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FESTIVE KITBAG SPECIAL THE BEST XMAS GEAR FOR MEN, WOMEN AND KIDS

STA M FOR D & RU T L A N D’S SPORT A N D L E I S U R E M AGA Z I N E

Local Boy Done Good

Where to get away for warm weather action

Rock star from climbing wall to Cardinal’s Crack

NOVEMBER 2012       

NEW FEATURE: Women’s Health and Wellness

 5



ISSUE 5

PLUS Become a Tigers mascot! Our Great Kids Competition

www.theACTIVEmag.com

ISSUE 5 // NOVEMBER 2012

Rutland’s Matt Smith on playing for Leicester Tigers

Winter sun

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Editor’s Letter IF YOU’VE EVER GOT ON THE TRAIN at Stamford on a Saturday afternoon in winter, you’ll know that by the time you’ve been through Oakham too, it’s pretty clear there’s a Leicester Tigers game on. The carriages will be heaving with people, and the sight of hundreds of middle-aged chaps squashed together like fat sardines is not a pretty one, although some of the banter is entertaining. The Tigers are heavily supported in our area, and we’ve supplied a number of local, and recent, players including Lewis Moody, Tom Croft and Matt Smith – the latter we’ve spoken to in this issue about playing for the biggest club in the country, and living in Rutland. Also, we’ve secured a great competition prize: for your child to be mascot for the day at one of the team’s games. So get entering – it’s a rare treat. Also, talking of treats, you might have noticed that Christmas is coming. Instead of the usual unwanted tat you might get given and never use, we’ve suggested some great kit that will prove handy in your efforts to get fit, or while you’re out and about. You’ll just have to leave those pages lying about the house with the corner turned down, and hope Father Christmas notices. On top of that we have all the usual suspects, with Alexa running round Eyebrook (that girl has too much energy), Will and his dog Ella heading off to the Knossington Triangle, no doubt with a few pub stops on the way, while Martin Johnson bemoans that perennial sporting issue, diving in football. So enjoy the issue – just because winter is setting in, there’s still plenty of things to keep you active!

Thanks, Steve

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

Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Production Editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art Editor Mark Sommer mark@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Dean Cornish, Jon Tyrell, Alexa Cutteridge, Fiona Hurlingham, Rich Beach, Sandie Hurford, Jeremy Beswick, Barry Ward, Alex Flint, Julia Dungworth, Simon Cooper Photographers Nico Morgan, Jonathan Clarke, Harry Measures Production Assistant Abigail Sharpe Advertising Sales Rachel Meadows rachel@theactivemag.com Paula Scott paula@theactivemag.com Sarah Elmore sarah@theactivemag.com Accounts Amy Roberts amy@theactivemag.com If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@theactivemag.com. If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@theactivemag.com Printed in the UK by Warners Midlands plc. Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. Distributed by Grassroots Publishing Ltd ISSN 2049-8713 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Registration company number 7994437 Disclaimer Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited, 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from Grassroots Publishing Limited. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Grassroots Publishing Limited or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, Grassroots Publishing Limited and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit to us and for ensuring that the material complies with applicable laws. Grassroots Publishing Limited and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

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CONTENTS

Issue 5 /// November 2012

NEWS 11 I GET SET FOR FESTIVE FUN RUN

Entries sought for Burghley Park charity event

12 I MELT AWAY THE WINTER BLUES Special spa offer at Stapleford Park

15 I AN ACE AT LAST!

Hole-in-one for Ken after 40 years of playing

HEADS UP 17 I MARTIN JOHNSON

The Sunday Times sports writer on diving in football

18-23 I KITBAG SPECIAL

Six pages of all the best gear and gadgets

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32

58

24 38

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FEATURES

WIN

a Tigers mascot experience p.27

24-27 I LEICESTER TIGERS

Preparations for the European cup, plus a rare chance to win your child a place as the club mascot on matchday

28-31 I ROCK CLIMBING

After years of practice on an indoor wall, Rich Beach heads for the hills to face some real rock faces

32-35 I WINTER SPORT HOLIDAYS

Fed up with the cold and wet weather already? Why not combine a holiday with some sporting action too?

REGULARS 36-37 I A DOG’S LIFE

Will Hetherington and dog Ella head to the Knossington Triangle for a tougher than normal walk

38-39 I HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Our new regular feature for women on how to lose weight, eat more healthily and feel better

45 I WIN OR LOSE…

Steve Moody finds a hidden gem in Stamford and settles in for a pint at The Punchbowl

ROUND UPS 48-49 I SCHOOL SPORTS

A round up of what’s going on in local school sports

52-57 I FINAL SCORES

How clubs in the Stamford and Rutland area are getting on

28

58 I STALWART

Oakham rugby club’s John Hamilton

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In Play

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6-7 In play Hockey/cm/sm.indd 10

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Uppingham win county hockey title Uppingham School’s U16 girls’ hockey team triumphed again in the Leicestershire and Rutland County Hockey Championships, held in Leicester in October. They scored an impressive 24 goals, while conceding none, and beat all four opposition teams. This win continues Uppingham’s record in the competition, winning six times in the last seven years.

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In Play

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8-9 in play BRM day/cm/sm.indd 10

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BRM brrrmmmm

PHOTOGRAPH: HARRY MEASURES

Thousands turned out in Bourne to see a cavalcade of BRM Formula One cars from the 1950s and ’60s. Based in Bourne, the team won world championships and ran drivers such as Sir Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill. Sir Jackie and Damon HIll (pictured) drove the cars through town.

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News

Get set for a festive fun run Santa Fun Run in Burghley Park invites clubs and societies to get involved and raise money for charity

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES are invited to take part in this year’s Santa Fun Run, taking place in Burghley Park on December 16 at 11am. Last year, 46 teams totalling 542 Santas entered and raised in excess of £17,900 for their own individual causes or charities. Jon Whowell, press officer for Burghley Rotary, who are organising the Stamford Santa Fun Run, said: “The Fun Run is the best way for clubs and

charities to raise funds and have fun at the same time. Over the past six years we have helped raise more than £65,000. “Last year over 500 Santas took part from The Rutland Morris Men, the Three County Dog Rescue Centre and Ryhall United Football Club. “The Fun Run is open to all ages we have babies in buggies and an 87-years young gentleman. You can run jog or just walk and talk and the sight of

World champion returns WORLD INDOOR BOWLS singles champion Andy Thomson returned to Stamford IBC in Exeter Gardens last month as their special guest at the annual presentation night when the new presidents Charlie Underwood and Nina Rawlins were inducted. As well as presenting the trophies to the captains of the successful Lincolnshire Division Two Men’s and Mixed teams and Junior League, Scots-born Thomson, from the Cyphers Club, took part in an exhibition match with the club’s current national indoor champions - Adam Warrington (EBF National Singles winner), Paul Bailey and Martyn Dolby (EBF Indoor Triples winners with Warrington).

hundreds of Santas in beautiful Burghley Park is amazing. Entry fees remain at £12 for adults and £6 for children 15 years and under. (Children 4 and under are free to enter but no suit will be issued). The fee includes a free Santa suit, inclusive of hat and beard, which is yours to keep. All entrants will receive a medal on completion of the course. See www.stamfordsantafunrun.com for details.

Great start for handball club OAKHAM’S NEW HANDBALL TEAM has enjoyed a superb start, and in less than five months is already playing league matches. Rutland Handball Club, who play at Catmose Sports Centre, are already competing in the Midlands Regional League against the likes of Gedling Nottingham Handball Club, Loughborough, Nottingham, Lincoln and Warwick. The club is looking to attract more players to the sport with the launch of the Rutland Handball Academy. It has two training sessions for children age 6-11 and age 12-16, held at Catmose Sports Centre, Oakham, every Monday for 12-16-year-olds from 5:30-7pm and every Wednesday for younger ones from 5-6pm. The club is also organising handball training for adults every Friday from 7pm8:30pm. The club is also involved in the Sportivate programme, sponsored by Rutland County Council, which aims to introduce handball to children in schools. So far Uppingham Community College, Catmose College and Great Casterton have signed up to the programme. For more details see www.facebook. com/RutlandHandballClub or call 07577 262430.

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News

Stapleford Park offers the chance to melt away the winter blues Special offer Winter Warmer Spa Day voucher gives two people a luxury day which includes a full body hot stone massage, Indian head massage and two-course lunch for only £160 MELT AWAY YOUR WINTER BLUES at Stapleford Park with a ‘winter warmer’ spa day for two. Set in 500 acres of magnificent Leicestershire countryside, Stapleford Park is the perfect setting to unwind and to be pampered. As a Small Luxury Hotel of the World, Stapleford Park offers guests a sanctuary from the stresses and strains of modern life. Relax, rejuvenate and reawaken the senses. For only £160 for two (discounted from £260), the Winter Warmer offer includes a full body hot stone massage and Indian head massage each as well as a delicious two course lunch in the Pavilion. Guests can also use our leisure facilities, including the indoor 22 metre mosaic swimming pool. Situated in the converted Victorian stable block, the Stapleford Park’s Clarins Gold Spa contains seven treatment rooms, a serene lounge area, fitness studio and fully equipped Technogym. Just a five minute stroll through the picturesque gardens to the House, guests will find the pool complex, with a heated pool, steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi. The full body hot stone massage comes from the ancient healing art of stone therapy. It uses various massage techniques and warm stones to relax the body at it’s deepest level, creating harmony and a balanced energy flow. The combination of the stones unique energies and the universal energy assist in balancing the body’s internal energy flow. The treatment lasts 75 minutes and would normally cost £75 per person. The Indian Head massage is based on the ayurvedic system of healing, which has been practiced in India for over a thousand years. The Indian head massage releases all the stress that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints of the head, face, neck and shoulders. The treatment lasts 30 minutes and would cost £30 per person. Guests can also choose whether or not to use oil. Aer being pampered in the Stapleford Park’s Clarins Gold Spa, guests are welcome to put their feet up in the House, meet friends for dinner in the dining room or have a drink in the library bar. With 55 individually designed bedrooms, guests can always have a unique experience with a warm and welcome stay, making it the perfect spa weekend retreat.

DETAILS For more information, or to buy a voucher, call 01572 787057 or email spa@ stapleford.co.uk. Alternatively, visit www. staplefordpark.com/ spa-fitness The vouchers are available until December 31, 2012, and are valid for a year from the date of purchase. Terms and conditions apply.

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Active winners Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill and player Matt Cornwell helped decide the winners of two recent Active competitions. Taking a break from their busy preparations for European cup action, Richard Cockerill (pictured) pulled a name from the hat to decide the Virgin Balloons winner: Mrs P Wadham of Edenham. Matt Cornwell was on hand to decide the winner of the Ragdale Hall competition: Mrs H David of Market Deeping.

THE GIFT OF FITNESS

from Catmose Sports Centre THE I CHRIS DEAL TM GIFTS AS

Get fit, Nordic style NORDIC WALKING is an enhancement of ordinary walking - it makes something we learn to do as babies, twice as good for you. It is a specific fitness technique and is not to be confused with trekking, hill walking or trail running as the poles are not planted in front of the walker/runner but in a specific way that increases the use of the upper body. It can be done by anybody, anywhere and does not require expensive equipment or clothing. Nordic walking is the fastest growing fitness activity in the world and is used by individuals, personal trainers, health clubs,

physiotherapists, doctors and health promoters because it is highly effective, affordable and fun. The Nordic walking technique must be learnt correctly if the participant is to get the most out of the activity – the full health technique that ensures the whole body works efficiently is only taught by NWUK qualified Instructors. The first two taster sessions are on Tuesday, October 30, from 10-11am or 12-1pm. More sessions are planned for November. Call Chloe Bond for more information and to book a place on 01572 720396 or email cbond@ rutland.gov.uk

FITNESS MEMBERSHIPS FOR

GYM, SWIM & CLASSES GIFT VOUCHERS (TO ANY VALUE)

Catmose Sports Centre

01572 490030 Huntsmans Drive, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6RP

Ultimate fitness for mums BUGGYFIT IS THE BEST WAY to get back in shape aer your new arrival. Whatever your post-natal stage there is a programme that will suit your needs, from initial recuperation in your first six weeks, through those tough times of getting back into your jeans and on to those new levels of fitness. Sessions take place on Thursdays from 10am at Cutts Close in Oakham, meeting at the band stand. The first session is on November 15. Call Chloe Bond for more information on 01572 720936 or email cbond@ rutland.gov.uk

enquiries.catmose@stevenage-leisure.co.uk

www.stevenage-leisure.co.uk 24 hour Customer Information Line: 0300 012 0300

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News

Huge medal haul for Uppingham kick-boxers Five gold, six silver and three bronze medals for side UPPINGHAM’S ELITE Freestyle Kickboxing team took part in the WUMA (World United Martial Arts) tournament, coming away with five gold, six silver and three bronze medals. Club instructor Edd Moore took seven fighters to the tournament where they fought outstandingly in each of their categories. The tournament had more than 600 fighters fighting in points, and light continuous styles. Coach Edd was congratulated by the chairman of WUMA for preparing his team so well and having such great success. Edd said: “What makes this achievement even more incredible is that for five out of the seven fighters we took this was their first ever tournament experience. “It just goes to show that when we train as hard as we do and are as passionate about our sport as we are, then incredible results will follow. The club celebrates its first birthday next month so everybody has trained for less than a year, which proves the standard which we train and work to.” The Uppingham School Sports Centre-

based club is now training for two regional tournaments in Peterborough and Boston, both taking place before Christmas. “We have a busy couple of months now for the club, with two more tournaments in quick succession, and a grading for their next belts,” said Edd. The club offers kick-boxing sessions on Tuesday evenings at 8:15pm (13 years and over), and pad work sessions on Fridays and Sundays at 7pm. For more information email Edd at EM1@uppingham.co.uk

SARAH’S BID FOR WORLD GLORY Sara Mickleburgh, who over the summer has been raising money in the area to compete in the World Triathalon Event in Auckland, New Zealand this month, where she is representing Great Britain, has taken her first steps with a warm-up in France. Late last month the Bourne triathlete took part in the World Duathlon Championships in Nancy, a warm up to Auckland. She came eighth overall in the female 20-24 category, with a race time of 2hrs 37. A bit longer than her qualifier (2hrs 16) however, she ran two extra miles and the bike course was very technical with some sharp, treacherous turns, Sara reckoned. Sara has been training hard for Auckland and as long as she completes her competition in New Zealand, she will have automatic qualification for the World Tri Champs in London 2013 for ages 25-29.

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New website helps you find a pedal pal www.cyclingbuddy.com has 10,000 members who want to find new people to cycle with WITH HEALTH WARNINGS that inactivity can be as bad for you as smoking and reports of Britons being amongst the laziest in Europe, a group of buddies are leading the way and setting an example for the nation to follow. The website www.cyclingbuddy.com was launched to help members find others to cycle with. Today it has almost 10,000 members who between them have logged over 500,000 miles in around eight months from launch. The site is made up of hardcore road cyclists, adrenaline-seeking mountain bikers and health-conscious commuters and recreational cyclists. Founder Tony Piedade said: “Taking up cycling can be a little costly, so it’s important that people have the best possible network to plug into for motivation, advice and confidence. It can be daunting getting on a road on two wheels, and we could all do with some motivational help to keep us enjoying the sport. Member Julia Southward said: “CyclingBuddy is a great concept and what’s more it really works. I was able to find a cycling partner near me within a day of signing up.” CyclingBuddy, which has members in 14 countries, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France and Italy, is completely free to use.

UFFINGTON CC BEGIN PAVILION FUNDRAISING APPEAL

40 YEARS OF PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Ken Houlden, who has been playing golf for 40 years, achieved a lifetime ambition by hitting a hole in one at North Luffenham Golf Club recently. He achieved it at the 142-yard 16th hole using his rescue wood.

UFFINGTON CRICKET CLUB’S campaign to raise £20,000 for a new pavilion got off to a fine start start with two players raising hundreds of pounds at the Great Eastern Half Marathon. Will Fry and Simon Larter (pictured) both completed the course in one hour 43 minutes with Larter, who was competing in his first ever half marathon, claiming he had to carry his more experienced but flagging partner over the line. The funds are the first to go into a pot for a new pavilion, which the club hope to have built within two years. Fund-raising organiser Dean Cornish explained: “The club has risen through the Rutland Leagues over the past few years, and has lots of new members and a vibrant social scene. Unfortunately the pavilion is a pretty bad state and is in desperate need of replacement. For the club to continue to thrive, we need a new one.”

Hound racing for Fitzwilliam Hunt THE FITZWILLIAM MILTON HUNT opened Milton Park in the middle of September to nearly 200 members, supporters and the public, for their annual hound racing social event. With 36 super-fit hounds, along with their not quite so fit handlers, we were all set for a jolly good aernoons entertainment, helped along with a BBQ, hog roast and a well stocked bar. Before each of the six races, the Usain Bolt canine-equivalents were paraded around a makeshi paddock, allowing the experienced (or not-so experienced) onlookers to ‘buy’ a hound. The course was made up of straw bales, brush fencing, and various other obstacles, though not quite as daunting as the Burghley fences. Enticing the hounds over this hurdle extravaganza was the huntsman; he blows the horn, and they go like the clappers. If the hound won, you had a share of the winnings, together with a slice going to the Hunt Supporter’s Club, and a slice for the March Lion’s Club, who, yet again, won the tote.

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PR

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Stapleford Park Golf Academy Membership

The Stapleford Park Golf Course was designed by Donald Steel, and is a 6,944 yard par 73 championship level course which wraps around the heart of Stapleford Park in two extended loops. Stapleford Park Golf Academy Membership, priced at £200, includes 1 hour’s free golf tuition with the Stapleford Park PGA Golf Pro and 6 complimentary green fees, followed by preferential green fees thereafter. The improved offer now includes reduced green fees, ability to play on weekends and bank holidays from 9 o'clock in the morning, plus receive 10% discount on all food and beverages at Stapleford Park. For further information regarding this new membership category please contact us on 01572 787 045 or visit www.stapleford.co.uk/golf as restrictions do apply. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

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terms and conditions apply, participating dealers only or visit www.peugeot.co.uk. *the first year Road Fund licence (RFl) is included in the on the road price. the Dealer will provide customers with a cheque equivalent to twice the current RFl cost. the customer must apply for years 2 & 3 RFl. Just Add Fuel (JAF) is subject to status. ^Minimum age 21, 25 or 30 on selected models, maximum age 75. Policyholder must have a minimum of 2 years NCD to use on the vehicle. All drivers must meet eligibility criteria including minimum 2 years’ full uK licence, driving convictions/claims limits. Excesses apply. 3 years motor insurance is provided and underwritten by u K Insurance limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. A guarantee may be required. Written quotations available from Peugeot Financial Services, Quadrant house, Princess Way, Redhill, Rh1 1QA. JAF is incorporated into a Personal lease contract. 208 Active initial rental £1,518, optional final rental £5,357, 35 monthly rentals. If you choose to pay off the optional final rental, you can pay an annual rental equivalent to one of your monthly rentals but will not own the car. ownership is possible with JAF Passport, ask your Dealer for details. Rentals quoted for a typical customer & will vary according to age, post code and annual mileage. Excess mileage charges may apply. Routine servicing included only. Excludes wear parts. this offer is not available in N I. offer available on cars ordered and registered by 31st December 2012.


Guest column

A triple reverse somersault with pike: give the man a medal The Sunday Times’ Martin Johnson wonders whether Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is playing the wrong sport ow that Olympic fever has subsided to the point where we can take a more objective look back at London 2012, the football season has arrived just in time to make us realise that Team GB could have added at least one more gold medal to their haul. I mean, what on earth were they thinking of picking people like Tom Daley, when you can witness diving of a far higher class on any given Premier League weekend? There was an animated debate going on at my local the other day, shortly after Luis Suarez – who spends most Saturdays flying through the air as though shot from a circus cannon – had performed something close to a triple reverse somersault with pike in Liverpool’s match against Stoke City. An achievement made all the more admirable for the fact that there was no defender within several yards of him. “He should get charged with bringing the game into disrepute,” opined a chum of mine, which was as amusing a pub argument as I’ve ever experienced. The notion that football has some kind of reputation left to defend is an interesting concept, and you can hardly blame poor old Luis for doing something which comes so naturally to him. The poor chap had no more instinct to remain upright when a mild breeze appeared to upend him than a dog can be programmed to walk past a lamp-post. The most remarkable thing to me is why rugby players don’t appear to be similarly afflicted. In this year’s rugby league Grand Final a Warrington prop played on with nothing more than a squirt of cold water down his shorts to treat a ruptured testicle, which was later removed in hospital. On the same day, at football matches around the country, equally large men were falling to the ground for no discernible reason, and writhing around in the foetal position in the manner of someone in the death throes of poisoning. It never used to be like this. You only went down if you were seriously clattered. Some of us remember the 1958 FA

N

Cup final between Bolton and Man United, when the United goalie caught a cross, and was then propelled backwards with such force by the Bolton centre forward Nat Lofthouse, that he ended up more hopelessly entwined in the net than a freshly landed North Sea haddock. Yellow card? Red even? Nope. Goalie finally untangles himself without a murmur of complaint, and ref awards goal to Bolton. In the era of Nobby Stiles, Norman Hunter and Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris nothing sneaky ever took place. When you ran at one of those boys with a Ronaldo-like dribble, you reached for the rosary beads and said a few Hail Marys. Sure, players used to roll around clutching their leg, but only to make sure it was still attached to the body. And sometimes, the fact that his leg was around 20 yards away at the time gave the ref a decent indication that he wasn’t faking it. And that was in an era where getting away with it was far easier. The camerawork then was hopelessly primitive compared to today, as the old Leicester Tigers fly half Les Cusworth will testify. Back in the early 1980s, Les was helping to defend his team’s line when an opponent plonked both his hands on Cusworth’s bald white head. Whereupon the ref, mistaking it for the match ball, awarded a try. Rugby now has more and more replays to assist referees and cricket, of course, is so far down that road that the qualification required to become an umpire boils down to nothing more complicated than whether he can count to six. Football has yet to embrace the concept of allowing replays and thus far has also cocked a deaf ‘un to the increasing clamour for goal-line technology. Personally, though, I hope that soccer steers clear of this kind of thing, and opts instead for the kind of system used in ice-skating. What we need is a set of judges who will sit and watch Suarez deliver a flawless performance, before awarding him the full set of 6.0s for technical merit and artistic impression. Leaving Luis to hug his teddy bear, blub all over his coach, and finally collect all those flowers strewn over the pitch before blowing kisses to his audience and departing, with a misty-eyed wave, down the tunnel.

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Feature /// Gear

Kitbag for him

Stuck for Christmas present ideas? Here’s six pages of great gear for him, for her and for the kids...

Jack Wolfskin Lakota vest Equally suitable for wear as an additional core insulating layer over a fleece or soshell, these vests are hard wearing winter gilets with premium down fill. From Rutland Outdoors Price £84.99

Aigle Parcours wellies With its triple density sole, the Aigle Parcours Vario 2 anti-fatigue wellie gives unrivalled comfort and allows you to walk for much longer without getting tired feet. From Barnack Country Clothes and Wellieboots.com Price £109.99 (RRP £130)

Cube Backpack’s Ideal for stashing all your essentials whilst out on the trails!! From CycleWright Price from £34.99

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Under Armour boots The Under Armour 10K Force Pro II FG boots are designed with an innovative fit system, allowing freedom of movement whilst keeping the foot secure, while a perforated microfibre tongue enhances breathability and moisture management, enhancing comfort. From www.underarmour.co.uk Price £80

Gun case This classic leather leg of mutton gun case is the perfect gi for someone who loves their shooting of sporting antiquity. From Stuart Porter Antiques Price £95

Bowflex Select dumbbells

GoPro HD Hero 2

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells have 15 weight settings, allowing the user to build strength slowly or to increase quickly to bulk up. From Amazon.co.uk Price £300

The most advanced GoPro camera yet. Wearable and gear mountable, waterproof to 197’ (60m), capable of capturing professional full 170º wide angle 1080p video and 11 megapixel photos. From Cyclewright Price £299

Carrera helmet Developed with the innovative Aluminium Tech Frame system, this helmet has a low aerodynamic drag coefficient, while the new Thermo Cool lining takes its comfort to new heights. From The Gorilla Firm Price £129.99

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Feature /// Gear

Kitbag for her

BioFreeze gel For the temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with arthritis pain, backache, strains and sprains. From Cell Regeneration, Tinwell Price £7 (approx)

Castelli Viziata jacket The Viziata windstopper is one of those jackets that will keep you warm in almost any conditions. The Windstopper membrane keeps cold air out while the brushed fleece keeps you warm and transports moisture away. From The Gorilla Firm Price £190

Reebok Gymball The Gymball from Reebok is from their Performance range and includes a DVD which shows you how to exercise with the ball. Swiss balls are great for improving stability and help to tone abdominal muscles and are therefore great to use during Pilates and Yoga. This Exercise ball is suitable for people over 6. From www.simplysweat.com Price £24

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Adidas hockey stick The Xtreme 24 X24 Compo 3 composite hockey stick is a classic all-rounder that provides a stiff feel but immense power transfer to the ball. Perfectly balanced with a tighter hook for improved control on the reverse side. From BarringtonSports.com Price £97.95

Dubarry boot The Clare boot from the Dubarry brand has a feminine twist on the iconic Dubarry boot. The slimmer, more shaped style makes it perfect for the town but still has the function ability to keep your feet dry and warm out in the fields this winter. From T&C Robinson Price £325

Barbour International Polarquilt Jacket A beautifully fitted, iconic Barbour jacket in a bright fuchsia, designed in an authentic motorcycle style, with a fitted adjustable belt, a buckle collar, all-over engraved stud popper detailing and a warm polorquilt lining for cold-weather wear. From Cavells, Oakham Price £179

Volkl Kenja skis For girls who spend most of their time on the groomed terrain, Völkl has taken the already excellent Kenja and made improvements. One new factor is its tip rocker profile, which delivers even more maneuverability and agility. From www.edgeandwax.co.uk Price £470

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Feature /// Gear

Kitbag for kids

Aqua Sphere Seal Kid Goggle

Charles Owen ‘Young Rider’ Jockey Skull

Finally, a goggle kids will like! The ultimate in aquatic eye protection with a flexible frame, watertight fit and easy-adjust buckles. From www.simplyswim.com Price £9.10

Designed to appeal to the younger rider but offering the same protection as the adult version. This lightweight slim look jockey skull is one of the best sellers in the range From T&C Robinson. Price £57.50

Kiddimoto Pastel Dotty Kurve Kurve is the newest addition to the Kiddimoto range of balance bikes for kids. Suitable for age three years upwards, the gorgeous curved styling combines with rugged construction to ensure long-lasting fun for your toddler. From CycleWright Price £59.99

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Opro Junior Mouthguard Opro mouthguards have stretch zones which allow fitting to all mouths. Wide front ‘V’ for optimum adaptation and wide open front palate for optimum breathing and speech. From www.rugbystore.co.uk Price £9.99

Babolat Aeropro Drive Junior GT tennis racket Perfect racket for those wanting all the best attributes of the adult Nadal racket, with a less stiff frame than the adult version to protect those young limbs. From TennisNuts.com Price £63.99

Springfree R54 Trampoline The R54 springfree trampoline comes with a 5-foot FlexiNet safety enclosure as standard, so junior jumpers can enjoy hours of safe fun, without ever falling off. From www.rainbowplay.co.uk Price £730

The North Face jacket When young explorers need dependable waterproof protection, The North Face Boys’ Resolve Jacket features advanced HyVent technology for waterproof, breathable and seam-sealed protection, leaving adventurers comfy underneath. From thenorthface.com Price £55

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Feature /// Leicester Tigers

Roaring into Europe Alex Flint casts an eye over local rugby club Leicester Tigers as the European season begins

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ig cat sightings are a hot topic in Rutland, but the mention of one particular species can inspire emotions ranging from passion and praise to jealousy and rage. The most successful professional club in English rugby, Leicester Football Club - or the Tigers to you and me - are as polarising a sports club as you are likely to find, producing seemingly unending loyalty from the Leicester faithful and little short of disdain from those who choose to support just

about every other professional rugby club in the UK and Ireland. Founded in 1880, the Tigers have an enviable history in the professional era, being nine times English champions and reaching the Premiership final in eight successive seasons since 2005. Leicester have also had great success in Europe, being the only English side ever to win the Heineken Cup back-to-back in 2001 and 2002. They have appeared in a further three finals, most recently against Leinster in 2009 after a heart-stopping (and exceedingly rare) penalty shootout against the Cardiff Blues at the semifinal stage. The club is associated with some of

the best players in English history, including 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning captain and later England coach Martin Johnson, infamous backrowers Neil Back, Lewis Moody and Dean Richards, and the great wingers Rory and Tony Underwood. Some of the greats of world rugby have also had stints at the Tigers, including Fijian sevens legend Waisale Serevi and South African Joel Stransky, who scored all his side’s points in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. More recently, the club has seen the likes of Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs come through the academy system to

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cement their places for England. In 2011 Leicester’s 19-year-old fly-half George Ford, understudy to first-choice England fly-half Toby Flood, became the first ever Englishman to win the IRB Junior Player of the Year award. Recent years, however, have been more difficult for the Tigers, who were beaten in successive Premiership finals against Saracens in 2011 and Harlequins last season. Although a young side brought home the Anglo-Welsh cup last season with a victory over Northampton Saints in the final, European rugby has seen Leicester struggling alongside the other English clubs.

In the past three seasons, the Tigers have twice failed to get past the group stages and in 2011 were beaten quarter-finalists against eventual champions Leinster. The 2012/13 Heineken Cup has once again seen Leicester drawn in a very tricky pool, facing off against last season’s RaboDirect PRO12 champions Ospreys and rising Italian side Benetton Treviso. However, the greatest obstacle is undoubtedly the French Top 14 champions Toulouse. They are the titans of European rugby with four Heineken Cup titles to their name and boasting an array of world class talent including

Luke McAlister (capped 30 times for the All Blacks), French captain Thierry Dusautoir and joint top try scorer at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Vincent Clerc. With an encouraging start made to the Premiership season and a rapidly shortening injury list, hopes are high that Leicester can once again make an assault on the summit of European rugby. Leicester’s players and management openly admit that they have not been playing to the standards of which they are capable and which their supporters expect. We will soon know if the Tigers are ready to make another mark in the history books.

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Feature /// Leicester Tigers

cinema, that sort of thing. I like to play a bit of golf at Rutland Water Golf Club sometimes, though just for a bit of fun – I don’t have a handicap. I also used to play cricket for Uppingham Town from the age of about six. I try and get the odd game for them every now and then but it’s increasingly difficult to fit around training and keeping yourself injury free. A: Tigers have got a really strong squad this season. What is it like competing for a place against the likes of Manu Tuilagi? MS: I think that squad strength is a big part of why Leicester are so successful. Whenever any of the boys get called away for international duty or through injuries there’s always someone ready and waiting to step in. Though we all get on with each other, we push each other really hard in training. Because of the quality of the players around you there are always new skills to pick up from each other and advice to take in. It’s great to have that competition day-in day-out, and when the boys are called away for international duties there are plenty of chances for others to get out there and play.

Q&A: Matt Smith Local boy Matt Smith has made some eye-catching appearances for the Tigers this season, including a man of the match performance against Exeter in September. A utility back, playing wing or centre, 26-year-old Smith attended Oakham School where his father Ian ‘Dosser’ Smith, former Tigers flanker, captain and coach, is director of rugby Active caught up with Matt in the build up to Leicester’s opening Heineken Cup game against Toulouse. Active So Matt, the Tigers’ European campaign is about to begin – what’s the feeling in the camp? Matt Smith We’re obviously very confident – the last couple of weeks we’ve had some really tough, hard-fought wins, for instance away to Sale. But it doesn’t get any bigger than Toulouse – they’re one of the giants of the Heineken Cup. Everyone’s quite excited, you want to get out there and prove yourself. Toulouse have got some world class players and are a top team, you just want to get out there and do your best. A: Tell us about your working week preparing for such a big game. MS: We had a Friday game last week, so we had the weekend off and didn’t get back in until Monday which was quite a light day reviewing the last game. Tuesday is the first time we look ahead to the next game, so we do some video analysis in the morning. Tuesday afternoon is the

big contact session of the week where we get all our defensive structures in place. A week is a long time to go without contact in a game like rugby, so these sessions do a lot to keep you on your toes. Wednesday we’ll have off to rest before training again on Thursday morning and afternoon, looking at the plays we’re going to run, team plays things like that. Friday is a team run, which is just a short, sharp half an hour session and then we’ll travel out on Saturday. I like to ‘top up’ on things like catching and kicking on the side whenever I can. Although my preferred position is centre, I can play in a few positions so it’s important to keep those other skills up to scratch. A: What do you do to relax between games and training? MS: Nothing too exciting to be honest! I’m quite fortunate in that my family all live locally – my younger brother, step-brother, mum and sister all live in Uppingham and my dad lives in Langham so I like to go and see them. I grew up in and around Rutland and have a lot of friends here so it’s great to see them and just relax, go to the

A: France is a notoriously hostile country to play in – how do you control your nerves on a big occasion? MS: It comes down to experience. I’ve been lucky enough to play in some big games, for example last season I played in Clermont which was a really feisty and intimidating atmosphere. The French crowds like to do everything they can to make you feel uncomfortable but you do get used to it. It can work against them as well – if you can put them on to the back foot and keep them behind on the scoreboard then the French crowds will get on their backs too. I had early exposure to big games, playing at Twickenham when we won the Daily Mail Cup final in 2003. That was an amazing experience not just for the occasion but also to be able to play in a place like that with your mates who you’ve grown up playing rugby with. A: Finally, have you got any advice for aspiring young rugby players? MS: Practice as much as you can. Even if you think you’re going to be a forward, learn to pass off both hands and kick off both feet as those are some of the core skills in rugby and you never know when you might need them. But the most important thing is to enjoy it. If you enjoy your sport, whatever it is, then you will enjoy practising and training. The more you want to do it, the harder you’ll work and the more your skills will improve. I love rugby, I grew up in the area and Leicester are my local team. I used to go and watch them as a young lad so, as cheesy as it sounds, to play for them is really a dream come true. I love playing for Leicester and couldn’t imagine playing for anyone else.

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WIN! A TIGERS MASCOT EXPERIENCE

Rare chance for one lucky youngster to walk out with the team at Welford Road LEICESTER TIGERS are offering one lucky under 16 the chance to run out in front of a packed crowd at Welford Road as an official Leicester Tigers mascot when Tigers take on London Wasps in the LV= Cup in the last weekend of January. The lucky mascot will take home with them the once in a lifetime experience of running out with the Leicester Tigers team. As well as this each mascot gets a new home kit to keep, a complimentary match programme with their photo in and we’ll also give the winning mascot four tickets so that they can enjoy the game with friends or family. Mascot opportunities don’t come around very often, they are normally picked from the Junior Tiger Club, the free VIP club for fans under 16 at Leicester Tigers sponsored by Crusha. But this month, exclusively for Active magazine readers, all juniors who sign up to the Junior Tigers Club before the deadline of January 8, 2013, will be entered into a separate draw for even more chances to win this incredible experience. Winners will be notified by January 11, 2013. All children must be accompanied by an adult on the day. For more information on the Junior Tigers Club and the FREE Matchday VIP Area with Crusha milkshake bar, face-painting, games, player appearances and more go to www.leicestertigers.com/jtc

WANT TO ENTER? Visit: www.leicestertigers.com/theactivemag

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Feature /// Rock climbing

A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

After three years learning on climbing walls at Rutland Water, Rich Beach finally tackles his first real rock face Photography: Rory Game

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I

’m jamming my fist in the Cardinal’s Crack and it’s not a pleasant experience. The crack is a 15-metre fissure in the quarried rock face of Yarncliffe, a popular beginners’ climbing crag, and fist-jamming is the best way of getting any purchase on this route. It’s by no means a beginner’s route but I’m not exactly a beginner. I just happen to have never climbed a real rock face before today. And I’ve certainly never done any ‘jamming’, an uncomfortable technique where you shove your fist or feet into crevices when there are no holds to reach for. This secluded spot in the Peak District was the perfect introduction; with such varied routes, I was able to progress from the easiest route up, until I found my current ability. I’m pleased to find I’m in the amber – climbing routes that are classified with the words ‘very severe’.

THE PASSION

I love climbing. I’ve always loved climbing. Even as a wee nipper the compulsion to clamber on top of absolutely everything was stronger than normal. I lost a fingernail when a climbing frame I built out of bits of an old table collapsed beneath me. I got more than one detention at school for climbing into the bell tower. And during the summer at college I worked with a window cleaner who made me believe it was perfectly normal practice to climb a 20ft ladder up to the 8in deep ledge of a church, and shuffle along the entire length of the building, unsecured, cleaning the windows as I went. So when I discovered the local outdoor climbing tower it became my gym. And as I’ve never set foot in a gym, I was pleased about this ultimate workout facility just up the road from my house (actually, I have set foot in a gym, for about five seconds – there were three pumped-up guys wearing vinegar faces, having a bicep curl strain-off in the mirror, and I thought ‘this is not for me’). What made the climbing tower even more attractive was that it featured auto belays, meaning I could climb on my own whenever the mood took me.

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Feature /// Rock climbing

THE PROBLEM

So why has it taken three years of climbing artificial rock before I tried the real thing? The issue is my age: I’m at the point in my life when all my friends are married, getting married, have kids or are having kids. Without someone else on the other end of the rope, I’d have to pay for an instructor’s time, which is closer to £15, instead of £6 on the wall. Getting friends out for so much as a beer needs to be scheduled-in three weeks in advance. A daytrip or overnighter somewhere would require form-filling and committee approval. I figured I could forget real rock climbing until I could coerce a friend to join me, and so I stuck with the local climbing tower.

THE SOLUTION

Little did I realise, there are activity centres and climbing walls up and down the country that offer organised day trips out to real rock. Rutland Water is on my doorstep and is home to Europe’s largest mountain bike rental fleet. But the centre incorporates the Rockblok – an impressive climbing tower with chimney features, over-hangs and myriad technical routes

to play with. And here I found a leaflet about regular runs out to the Peaks for only £55 for the day. What’s more, I didn’t need anyone to join me, just Steve the instructor. A two-hour drive and £55 later, and I was in the Peak District, hunting out a quiet spot to break me in on. I was stoked. I was also surprised by how many other climbers were here, on a weekday. The planned crag was on Stanage Edge, one of the most popular climbing spots in Derbyshire as it’s one of the first you get to, from the east. But it was over-subscribed. Too many club mini-buses and groups. Steve’s Plan B took us back the way we came, to a small quarry right by the roadside. For a second choice Yarncliffe seemed perfect. Surrounded by trees, this former granite quarry is an official spot, and is ideal for rock virgins. We studied the book of routes and picked a simple first foray called Outdoor Centre Route, as it’s a popular first hit for visiting groups from clubs and features plenty of broken cracks to hold onto. It was like climbing the artificial wall, only taller. There were plenty of easy holds to grab, but many weren’t obvious, requiring constant investigation with my fingers. Most holds were

sign-posted with chalk dust from a hundred previous climbs. Before I knew it, I was touching the top carabiner and abseiling back down. After a few scrambles up the first pitch, we set up another belay on a route called Ants Wall. This was a more technical climb as it involved avoiding placing your hands on the giant angry ants the wall is named after, and not hanging around long enough to get bitten. By late afternoon, after at least a couple climbs on four or five routes, I insisted on continuing to step up the grade, and went for the Very Severe 4b Cardinal’s Crack. What surprised me about the day was even at that point after hours of climbing I didn’t ache. When climbing the artificial tower, I can’t do more than an hour before I get severe arm-pump. But this is because I know the routes so well, I just fly up them – all explosive energy and very little technique any more. But here in the Peaks, with a good 10 to 15 minutes spent between climbs waiting for the ropes to be set up on the next route, there was plenty of time to rest before the next climb. Plus, the hard-to-spot holds make for a more considered mental approach. I think I finally

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HOW WE GOT THIS SHOT… This photograph was taken from a position no other photographer at this location could get. Our snapper, Rory, is a bit of an remote control fan and has spent the last year developing a helicopter which incorporates a professional SLR camera mounted on the nose. Rory built a separate control unit with a video screen and joystick where the operator can move and control the camera and watch a live video feed. Rory and his chopper can be hired at www. rorygamephoto.com

‘I FINISHED MY CLIMB A LITT LE BREATHY, BUT SATED WITH AN EXPERIENCE I SHOULD NEVER HAVE PUT OFF FOR SO LONG’

understand the zone climbers speak of – that total focus and heightened awareness of the situation; greater sensitivity in your fingers, the feeling of the most minute grain of granite, and the existence of little else. The final climb included the only ‘moment’ of the day, when I had no option but to jam the heel of my shoe into the crevice in order to step up, but it got stuck, tightly wedged. I drained the energy from my arms as I frantically wiggled and yanked at my leg, determined not to fail half way up. But it came loose, and I finished my last climb a little breathy, but sated with an experience I should never have put off for so long.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED Rutland Activities and the Rockblok provide trips out to the Peak District for £55 for a full day, which can be tailored to your needs. The minimum group is four people, but there’ll always be groups you can tag along with. The next planned dates are October 16 and 17.

Half-day trips to Beacon Hill in Leicestershire are just £19.99. For more information, go to www.rockblok.co.uk or call 01780 460060 Find your nearest climbing centre or club at the British Mountaineering Council’s website: www.thebmc.co.uk

THE FUTURE

Obviously the next plan is to return and move on to the routes marked in red, the ones denoted with the letter ‘E’ for extreme. But before then, Steve plans to get me lead climbing, where you place your own protection in the walls (carabiners temporarily fixed along the route to hold the rope). But I can’t help notice the one black route on Yarncliffe called the Crème de la Crème, classed as an Extreme 6. I’m bagging that before the end of the year.

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Feature /// Winter sport

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Fun in the sun

As winter draws in, perhaps it’s time to go further afield for some golf in warmer climes. You can take the whole family too, according to Oakham-based Barry Ward, editor of www.posh-golf-travel.com

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hen the subject is travel and holidays we golfers have the best of all worlds. Not for us the frenetic annual crush most folk associate with summer package holidays. We select our idyllic destination and choose our time to escape, eschewing the heaving Costas for the ambience of an exclusive golf resort far from the madding crowds. . A gilt-edged bonus: the golf holiday season is year-round. No matter the season you’ll find an agreeable resort venue with weather to suit. Whether you’re an all-male foursome or a couple seeking a romantic get-away you’ll find total flexibility in timing and choice. So you can avoid excessive summer heat, for instance, by going in the shoulder seasons at a time convenient for that wedding anniversary or the annual thrash with the club bandits. Flights are cheaper then, too, as frequently are resort rates. Even better, avid golfers plotting to indulge themselves on a guilt-free family holiday have discovered how to have the best of both worlds. A family holiday on a golf resort? Those who know will tell you there’s no better choice. Most have every facility and activity guaranteed to please non-golfers of all ages: a spa and fitness centre, tennis, swimming, boating, bicycles, horse-riding and other activities for youngsters, often including a kids’ club, a beach and a cinema. Many resorts are set in estates of several hundred acres with gated access and 24 hour security. So they’re quite safe as well as exclusive. While you golf, or whatever, the youngsters can wander off and do their own thing, returning to the nest in time for meals. There’ll be oodles of choice there, too: romantic restaurants or bistro-type eating places suitable for youngsters, often out-doors. Ditto bars, night clubs and casinos for the adults. Likewise accommodation: all resorts have hotels, naturally, but some have serviced villas or apartments and cottages, with all mod cons, overlooking the beach or the golf course. If the Best Beloved requires a little pampering, there’s sure to be a health and beauty clinic and a hairdresser. She’ll return feeling like a million dollars and Senor Smoothie will have a stack of brownie points in credit.

That’s merely an overview of what’s available at many such resorts, and then there’s the golf, the focal point of the resorts, the raison d’etre: the courses dominate the vista from virtually every viewpoint and bring an ambience that is at once serene and picturesque. They offer a glorious holiday setting, a communion with nature. A family, even one with non-golfers, would be enchanted with the ambience and the off-course facilities. In the US, where it all began at the famed resort of Pinehurst, North Carolina, such choice has been par for the course since 1895. Set in 5,000 acres of pine-covered sand hills, Pinehurst has been the model for every resort built in the past century. And they’re still making additions and improvements. These days it has eight golf courses - the 2005 US Open Championship was staged on its revered No. 2 course - plus a 50 court tennis facility with a 10,000 seat tournament stadium, a croquet club that is the headquarters of the game in America, a new, $16 million state of the art health spa and a man-made beach alongside a 200 acre lake for fishing and all forms of water sports that don’t involve an engine. There are horses, bicycles, nature trails, you name it. The great hotel, its façade of painted white timber and with a gleaming copper roof, is justifiably known as the Queen of the South. The Carolina dining room is an imperative experience. Many resorts are close to the ocean and so the beach plays a major role in daily life. Frequently, too, there’ll be a town nearby, perhaps even a city of some charm, often historic and with countless attractions - the Kiawah Island resort near Charleston, South Carolina, is an example. There are perhaps 1,000 similar resorts scattered around America, and twice that number around the world. All are open yearround, all are eager for your patronage. Go once and you’ll return. Because of competition the value is exceptional, the standards high. And by booking flights well in advance there’s good value to be had, particularly in the shoulder seasons. All of which puts such a holiday within reach of any family or group with a sense of adventure. And for golfing youngsters it will be a preview of heaven!

Six of the best Golf resorts for players and families Barry Ward picks great resorts that offer cracking courses and entertainment for the kids, too FOR A WINTER BREAK (NOV-FEB) 1. The Sofitel Mogador Resort, Essaouira, Morocco

Situated on an ocean-front estate of 1,500 acres near the resort town of Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, the newly-opened Mogador resort is 40 minutes by air from Casablanca, the nation’s main airport hub. Superb accommodations and service and a choice of dining make this one of the finest resort hotels in Africa. Temperatures are seldom lower than 25C and rarely higher than 30C. The world-class spa, golf and serene beaches are a golden bonus to the many attractions.

2. The Sheraton Resort at Fuertaventura, Canary Isles.

Whatever your interest or grouping, here is the ideal venue for a holiday at any time of year. With a five-star hotel offering all-encompassing facilities that include four pools, a supervised kids club and a spa, it is ideal for families during school holidays and for year-round golfing holidays, particularly for couples. This is a perfect venue for a short-haul Christmas or Easter family break, although golfers and couples may find non-holiday periods more agreeable.

FOR A SPRING BREAK (MARCH TO MAY) 3. Belek, Turkey

Twenty miles from Antalya airport in southern Turkey lies a 15-mile stretch of beaches overlooked by a collection of five star resort hotels and a dozen first rate golf courses. This is Belek, the big new resort venue in international golf tourism. Most hotels boast their own golf courses and offer all-in packages that include meals and drinks. All have every facility: pools, beach access, a choice of bars and dining and golf transfers. It’s all great value, too.

4. Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

Set in 7,000 coastal acres, Casa de Campo has every imaginable facility - not least three world-class golf courses and 20 restaurants! Accommodation ranges from casita apartments for two to villas for ten, complete with butler and maid service. Minutes away is the airport of La Romana, which receives private aircra, helicopters and some international flights. The Dominican Republic shares an island with Haiti and is about 90 minutes’ flying time south of Miami and eight

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Feature /// Winter sport hours or so from London. The island has a dozen or so similar resorts and 23 golf courses, but Casa de Campo was the first and is still the flagship.

For a summer break (June to August) 5. Casa Velha do Palheiro, Madeira

Madeira, four hours’ flying time from London and known as the Garden Island of the Atlantic, is home to Palheiro, one of the great golf resorts, a haven of excellence in 130 hill-top hectares with views of Funchal, the capital, and the ocean beyond. The focal point. and set in the grounds of a world famous garden, is Casa Velha do Palheiro, the former country house that’s become a world-renowned boutique hotel. Adjacent is a swimming pool and health club and other facilities include a motor yacht moored in nearby Funchal harbour that’s available for whale and dolphin watching and deep sea fishing.. The golf course has hosted the Madeira Open and has been described as one of the world’s loveliest places to play.

6. Bovey Castle, Devon

Quite simply, Bovey Castle is the finest all-inclusive resort in Britain and some way beyond. In a stunning setting on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park, it offers gourmet dining, incomparable service and accommodations, old-world glamour and oodles of charm all enhanced by the ambience redolent of another, more gracious, age. A wide range of outdoor pursuits include horse riding, river fishing, archery, hot air ballooning and a charming golf course that is one of England’s unsung jewels. Bovey Castle is an elegant example of impeccable standards, the stage for a by-gone era revisited.

Above

A view of the Gary Player course at Mogador resort in Morocco

Left

Fuerteventura by night

For in-depth reviews of the listed resorts visit www.posh-golf-travel.com, the leading online golf travel magazine

Take your time to wander through our vast array of bygone treasures and you may discover that antiques bargain you’ve been searching Or take a break and a cup of tea in our Jean's tea room and relax in our lovely Courtyard.

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Below

Stunning scenery such as this is just a few hours’ flight time from the UK

Short-haul winter walking Don’t want to spoil a good walk with golf? Sandie Hurford chooses some of the best winter walking routes in Europe and North Africa

I

f trekking’s your game and money’s no object, the onset of winter is of no consequence when it comes to pursuing your pastime. Think Nepal and the Himalayas, South Africa and the Drakensberg, New Zealand and the Milford Track… the options are endless. But if you’re short on time and/or cash, you’ll have to be a bit cannier. Don’t thwart the adventurer in you by resigning yourself to an afternoon stroll around the flatlands of East Anglia. Take a look at these destinations, all reachable via a low-cost airline and all achievable even for a long weekend when you feel the need to put some miles under your boots – and hopefully some sun on your back.

MADEIRA

Fantastic walking opportunities, from gentle strolls along a network of levadas (small water channels) covering large parts of the island to more demanding hikes among the craggy peaks of the interior. The sub-tropical climate makes it a year-round walking paradise, with innumerable exotic plants, originating from almost every continent.

SPAIN

The challenging Picos Europa may be off-limits at this time of year and the Sierra Nevada more suited to skiers, but the climate in Andalucia makes for lovely winter walking in the scenic foothills of the Sierra de Almijara or in Almeria, where the Cabo de Gata nature reserve has been described as one of the ‘last unspoilt corners of the (Spanish) Mediterranean’.

TENERIFE

At just over 12,000 feet, volcanic Mount Teide is the ultimate challenge for trekkers taking advantage of the Canarian weather for off-season activity. But there are plenty of other opportunities for gentler strolls – and you can always take a cable car up to the alien landscape of the Teide National Park.

The 10-mile Samaria Gorge there is the longest in Europe.

MOROCCO

Grab the opportunity to boast you’ve bagged a peak nearly the same height as Mont Blanc (over 4,000m). A flight to Marrakesh takes only around four hours, then it’s a couple of hours drive to the Atlas Mountains, where Mount Toubkal awaits. Barring the real risk of altitude sickness, you can be up, down and wearing the badge in a weekend, though you may need crampons from around mid-November.

GREEK ISLANDS

Many of the Greek islands offer excellent hiking in autumn and spring, with the relatively recently established Corfu Trail giving a fascinating insight into this otherwise well-known holiday destination. In winter, southerly Crete is probably the best bet as so many hotels and tavernas close down elsewhere between November and March.

Above

Sunshine and wonderful backdrops make a short break on the continent very appealing, and quite cost-effective, too

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Feature /// Great walks

Knossington triangle This walk features some tough ascents, but the stunning views on offer make it all worthwhile Words &Photography: Will Hetherington THE ROUTE

Park in the centre of pretty hilltop Knossington then head downhill on Braunston Road and take the bridleway which branches off on the right hand side of the road after about 200 yards. Follow this pretty track down over the stream which helps to form the start of the River Gwash. Then head up the hill to Windmill Lodge. Continue south towards Preston Lodge and Cheseldyne Spinney. Keep your eye out for the footpath signs here, as you need to branch east before you get to Preston lodge. Once you have made the eastward turn you will pass through several fields on the gentle descent back towards the Braunston Road. Before you get to the road you cross a wooden bridge over the stream, which is officially the Gwash by this point. Let the dog have a drink and a swim here because there aren’t any more opportunities for another couple of miles and it starts to get a lot harder. After the bridge you soon cross the Braunston Road and start the steady climb through a couple of grazing fields and then along what looks like an old drover’s track in the woods, until you come out into a large hilltop field. From here there are some unexpectedly special views east over Rutland Water, which gives you a good opportunity to stop and catch your breath after the ascent.

Once you have recovered and enjoyed the view look out for the slightly concealed footpath to the left and westwards back to Knossington. Skirt round the southern edge of Cold Overton Park Wood and through the grounds of Lady Wood Lodge. By this stage the hills and stiles do start to take their toll but the views are just as impressive and the end is nigh. As you climb the final hill on the outskirts of Knossington there is a chance to indulge in a spot of envious country house ogling with the ironically pleasant looking Bleak House on the left. After this turn left on to the Hollow which will take you back up to the car or, even better, the Fox & Hounds just round the corner!

THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE

There were some cattle on the bridleway at the beginning of this walk the day we did it. But other than that there was no problem letting the dog off during the first half of the walk. We saw a few more sheep and cattle north of Braunston Road but certainly not in every field. You cross the Gwash twice so that’s a good chance for the dog to have a drink or a swim.

Difficulty rating (out of five)

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TOP STAT es the This walk featur Rutland just in int po st he hig ld Overton to the east of Co 197 metres, It’s . od Wo rk Pa d there is a or 646 feet, an nt which small monume nding. takes a bit of fi

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park In the centre of Knossington, three miles west of Oakham. The village is actually in Leicestershire but you cross the border into Rutland during the walk.

Clockwise, from top le

St Peter’s Church in Knossington; an idyllic setting down in The Hollow; stunning views of Rutland Water and beyond from the highest point in Rutland just to the east of Cold Overton Park Wood; take your pick of beautiful villages to visit in this stunning part of the country; this walk is full of lovely views through gateways and over Rutland’s hills. The Fox and Hounds, right, is a welcome sight aer this tough walk

Distance and time Four and three quarter miles/two hours Highlights Rutland’s beautiful rolling countryside, including unexpected views east of Rutland Water and beyond. Knossington is

as pretty as any village in the area and St. Peter’s church is idyllic. Aer you have done this walk you can definitely enjoy a slap-up lunch or dinner and know you have earned it!

Ball down the road in Braunston is a great pub. Or you can head back into Oakham to the splendid Lord Nelson or The Grainstore.

Lowlights It’s a tough walk. The second half involves a lot of awkward stiles and steep gradients so you need to be reasonably fit to get round in two hours. Refreshments The Fox & Hounds in Knossington is the obvious option but the Blue

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Feature /// Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Everything a woman needs to be fit, healthy and fantastic. Edited by Sandie Hurford

CORBIS PREMIUM RF / ALAMY

SUPERFOOD FROM AFRICA

Women spend more than 17 years of their lives trying to lose weight

A

shocking 90% of British women have been on a diet, with the average woman losing her body weight over nine times during her lifetime and spending more than 17 years on a diet, Diet Chef has found. The average woman diets twice a year, losing 11lb each time. Life expectancy data* reveals that the average woman lives until 82 and weighs on average 11 stone. If she begins dieting at the age of 18, she will lose her body weight 9.1 times and if she spends seven weeks on a diet twice a year she will spend 17.2 years dieting. Apparently, those in the North West find it the most difficult sticking to a diet, only able to summon up the stamina for four days on average – the shortest amount of time in the UK (12%) – whereas those in the North East (11%) and East Anglia (17%) have the most willpower, with their last diet lasting one month. Less than 1% of women managed to stick to a diet for a 12-month period (0.6%) and a third of all women diet for at least six months per year. Not fitting into any of their clothes was the top

prompt (52%) to lose weight, with the same number of people saying that developing a ‘muffin top’ was the first sign that they had piled on the pounds. Summer holidays (33%), health reasons (22%) and weddings (18%) were the top three incentives to lose weight and 43% of the female population said not feeling comfortable in a swimsuit was the main reason for wanting to streamline their look. Ultimately, it is a general love of food (35%) and lack of willpower (33%) that keeps would-be dieters from achieving their dream body, with over a third saying they were their main reasons for struggling with managing their weight loss, although a fifth of women say they find it too expensive to buy healthy food. One in three women will splurge on comfort purchases when feeling down about their diet, with shoes being the top thing to splurge on (37%). * Office of National Statistics male and female life expectancy at birth and at age 65: by rank order of local areas in the United Kingdom, 2004-06 to 2008-10

This year’s hottest new superfood is Baobab fruit from Africa. Baobab fruit powder has apparently been nourishing people for centuries – the Kung San bushmen of the Kalahari eat it to boost energy and ward off winter colds, whilst 19th-century seafarers ate it to protect themselves against scurvy. Now Organic Burst Baobab has been named this year’s Best Breakthrough Health Product by beauty site Beauty Shortlist, was a finalist for Natural Products Awards’ Best Supplement of 2012 and runner-up in VegFest Awards’ Best Superfood 2012. The only fruit that dries up on the branches to produce a powdery pulp, it is the powder that contains nutritional benefits claimed to outweigh other foods on almost every level. It is very high in Vitamin C (more than oranges), calcium (more than milk), magnesium, iron (more than red meat), digestive enzymes and prebiotic fibres for good digestive flora. Baobab is also claimed as a beauty food. Scientists say it contains high amounts of antioxidants, which help slow down the effects of ageing, and its rich content of natural Vitamin C is said to boost your body’s production of hyaluronic acid and collagen to keep skin nourished and elastic. Organic Burst Baobab powder, taken by mixing a teaspoon a day in water, juice, smoothie or yoghurt, is available from Whole Foods Market stores and health stores.

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A WOODY WORKOUT Climbing trees is not just for the kids – at Go Ape it’s great exercise, and fun too

Time to have your cells regenerated? Sandie Hurford investigates an innovative new therapy that claims to give you a new lease of life

TE R

Liz said: ”He came to us with a fractured toe and was facing an operation but he played constantly whilst having MBST and the treatment fixed his toe entirely in just three weeks. Another patient with severe shoulder pain said we had given her her life back and a woman from Australia who had suffered with chronic backache for 12 years is now pain-free. The therapeutic effects of MRI first came to light when patients suffering from osteoarthritis kept reporting that their pain had significantly subsided after having undergone an MRI scan. These reports provided the inspiration to a team from MedTec to further investigate the phenomenon and this ultimately led to the development of MBST. MBST involves between five and nine daily treatment sessions, depending on the severity of the ailment, costing around £100 per session. Spin Repair Therapy offers a similar regeneration therapy for skin cells and is used in the treatment of wrinkles and cellulite. Magnetic Resonance technology energizes water molecules which encourages the production of new skin cells. Immediately after treatment, says Liz, strengthening of the skin can be observed, though full success arrives 10 to 12 weeks after treatment. “A local head teacher said her students had called her ‘a wrinkly old bag’”, said Liz. “After treatment in the summer holidays they were asking whether she had done something different with her hair as she looked so much younger.” Spin Repair treatment comprises a seven-day application of one hour per day, followed after four weeks by a three-day top-up, again of an hour a day, to strengthen the newly created skin cells. Contact Cell Regeneration on 01780 238 084

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BE

FO

RE

AS YOU GET OLDER, conversation among friends moves on from children and schools through house prices and holidays to aches and pains, the curse of the middle-aged. Try to organise a game of tennis, or even an afternoon’s walk, and you’ll get a full breakdown of ailments. From the onset of arthritis to dodgy knees and gippy elbows, at the age of 50 the body starts throwing out signals that it really wasn’t meant to hang around for a second half-century. People are willing to try anything for relief and can usually recommend a favourite physiotherapist or their favoured vitamin/mineral supplement. But many will not yet have heard of a new innovation in physiotherapy called MBST, which uses Magnetic Resonance Therapy in the management of conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis and for the treatment of sports injuries. Cell Regeneration in Tinwell, near Stamford, is the first dedicated MBST centre in the UK and has already treated nearly 500 patients who travel there from all over the country. It is run by brother and sister Charles and Liz Clare, whose mother Ann, a physiotherapist of more than 30 years’ standing, set up the practice. They trained at MedTec in Germany, from which they rent five MBST machines, four for medical use and one for cosmetic treatment. Liz Clare says: “The treatment is non-invasive and pain free. It has been proven to repair and regenerate cartilage and increase bone density. MBST is based on the same principles as MRI but with much lower magnetic fields and frequency. It is controlled by chip-card technology, which gives the correct resonance to the specific area.” One of the clinic’s success stories was Peterborough United captain Gabriel Zakuani.

If you’re not a gym goer, you can still get valuable exercise simply by going for a walk. But another way to make the most of the outdoors and keep fit at the same time could be by trying out a high-ropes forest adventure. Many of us will have taken our children to a Go Ape centre – the nearest is up the A1 at Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire – and even had a go ourselves. Now the company has conducted a health and fitness study to establish what muscle groups are used, as well as the average amount of calories burnt whilst embarking on the tree-top adventure. Go Ape features a variety of fun yet challenging activities that include swinging through the forest on zip wires, crossing wooden walkways and bridges and climbing tree-top ladders – whilst safely attached to a harness, of course. Based on an average of 100-120 minutes worth of ‘Go Ape’ time, excluding the safety training, the average amount of calories burned are: // Males - 660 calories (equivalent to a six-inch pepperoni pizza) // Females - 510 calories (equivalent to a bacon double-cheeseburger) Apparently, people embarking on a Go Ape course are working at 50-60 per cent of their maximum heart rate. According to www. walking.about.com: “Your workout in this zone is less intense and won’t give the most cardio-respiratory training benefits but studies have shown that it works to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. In this zone, the body derives its energy by burning 10% carbohydrates, 5% protein and 85% fat.” The high-ropes experience also strengthens the following muscles: Rhomboids, Lower Trapezius, Rectus Abdominis, Obliques, Erector Spinae, Latissimus, Dorsi Gluteals and Quadriceps. And stretches the following: Upper Trapezius, Pectorals, Erector Spinae, Latissimus Dorsi, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius and Soleus.

COSY UP ON COLD NIGHTS

As the days get colder and the evenings draw in, we can look forward to some cosy nights in front of the fire. With our bikini bods hidden away under layers of our favourite winter warmers, the determination to keep up with the healthy regime wavers as we snuggle up in front of the TV with a mug of cocoa. Fortunately, the warm-hearted folk at Weight Watchers have been working to develop a range of hot chocolate drinks that are made with real chocolate and contain only 40 calories per serving. The three flavours –chocolate, caramel and mint – also cater for those on a ProPoints controlled diet, with a ProPoints value of just 1 per serving. The Weight Watchers Instant Hot Chocolate range is now available across all major UK supermarket chains and selected high street and independent stores.

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Feature /// Great runs

Eyebrook Reservoir, Caldecott Alexa Cutteridge explores two runs around the stunning Rutland countryside ///

Photography: Harry Measures

RUN ONE: EYEBROOK CIRCUIT

Start at the bottom of Main Street below Stoke Dry. Facing the reservoir turn right and follow the road for 30 minutes around half of the reservoir, passing through hedgerows and stunning countryside. If you look to your left across the lake on your way around you can see fisherman enjoying their day out, the sweeping Rutland hills and the beautiful architecture of Stoke Dry. After winding around the country road you come to a slight incline with a gate on the left. Go over this gate and join a rubble path through a field, taking you alongside the reservoir towards Eyebrook Lodge. Tread carefully over the cattle grid and continue by the lodge. To avoid the fisherman’s bank follow the path down hill to the left taking you on a path through an avenue of trees. At the end of the straight go over a foot bridge and head left up hill. Around 75% of the run is complete at this point. The last leg of the run back to the start is through woodland – great underfoot and as you look across the reservoir you can admire how far you have already run. Highly motivating!

RUN TWO: RESERVOIR DUATHLON

Fancy a bit more of a challenge? Get your bike, legs and PMA ready – have a go at this! Start at the front of Uppingham School and cycle out on the Stockerston Road. As you meander around the country roads take in the incredible views of agricultural Rutland – particularly incredible on a sunny day. As you steadily descend in to Stockerston this is a great time to test your brakes – the gradient on this hill is rather steep. Cycle along Uppingham Road through Stockerston and as the road joins on to Harborough Hill take the turning left posted Eyebrook Reservoir. Ahead you will see the reservoir. Turn left and cycle towards the bottom of the Main Street below Stoke Dry. Dismount from your bike and leave it safely locked up by the tree. Time for the 50-minute jog. Set off through the woodland and do the reverse of the run above (just to mix things up!). On return to your bike grab your water and have a quick stretch to prepare you for the journey home. Low gear on the bike is essential to start as you head on a gentle uphill for around 10 minutes on Main Street towards the pretty village of Stoke Dry. Beyond the village the road settles in to a flat – relief. As you join on to the A6003 turn left – two miles from Uppingham. This last leg involves three downhills followed by uphills - a fantastic way to end your Resevoir Duathalon work out. As you come in to Uppingham after your last hill either turn right for a refreshment in a local watering hole or turn left to take you back to where you started. I know which way I would be turning!

STATS RUN ONE DISTANCE 5 miles TERRAIN Flat, one short hill, grass and road surfaces TIME 50 minutes at 10-minute mile pace DIFFICULTY 3/5

 RUN TWO DISTANCE 11.5 miles TERRAIN Hills and flat, grass and road surfaces TIME 1hr 45 minutes at 10-minute mile pace DIFFICULTY 4/5



Food tip: Boost circulation and provide a greater hit of nutrients and oxygen by drinking beetroot juice before your workout. Advised by Lindsay Holden of Pure Lifestyles (@pure lifestyles, www.purelifestyles.co.uk)

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Feature /// Cars

Peugeot’s new 208 gets Active Steve Moody test drives the new supermini and finds a car offering style and economy Since the 205 of 1983, Peugeot’s 2 Series has become a backbone of its range, with their mix of chic French styling, brawny hot hatches and affordability drawing in a huge spectrum of buyers. Such is the success of the carmaker’s superminis that at 7.8 million sales not only is the outgoing 206 the biggest-selling Peugeot ever made, but it’s one of the 10 best-selling cars in the world. The 207 wasn’t quite as successful (hardly easy to be either), But its replacement, the 208, looks well positioned to breathe energy back into the series – with production set to be ramped back up to 206 levels. It has big boots to fill. But it sounds promising. It’s shorter than the old car and an average of 110kg lighter, good for reclaiming some 205-esque agility and adding to a range where all diesels and, once the start/ stop system is introduced next year, two petrols come in at under 100g/km of CO2. It’s also far better styled than the 207. There’s a little of the previous generations’ DNA carried forward into its silhouette, but the short bonnet

and upright nose give it cute, compact proportions. Ultimately it’ll come down to individual taste but, against less adventurous rivals, the neatly creased body lines and sculpted ‘spine’ over the bonnet and roof give it a real sense of identity. This extends inside, where the cabin is spacious and now close to the flagship 508 with a huge glovebox and new touch-screen infotainment system. More intuitive than the 508’s, it will gain useful app downloads during 2013. It’s the driving position that really impresses, though. The dials are perched on the top of the dashboard, just below eye height, which allows the thick-rimmed small oval steering wheel to sit low without obscuring the view of the dials. It’s a layout which makes the 208 feel sporty from the off. The 1.0-litre petrol Active model is everything you would want from a supermini: it’s sprightly yet extremely fuel efficient, offering 99g/km and 65mpg-plus. From £12,295, this Active model comes with a host of useful equipment as standard, including

multi-function colour touchscreen, remote central locking, air conditioning with refrigerated glovebox, cruise control and USB input for iPod and Bluetooth connectivity. Peugeot has injected some style and excitement back into its small cars with the 208, and it’s affordable and stylish, evoking memories of the best small Peugeots of the past. The Peugeot 208 Active is available for test drives at Hindmarch Grantham and Stamford.

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15/10/12 10:27:35


Feature /// Win or lose

The Punch Bowl, Stamford Steve Moody finds a hidden gem in the town that caters for teams, dogs and families

I

’ve tried to make it like a village pub, but in the town,” says landlord of The Punch Bowl, Jonathan Groves. Well, he’s certainly managed that. With big sofas, old paintings hanging on the walls, and a roaring fire in the corner, The Punch Bowl is welcoming, and cosy – not at all like many of the pubs in Stamford which mostly tend to go for cool, or studiously ‘olde worlde’. “I like to think that it’s not a transient pub,” continues Jonathan. “In other words, when people come in here, they’re not racing around town on their way to loads of other places. Instead they settle in, get comfortable and stay for a while.” The Punch Bowl definitely has a laid-back vibe, and it’s a pub Jonathan is keen to stress is welcome to families and dogs. Indeed, his own (dogs that is) wander about the place like they own it, and that helps create a really inviting pub. “Stamford is a place where so many people have dogs, and so they should be able to bring them into pubs after they’ve been out for a walk, or even if they’re pretending to be out on a walk,” he says. “ We try to cater for people who get outdoors, for example, shooting parties or sports teams.” Although primarily a pub with regular locals, The Punch Bowl also does food and is doing more. Not least on the menu are the pies made on the premise by the chef Richard, and they are mouthwatering: pheasant and partridge dropped off from places such as Grimsthorpe

Castle make it into the pot. It’s not every kitchen that makes their own – most are bought in. The Punch Bowl will also offer Sunday roasts soon to complement its impressively extensive homemade burger range, and Jonathan is remodeling the rear third of the pub so it can fit in more tables, and even accommodate one large one for parties of a dozen or more. And with projector and screen, the back room can even be used for presentations for clubs or businesses. Seems a far better place for that sort of thing than village halls or offices. It’s rounded off with some good beer from Skinners in Cornwall and local favourites such as Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, and they’re kept pretty well too, so most bases are well covered. The Punch Bowl doesn’t have the biggest

frontage so it can be forgotten about a bit, but that’s a shame because it should be on most people’s ‘to visit’ list, because Jonathan is right when he says it’s a village pub in town – the feel is really relaxed and friendly and it’s an establishment you’d be happy to take your kids along to, as it feels so much less corporate than many places. “I like to think of it as a hidden gem in the heart of Stamford,” says Jonathan, and I can’t help feeling he’s right. My dog walks might never be quite so long again. 21 Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YQ www.thepunchbowlstamford.co.uk Tel: 01780 767981 Mobile: 07528 709726

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Feature /// Sportsman’s Dinner

Pelangi 7, Stamford Novices of far eastern cuisine, JT and Dean brush up their knowledge at Pelangi 7 Dean Back when I was a ‘yoof’ this used to be the Half Moon pub, and there was a cracking pool table about where we are sitting. Bit of a hustler in my day, I was. JT Another to add to your already vast array of ‘jack of all trades’ sporting portfolio. Having never been to the Half Moon I like the look of the interior now: very clean and modern with just a touch of the far east, and to add further to this feel Tsingtao beers, too. Dean The menu has a wide variety of both Chinese and Thai dishes, and it even contains my favourite Beef Thai Green curry. I thought this only came in a jar from Sharwoods! I stuck to this but we shared the hors d’oeuvres: four classic dishes just to set the tone. JT I went for the Kumbar Ayam chicken, and we shared an egg fried rice, just to continue our sharing theme. There is plenty of choice on the menu, and being a fusion restaurant means there should be fewer arguments when deciding on a venue for dinner, and it wouldn’t be a bad place for a cosy supper. Not that me and Dean ever argue.

Dean I was once dumped by a girl here before it was Pelangi – I think it was because of my stubbornness rather than the food. The hors d’oeuvres didn’t disappoint, the ribs glazed in honey were fantastic, as were the deep fried prawns, but my favourite has to be the pork wrapped in bean curd with the chilli dip. I feel sorry for the shredded chicken as this didn’t get a look in! JT The staff are certainly very friendly and attentive. Mandy the waitress, who served me my main course, couldn’t stop smiling. I’ve still got it Dean! Talking of tasty birds, my Kumbar chicken was delicious, very subtle flavours but with a big enough kick to require a sip of beer! How was the Beef Thai Green curry? Dean Spot on JT. Not sure I’ll be using Sharwoods again. It was a simple dish done perfectly. I still had room for a dessert though. I know it’s not common practice for me to have a pudding but the selection of ice cream looked fantastic. JT I had to join you, as the mint choc chip reminded me of holidays as a youngster, and the

Swiss chocolate for Dean. If only Mandy could have grown a moustache, a beer belly and spoke in an Italian accent when she served mine, it really would have brought the memories! flooding back Dean Yes JT, you really have still got it haven’t you? I wish I had your skill with the ladies. With that sort of chat I’m amazed you’ve not been up the aisle yet. Verdict Overall, a very enjoyable meal. We both came away feeling full but not stuffed; the staff were great and very helpful towards two novices of the Asian culinary world. You could use Pelangi for a quick bite before heading on out or you could really make an evening of it by trying lots of smaller dishes. The restaurant was clean and light but still created a good atmosphere. 8/10

Pelangi 7

6 St Paul’s Street, Stamford 01780 763857

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21/10/2012 23:40


Feature /// School sports

Stamford triumph in derby Stamford School First XV maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 30-0 victory at local rivals Uppingham School. Having already notched up wins over Durham, Bedford Modern and Oundle School, Stamford were confident ahead of the clash and started positively, despite some key personnel on the touchline, and they were able to retain the ball well and control the tempo of the game. They went up early through a Kieran Staunton penalty, but were unable to turn their possession into points with Uppingham defending well. After a change in tactics and a bit more organisation, Stamford were able once again to put pressure on the Uppingham line. Captain

Tom Gulland was able to shoot down the blindside after great work from Angus Pinner, making the score 10-0.

Minutes later good carrying from Henry Charlton and Dan Macfadden allowed Tom Williams to put Ben Lovell through a hole. Connor Collett was in support, going over from short range. At 20-0 the Stamford forwards started to get the upper hand and it was two catch and rive moves that allowed Tom Fenyers and Ethan Moss to crash over. Coach David Laventure was pleased: “It was a great defensive performance which ultimately kept them under pressure and forced errors. The boys handled themselves very well in the second half and showed organisation and control –these local derbies always put the players under a huge amount of pressure.”

TIGERS TRIO VISIT OAKHAM SCHOOL Old Oakhamians, Leicester Tigers and British and Irish Lions came to offer playing and training advice to Oakham School’s senior rugby squad. Alongside Geordan Murphy, Leicester Tigers’ captain and ex-Ireland international and the British Lions, were old boys and fellow Tigers Tom Cro and Matt Smith. Cro, a Daily Mail Cup winner with Oakham who has gone o to star for Leicester, England and the British Lions, said: “It is from here that I launched my career. “Sitting chatting with young players is a great part of my job. When I speak with these guys there is obviously a special affinity. I hope the current crop enjoy themselves as much as I did.” Matt Smith, a Daily Mail Cup winner with Oakham, one of the Tigers’ players of the season last year and an England Saxon, said: “It does not matter how many times I return to Oakham, I still allow myself to think of the great days of tearing around farside in the Jerwoods teams, playing cricket with Broady [Stuart Broad] and playing alongside Tom Cro, Tom Harris, Joe Wheeler, Tom Gregory and Paul Cooke. “Tom and I have been lucky enough to play in Daily Mail, Championship and European cup finals and are able to look back to the great start that Oakham gave us at the beginning of our rugby journey.”

Le

Stamford High School’s Constance Copestake in action

Constance takes on Olympians at Osberton International Horse Trials Stamford High School year 12 student, Constance Copestake, was among the 113 starters competing in the eventing at the Osberton International Horse Trials. Constance faced strong competition with six current and past Olympians and mostly professional riders taking part. Some of the names included Piggy French, Laura Collett, Nicola Wilson, Blyth Tait and Ludwig Svennerstall. Not only was Constance competing against some of the top event riders in the world, but she was also the youngest competitor and the only one riding a pony. After the dressage, Constance was third overall with a score of 46.3. She then went on to complete the

very technical cross country course with 4.8 time penalties, meaning that she dropped to eighth overnight. With the showjumping left, Constance almost cleared the course with only the final pole rolling, meaning that she remained in eighth position. At the end of the competition, Constance was placed ahead of all of the professionals, which is an exceptional achievement. Had the pole stayed up in the showjumping she would have been third. Dyl Powell, head of Stamford High School, said: “Constance is competing at a high level and putting a lot of effort into her training. “We are very proud of her achievements and supportive of her ambitions.”

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Chloe retains Lincolnshire senior badminton titles for third year Stamford High School year 123 pupil, Chloe Sidwell, has retained her Lincolnshire senior singles and doubles badminton titles for the third year running after winning another championship at Lincoln University. She is now competing at senior level and she is ranking in the top 100 women in the country. After competing at Lincoln University she has once again retained her Lincolnshire title for the ladies doubles as well as singles champion. Rod Tyler, Chloe’s Coach from Badminton England said: “Chloe is the most talented young female Badminton player to play for Lincolnshire for many years. She has played for the school U18 team since year nine in which time they have never lost a match and she is the current school Badminton captain. Chloe is certainly a future hope for the national team and Olympics.”

JUDO SUCCESS FOR SOFIA Year seven Stamford High School pupil, Sofia Palmer, has just won the 48kg category at the Welsh National Judo Championships. Sofia won three contests against girls in the age 10-11 category and she was crowned champion as she picked up her esteemed gold medal. Sofia, who trains at Vale Judo Club in Oakham has attended 11 competitions this year so far, including local, national and international events, including the Spring Championships in Oslo, Norway earlier this year, winning a silver medal in her age and weight category. She now sets her sights on travelling to Sweden in November where she will be staying with a host family whilst she is competing. Heidi Myles, PE teacher at Stamford High School, said “We are extremely proud of Sofia’s achievements in Judo and wish her all the very best in Sweden later this term. We look forward to following and celebrating her achievements.” in the future.”

Success for Witham Hall girls at Oakham The Witham Hall girls travelled to the Oakham under 13 sevena-side tournament on the back of five straight wins and victory at the Repton tournament earlier in the term, and continued in their winning ways. The first match was against Maidwell Hall and the girls started softly. Following an early goal from captain Tara Lloyd the team defended too deep into their own half and with a minute remaining were caught out by a wicked deflection off a short corner. The next match needed an instant reaction and the girls came out flying against Beeston Hall winning 4 – 0 with the

goals coming from Ella Johnsrud and Tara Lloyd. Denstone were to be the final match in Witham’s pool and a 1-0 victory was enough to send the girls through to the Cup phase. The first match of two was to be against a very strong and high-flying Oakham side who had demolished three other teams in their pool.

The girls were fired up from the start and the work rate the girls put in was immense. Strong defensive work from Eve Scott made sure Oakham didn’t have a chance and Witham were worthy winners 2 – 0, effectively reaching the cup decider against Queenswood. The girls certainly saved their best efforts until last. In front of strong support, including the on- looking parents, the determination of the team shone through and pushed them to an emphatic victory, winning 2 – 0. Witham’s Ella Johnsrud finished with seven goals, earning her the player of the tournament.

Stamford start Daily Mail run at Bourne Stamford School started their Daily Mail Under 18 Cup campaign with a high scoring run out in the rain at Bourne Grammar School, despite a very young side with players being rested for the visit to Uppingham School (see story left). The side was predominantly lower sixth and there were senior debuts for Henry Hives, George Cox and Angus Collett. Conditions were tough and the boys very quickly learned the lessons of looking after the ball. Despite a spirited display from the home side they were quickly overwhelmed and there were

tries for Dan MacFadden, Kieran Staunton, Henry Charlton, Ethan Moss and Connor Collett (two) before the break. Henry Hives, Bo Vergalen, Ben Atkinson plus another for Henry Charlton and Connor Collett added to the triy list after the break. Kieran Staunton and Charlie Page Morris kicked very well, taking the score into the 60s. First XV skipper Tom Gulland, who was watching the game, said: “It’s always difficult watching but the young boys did really well, we scored some good tries and the squad will have learned a bit more playing together.”

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The Punch Bowl.

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ALAMY IMAGES

Feature /// Fitness

Challenge for change

Mary Brooks of MAP Knowledge on how excuses make us stop performing at our highest level, and how to make changes and accept challenges I heard someone in a class at the gym and the instructor was urging him to use heavier weights than he would normally attempt. He was resisting that and making excuses as to why not to attempt them. The gym instructor told him: ‘There is no change without challenge.’ That got my brain thinking. What about you? What does it mean to you when you think that statement? Roll it around in your mind – challenge and change. This philosophy probably doesn’t extend to all areas of your life, but it does apply beyond the gym to the workplace. Challenge and change usually bring with them some form of discomfort, and we naturally shy away from discomfort. It makes sense: we would rather be comfortable, not stretched to discomfort. The discomfort of the pain of exercising to your limits, the discomfort of hunger if you embark on a diet, maybe the discomfort of withdrawal from something we have grown used to but now want to stop. Or

the discomfort of a difficult conversation with a staff member, the discomfort of admitting you don’t know in front of peers, the discomfort of trying new challenges and failing. Very often we give up on our aspirational goals and changes when the discomfort kicks in. What discomfort do you need to accept and work through in order to get to the changes you want or need in your professional life? Accepting discomfort generally means commitment from you. Put your head under water and keep it there for a while. You’ll soon realise that you’re 100% committed to breathing. Notice that you don’t make excuses not to breathe. Notice that you don’t worry about motivating yourself to breathe. Notice that you don’t need to justify your desire to breathe. You just breathe. Commitment is action. I have friends who are broke and other friends who are wealthy. When people are broke, their favourite excuse is ‘I don’t have enough money’. When people are

wealthy, their favourite excuse is ‘I don’t have enough time’. Sound familiar? In the workplace, on the sports field... anywhere that requires commitment, anyone can come up with an excuse to avoid taking action, and their excuses always seem valid, and they are usually avoiding that discomfort zone. The difference between those who take action and those who don’t isn’t a matter of addressing the seemingly valid excuses. The way they succeed is by realising that they’re creating and feeding these excuses, and they decide it’s time to stop. They realise that as long as they’re willing to feed excuses, there will always be an infinite supply. It’s never a good time for change – and there’s never enough money – and that isn’t ever going to change. And despite how valid these excuses may seem, you can’t stop a committed person trying to change. What excuses are you making now? What do you need to find commitment for?

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21/10/2012 16:12


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

Football

Daniels go from strength to strength by Dean Cornish

I

t has been a great few weeks for the Stamford Daniels. Graham Drury’s men crashed out of the FA Cup to Buxton in the second qualifying round, but apart from that it has been a rosy period overall for the Daniels who’ve certainly not been shy in front of goal as they keep up the pressure on the top boys in the EvoStik League Division One South. Add in progress to a lucrative next round tie in the FA Trophy and it’s all smiles down at Wothorpe Road. The Daniels have smashed in 14 goals in their last five games with notable performances away at Sutton Coldfield (winning 4-2), at home against Halesowen Town (including a hat-trick from new signing Louis Hamilton), and away at Brigg Town where the Daniels trailed 2-0 with 20 minutes to go, but came away 3-2 winners thanks to an incredible five minutes which saw the Daniels bang in three quick goals to stun their hosts and come away with the points. They’re currently third in the league with a game in hand, hot on the heels of leading pair Coalville Town and King’s Lynn FC.

As well as those good league performances, manager Graham Drury oversaw a wonderful FA Trophy victory against Kidsgrove which has set up the superb prospect of a home tie with FC United of Manchester at Wothorpe Road on October 27. The breakaway club run by disenchanted fans of Manchester United are expected to bring up to 800 fans to Stamford for the money-spinning occasion. Blackstones continue to struggle in the United Counties League, having picked up just seven points so far from their opening 11 league games. The Stones now sit fourth bottom in the table, with poor home form mainly to blame. It hasn’t all been woe though, with a great 3-2 away win at much fancied Quorn, but there’s not been much more to cheer unfortunately. Add in defeats in the FA Vase against Holbrook, and St Ives in the League knockout cup, and it’s not been a great start to the season so far for Stamford’s second side. Meanwhile, in the Peterborough league

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ambitious Oakham United will be pleased with their start to the premier division season. They’re currently third in the league, and could be in an even stronger position had they not conceded a controversial late equaliser to table-toppers Netherton United in recent weeks. Also in the Premier Division, Uppingham Town are safely in mid table having found some recent form with good away wins at Crowland and Leverington Sports. In the first division, all our local sides are struggling this year. Stamford Bels remain at the bottom of the pile, with just one win so far this term, while Ryhall United are only two places above them, having also only won a solitary game – their only three-pointer coming on the opening day of the season. Ketton are faring slightly better in eleventh position in the 16 team league, but do have games in hand on all other teams in the division. So if you’re looking for a winning side to follow this season, it looks like Stamford AFC and Oakham United are the ones to watch.

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21/10/2012 22:27


Rugby

Mixed fortunes for local sides by Jeremy beswick

A

A bright, crisp afternoon saw Oakham host Leighton Buzzard for the first round of the Midlands Intermediate Cup. Being Leighton’s first cup fixture for some time they were an unknown quantity, as was the ref’s dress sense (bright red boots with light blue socks?) Emergency calls to Trinny and Susannah were placed as Oakham tailored a 21-5 lead at the break. Regular spectators will be familiar with the Oaks’ propensity to wear out from such a position and so it proved, never looking right in the second half as Leighton helped themselves to three tries and a drop goal to win 21-25. The consensus at half-time in the following fixture at home to Aylestone St James was that Oakham were done for, leading as they did 31-0. Always keen to surprise, they held on to win 49-12 with James Harrison scoring two of the seven tries. The points were welcome (indeed Oaks picked up bonus points in all their opening fixtures) but they suffered a reverse the following weekend at Leicester Forest, narrowly losing 14-17. Stamford Town continue to be the area’s success story with another three victories. Their 36-12 win against East Retford followed the now established pattern of falling behind before their superior stamina told.

Although the 50-32 result against Northampton Casuals was more nip and tuck, Town again scored heavily in the last quarter. The following fixture, home to Rushden & Higham, was an acid test as both teams started with 100% league records. As captain Matt Albinson put it: “An opportunity to put a marker down for the league.” A rather scrappy game ensued with too much whistle – especially at the line-out. Stamford eventually prevailed 17-12, scoring two tries to Rushden’s none. Matt singled out openside flanker Bruce Parker for particular praise. That marker is noted. Town also advanced in the cup, drawing 5-5 with Southwell but progressing on the away team rule. Stamford College Old Boys were soundly beaten 58-0 away to St Neots and the following Saturday their front row were AWOL (second time this season) for the scheduled fixture against Bedford Swifts, causing a default. Any non-farming props out there? Applications to The Hurdler please... The highlight of the month was a 42-7 cup victory at home to North Hykeham. Jenny Burrows was ref but, being College, they called her ‘sir’ throughout and invited her to share the shower afterwards. That man Aled Pattison scored a hattrick but was beaten to man of the match by Dan Wilby, who valiantly moved from

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centre to the front row. Incidentally, the players rate Jenny amongst the best of the referees. Chairman Gavin Moss said: “We played really well. Haydn Johns also deserves a mention for three last-ditch, try saving tackles.” Let’s hope things continue to improve. It’s been a tough month for Deepings who’ve introduced new faces to a team that’s still gelling, their only victory coming in a friendly away to West Norfolk 54-27. The following three weeks saw defeats to Rugby St Andrews (16-32) Stewart & Lloyds (21-29) and Queens (21-22). The women’s side is undefeated with two clean sheets so maybe, no, maybe not. You can, however, choose from the firsts, seconds, vets and the women’s side for your own fantasy team on their website. Club captain Nick Coupland has recently lost five stone, but I spoke to the three quarters of him that remains. “We actually played quite well against Rugby St Andrews, who are always hard to beat. Ryan Orchard and Cameron Grant are still in their teens but clearly won the front row battle against hardened opposition”. I think we can take it that “hardened” is a polite euphemism – certainly the fists were flying. The Green Machine have played much better than their results suggest; expect to see victories reported here.

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21/10/2012 22:28


Roundup

Equestrianism

Post-Olympic boom time for riding BY JULIA DUNGWORTH

I

t had been a long dull summer for eventing, full of cancelled events and wet days, until the Olympics, which has ignited interest in the sport. Participation in riding has now shot up, with riding schools claiming to have high numbers of beginners starting. Interestingly, post-Olympics, British Show jumping and British Dressage have both reported bigger increases in their registrations than British Eventing, which does make you wonder if Britain has gone a bit ‘goldtastic’, with eventing only winning a silver! Whichever it is, the Games have had a massively positive impact towards riding in general. The last two local eventing fixtures being Oasby near Grantham and Norton Disney near Newark have also been massively over-subscribed, with Oasby having more than a thousand entries and both events put on an extra day on to cope. Luckily for them, we actually managed to have a dry weekend with amazing going, although a little cold, with the first frost of the year being on the Sunday. I’m sure they will be having the same over subscription problem in the spring. That positivity must have rubbed off a little on our own Lisa Egan from Peterborough who recently won the Riding Clubs 80 Championships. Although this was held locally at Brooksby, near Melton Mowbray, it was a national competition and the field was very strong in yet more rain.

Brooksby managed to keep running despite other events that day being abandoned. Lisa said afterwards: “It was a real test for me and Conrad IV, as I have never ridden him in conditions like this, but he just flicked his little toes out and smiled at that judge, like it wasn’t even raining.” Lisa managed to finish on an impressive score of just 29, so I’m sure she will be one to watch next year. If you have been up early in the last month or so you may have seen a spot of autumn hunting going on, and both the Cottesmore and the Fitzwilliam, our two local packs, have been out in fine fettle. The Cottesmore has a new joint master, Andrew Osborne, who I have been hearing

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great reports on. I’m even thinking of dusting off my hunt coat and having a look and see what everyone is raving about. They would love to welcome new people to the hunting experience, and are offering a special welcome package of three days with special rates. If you would like to do this, please contact Clare Bell (secretary.ch@ cottesmore.co.uk) for more details. If that all seems a bit too energetic, they welcome people to come to the meets to see what goes on. The opening meets will start on October 30, with several dates depending on which day you want to go. For more information visit the websites at www.cottesmore-hunt.co.uk and www. fitzwilliamhunt.com.

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Hockey

Rutland Ladies top Premier Division by simon cooper

A

fter four rounds of fixtures, Rutland Hockey Club’s Ladies 1st X1 are sitting at the top of the Cambridge Premier Division and looking in splendid order. With a cup victory away at Cambridge University thrown into the mix, it has certainly been a successful month for the Rutlanders, who are keen to push on this year and challenge for honours after falling just short last time out. They backed up their 7-1 win at local rivals Oundle in the season’s opener with a 4-1 home victory against a useful Cambridge South outfit. An away trip to newly-promoted Spalding brought three fairly routine points, but the biggest test so far came last week away at Newmarket. Two losses to the same opposition had undermined the Rutland side’s title credentials last year, and there were clearly a few butterflies ahead of the game. A nervy start seemed to have been overcome when Natalie Grundy stabbed Rutland into the lead after neat work down the right flank from Penny Skipper, but with Newmarket invigorated after a half-time pow-wow matters were soon levelled up. This was make or break time, as the home crowd livened up and the momentum of the match had clearly shifted. Up stepped Grundy again though, firing through a crowd of bodies to wrestle back

the lead, and when Lucy Eayrs powered in a third shortly after it looked as though the game was all wrapped up. Newmarket boshed their way back up the middle again though, and nicked a goal back via an unlucky deflection off the Rutland keeper. That gave the last few minutes a harum-scarum feel, but the Rutland side managed to hang on to leave them five points clear at the top of the table heading into a week’s break from competitive action. Jennifer Pollock’s young second string took a couple of games to find their feet in this their first year in Cambs Division 1, but after being edged out 3-2 by Cambridge Nomads they followed up with consecutive wins away at Cambridge South and at home over Cambridge City to find themselves sitting in third spot in the table at this early stage. A quirk in the fixture list now gives them a couple of weeks off, but with regular training at the DFV hockey academy in Stamford on Mondays and Fridays the girls are sure to keep improving. The men’s side, reinvigorated this year with many boys that have graduated through the club’s youth system and U16s side, currently lie second in East Division 3NW. Only a late fightback from Wisbech in their most recent game, which saw Rutland surrender a three goal lead to eventually draw 4-4, prevented a perfect record of five wins from five games.

In Leicestershire’s Mixed leagues, Rutland Horseshoes are well placed in the chasing pack, with a disappointing defeat away at Leicester Thursday tempered by a hugely uplifting victory over their bogey-side, Leicester Hospitals. As usual, Chris Meadows is the unlikely-looking cutting edge up top, already into double figures in the goalscoring charts. In Division 3, the Rutland Oaks look to be the team to beat, coping admirably in the temporary absence of their long-suffering leader, Tracey Taylor, and even managing to nurse Ben Chisholm through games without too much alarm. The result of the month though surely goes to the club’s boys’ U18 side, who travelled to scenic Buxton in the second round of England Hockey’s National Cup competition and pulled off a thumping 8-0 victory. Although they were only one up at the break, the Rutland lads really turned it on in the second period, with Ben Harford bagging four goals. After reaching the quarter-finals of the same competition last year, and winning the National plate at under-16 level the year before, the Rutland club are developing an enviable reputation in these age group tournaments. It will be interesting to see how they fare in round three, away at Olton & West Warwicks.

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21/10/2012 17:52


Roundup

Golf

Nett 64 wins midweek medal North LuffeNham

In last month’s midweek medal, Dale Pettitt came out on top with an incredible nett 64, playing off a handicap of 28 which was subsequently reduced to 26. Runner-up on countback was senior’s captain Malcolm Hird with a nett 70 (off 16) followed by Stan Smith also with 70 playing off 26. In the annual Foxes and Rabbits competition, John Fursdon won the Foxes Cup with an impressive 44 points, leading to a cut in handicap from 16 to 15. Second was John Everitt with 41 points reducing his handicap by one stroke to 17, and Keith Bellamy was third with 34 points (18). In the Rabbits section, Steve Moss led the way with 39 points reducing his handicap to 22, followed by Graham Ball on 38 points (19) then Chris Durrant on 36 points (21). In a recent ladies match North Luffenham lost 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 to Toft Golf Club. North Luffenham Seniors beat Priors Hall from Corby 5 - 1, reversing the result from the away fixture. Malcolm Hird/Alan Barwell won 1 up, Stan Smith/John Nicholls won 3 & 1, Alan Swindley/Graham Ball lost 2 & 1, David Scotchmer/Charles Cade won 5 & 3, Ken Jones/John Murphy won 6 & 5, Don Lambert/John Everitt won 3 & 1. The last match of the season against Humberstone Heights was cancelled due to heavy rain, having already been called off for the same reason in July.

Greetham VaLLey

Greetham Valley club president Martin Boughton held his annual President’s Golf Day on the Lakes course with Greetham Valley Chairman Frank Hinch having a great game. The 18 handicapper blitzed the field to win, having got off to a great start when he birdied the first hole. Several pars and the odd bogie were followed by a brilliant birdie

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on the ninth, meaning he had 22 points at the turn and followed it up with 20 points on the back. He said that the conditions were perfect and everything just seemed to fall into place. men’s vice captain Trevor Smith, off two. was second with 41 points and assistant course manager Stuart Raybould took third with 39. Rena Lister won the Ladies competition with 32 points. Jackie Friend came second with a score of 30 and captain Eileen Pare was third on count back with 28. Trevor Smith won the men’s nearest the pin on the sixth and Eve Mills was closest on the twelfth. After winning the ladies doubles competition three times, Sally Bowker (13) and playing partner Sophie Beardsall (scratch) found themselves in the final yet again and trying for an unprecedented fourth title. In their way was the formidable pairing of Emma Tipping (two) and ten handicapper Heather Morgan. In the front nine both pairings had birdies and net birdies, the lead was swapped several times but Sally and Sophie managed to carve out a three hole lead at the turn. Emma and Heather fought back, to win the tenth and eleventh, cutting the deficit to one. Sally then took hold of the game by the scruff of the neck and had four great holes, their opponents missed vital putt’s for birdies and found themselves teeing off on the long par five sixteenth at dormy. Emma and Heather needed to win the hole to stay in the match but Sally, who was on a roll had other ideas. Emma made the green in regulation with a shot, Sally was also on the green in three but only ten foot from the hole. Emma played first and just skimmed the edge of the hole for what would have been a fantastic birdie and was left with the simplest of tap ins for a par. Sally had two shots for a par to halve the hole and take yet another win. However, after playing very well all the way through, she had other thoughts and hit

the ball straight and true dead centre for a birdie, net eagle and the victory. Emma Tipping had a great win in the Ladies October weekend medal. Emma (two) shot a gross 74 to win the medal and a share of the lowest gross. Seventeen handicapper Jackie Friend was second with a gross ninety and Sophie Beardsall (scratch) took third with a gross 74 and claimed a share of the lowest gross with her fellow county team mate.

Stoke rochford

The previous winners of the monthly medal competitions during 2012 came together for the end of season ‘Farmer and Stockbreeder Trophy’ at Stoke Rochford Golf Club. Christopher E Jones, playing off a handicap of six, finished strongly dropping just one shot over the closing 11 holes, ending up in first place with a nett 68. Paul Knapp, playing off three, will be regretting a dropped shot on the 18th hole as he had to settle for second place with a nett 69. Adi Ward, playing off 5, finished third with a nett 72. Nick Watson who shot a gross 66 (-4) in this event 12 months ago, could only manage a 69 (-1) this year, but that was still enough to earn him the prize for lowest gross score.

Fly fishing Rutland fly fisher hilary tomlinson won the England Ladies Fly Fishing National at Grafham Water for the second time in three years. Hilary landed five fish on a clear but blustery day, for 10lb 8oz. Second was martha thomson with three fish for 8lb 12oz and third was Sue Shaw with two fish for 8lb. All will represent England in next year’s international competition in Ireland. hilary also took a cracking conditioned 4lb 12½oz rainbow at Rutland Water.

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Feature /// Stalwart

John Hamilton M E M B E R S H I P S E C R E TA R Y AT O A K H A M R F C Words /// Jeremy Beswick

‘AS I WALKED INTO THE GROUND A SPORTS CAR SCREECHED TO A HALT AND A CHAP IN A BLAZER AND CRAVAT SHOUTED ‘COME FOR THE RUGGER OLD BOY?’ AND THAT WAS THAT’

J

ohn Hamilton (inevitably nicknamed ‘Hammers’) played rugby for Oakham for 17 seasons from 1972. Starting on the wing, he progressed to flanker and then hooker as beer and Father Time took their toll on his waistline. All in all he estimates he played around 350 times and retired in 1989 by which time his speed was deceptive: “I was slower than I looked.” How did he start? “I was 19 and just turned up with my boots,” he says. There were no training sessions to audition in those days. “As I walked into the ground an opentopped sports car screeched to a halt and a chap in a blazer and cravat shouted ‘Come for the rugger old boy?’ and that was that. The driver was Malcolm Withers, prospective parliamentary candidate for Stamford.” The memories are of dubbin, leather balls weighing a ton when wet, a thatched bar and team teas from the chip shop. Also Dr Sloane’s Horse Liniment, which was rubbed on the legs to keep warm and often found its way into a team mate’s jockstrap as punishment for some transgression. Richard says: “It was all friendlies in those days so we took things more lightly. I remember one opposing team being amazed by our scrum half Skillington and his terrific stamina. He’d come out for the second half fresh as a daisy.” Richard and David Skillington were, of course, identical twins. One rather wishes Richard had broken a leg in the first 40 with his ‘re-emergence’ being hailed as a miracle. “The highlight of every season was the last game, away to Wisbech. Well, the plan was to get back to Stamford by midnight when the chippie closed. There are a lot of pubs between here and Wisbech and we didn’t always make it. One year our car had to be pulled out of a dyke by the local tug-o-war team.” There was the occasional tour. Many of the anecdotes are unsuitable for a family publication so you’ll have to buy him a pint in the Wheatsheaf for those, but there was one tour to France. “A pretty dishevelled Oakham were amazed to be greeted at Besancon town hall by a full civic reception with all the local dignitaries. The mayor made a long speech of welcome followed by saluting the Tricolor. Whilst the familiar opening strains of the Marseillaise sounded, the boys cleared their throats and belted out ‘Ou est le papier...’ The atmosphere was a little frosty after that.” John still serves the club having been secretary, treasurer, fixtures secretary and now membership secretary. He thinks his team would give the current lot a run for their money for the first 20 minutes before the vastly improved physical conditioning took over. Although ‘it’s almost like a business now’ the club still relies on volunteers and John specifically wanted to mention all those ‘unsung heroes whose dedication we need to keep the club going’. A fitting place to finish.

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // November 2012  

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

Active Magazine // November 2012  

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