Meet yoga sensation Cat Meffan Try a chocolate making masterclass Hot fashion trends for summer Pick the right protein bar for you Over 50? How to take up cycling An A to Z of local cricket
I S S U E 8 3 | M AY 2 0 1 9
Stride, march, tramp, pace or plod!
! E E R F
A special issue featuring our best walks in the region
w w w .t h e a c t i ve m a g . c o m
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E-BIKE DEMO DAY Saturday 25th May 2019, 10am-4pm Rutland Cycling Whitwell Come along and test ride over 40 electric bikes from all the best brands at our E-Bike Demo Day Book your free place online at www.rutlandcycling.com/events
The UKâ€™s No.1 Electric Bike Shop
12 stores open every day at:
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Rutland Water | Peterborough | Cambridge | Grafham Water | Pitsford Water | Nottingham | Newport Pagnell | Leicester2019 | Milton Keynes2019
Publisher Chris Meadows email@example.com Editor Steve Moody firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy editor Mary Bremner email@example.com Production editor Julian Kirk firstname.lastname@example.org Art editor Matt Tarrant email@example.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Jeremy Smithson-Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Chauhan firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial and advertising assistant Kate Maxim email@example.com Accounts firstname.lastname@example.org Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789
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E DI TO R ’ S L E T T E R
“Over the years we have featured hundreds of walks, provided by traipser-in-chief Will Hetherington” WHEN I WAS a kid, I used to dread that phrase “we’re going for a walk”. There’s nothing more dull and pointless than traipsing through the countryside for no other reason that traipsing through the countryside. I know for a fact this is still a position held by many, because when I utter this line my own kids react like I’ve just cancelled Christmas. My eight-year old son, who’s prone to over-dramatising situations, once completed an entire stroll around our village with a protesting Post-It Note stuck to his forehead which announced “this walk is rubbish”. But at some point though, your opinion of walks changes. I think it might be in your twenties when you realise that pubs could be involved in the whole process, either at the beginning, middle or end, or all three. The walk then becomes a facilitator of other fun activities. As you get older still, you realise walks are fabulous things that allow you to get out in the fresh air, see the world around you, keep ﬁt, go to the pub (again) and also provide a perfectly wholesome excuse for not washing the car, or mowing the lawn, or any of those other dreadful chores. Nobody ever suggested taking the family on a healthy walk and was told they couldn’t because the garden fence needed creosoting. A good walk trumps all. Over the years we have featured hundreds of walks, provided by traipser-in-chief Will Hetherington, and in this issue we celebrate some of the best... a Will’s Walks ‘greatest hits’. And they are all archived online at www.theactivemag.com. Also, at the end of the month is the Rutland Walking & Cycling Festival (ww.activerutland. org.uk/walkingandcycling). I’m thinking of taking my son along. So if you see a grumpy boy with a sticker on his head, come and say hello. Enjoy the issue
Steve FIND US ONLINE
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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I S SU E 83 / M AY 201 9
13 WHAT’S ON
Great local events for all the family
15 FOOD & DRINK
We make our own chocolate treats
Yoga and wellness blogger Cat Meffan
Special focus on the Test Valley
26 THE FINISHING TOUCHES This season’s key looks
28 BEST FOOT FORWARD
Our round-up of the best local walks
Update on our Guide Dog puppy
ACTIVE BODY 41 NUTRITION
Choose the right energy bar
45 WOMEN’S HEALTH
Dealing with the menopause
47 SPORTS BASH
Details of the sporting fund-raiser
48 SCHOOL NEWS
Local achievements highlighted
51 MARTIN JOHNSON
More wry observations
Updates from local sports teams
55 ON YOUR BIKE!
A great local training route
56 YOUR CHALLENGES Updates on adventurers
58 THE ROUND-UP
How our teams are faring
20 May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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S H T N O M 3
T N E D STU
S S A P R E SUMM e e f g in in jo o n 4 s e s 4 gym 4 clas
*Terms & conditions apply. Valid student ID must be shown to receive 3 month student direct debit membership. Available1st May - 30th June 2019.
CATMOSE SPORTS CENTRE Huntsmans Drive, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6RP 01572 490 030 firstname.lastname@example.org find us online: www.sll.co.uk catmose sports.indd 1
ActiveLife Make delicious chocolate truffles | Enjoy walks (and pit stops) locally Garden design tips for urbanites | Spend time in beautiful Hampshire Fashion tips from local couturier Anna E DI T E D BY M A RY B R E M N E R
Meet yoga teacher and wellness blogger Cat Meffan p.18
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Peterborough Cathedral to host photo masterclass PETERBOROUGH CATHEDRAL is hosting an advanced photography masterclass led by Adrian Stone on August 16. This will give the chance to pick up some excellent photography tips all within the cathedral. You will be able to climb to the upper level to photograph the lower levels as well as see parts of the cathedral that aren’t normally open to visitors. Bring your own camera. £60 or £48 for students. www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk
SHOP OF THE MONTH
Keals, Market Harborough
EALS HAS RECENTLY expanded and moved to larger premises at Printers Yard on Goward Street in Market Harborough. This means it is now manufacturing and retailing on the same site. The brainchild of Hayley Battison, whose background is retailing,
and her partner Eric Keal, who is an engineer, they started the business in 2014. They make large bespoke commissions including garden structures, one of which has been used for an outdoor venue for weddings, as well as much smaller one-off pieces that they sell in the shop and smaller bespoke commissions as well. “Basically we take something that was destined for the scrap heap and turn it into something beautiful,” said Hayley. The duo make lots of industrial lighting, turning things such as a vintage pressure cooker into a lamp, and vintage hand tools into candlesticks. Lampshades are another speciality, and they will make one for you if you supply them with your own materials. Everything they sell is Fairtrade, and environmentally friendly. They have cushions and throws made out of plastic and are free from dust mites so are great for people with allergies, and because the padding is plastic they can be left outside and won’t rot. They have handbags made from recycled leather as well as beautiful candles. Pop in and have a look at what they have on offer – you’ll be fascinated. www.keals.net
40 women needed SING FOR LIFE is launching this month and is looking for 40 local women – with varying ranges of singing experience, including none – to rehearse over 10 weeks culminating in a charity concert on Saturday, July 20, in support of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. The project aims to make singing inclusive and accessible to all women. And it will also be fun, giving you the chance to meet people you would never normally have met. Those who took part last year can’t recommend it enough. The first sessions will be held at the John Mansfield campus in Peterborough on May 9 from 5.30-9.30pm and May 11 from 2-4pm. No singing experience is necessary, just a willingness to get stuck in and give it a go! To find out more and to register an interest call 01733 425194 or email email@example.com
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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PHOTO: MATTHEW ROBERTS
The Archbishop and an app
HE ARCHBISHOP OF Canterbury, Justin Welby, recently visited Peterborough Cathedral to help launch a reality trail app. Visitors can download the free app to their mobile and then explore the cathedral using visual recognition to find the
trail’s stops. Each stop offers snippets of information about the cathedral and its history as well as games and puzzles. To download the app go to the Apple Store or Google Play and search for Gamar Ltd; then look for the Peterborough Cathedral Trail to download.
Luxurious little hampers THE LITTLE HAMPER Company, a small, luxury gift box company that makes hand-packed hampers in Lincolnshire, has launched a range of stunning wedding hampers. They use quality local products and contents can include keepsakes such as photo frames and jewellery or delicious fancies and tipples. They have many different hampers, with differing themes, and will also make bespoke ones for customers. Prices start at £30 while the wedding hampers are £70. www.littlehamperco.com
Sign up for a virtual triathlon Undercover barbecues GAVIN MOSS WAS asked to make a smoker out of an oil drum for a friend and it was such a success that he ended up making minibarbecues, smokers and fire pits for people. But he didn’t stop there. Bourne-based Gavin expanded to making full-sized barbecues, beer
chillers and holders. And now he has gone the whole hog and is making barbecue shacks – this is a space that frames the barbecue area, providing shade from the sun or, more likely in this country, shelter from the rain. This triumph of bespoke British manufacturing and manual ingenuity is environmentally friendly, using upcycled materials, including oil drums, and can be made exactly to your specifications. www.barbecueshack.co.uk
BARNARDO’S, THE CHARITY that supports vulnerable youngsters, is launching an iTRI challenge. Starting on June 1, fund-raisers will be challenged to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and run 26.2 miles in a virtual triathlon to be completed within a month. Participants can complete the distances in their own time, at their own pace, anywhere in the UK, all in one go or over several days. Registration is free and you can sign up now at www.itri.barnardos.org.uk.
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Plus Inﬂatable Assault Course Climbing Wall Human Demolition Football Shoot Out
Face Painting Mobile Caving Experience Golf Challenge Bungee Run
‘BatFast’ Cricket Simulator Archery
A traditional coaching inn Dating from the 17th century, with an open fire, flag-stoned floors and family hospitality, in the heart of a picturesque village, the Collyweston Slater is cosy and welcoming. Great locally-sourced food is our passion, accompanied by real ales and fine wines, and superbly attentive customer service. Only three miles from Rutland Water, there are plenty of comfortable seating areas where you can put your feet up after a day’s activities, and even bedrooms too for those travelling from further afield. With free wifi and easy parking, we’re also a convenient stopover for business clientele and only a few minutes’ drive from the A1 at Stamford, and close to Peterborough, Leicester and Corby too. Open: Mon-Sat 12-11pm | Sun 12-9pm Food: Mon-Sat 12 - 2:30pm & 5:30 - 9pm Sun 12 - 5pm
collywestonslaterpub.co.uk 01780 444288
Rutland & Stamford Mercury
Great things to see and do in the region
PORTS BASH, RUN by ex-England cricketer Dean Headley, is being held on May 31 at Ketton Sports and Community Club in aid of the Matt Hampson Foundation. Starting at 11.30am there will be plenty of entertainment and the chance to see ex-cricket internationals joining four teams for some exciting cricket. Tickets are £10 with under 6s free. A discount code – SBK25 – offering 25% off each ticket is available for the first 500 tickets bought. www.dcrevents.co.uk Oundle Vintage Festival takes place in the town centre on May 18 from 10am to 4pm. The streets will be filled with antique and vintage stalls, as well as a fairground, classic cars and bikes, and lots of food stalls. Entry is free. www.oundlevintagefestival.co.uk Easton on the Hill’s gala weekend runs from May 23, kicking off with a beer festival, to May 27, finishing with a pet show and fete. There is something for everyone over the five days with events being held in tandem with the Blue Bell pub. Events range from Easton’s Got Talent to the barmy Easton Horse Trials. www.eastononthehill.com
Castle Bytham’s The Chase will take place on June 22. This fun but challenging 5k starts at 10am. All abilities are welcome, including dogs! There will also be entertainment for everyone with open gardens, antiques and live music. Early bird entries (before June 15) are £8, children under 11 run free if with an adult. www.entrycentral.com and search for Castle Bytham Chase The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials box office is now open for people wishing to buy tickets, including membership passes. There are significant savings to be had for those buying advance tickets for the event, which takes place on September 5-8. www.burghley-horse.co.uk Rockingham Horse Trials are taking place
from May 17 – 19 and one of the sponsors, estate agents King West from Stamford, will have a stand there. Pop in and say hello, they can offer some great advice about marketing your house. www.kingwest.co.uk www.rockinghamhorsetrials.com Althorp Food Festival takes place on May 11-12. There will be more than 100 diverse and inspiring food stands as well as masterclasses and demonstrations including ones from JeanChristophe Novelli and Ken Hom. As well as food there will be live music, falconry displays, book signings and a new Animals of Althorp exhibition to enjoy. www.spencerofalthorp.com It’s gardens galore this month for the National Garden Scheme, including open gardens at Westbrook House in Little Bowden, Burrough Hall and two gardens in Grimston. www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden The Old Rectory Gardens in Sudborough are now open for the season, opening every Tuesday and Thursday until the end of September. There are many new features to enjoy as well as regular events including a gardening masterclass run by the head gardener and a pop-up restaurant from July 15-21. www.theoldrectorygardens.co.uk
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Chocolate heaven Mary Bremner and the Active girls try their hand at making chocolate truffles
HOCOLATE TRUFFLES ARE one of my favourites. It’s all very well eating them, but what about making them? The Active girls and I were going to try our hand at just that. Stamford Heavenly Chocolates is Barbara Farrow’s company situated just off the Stamford junction of the A1. It’s at the first (or last) farm you see as you head into Stamford down St Martin’s. Barbara set up the company three years ago, morphing it from the Stamford Cupcake Company which she ran for many years. At one point she was running both, but chocolate has taken over. You can pop into her shop to buy truffles, chocolate bars and everything chocolatey, but you can also join one of her workshops and make your own. Barbara runs workshops throughout the year which are very popular so you need to book. She’ll also cater for private parties of eight or more people and you can be anything from 18 months to 80. Prices start at £16 a head for a 90-minute workshop and £22 for the two-hour workshop making ganache truffles which is what we were going to do.
We arrived, donned our aprons and had a cup of tea while we listened to Barbara extolling the virtues of chocolate truffles and how to make our own. She only uses Belgian chocolate, and the 15 shells in front of us, plain, milk and white chocolate were waiting for us to get creative. First of all we added dry ingredients, such as salt, orange peel, cherries or nuts before piping in warmed ganache (chocolate and cream). We had lots of different flavours on offer including Baileys, strawberry and orange, as well as caramel, and could pick whatever we wanted. Once we’d filled the truffle shells we piped more chocolate on the top to seal them before letting them cool. Warmed chocolate was then put in heated pans – and yes I did dip my finger in, how could I resist? Once the chocolates had cooled
we dropped them in the pan to cover them in chocolate before placing them on greaseproof paper to harden. And then it was the pièce de résistance – decorating them. I have always admired the lattice patterns on chocolate and had no idea how it was done – well, now I know! We would all thoroughly recommend one of Barbara’s workshops. They are great fun, you learn something, get creative, and we all found it to be a very mindful occupation, even though we all approached it quite differently. It has to be said making truffles is very therapeutic; you have to be in the moment and concentrate. And best of all you leave with 15 chocolate truffles, lovingly made and packaged by yourself. Eating – and sharing – them was all the more enjoyable because of it. www.stamfordheavenlychocolates.co.uk
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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WE CAN HELP YOU! Ideas, Inspiration and Individuality. Oh, and more plants than you ever dreamed of...
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New Builds • Commercial Sites • Established Gardens 26 MAIN STREET, EDMONDTHORPE, LEICESTERSHIRE, LE14 2JU E TERESA@VIRIDISDESIGN.CO.UK T 07726 334 501
Gardens for urbanites This month garden designer Teresa Kennedy concentrates on town gardens
DESIGN AND develop lots of town gardens, all being similar because they are urban, but hugely different. Town gardens need to be multi-functional, incorporating several features, but keeping the look seamless.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Furniture is critical – it’s just as important as planting. We’ve been encouraged to bring the inside out and treat our gardens as an outdoor room. Yes, this is excellent, but it doesn’t mean that you have to use the same furniture. Appreciate the outside as being part of your home but don’t lose its individuality. Celebrate its differences and try to choose furniture that suits your space. You will want to relax, eat, drink and socialise out there, so pick your pieces to suit your needs. Lighting is the most difficult element to get right because you can overdo it. Soft lighting is always a good choice; at the end of the day we want to relax so soft is ideal. But consider uplighting as well. It works brilliantly with features; plantings and sculptural design. And look at downlighting too. It’s great for outdoor eating and socialising, and keeps your space feeling private.
The basis of your look, but plantings are also vital to counteract noise pollution.
N AT U R E
The garganey UNLIKE MOST WILDFOWL whose numbers locally are highest in autumn and winter as they migrate from northern and eastern Europe to find milder conditions, the garganey is a summer visitor. Its old name was the ‘summer teal’ because of its size and time of appearance. Garganey winter in west Africa, south of the Sahara. Britain is at the northern limit of their breeding range and fewer than 50 pairs usually nest here. In Rutland they are mostly seen between March and May and again in the autumn between August and October.
Don’t be afraid to go large and incorporate height, large leaf sizes and multi-stem forms. Make sure there is an evergreen backbone to keep your space delivering throughout the seasons. Grass or not: the beauty of a lawn is the vibrancy of its colour; it’s the perfect backdrop, but it doesn’t suit every garden. Grass can be neat, messy or wild. It will adapt easily to your design and I encourage you to consider its merits before discarding it. In contrast, hard landscaped gardens are totally beautiful and suit many styles - think Mediterranean. Grass, and hard landscapes suit traditional as well as modern styling and with creative design you can create a textured finish. Screening: don’t be defined by your boundaries. Of course you will have some,
probably fencing. Screen with planting. Go above the height, you don’t have to stop at 5ft. Good planting choices will be appreciated by your neighbours. Screening doesn’t have to be just plants, it can be about distracting from the boundary: hooks, hangers, shelves, mirrors, wall-hung lighting, art, colour. Child-friendly: it’s incredibly easy to keep children occupied when they’re in the garden. Wild areas, hidden paths, raised areas such as a boardwalk or tree platform, even build an outdoor kitchen. You don’t need to fill your space with toys, use the outdoor space to create the play.
Contact www.viridisdesign.co.uk | 07726 334501
The lagoons at Egleton and Eyebrook are the regular sites for this attractive duck. They dabble in the weedy shallows, feeding on invertebrates, tadpoles and small fish. Water plants are also eaten. There have been few confirmed breeding records in Rutland with single pairs at Eyebrook in 1948 and Rutland Water in 1983. On autumn migration one or two have been seen at Fort Henry Ponds. In breeding plumage the striking male is easily recognised by a broad white stripe extending over the eye and back to the neck. The greyish flanks are in marked contrast to the brown breast. As with other ducks the female is duller, a mottled brown, with a paler breast. Terry Mitcham
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Meet Cat Meffan Mary Bremner meets yoga teacher and wellness blogger Cat Meffan and her dog Simba Active: Can you tell me what your job entails? Cat: I have been a wellness blogger for six years, starting out with my blog ‘imperfect matter,’ which helped me motivate myself and got me back into a wellness state of mind. It grew from there and I now have a YouTube channel with 87,000 followers. On this I do free yoga tutorials, along with creating other wellness content such as recipes, recommendations and videos talking about mental health. I feel it’s important to give something back, hence the free tutorials, as traditionally you never paid to do yoga. It used to be a form of free enrichment in India. Since launching my own online yoga membership platform, I now do two free tutorials a month. All the ﬂows are on my site so anyone from beginner to experienced practitioner can ﬁnd something to suit them. My mum is my biggest fan and does yoga every morning; I’m working on my father but haven’t been successful yet! I also teach classes in London and have private clients, particularly in Stamford.
How did all this come about?
I have been a gymnast since the age of 5 and had dreams of competing at the Olympics. At the age of 14 I started dancing – ballet and street dance – so planned to go to a dance college. A week before the auditions, at the age of 17, I snapped my anterior cruciate ligament and had a knee reconstruction. Because of this, and my hypermobility, I was told I’d never dance again and possibly end up in a wheelchair suﬀering from arthritis. So that was that. It left me feeling very bitter and unhappy and as someone who was already struggling with body image and eating disorders, this news only made it worse. I had to rethink my whole life so ended up as a PA in Bond Street working for a private equity ﬁrm, which I loved as I met some very
interesting people. I then moved into fashion PR working in jewellery for the likes of Links and Garrard. My father is a goldsmith and I had designed pieces for him so I was in an industry I knew a lot about. But I still loved movement and ﬁtness and was keeping ﬁt, mainly to control my weight, which wasn’t the healthiest of reasons, initially. At the age of 26 I decided that I hated working at a desk; it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had been practising yoga for a few years as a hobby, so decided to train as a teacher. I never thought I would teach it, it was just a way of learning more about it and sharing my knowledge; I was also putting it on my blog and on social media. Adidas contacted me out of the blue asking me if I would teach some sessions at a pop-up they were hosting. I had just ﬁnished my training, and literally a week later I ran six sessions for them and got the bug.
You have a huge presence on social media; how did you build your following?
Three years ago I took my teaching to YouTube and started using Instagram when it ﬁrst launched. I realised that people liked looking at images and reading shorter captions, rather than reading blogs, so documented my own ﬁtness – and my jewellery – to start with. I also reviewed ﬁtness gear and published recipes. I had got to 5,000 followers, and still had a full-time job, when Nike invited me to a press weekend event. I wasn’t sure they had the right person when they asked me! After this I was approached by Sweaty Betty who paid me to do a blog post, which was really exciting. After this other brands started to take notice and it grew from there. It was a hard graft but I loved it. I was basically running an online diary. I was able to go part-time in my job and then four years ago left to work for myself.
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Active life You have over 137,000 followers! What next?
Yes, it’s amazing. Followers from all over the world. I was at Sydney Opera House a few years ago and someone recognised me! I am stopping my classes in London and will be holding retreats and workshops all over the world in the next year. I’m a bit of a nomad and have planned to travel a lot in the next year holding events in Mexico, Portugal, Bali and Sri Lanka, as well as other places. My retreats are fully booked already, but I’ll be announcing more soon. I love meeting new people and visiting new places.
What is the difference between a retreat and a workshop?
Workshops are three-hour sessions. I usually hold them over a weekend and people can dip in and out of the sessions as they like. Retreats can be up to five or six nights, in a villa or house that I will find either online, through a recommendation, or while travelling. I run three-day ones in the UK and six-night ones abroad. I pick the location, plan the menus, everything; I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to retreats! I hold them for between 14 and 18 people and run four or five a year.
Do you have many men doing yoga?
Yes, they have been joining my power classes in London. I haven’t had any at retreats yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long. Yoga is becoming much more popular with men. Rugby and football players are embracing it, it’s very much on the up. As I said I’m trying to get my dad involved; but not with any success yet!
Do you miss being at home in Stamford? Yes, I miss my own herbs and spices in
particular. I also miss the routine of going to the gym regularly and catching up with friends. When I’m at home in Stamford I’m a regular at Fusion 3 Fitness and have massages with Jonny Hands of Inner Body Balance Massage Therapy, who helps ease the knots in my muscles. I came to Stamford through my partner at the time’s work. We loved Stamford and quickly settled here. I like that it’s a small friendly town, but near enough to London and airports so I don’t get cabin fever!
I’m quite surprised to hear you go to the gym. Is yoga not enough, do you do that daily?
Wherever I go, my yoga mat goes too. I practice daily, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. I will do my handstand and inversion training and stretching and breathing. It’s a mindset really and helps with my mental health. I love to do it outside, hence the retreats in warm countries! I initially came to yoga for the physicality of it, but now it’s more for my mental health. I go to the gym to work on my cardio and strength training. Yoga works your upper body a lot, and you do much more pushing than pulling. So at the gym I will cross-train and use weights.
You are incredibly bendy! Some of the movements you do seem to me to be physically impossible; how do you manage it? Strength and no fear. Remember I have spent most of my life upside down being a gymnast. I am also hyper-mobile, giving me a greater range of movement, so can do stuff that some people will never be able to do as I am very flexible. This does mean that I am prone to injury so need to keep my muscles supple. I’ve learnt to be kind to my body and listen to it.
Being so active on social media, do you come across any negativity and how do you guard your privacy? I am honoured to be able to teach yoga, and I think people can tell this and appreciate that I offer a free service. And I have the loveliest followers, it’s very rare I have to block anyone. I used to post twice daily but now am happy to take a day off and switch off. I have learnt to strike the right balance. I write about wellness, so I practise what I preach. If I have nothing to say I won’t post. I’m also careful to not always have my phone with me, and to turn it off.
Are you careful who you endorse?
Yes, very. I turn down about 90% of approaches. All products must be cruelty free and, where possible, vegan. The active wear market is huge now with new brands popping up all of the time. Social media has many blurred lines still, but consumers are savvy and can read between the lines. I think it’s important to be true to your self.
Tell me about Simba who often appears in your feed.
He’s a husky crossed with an akita that we rescued a year ago. He’s 18 months old and I miss him terribly when I’m away. I’m going to take him down to The Meadows for a run shortly.
How do you do your filming?
I do most of it myself – it’s not at all glamorous! I either use a self-timer for the photos or prop my phone up in my trainer, or I will rope a friend in to help. I used to feel a bit self conscious walking down the road chatting into my phone for the vlogging, but now it’s second nature.
Where’s your next trip to?
I’m off to India to learn about an exciting initiative that The Body Shop is launching. Nothing to do with yoga this time, but I think it’s vital we look after ourselves, and our planet.
www.catmeffan.com Instagram: @catmeffan May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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TR AV E L
Test the water Covering 250 square miles of Hampshire, the Test Valley might not be top of your staycation destination list, but maybe it should be. Chris Meadows and his family explore the area
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ISING IN ASHE, to the west of Basingstoke, the River Test flows through Hampshire and is world-renowned for its fishing, in fact, according to Lord Crickhowell, it ‘should be treated as a great work of art or music’. Fishing wasn’t on the agenda for us this trip, but we had plenty of other enjoyable excursions lined up along its valley. Set in 14 acres of idyllic Hampshire countryside, Grade II listed Houghton Lodge sits rather grandly, and has done since 1793. Designed by John Plaw, one of the pioneers of Gothic architecture, it was originally intended as a fishing lodge and has been the home of the Busk family for more than a century. We stayed in the grounds of Houghton Lodge in the recently converted Apple Rooms, a once dormant calf byre, and based ourselves here for our stay in the Test Valley.
There are six boutique en-suite bedrooms and all offer a blissfully serene escape in the Hampshire countryside. While our six-month old son, Ollie, did his best to challenge the notion of a serene escape, the rooms are relaxing and elegant, furnished with beautiful antiques. And the roll-top bath was both practical with a newborn, and luxurious, once he’d gone to sleep. As new parents, getting away led to new challenges, but the spacious and relaxed environment was delightfully calming. Having settled ourselves into the room, we then drove 10 minutes down the road to visit Mottisfont, a National Trust property. It’s an imposing but charming building that has seen a number of transformations over the past 800 years, having started life as an Augustinian priory in 1201 before dissolution saw a number of enforced changes. Nowadays it is very much a family-friendly site, especially noticeable as we visited during the Easter holidays. There was an energetic atmosphere across the whole grounds, quite possibly due to
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Walk The Test Way Given this month is a walk-themed edition, why not walk your way around the Test Valley? The Test Way is a 44-mile walking route that has been split into eight sections. Why not try this five-mile route from Mottisfont to Romsey when you visit? https://www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/countryside/walking/ testway-mottisfont
“There are 14 acres of picturesque countryside, riverside walks, charming alpacas and a must-see topiary dragon” the egg hunt on offer for kids, and the large chocolate eggs up for grabs. There are a number of free guided walks you can enjoy around Mottisfont; we opted for the ‘Welcome to Mottisfont’ walk, which takes you around the gardens and lasts about 40 minutes, and is well worth it. As we meandered our way around the grounds with our guide, Stan, who volunteers a couple of days a week, he explained the history of the building and the grounds, along with its romantic nuances, such as the crab apple tree that, by all accounts, originated from an apple taken from the plate of French military leader, Napoleon. Stan also mentioned some recent BBC filming, so we might soon see Mottisfont on our TV screens. Before leaving, we enjoyed cream tea in the glorious spring sunshine, alongside the River Test, the ancient trees offering ample shade. After Mottisfont, we drove into Romsey, having booked an early dinner at The Three Tuns Inn. My go-to 7:30pm reservation time went out the window six months ago and we were unsurprisingly the first in the restaurant at six o’clock; but the bar area was thriving with postwork drinkers and the restaurant soon filled up. We were both very pleased with our menu choices, both opting for pub classics. Before setting off from Houghton the following morning we enjoyed the breakfast basket we’d preordered. It was already in situ upon our arrival. There’s a variety of delights to work your way through, and was a great start to the day; we’d definitely recommend trying one. Fully fuelled, we set off to the Hawk Conservancy Trust, based in Weyhill. With a 5.0 rating on TripAdvisor we were keen to find out more, well I was, but despite not being a huge fan of birds, Lucy still agreed to
come along too. As you drive up it looks impressive and the inside doesn’t disappoint either. Having stopped in the café for a quick recharge of coffee, and milk for Ollie, we headed to the vulture enclosure to watch these endangered birds being fed. The day is filled with a variety of entertainment and the trust is keen to educate in a relaxed way, with the focus on having an enjoyable day. The happy faces on all the visitors, young and old, seem to suggest this is a winning approach. The Wings of Africa display takes place in an open auditorium after the vulture restaurant display and handlers take it in turn to show off their birds of prey. Birds fly in and out of the audience and across the open field opposite; you need to pay attention as they can get pretty close. Despite thinking I’d closed up any gaps either side of me, I had one of the vultures come and sit alongside me momentarily. The display, which is stunning, aims to highlight the natural behaviours of the birds and there are a number of different species that take part. There are vultures, kite, ibis as well as Angola, the long-legged snake-killing secretary bird. The show is put together incredibly well, and despite working with birds that don’t always keep to the planned script, you get
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“We enjoyed a cream tea outside in the glorious spring sunshine, the ancient trees offering ample shade” a real sense that the birds are thoroughly enjoying themselves too. After the display it was time for the VIP Meet the Burrowers Experience – a hands-on meeting with some very inquisitive burrowing owls. Again, not ideal for the ornithophobes amongst us, such as my wife. Nonetheless, she still took part, albeit with a slightly limited engagement, also not helped by her being used as a toilet by one of the owls, Sidewinder. I, on the other hand, was striking up a new-found friendship with Sidewinder, the more adventurous of the owls on the day. He continued to fly back and forth to land on my hand. Unfortunately, this meant that the other three owls felt a little put out and so weren’t as willing to engage. Gary, who’d narrated the earlier Wings of Africa display, was also on hand with the owls. He suggested a little time out was in order for Sidewinder to allow the others some time to shine. The experience lasts about 30 minutes and is a must if you’re visiting the trust. While young children are welcome, there is an age limit, so Ollie couldn’t join us. Thankfully, marketing manager Louise was on hand to help out. We finished up our time at the trust where we started, in the on-site café, Feathers, which was bustling at lunch time, before setting off to nearby Hillier Gardens. The Hampshire County Council-owned gardens in Ampfield, named after Sir Harold Hillier, an English horticulturalist, were given to the council in 1977. We ambled around very contently. It’s a very relaxed
place and, as with Mottisfont, children are very welcome. The tea rooms at Jermyn’s House are a must too. It’s where Sir Harold planted some of his most treasured plants, and the tea and cake are on a par. We sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed the good weather. We hadn’t booked anywhere for supper and decided to try our luck with The Boot, handily just around the corner from the Apple Rooms in Houghton. It was a good decision and is easily within walking distance of the Apple Rooms. After breakfast the following morning we met Sophie Busk and enjoyed a relaxed guided tour around Houghton Lodge Gardens. The building is a fantastic example of an 18th century ‘cottage orné – or decorated cottage – and the surrounding gardens contain an enchanting walled garden with chalk cob walls, peony walk, rose arbour and orchid house. There are 14 acres of picturesque countryside, riverside walks, charming alpacas, a must-see topiary dragon and peacock garden. It was evident while walking round with Sophie of her passion for the place and her plans to make improvements, despite having already done a huge amount of work since inheriting Houghton Lodge about three years ago. It plays host to a number of weddings on the main lawn each year, and it’s clear to see why it’s such a popular venue. The lawn adjoins the flowing River Test, which ambles effortlessly around the lodge, past the summerhouse and towards the fishing hut. It’s truly stunning. Our trip, as with most of the venues we visited, finished with lunch at the café in the walled garden, where you overlook the heritage apple trees that give the accommodation their name. It certainly won’t be our last trip to the Test Valley.
For more information about the Test Valley visit: www.houghtonlodge.co.uk www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont www.hawk-conservancy.org www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens www.thebootinn-houghton.co.uk www.the3tunsromsey.co.uk www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/explore/
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Time for reflex-ion Kate Maxim tries facial reflexology for the first time at Rutland & Stamford Reflexology
’VE HAD A couple of new experiences today. First I poked my head through the gate of The Hospital of Thomas Truesdale – a row of occupied almshouses – on my way to Snowden’s Foot Clinic & Beauty Spa on Scotgate in Stamford, something I’ve been meaning to do for ages. Then I had my first session of facial reflexology. I’ve had a few foot reflexology treatments over the years and found it beneficial in all sorts of ways. I’ve never had a problem with people touching my feet, but for those who do, facial reflexology could be an ideal alternative. Estelle Allen from Rutland & Stamford Reflexology wanted to build on her skills as a reflexologist so trained two years ago in advanced facial reflexology using the Ziggie Bergman method. There are facial reflex points, just as there are points on the feet, but as they’re situated closer to the brain one of the main benefits of facial reflexology is immediate deep relaxation, which makes it ideal for conditions such as depression and anxiety, and insomnia, as well as migraines and sinus problems. Estelle practices from her clinic at home in Greetham, Michael Oldfield’s Osteopath’s Clinic in Market Deeping and also visits clients in their homes within the Rutland area. On
Wednesdays she works from Snowden’s Clinic which is housed in another row of converted almshouses. Once you walk off the street into the beautiful courtyard garden you’re in another world, and any stresses or strains start to drop off your shoulders, even before you meet Estelle, who has a very kind and reassuring manner. Using Ziggie Bergman’s zone face lift oil which contains uplifting white sage and an amethyst crystal (and smells divine), Estelle homes in on the reflex points to identify imbalances in the body, and then using small movements she works to restore balance. She picked up on tingling, ‘buzzy’ feelings through her fingers in my heart area, and quite rightly identified I was feeling rather stressed. But by the end of the treatment, Estelle ascertained those feelings had diminished. The heart area could be lighting up as a problem because I have quite high cholesterol, so it was a good identifier of something to keep a closer eye on. She picked up on imbalances in my occipital area which relates to the base of the skull where it joins the neck. Strangely, I’ve just developed a painless, but annoying, clicking in my neck. I’m hoping it will now go away. And the lymphatic area on my forehead was rather bumpy so she
suggested I should drink much more water. As well as dispelling toxins through the lymphatics for overall health this treatment also gives your complexion a healthy glow. So it balances both health and beauty - even better! Knowing that good digestion is key to optimum health, Estelle has also completed training specifically targeting the digestive system. The parasympathetic nervous system relates to rest and the digest response which we are not conscious of, and the sympathetic system relates to the ‘fight or flight’ feeling often experienced as ‘butterflies’ in the stomach. Both need to be stimulated to aid digestion. Reflexology is not necessarily a quick fix: some conditions need treating over an extended period and Estelle sometimes recommends a mixture of foot and facial reflexology. She certainly knows her subject and obviously enjoys seeing the benefits gained by her clients. There aren’t many therapists currently facial reflexology, yet. It’s a relaxing treatment in itself, and then the health benefits come into play, which is even better. I’m certainly looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Estelle Allen www.rutlandreflexology.co.uk 01572 811504
26 May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Active life FASHION
Anna Couture’s tips for what to wear this season Stamford boutique owner picks out the hot trends for summer
NNA COUTURE BOUTIQUE in Cheyne Lane, Stamford, has just celebrated its second birthday and to celebrate Anna has launched a loyalty card; get eights stamps on your card and you will receive £10 off your next purchase over £20. She’s also offering 10% discount to members of the military and emergency services. The Boutique is Anna’s original shop (she now also has Anna Couture Brides) where you can have alterations done, however simple or complicated; and where you can buy special occasion and daywear alongside prom dresses and evening dresses, as well as accessories. Pop in and have a look, she has lots to see. You can also have a bespoke garment made. We popped in to see owner Anna to ask her what the discerning dresser is wearing this season... “T-length dresses are particularly popular at the moment, ballerina style with the big skirts; think the 1950s and Dior. Laura Ashley dresses, circa the 1970s and 80s are also extremely popular. High necked, Victorian looking, similar to prairie dresses. But be warned, they look awful on the hanger so you must keep an open mind and try them on. “Colour is still very much nudes and pastels. Beige, creams, greys and pale pinks are extremely popular and suit many skin tones; soft apricots and peach as well. Interestingly, prom dresses buck the trend, red and green are the colour of choice, red in particular, and has been for a couple of years now. “Large fascinators, or hatinators as they are called, are the look for weddings, races and garden parties. Jackie O pillbox hats have become popular again, thanks to the Duchess of Sussex and Gucci, Dior and Vera Wang have reintroduced the large hairband, which the Duchess of Cambridge has really embraced. “Heel jewellery is really in, shoes, often court, have a metal heel that looks like jewellery; they really add to an outfit. Take a look at Dior who has really made this popular. Pop in and see some of the shoes that I have, you will see what I mean.” Anna Couture Boutique, 17c Cheyne Lane, Stamford, 01780 765174
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Walk this way!
Will has been writing our walks for seven years, so here’s a greatest hits of ‘Will’s Walks’ from a back catalogue of 100-plus trails – updated and with great spots to stop for a drink and some food WORDS AND IMAGES:
28 May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 036/19
WA L K 1
Stamford, St Leonard’s Priory and Uffington Stamford’s finest example of Norman architecture is a beautiful waypoint on this urban and rural ramble DIFFICULTY RATING
FROM THE CENTRE of Stamford you will need to navigate to Cherryholt Road, and at the bottom after the new houses you will ﬁnd a path running off to the left through the gate and into some grassland. After ﬁve minutes in this peaceful place you will get the best view of St. Leonard’s Priory as you approach from the riverside. (You can park in Morrison’s car park but I think this detracts from the experience.) Once you have enjoyed the atmosphere around the ancient priory, go through the gate on to the road and walk east across the south side of the Morrison’s roundabout and past the Volkswagen garage on the right before taking the track down to Hudd’s Mill on the right. Turn left at the bottom and then turn right to cross over the ﬁrst wooden bridge over the millstream. Cross over the main course of the Welland over another bridge. Head straight on and through the kissing gate approaching the railway, but turn left on to the path in the woods before you get to the railway. From here stay on the track, also the Torpel Way, for a mile. Down this peaceful natural corridor, with trees meeting overhead, you will see Woodland Welcome signs on your left. This means the owner permits people to wander around the
newly-planted woodland down by the river. You will eventually reach the road just south of the stone bridge over the Welland. Cross the bridge and walk up the hill in to Ufﬁngton. Walk through the village on the pavement by the side of the main road, but make sure you stop at the wonderful Bertie Arms for refreshment! After the Bertie Arms walk west almost all the way out of the village and just after the layby on the right you will see the footpath sign leading down a track to the right just before a bungalow. Head down here and then stick on the path over some exposed farmland with great views all around for a good mile before the path turns left and heads west towards Cobbs Nook Farm on the Newstead Road. Follow the path around the ﬁeld edges and when you reach the bridleway turn left and walk down Newstead Road for 100 yards. Then turn right and over the stile in the hedgerow to bring you on to the meadows with stunning views over Stamford beyond. You are now on the Macmillan Way and you will follow it downhill and south west, over the River Gwash and beyond until you reach a track which heads up on to Ryhall Road. Turn left at the top of the track and this will take you back into Stamford town centre.
Essential information Where to park: You can park anywhere convenient for Cherryholt Road in Stamford. Distance and time: Seven miles/two and a half hours. Highlights: St. Leonard’s Priory, the River Welland, Uffington village and the views of Stamford near the end. Lowlights: There’s half a mile or so on the footpath by the busy road in to and through Uffington but it’s not too bad. Refreshments: The Bertie Arms in Uffington, and take your pick in Stamford. Difficulty rating: Four paws. This is a fair distance and it’s up and down near the end. The pooch perspective: The dogs will love this walk, particularly down by the river.
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WA L K 2
Castle Bytham to Lobthorpe Open fields, wild deer and plenty of contours make for a cracking walk
PARK SOMEWHERE NEAR the pond in Castle Bytham and walk north along Glen Road until you reach the brown Recreation Field sign which also says ‘permissive footpath’. Contrary to your OS map this is the start of this walk as the path no longer exists and starting at this sign is far easier. Head through the ﬁeld and uphill out of the village on the path which goes west until reaching Morkery Lane and turns north-west across the ﬁelds passing Angel Wells Farm. It was here that we watched a herd of fallow deer move through the ﬁelds 100 yards to our right – always a pleasant sight. Stay on the path as it undulates through another four ﬁelds with some heavy underfoot conditions, before reaching Tortoiseshell Wood. This is a Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reserve and makes for a decent walk in its own right. Once you have passed Tortoiseshell Wood it’s uphill all the way to Lobthorpe, which is a tiny hamlet only about one mile east of the A1. When you reach Lobthorpe at Hall Farm turn right on to Woolley’s Lane until you reach the footpath on your right which leads to Park House Farm. Take this easy track downhill to the farm and carry on straight through with the Glen Brook now on your right. You should see a few pheasants and you will soon come to the old quarry on your right which is now a series of ponds. Shortly after the ponds you reach Red Barn and a lane leading back to Glen Road. Turn right when you get to the road and head back into Castle Bytham. If you want a shorter version of this walk you can take the track to Park House Farm before you get to Tortoiseshell Wood which cuts out the Lobthorpe section. But if you do you may not work up a big enough appetite to enjoy a meal in The Castle too…
Where to park Somewhere around the duck pond. Distance and time Six miles/ two and a quarter hours. Highlights Fallow deer. Tortoiseshell Wood is a nature reserve. Castle Bytham is a fascinating village. Lowlights If it’s been wet, the fi rst half will be hard going. Difficulty rating Four paws. It’s a long way round and there are plenty of contours. The pooch perspective A good walk for the dog as it’s mostly arable farmland.
The Castle Inn On a hill overlooking the picturesque village, The Castle’s cosy bar and ample seating is a perfect spot to relax during or after a walk. It offers a wide range of food, from tapas to steaks and its infamous Castle burger, but the pies are a treat, with excellent beers and wines. 11 High St Castle Bytham NG33 4RZ 01780 411223
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The model village of Horninghold has been largely untouched in recent times and makes for a pleasant staging post
WA L K 3
Hallaton and Horninghold
I PARKED ON North End outside the Isabella Stenning cottages and walked east on to Hazel Grove to pick up the footpath which almost immediately takes you into the open ﬁelds. After the ﬁrst ﬁeld you will cross the dismantled railway and then follow the undulations up and over towards Horninghold, enjoying the view of this largely untouched model village on the approach. Just before the village you will cross two streams where the dogs can cool off and then you enter Horninghold in a farmyard. The route immediately turns north and out of the village through the farmyard but you might want to just walk up to the church to see a bit more of the settlement. Head north out of the farmyard and follow the farm track straight up and through two ﬁelds to reach Allexton Road. When you get to the road cross straight over and follow the road uphill to Fearn Farm. Turn left here and now you are on the Macmillan Way and the Leicestershire Round which will soon reveal some stunning views towards Hallaton and beyond in the south east. You will drop down from the high point quite quickly and follow the path south-east, crossing back over the dismantled railway. Then climb the hill to East Norton Road/Allexton Road junction. From here it’s just a short stroll into Hallaton
©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 036/19
This is a neat triangular walk taking in two attractive villages, some hills and a section of the Macmillan Way
Essential information Where to park: I parked on North End outside the Isabella Stenning cottages, but anyway around The Fox Inn will do. Distance and time: Three and a half miles/an hour and a quarter. Highlights: Two lovely villages, some great views and a couple of decent pubs too. Lowlights: It’s a bit on the short side but it’s worth it. Refreshments: The Fox Inn and the Bewicke Arms in Hallaton, plus the Hare Pie Café. Difficulty rating: Three paws. It’s not too long but there are some noticeable contours. The pooch perspective: You will pass a couple of streams which are handy and it’s mostly arable land so it’s a good walk for the dogs.
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WA L K 4
A classic English country walk This superb route includes a market town, three villages, plenty of hills and a good pub too DIFFICULTY RATING AS THIS IS a classic circular walk you can start and finish in Uppingham, Lyddington or Seaton and take the clockwise or anti-clockwise route. But I would recommend starting in Uppingham and taking the anticlockwise option. I think you get the best of the views this way round and you can always stop for a quick refreshment in one of the excellent village pubs if you don’t want to miss them. Park in the Market Place or on High Street East in Uppingham and take the alleyway which runs south a few doors down from the Lake Isle hotel and restaurant. Cross South View Road and the path then goes through a couple of big dippers as it leaves the town. In wet conditions this is probably the trickiest part of the walk because the hills are steep and muddy. But it should get your heart rate going nice and early on a cold day. After the two dips the path crosses the playing fields of Uppingham College and over a quiet road before entering the open country looking down at Lyddington and beyond. When you cross the stile at the bottom of the hill which brings you on to the road into Lyddington you have a
choice: you can either stay on the road into the village and enjoy what is probably Rutland’s most attractive settlement, and walk past the stunning Bede House, before rejoining the path to Seaton. Or if you are familiar with Lyddington and want to get cracking then cross the road and take the field path which by-passes the village via a couple of paddocks with a pretty stream to the right. Just watch out for grumpy horses that don’t like dogs. Both routes are charming in their own way and both will bring you to the mile and a half long path to Seaton. The path takes the low route with intriguing Prestley Hill and The Barrows to the right. With no roads in view it’s a soothing experience as you gradually approach Seaton on its hillside perch. On weekends expect to see a few other people on this part of the walk because it’s a local favourite. Just below Seaton the path joins Grange Lane which heads up the hill and joins Seaton Road at the top. Turn right here and walk into the village. Look out for the stone steps on the left which lead to the footpath further up the hill.
A warm welcome awaits weary walkers in The Falcon Hotel
If you need a refreshment stop then keep going until you get to the George & Dragon, which is a good village pub, but if not take the stone steps and follow the path up and over the hill. Once you are over the crest you can see Glaston and the A47 ahead, but the path bears downhill and to the left over the dismantled railway and towards Bisbrooke. After the old railway you will cross a stream on a footbridge before crossing another stile on the approach to Bisbrooke. I think the best way to enter any village is via a footpath and it’s no different with sleepy little Bisbrooke, as St John the Baptish Church gently hoves into view. Once you have passed the church carry on over the crossroads on to Bottom Road and pick up the path again as it leaves the village via The Inhams, a row of houses on the western edge. From here it’s straight over a hilltop and back into Uppingham. By now you will be ready for a drink and a bite to eat in any of the town’s fine hostelries. We always find The Falcon hits the mark.
Where to park The Market Square or High Street East in Uppingham. Distance and time Six and a quarter miles/two and a quarter hours. Highlights Uppingham and Lyddington are both stunning. Lowlights There are a lot of stiles on this route and some steep uphill sections. The pooch perspective Very dog friendly, with plenty of rivers to drink from. I did meet one horse in a paddock near Lyddington that clearly doesn’t like black Labradors!
The Falcon Hotel A stunning 16th century coaching inn in Uppingham’s Market Square, The Falcon offers sturdy fresh cut sandwiches and filling jacket potatoes and larger main meals ranging from fish and chips to wild boar tortellini, as well as a wide selection of restorative beers. The Falcon Hotel Market Place Uppingham 01572 823535 www.falcon-hotel.co.uk
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UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP SINCE OCT 2018
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High Street, Duddington, Stamford PE9 3QE • 01780 444 267
WA L K 5
Down by the river at Duddington This Welland Valley amble from Duddington to Ketton and back offers rural bliss and two stunning villages
PARK AT THE Royal Oak in Duddington and walk down the High Street, with its grand houses. Before the A43 and A47 both by-passed the village this was a thriving thoroughfare, but these days it is tranquil. Turn left on to Mill Street at the junction which hosts an imposing horse chestnut. Head downhill past the church and you will soon come to the mill on your left and the bridge over the Welland which marks the boundary of Northamptonshire and Rutland. Cross the bridge and take the footpath off to the right immediately afterwards. Follow the path over another fence, under the A47 and through another gate into the large grazing ﬁeld with the Welland forming one boundary. Unfortunately on the day of this walk (and presumably for most of the year) the electric sheep fence around the perimeter made it impossible for Ella to indulge in a relaxing dip in the river. But whether the dog can get in the river or not it’s a timeless rural scene and the path joins the tree line near the far corner and stays in the trees for 100 yards or so, before the left turn into another grazing ﬁeld and up to the road next door to Tixover Grange. Turn right on to the road and look out for the footpath into the ﬁeld on the left shortly afterwards. Although you
can stay on the quiet lane and you will end up in the same place just round the corner. Where the footpath rejoins the road you can take the footpath on the right to Geeston and Ketton, but I’d recommend staying on the road. By doing this you can create a loop to Ketton and back rather than retracing your steps. So stay on the road up the hill with the disused quarry on the right, follow the road around to the right and enjoy the ﬁne views across the Chater and Welland valleys on either side. The road drops down into Geeston. Because it’s such a quiet country lane there are none of the usual annoyances associated with walking along roads. You will come in on Barrowden Road. Halfway along this residential road there is a footpath on the left which was not too clearly marked when I did this walk but it’s an important part of the walk because it’s the western foot route across the railway and the Chater into the picturesque centre of
Where to park By The Royal Oak in Duddington. Distance and time Five miles/ two hours (at a good pace). Highlights Duddington and Ketton both have impressive village centres away from the main roads. Tranquil views of the Welland and Chater valleys. Lowlights Electric fence around the field near Duddington means the dog can’t get to the river. The pooch perspective The Chater and the Welland both offer opportunities for cooling off and a drink.
The Royal Oak Famous for home-cooked food, The Royal Oak boasts a fine selection of dishes, all using local ingredients wherever possible. The lunch and dinners menus are a who’s who of hearty, high quality fare: burgers, pies, curries and sandwiches.
The Royal Oak is a great place to start – and especially finish - your walk
The Royal Oak High Street Duddington 01780 444 267 www.theroyaloak duddington.com
old Ketton. It’s also a good opportunity for the dog to cool off in the river and have a drink. Follow the path and you will come out by The Railway pub, which is a friendly place for a decent pint, but is not always open during the day, so be warned! From The Railway, walk down the hill to the pedestrian and vehicle bridge back over the Chater and take the footpath up to Geeston which will you see as soon as you cross the footbridge. This path winds through the residential areas of Geeston, crosses the railway and joins Geeston Road. Turn right here and keep going straight until you see the path signposted to Tixover Grange to the right, as the road turns left towards Collyweston. From here the path traverses the Welland Valley for a mile and a half to Tixover Grange and here you rejoin the route back to Duddington and the Royal Oak.
May 2019 / theactivemag.com 35
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The George, Great Oxendon, is open throughout the day for a sandwich, light lunch or relaxing afternoon tea. And stay in one of our individually styled boutique bedrooms. Please see our website for any further information www.thegeorgegreatoxendon.co.uk
Will’s Walks Essential information
Where to park Either near the church in Braybrooke or down Oxendon Road, which is a dead end. Distance and time Three and three quarter miles/an hour and a quarter. Highlights Braybrooke is a pretty little village and this walk is a pleasant blend of open fi elds and the Brampton Valley Way. Lowlights The only trouble with the BramptonValley Way is the lack of views. Refreshments Waterloo Farm Leisure is a very pleasant holiday site with a tea room
The George Inn Featuring a traditional village bar and large patio area, with sophisticated dining in a relaxed atmosphere. Choose from seasonal dishes created with British ingredients or a fabulous light bar menu. The George Inn Harborough Road Great Oxendon Leicestershire 01858 452286 www.thegeorge great oxendon.co.uk
WA L K 6
Braybrooke & Great Oxendon Open fields, the Brampton Valley Way and Waterloo Farm holiday site make this an enjoyable walk DIFFICULTY RATING
The George Inn at Great Oxenden has some fabulous outdoor spaces to relax in
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 036/19
WHEN YOU GET to Braybrooke take Newland Street down by the side of the church and carry on to Oxendon Road, which is a dead end for motor trafﬁc. This is a farm track and you should be able to ﬁnd a parking place down on the left hand side after the last house on the left. From here walk west past one footpath on your left and over a small stream which is actually the River Jordan. You will soon come to a left turn but make sure you head straight on in to the ﬁeld. This path heads north west over ﬁelds until meeting the Brampton Valley Way. It’s an old railway which is now suitable for cyclists as well as walkers. The only problem is you can’t see much landscape as it is mostly a sunken track. However, you do have the opportunity to break out at Waterloo Farm Leisure which has a restaurant and refreshment options should you want them. As the Brampton Valley Way approaches Great Oxendon you have to make sure you branch off to the right shortly before the 400-metre tunnel. If you look at the OS map you would think the turn would be on the left but trust me it’s deﬁnitely on the right – I found out the hard way! Once you have veered off and up to the right you turn left and cross back over the top of the tunnels now on the Midshires and Jurassic Way. From here the path undulates in a north easterly direction over open ﬁelds towards Waterloo Lodge. And again, when you get to the small patch of woodland around Waterloo Lodge you have to take care and trust your sense of direction to ensure you get through this small hilltop settlement and leave on the right path, which is the Macmillan Way heading east. This drops down into a dip and goes up the other side before you take a left turn and follow the path as it ultimately drops downhill and back into Braybrooke very close to where you parked the car.
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The perfect match Our young guide dog has completed its initial training, so now it’s time to be matched with a potential new owner
HE DOG-TO-owner matching process can take some time. There is much to consider including character, temperament, lifestyle and surroundings. Each dog’s characteristics are taken into account, including their speed and personality; are they gentle or bold? It is up to the instructor to match each dog with someone they think they’ll be compatible with. The dog will meet its potential match and then they will do a walk together, seeing how they both get on. If this works they may then have a sleepover to see how the dog gets on at home. There might be other pets, or young children, for the dog to get used to. If this all works out well and dog and client are deemed a potential match the client is invited to start their five weeks of training. The first part of training is preparation which involves the client, friends and family getting ready for the guide dog. Then core skills are worked on; concentrating on guiding, handling and dog care skills. This helps develop confidence and trust in each other, building up the new partnership. This takes place over 10 days, usually in a group, so there is lots of peer to peer support. Development training is the next step. This takes 15 working days and supports the client with settling their new dog into its home and then building confidence and mobility skills. The Guide Dogs mobility trainer delivers this with frequent visits to the home during the three weeks. And then it’s exam day! Once the guide dog owner and dog have practised their routes and been closely monitored they will do a qualifying walk and be assessed by
an independent senior practitioner. This is when the guide dog graduates to a white leather harness, showing it is a qualified guide dog, as the owner and dog are now classed as a qualified partnership. The pair is now able to go out and about independently. But support doesn’t stop here. There will be regular visits for the first six months and guide dog owners will often talk about what they have been doing, and not been able to do before having a guide dog. Their lives are usually transformed. It takes six months for the partnership to fully bond so the guide dog owner is asked to pay particular attention to the environments they ask their dog to work in, being careful not to go into places with lots of other dogs, which can cause over-stimulation. Guide dog owners are ambassadors for the charity and often fund raise for it. Once the partnership has fully developed, the client will rely on, and trust their dog, and their independence will know no limits. It costs about £37,000 to train a guide dog and around £56,000 for the lifetime costs for the dog. If you would like to find out more, hold a fund-raising event or volunteer, contact www.guidedogs.org.uk or email Peterborough@guidedogs.org.uk, telephone 0345 143 0223.
May 2019 / theactivemag.com 39
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Opening September 2020 Register your interest at beauchampcitysixthform.org.uk
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ActiveBody E DI T E D BY ST E V E MO ODY
Bar presence How to choose the right energy bar for your activity, by nutritionist Dawn Revens
HE SNACK BAR market is huge and still seems to be growing. Normally I wouldn’t recommend eating any of them as even though they are often sold as a healthy snacking option, they are usually high in sugar and can therefore contribute to weight gain. That said, they can be quite useful for athletes as they offer a quick and convenient way of fuelling during training and racing. As with any manufactured food product, there is wide variation in the quality of ingredients. Make sure that you are label aware: check the ingredients list and a simple rule of thumb is to avoid bars which contain long lists of ingredients which you don’t recognise. Before buying one, think about what you are actually going to be using it for, as this will enable you to choose the right protein and carbohydrate levels to give your body what it needs to optimise your results.
Before training or racing
Sports bars eaten at this stage are usually called energy bars and they need to be easily digestible to help to top up your glycogen stores and help to fuel your muscles. You don’t have to buy a sports branded bar, a less expensive snack bar could be used – just make sure that it has a carbohydrate content on the label of at least 70g in 100g. Individuals vary in what their gut can tolerate, and this might depend on your activity. For example, many people have better tolerance to food in cycling as opposed to running. You need to experiment and ﬁnd out what works for you. For more intense workouts, you might want to avoid energy bars with a lot of cereal and ﬁbre as this might cause gastric distress. If you know that your gut can be sensitive, energy drinks might be a better option for you than an energy bar. Make sure that you test different food sources during training and before racing to ﬁnd out what best suits you. Never try new foods on race day.
During training or racing
The requirements are a high carbohydrate level which you can readily digest so your muscle glycogen stores and consequently your energy levels are maintained. This will often mean the bar has cereal or dates as its main ingredient. It will ensure you don’t ‘hit the wall’.
Once you have ﬁnished, you need to make sure that you top up your glycogen stores with bars rich in carbohydrates and provide your muscles with the building blocks they need to rebuild, such as good quality protein. Sports bars which are suitable for recovery are often called protein bars and contain a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrate to protein, which is considered to be optimal for recovery. Eating a protein bar after training or racing is better than not eating anything at all but if possible, eat real food to beneﬁt from the high nutrient content.
Using real food
Even though the food industry would have you believe otherwise, energy bars won’t enhance
your performance more than real food and they aren’t a necessary part of an athlete’s diet. In some cases, relying too much on highly processed energy bars can mean that you could be missing out on ‘real’ foods which contain nutrients that are important for good overall health. Real foods are usually more cost effective and taste much better, although this will require that you are organised. Here’s some ideas... PORTABLE TRAINING AND RACING SNACKS > Fig rolls, raisins, honey sandwich, pureed baby food in screw top squeeze packs, flapjacks. POST-WORKOUT > Chocolate milk is excellent as it contains carbohydrate and protein to help with refuelling and repair as well as electrolytes for rehydration. > Wholegrain bread spread with peanut or almond butter. > Hummus with vegetables or wholegrain pitta bread. > Homemade fruit smoothie. > Dried fruit and nut mix.
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Menopausal, not mad! Aly Dilks, divisional director - women’s health at The Health Clinic clears up some of the misunderstandings around the menopause
HE AVERAGE AGE for a woman to reach the menopause in the UK is 51, although the symptoms can start many years earlier for some. With life expectancy now at an average of 86 years, that’s a long time to be without those valuable hormones. Menopause is a normal result of the ageing process and not an illness or a disease, and every woman will go through it at some point. It is estimated that approximately 80% of women will experience some symptoms and 25% of these will describe theirs as severe and this can have a very negative effect upon their quality of life. This can impact on relationships with their partner, family and work colleagues. Taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has many health benefits as well as reducing the symptoms associated with menopause. These include protecting you against osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes and dementia. While some women have very few symptoms and their periods just stop, other women suffer a variety and many of these can be debilitating. Many women confuse their symptoms of fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, poor sleep and worsening migraines with working too hard and busy lifestyles with teenagers and ageing parents and do not consider falling hormone levels as a cause. Usually, people associate menopause with hot flushes and night sweats. However most women can cope with these symptoms. Low mood, anxiety, low self esteem, mood swings, brain fog, poor concentration, reduced motivation and low energy are all very common symptoms of the menopause and sadly many women are offered antidepressants rather than HRT by their GP for these symptoms. These symptoms can have a very negative effect for women, especially in the workplace. Falling levels of oestrogen during menopause cause the walls of the vagina to become less stretchy and lubricated resulting in painful sexual intercourse. The skin can also become more sensitive, thin, dry and itchy. It is estimated that at least seven in 10 women suffer from these symptoms. Topical vaginal oestrogen is very safe for all women and can greatly help with symptoms. There are other treatments available including NU-V laser
vaginal rejuvenation which helps with these symptoms by superficially ablating the lining of the vaginal walls to stimulate a healing response. This creates the production of new collagen and blood vessels which improves the elasticity of the walls and adds moisture to the tissues. Currently this is not available on the NHS but trials are underway which is very promising. HRT is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms as it replaces your body with oestrogen and is available on the NHS from your GP and is safe for the majority of women to take. It can be given as a tablet, gel or patch. Women who still have a womb also need progesterone and this can be given as a tablet or from a mirena coil. Sadly, many women are afraid to take HRT due to many negative reports from the media. The Women’s Health Initiative study in 2002 was incorrectly reported and many women stopped their HRT due to a fear of the link between it and breast cancer. More recent studies have shown that women who take oestrogen-only HRT (those women who have had a hysterectomy) have no
increased risk of breast cancer. Starting HRT under the age of 51 does not have an associated risk either. Lifestyle factors actually have a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer and this includes drinking two glasses of wine daily, smoking and being overweight . Women also produce the hormone testosterone but in much lower doses than men. Testosterone is available on the NHS but is not licensed and many GPs are reluctant to prescribe it. However, because it isn’t licensed, this doesn’t mean it isn’t safe. NICE guidelines recommend that testosterone can be prescribed off-licence for women with low libido who do not respond to oestrogen alone. Testosterone helps with bone mineral density, low libido, muscle tone, mood, energy and also sleep. There are so many women who are suffering unnecessarily due to a lack of knowledge and understanding around the symptoms of menopause and the benefits of HRT. My advice is not to suffer in silence or fear you are going mad – make an appointment to see your GP to discuss the possibility of starting HRT. Remember you are most likely menopausal, not mad!
May 2019 / theactivemag.com 45
45 body OK.indd 45
Peterborough We accept paymentStamford by childcare vouchers. Oakham THE PETERBOROUGH STAMFORD JUNIOR BROOKE PRIORY SCHOOL SCHOOL SCHOOL Easter Camps Easter Camps Summer Camps 8th-12th April 8th-12th April 22nd-26th July 15th-18th April (4 day) 15th-18th April (4 day) 29th July-2nd August May Half-Term Camp Summer Camps MULTI-ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS FOR CHILDREN AGED 4-14 MULTI-ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS CHILDREN AGED 4-14 th st th-19thFOR 28 -31 May (4 day) 15 July Our OFSTED registered Camps, which have been running in the area for over 25 years, Our OFSTED registeredoffer Camps, which running in child theentertained area forinover wide range of over 30 funbeen activities to keep your the 25 years, offer a wide nd th OurCamps OFSTED registereda Camps, which have been running in the area for over 25 years, Summer 22have -26 July holidays. range of over 30 fun activities to keep your child entertained in the holidays. offer a wide range of over 30 fun activities to keep your child entertained in the th July th ndcastles, of the activities that we offer include bouncy artsandand crafts, Some of the activities that we offer include bouncy castles, arts crafts, sports, sports, food making, 8th-12Some 29 July-2 August holidays. food making, crossbows, orienteering, computer games and quad biking.biking. crossbows, orienteering, games and quad th July th-9th computer 15th-19 5 August All staffand are DBS checked have the necessary experienceand and training to deliver the All staff are DBS checked have theand necessary experience training to deliver the wide range of Somewe ofoffer. the activities we offer include bouncy arts andour crafts, sports, wide rangethat of activities weon offer. We quality pride ourselves oncastles, thechildcare quality of ourand childcare nd th th th activities We pride ourselves the of our excellent staff ratios. 22 -26 July August and-16 our excellent staff ratios. games and quad biking. food making, crossbows, 12 orienteering, computer th-23 rd Peterborough Stamford Peterborough Stamford We accept payment byAugust childcare vouchers. Oakham Oakham 19 STAMFORD JUNIOR BROOKE PRIORY THE PETERBOROUGH SCHOOL THE PETERBOROUGH STAMFORD JUNIOR SCHOOL BROOKE PRIORY SCHOOL All staff are DBS checked and have the necessary experience and training to deliver the SCHOOL SCHOOL SCHOOL May Half-Termwide Camp Camps Summer Camps range of activities we offer. WeEaster prideCamps ourselves onSummer the quality of our childcare EasterSummer Camps Camps nd-26th July 28th-31st May (4 day) 15th-19th Julyexcellent July 8th-12th April and our 8th-12th April 2222nd-26th staff ratios. th April (4 day) th July-2 nd August August Summer Camps 22nd-26th July 15th-18th April (4 day) 2929th July-2nd 15th-18 8th-12th July 29th July-2nd May Half-Term Camp August Summer Camps Peterborough Stamford st May We accept payment byth July childcare vouchers. Oakham 28th-31 (4 day) 15th-19 15th-19th July 5th-9th August 9.30 am – PRIORY 4.30 pm Summer Camps 22nd-26th July JUNIOR STAMFORD BROOKE 22nd-26th July THE PETERBOROUGH 12th-16th August th-12th July th July-2nd August (early and late care available) 8 29 29th July-2nd August SCHOOL 19th-23rd August SCHOOL SCHOOL 15th-19th July 5th-9th August 5th-9th August 12thCamps -16th August Easter Camps 22ndth -26th July Easter Summer CampsCOST - £165 CAMP 12th-16th August nd th rd 29 July-2 August
19 -23 August
nd-26th July 8th-12th April 5th-9th August 8th-12th April We 22 accept payment by childcare vouchers th th th th th th th 12 -16 August 15 -18 April (4 day) 15Tel. -18 April868 (4 day) 29 July-2nd August 9.30 am – 4.30 pm01572 (early and late 304 care available) May Half-Term Camp Summer Camps Email: firstname.lastname@example.org CAMP COST £165 28th-31st May (4 day) 15th-19th July We accept payment by childcare vouchers www.churchillsummercamps.co.uk Summer Camps 22nd-26th July Tel. 01572 868 304 Email: email@example.com 8th-12th July 29th July-2nd August www.churchillsummercamps.co.uk 15th-19th July 5th-9th August 22nd-26th July 12th-16th August 29th July-2nd August 19th-23rd August th th 5 -9 August 12th-16th August
2019and late care available) 9.30 am – 4.30 pm (early CAMP COST - £165 We accept payment by childcare vouchers
Tel. 01572 868 304
Stamford School Discovery Morning
Stamford High School Discovery Morning
Stamford Junior School Discovery Morning
(Boys 11 - 18)
(Girls 11 - 18)
(Boys & Girls 3 - 11)
18 June 2019
19 June 2019
14 May 2019
To book your place, visit stamfordschools.co.uk or call us on 01780 750311
Active Kids E DI T E D BY ST E V E MO ODY
Get set for Sport Bash 2019 at Ketton NOW IN ITS seventh year, Sport Bash is a great cricketing day out for kids and adults alike, and in 2019 sees the launch of the Eastern Premier Cup in which four area teams sprinkled with test stars will compete for the top prize. Taking place in half-term on Friday, May 31, the day kicks off with the BGL Kwik Cricket Cup and Plate, with 16 local under nine club teams enjoying the three-hour festival of cricket. Included in the ticket price of £10 per person (age seven and over) are the Batfast cricket simulator, bungee run, inflatable assault course, human demolition, climbing wall, archery, caving experience and face painting – and look out for the 25% discount code online for the first 500 tickets.
Eastern Premier Cup
There will also be a new event featuring legends of the game and local stars. The Eastern Premier Cup will see the best of cricketers in four regions – Stamford, Rutland and Leicestershire, South Lincs and Huntingdonshire, playing in a competition with ex-test players including Simon Jones, Geraint Jones, Phil Defreitas, Darren Maddy, Mark Cosgrove and Alex Tudor, among others. www.dcrevents.co.uk/sportbash/
Make sure fun in the sun is safe NOW THE SUN is getting stronger, it’s important to ensure your children are protected but when it comes to sunscreen for children, there are so many choices you may not know which is the right one. Once you have the right sunscreen, follow these tips to make sure your child is protected:
APPLY DAILY Sunscreen isn’t just for the beach or warm weather. You should apply it anytime your child is going to be outdoors. Even if it’s not sunny, 80% of ultraviolet rays still get through the haze. NOT FOR BABIES Anyone six months or older needs to wear sunscreen. If your child is under six months, keep them in the shade, with a hat and clothing to cover their sensitive new skin.
AVOID SPRAY While they might be easier to apply on unwilling children, the problem with spray sunscreens is it is very hard to regulate how much you put on, and where. A two to three second spray is only the equivalent of 10-12 SPF, no matter what it says on the bottle. Also, there’s now research that claims it is not healthy to inhale, so keep it away from faces.
APPLY ENOUGH A big mistake is that some parents just don’t put enough sunscreen on their children. In general, it takes about one ounce (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to cover the exposed parts of your body. Less for smaller children. REPEAT OFTEN Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before your child will be exposed to the sun and plan to repeat the process every one to two hours, or sooner if your child has been in the water.
May 2019 / the activemag.com
47 kids opener OK.indd 47
Active Kids Tom Hattee, left, and Mary Tomblin, below, receive their grants from council chairman Ozzy O’Shea
Young athletes given scholarships 58 PROMISING YOUNG athletes from 17 sports, ranging from cycling to wheelchair basketball, have won grants as part of Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport’s GO GOLD funding programme. The aim of GO GOLD is to support talented local athletes who are being recognised by their sports’ national governing bodies as being our future Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games participants. The athletes were presented with their funding grants by the chairman of Leicestershire County Council, Ozzy O’Shea, at County Hall. The grants aim to provide valuable financial support towards kit, equipment, travel and accommodation costs for competitions and tournaments. Funding ranges from £250 to £1,000 to those athletes who are competing at regional (East Midlands), national or international level in an Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth discipline.
1,600 students run at Burghley CELEBRATED AS A major annual cross-country fixture in the Stamford Endowed Schools’ calendar, the Burghley Run was held recently, bringing more than 1,600 pupils from all three schools together at the same time. Pupils from Stamford Junior School were joined by boys and girls from Stamford School and Stamford High School, all starting and finishing in the same place with different routes designed for different age groups.
Deepings swimmers win medals Wilson wins at Road Atlanta TEDDY WILSON OF South Luffenham won the opening race of the 2019 F4 US Championship in challenging conditions at Road Atlanta. The 17-year old demonstrated impressive race craft to take the win despite coming under intense pressure in the latter stages as conditions changed from wet to dry. His comeback against the 24-strong field on the undulating 2.5-mile circuit followed a six-month break due to budget restraints. “After a long winter break with no testing and on my first time out with a new team and new local sponsors C S Ellis (Group) and Versatile Venues, it was great to pick up my first F4 win,” said Teddy.
THREE DEEPINGS SWIMMING Club members medalled at the Derventio Excel long course meet in Sheffield. A squad of 10 travelled north for the Level 1 meet, winning five medals and breaking one club record. Beth Eagle-Brown (above right) added to her collection of age-group 100m freestyle Deepings records by taking more than a second off the old mark for 16-year olds, swimming 59.56s to claim bronze. She added a second bronze in the 50m butterfly with a personal best and achieved a second PB in the 100m butterfly, finishing sixth. Tom Neal (above left) doubled up in the backstroke events with silver in the 17yrs/over 50m and bronze in the 100m. He also finished sixth in the 50m butterfly with a new PB of 27.04. Completing the medal-winning performances was 10-year old Jacob Briers, who won silver in the 10/11yrs 200m breaststroke, swimming a PB of 3:33.65. He also PB’d in the 200m backstroke, finishing sixth.
48 May 2019 / the activemag.com
48 schools OK.indd 48
Open Mornings for Open Minds Autumn 2019 Open Mornings Lower School 10+ 11+ Middle School 13+ Upper School 16+
Sat 14 Sept / Sat 5 Oct Sat 8 Jun / Sat 28 Sept Thu 19 Sept (Evening)
“A clear-eyed, energetic, forwardthinking school” - The Good Schools Guide
To book your place or to organise a visit, contact: 01572 758758 firstname.lastname@example.org oakham.rutland.sch.uk/Arrange-A-Visit
Restaurant now open to non-members Sam Sharman, former Head Chef at the Bull and Swan, and his team are delighted to welcome members and non-members for coffee and cakes, lunch, fine dining and event catering at Burghley Park Golf Club.
Contact 01780 753789 for information or to book
Free Pro lesson for new members Thinking of taking up a new sport or revisiting your love of golf? Burghley Park Golf Club is welcoming new members. Join before 30 April and enjoy a free lesson with Head Professional Mark Jackson and ÂŁ20 to spend on refreshments.
To find out more contact our Membership Secretary Sam Halifax email@example.com or call 01780 753789
Reader challenges | Local club updates | Essential sports kit
ActiveSport Oldies, but goldies
Recent events prove that age is no barrier to greatness in sport – but perhaps it has always been the way, says Martin Johnson
DAILY TELEGRAPH headline described it as ‘The Greatest Comeback Since Muhammad Ali’, which if anything erred slightly on the side of understatement. Sinking to 1,200th in the world rankings, so discombobulated by drugs he was unable to tell police who he was or where he was when they found him slumped over the wheel of his car, and a spine that left him unable to get out of bed never mind pick up a golf club, the name which springs to mind when looking for comparable comebacks with Tiger Woods winning the US Masters isn’t Ali. It’s Lazarus. However, an even bigger achievement in the 11 years he’s been without a major win is the fact that Woods has turned into a nice man. Once aloof and unapproachable, he smiles, he talks to people and even exchanges hand ﬂicks with spectators as he walks to the next tee. Before, he never so much as looked up. After he’d won, there was genuine warmth between Woods and the gathering of fellow pros queuing up to shake his hand. Woods’ victory, at the age of 43, rather overshadowed another notable sporting comeback a few weeks earlier when James Cracknell, at 46, took part in the Boat Race 13 years after the double Olympic gold medallist ofﬁcially retired from rowing. Quite how a 46-year old manages to be studying for a degree at Cambridge University (philosophy by all accounts) I’m not entirely sure, but at an age when people can get out of breath walking the dog, Cracknell managed to be on the winning crew. The previous oldest competitor (including those chaps who sit at the back doing the steering) was 35, and Cracknell popping up in the Cambridge boat was yet another example of how sportsmen and women ﬁnd giving up hard to do. And how those who do get easily bored, some, like George Best or Andrew Flintoff, hitting the bottle, others, like Frank Bruno, becoming borderline basket cases. Hence the number of comebacks. Björn Borg packed it in at 26 but, largely prompted by losing all his money in duff business ventures, he decided to have another go at a time when tennis had moved on from wooden to titanium rackets, and tight to voluminous shorts. It didn’t last long, and he packed it in again at 37. And what about Cracknell’s fellow Olympian Steve Redgrave? His was the retirement to end them all: “if you see me anywhere near a boat again you have permission to shoot me.” Rollocks? Of course it was. Before you knew it, there he was hurtling up the river again. There are some sports that don’t really qualify when it comes to judging a competitor’s
longevity. Sports that are really more like pastimes. Snooker, for example. The only time you’re in danger of burning a calorie is chalking the tip of your cue, which is how Fred Davis came to reach the semi-ﬁnals of the world championship at 64, and only ﬁnally retired (beaten 5-1 by a youthful Ronnie O’Sullivan) aged 79. Darts would also be disqualiﬁed for similar reasons, as would bowls. The bowls contestants are a lot younger now than they used to be, but the energy levels required remain about the same as is needed to remove the top from a boiled egg. When I ﬁrst went to a bowls tournament, SAGA were the major sponsors and the BBC coverage was conﬁned to afternoons only. Presumably because they thought their average viewer started making the cocoa at six o’clock. There was an American stock car racer still going at the age of 90, but we can rule him as a genuine sporting old timer on the grounds that he wasn’t required to actually stand up. You wonder how they got him out of the car. Probably with one of those cranes they use at race tracks for lifting wrecks off the track. Stanley Matthews playing football at the age of 50 was impressive, as was Martina Navratilova still competing at tennis aged 49, and Wilfred Rhodes at cricket aged 52. The oldest cricketer I ever saw was in the Stratford-on-Avon League. He was 73, and it was less like watching Michael Holding or Jeff Thomson than an elderly wedding guest throwing confetti. “Why do they play him?” I asked one of his team-mates. “Well, he won’t retire, and no-one’s got the heart to drop him,” came the reply. Golf is another sport you can play in your dotage. One of the players waiting to greet Woods when he ﬁnished at Augusta was Bernhard Langer, who qualiﬁed for the ﬁnal two rounds at the age of 61, and ﬁve-times major champion Tom Watson almost won the Open championship in 2009 (beaten in a sudden death play-off) at the age of 59. However, there is a limit to how competitive an older golfer can be because of how far they are able to hit the ball as the muscles lose their strength, and you give Martin Johnson is a up bending down to mark your ball on the journalist and author, green because you’re not sure you’ll be able to and has written for get back up again. the Leicester Mercury, Which is why Woods will one day end up The Independent, The with the best job in golf, currently performed by Daily Telegraph and Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. As a Masters’ The Sunday Times. He currently writes honorary starter, you pitch up on the ﬁrst columns for The Rugby morning, give the ball a gentle nudge down the Paper and The Cricket ﬁrst fairway, doff you visor to the cheering Paper, and has a book crowd, and return to the clubhouse for a leather out called ‘Can I Carry armchair and a dry martini. They probably get Your Bags?’ paid for it as well.
May 2019 / the activemag.com
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Whether you’re experienced or new to group cycling you’ll find our club very welcoming and friendly and we’ll have the perfect ride for you:
• The Café ride for less experienced riders or those looking for a steadier pace (and cake*) • Medium paced social rides for those looking for longer faster rides (with cake*) • Training rides for those looking to develop speed
• Time Trials where you can test yourself against the clock • Mountain bike rides for those that prefer to get closer to nature (with cake*)
julies cycles for all your cycling needs juliescycles.co.uk
Note*: cake is optional!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the website at www.veloclubrutland.co.uk or on facebook
cycling FUN starts here
0116 270 7936 JULIESCYCLES
0116 270 9094
New sponsor for netball club TFC NETBALL CLUB has announced a kit sponsorship deal with Marshall Land Rover Melton Mowbray and Canterbury, to support its thriving squads. TFC’s Premier Team compete in the England Netball National Premier Division 3, while the youth and junior sections of the club were only established in September last year and already have experienced huge success in the local leagues. The aim is to build on this by entering teams at a regional level next season. Trials for players looking to join TFC next season will be held in June. For more information, email info@tfcnetball. com or visit www.tfcnetball.com.
Shooting club launches
Two Counties Half-Marathon entries open DESBOROUGH & ROTHWELL Running Club is once again hosting the Two Counties Half Marathon & Relay. The event aims to offer an enjoyable event at an affordable price and will be held on Sunday, September 8, starting and ending in East Carlton Country Park. The fully marshalled route takes in the countryside of Northamptonshire and
Leicestershire, passing through the villages of Ashley, Medbourne, Drayton, Bringhurst, Cottingham and Middleton. The event is chip-timed and all finishers will receive a bespoke medal, t-shirt and goody bag for taking part. This year’s chosen charity is the Air Ambulance and a donation from each entry will be made to the organisation. Entries are open for the half-marathon; however, due to popular demand team relay entries are now closed. Online entries are available at www. runbritain.com or at www.bookitzone.com. Further information can be found by visiting www.drrc.run/tchm or the Two Counties Facebook page.
A NEW AIR rifle and pistol club has started in Stamford at the Borderville Sports Centre. The club, which runs sessions on Thursdays from 6-8pm, is open to all regardless of age or ability – no experience is necessary as instructors are available to help. It has equipment to use and the range for the first few nights will be set up over 10 metres. County development officer Dave Carter said: “Anyone that wants to take part in competitions will be able to do so at county and national level, and all competition cards are shot at the club and posted on to local scorers. “The sport is both an Olympic and world discipline and boasts a local Olympic and world champion in Barry Dagger.” The club came about through councillors attending a disability day run by the rotary club in Stamford. The initial costs have been supported through a grant from the council. For more information or to book, contact Dave Carter via email – email@example.com or on his mobile – 07875 072880.
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Mastering cycling Malcolm Smith has found cycling has given him new levels of fitness in his 50s. And he still dreams of world championship success...
ELECTRIC BIKE DEMO DAY RUTLAND CYCLING WHITWELL STORE Saturday, May 25, 10am–4pm Rutland Cycling has a demo day of its electric mountain bikes, hybrid and commuter bikes, with unlimited rides (subject to availability), and e-bike experts on hand to give advice.
GET FIT WITH AN E-BIKE
It might seem counter-intuitive, given that it has a motor to help you along, but an electric bike can help improve your ﬁtness. Kathy Yallop from Rutland Cycling explains how:
TARTING OUT AS a competitive track runner, Malcolm turned to cycling following an ankle injury in his early 20s, and came back to the sport in his 40s. In his 50s he was crowned British Masters Road Race champion. “I got back into full-on racing again in my early 40s. I shed a lot of accumulated weight (98kg to 85kg fairly quickly) and felt great. I had more energy than all of my over-40 colleagues and most of the under-40 people I met. “I am 55 and despite work getting in the way of training from time to time I know I look and feel much healthier than most colleagues and I have additional purpose and passion in my life. I still dream of world championship success. “I think before tucking into the second bottle of wine over dinner and watch the quantity and type of food I consume. I still live but my consumption is a little more considered. Weight does go on around your waist area very easily
the older you get. Cycling for over-50s is excellent for cardio, strength and low-impact exercise, says Malcolm. “There are a few age-related issues I face but these do not aﬀect the joy I get from riding a bike purposefully. “Interestingly, my ankles and knees which were the issues that stopped my running have never troubled me on a bike. “I sometimes struggle to walk without pain but I am good on the bike. I do not recover as quickly from big eﬀorts in racing or heavy training sessions, but I have to take this into account in what I do. I tend to train hard every other day on the bike and go to the gym for a stretching session”. Malcolm, a #TeamRutland ambassador, recommends that if you are thinking of taking up the sport again, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor ﬁrst as a precaution, and then get properly ﬁtted for a bike and saddle. “The thing that puts an early dent in the interest of people wishing to get into riding a bike is comfort,” he reckons. “Buying the right bike for your purpose and state of ﬁtness is crucial.”
1 You can go further “You can ride further with an e-bike, because without the fear of being caught out and too tired to ride home, you can discover more roads. Let’s say you normally ride 15 miles – on an e-bike you’ll probably be able to ride 20-30 miles. That’s a huge increase and you’ll be getting so much more time out on the bike.” 2 Choose when to get help “In the beginning you may rely on turbo mode for the hills and into strong headwinds, but as you ride more and more, you can turn the motor to the sport or eco mode and rely on your own leg power. As you become ﬁtter you’ll only need to rely on the top assistance modes during particularly steep hills.” 3 You’ll use your bike more “Now you have an e-bike you can cut out the car, and riding to the shops or the gym will help to increase your physical activity. If previously it was too far, that distance will now be manageable.”
TAKE A FREE TEST RIDE If you’d like to try an e-bike, book a free test ride at www.rutlandcycling.com/testride
54 May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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On your bike!
Distance: 41 miles Elevation: 2778 ft Ride type: Road
Rutland Cycling’s Sally Middlemiss suggests another great local route
35 WING LODDINGTON
HIS MONTH’S cycle route is a picturesque 41-miler taking in some of Rutland’s prime countryside and with some decent hill climbs – a great training ride if you’re preparing to ride a summer sportive. Starting and ﬁnishing at Normanton, Rutland Water, there are some challenging sections around Lyddington, Launde and Brooke, so be sure to pace yourself and take plenty of energy food and drink with you. Get a detailed map, route notes and download a GPX ﬁle for your GPS computer at:
MORCOTT ALLEXTON 5
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29748004 Enjoy the ride!
MEDBOURNE Turn right out of the car park, then at the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Edith Weston Rd - 0.3 mi Slight right on to Pinfold Ln - 1.2 mi Continue on to Lyndon Rd - 1.5 mi Turn left on to Glebe Rd - 1.5 mi Continue on to Willoughby Rd - 3.3 mi Turn left on to High St - 3.5 mi Slight right on to Stamford Rd/A6121 - 3.8 mi Turn right on to Peterborough Rd/A47 - 3.9 mi Turn left on to B672 - 3.9 mi Turn right to stay on B672 - 4.7 mi Turn right on to Seaton Rd/B672 - 6.0 mi Turn left on to B672 - 6.2 mi Turn right on to Gretton Rd - 8.5 mi Continue on to Main St - 9.4 mi Turn left on to Stoke Rd - 9.7 mi Continue on to Main St - 10.6 mi Turn left - 12.2 mi Turn right on to Stockerston Ln - 14.3 mi
Turn left on to Uppingham Rd/B664 - 16.1 mi Turn right on to Spring Bank - 18.9 mi Turn right on to Packhorse Bridge - 18.9 mi Continue on to Hallaton Rd - 19.0 mi Continue on to Medbourne Rd - 20.3 mi Continue on to N End - 21.4 mi Continue on to E Norton Rd - 21.6 mi Turn right on to Allexton Rd - 21.8 mi Continue on to Hallaton Rd - 23.3 mi Turn right on to Main St - 24.7 mi Turn right on to Leicester Rd/A47 - 24.8 mi Turn left on to Littleworth Ln - 24.8 mi Slight right on to Nether St - 25.2 mi Turn right on to Chapel St - 25.3 mi Turn left on to Loddington Ln - 25.4 mi Continue on to Belton Rd - 26.3 mi Turn right at Main St - 27.2 mi Turn right - 28.5 mi Turn right on to Oakham Rd - 29.9 mi Continue on to The Wisp - 30.1 mi
Continue on to Knossington Rd - 31.4 mi Turn right on to Cedar St - 31.8 mi Turn right to stay on Cedar St - 31.9 mi Turn right on to Wood Ln - 31.9 mi Slight left on to Braunston Rd - 32.4 mi Turn right on to Brooke Rd - 33.5 mi Brooke Rd turns slightly left and becomes Ridlington Rd - 35.1 mi Turn left toward Church Ln - 36.3 mi Turn right on to Church Ln - 36.3 mi Turn left on to Main St - 36.4 mi Turn right on to Oakham Rd/A6003 - 36.6 mi Turn left - 36.6 mi Continue on to Preston Rd - 37.3 mi Turn right on to Wing Hill - 37.6 mi Slight right on to Top St - 37.9 mi Continue on to Morcott Rd- 38.1 mi Turn left - 38.4 mi Turn left at Pinfold Ln - 39.2 mi Continue on to The Green - 39.6 mi Turn right on to Luffenham Rd - 39.7 mi Turn left on to Edith Weston Rd - 39.7 mi Turn right on to Manton Rd - 40.3 mi At the roundabout, take the 1st exit on to Normanton Rd - 41.2 mi
800 600 400 200 0
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Last minute preparation for the Brighton Marathon April 14 was D-Day for the Efficient Portfolio team, when they ran the Brighton Marathon. We caught up with Dan Smalley shortly before then
ITH NERVES AND excitement kicking in, Efficient Portfolio’s mortgage adviser, Dan Smalley, had a chat to us just 10 days before the big event to tell us how he was coping with the pre-run jitters and how he felt the preparations had been going. Dan felt that he’d been fortunate with his training as he hadn’t incurred any injuries, and was now feeling quietly confident; but that hadn’t always been the case. “When I signed up for the Brighton Marathon I felt like I had a huge mountain to climb! I’ve always been a very keen cyclist, regularly doing 30 to 40-mile rides so did feel relatively fit; but initially I didn’t feel overly confident about running a similar distance. “I decided to build my training up gradually. For those first few weeks, the three to five-mile runs felt relatively comfortable, but I didn’t want to become complacent and risk pushing myself too hard too soon. In hindsight, this was the best move I could have made, as steady progress has meant that my body and fitness levels slowly adapted, and I thankfully didn’t incur any injuries. This has meant that I have been able to gradually increase my distance, without having to take long rest periods or lose my enthusiasm for training. “At the end of March I completed a 21-mile training run, which is my longest distance so far. The run was painful but it gave me a massive confidence boost. I felt that if I could get that far all I have to do on the day is push myself a little bit harder to cross the finish line. I think on the day the adrenalin will kick in, and I’m sure the crowds and the support of my team-mates will carry me across the line. “I’m running the Brighton Marathon for the Alzheimer’s Society, which is a cause close to my heart. Committing to run for a charity has given me
a real fire in my belly to succeed, and I know that on the day, the determination to help the Alzheimer’s Society with their valuable work will drive me to just keep going. So far, I’ve raised just over £1,000. “Now that there are only a few days to go until the event I’m tapering off the distance of my runs to minimise the risk of injury. I completed a half marathon this week and intend to do several five-mile runs before the big day. The day before I won’t train but will definitely be loading up on some much-needed carbohydrates.” Good luck to Dan and the rest of the team from Efficient Portfolio, and we look forward to hearing how they got on next month. www.efficientportfolio.co.uk
56 May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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The final countdown Ed Matthews has set himself a challenge to cycle across the widest part of the UK mainland, and he sets out very soon...
Cycle, swim, run; repeat Iain Downer has been pounding the streets in foreign climes to keep up with his triathlon training while working abroad IT’S EIGHT WEEKS to go until my first triathlon and I have no doubt that they will be gone in the blink of an eye. Training-wise, these two months are absolutely critical if I am to stand any chance of achieving my target time of 1 hour and 25 minutes. My training is now set to intensify significantly, starting next week. Regarding the injury, my shoulder is feeling much stronger and has not given me any real grief over the last month, but the three disciplines are relatively low impact. I can comfortably swim pain-free so I shouldn’t have any problems with the cycle or the run. I have devised a training schedule which follows five training days a week, one session per day. Initially I am planning to do two swims a week and alternating one run, and two bike rides one week, followed by two runs and one bike the next week. By week four I intend to be doing two swims, two bike rides and two runs per week, with one of the runs following a bike ride. This will allow me to practice my transition between cycle and run. The one thing I am finding difficult is sticking to a routine, mainly because of work commitments. I have been out of the country for three of the last five weeks and am due to be away again shortly. Maintaining discipline is difficult as it can be hard to motivate yourself after a long day, and the lack of facilities in some of the hotels doesn’t help. But I will be packing my trainers each time I travel and making the most of the scenery. It has been a positive month and I feel back to full fitness. The shoulder is as good as it is going to be, and now it’s about getting my head down, putting in the hours and building up my stamina. Provided I can do this I am confident I will be in a good place next month with just four weeks to go.
I’VE DECIDED TO cycle from St David’s to Lowestoft, across the widest part of the UK mainland, to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research and to celebrate my 50th birthday. My friend Mike, from Southampton, is joining me and our wives will be acting as back-up. First we had to pick a route, and appropriate accommodation. Creature comforts are going to be required after a long day in the saddle. Once we’d sorted that out we had to concentrate on training. I’ve only done a multi-day cycle once before, and I was considerably younger and fitter when I did, so I’ve had a lot to do. My training has been mainly at the weekends with the occasional pedal to work and/or home again. 2019 started at a fairly slow pace with just one ride a weekend, but it was at least 50 miles. The weather wasn’t too helpful initially, some weekends being seriously wet and windy. A turbo-trainer helped when the weather was really bad. I was still able to spend time in the saddle but without the dangers of wet, icy or windy conditions. But it was with a rather boring view of the inside of the garage. From mid-February I upped the rides to Saturdays and Sundays. Joining my usual group, The Wistow Wanderers, on Saturday and on Sunday going out with the Ratae RC – who I have now joined as a full member. By the end of February, I was clearing 100 miles per weekend and during the second
weekend of April hit the milestone of 1,000 miles cycled since January 1. Usually this would take me to August to clock-up. While I was pounding the miles around Leicestershire my co-rider, Mike, was training down in Southampton. He chose a method of ‘all-round’ fitness training to prepare - Parkruns, duathlons, playing hockey and gym sessions as well as time in the saddle. We had decided that we needed a bit of ‘hill climbing’ training, Leicestershire and Hampshire not being particularly hilly. So we spent two glorious days in the Cotswolds finding as many hills as possible to pedal up, which has definitely improved our technique and fitness. As I write this, we are two weeks away from starting the ride on April 30 – and you will read this while we are tackling it. It is now scarily close, but we’re all looking forward to it and if we aren’t ready for it now, I don’t think we ever will be. We’re still on the chase for donations so please visit our website. There are easy to follow links to see the daily routes, read blogs, as well as links to our donations page. Wish us luck - we might need it... www.thewideride.co.uk
May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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An A to Z of local cricket Jeremy Smithson-Beswick provides a club-by-club preview of the local cricket scene as the season gets underway However, that setback seems to have spurred this club on by investing in the future. Their aspiration is for both teams to bounce back immediately and they’ve engaged professional coaches and also strengthened their minis with 12 children so far and more on the way. It’s the type of side where you can see a batting partnership with one end being 60 years older than the other – and more power to them for that.
The rest of Division Four East will not be sorry to see the back of Ketton Sports, who thrashed pretty much everyone in their inaugural season. Although the step up following promotion will mean more competitive cricket for them this season, I expect them to ﬂourish again. As a newly constituted side they had to start towards the bottom but their talent is worthy of at least, I would suggest, two divisions higher and they got off to a ﬂying start at Easter with a 102-run Burghley Park during BGL Cricket Week: a bright looking future
Images: Matt Tarrant
ILLESDON’S LONG-TERM health as a club looks bright as their ability to attract youngsters improves from where it was a few seasons ago – when only the under 10s were a force. Now, however, they have sides at all age groups up to 17 and, as Paul Miles told me, this provides a strong pipeline and a pathway into the senior squad. “We prefer to promote from within and now there’s the opportunity for them to step up,” he said. Paul Vinas will captain the ﬁrsts this campaign and Miles is hoping for a better start than usual for a club who always seem to begin slowly but ﬁnish well. “New members are always welcome. This is a club where everyone enjoys themselves, whether it’s playing, watching, volunteering or just socialising in the clubhouse,” he added. Burghley Park Cricket Club go into the new season looking to further build on the progress made on infrastructure and facilities over the last few years. With more than 120 young cricketers attending training on Friday evenings throughout the summer last year, the future of the club is looking bright. On the ﬁeld, the club continues to ﬁeld three weekend senior sides, a midweek XI and age group cricket from under 9s up to under 15s. The senior teams will be battling it out in Divisions 1 and 4 of the Hunts League on Saturdays, Rutland Division 2 on Sundays and midweek cup and friendly matches. With new additions including Pete Foster, the hard hitting Julian O’Reilly (who already has a pre-season ton under his belt) and the returning Elliot Cooper the club is looking forward to some strong performances in 2019. Fleckney’s Colin Walsh was forthright about their 2018 saying they’d had “a dreadful year” with both Saturday sides enduring relegation.
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“It’s the type of side where you can see a batting partnership with one end being 60 years older than the other”
away win at Maher Stars. A forward-thinking outfit, they have been confirmed by Leicestershire CCC as a ‘cluster club’ for women’s and girls’ cricket and are encouraging those of all skill levels and experience to come forward. The original Ketton CC – displaced from their spiritual home at Pit Lane after ‘long-standing internal tensions’ – will continue to play at Barrowden’s ground this year. Market Harborough will be looking to steady the ship after a difficult transitional year which resulted in relegation from the Premier Division. Skipper Tom Leonard aspires to “a period of consolidation”, saying it would be nice to mount a challenge for promotion but that he will settle for “being competitive, winning some matches and ending up mid-table”. That scenario will be more enjoyable for all. They’ve recruited half a dozen new players from the local area, two or more of which will feature for the first team including Charlie Hurley, described by Leonard as “a class bat who also bowls and will add leadership to the side”. Leonard is pleased with some new faces on the committee too, saying they now have the right people on and off the pitch to move the club forward. More power to them. Oakham will be looking to kick on again this year. Having been in a relegation battle two seasons ago, last term they progressed to finish a far more creditable sixth. This time, as skipper Richard Martin confided to me: “We hope to be in the top four come the end of the season. Player availability should be better and there is some real talent coming on board.” Wes Durston, who played first class cricket in his prime, is planning to appear for around half of their games, which is more than the last campaign, and Rob Taylor, who played professionally for Leicestershire after starring for
Uffington’s three teams will be looking for better seasons in 2019
Oakham a decade ago, is coming back home to the Lime Kilns. They also have another joker in their pack – explosive bat Cameron Flowers, recently returned from South Africa and keen to play. If his back holds up (it’s a long-term injury) they could do even better than the top four. Expect some high scores from what will be a very impressive batting line up. Stamford live to fight another day after securing their Cambs League status with a victory on the very last day in their debut season at that level. Captain Tom Williams told me the experience will stand them in good stead. “We’re a year older, a year wiser and we’ve learnt how to play 50-over cricket having been a bit naive at that last year,” he reflected. “Now we know what to expect we hope to consolidate and be mid-table”. New recruits Dave Stratton, an opening bat with useful experience, and returning quick opening bowler Tim Juggins will help. After several years’ fund-raising for a new nets facility – which cost around £40,000 – it is finally in place and Williams was looking forward to its inauguration on the evening of the very day we
spoke. “It’s a top-class facility which hopefully will encourage more youngsters to come and play here,” he said. Uffington survived in Rutland Division 2 last year by virtue of the bottom two sides collapsing and registering negative points. This year, they will be looking to cement a mid-table place under new captain Josh Bentley, who took over from brother Tom, and will be bolstered by the arrival of another (and probably the best!) of the clan: Rob. The seconds were relegated but have a new captain in the irrepressibly keen Dean Cornish while the Saturday development side will look to build on the excellent foundations they established for young and female players last year. Uppingham return to Division 1 after a pretty torrid inaugural year in the Premier League and I suspect there’s a part of them that will be relieved to be at a more comfortable level and looking forward to winning again. The derby games against Oakham are always good to watch, although one has already taken place – Town visiting the Lime Kilns on the first day of the season and losing. It was Oakham’s Rob Taylor (see left) who did most of the damage with 94 not-out.
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Heartbreak for Oakham By Jeremy Smithson-Beswick
HE GOOD NEWS this month is that the ever-popular Oakham versus Stamford derby will be taking place again next year – the bad news is that it’s not going to take place in the division either had hoped for. Oakham were relegated on the ﬁnal day of the season at Long Buckby despite having deﬁantly overcome Huntingdon in their last home ﬁxture the weekend before by 46-24. Two early tries from Callum Crellin followed by a third from Ollie Moore settled the early nerves before a lack of discipline led to a yellow card which let Huntingdon back into the match. Indeed, they were to score a try after a mis-placed Oaks pass to bring the score to 19-10 and a second yellow card for Oaks’ Ben Turnbull for a high tackle didn’t help matters, as a second score from the visitors then brought them almost level. By now Oaks seemed to have lost the art of ‘referee management’ and also had penalties moved forward by 10 yards for dissent on more than one occasion. The next try was going to be critical and it went to Oaks as Crellin’s kick through was picked up by Tom Easson, earning both the bonus point and a half-time lead. They were to go further ahead after Ryan Corner went over in, well, the corner, but a third yellow for Oaks – this time for the ever-pivotal Crellin – again yielded a chink of light for the away side and they were to take advantage to score again and make it 32-24, ﬁlling the watching supporters with angst before Tom Moxon and Will Armstrong – “intercepting a pass and faced with a 90-metre run... desperately looking for someone to pass to and ﬁnding no takers” according to the club’s Andy Williamson – both scored to see them safely home. That the victory was ultimately to no avail after defeat the following weekend was also
partly down to discipline, with Oaks suﬀering another two yellow cards at Long Buckby. A bonus point win would have been enough for them to survive but the tries scored by Buckby while down to 14 men proved to be the diﬀerence. Ex-club president Keith Crellin said: “I think the players and coach know where we failed and hopefully we can bounce back.” Crellin went on to point out that Stamford’s experience should mean they shouldn’t be complacent about an early return, although Matt Albinson’s men can count themselves desperately unlucky not to have achieved a top two place in Midlands 3. Only two points separated the top three with the gap to fourth being a massive 34, so there were only ever three teams in it. Indeed, Stamford ﬁnished level with second-placed Northampton Casuals and ahead of them on points diﬀerence but, alas, it’s the number of games won that counts ﬁrst according to league rules and Casuals shaded that stat by one. At least they began to say goodbye to retiring coach Albinson with an away win against Birstall in their last league ﬁxture, the tries coming from Oli Winspear (2), James O’Shea, Jack Jones and Sam Hillary. The ﬁnal farewell is in early May when they have one last shot of glory in the form of the ﬁnal of the Lincolnshire Cup against Lincoln. As a result of Stamford’s near miss they and Oaks will play each other next year in Midlands 3 – as well as Bourne. The latter remain in that division thanks to a spectacular improvement in form over the second half of the season, having looked odds-on for relegation at Christmas. That progress was underlined by their last
“Oakham were relegated on the final day of the season at Long Buckby despite having defiantly overcome Huntingdon”
ﬁxture against a St Neots team who had narrowly beaten them to top spot in the league below last year. They not only won but ran in countless tries in a crushing 73-7 result that was a ﬁtting farewell to another retiree, player-coach Dave Maudsley. He will soon be 40 and is therefore stepping down from the playing side, although I suspect we will see him in a new role at the club before long. So, it wasn’t all doom and gloom locally, especially over at Market Harborough where they secured a play-oﬀ spot for promotion to Division One by ﬁnishing narrowly behind winners Olney – and a comfortable fourteen points ahead of third-placed St Ives. They sealed that second place with a 59-12 win away at Huntingdon which included what the club’s David Nance called a “fantastic second-half display” as they ran in six of their nine tries in total; Chris Bale with a hat-trick. The following weekend saw their last home ﬁxture, against a much-improved Long Buckby side. Bale was to go on to land a second consecutive hat-trick as they were eventually able to emerge victorious by 29-20 and therefore ﬁnish the season with an unblemished home record. This was in spite of a plucky performance by Buckby – who were at that time not yet fully sure of survival and had started the match by going into a ten point lead. The home club’s Caroline Miller reported the scoreline was “a little harsh on the visitors who had performed well for long periods of the match”. They ﬁnished the regular season with a 45-20 win at Market Bosworth and we wish them well for the play oﬀ. Should they win it they’ll be meeting Oundle next season who ﬁnished a creditable sixth having looked, in the early stages, as if they would mount a challenge for promotion of their own to the dizzy heights of the Midlands Premiership before falling away a little in the new year. Elsewhere, Stamford College Old Boys ﬁnished above the bottom two in Midlands 4 but they will have been disappointed to lose to arch-rivals Deepings in their ﬁnal game. Deepings also had the better season of the two overall with a mid-table ﬁnish.
60 May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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Tigers talk Steve Moody hopes the directors at Leicester take action after an awful season for the Tigers both on and off the pitch
Image: Matt Tarrant
T THE TIME of writing, as the season closes, bottom side Newcastle require two bonus point wins and for Leicester to score nothing in the last two games. So Tigers should – should! – stay up. Just. A truly dreadful, supine home loss to local rivals Northampton Saints had put Tigers in the almost unthinkable situation of being relegated. They then went to Newcastle for what in football money was a six-pointer, but in rugby a seven, eight, nine or 10-pointer, depending on bonus points and the like. And they fought like Tigers too, with the irrepressible George Ford and the exceptional Guy Thompson to the fore. And it all looked secure. Then followed a narrow home loss to Bristol in which Tigers looked fairly solid
and likely to win, until they just faded away in the last third of the game. Bristol’s winning try was scored by Harry Thacker, which capped yet another a spiky, energetic performance from the hooker, who last year was deemed to be not good enough for Tigers. Quite how somebody with his talent ends up being oﬀ-loaded is anyone’s guess, but then most of the decisions made over the past few years could fall into that same category. In the oﬀ-season, and assuming Leicester stay up, there needs to be a massive overhaul in the running of the club. In Geordan Murphy, Tigers have an iconic ﬁgure that the players can coalesce around, but he probably needs a strategic-thinking head as director of rugby (just as Leo Cullen got at Leinster with Stuart Lancaster).
The problems are much wider than the coaching structure though. The squad looks sumptuously upholstered in some areas, and scratchy and full of holes in others, the result of years of ineﬀectual and inconsistent recruitment due to numerous coaches and ever-changing strategy. How can it be that Tigers only really have three and bit locks, one deﬁnitive number eight and the heroic Dan Cole putting in a permanent shift at tight-head because there’s not really anyone else, apart from teenager Joe Heyes? New signings have been announced for next year to plug some of the gaps and they look decent, if not earth shattering; and there are a number of youngsters coming through the club too. But where’s the accountability in the club? There’s a rugby board, made up of ex-players who apparently help choose and source players possibly, or not, with the assistance of a chap called Ged Glynn, who’s title is head of rugby operations but is nearanonymous. Then there’s CEO Simon Cohen, who claims to have nothing much to do with the rugby side of things (and seems to take the brunt of the stick, possibly unfairly), and chairman Peter Tom, who rarely is heard from these days. As the cracks widened this season, it has become apparent there is no single driving force at the club – too many disparate voices, no cohesive plan, no long-term planning. Hopefully the shock of this season will drive some change, or it will be more of the same next year.
“It has become apparent there is no single driving force at the club – too many disparate voices, no cohesive plan, no long-term planning” May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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The Roundup FOOTBALL
Daniels’ season disappoints By Dean Cornish
S THE NON-LEAGUE football season draws to a close, players, managers and boardrooms will look back over the last eight months and conclude whether the season has been a success or a failure. Sadly, when it comes to the end of season report for Stamford AFC, it would very likely be a case of ‘could do better’, ‘disappointing’ and ‘I hope to see an improvement next term’ written in red pen. The brutal fact is that for the third season in a row, Stamford have failed to win promotion back to step 3 of the non-league pyramid. It’s not easy getting out of the current division that Stamford are in; there are some very good sides. However, the crowds, facilities and budget that Stamford have does mean they’re currently below par, and they need to get promoted soon. What’s worse though is that they’ve not ever really looked like they would get promotion. Last season they reached the play-oﬀs but were undone by an extra time winner, but this year they’ve hardly even featured in the top ﬁve all season. There hasn’t really been much to celebrate either in terms of cup competitions. If they’d reached the FA Cup ﬁrst round as they did in 2016 you may still consider it a season of mild success, but being dumped out at the ﬁrst possible stage (albeit to a diﬃcult draw against Peterborough Sports) really isn’t where they need to be. The only slight glimmer of positivity was the run in the FA Trophy, with a 1-0 win over Kettering Town being the season highlight in the Daniels’ run to the third qualifying round. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think that sacking the manager is the right approach. Graham Drury is a good manager overall, but his inability to ﬁnd a 20-goal-a-season striker in his little black book could be his undoing. The overall turnover of players has also been a
worry, although it’s hard to blame the manager when nearly all his players have left for opportunities at higher levels. Stamford just haven’t been consistent enough over the season. Even their results in the last few games show that; beating play-oﬀ chasing Tadcaster 2-0, thrashing Mansﬁeld 4-0 away, but then drawing 0-0 with Wisbech at home, and conceding two late goals at home to Belper to lose 2-1. In fact, the two late goals characterise the season. Stamford have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on a number of occasions. If they’d held on to leads they could still be ﬁghting for the play-oﬀs. As it is, they’re likely to ﬁnish in 11th position. As for next season, let’s hope that Drury can keep hold of Danny Haystead, Rob Morgan, Gregg Smith, Joe Boachie, Jon Challinor and Joe Burgess at least. With them they have a decent core of a side. Add in a few more talents and next season will be a lot better. In the United Counties Premier Division, Harborough Town’s superb form in the early spring has dropped oﬀ somewhat, with the Bees now likely to emulate Stamford and ﬁnish towards the top end of the bottom half of the division. Their run of runs peaked with an 8-0 battering of Wellingborough Whitworth, which included a hat-trick for Aaron Preston. Since then the Bees’ form has been rather mixed, with draws against Rothwell and Cogenhoe, and defeats away at Deeping Rangers and Oadby. The mixed form will likely prevent a top-half ﬁnish to the league, but you suspect Harborough won’t be too displeased with that after a shaky start to the season. In the UCL Division 1, Stamford-based
Blackstones are guaranteed a top-ﬁve ﬁnish which bodes well for next season, where I think Stones would be a good bet for the title. Lee Clarke and his side are ﬁnishing the season well, with good wins away at Huntingdon Town (3-0), at home against Holwell Sports (5-2), and a 5-1 thumping of Thrapston Town, which included another brace for Clarke who now has a fantastic 32 goals for the season. You suspect that Stones are turning into the real deal. In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Stamford Lions have ﬁnished fourth, which equals their position last season but they’ve secured more points than last season. James Sheehan’s side have ﬁnished the season well with only one defeat in their last 19 games, and that was when Storm Gareth was battering the UK. You certainly wouldn’t choose an away game at Thorney when wind may be a factor. Since that game, the Lions continued their form with a good 4-2 win against Holbeach United reserves, courtesy of a double from Lions’ top scorer Thomas Edwards. Jake Showler then contributed his 16th goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Whittlesey Athletic. Ketton, meanwhile, have ﬁnished 10th out of 16 teams after a mixed second half to the season. They’ve ﬁnished the season rather inconsistently, with a strong 4-1 win over ICA Sports followed up by a draw with Leverington, and a 1-0 defeat away at Oakham United. In Division One, Uppingham Town have had an excellent season, ﬁnishing second in the league and conﬁrming promotion back to the Premier Division. The ﬁnal game of the season for the boys from Todd’s Piece saw them beat Wittering Harriers 3-1 thanks to a Robert Montgomery hat-trick. It’s been a fantastic season, with only three defeats in their 26 games. In the same division, Stamford Bels ﬁnished strongly to conﬁrm a top-four ﬁnish. Lewis Morley’s side picked up some great recent results, including a 4-0 win at Oundle. The reserves meanwhile achieved promotion out of division four in spectacular fashion. Needing a win by more than ﬁve goals to guarantee second and promotion, Bels reserves won their ﬁnal game 6-1, with a Stuart Airey overhead kick sparking wild scenes in the ﬁnal minute.
Show your support for local sport Email email@example.com May 2019 / theactivemag.com 63
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The Roundup EQUESTRIANISM
Belvoir basks in the sunshine By Julia Dungworth
HE VERY POPULAR Belvoir point-to-point took place at the end of March and, as usual, it pulled in the crowds. It was gloriously sunny, but quite a few people were caught out by how deceivingly cold it was. Luckily there were ample trade stands to accommodate. With ‘good’ ground it left the path clear for another great day of racing, with seven races altogether. The opening race was conﬁned to Belvoir and South Notts and saw another win for local Tom Chatﬁeld-Roberts on She’s Real, owned by his father John. The 11-year old mare recorded her seventh win and a return back to form having had a previous slow run at Daltons Park. The biggest line up was in the Land Rover open maiden race with 14 runners at the start: ﬁve-year old The Triple Pillar piloted by Tom McClorey took the spoils for owner Charles Dixey and trainer Gerald Bailey. Burghley Pony Club held its Hunter Trials on Mother’s Day in fabulous sunshine, and yet again you could mistake the warm-up for the actual international horse trials, with many a previous competitor seen in action due to the
Willa Newton in action at Belton
fabulous ground and a very well-built course. The 80cm PC was one of the biggest ﬁelds, with nearly 40 riders, and was won by Sophie Martin with her perfectly judged round ﬁnishing bang on the optimum time of 4.10. The non-PC section was won by Heather Elston. Katy Arnold won the 90cm PC and Alice Brown in the very popular non-PC section, also with a very well-judged round, just one second oﬀ the optimum time. Bea Lovett-Bruntt had a win in the 1m with Gary Newitt taking the non-PC section. Lastly, the hugely anticipated big 1.10 open section was won by Burghley’s very own Louise Bodily. Stuart Buntine’s BEDE-run Belton International Horse Trials was a raging success, which ran earlier than usual over the last weekend in March. National Trust-owned Belton House oﬀers stunning vistas over the parkland and in the glorious sunshine it really was the best weekend. Again, Heidi Coy was on top form winning the OI under-21 on Carrigsean Tiger. Although
not quite in the lead after the dressage, she was the only one in her section to ﬁnish on it, just 0.2 of a penalty over Alisa Wates. Willa Newton was the only other local win, on Cock a Doodle Doo in one of the novice sections. Belton was deﬁnitely all about Gloucestershire-based Tom McEwen: he was the hero of the weekend starting with a win in the OI on No Excuse and then went on to win one of the CCIS3* on Dreamaway, and to top that he then went on to win the coveted Grantham Cup on Figaro Van Het Broekxhof. Harry Lee, son of local veterinarian Roger, did it again at Ascot winning the pony racing for Burghley Pony Club. He was riding Sequin, and you may well remember that he won this last year too. Not bad for a 12-year-old, having two consecutive Ascot wins. Rebecca Bullock made her eagerly-awaited championship debut at the Winter Dressage Championships in Hartpury earlier this month after winning too-many-to-mention dressage rosettes over the winter on her relatively new horse Harry. She ﬁnished a very commendable 14th on a score of 66.39%. Don’t forget the Fairfax and Favor Rockingham Horse Trials runs from May 17-19, and is set for a glorious weekend’s competition in the castle grounds, with lots of trade stands, food walk and fun things for the children running alongside the international event.
“Burghley Pony Club held its Hunter Trials on Mother’s Day in fabulous sunshine, and yet again you could mistake the warm-up for the actual international horse trials” May 2019 / theactivemag.com 65
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66 May 2019 / theactivemag.com
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SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...
Published on May 2, 2019
SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...