotees they always seem to bring some friends along.” The current holder of the club’s ‘most improved female runner’ shield is Hilary Cox. She’d been a keen runner in her 20s, including completing the London Marathon, and returned to it in her 40s.

“It was just unbelievable. The first time I went it was like I’d known them all my life. They greeted me like a long-lost friend.” She’d been a member of another club immediately before but found it a bit cliquey. Not this one. “Striders is just the most fun you could possibly have. They have a way of making you believe you can do things too. It’s like another family to me,” she explains. According to the British Heart Foundation, around 10,000 deaths from heart attacks could be prevented each year if people kept themselves fitter with regular aerobic activities such as jogging. Over time, it will strengthen the cardiovascular system, enabling your heart and lungs to work more efficiently. This means you can do more exercise for less effort and the body’s metabolic rate – the speed at which you burn calories and fat – is raised not only during a run, but for several hours afterwards. What if you think you can’t run? Here’s Robin Ball, who started in 2009: “I’d never run in my life since school – where I hated it – and although I was quite fit I couldn’t do it at all at first, not more than a third of a mile. Then I

realised that I was trying to go too fast.” He built it up bit by bit – a little further each time, and then entered a six-mile fun race for charity. “I reached the top of a hill and someone shouted ‘You can do it – it’s all in the mind’ and I raced down that hill like a youngster and was cheered over the finishing line. I’ve never been cheered for anything sports related before. I was grinning for a week.” Spurred on, he completed the London Marathon just under a year after his first stumbling third of a mile. If all this has whetted your appetite for pulling on your trainers again, what next? As they say on the website, www. stamfordstriders.org, the best way to see if you like them and their friendly ways is to come along and run as a guest on a Tuesday training session or two. You need to be able to run around five miles at a modest pace, with stops to catch your breath. If you don’t run at all at the moment then the best thing to do is to go along to the 10-week beginners’ course which they run each spring. The class is free and if you decide to sign up afterwards the subs are a paltry £20 a year. Suzanne adds: “Joining a running club can seem a bit daunting, but the beginners’ course is so easy. Believe it or not, in ten weeks we’ll have you running five miles – no problem!” This year it starts on May 19 at Borderville Sports Centre on Ryhall Road at 6.45pm. Maybe I’ll see you there.

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Specialists in bespoke construction projects, from extensions to entire new builds as well as period property restoration. Working with a trusted team of local craftsmen to create the property of your dreams

Thorpe Construction Ltd Tel: Stamford (01780) 749599 l Email: info@thorpeconstructionuk.com l www.thorpeconstructionuk.com Find us on www.facebook.com/thorpeconstructionukltd Company registered in England No. 8917848

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Guest column

Local legends Martin Johnson picks the greatest sportsmen he’s seen in the region aving covered sport in this area since my days as a cub reporter, I’ve seen a procession of greats pass through our corner of England. But who are the best? It’s hard to judge without some sort of points system, so instead I have gone with a more subjective approach: the ones that I remember most fondly. Peter Wheeler. One of the great England and British Lions hookers, who mostly managed to retain his cherubic features despite the health hazard of the position he played in. Apart from after the infamous Five Nations international against Wales at Twickenham in 1980. Wheelbrace, as he was known, turned up to training at Leicester on the Monday after the game sporting a terrific shiner, and I asked him which Welshman had clocked him. “None of them,” he replied. “It was Maurice.” (Colclough, the England lock). “One of the Welsh props needed sorting out at a scrum, so I turned round to ask Maurice to send a nice haymaker through. As it turned out, his fist was already on the way, hence the black eye.” Raymond Illingworth. Captained Leicestershire to their first ever county championship title in 1975, and was widely regarded as one of the canniest captains ever to play the game. And led England to a 2-0 Ashes triumph in Australia in 1971-72 despite the team – in the days of non-neutral umpires – not getting a single lbw decision in six Test matches. Like most great players, he was supremely selfconfident, and whenever he was dismissed batting his team-mates would wait with baited breath to listen to what he’d blame it on. Les Taylor. There was a time in the late 1970s to early 1980s, when only one Leicestershire cricketer was capable of emptying the members’ bar at Grace Road when he came out to bat. And it wasn’t David Gower. There have been more incompetent No 11s than Les Taylor, albeit not many, but none quite as entertaining. It was his unique combination of aversion to pain and lack of co-ordination which made him such box office material, and it was when watching Les take guard against Surrey’s lethal Sylvester Clarke that Gower got up off his chair on the balcony and, despite Leicestershire badly needing runs, declared the innings closed. “I wouldn’t have been able to face Sue (Les’ wife) at his funeral,” said Gower. Dusty Hare. During my six years as the Leicester Mercury’s rugby correspondent, when there was still a Saturday night sports paper, I reckon about three-quarters of my ‘running’ reports began something like: “Tigers kicked off into a stiff breeze, and after the visitors were caught offside at the opening scrum, Hare made it 3-0 with a penalty.” He never missed, or never seemed to, and was the


epitome of the old amateur era. Some of the modern pre-match warm-ups start a good 90 minutes before kick off, but Hare, a farmer by trade, would arrive at Welford Road for a 3pm start at about 2.55, still wearing his wellies and bits of straw stuck to his cloth cap. Gary Wolstenholme. Son of Leicester-born English amateur golf champion Guy, Gary will forever be famous for beating Tiger Woods on the final hole of the 1995 Walker Cup singles at Royal Porthcawl. Legend has it that Gary needed a three wood to hit the 18th in two, while Woods used a nine iron and put it out of bounds. He might have been a short hitter, but he was never short for words, and Gary also won matches by talking his opponents into submission. At the 1997 Walker Cup, in his singles against the USA’s Casey Wittenberg, Gary was behind for much of the game against the monosyllabic American until Gary’s cheerful conversation – “...and how’s your hotel? How do you like bacon and eggs for breakfast? You lot eat waffles and syrup and things don’t you?....” finally got to him. Alan Birchenall. A member of the Leicester City team back in the 1970s, ‘the Birch’ played football with a constant smile on his face. During one match at Filbert Street, Birchenall was standing on the touchline waiting to take a throw-in. As he did so, a bloke selling meat pies walked past (couldn’t happen nowadays of course) and the Birch sent the crowd into raptures by pinching one and eating it. Bob Taylor. There’s a plaque at Hunstanton Golf Club marking a scarcely believable feat from Robert Taylor. Representing Leicestershire in the Eastern County Foursomes in 1974, when it was his turn to tee off at the 16th – a par three of 188 yards – a biffing head wind prompted him to use a one iron. Which he duly holed in one. With the elements a bit kinder when he came to the same hole again the following day, he selected a six iron – with which he also holed in one. The following day, it was a six iron again, and once again in it went for a one. Martin Johnson. Had a frankly unremarkable football career with Leicester Press FC in Leicestershire’s Charnwood Sunday League, regularly missing open goals, before finding his true niche and converting from hopeless striker to butter-fingered goalie – where he found not having to run around a lot more rewarding. But enough about me. The talented, rugby playing Martin Johnson from Leicester played no less than 307 times for Tigers from 1989 to 2005, helping his team win six league titles, and the prestigious Heineken Cup on two occasions. He also holds a unique place in British Lions history as the only man to captain the tourists twice, and shares with Willie John McBride the honour of being the only Lions skipper to savour a Test series victory in South Africa in the 20th century. Mind you, I think I might have made a better coach.

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Feature /// Gear


The latest kit to keep you active this summer

Castelli Velocissimo Jersey FZ Red

The Castelli Velocissimo Jersey FZ is excellent for the milder weather of spring and those longer rides in the warmer weather of summer. Castelli has achieved a jersey that fits beautifully and will keep you dry and comfortable, no matter how hard you are pedaling in the sun. Thanks to the use of ProSecco Strada fabric and mesh side panels achieving the moisture transfer. Price £69.99 From www.rutlandcycling.com

Craghoppers Angler shirt

GripGrip Pro and Strips

Smart anglers have long recognised the benefits of wearing a NosiLife shirt at the riverbank to help keep the midges at bay, which is why they have now introduced a shirt that’s specially designed for fishing aficionados and comes complete with plenty of pockets for essential accessories. Price £60 From www.getlostinrutland.co.uk

GripGrip is a highly flexible and stretchy rubber tape that when applied properly to a bat handle, will stop the grip moving. Grip Grip realised that rubber doesn’t move much when it is stretched tight over rubber. In order to put rubber under a bat grip it has to be very thin. By employing a special vulcanisation process, they developed an extremely stretchable thin tape that has no negative effect. Price £8.95 From Rutland Sports

Maui Jim Mala sunglasses

See the world brighter and greens even greener with MauiPure lenses, Maui Jim’s proprietary new lens material that offers brilliant PolarizedPlus2 glare protection and the crispest optics next to glass. Price £125 From The Stamford Eye Clinic www.thestamfordeyeclinic.co.uk

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6Vitamin Shot

Created by expert nutritionists, 6vitaminshot is a one-stop vitamin energy shot, giving your recommended vitamin allowance and more. A slow release energy boost, the precise mix of ingredients has been developed by expert nutritionists. Price £2.50 each or £24.99 for 6 From www.6vitaminshot.co.uk

Arnica rescue salve 15ml

Arnica rescue salve is a natural salve suitable for strains, sprains and bruises – a real gym bag must have. Oil based, safe for use on babies and children,100% natural it is ideal for taking with you while travelling, with no parabensn or perfumes. Price £4.65 From www.purepotions.co.uk

Nutribullet 600 Series nutrition extractor

Make delicious, nutritious smoothies with the nutrition extractor everyone’s raving about. The secret of the Nutribullet is its powerful 600 watt motor combined with bullet cyclonic action that forces everything through the turbo extractor blades at an incredible 20,000 RPM, breaking down and pulverising stems, seeds and skins, where some of the usually neglected essential nutrition lies, into a pulp free, delicious smoothie. Sleek and compact (only 14in high with tall cup) it’s quick and easy to clean. Price £99.99 From www.buynutribullet.co.uk

Herpatch cold sore prevention

Ideal for the sporty or travellers that are more susceptible to get a cold sore due to extreme weather conditions or the over-exposure to sunlight, the Herpatch serum is the effective way to treat fever blister symptoms. The serum forms a protective and transparent film over the blister and helps speed up the healing process. Price £4.99 From www.boots.com

Komo bike

The versatility of 27.5” wheels allows for exceptional pedal efficiency, while 153mm of Rocker independent suspension and a 160mm RockShox Pike fork keep you pinned on the descents. The linkage is laterally stiff thanks to over- sized pivots and bearings, while the frame features a low BB, 40mm stem and the shortest chainstays possible for a nimble ride. New for 2015, the seatpost is upgraded to KS Lev Integra, while the rear derailleur is upgraded to SRAM X9 Type 2. Price £2,899 From Rutland Cycling

Gaiam Toeless Gripp socks

With Gaiam’s toeless socks, you don’t even need your mat to get into yo=targeted traction zones provide no-slip grip on any surface, while the open design allows toes to spread for better tactile feel and balance. Price £9.99 From www.johnlewis.com

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Feature /// Weekend fun

Rejuvenate you, and your



Looking for ways to make Saturdays and Sunday more spectacular, special or active? Read on...

Do you ever get to work on a Monday morning, and when a colleague asks what you did at the weekend, you can’t really remember? Of course, that’s not always a bad thing: not every end of

the week needs to be like a lifestyle advertisement for an energy drink. But if you want to make the best of the weekend, and get some real benefit out of your days off, we have some handy suggestions which are

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You’ll never feel more alive than when you’re upside down at a few thousand feet. The Blades aerobatic team, based at Sywell in Northamptonshire, offer passenger rides for those with a strong stomach. If that seems a little too extreme, then a helicopter ride across the region is still an unforgetable experience. There’s nothing like hovering over your neighbours’ houses and having a nose into their gardens, and Helicentre Aviation, based at Leicester Airport, offers a variety of flights from as little as £25. // www.flyheli.co.uk // www.theblades.com


Some people seem to think that leaving a perfectly serviceable aeroplane at a few thousand feet is a logical thing to do. And once you’ve tried it, such is the heady rush of adrenalin you will probably agree. UK Parachuting at Sibson, near Peterborough, is one of the best in the country for novice tandem dives or training for a solo effort, and will ensure that the experience is truly unforgettable. // www.skydivesibson.co.uk


Whether it is with air rifles or shotguns, finally nailing your target is a real buzz, and at Kibworth Shooting Ground you can take down

as many clays you fancy across their various ranges. Cleverly computer controlled, it means you can move through various areas trying different traps, with your tally counted up at the end. There’s even expert tuition if you’re not quite the meanest gunslinger in Middle England just yet… // www.kibworthshootingground.co.uk


Both Donington Park, near Derby, and Mallory Park in Leicestershire offer various trackdays and high speed experiences. But for thrills and spills on a lower budget, karting is great fun and there are some excellent ones around: Sutton near Hinckley, Daytona in Milton Keynes and Ancaster near Grantham will test whether you really are the next Lewis Hamilton, as you suspected all along. // www.msauk.org






One of the fastest growing new watersports, flyboarding uses jets of water to fling you up into the air where you can hover and move around like a watery IronMan. Alternatively, how about a jet-ski that will do 80mph, and accelerate faster than most motorbikes? If you’re thinking of any adrenalin-fuelled water based fun then 158performance are the people to speak to: they use a number of sites in the region. // www.158performance.co.uk

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Don your Champneys robe and flip flops and allow our experts to take care of you. The Champneys Day is topped off with a 25 minute seasonal treatment worth £39.





Why not kick-start your wellbeing with a 30 minute health appraisal (worth £25) and 55 minute personal training session (worth £45) to help you re-assess your fitness goals and rejuvenate your whole body.

Pamper yourself with extra spa treatments including one 55 minute treatment (worth £59) and one 25 minute treatment (worth £39) designed to unwind the mind and ease away stresses.


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Feature /// Weekend fun

INDULGE YOURSELF Sometimes it’s best to just get away for the weekend, unwind and chill out. Here are the best places to do that in our region...


In a tranquil setting in Leicestershire, surrounded by water walkways and beautiful open parklands, Champneys Springs has created a cocoon of calm that grows around you, melting away your stress and leaving you feeling fabulous. Springs spa hotel near Ashby-de-la-Zouch is home to the finest Champneys traditions of health, fitness and well-being, all delivered with a touch of luxury in the heart of the Midlands. You can enjoy more than 80 spa therapies at the health resort, from the classic to the more exotic, including treatments such as cupping and Russian honey massage, reiki and personally blended aromatherapy. Afterwards, the

pleasures of gym, swim, whirlpool and steam await. If you’re not the type to just lie around, there’s a superb gym, tennis courts and personal trainers as well as a football pitch if you feel the need for a kickabout. It’s the perfect active home from home. // www.champneys.com


Nestled on the banks of Rutland Water, Barnsdale has a wide range of sporting activities as well as a spa, and when you’re finally sated after all your pampering and action, you can sit on the idyllic banks of the water and try and spot an osprey or two. // www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk


Ragdale Hall has state-of-the-art facilities for those looking for the latest treatments with the Middle England charm of traditional Victorian architecture, resulting in one of the most luxurious and relaxing health spas in the country. Whether you are looking for total relaxation, me-time and pampering or to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, its great selection of spa days and breaks include something for everyone, including a wide range of innovative holistic therapies and spa treatment. There are even walking breaks too, for those who want to get out into the beautiful rolling Leicestershire countryside. // www.ragdalehall.co.uk


Live like an aristocrat on your own sporting estate at gorgeous Stapleford Park near Melton Mowbray, with hawking, shooting and golfing on offer alongside the more modern spa and gym. // www.staplefordpark.com


Kilworth House’s two luxurious beauty treatment rooms are havens of peace within the tranquil surrounding of the estate near Market Harborough. This is the place to enjoy a well-earned hour or two of pampering, from a soothing massage to holistic treatments such as reflexology or Indian head massage. // www.kilworthhouse.co.uk

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Feature /// Competition

RAGDALE REJUVENATION Win a luxury late escape day for two people at award winning Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa. PROBABLY THE ULTIMATE way to revitalise and replenish at the weeked, Ragdale Hall combines state-of-the-art facilities with the charm of traditional Victorian architecture to create one of the most luxurious and relaxing health spas in the country. Located in the rolling Leicestershire countryside, whether you are looking for total relaxation, me-time and pampering or to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, Ragdale Hall is the perfect choice. Its great selection of spa days and breaks include something for everyone. You and a friend or loved one could escape to Ragdale from 11am until 8.30pm, for a day of serious me-time on a Luxury Late Escape Day to include: • Ragdale Prescription Facial • Healthy buffet lunch • Three course dinner and a glass of sparkling chilled Prosecco in the Dining Room • Complimentary robe • Plus use of all of Ragdale’s facilities including

the multi-million pound Thermal Spa. Just answer this simple question and email the answer to ragdalehall@theactivemag.com by 5pm, May 20, 2015. Where is Ragdale Hall located: a. Lincolnshire b Leicestershire c. Lanarkshire Terms and conditions: Travel to and from Ragdale Hall is not included. The prize is available only to persons over 16 years of age, The prize must be taken at the weekend and not a weekday The prize is non transferable. If you are not the lucky winner, then maybe a Ragdale Hall gift voucher would be the perfect present. Available in monetary amounts from £25 or for days or overnight breaks, they are the ideal gift. For further information contact Enquiries on 01664 434831 or visit www.ragdalehall.co.uk

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Feature /// Weekend fun



Even if it is a busy weekend, dedicate an hour or two to do what you love most. Whether it’s cooking, crafts or gardening, pursuing your passion will leave you invigorated and full of purpose.


Controversial this, but what if you spent the weekend without once peering at your phone, wondering whose cat has done something funny on Facebook, or whether your boss is sending you next week’s tasks? It’s amazing how much spare time you might unlock.


Even if you’ve got some personal projects to attend to, try to do them from a standing position. Research shows that sitting all day is terrible for your cardiovascular health and increases your risk of diabetes, obesity and some cancers. A great deal of time spent sitting also lowers life expectancy. So instead of plopping down at your dining room table or home office desk, why not stand at the kitchen counter with a laptop?


Not always easy with the British weather, but getting in the sunshine is vital for well-being.

While it’s essential to protect yourself from cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays by wearing sunscreen, letting the sun shine on your skin is good for your body and your mind: the hormone vitamin D is synthesized from sunlight and helps with everything from weight management to immune function.


Go for a walk first thing in the morning. Get out the door before you become too engrossed in the Sunday newspaper and your breakfast. Walking first thing in the morning ensures you fit in your workout. Once you return, you’ll feel invigorated and be more likely to be active during the rest of the day. FUSE

Looking for some ways to make your weekend more healthy and productive? How about trying some of these simple lifestyle changes (for two days only, of course!)...


Though it is reckoned you should have at least seven or eight hours of sleep most nights, it rarely happens during the week. So the weekends could be the chance to indulge. If you’ve got kids, that might be hard, but perhaps they won’t grow up delinquents if just one morning they sit and watch a DVD while you get a well-earned lie in.


For most, the weekend is the time to indulge, and long should it remain that way, but what about just cutting out carbs, or not eating any processed food? You’ll feel better, lighter and more full of vigour for it, without having to feel hungry and miserable all weekend.

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A post-run recovery plan If you are doing long runs this summer, such as marathons or other highly challenging distances, the experts at British Military Fitness have some useful post-event recovery advice... 0 - 2 DAYS: Complete rest – congratulate yourself for having completed the challange! Make sure you drink water in small amounts, frequently, to help with the dehydration and flush out the extra lactic acid that builds up after intense exercise. 2- 4 DAYS: Full body stretching, with particular focus on the legs. Supplement this with some light activity such as swimming, due to the low impact nature of the activity. To complement stretching, try foam rolling too. This is a form of self-massage with a ‘foam roller’, used by athletes to release muscle tightness and tension. Use your body weight to apply weight over the roller to stretch out the tight muscles – it will be painful (and if an area really hurts, go easy on it), but it reduces muscle stiffness and leads to a better recovery. 5 -7 DAYS: Up the ante slightly by adding in some light, short-duration jogs (around 30 minutes). Supplement this with lots of stretching/foam rolling. The overall aim of this plan is to recover safely and effectively by keeping the nervous system moving gently. Therefore, exercise is key, but the amount done should be minimal and low impact. As well as the obvious physical factors, the stress of long distance running can affect your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and flu, so it’s important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, and drink lots of water. In addition, some people often find they gain weight after running a marathon – do not be alarmed, this is usually due to water retention and will pass.


For more hints and tips visit www.britishmilitaryfitness.com

4 STEPS TO BEING MORE GYM FIT 1. MANAGE TIME BETTER It’s easy to try and just poke exercise in the holes where you’re not rushing about working, looking aer the family, doing errands and all the other things in your life. But block out time in your day to do exercise, just as you would any other part of your life. 2 EXERCISE WITH COMMITMENT Never just go through the motions: if you’ve planned time for exercise, don’t use it to chat or gently wa through the gym machines. Focus on achieving specific goals and working specific parts of your body. 3 REST! Over-training can be as damaging as not training at all. Make sure you allow your body to recover and strengthen. 4 BUILD MUSCLE MASS Concentrate on building muscle rather than losing weight. If you build muscle your metabolism will increase, and you’ll burn more energy training, which will result in weight loss.

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Cockerell Road, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 5DU. Tel: 01536 268991 WWW.ROCKINGHAMCARS.CO.UK


Model shown: Abarth 500 Custom at £15,280 OTR including optional Gara White paint (£300), 17" Diamond cut alloy wheels (£320). Official fuel consumption figures for the Abarth 500 range: Urban 33.2 – 37.2 mpg (8.5 – 7.6 l/100km); Extra Urban 52.3 – 60.1 mpg (5.4 – 4.7 l/100km); Combined 43.5 – 48.7 (6.5 – 5.8 l/100km). CO2 emissions 155 – 134 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures obtained for comparative purposes in accordance with EC directives/regulations and may not be representative of real-life driving conditions. Factors such as driving style, weather and road conditions may also have a significant effect on fuel consumption.

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Active Fit


// Edited by Sandie Hurford

GOOD MOOD FOOD: Eat your way to happiness You’ll have heard of Tilda Basmati Rice but did you know that Tilda has produced a ‘Mood Food Manual’. Its Eat Your Way to Happiness guide features a

seven-day meal planner, including mood-boosting recipes. Designed by clinical dietician Dr Sarah Schenker and nutritional therapist Dr Christy

Fergusson, the manual gives nutritional information and highlights foods that are good for your physical health and your mental wellbeing ((visit tilda.com)

Top 10 mood foods to make you feel good


PUMPKIN SEEDS Contain tryptophan, the amino acid needed to make hormones including the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin which plays a role in fighting anxiety, promoting good moods and producing the hormone melatonin to help regulate your sleep pattern. During the winter, we can experience a drop in serotonin levels as a result of a lack of sunshine. Cue the winter blues. A handful of pumpkin seeds could be all you need to give your body the building blocks it needs to make serotonin and wave goodbye to cravings and the blues. ■ Sprinkle onto salads, breakfast cereals and porridge and stir into yoghurts.


CHIA SEEDS Rich in fibre, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. Just one tablespoon contains 5g of fibre so adding a tablespoon to your breakfast is a great way to increase your fibre intake and stabilise blood sugar levels. They are also rich in protein and full of tryptophan, an amino acid that encourages good mood, sleep and a sense of calm. ■ Soak in coconut water or yoghurt overnight and then mix with fruit for a nutritious breakfast.


SALMON A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, vital for good mental health, brain function, energy production, oxygen transfer and immunity. Salmon contains omega 3 fats DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which can help to reduce inflammation, high levels of which may be linked to depression. Also rich in DHA (decosahexaenoic acid), a lack of which increases corticotrophin, the hormone responsible for your day-to-day emotions. Without this, your hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal axis can become imbalanced and affect

your ability to stay cool and calm, leaving you irritated, anxious and moody. ■ Serve pan-fried with steamed vegetables or flake into some Tilda.


WHOLEGRAIN BASMATI Low-GI foods such as wholegrain rice contain the type of carbohydrate that releases energy slowly, keeping blood sugar levels steady and maintaining a balanced, calm mood. It also provides vitamins and minerals important for good mental health. ■ Serve with curries, stews, casseroles and tagines and use in pilafs and kedgeree.


COCONUT High in protein and fibre. The saturated fat in coconut oil supports the thyroid gland and the nervous system, both of which are important for maintaining your energy levels and help keep you in a positive mood. The fatty acids in coconut oil are excellent for killing harmful pathogens (disease) and so potentially helps prevent you getting infections. ■ Add to curries, grate into yoghurt and serve with fruit salad.



ASPARAGUS One of the richest sources of B vitamin folate available, a lack of which has been linked to poor mood. Folate is one of the key ingredients your body needs to make the feel-good mood chemical serotonin, without which you can’t properly metabolise what your body needs to feel upbeat and smiley. ■ Serve steamed with fish or chicken dishes, use in omelettes and risottos.


SPINACH Contains vitamins A, C and E, needed for the healthy production of thyroid hormones. Energy, appetite, mood, weight and body temperature are all governed by these hormones and an underactive thyroid can cause weight gain, put you in a low mood and make you feel sluggish and cold all the time. ■ Use in salads, stir fries and soups.

QUINOA Provides complex carbohydrates and fibre to maintain stable blood sugar levels. With a higher amount of protein than most grains, it can help to control your appetite and reduce cravings for sugary and fatty snacks between meals. As well as being vegetarian, it is gluten free and has a low glyceamic load, making it an ideal food for boosting your mood. ■ Use in risottos and add to soups and salads. CHICK PEAS Contain phytoestrogens, which can help to balance hormones such as testosterone, found in both men and women. When the level of this hormone rises, mood can be affected and increased feelings of stress and anxiety can occur. The phytoestrogens help to stimulate the production of another hormone which binds testosterone and prevents excess levels circulating in the blood. Chickpeas also contain plenty of fibre, which can prevent fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. If you have been struggling with hormone havoc, phytoestrogens could be just what you need to go from haywire to harmonious. ■ Add to salads, soups and stews and use to make hummus.



BEANS The fibre, protein and complex carbohydrates in beans can reduce the amount of insulin needed aer eating. Insulin is released to regulate blood sugar levels so if too much is produced, mood and energy levels can be negatively affected. ■ Replace half the quantity of red meat in dishes such as bolognaise, cottage pie or chilli con carne with beans.

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A PERFECT FIT www.rutlandcycling.com

Ride the dream this year with & at Rutland Cycling




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Active Fit

GOOD MOOD FOOD: Recipes to regulate your mood Brown Basmati Porridge with Banana and Blueberries Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 20-25 minutes Serves 2 Ingredients 250g Tilda® Brown Steamed Basmati Rice pouch 300ml semi-skimmed milk ½ tsp cinnamon 1 egg ¼ tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp of chia seeds 1 banana, sliced 50g blueberries Drizzle of honey

Method Combine the pouch of Tilda® Brown Steamed Basmati Rice, milk and cinnamon in a pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Temper the egg by whisking in some of the hot rice, a tablespoon at a time until you have incorporated about six tablespoons. Stir the egg mixture into the rice along with the vanilla and seeds and continue cooking over low heat for one to two minutes to thicken. Stir in the sliced banana and blueberries and drizzle with honey just before serving.

Goat’s Cheese and Asparagus Basmati and Quinoa Risotto Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes Serves 4 Ingredients 2 x 250g Brown Basmati & Quinoa pouches 200mls gluten free vegetable stock 2 tbsp rapeseed oil 4 spring onions, finely diced 1 bundle (200g) asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off and discarded 200g frozen peas, defrosted 125g so goat’s cheese Salt and freshly ground black pepper Method Put the oil into a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently

until they turn so and translucent – about five minutes. Increase the heat a little and stir in the Brown Basmati & Quinoa straight from the pouch, making sure each grain is coated in the oil. Add the stock and stir through; reduce the heat slightly and cook for about eight minutes until hot and most of the stock has been absorbed. Steam the asparagus spears for about seven minutes until tender. Slice into pieces about 2cm in length. Add asparagus and peas to the risotto. Increase heat and stir for a few minutes to heat everything through. Just before serving, dot the risotto with three-quarters of the goats’ cheese, giving it a stir to slightly mix the cheese through. Serve hot with the remaining goats’ cheese dotted over the top.

Harissa Chicken Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 40 minutes Serves 4 Ingredients 250g Tilda® Wholegrain and Quinoa Steamed Basmati rice pouch 4 skinless chicken breasts 2-3 tbsp harissa paste 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp pine nuts 2 spring onions, chopped ¼ cucumber, chopped 2 tomatoes, chopped 200g kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 tbsp raisins 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds Handful each of parsley and mint, chopped

Method Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 4 Smear each chicken breast with two teaspoons of the harissa paste and place in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle over the oil, season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Put the pine nuts in a dry frying pan and place over a medium heat for a few minutes to toast – remove from the heat as soon as they turn golden as they can burn quickly. Add the kidney beans for the last five minutes. Drain and then combine with all the remaining ingredients. Serve each chicken breast on a bed of Wholegrain and Quinoa Steamed Basmati Rice.

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Feature /// Sports rehab

GYM BAG ESSENTIALS Forget the sweaty socks and dirty t-shirts; space in your gym bag should be reserved for these essentials, says Function Jigsaw trainer Max Hartman WHILE SPECIFIC TRAINING should always form the core of any programme, corrective exercises are key for keeping you in the gym and off of the treatment couch. Mobility, stretching, postural corrections and specific strengthening exercises are all key in maintaining good quality of movement and a full range of motion, both of which are huge factors impacting the likelihood of sustaining an injury. Here is our pick of some of the most economical and effective tools you can use to keep you injury free whether training for sport, fitness, or pleasure.

Foam roller

My favourite piece of kit. In my opinion the most useful and effective training aid in today’s market. Pre-activity foam rolling keeps you supple, increases joint range of motion, helps keep you injury free and improves performance across a range of markers. Post-training rolling can help to speed up recovery and reduce muscular soreness. Simple techniques can be learnt to safely, comfortably and effectively provide self-massage to all major muscle groups. Used pre-training, the extra mobility gained at specific joints helps to ensure good technique and posture at all times. The example I most commonly use with clients is the squat. If an individual is particularly tight or stiff through either the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, calves, lower back or groin, it makes it almost impossible to even get into a deep squat position, putting excessive load through the knees and lumbar spine in end of range movement. When they then walk into a gym and try to squat with a barbell on their back we are setting the scene for a multitude of injuries. Unlock your fascia and achieve competency across a range of key movement skills by getting into the habit of foam rolling before or after every training session. You won’t regret it. FJ Active Roller, £35: www.functionjigsaw.co.uk

Hockey ball

Staying on the topic of self-myofascial release and going alongside the foam roller nicely is the hockey ball. Small and lightweight, the hockey ball is perfect for hitting smaller muscle groups around the hips, feet and shoulders, providing excellent relief from muscular stiffness and soreness. Common conditions in weight-lifters such as shoulder impingement, plantar fasciitis in distance runners and sciatica can all be attributed to some extent to tightness, tension, and a general lack of mobility in certain areas of soft tissue. The plantar fascia, rotator cuff, glutes/ piriformis, and pectoralis minor can all be effectively released using the hockey ball, opening your body up to a healthier, more comfortable, less injury prone posture and more efficient movement. Alternatively, golf balls and cricket balls make excellent massage tools, with different sizes and shapes lending themselves to different areas of the body. Simply experiment with different balls to find the right one for you. Slazenger hockey ball, £2.99: Sports Direct


Minibands are short loops of elastic resistance band that are used to provide low impact, gentle resistance to movement based exercises with the aim of either warming up or ‘activating’ certain muscle groups pre training, or strengthening muscles as part of a training session. For such a simple piece of kit the Miniband is also possibly the most versatile, with the only limitation on usage being imagination. In clinic the main use we have for Minibands is strengthening around the shoulder girdle focussing on the rotator cuff and scapular stabilisers, and around the hip working on the glutes. All of these muscle groups play a vital role in maintaining stable joints and good posture through the provision of stability and control across the shoulder and pelvic girdles. Performance Mini Bands, £10.80: www. performbetter.co.uk With a minimal financial outlay and minimal effort, you can fully stock your gym bag with all the tools needed to keep you fit and injury free year round. So much of what we see in clinic here at Function Jigsaw stems from a lack of mobility in key areas and key muscle groups being weak or inhibited. Luckily, the key to unlocking peak performance may lie with one of these simple and cost-effective tools. For advice on the use of any of these pieces of equipment, or for any injury or performance related queries, please get in touch with Function Jigsaw to organise a consultation free of charge at their Leicester clinic. Contact Email: info@functionjigsaw.co.uk Twitter: @FunctionJigsaw Telephone: 0116 340 0255

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Feature /// Dog health to do. The most exciting play should come from the toy and capturing that moment when a puppy is doing the action that you want them to do (i.e. biting onto a toy) and praising them for it is the key to speedy success. When you have become good at this yourself you will be able to be very accurate. Your puppy might quickly learn the general message, but it will take lots of repetition and praise in different situations, to truly re-condition your puppy’s behaviour, from what he is naturally designed to do.

Further essential actions


Bobs Broadbent on how to inhibit a dog’s natural bite behaviour

MANY NEW PUPPY owners-to-be start to select their puppy at this time of year, ready to bring a puppy home during the warmer months. As exciting and rewarding as the prospect is, with lots of fun on the horizon to look forward to there will also be challenges to overcome. One of these is dealing with the mouthing and biting that puppies naturally do. Teaching your puppy how to inhibit the use of their mouth in the human world does need to be part of a training programme and the more positive learning experiences you offer, the sooner they will succeed. First of all, it’s important to understand that young puppies don’t know anything different as they use their mouth to investigate their environment and to interact with their littermates, so when they do arrive home with you they are simply following their instincts and what they have been doing for the first months of their life. When you bring your new puppy home you’ll become their new playmate and it’s up to you to teach him or her about what is expected socially. It’s therefore important that you know what’s involved and how to do this. Adults need to train this exercise and children need to be supervised at all times while a puppy is learning to inhibit this normal behaviour. It’s key that you don’t feel a puppy is being naughty or aggressive, as this isn’t the case. Although it’s worth noting that bad management at this early stage can lead to a puppy learning unwanted behaviours because it doesn’t know any different,

and this can be misunderstood as ‘being aggressive’. From the beginning you will need to get your puppy familiar with a toy that you can use for training ‘bite inhibition’ and this needs to be soft, fairly flat and floppy (or at least have areas like this, such as ears, arms and legs) so that a small mouth can easily get hold of it. Use toys like this to play with your puppy during the first day or two so it becomes its favourite toy to have a game with. From the first day that your puppy arrives, encourage him to play with toys and praise him when he does. The message is that toys can be played with (like littermates) but self-control is needed around human hands, skin and clothing. Once you know your puppy is confident and happy to engage in a game, have regular training sessions throughout each day. With a toy hidden about you, start playing with your puppy and it’s likely that very soon he will put his mouth onto your hands (especially if you entice him a little). When this happens, keep your hand still and swiftly bring out the toy with the other hand and flap it around in front of your puppy to encourage him to move from your hand onto the toy. Watch carefully and at the point when your puppy bites down onto the toy, give lots of praise. By doing this you are giving lots of attention for the behaviour you want to encourage and with lots of repetition, your puppy will gradually learning that biting on to the toy is a better thing

• Once you know how to do this exercise, teach all the adults in the home to take the same approach and ALWAYS supervise children to prevent your puppy’s teeth on their skin. • Have plenty of toys for your puppy to play with at all times and rotate them throughout the day to keep them interesting. • Provide age appropriate chews and interactive food toys (such as a Kong) or anything that offers a legitimate outlet for a puppy to bite onto. This should be available throughout the day, every day. • Refrain from allowing your puppy to mouth your fingers or hands at any time as this will undermine your training and give a conflicting message. • If there are children in the home or that regularly visit, buy a huge soft toy and tell them to pretend the toy is a shield that they need to hide their hands and body behind to prevent the puppy from catching them with their teeth (explain that a puppy’s teeth are like little needles and will really hurt). In a similar way to above, when the puppy bites onto the toy the child can follow the adult’s guidance and praise the action whilst dropping the toy for the puppy to play with. This is a game that must only take place under adult supervision. • Create a ‘safe-zone’ for your puppy in the home that has been completely puppy-proofed. It will help to build for success and avoid lots of reasons to remove things from your puppy’s mouth. • Teach your puppy that hands can be trusted at all times by exchanging an item they have picked up for a tasty treat and then offer a longer lasting distraction. During this phase, it’s easier to barter than get into a battle to remove something from their mouth. With good teaching and a consistent approach in the early days, it won’t be too long before your puppy understands what’s expected in the human world.

INFORMATION Bobs Broadbent runs a puppy school in Oakham and offers ‘Best Start’ private home puppy visits. You can contact her by e-mail: bobs@dogknows.co.uk, via Facebook: We Are Dogknows, or by telephone: 01664 454 792. If you have any concerns about your dog’s behaviour please seek professional advice prior to introducing any changes to their routine, either from a pet behaviourist (see www.apbc.co.uk for contact details) or trainer (www.apdt.co.uk).

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Feature /// Great walks

Empingham village It might not be the longest walk but this stroll in the heart of Rutland is rewarding enough, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington Difficulty rating (out of five)


At two miles this is possibly the shortest walk we have featured, but it is definitely worth its place on these pages. You can park anyway near the main crossroads in the middle of the village but I tend to park at the cricket & social club on Exton Road. As it happens this is an excellent place to watch live sport events or just to enjoy a drink in a friendly, laid back atmosphere on Friday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes. Anyway the footpath runs east from Exton Road adjacent to the top of the cricket club car park, so it’s easy to start and finish here. The path starts out across the southern edge of some large fields with the village down to the right. You soon come to a gateway on the right hand side which leads to Loves Lane. Cross here and carry on over the stile on the other side of the

road before dropping down over some more arable fields, and then over another stile into a grassy meadows with some wetland and reeds in it. The next gateway brings you into the bottom end of Gunnel Lane, a small cluster of old houses at the very bottom of the village on its eastern edge. Follow the track up to the road and turn left to head out of the village. But don’t go too far because you have to turn right on to Mill Lane. Follow the road down to the cattle grid and then follow the path as it skirts around the old farmhouse in the middle of the field. There are signs here warning of cattle in the field, but I haven’t seen any there yet. After the farmhouse head for the new steel bridge over the Gwash. This modern bridge lacks rural charm but it’s certainly not going to fall into the river any time soon. After the bridge turn left and follow the path round the edge of the field until it then cuts straight across the field to the right. Take this right turn and you are now heading back towards the village over a couple of fields and around the

Clockwise, from above

Empingham has a choice of places to refresh yourself aer a walk – Barbara’s Store near the church and the cricket and social club are two favourites; Empingham is picture postcard pretty with thatched cottages and mellow stone buildings along the main street; there’s also wonderful Rutland countryside to take in

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in icket Club play Empingham Cr the Grantham Division One of clubhouse can League and the social events: be hired out for amcsc.com www.empingh



➛ ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park Either in the village or at the White Horse pub or the cricket club if you plan on having a drink there. Distance and time Two miles; a leisurely 45 minutes. Highlights Some lovely views at the start of the walk and a pleasing blend of countryside and village life. It’s just long enough to justify the drive. Lowlights If you really want to stretch your legs save this one for another day. Refreshments: Empingham Cricket & Social Club or the White Horse. Failing that, Barbara’s Store in the village is a good place to buy a drink on the way back. Difficulty rating: Two paws. It’s not flat, otherwise it would be one paw!

top of the belt of woodland surrounding the Gwash down to your right. Before long you will arrive back at the main road into Empingham. Turn right and head back up the hill into the village with the church on your right. This is a busy stretch of road but the footpath is set well back and it’s only 200 yards so hardly a major problem. You will pass Barbara’s Store on the way back into the village and you can always

pop in to the White Horse if you fancy a drink or something to eat. It’s not a long walk but it’s more than enough to see most of the village and the surrounding countryside and it takes in the River Gwash. And you can easily extend it by taking a route around the footpaths to the north of the village, or you can walk down to Sykes Lane on the shore of Rutland Water and walk along the dam.

The pooch perspective There might be some cattle on a field or two but not when I have been there. On a hot day the dog can get it into the River Gwash to cool off near the end of the walk. 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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USSC 1-4pp Active Summer Courses ad_Layout 1 08/04/2015 11:11 Page 1

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Intensive Boot Camp Our intensive course will provide great results and is a guaranteed calorie burner, with physically demanding outdoor workouts to improve your fitness.

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Dates Thursdays, 16 Apr to 21 May 4 Jun to 16 Jul Duration 1 hour 6 & 7 weeks Time 18.30-19.30 Age range 14+ Costs From £24 Members From £30 Non-members £6 per session for pay as you go

Dates 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 Jun Duration 60 minutes 5 day intensive Time 06.00-07.00 Age range 16+ Cost £25 Members £30 Non-members

Dates Saturdays, 6 Jun to 27 Jun Duration 1 hour 4 weeks Time 10.45-11.45 Age range 16+ Cost £25.60 Members £28.80 Non-members

Contact Reception to book your course today. 01572 820830 ussc@uppingham.co.uk www.sportscentre.uppingham.co.uk

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t h e b l a c k bu l l

The Black Bull is a fabulous traditional thatched pub situated in the quiet Rutland village of Market Overton, within easy reach of Stamford, Nottingham and many other Rutland attractions. We offer a delightful menu with dishes created from fresh local ingredients. The pub overlooks some beautiful countryside where you can often see Red kites and local wildlife in abundance.

Local ales, comfy sofas and a friendly atmosphere welcome you to The Black Bull...

Although renowned for its cuisine, The Black Bull is faithful to its roots as a traditional village pub where people can wander in with walking boots and dogs to enjoy good company as well as fine ales, wine and food. We hope you will choose to visit us at the Black Bull whereupon a warm and friendly welcome that awaits you.

Opening Hours: Monday Closed / Tues 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-23:00 / Weds 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-23:00 / Thurs 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-23:00 / Fri 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-23:00 / Sat 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-23:00 / Sunday 12:00-18:00

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Feature /// Sportsman's Dinner

The Black Bull, Market Overton Will and Wendy enjoy a warm welcome and great pub food in this under-rated village Will We’ve done a couple of good dog walks from Market Overton to Edmondthorpe and Teigh and it’s always been a pleasure to finish up at the Black Bull for a pint afterwards, particularly on a summer’s evening with the views over the vale below. This rather stunning village is underrated and people don’t seem to talk about it much. Perhaps that’s for the best though… Wendy It is a really pretty village, but driving out here from Stamford reminds me of forced bike rides when I was a child – sends shivers down my spine! Anyway, those bad memories are soon forgotten in the warm atmosphere of this pub. First impressions really do matter and the Black Bull certainly makes a good one. Friendly staff, happy diners and drinkers and tasteful décor make for a relaxing ambience. The log burner and sofas by the bar look almost too comfortable; you could easily fall asleep there after a long walk. Will Well I’m glad you have forgotten about those childhood bike rides for the moment. My only memories of family bike rides when I was younger revolve around pubs, so I suppose that’s where my love affair with one of the greatest British institutions started. And this pint of Black Sheep is definitely helping to perpetuate the romance.

Wendy I sometimes think you love pubs more than me, but in fairness I love a good pub too so we are both happy in here. They make a point of being dog and child friendly and this attitude clearly helps to create the warm welcome. A friendly face behind the bar and a nicely chilled glass of pinot grigio set me up nicely for dinner. The tiger prawn starter was absolutely loaded with garlic and was delicious – the side salad was really well dressed, too. Will My starter of homemade focaccia, salami, chorizo, dipping oil and balsamic vinegar was very good – the cold meats were really tasty. But I had to stop myself eating all the focaccia or else I might have ruined my appetite for my duck pie. This was a wholesome pie, topped with creamy mash and cheddar cheese and served with carrots, green beans and broccoli. Wendy My steak and ale pie was really tasty too, with decent shortcrust pastry and a good thick gravy served in a jug. I’m glad I ordered the sauté potatoes too because they were perfect, but there was no way I could have eaten them all. There is no danger of walking out of this pub hungry after dinner, and the prices are all fairly reasonable too. The duck pie was £11.95 and the steak and ale pie was only £9.95.

Will I’m surprised you had room for the sticky toffee pudding but it is your favourite so perhaps I shouldn’t have been. I always wince slightly when you order it though because I know what a connoisseur you are… Wendy Well in that case, you'll be relieved to know it was nice and moist, light, with lots of sauce and excellent vanilla ice cream, too. A topdrawer sticky toffee pudding. I really enjoyed the meal and it was lovely to have a chat at the bar afterwards with Kev, Kristy and a few of the locals. It’s pretty clear they are running a very popular pub. Will It’s a really well run freehouse and restaurant, and they also have bed and breakfast accommodation which is already fully booked for the Rutland bird fair in August and Burghley Horse Trials. Kristy even told me that if you ask nicely and give prior notice they will provide a taxi service to pick groups up and take them home after dinner. That's what I call service…

The Black Bull 2 Teigh Road, Market Overton, LE15 7PW Tel: 01572 767677 www.blackbullrutland.co.uk

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24/04/2015 20:23

Feature /// School sports

Catmose hosts Olympian Darren Olympian Darren Campbell visited Catmose College after it won an online competition from the Youth Sports Trust. To win the competition, Year 10 student Caitlyn Palmer produced a video asking Darren Campbell to visit the College (the video can be seen at http://bit.ly/catmose1AgdiIa). Darren was a Team GB sprint athlete who achieved success at all levels including the European Championships, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games. Campbell started the day by addressing Year 7 and 8 students and telling them his story, from where he came from to his Olympic gold medal and beyond. A big part of his story was the message to follow your dreams and they may just happen. Many of the students found this speech inspirational. Some of the college’s sports scholarship students then got the opportunity to take part in sprint sessions with Darren, who showed them running drills and gave them advice on their technique. Catmose’s media team, including competition

winner Caitlyn Palmer, followed the activities throughout the morning and interviewed the athlete towards the end of the morning. Caitlyn said: “Creating a film that won such

an amazing experience was incredible. To meet Darren Campbell was the icing on the cake, especially as he congratulated me on my work! It is an opportunity I will never forget.”

Alex makes his mark Bourne Grammar School Alex Wray competed for Deepings Swimming Club at the British Swimming Championships – the first from the club to perform at this level. The likes of Ben Proud and Adam Peaty who took gold at the Commonwealth Championships 2015 and Olympic Gold medallist Ruta Meilutyte were among the competitors who lined up to race with him. Alex was ranked 13th fastest in the 17/18-year age group going into the competition but that did not stop him producing a personal best time in the 50m freestyle, winning his heat with a time of 23:88 seconds. This time helped Alex qualify sixth to go through to the final that evening where he would swim in the sold-out event at the London Aquatics Centre. He then produced another personal best of 23:65 seconds in the final and was leading the race at the 35-metre mark before being overtaken by three of his competitors. Alex’s new time smashed his previous county 50m freestyle record and also qualifies him to compete in next year’s British Swimming Championships (and Olympic trials) to be held at the Glasgow Commonwealth pool at Tollcross.

Tag rugby festival Stamford’s annual inter-primary school tag rugby festival was once again heralded a great success. The event, held on the last day of term and hosted by Stamford Welland Academy, saw a fantastic display of ball handling skills and running rugby from all of the youngsters involved. Teams were mixed, with both girls and boys from years five and six competing for the ‘Tag Trophy’. A strong Uffington School side has managed to retain the title for the last five years and put in another excellent team performance in this year’s tournament. St Gilberts School managed to overcome some stiff opposition to reach the final with the previously unbeaten Uffington – St Gilberts eventually ran out as 8-7 winners.

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Emma lifts her way to national championships Oakham School sport scholar Emma Peters has qualified for the British Youth Weightlifting Championships after lifting an immense total of 110kg at the Atlas Weightlifting Open. This success comes just days after 16-yearold Emma received the news that she had been selected for the British Weightlifting regional development programme. This selection confirms that Emma has the potential to be an elite weightlifter and means she has moved up a stage as part of the British Weightlifting talent pathway, which aims to discover and develop athletes who have the potential to represent Great Britain one day. Emma has only been training since September, having been inspired by watching the Commonwealth Games. She said: “This allowed me to compare myself with the senior weightlifters. I was surprised at how comfortable I felt, despite it only being my second competition!” Emma has built on her achievement in her last competition, the Nottingham Open, where she lifted the highest combined weight in the U17 Girls category. She is now training for the British Youth Weightlifting Championships which take place in Glasgow on May 2.

Zak makes county debut

Unbeaten run over for U18s Stamford School’s unbeaten 1st XI reached the semi-finals of the England Hockey U18s competition, held at the Olympic Park. After a tentative start, it was rivals Reed’s School who built concerted pressure within Stamford’s half. Despite Stamford holding firm, a foot allowed Reed’s to score from their third corner. With six minutes to play in the first half, Jules Brahmachari played an exquisite pass to winger Tom MacDonald who rounded his man to earn Stamford their first short corner of the match. A well-drilled short resulted in Tom MacDonald scoring to make it 1-1 at half-time. Mis-placed passes and turnover ball meant pressure on the Stamford backline in the early stages of the second half. Two penalties awarded and scored by Reed’s made it 3-1, before a short corner on the full-time whistle made it 4-1. Head of hockey at Stamford School, Jack Cropper, said: “The Stamford 1st XI have had a phenomenal season. They should be extremely proud of their performance.”

Recent Stamford School leaver Zak Chappell has played his debut match for Leicestershire County Cricket Club. Zak was a key part of the cricket team during his time at Stamford School, and signed a two-year contract with Leicestershire soon after leaving the school. He recently made his debut for the club in a friendly against Nottinghamshire. Dean Headley, cricket professional at Stamford School, said: “Zak is an extremely talented all-rounder who should relish the opportunity this will bring. “He has progressed through the school but really flourished in his last two seasons. I am sure if he works hard, Zak will progress quickly in the professional ranks.” Meanwhile, Old Oakhamian Tom Fell hit a championship century on April 12, making 114 runs for Worcestershire on the opening day against Yorkshire. Tom left the school in 2012 and is the first ex-student from Oakham to score a century in the First Division of the County Championship. This is Tom’s third first class century of his career so far.

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24/04/2015 10:31

Feature /// School sports

U15s lose out at Twickenham Oakham School’s Under-15 rugby team played in the biggest match of their sporting careers at Twickenham, competing against Sherborne School for the coveted Natwest Vase. Oakham performed brilliantly in what was a nail-biting 60 minutes of play, but ultimately were narrowly beaten by a cohesive Sherborne side 24-34. Team captain Tyrese Johnson-Fisher led his team by example, scoring a hat-trick, which was also matched by the Sherborne captain, who later received man of the match. A fourth try came from flanker Archie Sumner, who broke out from near half-way to score impressively. Fly-half Seb Davies made two all-important conversions. The team were presented with their runner-up medals after the match by England and Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs. Director of Rugby Ian Smith said: “This team have come from nowhere to somewhere. They have worked incredibly hard, they have improved game by game and today I think that everybody who watched the game will understand that Sherborne were deserved winners. “We created more opportunities than sadly we were able to take, but all credit to Sherborne – that was some performance. “As 15-year old boys, to come to Twickenham and have the opportunity to do what they have done is fantastic.”

Cross-country runners excel at Witton event Oakham School students Harriet Wright, Asia Hamdorff and Angharad Conant represented Leicestershire and Rutland in the English Schools Cross-country Championships held at Witton Country Park in Blackburn. It was a fantastic achievement to be selected for the teams, as only eight students in the region were selected for each age group. The girls ended the day with success, with the regional team placing fourth out of 45 counties. The runners were up against some stiff competition, with more than 2,000 students attending the event to represent their counties. Asia said: “We all found the day a great experience and hope to represent the county again next year.” Angharad has also had further success recently in the Inter-County Cross-country Championships, where she represented Northamptonshire U17s, finishing 137th out of 273 runners.

PRE-SEASON CAMP Tennis players from Stamford High School travelled to Spain over the Easter break for a pre-season training camp. The SHS girls worked hard throughout their stay and despite some very hot weather and early morning fitness sessions, energy levels remained high. They were able to put everything they had learnt into practice during some matches against Trent on the Friday, which produced some excellent wins and great experiences for all. The students managed to fit in some ice cream stops and recovery during the week, whilst enjoying activities such as beach volleyball, megaball activities, body-boarding and beach rounders. They managed one more coaching session on the day of departure, with an opportunity to thank the coaches for their help and support throughout the week. A quick turn around and one last visit to the beach, enabled the girls to relax before they headed back to Stamford.

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24/04/2015 20:20

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


Daniels escape the drop


n an epic finish to Stamford Daniels’ season, at half-time at the Zeeco and needing a win to avoid relegation, they were 2-0 down to fellow strugglers Witton Albion and looking set for the drop. They barely had a kick in the first half, and with Witton only needing a draw to stay up and condemn the Daniels’ to the drop, it looked lost. Then, on 55 minutes, a contested penalty changed everything. Stamford marksman Ryan Robbins scored from the spot and roared on by nearly 800 fans, the Daniels went on the rampage, biting into every tackle, fighting for every high ball and charging forward at every opportunity. It wasn’t pretty, but another goal came from a goal mouth scramble with the unlikely Tom McGowan smashing it home from close range. Still Witton were up, Stamford down. But the Daniels gathered again and threw themselves forward for one final, Herculean effort. The deafening din from the stands proved their new stadium can be a real cauldron when the fans are in and at full volume, and then, on 78 minutes, another goalmouth scramble. Again, Tom McGowan. Again, smashing it

BY DEAN CORNISH home from close range. 3-2: Daniels held on. Witton down, Stamford up, and captain Richard Jones in tears in front of the faithful at the final whistle. And so a season that started brilliantly (in truth that amazing August winning run kept Daniels up), but fell away horribly, finished with a bang. Next season, Daniels will have to invest in a stronger squad. But if they can bottle the passion of the final day, and get 800 to the Zeeco for every home game, they should be OK. Meanwhile, it’s been a season to forget for Blackstones who finished their UCL Division 1 campaign in 17th position, safe from relegation but far lower in the standings than they would have liked. Their recent form has been so poor that boss Neil Cotton has resigned following a tough 22-game spell in charge which ended winless after his final game in charge finished in a 1-0 defeat to Raunds. Blackstones have had a tough few years, and you feel the next appointment is a crucial one for the club. Applications for the new manager’s role are being welcomed by Stones chairman Gary Peace. A club statement said: “Manager Neil Cotton has

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announced his decision to resign as first team manager at the end of the 2014/15 season due to work commitments. The committee would like to extend their thanks and gratitude to Neil for all his efforts during his tenure at the club and wish him all the best for the future. “Blackstones FC now have a vacancy for a first team manager to take the club forward for the next season. Blackstones FC is a friendly club that plays in the United Counties League Division One and has the backing of an enthusiastic and positive committee as well as a core of loyal supporters. “Any interested parties please contact the chairman Neil Cotton by phone (07979 442123) or e-mail (gpservices365@fsmail. net) or the club secretary Ian Macgillivray by e-mail (imacgilli@aol.com).” Blackstones should be joined next year in the UCL by Oakham United who have wrapped up the Peterborough Premier Divison title. Wayne Oldaker’s men have been superb all season, and fully deserve the accolade of champions. The ambitious Rutlanders are now waiting for ratification from the league that their Barleythorpe

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The relief is clear to see on the faces of Daniels players aer their 3-2 win over Witton Albion, which ensured they avoided relegation PICTURE: GEOFF ATTON

ground is up to the standards required for Step 5 football. If they achieve the correct grading, Oakham will be the first Rutland side to play at this standard of football since Cottesmore Amateurs over 10 years ago. Oakham’s battle at the top of the table with Coates Athletic was a great contest for months, but the Fenlanders let their form slip at the crucial time with draws against Netherton and Deeping Rangers, and a shock defeat away at Pinchbeck. Oakham United, meanwhile, didn’t wilt under the title pressure storming to two thumping and crucial wins over local rivals Uppingham Town, and a professional away win at Holbeach United Reserves. Wayne Oldaker’s men finally confirmed the league title with a win over Deeping Rangers Reserves. Congratulations to all! Uppingham meanwhile look set to finish in the lower half of the table. They’re currently 13th in the division after some mixed recent form. The two defeats to

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Oakham were added to with a 1-0 loss against Peterborough ICA Sports and a 5-0 battering at home to Moulton Horrox. The boys from Todd’s Piece did beat Peterborough Sports Reserves though over the Easter break, but in general it’s been a tough period for manager Richard Kendrick who has been without a settled side too often this season. Let’s hope next year is a better one. In Division One meanwhile, Ketton FC have been in continued good form since Danny Hussey took over from Darren Edey, and look to have secured second spot in the division ahead of Stanground. A controversial recent 3-1 win over local rivals Ryhall United came on the back of a good 3-1 win at Wisbech Town Reserves, a draw with Netherton, and a solid 5-0 win over Warboys Town. A second place finish in Division One would signify a cracking season for the Pit Laners. Ryhall United have also had a good

season themselves, with the potential to finish third, but more likely fourth in the division. James Sheehan’s side had won seven on the trot before losing to Ketton, including a thumping cup win over Bourne Town, and good victories against Whittlesey, Oundle, Netherton, Long Sutton and Wisbech Town. Coates Athletic reserves will win the league, but it’s great to see Ketton and Ryhall snapping at their heels. In Division Two, Stamford Bels good second half of the season has continued and should ensure a top half finish to their league campaign. Paul Cramp banged in 5 goals in their 9-1 thrashing of Thorney reserves, whilst other good results include a 3-1 derby win over Ketton reserves, and a comfortable 2-0 win over Sawtry. Hopefully Martin Coneely’s men keep hold of the nucleus of their squad for a possible assault on promotion back to the 1st Division next season.

Show your support for local sport... Email advertise@theactivemag.com /// M AY 2015

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26/04/2015 14:44



Stamford’s miracle escape as Oakham finish mid-table BY JEREMY BESWICK


veryone involved with Stamford Town will have been merrily whistling that famous theme tune from The Great Escape these last few days, after an astonishing turn-around in form that saw them win their battle against relegation. Having had only five victories all season until David Laventure and Matt Albinson returned to the club to pick up the coaching baton, town won their last three fixtures on the bounce to narrowly condemn rivals Loughborough to the drop. They’d given themselves every chance with victories over West Bridgford and Ashbourne, and so travelled in hope with a coachful of supporters to the decisive – and final – fixture at Ashby. Club captain Nick McDowell said: “We knew we needed to win and were determined to get a bonus point too. We started quite well but you could tell the lads were nervous. Fortunately we managed two

tries before half-time which settled us, but then the rumour from the touchline was that Loughborough were 12-0 up at the break. We did all we could and piled up the points to win (by 33-15) and then it was back to the changing room. “Everyone was desperately trying to get on to the RFU web site to find out Loughborough’s result when Matt came trotting in with a big grin on his face. They’d lost 19-12. Let’s just say the return coach journey was a lot of fun.” So it should have been – I’m reliably informed that the Ashby bar was well and truly drunk dry before their departure. McDowell has seen a dramatic change since the return of Laventure and Albinson: “The numbers at training have grown week-on-week and we now train as an entire unit, not just as a team, with the Colts involved as part of a whole club approach. Thankfully staying up will help with player retention.“

By the way, they plan to make a big effort for the World Cup too, with a big screen for the games and barbecues in the offing, so get yourself down to the clubhouse for the perfect place to watch England storm to victory (hopefully). Oakham have had a so-so season in my opinion. The RFU transferred them from the North to the South of their league and as president Keith Crellin said: “We were a little nervous as we were led to believe that this division was much stronger than the North.” It is. Yet they have held their own for a creditable mid-table finish with some early victories giving them confidence. As Crellin passes on the responsibility of the presidency I asked for his personal highlights of the season. “I was particularly pleased to see the Colts breaking through into the first team,” he said. One of those Colts - young Callum Crellin – surely makes him burst with pride for obvious reasons, although he’s too

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A rather more salubrious setting for our press conference this month, swapping Oadby Town’s coffee and chocolate digestives for wine and canapés in Leicester Cathedral. We were here for the launch of ‘Kings of the North’, a pre-season tournament between Tigers, Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons to take place during the World Cup. The unusual choice of venue is down to the PR team behind Richard Cockerill tying in the kings theme of the new competition to the recent re-burial here of his namesake. A ruthless leader who stops at nothing to get his way – and then there’s Richard III. With an impressive grasp of history, Tigers chief executive Simon Cohen expanded the theme by noting that Richard had battled the Lancastrians (Sale) and that this was the opportunity to avenge the treachery of Northumberland (Newcastle) at Bosworth Field. The promotional video – which you can view at www.kingsohenorth. net – was plainly edited at Welford Road. It features all three teams of course, but includes five tries by Tigers whilst Sharks and Falcons, between them, manage to score, err... none. Cockerill summed up the appeal: “The start of the season is an exciting part of the year for rugby coaches, players and supporters. Everyone always wants to get the league season off to a good start and the Kings of the North provides a perfect opportunity to get a run of games together ahead of kick-off in the league campaign.” Doubtless it will also be a chance for the younger players to show what they can do in the absence of so much of the first team on World Cup duty. But back to this season, and Cockerill remains defiant following the chastening defeat by Saracens. “We’re hanging in there and still in the mix. The boys are showing great spirit,” he said. “It’s easy to be a player when everything’s going well but now we’re seeing what they’re really made of.” Certainly Tigers are trying everything to qualify, including eliciting the support of cathedral canon Peter Hobson who gamely put on a Tigers shirt over his dog collar. Divine intervention isn’t needed quite yet, but they will need to win their remaining three fixtures to be involved in the play-offs.

discreet to mention it and gives equal billing to cohorts Nick Houghton and John Mitchell. Crellin continued: “It’s a credit to the club that the under 17s got through to the National Cup Midlands Division semifinal. We’ve never been that far before,” and signs off for now by saying: “It’s been an honour to serve as president. Although I’ve worked hard I’m just one of many and my thanks go to all the volunteers who make this club what it is.” Stamford College Old Boys had a reverse at Bedford Swifts by 48-20 but, back at Green Lane, got the better of Bourne by


Tigers talk


Leicester’s Richard Cockerill, Newcastle’s Dean Richards and Sale’s Steve Diamond in front of the tomb of Kind Richard III at the launch of the new Kings of the North competition

31-24. Next up was a visit to Brackley, who’d beaten them convincingly – by around 40 points – earlier in the season. Hooker and club captain John Hickman takes up the tale. “We absolutely dominated territory and possession but missed so many chances to narrowly lose 24-17. We still need just that little bit more composure, to be more clinical,” he said. “But considering how they murdered us early in the season the progress is there and plain to see. We’re training really well and are on the up – massively so.” Hickman was pleased to get a run-out for around 20 minutes after a long injury lay off.

College have had a successful cup campaign this year, too and will play Cleethorpes in the final of the Lincolnshire Cup on May 4. Another date for the diary is their President’s Day on May 16, which will see the retirement of flanker Gavin Moss after 25 years of putting his body on the line for the club. A President’s Select XV will kick off at 3pm and the more people there to give Gavin the send off he so richly deserves the better. So that’s the final rugby round-up of this season. We’ll be back in the autumn for what should be a fascinating 2015/16.

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Oaks are champions while Horseshoes just miss out BY NEIL MOVERLEY


climactic end to the season sees the Rutland Oaks (pictured) crowned as Division Two champions, securing back-toback promotions to rise from the third division to the top league in two seasons, and the Horseshoes miss out on the Division One title by three points but secure a place in the Leicestershire plate final. RUTLAND OAKS The Oaks were crowned champions of the second division with a comprehensive away win over Phoenix. Goals from Warren Ginn, Nick Pinner, Greg Topping and Sam Raybould ensured the Oaks will be joining the Horseshoes in the first division next season. However it was the hard-fought victory over second placed Forest Wanderers two weeks before that secured promotion. The mesmeric running of Lucy Ginn scoring one of the goals of the season; beating four defenders from a wide left starting position before rounding the keeper, leaving him beached on the floor, and casually knocking the ball into the open goal, was the highlight of the top of the top of the table clash. The Oaks, superbly led from the back by the captain Tracey Taylor and her able deputy Ben

Chisholm, have constantly attacked the opposition this season with a high pressure game and constant attacking purpose that saw them finish as top scorers with 53 goals this season from 20 games. Paul Willets, Ralph Avery and Suzie have rotated as goalkeeper throughout the season to ensure that Rutland have always built from a solid base. However it has often been the set piece quality provided by Warren Ginn, Gregg Topping and Charlie Hamnett that has often proven the difference in tight games. We don’t have space to mention every player who has had an impact over the season but Sam Raybould and Christine Stride

deserve special mention for their performances in a whole range of positions this year. Sam and Christine have played in nearly every position on the pitch and in too many games to mention have either popped up at the back post to score vital goals or made last ditch challenges to prevent the opposition breaking away. They have truly exemplified the spirit and attitude of the players this season and demonstrate the reason why the league title is well deserved. Next season will be the first time that Rutland have had two teams in the top division. The Oaks will have no fear next season having run Market Harborough close (who finished third in the top division) in a cup quarter-final and are looking forward to an inter-club derby. LEICESTER PLATE SEMI-FINAL With the disappointment of finishing second in the league so fresh, the Horseshoes were provided with an opportunity to reach a cup final and a chance to play for some silverware in the last game of the season. Phil Ash called for a big performance and the Horseshoes duly obliged, sweeping aside Leicester Thursday B 9-0 to set up the final against Welford as the last game of the season.


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The season gets into full swing

Nico Morgan


he month kicked off with the Belvoir Point-to-Point at Garthorpe where a huge crowd turned out, despite some of the most horrific weather we have seen so far this year, with massive gusts of winds threatening to pull the trade stands down. However, that didn’t dampen the spirits of the 106 entries who contested the seven races. It wasn’t great day for the bookmakers as all the favourites romped home to victory. The mixed open race went to John Russell, riding Gunmoney for his tenth win. He is looking forward to coming back to Garthorpe for the Pytchley meet soon. Alex Vaughan-Jones took the restricted race with Fearthedark, surviving a nearmiss at the last on the seven-year old to take the spoils. That same weekend Burghley Pony Club ran its very popular Senior Hunter Trails, with nine different classes; it too suffered with the same weather as Garthorpe. There were a few that decided the weather was too much for them and opted for one class and then a quick dash home. Burghley members fared well; Alice Edwards was one of the best of them with a win in class five. Local rider Georgie Fenn also romped round for her first win on her


John Russell riding Gunmoney at Belton

own horse Robbie. Georgie is about to bare it all for a naked calendar in aid of the region’s air ambulance, so please dig deep for that later in the year. Geoff Bridges from Thornhaugh managed to tick one off the bucket list by getting his first picture and write up in the Horse and Hound (April 2). Unfortunately it was a photo of his rider-less horse Eeyore completing the Fernie Team Chase without him. Geoff even told me he watched him divert up hills to follow his new found friends in the race! He did however make a up for it, as

the next week he went on to finish his first point-to-point at Thorpe, in the South Nott’s Hunt Challenge, and he finished a very respectable sixth place overall. Jump Cross has also made a good start to the season already having run two competitions, and with 90 entries at the last show it is proving to be ever-popular. Group 2 is looking the most competitive at the moment with both Vanessa Lowther and Margo Sly having a win and a second place apiece. It looks to be an exciting duel to watch with another four rounds planned. The sun beamed down for Belton Horse Trials in April, and yet again it had to ballot most classes due to the increasing popularity. With horses doing something in nearly every ring at all times there was at least a thousand horses and riders taking part in some kind of discipline, with something for every taste, from unaffiliated dressage to inter hunt relays to the big boys contesting in the CIC3* as a final warm up for Badminton. Oliver Townend won the CIC2* with a convincing lead over fellow Brit Tom McEwen. The hotly-contested CIC3* was a real international affair with only one Brit in the top 10; Kitty King in third place. The USA’s Clark Montgomery took the coveted Grantham Cup, beating Australia’s Bill Levett into second spot.

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