ISSUE 20 // DECEMBER 2016
HOW TO… South Leicestershire’s sport and lifestyle magazine
Box yourself fit Make Mulled Wine Go velvet this Xmas
Festive, yet Fabulous! How to indulge this Christmas, and come out of it fighting fit Net Working Market Harborough’s netball league
ISSUE 20 // DECEMBER 2016
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Join us for
Christmas at Launde Abbey
CHANGE OUT OF Y OUR WALKING BOOTS OR CYCLING SHOES THIS DECEMBER AND JOIN US FOR A C H R I S T M A S L U N C H AT L A U N D E A B B E Y Every day from Monday, December 12th until Tuesday, December 20th 2016 at 1pm daily Why not combine a morning walk in the surrounding countryside with a Christmas lunch afterwards with family or friends in warm and cosy surroundings? £15.00 per person for a three course traditional Turkey lunch (or vegetarian alternative) OR, IF EXERCISING THE VOCAL CHORDS IS MORE YOUR THING THEN WHY NOT TRY OUR CHRISTMAS SINGALONG EVENING Friday, December 16th or Saturday, December 17th 2016 Join us for an evening of fine food and fun with Christmas carols and seasonal songs featuring Brian Davis on the piano and you on the vocals! £37.50 per person to include an arrival drink and four course Gourmet Dinner. Dinner bed and breakfast packages also available.
Serving the Dioceses of Leicester and Peterborough
Booking essential and please quote ACTIVE when booking
© Matt Musgrave
www.laundeabbey.org.uk • 01572 717254 • email@example.com • Charity No: 1140918
Publisher Chris Meadows firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Steve Moody email@example.com Deputy editor Mary Bremner firstname.lastname@example.org
IF YOU HAVE ANY PRETENSIONS OF BEING FIT and healthy, then this time of year is lethal. You can sweat your rear all year, feel the muscles burn every month and be in peak physical form, and then two weeks of gluttony and indulgence can ruin the whole thing by the time you stagger to bed early on New Year’s Day. But do you know what... who cares? It’s Christmas – you should go for it and have a great time. It’s an approach I shall be taking, with a timetable to get back into shape (such as it is) by sometime in the spring, if I get round to it. So in this issue, we’re celebrating all the great local food and drink you should be gorging and swilling over the month, but just in case you are slightly more committed than me, we’ve a handy ﬁtness plan attached: it’s not exactly scientiﬁc, and of course your weight and metabolism affects how you burn calories, but it gives a rough guide to the amount of exercise needed to offset that festive fare. Good luck, have a fantastic Christmas, and see you on the other side. CONGRATULATIONS TO STUART BROAD ON HIS 100 TEST cap. Obviously Stuart started his career in Leicestershire and then moved on to those other people over the border who shall not be named, but we wish him well, for it takes something a bit special to bowl fast for that period of time, and for your body to survive intact. Fast bowling is brutal on your body, as I should know being a former quickie myself (OK, medium pacer, but it still hurt) and the fact that he and Jimmy Anderson have both made it to this milestone illustrates their commitment, and England’s superb handling of their workload. The other thing that marks Stuart Broad out is his mindset. We’ve interviewed him before and the thing that strikes you is how self aware and thoughtful he is. Probably as much as the physical side, the ability to think clearly about what you do and process information under pressure is what sets the very best from the rest. And Stuart is one of the very best we’ve had. TH
Enjoy the issue! Steve
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Production editor Julian Kirk email@example.com Art editor Mark Sommer firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Withers email@example.com Sarah Stillman firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Roberts email@example.com Editorial and Advertising Assistant Kate Maxim firstname.lastname@example.org Accounts email@example.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789
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Thinking of selling in the New Year? Donâ€™t wait, get your home ready for the Boxing Day Bounce. With property searches booming over the festive break, your property may be spotted by the perfect buyer in time for the New Year. Contact us now for advice on marketing your property throughout the festive period on 01858 463747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Fine & Country Head Office 121 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 7AG Tel: +44 (0)20 7079 1515 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contents ACTIVE LIFE 10-11 HOW TO...
ISSUE 20 /// DECEMBER 2016
Make make mulled wine and cranberry sauce
Christmas favourites – the robin and mistletoe
16-17 RIVERFORD RECIPE
A potato salad with chicory, blue cheese and walnuts
20 DAY IN THE LIFE OF... Baptist minister Nick Cook
25 WHAT’S ON
Great things to do locally for all the family
FEATURES 26-31 NET GAINS
We meet the ladies of Market Harborough Netball League
36-42 CHRISTMAS CALORIES
Enjoy the festive excess... then work it off with exercise tips
ACTIVE BODY 47-49 EAT YOUR WAY TO FITNESS
How the right nutrition can aide your recovery
50 NUTRITION ADVICE
Healthier alternatives to the usual Christmas classics
52-53 THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Tips and products to help you look great
33 KIT BAG
A focus on the latest essential cycling gear
35 MARTIN JOHNSON COLUMN
The Sunday Times writer on the worst sports teams
55 SPORTSMAN’S DINNER
We try out the The Hare Pie in Hallaton
56-57 WILL’S WALKS
We head out to Houghton on the Hill
59 SCHOOL SPORT
Our focus on the latest achievements from local pupils
How clubs in the area are faring
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k se ic elea C Qurst r d ST Be of fi sol % w 40 no
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Activelife DECEMBER MEANS CHRISTMAS! SO THIS MONTH WE HAVE SOME LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS, TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE A FESTIVE DOOR WREATH PLUS A DELICIOUS BOXING DAY RECIPE Edited by Mary Bremner
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MAKE MULLED WINE The staple drink for Christmas, and it takes a lot of beating… Ingredients 1 bottle red wine 60g demerara sugar 1 cinnamon stick Grated nutmeg ½ orange 1 bay leaf 60ml orange juice 60ml sloe gin or brandy (optional)
Heat the wine in a saucepan along with the orange, sugar, orange juice, bay leaf and spices until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and add more sugar if required. Remove from heat and stir in the sloe gin or brandy if you wish. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve immediately.
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Unique battlefield tours for individuals, small and medium parties in Belgium or France. Discover the personal stories ofsoldiers at Ypres, The Somme and Arras.
Make cranberry sauce This recipe is incredibly simple and easy to make... Ingredients 250g fresh cranberries Juice and ﬁnely grated zest of an orange 90g light brown muscavado sugar 4 tbsp port Method Put the cranberries, orange, zest and juice into a pan. Add 150ml of cold water and bring to the boil before simmering gently for 10 minutes until the cranberries start to burst. Add the sugar and port, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for another ﬁve minutes until the sauce thickens. Now it’s ready to serve, or put in a pot.
Make a wreath Stamford is the perfect place for Christmas door wreaths as there are so many fabulous front doors. It’s great to see so many households embracing the Christmas wreath and being so creative with them. You can buy one, but why not have a go at making your own? We have opted for a white Christmas theme... ● Buy a grapevine wreath from your local craft store. ● Head to the woods to collect pine cones, twigs, hazelnuts and pods. ● Buy some matt white spray paint and spray your collection, including the wreath itself. Allow to dry. ● Using a glue gun stick the
assorted cones and twigs around the wreath. It really is that simple and you’ve created a stylish, seasonal wreath.
David Cashman I have been a regular visitor to the World War One battlefields for 22 years. I am an associate member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and The Western Front Association. I delight in discovering and seeing new aspects of this period in history and sharing with those who accompany me.
GutLDof ATTLEFIELD GUIDES
"Mr Cashman's copious research into the fate ofthe Old Loughburians during the First World War proved invaluable on our school trip to the Somme and Ypres battlefields. With his information we were able to easily locate the graves and monuments ofold boys we were interested in, and his research provided our students with an excellent appreciation for the context ofthe battles that our old boys fought and died in. Moreover, he had looked into the histories oflocal sports teams, 'celebrity' soldiers, Victoria Cross winners and infamous stories of incompetence and loss during the conflict and made sure that we made the most ofevery site we visited".
"David's knowledge is first rate and the movements ofCorps and Divisions were explained clearly, yet mixed in were vivid personal stories and adventures ofindividual soldiers who fought over the ground we visited and that highlighted clearly the part played by my old Regiment, enlightening... marvellous, would go again".
WWW.WESTERNFRONTPILGRIMTOURS.COM 01476 860 767 / 07766 72176 4 No.3, The Lodge, Burrough Court, Burrough on the Hill, Leicestershire, LE14 2QS
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The Core at Corby Cube proudly presents
BRASS MONKEY 10k Plus FAMILY FUN RUN (1.5 miles approx)
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Thu 8 â€“ Sat 31 December Tickets 01536 470 470 www.thecorecorby.com George Street, Corby NN17 1QG
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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN Christmas is just around the corner but there’s still time to buy some last minute gifts and stocking fillers HAMAX SNO RIDER £20 They keep predicting snow so this is the perfect sledge to have fun with. www.cotswoldoutdoor.com
VINTAGE INDIA COLLECTION FROM £6.99 Local company Katie-Alice’s Vintage Indigo Collection breathes new life into traditional blue and white porcelain. www.katie-alice.co.uk
KIDS FUR BOBBLE HAT £18.95 A raccoon pom-pom bobble rib knit hat. The fur is detachable for washing. www.thefurbubbleshhop.com
LEONIE BODY £44 Handmade by local designer Lauren Crowe, this body is a simple yet stylish off the shoulder design. www.elcyclothing.com
CASHMERE BED SOCKS, FROM £35 Everyone gets socks at Christmas and these cosy cashmere ones are perfect. www.thewhitecompany.com
MEN’S ORGANIC GROOMING COLLECTION £30 Transform the man in your life into a perfectly groomed gent. www.nealsyardremedies.com
SHOP OF THE MONTH…
Amelia Nour Amelia Nour was launched in May and is going great guns. Owner Meesha Kanadia founded the shop with the intention of supplying the best beauty and well-being products from the most iconic brands in the industry that are vegan, vegetarian and organic. When you walk into the shop it smells fabulous and that’s because of the extensive range of candles in stock.
She stocks everything from beauty products to candles to health supplements, including high-end brands such as Space NK. It’s the perfect place to get an extra special Christmas gift and, at the same time, why not indulge yourself as well? She also stocks Neom candles. Amelia Nour, 59 Francis Street, Leicester, or ﬁnd her on Facebook.
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THE ROBIN A cheeky chap who adorns many a Christmas card, what could be more iconic than a robin in the snow with its red breast standing out in stark contrast? The UKâ€™s favourite bird, the robin is recognised by almost everyone. Males and females look identical and can often be spotted in your garden. A friendly bird, it will often sit close by and watch you â€“ many a time you will spot one perched on your garden fork keeping an eye out, waiting for a tasty worm to appear. Classed as the gardenersâ€™ friend, ancient folklore decreed it should never be harmed. A talented songbird, male robins are surprisingly aggressive when it comes to protecting their territory. Robins are common throughout Britain and can be found in woodland, hedgerows and gardens. They are a common sight at garden feeders and are partial to worms, seeds and nuts.
MISTLETOE Mistletoe can be spotted in many trees at this time of year. Easy to see because the branches are bare, it grows on a wide variety of trees. Mistletoes are parasitic and attach to, and penetrate, the branches of a tree through which they absorb water and nutrients. European mistletoe is native to the UK and has smooth oval evergreen leaves growing in pairs along a woody stem. The waxy white berries grow in clusters of two to six. Most mistletoes are spread by birds through their droppings. Poisonous to humans, it is a good source of food for many
birds. Mistletoe is quite a mythical plant and features in many different cultures. It is associated with Christmas and often used as a decoration. It is supposed to possess mystical powers that brings good luck and wards off evil spirits, hence the tradition of hanging it in your house. Associated with fertility by the druids, the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe started in Victorian times. Tradition is that a man is allowed to kiss any woman standing underneath the mistletoe and that bad luck would befall a woman who refused the kiss.
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AMERICAN VINTAGE BECKSONDERGAARD CHARLI SECOND FEMALE JAYLEY HOSS INTROPIA RINO& PELLE
THE ROASTERY A purpose built coffee roastery allowing us to produce artisan, hand roasted coffees from our home in the picturesque town of Market Harborough
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TRAINING Learn the skills of a Barista â€“ Courses available for the general public and free to all our commercial customers in our very own coffee school
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EQUIPMENT To Consistently achieve fantastic results, you not only require great coffee, but reliable equipment too. Here at Carrara Collection we have a direct partnership with all the leading manufactures which are maintained by our own engineers
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WELCOME TO THE ROASTERY, MARKET HARBOROUGH 19-21 Francis street Leicester LE22 BE 01162704379 www.abiti-ladies.co.uk
For more information please contact us on 01858 469006 www.carraracollection.com
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POTATO SALAD WITH CHICORY, BLUE CHEESE AND WALNUTS This salad is perfect for a Boxing Day lunch. Not only does it help use up left over odds and ends from Christmas Day, but it also satisﬁes a desire for less rich food after the gastronomic excesses of the day before.
Toast the walnut in a dry frying pan, leave to cool.
Wash the celery, watercress and chicory. Chop the celery into 2cm pieces.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the onion, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, a little salt and pepper and 6tbsp olive oil. Taste and add more lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, oil or seasoning as needed.
½ red onion 800g salad potatoes, halved 100g walnut pieces 1 celery heart 50g watercress 2 heads of chicory 200g Cropwell Bishop stilton
Remove any large, tough stalks from the watercress.
Gently toss the potatoes in the dressing.
Cut off the base of the chicory and break off the leaves. Cut them lengthways into 2-3 strips per leaf.
Mix in the celery and chicory. Crumble in the cheese, add the watercress and very gently turn everything to mix it together.
Serve on a platter or in a large salad bowl
For the dressing Olive oil Caster or light brown sugar Vinegar (balsamic, red, white or cider) Salt and pepper Lemon Dijon mustard
Peel and ﬁnely dice half the red onion. Put in a small bowl with 1 tbsp vinegar and 1tsp sugar and leave to marinate.
Scrub the potatoes clean, halve the larger ones and boil until tender, approximately 12-15 minutes. Drain them and leave to cool.
RECIPE BOXES Riverford recipe boxes are a simple and inspiring way to cook. Every week, we deliver everything you need to make three tasty organic meals. Inside each box, you’ll find the freshest, seasonal organic produce, step-by-step recipe cards and all the ingredients in exact quantities. The recipes are quick to cook and ideal for weeknights – most are ready in under
45 minutes. Think well balanced and nutritious, with a few treats thrown in. Their cooks come up with nine new recipes every week, so there is always plenty of choice. There are three different varieties of recipe box – choose from vegetarian, quick or original. A box for two people ranges in price from £33 for the vegetarian box, to £39.95 for the quick and original boxes. Delivered straight to your door, with everything you need to cook
included, generous portion sizes, and three delicious meals per box they offer great value for money. No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to
find out more or call 01803 762059.
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CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS Christmas is just around the corner and there’s lots to do. But forget all the rushing around and put some time aside to enjoy some of these traditional festivities
THE BOXING DAY MEET
VISIT SANTA’S GROTTO
A childhood treat we all remember. There are many places to visit Santa, one of which is at Wistow Café Bistro. He’s very popular so it might be best to book. www.wistowgrotto.co.uk
A great way to get out in the fresh air aer the gluttony of the day before. The hounds and huntsmen are a magnificent sight on this most traditional of sporting days. The Quorn, Fernie and Cottesmore all meet locally – visit their websites to find out where and when.
DECORATE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Light the fire, make the mulled wine, heat the mince pies and start decorating your tree. Some people do it in early December, others not until Christmas Eve. But whatever your family’s ritual, it’s a magical time.
CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE
What could be more seasonal than attending a carol service at your local church? All are welcome and it’s a great chance to sing a few of your favourite carols.
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ATTEND MIDNIGHT MASS
Welcome in Christmas Day by attending midnight mass at your local church. A service where a large number of the community come together to celebrate Christmas Day.
EARLY TO BED
Christmas Eve, the one night of the year when every child is willing to go to bed early. Donâ€™t forget to leave a mince pie and a glass of sherry out for Santa, and a carrot for Rudolph.
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A day in the life of
NICK COOK BAPTIST MINISTER
’ve been a Baptist minister for just over 13 years. Before that I was a computer support ofﬁcer at The University of Leeds. There was no logical reason to change my career – I was well paid and had good career prospects, but when it comes to a religious calling it’s simply an itch that needs to be scratched. Ever since I ﬁnished my degree I knew it would be a question that needed to be answered and it happened just after I turned 30. Deciding whether to go for theological training and become a minister is a lengthy process. You talk to your own church ﬁrst then you’re grilled by a regional committee and afterwards go forward for a 24-hour interview. If everyone’s happy you’re offered a place. I spent ﬁve years training part-time at Northern Baptist College. There were at least four points where I doubted whether I’d make it through or if I was good enough, but I‘ve never had any doubt that I’ve been called as a minister. I was very familiar with the faith as a child. My mum was a Congregationalist, my dad was an Anglican and we went to a lively Methodist church. When I was 10 I got into Bristol Cathedral choir and gained a scholarship to the school. I was conﬁrmed in my second year and that was my conversion experience, when I gave my life to Christ. The national church has had a reality check because over the last 30 years attendance has plummeted off a cliff. More recently the numbers have started to plateau, but there’s been a cultural change and the church has become less judgmental. We say come and belong, join in with the activities and see if you like us. After that you can decide if you want to join our faith. As well as our normal services we run messy church, a toddler group, bible studies, social events and we have our own coffee shop. Running a church is a delicate business because you have to cope with change whilst managing the massive emotional investment that many people have in the church. When you get it right it’s fabulous. Working together for the good of the town There’s a national umbrella organisation called Churches Together which promotes cooperation between the different denominations. In Market Harborough that involves ﬁve Anglican churches, the free churches including the Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, the Evangelical church and ‘Living Rock’, and then there is the Catholic church which is the biggest one in town. We all get on exceptionally well so
‘Running a church is a delicate business… when you get it right it’s fabulous’ if someone new comes to our church then, depending on what they’re looking for, we suggest they try other churches in town as well as our own. What we have in common is far more important than what divides us. Our Churches Together set up a free professional counselling service 25 years ago which recognised that people needed space to be listened to. We also have street pastors who walk the streets at the weekends to give advice and help. If they think something is kicking off they can go and help calm things down. The police love them as they help to reduce crime rates. We also run a food bank, because even wealthy Market Harborough has people who run out of food, and we have a credit union that charges sensible interest rates for people in ﬁnancial trouble. A large amount of my day is spent doing admin and preparing for services. I regularly meet my leadership team who help look after the weekly running of the church and our outreach events. I often take school assemblies
and I’m a trustee and treasurer of the local Churches Together youth charity called The Cube. We run a drop-in youth café, offering counselling, mentoring and alternative education for those who don’t get on well at school, where we teach them employability skills and get them work experience. A community interest company called Brickwork Studios has a recording studio on our site and provides music opportunities for everyone, including an annual teen music festival during the summer. We like to include a lot of music and we’re involved in the Christmas lights switch-on with the town council. I’m co-hosting a show with Harborough FM and we’ll have school choirs, a gospel choir and plenty of carol singing in the square. The following week on December 2 we’ll run a Christmas fayre with our local traders where we’ll have live reindeer and a quiz trail that will end up in our church with live music, mince pies and hot apple juice. It will be great fun.
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Venari House, 1 Trimbush Way, Rockingham Road, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7XY T: 01858 467476 E: email@example.com W: www.corporatearchitecture.co.uk Malcolm Foulkes-Arnold 07885 304970 Richard Coppock 07889 129735
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Running Shop Run by Runners Large Shoe Range I Gait Analysis Friendly Service I Clothing Accessories 146A Clarendon Park Road, LE2 3AE 0116 2708447
NORDIC WALKERS ARE THE FASTEST IN BRITAIN
7 EVENTS ROUND UP It’s nearly the end of 2016 and the 7 Event team are still working hard – they’ve got six successful events under their belt and have one more to go. And they have already smashed their target to raise £10,000. They have kindly provided us with some of the highlights of their year, and what they set out to achieve. They wanted to buy three deﬁbrillators and have managed to raise enough to do just that. The lovely residents of Oadby donated an additional £250 for another deﬁbrillator in Oadby Parade. Following all the diabetes tests from their health and well-being day in April and the run, row, cycle events, ﬁve people have been referred to their doctors for further tests. Their biggest event was the Raas Garba evening, where 800 people smiled and danced the night away – they also raised £5,500 at this event alone. The John Humphries Memorial Trust has shown more than 100 people how to do life-saving CPR and use a deﬁbrillator in an emergency. The team managed to run, row and cycle 800 miles, which is the equivalent distance of travelling to eight Premiership rugby grounds from the Leicester Tigers stadium. Best of all they achieved their biggest aim which was to bring adults and children from all communities together. The six events so far have helped do this and made sure everyone had a great time. With one event left, they’re all behind Russell Gamadia who will be running the London Marathon next year with an ambitious aim to complete it within four hours, www.7events.org
GRAB YOUR BOXING GLOVES AND HAVE FUN Juliet Sterland, owner of Just Fitness in Market Harborough, is running boxercise and circuit training classes that are proving very popular.
So popular, in fact, that she has recently launched her own company – JUST Fitness. “I enjoyed group ﬁtness classes, ﬁnding them more sociable and found that I worked harder in them,” she said. “I loved the idea of a boxingbased group exercise class so trained as a boxercise instructor. Our classes are a place where you can meet new people, laugh, joke, run, jump, lose weight and, of course hit things.” She runs ladies only classes and classes for all and is offering a free class so you can try it out. To ﬁnd out more ring Juliet on 07917 291072 or email justﬁtnessmh@gmail.com. You can also ﬁnd her on Facebook.
Nordic Walk It! teams members of Rutland, Stamford and Market Harborough are celebrating after they scooped the British Nordic Walking 2016 Series with three wins out of four. This means that the 10k team retained their title and the 5k team won their ﬁrst one. Team members range from 40 to 75 years old, meaning this really is a sport for all. Team leader Jo Douglas said: “Nordic Walking really is addictive, a great way to get ﬁt, make new friends and set new challenges and offers beneﬁts for all abilities and ages.” To ﬁnd out more about Nordic Walking in Rutland, Stamford and Market Harborough visit www.nordicwalkit.co.uk.
ORIENTEERING FOR ALL First4Adventure is a local company that specialises in adventure training and destination holidays as well as DofE training. They are also specialists in navigational training so if you’ve ever wanted to learn to orienteer now is your chance. They are running a two day bronze award course that follows the National Navigation Award Scheme based in Rutland on December 10-11, and another one on March 14-15. You will spend two days exploring Rutland and learning to navigate your way around. All you need is to be ﬁt enough to be out walking all day, regardless of the weather. The course costs £120, excluding accommodation. To ﬁnd out more visit www.ﬁrst4adventure. co.uk/navigational-courses
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WHAT’S ON December is a busy month and there’s lots going on in our area...
■ The Mediterranean Deli and Farm Shop, based at Wistow Rural Centre, will be visiting two local farmers’ markets this month – Thrapston on December 3 and Oakham on the 17th. They sell delicious artisan foods that are locally and internationally sourced. And they are gin specialists so will be holding a tasting event at their deli on December 1. www.olivetreecompany.co.uk
■ The Market Harborough Santa Fun Run takes place on Sunday, December 11. Now in its third year, it is hoping for 650 Santas to take part. It begins outside the Welland Park Café at 2pm and covers either 5 or 2km. The ﬁrst Santa to catch the runner dressed as a Christmas pudding will win £100 to donate to a charity of their choice. Dogs are welcome too and all funds will go to the charity Squires Effect. www.raceharborough.co.uk ■ Wistow Café Bistro has a lot going on this month. December 1 sees them hosting an event in aid of Loros. There will be carol singing, wine tasting and shopping. Christmas lunch will be served on December 5, 6, 12 and 13. It’s also a great spot for Christmas shopping with a difference. www.wistowcafebistro.co.uk
■ Hope Against Cancer is holding its snowﬂake and mistletoe Christmas party on December 9 and 10 at Stamford Court, Manor Road, Oadby. There will be a fabulous dinner, ﬁne wines, entertainment and dancing. It’s a black tie event. Email: Corinne@hfcr.org ■ Lutterworth Table Tennis Club is looking for new members of all ages, from beginners to league players. The club meets on Tuesdays between 6-8pm at Lutterworth High School. Ring John Roberson on 07785 975634. ■ Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester is holding an exhibition of Faiza Butt’s work until December 18. They are also offering a free guided tour of the gallery on December 7. www2.le.ac.uk
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Feature /// Netball
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NET WORKING The Market Harborough Netball League features tough competition, plenty of rivalry, a lot of banter and a spot of drinking too. Jeremy Beswick finds out more Photography: Pip Warters IF NOTHING ELSE, I thought I might get a cracking quiz question out of this article. “Which major sport is played by only one gender?” I don’t know about you but I’m unable to think of another. Alas, having done extensive research – OK then, looked at Wikipedia – it turns out that some men do play netball, albeit at relatively minor levels. It’s nearly a valid question however, as the world governing body – the International Federation of Netball Associations based in Manchester – recognises only the female game. The fact that netball is, to all intents and purposes, a women-only sport may be part of the attraction. As we will discover, there’s a strong feeling of sisterhood amongst the participants and many lasting friendships have been forged on the court. Together with the boost from being included in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, perhaps it’s this that’s
behind the recent surge in the numbers playing regularly, with England Netball having set itself the strategic goal of growing that number by 10,000 annually. Now one of the world’s fastest growing participation sports, it proudly states ‘levels...are growing fast... we have 92,000 afﬁliated members, and we know that at least one million women and girls play netball every week’. Evidence of that growth in popularity can be found close to home, in the form of the Market Harborough Netball League, who ‘play host to an enjoyable community of players, where fun can be had by players whilst participating competitively’. I went along to the Robert Smyth Academy one Thursday night to meet one of their clubs – Rural Trading Foxton – at their weekly training session and as the players went through their warm-up routine, leading light Julia Trapp
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Feature /// Netball
told me they have two teams in the league, the Mavericks (who are unbeaten this year) and the Fliers, with their opponents coming from all across the county and beyond. In addition, many of the Foxton players help coach the Market Harborough youth netball team where sides train and play league netball from around nine years old upwards – there were at least three mother and daughter pairs there that evening. Jackie Latham, who currently captains the Fliers and has played for them since 2011, told me: “It’s a great way to keep ﬁt. I don’t like going to the gym – I ﬁnd it boring – but this type of exercise is fun. Being part of a team is much better and I’ve made friendships from it as well. Once a year we have a weekend away and there are regular barbecues, meals out and trips to the pub. Our children get involved and they too make new friends.” That was echoed by Natalie Billington, goal attack and captain of Mavericks who’s been playing netball for 20 years. “I love it – it’s always surprising. One of the best things is the feeling of being included in a group of all different ages and backgrounds.” Different abilities too, she says: “We’ve an ex-England player here yet others who’ve returned to the sport not having played since school, but everyone’s made to feel welcome
whatever their ability. If you apologise for playing a bad pass you get told to shut up about it.” I did observe quite a lot of friendly banter that night. How physical is it, I asked? “For a supposedly non-contact game you do get a bit knocked about but it’s always played in the right spirit. We’ve gone from just about scraping seven players together ﬁve years ago to having three teams in the summer league and two in the winter.” That ex-England player she mentioned is Sarah van Nierop, who told me modestly “it was many years ago”. Having played elsewhere what were her observations about this club? “They’re the most lovely people and now some of my best friends. Everyone looks out for everyone else.” Do you need to be super-ﬁt and infeasibly tall to be good? “You do need to be ﬁt to do it but there are different strengths for different positions – some need more aerobic ability than others. Although it helps to be tall if you’re a goalkeeper or goal shooter some of the best players in other positions have been average height or less.” The health beneﬁts of netball are widely agreed to be cardiovascular and improved hand-to-eye coordination and depth perception
‘I don’t like going to the gym but this type of exercise is fun. Being part of a team is much better’ whilst the nature of the game – players being limited to certain areas of the pitch and with no dribbling involved – teaches the beneﬁts of teamwork and co-operation, an especially valuable lesson for most kids, together with improving their verbal and social skills. Whilst we’re on the subject of socialising, Rosie West is new to the side and said: “They’ve been really welcoming – everyone’s friends here.” She also mentioned those trips to the pub – a subject that kept coming up whoever I spoke to, and my question – “Are you really a drinking club with a netball problem?” was met only with laughter. “For me it’s about enjoyable ﬁtness,” added Rosie. Judith Bensi had lived in the US and Hong Kong before returning to the UK and found netball the perfect passport to a social life.
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Feature /// Netball
“It’s a great way to meet people. Life became so much easier in Hong Kong when I started playing netball. I’ve used it to build up a social network – it’s like how football is the universal language for men. Immediately you have something in common. Bit by bit people become your friends. It’s one of those games that you can pick up quickly. If you’ve played at school you’ll be amazed how quickly your skills come back.” If you did play at school and feel you’d like to get involved again, then the Back to Netball initiative is designed speciﬁcally for you. It’s been running since 2010 and more than 60,000 women have returned to the sport in this way. Administered by England Netball, the sessions are for all ages and provide a gentle reintroduction to the sport. In their own words, they are: “Run by passionate and enthusiastic coaches, with sessions covering the basics of the game including passing, footwork and shooting. Sessions ﬁnish with a friendly game to put the skills you have learnt into practice.” Hundreds of women from all over the country are getting Back to Netball each week and to ﬁnd put more all you need to do is pop your postcode into the session ﬁnder at www. englandnetball.co.uk/backtonetball or, alternatively, get in touch with the Harborough League directly through their website – their Back to Netball sessions run on a Thursday night from 8-9pm in the dome at the Leisure Centre. As they say: “Whether you are new to the
game or want to play again after a break from the game, MHNL teams will always welcome new faces, and are always interested in having new teams. Don’t put off playing netball, just turn up on the night and we will be pleased to see you there!”
The club has flourished in recent years, fielding numerous sides. While skill levels may differ, the club’s ethos is primarily based around fun and friendship
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Feature /// Gear
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Foot pain while cycling or just looking for more support? Sidas gives ultimate comfort and performance in a cycling shoe. It guarantees optimal foot support especially at the front of the foot where the pressure is greatest. You have to book an appointment to have them fitted so call Andrew at Windmill Wheels on 01572 787720. Price Sidas footbeds £80 (footbeds), £100 (footbeds and cleat set up), £190 (full Classic bike fit including footbeds) From windmillwheels.co.uk
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Some trails just have too much climbing to fully enjoy a whole day’s riding but not anymore with the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie and its powerful motor which takes the effort out of even the steepest climbs. Price £5,000 From rutlandcycling.com
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When you’re blaming a smelly goat, your team is really bad... Martin Johnson lists his favourite sports team ‘no-hopers’ ’ve never managed to get my head around American sport. Take their football. It mostly involves two groups of men in helmets barging into each other, until a chap in a striped shirt calls a halt by throwing a duster on the ﬁeld and saying something like: “false start, 49 defence, ﬁve-yard penalty”. And the game goes on for so long you could take the family away on holiday, or grow a beard, and still not miss much. Same thing with baseball. There’s a chap on a mound throwing a ball at another chap holding a wooden club, behind whom stands a bloke wearing a fencing mask and a large pair of gloves. The batter, as he’s known, has three goes at hitting it, missing on every occasion, and then hands over to a team-mate to go through precisely the same routine. Call me hard to please, but after half an hour of this you ﬁnd your hand reaching for the remote control. And yet the ﬁnal of this year’s World Series (the ‘world’ equating to 29 teams from America and one from Toronto) sparked off British pub conversations the like of which I’ve never heard before. Someone would come through the door, order a pint, and say: “Great win for the Indians last night. But I think the Cubs can pull it back at Wrigley Field if the pitcher can sort out his curveball.” And no-one would so much as raise an eyebrow. The surge in interest had its origins in a story dating back to 1945, when the Cubs were playing in the ﬁnal against Detroit. One of their fans apparently brought a goat along with him, and when other supporters complained that the animal niffed a bit, he was invited to leave. And to take his smelly four-legged friend with him. However, before being evicted the owner conferred upon the Cubs what became known as the ‘curse of the billy goat’, declaring “them Cubs will never win the World Series again”. Detroit duly beat them, and it wasn’t until this year that the Cubs won the big one for the ﬁrst time since 1908. Having spent most of the 71 years between 1945 and 2016 evoking discussions as to whether they were the worst major league baseball team ever. Being the worst team in any sport is a unique kind of achievement, and while England’s football supporters have spent most of their time since 1966 moaning about their team, it could be worse. They could be supporting Tonga, the lowest ranked FIFA team in world football – Tonga don’t come out to play very often, but when they do, they make Hartlepool look like Barcelona. It’s a different world down at the bottom end of the footie chain,
where Lionel Messis and Gareth Bales are a touch thin on the ground, and the teams are about as on the ball as their administrators. As I once found out after being sent to a World Cup game in Dominica. Needing to get in touch with someone at the Dominica Football Association, I dialled all three numbers listed for them in the island’s telephone directory. The ﬁrst rang out unobtainable, and the second gave the message: “I’m sorry, the number you have called is out of service.” The third was also a recording, but this time it offered some handy advice. Not about the kick-off time, or ticket availability, but on what precautions to take in the event of a hurricane. On reﬂection, maybe the FA could have arranged a similar recorded message, offering advice on what precautions to take in the event of appointing Sam Allardyce. In cricket, or at least among the Test playing nations, England have occasionally ﬂirted with the title of having the worst team, and before they devised a system of ofﬁcial world rankings, the England fans took matters into the own hands back in 1999. Gathering underneath the balcony at the Oval after losing at home to New Zealand, they sang (to the tune of “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”) “We’ve Got The Worst Team In The World.” However, these fans must have had pretty short memories, in that the 1989 England side that was thrashed at home by Australia had a more convincing claim to that title. England’s bowlers were labelled “pie throwers” and their batsmen kept getting out to a gentle medium pacer called Terry Alderman. By the end of the series, underneath the political slogan “Thatcher Out!” painted on a wall outside the Oval, someone had added: “lbw Alderman 0.” In rugby union, the title of the world’s worst international team appears to be a bit of a bunﬁght between the likes of Cameroon, Guam, Peru and Finland, and given that there is hardly any sport more excruciating to watch when it’s played badly, watching, say, Finland v Cameroon on a freezing cold afternoon in Helsinki must be one of sport’s less uplifting spectator experiences. Getting back to the Chicago Cubs, though, one thing that heartens me is that no curse will ever derail my own team, Newport County, who entered November in 92nd place in the 92-team Football League. For the simple reason that when you get crowds like Newport, you could bring along a pet goat, or a pet skunk come to that, without being in any danger of being asked to leave. Martin Johnson has been a sports journalist and author since 1973, writing for the Leicester Mercury, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. He currently writes columns for The Rugby Paper and The Cricket Paper, and has a book out called ‘Can I Carry Your Bags?’.
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Feature /// Christmas calories
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HAVE A WICKED CHRISTMAS, AND HOW TO WORK IT OFF Our guide to eating and drinking the very best and most indulgent food and drink around, and ways to ensure that you come out of the festive period with those calories burnt off
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Feature /// Christmas calories
GET FRESH WITH OYSTERS This time of year doesn’t just have to be about big, heavy, hearty meals. Why not have a light lunch of Loch Fyne oysters that will cut through the stodge. And Loch Fyne’s restaurants offer some tongue kicking sauces to go with it: tequila and lime will revitalise you after a heavy night, while beetroot and horseradish has a wintry feel without the weight. www.lochfyneseafoodandgrill.co.uk
GIVE YOURSELF THE AFTERNOON OFF!
There’s hardly any calories in oysters, and even with the sauces you’re doing very well (although driving after the tequila and lime one isn’t recommended!). Put your feet up in front of the ﬁre and feel good about yourself.
GO MED WITH YOUR PICKY BITS Looking for stunning pre-dinner nibbles? The Mediterranean Deli and Farmshop at Wistow makes an amazing meze of stuffed bell peppers with cheese, Greek olives and pickled garlic cloves marinated in local rapeseed oil and red pepper ﬂakes. And if you have room after your meal, try the amazing Turkish baklava, made with ﬁlo pastry, nuts, butter, and honey instead of syrup. They don’t add preservatives to any of their food so you always know what you’re eating. www.olivetreecompany.co.uk
RUN TO THE HILLS – AND BACK AGAIN These baklavas are an indulgent delight and as a result you will eat too many of them. It just means you’ll need to do a 90-minute run the next day running at an average speed of about 6mph.
MINCED UP Riverford Organics’ organic mince pies are tried, tested and much loved. Ben Watson and his team make these rich, buttery little pies by hand in the Farm Shop kitchen. The ﬁlling is made with apples, vine fruit, citrus peel and a slosh of brandy. They’re just wonky enough to look homemade – ideal if you want to pass them off as your own. Six cost £4.99. www.riverford.co.uk
GET YOURSELF IN A SPIN
Most gyms offer spin classes: if you go for a high cadence, 40-minute workout on a spin bike, three of these pies could be gone in no time.
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Feature /// Christmas calories
UNWRAP THE GOODIES
Sloeberry Spirits uses the ﬁnest spirits to which it adds its fruit, much of which is hand picked from the hedgerows in and around Melton Mowbray, and then left to infuse naturally over a period of several months. This traditional method allows the fruit to slowly transform the spirits, giving them wonderful new ﬂavours. No colourings or preservatives are required. www.sloeberryspirits.co.uk
Bulwick Village Shop’s Christmas goodie boxes are available in three sizes, each bursting with a delicious selection of British-made treats. This year, there are three themed boxes – Christmas Love, Christmas Joy and Christmas Cheer. The small boxes feature, among other things, the mouthwatering and quirky pickles and preserves from The Pickled Village as well as perfectly paired Fine Cheese Company crackers and Snowdonia cheese, a Two Fingers biscuit, a handmade chocolate thin and a beautiful card handwritten with your message. The medium boxes also feature more pickles, artisan biscuits from Derbyshire, and tea from Pukka. And the large boxes feature more pickles and preserves, English ﬁzz, sloe gin or vodka, a wee Christmas cake and a box of handmade chocolate thins. Next day delivery can be arranged by request, but you need to order by December 16 to ensure pre-Christmas delivery. www.bulwickvillageshop.com
THE MORNING AFTER
Now, this wonderful sloe gin, drunk sensibly in a shot glass measure, isn’t the end of the world. But that’s not going to happen, right? No doubt you’ll get carried away, and it would be rude not to. Our prescription: a glorious icy, sunny three-hour walk the next morning to clear the head. Perhaps a warming shot of sloe gin halfway round too…
A goodie box of this fare isn’t going to get eaten in a day, so you’ll need a daily routine. Burn calories, lose weight and feel great with this 10-minute home cardio workout routine for aerobic ﬁtness. If you have a skipping rope, you can swap one of the exercises listed below with a 60-second burst of skipping. This 10-minute cardio workout counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week. Before you begin, warm up with a six-minute routine. After your workout, cool down with a ﬁve-minute stretch. • Rocket jumps – two sets of 15 to 24 repetitions (reps) Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds. • Star jumps or squats – two sets of 15 to 24 reps Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds. • Tap backs – two sets of 15 to 24 reps • Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds. • Burpees – two sets of 15 to 24 reps Now cool down with a ﬁve-minute stretch. All done!
DON’T DUCK OUT The Red Lion in Great Bowden is famous for its exemplary food, and throughout the winter months it has winter glazed duck breast on the specials board, served with fondant potatoes, buttered leeks and a juniper and port jus. The duck is sourced locally, and all of the vegetables are seasonal, organic and British. During December, when the cold nights are upon us, the pub likes to produce food that is best enjoyed by the roaring log ﬁre, with candles lit and drink in
hand to create a perfect snug dinner experience. www.redlion-greatbowden.co.uk
TAKE TO THE WATER
An average sized person, swimming fairly constantly for an hour and at an average pace, would do more than enough to work off an evening of fabulous duck and the odd drink too. Perhaps take in a spa or sauna after as well, to chase away most of of those other toxins built up during the festive period.
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Feature /// Christmas calories
ARE YOU GAME? The new evening winter menu at The King’s Head, which is making a real name for itself for its food, focuses on game: quail, pheasant, duck, rabbit and venison all feature. On the menu is a superb pork belly and pheasant pie, a gamey take of beef Wellington with a venison version, a succulent duck and rabbit terrine, as well roasted conﬁt of quail. All the meat is extremely high quality and supplied by Nelsons butchers. For those who aren’t game, they are still holding steak night on a Thursday. 19 Maiden Lane, Stamford , 01780 753510
GET PIE-EYED Made in Oakham, The Rutland Pie Company’s award winning homemade pies are available to order online, and arrive fresh using their special coolboxes. All the ingredients are sourced locally, whether it’s organic ﬂour from Whissendine Mill just two miles down the road, or even closer is the rare-breed pork and beef from Northﬁeld Farm which prides itself on its animal welfare (and produces great tasting meat). Our favourite for a winter Christmas warmer? The 2016 National Pie Award’s gold medal-winning steak, ale & mushroom pie. www.rutlandpie.co.uk
Vension is low in sodium and a good source of riboﬂavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus and zinc, and a very good source of protein and thiamin. Add it to Wellington with all that pastry and it needs working off – a single portion means you should probably cycle a pleasant lap of Rutland Water at a fairly leisurely speed – without needing to do the peninsula though.
BURN OFF YOUR PIE!
One intense half-hour circuit class at your local gym should do the job: for example, perform ﬁve exercises for two minutes each and repeat the circuit three times. Choose squats, pushups, calf raises, crunches and glute kickbacks.
BETTER SCOTCH The Bull and Swan’s scotch eggs are legendary. If you happen to be heading for some Christmas shopping in Stamford, a pint and one of these crispy batter, soft yolk-centred little balls of joy are an essential respite from the crowds in a beautiful old pub with warm ﬁres and even warmer atmosphere. www.hillbrookehotels.co.uk/ the-bull-and-swan
YOU’RE ALREADY WINNING!
According to research, most people burn 1,500 calories doing their Christmas shopping due to walking between shops, carrying heavy bags, pushing trolleys and the general stress of it all. So a pint and a scotch egg are absolutely free. It seems a waste not to take advantage.
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Become a member of our Sports Centre
Membership s from
A NEW LOOK FOR 2017:
£23.00 per month
• A 30% larger fitness suite • New state of the art Pulse Fitness equipment
• On site Personal Trainers available • Newly extended free weights area with functional training rig
• A 25m pool with pool only memberships
• Stamford Swim School, now
3D visual of the new 30% larger fitness and extended free weights area.
accepting January 2017 intakes
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ACTIVE BODY GET UP TO SPEED IN THE SADDLE WITH THE LATEST INITIATIVE AT CAFE VENTOUX, EAT WELL THIS CHRISTMAS AND LOOK FAB IN VELVET Edited by Mary Bremner
BOARDMAN LAUNCHES AT CAFE VENTOUX Cycling legend Chris Boardman has launched a bike fitting centre at Café Ventoux in Tugby for a new range of high performance Boardman road bikes – one of only three centres in the UK. We went along to find out why he chose this unique venue Images: Alamy/Pip Waters/Matthew Edwards
Active What should customers expect from a Boardman bike in terms of quality, equipment and service? CB With whatever we make, we want people to think: ‘Wow that’s cool, I can’t believe it’s that price” and give people something they can’t get elsewhere. For example, when we introduced the £1,000 carbon bike. What I want is trust. If you buy one of our bikes, you won’t be able to buy a bike at the same price better. You will get quality and service, and that’s what we aim for.
bolt, I still have final sign-off but people come to me with ideas and it’s a really small company and to the guys who work for me I say ‘don’t show me anything that doesn’t make you feel those ways too because I’ll just say no’. You can’t do 50-odd different designs of bike yourself, but I still see everything before it goes out, and I’m always looking for new ways of doing things: for example I’ve just been to see a guy with a 3D titanium printer to see what we could do with it.
Active What’s your philosophy with bike building? CB It must be cool, I must feel wowed and I hold the company to that as well. If they show me a product or idea, whether it’s on a napkin, final drawing or every nut and
Active Why did you choose to work with Cafe Ventoux? CB The bit that’s great is the bit that’s about service, quality and fun, and I got to come here to Café Ventoux a few months ago, as we were changing our business
strategy, and we knew we only wanted a handful of businesses across the UK who like us are all about service and passion. One of the guys on our team used to work here and he was raving about it, so I came down, and just thought “wow this place is awesome and this is what cylists love”. “You can see yourself, it’s just a great space and already I’ve bumped into a few people who said “I came down, I’ve been thinking about this bike, and they gave them the keys, and just said ‘just go and ride it’. So they’ve got the passion, the experience and the advice and a lot of shops just can’t give you the chance to go and ride them outside because of where they’re based. Everything at Café Ventoux has been thought about to the tiniest degree, there’s an obsessive compulsive edge to it! This is a pretty special place, you want to be involved, and it makes you want to ride a bike. To have a business that you love and believe in, is very important. That’s what I love about it here. Active Do you think the cycling craze can continue to grow, and if so what needs to be done - do we need better understanding of cyclists needs in the road? CB I think cycling has become hugely more visible since 2008 and it has become much bigger and there’s a lot of
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recognition of it in the public mind. If you rode to work 10 years ago you were the smelly geeky person in the office, and now it’s a small boast, that you ride to work, and that’s a massive cultural shift. There are the enthusiasts who ride to work, who are great, but I’m passionate about seeing people going to the shops, taking the kids to school, realising a bike is a really good tool for getting from A to B. That will be success because that bit is static – only about 2-3% of journeys in the UK. It’s because we haven’t made safe spaces and people will not change their behaviour if they think it’s not easy. Space is the big thing – we’ve got to make the space for cycling. 70% would cycle more if they felt safe. So that’s a big thing for me.
Active Finally, what were the moments in your racing career that you look back on with most pride? CB The gold medal in 1992 stands out because it transcended the sport, because everyone knows what a gold medal means and it gave me the belief, broke the jinx and proved that I could do it. To win my first ever Tour prologue showed we could beat the world in what is unofficially the world championship and to beat the world hour record in 2000 was about going right back to basics, round tube, drop handlebars, spoked wheels and breaking Eddie Merckx’s distance by 10 metres. It was the last thing I ever did on a bike with a number on my back. That was a very satisfying way to finish.
ACTIVE WATTBIKE OFFER: Book three Wattbike sessions and get a fourth free at Café Ventoux, Telephone: 0116 2598 063 and quote ACTIVEMAG to get this great offer.
Wattbikes at Café Ventoux The Café Ventoux Wattbike Studio is the newest addition to the Experience Centre, providing training facilities for all levels of cyclists and fitness enthusiasts. It has a state-of-the-art Wattbike cycling studio with 12 Wattbikes for Free-Ride sessions, classes and group bookings. The Wattbike is designed as a unique fitness training tool which identifies an individuals current fitness level and training zones through simple testing on a realistic bike simulator. Once your zones are established through our induction program you are able to train to your specific training zones irrespective of your ability, and train in a mixed ability group whilst getting the work out to suit your specific fitness level. The Wattbike feels like riding a real bike on the road or track thanks to a unique design and gives you an amazing indoor cycling experience. You can monitor your performance and progress thanks to Wattbike’s ability to record 39 parameters 100 times per second. The Performance Computer on each bike displays only the key information for the cyclist through seven different views.
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Our retail boutique is the ultimate one stop shop for cyclists this Christmas with top brands including: - Boardman Elite Bikes - Sidi Shoes - Mavic Helmets - Velobici & LeCol Clothing - Bliz Eyewear -
Voted Best Cycling Cafe 2016 Come and relax in the chilled out environment that is Cafe Ventoux, enjoy - Freshly Ground Coffee - Homemade Cakes - Freshly Cooked Food Gift vouchers available for the perfect Christmas present
Beat the Christmas bulge with regular sessions in our 12 bike Wattbike studio. Open for Pedal & Pay sessions and instructor led classes. Book online now www.cafe-ventoux.cc
DECeMBER Opening: Tuesday-Thursday 10am - 8.30pm, Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 8.45am - 5pm We will be closed FRIDAY 23rd december - Tuesday 3rd January
EAT WELL, RECOVER BETTER! Make sure your diet is right when you’re recovering from injury, says Function Jigsaw’s Lauren Dobson
DID YOU KNOW THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO ACCELERATE RECOVERY BY WHAT YOU EAT? Nutrition is a big part of your treatment path when you are injured and performing rehab to return to your chosen activity. Many people now carry some form of injury that requires management from regular injury prevention strategies such as sports massage to strict exercise rehabilitation programmes for return to play. Contributing factors such as physical mass, gender, over-use, collision forces and force generation are all reasons behind the severity and quantity of injuries. Despite the complications behind the nature of injuries, the healing process will always be the same. There are three phases to the healing process – inflammation, proliferation and remodelling... INFLAMMATION The inflammation stage is the body’s immediate natural response to any type of injury, where the bleeding and swelling is at its worst. The process has a rapid onset quickly increasing to its maximum reaction (we’re talking minutes or hours). There will always be an inflammatory response which will cause pain and discomfort in all injuries, but is classed as a positive function (normal and essential), which then gradually reduces over the healing process. During the first five days of the inflammation stage, pain can be reduced nutritionally with anti-inflammatory foods. Those anti-Inflammatory foods include; grapefruit, green beans, spinach, cauliflower, lemons and limes, broccoli, peppers, courgettes, asparagus, eggs, turmeric, cinnamon, celery, pineapple, blueberries, salmon, walnuts, chai seeds, coconut oil. Anti-inflammatory strategies in the inflammation phase can help reduce pain, increase mobility and improve blood flow to the injured area to promote recovery. As inflammation begins to reduce, and the damaged tissues have been removed as part of the healing process, the focus of
nutrition changes to tissue growth for the proliferation stage. PROLIFERATION This stage involves the re-generation of the repair material which for most sports injuries, involves the creation of scar (collagen) material. Again, with a rapid onset (24-48hrs), taking a little while longer to reach peak reaction (2-3 weeks). At the end of the phase, this does not mean the production of collagen is complete, but the main bulk is formed. The process of tissue growth/collagen formation is tough on the body through the stages of an injury due to the reduced anabolic stimuli that comes from immobilisation and reduced range of movement. To drive this tissue anabolism requires enough calories and macronutrients to enhance the process. Remember when you are injured, it is not uncommon to fall into poor nutritional habits due to loss of routine, appetite and lack of cues to eat. So, short-term weight management techniques are crucial. The correct calorific intake will be crucial and independent to you. Excessive dietary restrictions also reduce the probability of getting sufficient micronutrients that are key to supporting tissue growth, especially; vitamin A, C and D, as well as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. The goal is to ensure that sufficient quantities of specific nutrients are maintained to have an impact on the healing process. IDEAL FOODS TO EAT FOR THE PROLIFERATION PHASE: Vitamin A – beef, eggs, chicken, seafood, fruit and veg, greens, carrots, pumpkin, peas, turnip. Vitamin C – broccoli, spinach, green pepper, lemon and limes, strawberries, pears, seafood, pork. Vitamin D – dark green leafy veg, milk, yoghurt, ice cream, livers, eggs, mackerel, salmon. Calcium – leafy greens, cheese, milk, yoghurt, tofu, broccoli, canned fish with bones. Copper – beef livers, sunflower seeds, lentils, almonds, apricots, dark chocolate. Iron – kale, brown rice, pulses and beans,
nuts and seeds, white and red meat, fish, tofu, spinach. Magnesium – nuts, seeds, fish, kale, beans, avocados, bananas. Zinc – beef, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds, prawns, watermelon seeds, spinach. REMODELLING The remodelling phase is very important, especially in the context of therapy and rehabilitation. There is no rapid onset, nor high reaction, but results in a quality and functional ‘scar’ which is then capable of handling the demands of injury repairing. For athletes coming out of the healing process, a diet based around quality anti-inflammatory foods remains key. Additional calories will be required to support the increase in workload and energy demands, and the continuous breakdown/repair of tissue. One of the key elements following the healing process is to reduce fatigue, but not increase unwanted fat mass. There are a number of dietary considerations to support healing. To increase iron absorption, combine a source of vitamin C with foods that contain iron in the same meal. Avoid tea and coffee close to meal time, which can have a negative effect on mineral absorption. Vary breakfast alternatives to ensure high fibre cereals are not the only choice; consider egg whites, smoothies, beetroot or pomegranate juice, avocados and dairy-based proteins to start the day off with a bang. Use fish soups, chicken wings or fresh stock to get the benefits of natural collagen in food through bones. Snack on natural fats or protein such as nuts, full fat yoghurts and seeds, and finally avoid a high sugar intake which can promote increased fatigue. The outcome of the healing process, assisted by correct nutritional intake, is that the damaged tissue will be repaired with a scar which can enable quality recovery without the need for drugs (for most patients), with an effective return to sport and a low injury recurrence rate.
@FunctionJigsaw firstname.lastname@example.org www.functionjigsaw.co.uk
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the goodness is lost when used for cooking. Save the olive oil for your salad dressings and cook with rapeseed oil to get the best of both! CHEESES Try adding some goats cheese, feta and some slices of fresh parmesan or manchego to your cheese board this Christmas, as they are all lower in calories than the classic cheeses such as stilton and cheddar. Arrange with a selection of whole nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecan), apple slices, grapes, celery and even fresh figs. DRINKS Add some non-alcoholic fruit cocktails to your drinks table. Often, we focus on what alcohol we are providing and soft drinks are a bit of an afterthought. If you are clever, you may also be able to use it as a healthy mixer for champagne or gin cocktails. This is a good way to manage alcohol intake.
EAT, DRINK AND BE HEALTHY! Nutritional adviser Helen Cole on how to make those tasty Christmas classics that little bit better for you If we focus on the goodness our festive food provides and look at ways in which we can tweak some of our classics, we can eat without losing any of the fabulous flavour. TURKEY Still the most popular choice for Christmas Day, turkey is relatively low in fat and high in protein and vitamins B6 and 12 – good for metabolism of amino acids, fats and carbohydrate and to help protect us from infection. Try to opt for more of the white meat as it contains three times less fat than the brown meat and avoid the skin as this will bulk up your calorie and fat intake without you even thinking about it!
A, to improve night vision and they are a good source of fibre, vitamin B6 and iron. Rather than boiling all of this away and smothering them in butter, try shredding them and gently fry/steam in a frying pan with 1-2 tablespoons of water and add some grated orange zest and chopped chestnuts or almonds. CHESTNUTS The lowest in fat and calories of all the nut and seed family! Rich in vitamin C and potassium, which can assist in lowering blood pressure and a good source of vitamin B6 and magnesium, to help strengthen our bones and teeth.
ROAST POTATOES Potatoes are rich in vitamin C, B6 and potassium, so mustn’t be seen as the baddie! Try mixing in some sweet potatoes too for a boost of vitamin A. Roast in a plant oil as opposed to animal fat as plant oils are higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats – the good ones and lower in saturated fats – the bad ones!
CRANBERRY SAUCE Bought cranberry sauce contains very little in the way of nutritional value and is very high in refined sugar. Try making your own healthier version with fresh or frozen cranberries (rich in vitamin C), orange zest, a little water and cinnamon and sweeten with stevia, honey or maple syrup instead of sugar (see page 11 for a recipe idea).
SPROUTS Extremely low in fat (depending on how they have been cooked), sprouts are bursting with vitamin C, which has high anti-oxidant properties as well as assisting in iron absorption. They are high in vitamin
OLIVE OIL OR RAPESEED OIL? Although olive oil contains more monounsaturated fats than rapeseed oil (the ones that help to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol), it has a lower smoking point, which means that most of
PETIT FOURS Rather than passing round the chocolates or truffles after dinner, why not make some healthy cocoa and cranberry energy balls... Ingredients • 40g dried cranberries • 25g gluten-free rolled oats • 2tbsp cocoa powder • 1tsp ground cinnamon • 100g walnut pieces • 1tbsp maple syrup • 1tsp vanilla extract • 3tbsp no added sugar or salt peanut butter Method 1. Put half the cranberries in a processor with the rest of the ingredients and whiz until smooth. 2 Spoon the mixture into a bowl, then stir through the remaining cranberries. If it’s too dry, add 1–2tsp water to bring it together. 3. Roll the mixture into 16 walnut-size balls, then chill for 1 hr or until firm. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. TIP: Cocoa powder may contain milk, so check the label if you need to be dairy-free. Above all else, eat, drink and have a very merry, healthy Christmas! Cole Nutrition offers a full dietary analysis to identify the requirements for each individual. Together, we look at current eating and lifestyle patterns or habits and identify possible changes in realistic and achievable terms. Whatever your lifestyle, Cole Nutrition will endeavour to find the perfect balance for a happy, healthy you. If you would like to book a consultation or find out more about what we offer, contact Helen Cole on 07966 050 193, email colenutritionh@ gmail.com or visit www.colenutrition.co.uk.
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THE FINISHING TOUCHES You’ve done all the hard work in the gym, playing sports and getting fit, so now is the time to reap the benefits and add the finishing touches… Edited by Mary Bremner
VA VA VOOM VELVET Christmas is just around the corner which means the party season is upon us. And parties mean new dresses! But there’s so much choice, so what do you go for? There always seems to be something around covered in sequins at this time of year, which is fine if you are below 25 or can afford designer prices. For the rest of us, sequins can look a bit
over the top or tacky if you’re not careful. Memories of scratchy sequins laddering tights spring to mind. Velvet is the fabric of the season – it’s been all over the catwalks and this sumptuous material can be dressed up or down depending on your taste. The velvet dress is the ‘only’ dress you need this party season, according to many fashion pages. We’re not sure we’d necessarily agree, but the great thing about velvet is that you can team an elegant dress with a pair of biker boots and
shaggy coat to look really on trend. The perfect combination, looking the part but keeping warm as well. There’s no doubt velvet dresses are lovely and feel wonderful to wear as the fabric is so sumptuous and the colours so rich, but we’ve found a jacket and boots if you want to buck the trend but still give a nod to the fabric. Or stand out from the crowd – what about a tuxedo? We’ve found a velvet tuxedo jacket from Ted Baker (see right) which will look perfect with black trousers and killer heels and, as a classic, can be worn for years to come.
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SHIMMERING, SMOKY EYES AND ARTFUL HAIR
Christmas and the party season demands fabulous hair and make-up so it’s a great time to go all out and have it professionally done. When could be a better time to treat yourself? We oen get in a rut when it comes to make-up so a party look can be hard to achieve yourself. Do you go for smoky eyes and vampy red lips, or is that too much? Should it be one or the other, or both? We asked Laura Thomson-Dunne from Ltd Beauty, a mobile beautician, to give our model Edina a glamorous party look. Laura’s ethos is to use cruelty-free, non-toxic products and her approach to beauty is very much the holistic one. First of all Laura looked at Edina’s colouring to decide what to do with her eyes. Edina is grey eyed but is a bit of a chameleon as sometimes they can look green depending on what she is wearing or what shade of eye make-up she uses. To begin with Laura used a light foundation on Edina’s skin. On her eyes she used Well People Elitist eyeshadow powder in pink champagne on the lid up to the brow bone and luminous copper on the lid. This shade brought out the colour of Edina’s eyes. To make the look more smoky and defined Laura used luminous mocha in the upper lid crease. “I don’t agree with the mantra ‘smoky eyes and pale lips, or the other way round’,” said Laura. “I just go with how the whole look pulls together and how it looks, and feels, on the model. Lips and eyes together is fine if the occasion and look is right.” To finish Edina’s eyes Laura used Ilia Beauty pure eyeliners in havana affair (a khaki tone) and my generation (violet) to bring out the green in Edina’s eyes. The khaki tones went on the upper and lower outside lid and the violet on the inner lower lid. And the colour of her eyes really was brought out. Then it was lashings of mascara to finish off the look. The cheeks were defined with a pink blusher, a
colour Edina would not normally use, but worked well. A bio bronze powder from Well People finished the face. Laura had intended to use a red lipstick but decided last minute that a pink shade would suit Edina’s look better. “Flexibility is the approach, don’t be too rigid with your ideas”, she added. Laura outlined Edina’s lips with a Lily LoLo lip pencil in so nude and used an Ilia Beauty lipstick in neon angel finished off with a touch of lip gloss. Again, pink was a colour that Edina would never have considered, favouring nude lipsticks normally. The overall look was very effective giving shimmery, smoky eyes, defined cheekbones and luscious lips. Edina was delighted, she still looked like herself (something that many people are scared of when professionally made up) but had that added extra something which drew your eyes to her perfectly made-up face immediately. To go with the fabulous make-up our hairdresser, Rebecca, set to work on Edina’s hair. Edina’s hair is long and slightly wavy so she had plenty to play with. Edina didn’t want anything too formal so Rebecca decided to leave it quite loose. First of all she used curling tongs on the hair to add to the natural wave. Instead of tying the hair up completely she pulled it into a high ponytail leaving the front of the hair out. She then incorporated this into a sweeping fringe. The finished effect looked quite retro, almost ’50s, and didn’t look at all ‘done’, which was the look Edina wanted. But best of all, despite looking very informal, Edina knew that this style was going to stay firmly in place all night, no matter how much head tossing went on! The overall look was polished and sophisticated without looking ‘too much’. It also means you will be confident your make-up and hair will remain in situ. And there was none of the stress of trying to do it all yourself – a more relaxed way to start the evening! www.ltdbeauty.co.uk. Laura charges £50 for make-up.
And finally... The latest fashions to show off
Velvet Chelsea boot £250 www.moloh.com
Chain velvet cowl neck dress £29 www.topshop.com
Ted Baker velvet tuxedo suit jacket £229 www.johnlewis.com
ASOS embellished dress £85 www.asos.com
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OPENING TIMES Open seven days a week 12 noon – 11pm Food is served from Tues – Sat 12-2.30pm & 6.30-9.30pm Sunday 12-4pm
The Red Lion is a friendly dynamic free house that prides itself on offering something a bit different and, we think, rather special.
Our team of chefs pride themselves that we never forget the Red Lion in freshly prepared, locally sourced Classics that are so popular with seasonal food delivered with warm our customers. friendly service. There’s a wonderfully festive feel All of our bread, ice cream and here at the moment with our log desserts are homemade and we fire and delicious winter menu. are constantly striving for new and And we’re always happy to exciting dishes whilst ensuring welcome large party bookings.
Put simply, we want to serve you exceptional quality food, drinks and service in beautiful surroundings.
Call us on 01858 463571 Email email@example.com
THE RED LION I 5 Main Street, Great Bowden, Leicestershire, LE16 7HB I www.redlion-greatbowden.co.uk
Feature /// Sportsman's Dinner
The Hare Pie, Hallaton Kate and Sheron tuck into a mouth-watering lunch – minus the bottle kickers Sheron This is a beautiful part of Leicestershire and obviously we’re not the only people to think so as we passed so many cyclists and horse riders on the way here. There’s an outdoor seating area with an amazing view although on Easter Mondays you can’t really see Hare Pie Hill as it’s mobbed with revellers coming for the annual bottle kicking competition. Have you ever been? Kate A few times, although I leave that up to my children now as they have more stamina than me. It’s great fun though, particularly if you come for the full event starting with the blessing of the hare pie by the local vicar. Rumour has it that two local ladies donated money to the village church as a thank you for being saved from a rampaging bull by a startled hare, on the proviso the money was spent on food and drink for the poor of the village. Each year since then the villagers of Hallaton and Medbourne have fought to gain possession of the beer barrels or ‘bottles’. About 10,000 people descend on the village to watch or take part. Sheron Well there’s no sign of that many today, thank goodness. It’s very peaceful in here: there’s a delicious smell coming from the kitchen
and I’m looking forward to lunch. And I’ve already decided on the cheese, onion and spinach quiche with salad and coleslaw (£6.95) What do you fancy? Kate I’m going for the sweet potato and carrot soup and as I’m hungry, instead of crusty bread, I’ll also have a ham, salad and chutney sandwich on gluten-free bread (both for £7.50). I’ve given the dogs a long walk this morning so I don’t feel too greedy. I could also choose one of the fruit ciders made just down the road by the Bottle Kicking Cider Company, but I think I’ll stick to sparkling water. How’s your quiche? Sheron Absolutely delicious. The shortcrust pastry is incredibly light, the cheese has turned a lovely golden colour on top and I can really taste the spinach. The food is made by chef Lydia on the premises or next door in the Bewicke Arms kitchen as they’re both owned by husband and wife team Simon and Claire. They took over about a year ago and have gone from strength to strength. As well as the pub, café and B&B there’s also a small deli in the café stocking Italian products and local beers. Kate That’s because Claire’s family is Italian.
And they even have a pizza oven to cook pizzas on Friday nights. You can either eat in or take away and it’s very popular for families because they can come in from 5 pm onwards. It sounds like the perfect way to start the weekend. We’ll have to come back for that one evening to sample them, especially as you’re married to an Italian! In the meantime, I’m thoroughly enjoying my soup – it’s proper winter comfort food. And Lydia’s apple, blackberry and cinnamon chutney goes very well with the generous helping of ham in my sandwich. Some chutneys can be sharp but this is delicious – sweet, but not overly sweet. Sheron I think it would be rude to walk out of here without trying one of the homemade tarts or cakes, so let’s share a bakewell tart with cream. I love almonds and this tart is bursting with them. What a melt in the mouth ﬁnish to a wonderful lunch. I would deﬁnitely come here again.
The Hare Pie 1 Eastgate, Hallaton, Market Harborough, LE16 8UB. 01858 555734.
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Feature /// Great walks
white rose in Look out for the village, the middle of the emorate the mm co to d nte pla re-internment discovery and III on of King Richard 2015. September 18,
Houghton on the Hill The bustling city of Leicester is just over the hill, but you wouldn’t know it, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington
Difficulty rating (out of five)
Park on St Catharine’s Way opposite the church of the same name and enter the churchyard via the gate on the far left as you look at the church from the road. Follow the path to the rear left hand corner of the graveyard but ignore the ﬁrst left hand footpath which just runs back behind the village. Instead take the path which leads south east into the ﬁelds from the far left corner of the graveyard. This path soon opens out into the rolling green hills which are so typical of Leicestershire, with views to Gaulby and King’s Norton in the distance.
After four ﬁeld boundaries (staying on the main path and ignoring the left branch to Gaulby) you will drop down to the River Sence which offers a good spot for the dogs to have a drink. From here head up the hill to Ash Spinney and enjoy the vista before going straight downhill to the small stream. Here you need to almost double back on yourself and pick up the return path heading north west. It’s marked on the OS map straight across the ﬁeld but there is a wide ﬁeld margin which is a lot easier going and less damaging to the crop at certain times of the year. Whether you go across the ﬁeld or around it you will come to the path which drops downhill on the western edge of Larch Spinney before crossing the River Sence again. Very shortly after the footbridge make sure you take the right turn through the hedge and then follow the path north over, through and round a few small ﬁelds and for less than a kilometre before reaching Stretton
Lane. Turn right on to the road and follow it round the left hand bend for 200 metres until you get to the footpath to the right across the ﬁelds up to the cricket club and back to the church.
Clockwise, from above
Looking back to the church in Houghton on the Hill; lovely views all the way around; The Old Black Horse; looking towards Gaulby
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ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park On St Catharine’s Way opposite the church in Houghton on the Hill. Distance and time Three miles/one hour.
Highlights Do it briskly and this will be one of the best one-hour walks you could hope for. Great views, plenty of contours, fresh water for the dogs and an attractive village to boot. Lowlights None that spring to mind, but there were no livestock around the day I did it. Refreshments The Old Black Horse in Houghton on the Hill. Difficulty rating Three paws. There are plenty of ups and downs and some high stiles but generally this is pretty accessible. The pooch perspective Plenty of fresh water from the River Sence and no livestock when I did it but there are sheep in the early fields sometimes.
For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it. ©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2015 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 055/15
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Houghton Pharmacy 14 Main St, Houghton on the Hill, Leicester LE7 9GD e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
t: 0116 241 8243
Other services available from Houghton Pharmacy • Dispence NHS & Private Prescriptions • Repeat Rescriptions Collection Service • Malaria Prophylaxis* and erectile dysfunction *medications available from the pharmacy.*conditions apply.
Mon to Fri 9.00am to 12.45pm, 2.00pm to 6.15pm
SATURDAY 14 JANUARY 2017 Junior Department Assessments Foundation & Reception Ages 3-5 9.30 – 11.30AM Senior School Entrance Examinations Years 6-10 Ages 10-14 9.00AM – 12.30PM Near Leicester Racecourse, South of Leicester. Mrs Julia Harbage, The Registrar, Leicester High School,454 London Road, Leicester LE2 2PP Tel: 0116 270 5338 email: email@example.com @LeicesterHigh
Leicester High is an independent day school for girls 3-18.
Feature /// School sport
Louise selected for Lightning squad...
Leicester High girls head for the coast Thirty-three girls from year 7 at Leicester High School for Girls departed for their long-awaited residential trip to Hilltop Outdoor Centre in Sheringham. Once there, the girls each had the opportunity to try many different activities including archery, crate stacking, climbing, abseiling and using the powerfan. They also measured longshore dri, examined the effects of coastal erosion, climbed the high ropes course, shopped in Sheringham, played owls and mice in the woods and ‘next stop’ on the field.
Louise Kelly, a Catmose College year 8 student, recently attended selection training for the Loughborough Lightning Academy U13 netball squad. She competed against 46 other girls for only 20 positions. Having been selected she will now attend training every other Friday at Loughborough University (where the England team are based). Louise will be playing against the other National Super League academy teams throughout the season. Louise now plays for Rutland Rockets Netball Club, County Academy and Loughborough Lightning Netball Squad, and is also playing for Royce Rangers football team at the weekends. Her goals going forward are that she continues with both sports if possible and improve her strength and core skills, which will allow her to go for regionals next year.
... and Emily picked for academy Emily Broughton, a year 11 at Catmose College, has been selected for the East Midlands Netball Regional Academy, where she’ll be playing against people from all over the country and training with the best coaches in the East Midlands Having played in and captained the school netball team since year 7, Emily then went on to play for Rutland Rockets Netball Club. Emily has represented the Rutland Rockets twice in the U16 club regional and national competitions, which she was also lucky enough to be chosen as team captain. Emily also plays in the premiership division (the highest division) in the Leicester Netball League, and has previously won player of the year on one of the lower divisions.
Shoebox appeal help Lutterworth College students have been busy packing shoeboxes with gifts and toys for under-privileged children around the world as part of Operation Christmas Child Appeal. Charity Samaritans Purse has been running the Operation Christmas Child Appeal since 1990, distributing the gift ﬁlled shoeboxes around the world. Last year the boxes were sent to the refugee camps that were established due to the Syria crisis. This year the students ﬁlled 81 boxes and these will also be delivered to children around the world who face a difﬁcult Christmas facing hardship and struggle. Head of Lutterworth College, Ben Solly, said: “I am very proud that students have been able to support Operation Christmas Child through the shoebox appeal again this year. It is wonderful that children around the world, living in poverty and distressing conditions, will receive their special shoebox ﬁlled with toys and we are privileged to have helped make this happen.” Pictured, from left: Julie Alderman, Kari Hensey, Caitlin Crewe, Holly Cane, Mimi McDermott, Olivia Croucher and Ben Solly /// D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 5 9
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Roundup The scores, star performers and stats from a month in local sport
Narrow margins for Lions and South in the league BY JEREMY BESWICK
eicester Lions seem to have been on a mission to shatter their supporters’ nerves over the last month, making something of a specialism of close encounters of the rugby kind. In a run of three matches a total of 132 points were scored, with the margin between the sides in each game being two, three and one respectively. The ﬁrst nail-biter was at picturesque Wharfedale; Lions drawing ﬁrst blood through Devon Constant who showed good strength to go over after they stole the opponents’ line-out and James Grayson extended their lead with a penalty and drop goal before the home side narrowed the gap with a try of their own from the back of the maul. A Lions penalty made it 16-7 to the away side at the break, with Wharfedale again using the driving maul to score early in the second period to reduce the deﬁcit to two points. A scoreless period followed until a home player was yellow carded with 10 minutes left to play and that proved to be decisive as Drew Rudkin broke clear against the 14 men and played through Jamel Hamilton for Lions’ second try of the game. Wharfedale weren’t ﬁnished yet however as a Harry Bullough try brought the score to 21-23 but, fortunately for the Lions, it proved to be too late to alter the result. Lions’ director of rugby Ken Whitehead said: “We got what we expected – a tough contest... a euphoric and well deserved victory.” Next up was a home match against Sedgely Park and it was the visitors who had the better
of a try-less ﬁrst period that saw them lead 9-3, and they kept the pressure up at the start of the second until what Lions’ skipper Matt Tuckey called “mercurial reactions” from scrum-half Tom Emery enabled him to intercept a pass and run the full length of the pitch to score. Warming to his theme, Tuckey dubbed the next successful move as “a piece of poetry in motion” as “a magniﬁcent sleight of hand” sent wing Sam Benjamin ﬂying down the pitch to bring the score to 20-9. Back came Sedgley with a forwards-based try from prop Harri Greville and then their own wing, Andrew Riley popped up with another. With various penalties and conversions this meant the two sides were level at 23-all, and in an ending that could have gone either way it was a penalty from Lions’ Jon Boden that proved decisive. Alas, their luck was not to hold and the next tight match, away to Chester, saw them lose by a solitary point. Nevertheless, they sit fourth in National League 2, only eight points behind leaders Caldy. Local rivals South Leicester sit a few places below them but had a very creditable draw against Caldy at Welford Road. In what chairman Wayne Marsden called “a much-improved performance” they’d led 10-6 at half time and a try in the second half from Nicholas Cairns – and then Rickie Aley’s fourth penalty of the day – seemed to have given them a famous victory until the league leaders got out of jail with a late converted try that brought the scores to 21 all.
South went one better the following weekend at Preston. The conditions were less than ideal, the match being played on the Grasshoppers’ second pitch as the regular ﬁrst team area has a 4G one installed and the greasy ball led to a plethora of knock-ons and drops. South were the ﬁrst to score through ﬂanker Nick Cairn’s touchdown and then extended their lead as Rickie Aley “running a hard supporting line off back row Gareth Turner” according to Marsden, added a second. A try in response from the home side made it 8-10 to South at the break. Two penalties from the home side gave them the lead but South’s pack was now proving superior and Gareth Turner was able to get over the line from the base of a scrum to regain the lead. Yet another pair of penalties saw Hoppers swing things back in their favour before the key play of the game. Marsden again: “Aley broke the gain line and Heath ran an excellent outside line to dot down in the corner with four minutes remaining”. With the score now 22-20 in South’s favour there was still time for one more drama as Hoppers looked to steal it with a late penalty which, fortunately for South, drifted wide. Marsden felt afterwards that “(We) outscored Preston four trys to one and it was only through our mistakes and indiscipline that allowed Preston to kick ﬁve penalties that keep them in the game. It proves yet again that games are won and lost by very ﬁne margins, this week South were worthy of the win, just.”
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There’s been much comment in the press, by no means all of it positive, about the new deal from the RFU for England players. The agreement will see them collect up to £300,000 a season in appearance money in addition to their club salaries, endorsements and other earnings and some see that as too much. Not Richard Cockerill though, who told me: “The RFU made over £100m profit last year. I think the players taking the field of play deserve every penny they get. “If you’re envious of what they make then I suggest you get down here and train with us. If you play as well as Ben Youngs, Dan Cole, Freddie Burns and the others then I’ll pick you and you can go on to earn that much as well.” Nevertheless, it’s all a far cry from the sort of money Cockerill would have made from his own playing career. Did he think he’d been born too early and played in the wrong era? “No, because I wouldn’t get into this England team,” was his self-deprecatory reply. The recent international fixtures have meant that Tigers’ squad players and youngsters have had a chance to show what they can do in the first team and Cockers thought they’d performed to expectations. “It’s good for the squad – they’ve done well for us.” He counselled caution however: “Young players tend to come into the first team and do well for a couple of matches but then the expectations kick in, the pressure rises and the acid test is – can they carry on and contribute in that way for an extended stretch of eight to 10 games?” One player having an eventful debut in the narrow win away to Bath was Springbok Pat Cilliers. Coming on in the 53rd minute to replace Fraser Balmain, he was soon back on the bench having been yellow carded within five minutes. “He’s getting a lot of stick from the lads about that,” said Cockers. “but we’ve now taken the correct action by informing him that we have an offside law here in the northern hemisphere.” He was also bullish about Harry Thacker’s performances: “He showed last year he can hold his own – and more. He’s taken his opportunity better than most and the size thing (Thacker had historically been thought too small) has been put to one side. His love of this club is a given.” Later I sat down with lock Ed Slater and his perspective was also positive: “It’s been a really enjoyable and productive two weeks – the young guys who’ve come in have done really well.” Those performances had included the best defensive display of the season, in terms of points conceded, against Newport Dragons but Slater was dismissive saying “They didn’t bring a strong side over here” but agreed they seemed to have tightened up since defence coach Kiwi Scott Hansen le the club in October – aer they’d conceded 15 tries in their first five matches. “We’ve gone back to basics,” he told me. “Particularly around the breakdown and the line out – the technical stuff. We’re not second-guessing ourselves anymore.”
Ed Slater has been impressed by the younger players who have come into the squad
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Oadby’s ordeals... Harborough’s happiness BY JEREMY BESWICK
t has been a tough month for Oadby Town. Graham Chambers’ young team had seemed to be turning the corner in October with three successive wins but that false dawn has been followed by a run that saw them gather only one point from their next eight games. The low point came at Deeping Rangers with an 8-1 thrashing, despite The Poachers scoring the opener with a Sam Burton penalty. Next up were Market Harborough at home in the cup and goals from Harry Allcock and debutant Callum Armsden were not enough to keep them in the competition; Harborough scoring three through Jack Burrows and a brace from Ben Williams. Both Wisbech and Kirby Muxloe proved too strong for them too before the one bright spot, an entertaining 3-3 draw at home to Harrowby United. According to the club’s Joshua Jones this was “feisty, competitive encounter”. Oadby began strongly with winger Sam Burton to the fore who might have scored twice early on, a ﬁne save from Harrowby’s Chris Bennett and then the crossbar denying him. The visitors took the lead against the run of play after a quarter of an hour, a lofted pass from Sam Robinson being pounced upon by Luke Peberdy who in turn coolly lofted the ball over keeper Charlie Andrews’ head. Oadby drew level through Harry Allcock and were unlucky not to go into the break with a lead, the crossbar again coming to Harrowby’s aid, but just before the interval – again against the run of play – Harrowby went one up through that man Sam Harrison, “a simple pass and some poor defending
presented him with a golden chance as he was faced one-on-one with Andrews and made no mistake,” according to Jones. The second half began with some rather tasty challenges – referee Tom Cooke making well-timed interventions to manage the situation well. When things settled down Jones reports “Harrowby almost extended their lead on the hour-mark with a goalmouth scramble being cleared off the line and the rebound was ﬁred high and wide; a huge let-off for the hosts.” With 20 minutes left Harrowby would have rued that miss as it was the home side who scored next, Sam Burton showing good persistence to keep the ball alive and, as he bore down on goal, the ball broke to skipper Callum Steer who scored with a powerful long-range shot. Five minutes later they were in the lead for the ﬁrst time in the match as Burton and Allcock combined to set the latter up for the ﬁnish. Harrowby fought back and they too were denied by the crossbar and substitute Matt Clarke also went close for them but, as the match went deep into injury time, it seemed Oadby would gain a much-needed, moraleboosting win until Harrowby’s Simon Bollard stabbed the ball home for a draw. Jones’ summation was: “On the balance of play, a draw was probably a fair result with both sides having excellent opportunities to win the game, with a combination of bad luck and poor ﬁnishing culminating in an eventful yet exciting 3-3 draw.” He continued: “The home fans, who battled the bracing conditions and turned out in a
good number despite the Poachers’ recent run of results, were in good voice and were very supportive of their team, urging them on right up until the ﬁnal whistle, which ﬁnally came after 98 minutes of entertaining and decent football.” Secretary Kevin Zupp tells me they’re looking to recruit a few players from Leicester University to bolster the squad – on the evidence of the past few games that can’t come quickly enough if they are to stabilise at this level and build for the future. In contrast, all’s positive over at Harborough Town – only a narrow loss at Sleaford and a cup exit have marred a recent run that included ﬁve wins. That exit was at the hands of Thrapston Town from the league below them and the club’s Andy Winston was obviously disappointed. “We lost it in extra time having failed to take a number of opportunities to win it in 90 minutes,” he told me. Thrapston’s Kevin O’Brien conceded that “the home side held much of the early possession” and that they’d survived “two goalmouth scrambles as extra time beckoned with Harborough now looking the more likely,” but that’s the cup for you. They currently sit fourth in the table and Winston told me: “Things are going well. We’ve not been playing that brilliantly but still keep coming away with the three points – the recent win against Peterborough Northern Star being a case in point.” Three new signings have arrived to strengthen the side further – Sam Head, Greg Usher and Harvey Morgan, the latter from rivals Lutterworth Town.
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VOX FOX As we go to press it’s been a relatively quiet month for the Foxes with international fixtures bringing a pause to the Premiership, but that gives us the perfect opportunity to focus on the other outstanding football team in the city – Leicester Women. Last season was, of course, famously amazing for the men but LCWFC, as they are known, did their best to out-do them by winning 22 out of 22 in the league and landing promotion to the Premier League North at a canter. I caught up with captain Holly Morgan to find out what’s new. “We made a number of signings in the close season to strengthen the squad in preparation for the higher level, both from other sides and also six or seven youngsters from the FA’s Centre of Excellence who have broken into the first team,” she told me. “But the stand-out recruitment has been Shauna Cossens from Yeovil Town who plays central midfield. Although she’s still only 20 she has a lot of experience at this level. We’ve always played a high-tempo game but we’re able to be even more so with her in the side.” How are they finding life in the Premier? “Our mindset before the season began was to be in the top four or better and I’d say we’ve done quite well,” she said. Aer a shaky start (they lost 4-0 to Fylde on the opening day) they’ve dug in and now sit in fourth, with games in hand, having beaten Stoke, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion. “We played Fylde again recently , drew 1-1 and really should have got all three points given the number of chances we had, which shows just how much progress we’ve made,” she said. “It’s always difficult to know what to expect when you’re promoted but we now know that we fit in and are competitive with the very best. The girls are hungry and focused and enjoying the season a lot. It’s good to test ourselves against harder opposition and we’re all relishing the challenge of having to raise our own game in response.”
They’ve also reached the first round proper of the FA Cup where they’ve drawn Birmingham West Midlands. “We’re excited at the prospect of a good cup run. I love the magic of the cup – you never know what might happen.” If you’ve not seen this team play, their style is similar to their male counterparts. “We’re a high energy side. The speed of our wingers and full backs means we can break with such pace that our opponents can’t regain their defensive shape in time”. The women’s game is, if anything, puts skill at more of a premium than the men’s with less reliance on physical strength to gain the advantage. If you’ve never watched it live I can recommend it without hesitation. LCWFC play at the Riverside Pavilion on Braunstone Lane (except for the last game of the season when they get to play at the King Power) and with tickets at £3 for adults and £1.50 for kids it’s a great aernoon out for the family. And Holly means it when she says “Come along and watch us. You won’t be disappointed.”
Clockwise, from above
Gabby Reid strikes for goal; Kim Farrow in action; Alex Madden celebrates
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he Market Harborough Santa Fun Run is returning on Sunday, December 11, and will be open to a record 650 runners all dressed up as Santa. Now in its third year, the event has grown in popularity since its formation in 2014 and organisers Race Harborough are conﬁdent that the 2016 event will attract even more runners and have increased registrations further as a result. The Santa Fun Run sees a mass of Santas circling Welland Park to raise money for local charity Squires Effect. The event begins outside the Welland Park Café at 2pm with entrants free to run either the 5km or 2km race – all ﬁnishers receive a medal. “As well as increasing entry numbers, we are also hoping to increase the amount of money raised for Squires Effect,” comments Brian Corcoran, co-organiser at Race Harborough. “We challenge everybody that registers for the event to raise £10 each – that sum would make a huge difference to a great cause. “Even if you’re not running, come down and cheer on our Santas – there will be plenty of entertainment on too!” As in previous years, there will be refreshments available in the town centre and
Action from last year’s event
a live music performance by the Market Harborough Ukulele Group. Paws 4 Walking are donating a dog hamper to recognise the best dressed dog taking part and the ﬁrst Santa to catch the runner dressed as a Christmas pudding will win £100 to donate to a charity of their choice. For younger runners there will be a special Christmas elf that will be handing out festive gifts as they go round the course. The run, which is sponsored by Snap Fitness, costs £12 for an adult registration and £6 for under-16s. Also available are a range of family bundle
tickets as well as free registration for infants (2 and under) and dogs. Santa costumes are included with all registration prices. Race Harborough have organised many sporting events in the Harborough district over the past two years including the Zombie Run, Harborough Triathlon, the Harborough Half Marathon & 10k run. To register your place on the run or to ﬁnd out more visit www.raceharborough.co.uk. Places are allocated on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis with registration closing at midnight on Monday, December 5.
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TOP TIPS FOR A BETTER SLEEP Constantly yawning? No wonder – over a third of UK adults do not get enough sleep. Research from insurance giant Aviva suggests that more than one in three of us don’t get enough sleep. Professionals are concerned that our habit of working long hours and rarely taking a full lunch break could be leading many people to insomnia. So here are top tips from health and nutrition experts to combat exhaustion and getter a better snooze... Organise your mind “At least an hour before bed, put together a ‘to do’ list. This can prevent worries or mulling over tasks for the next day whilst trying to sleep,” advises Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at www.lilysoutternutrition. com. Exercise early “Try to exercise early in the day. Exercise can be extremely stimulating and some women ﬁnd it difﬁcult to sleep following a late work out session,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, www. marilynglenville.com. Chill out with chamomile To help you relax and have a peaceful sleep,
have a cup of camomile tea, or Valerian tea, before bed to encourage relaxation. Keep cool Research suggests that sleeping in a cooler room can help decrease certain types of insomnia. To help stop you from tossing and turning, freshen up your bed with cotton sheets. Good quality 100% cotton sheets are the best things to cover yourself with, as they will allow the air to circulate and are the least irritating on your skin.
Breathe in, breathe out Make an effort to relax before you get into bed. One way you can do this is through deep breathing. “First you must create space for the ribs to expand, by standing or sitting tall, then breathe wide and deep into your back and sides, thus maximising lung capacity,” explains Lynne Robinson, author of Pilates for Life
Up your magnesium Try and include plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as, pumpkin and sunﬂower seeds, ﬁsh and leafy green vegetables, explains nutritionist Cassandra Barns.
Drink coconut water Try drinking a glass of pure coconut water in the evening. “Coconut water is an excellent source of ‘electrolyte’ minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Deﬁciencies or imbalances may cause cramping and restless legs at night, and therefore disturbed sleep,” says Shona.
Separate work and play To make sure you get a good night sleep, it is crucial that your environment helps, not hinders your all-important slumber. “Establish the mood of the room that you sleep in, making it a calm and relaxing environment. This includes the colour of the walls, bed linen and décor and avoiding very bright, stimulating colours. Make sure you keep work out of the bedroom,” says says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfooduk.com
Resist late meals “Try and avoid large meals and too much hard-to-digest food for three to four hours before going to bed,” says Marilyn. However, if you feel hungry satisfy your cravings with a snack of a complex carbohydrate food before bed. “This can be such as a couple of oatcakes, or some rye crackers with a bit of hummus. This can give a gentle release of energy and helps us to stop us waking up hungry during the night,” adds Cassandra.
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Published on Nov 24, 2016
SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – South Leicestershire is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...