a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1





HOW TO… South Leicestershire’s sport and lifestyle magazine

Make mincemeat Create tea light decorations Take up walking netball

Get set for Christmas! Great walks, food, gifts and ideas for a brilliant festive season ISSUE 32 // DECEMBER 2017

Tr avel Special

See the Nort hern Lights and s earch out Santa

Cavern Deep, Mountain High The perils of Snowdonia

Will’s Walk Elkington and Honey Hill

Raging Bull Rugby legend Phil Vickery’s store comes to the area www.theACTIVEmag.com 12



Editor’s Letter I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I ALWAYS approach Christmas with some trepidation, not least because it is by far the busiest, most gluttonous couple of weeks of the year. That’s probably my own fault, as we end up having to drive from here to Wiltshire, back for a couple of days and then head to Cornwall, and then come back again. I do more miles over the festive period than a Yodel delivery driver. And in between those long car journeys, we sit at people’s houses, having very large meals, then sit in people’s living rooms, digesting those very large meals (and possibly washing it all down with quite a few drinks). So usually by New Year, I’m climbing precipitous trails in on the north Cornwall coastline, blowing like a steam engine with a faulty gasket. It’s not a good state to be in. This year, I plan to defeat this sad state of affairs before it can even take hold. A pre-seasonal diet of gut-friendly foods, a spot of HIITing and a campaign of morning and evening dog walking that should see even my two usually game labradors rolling their eyes in anguish at the thought of another enforced high speed march. Then, when the partying (and sitting, and eating) come around, I shall be in peak condition to perform at my absolute best. That’s the kind of committed professional I am. Have a great Christmas and New year, and enjoy the issue. Steve

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 3

3 SL ed letter OK.indd 117

24/11/2017 16:44


ISSUE 32 /// DECEMBER 2017


Great things to do locally for all the family

15 HOW TO...

Make mincemeat and decorate your Christmas table


This month we cook a hearty venison cottage pie


In search of Santa in Lapland


We climb Wales’ highest peak – and have fun underground


The constant hype surrounding sport is getting tiring


The Ashleigh Clinic’s Craig Mortimer on knee injuries


More essential advice from Function Jigsaw


How to look great for your Christmas party



ACTIVE LOCAL 44-45 CHALLENGE UPDATES... Updates on our intrepid fund-raisers


Successes on the field from our local schools


Wistow Cafe Bistro owner Jane Clifford


Taking in Elkington and Honey Hill


We try out Paten and Co in Stamford

56-61 NETBALL WITH A DIFFERENCE Jeremy Beswick tries out walking netball

62-66 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring

4 D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 ///





WILLOUGHBY WATERLEYS LUXURY PROPERTIES IN THE HEART OF LEICESTERSHIRE - PRICES FROM ÂŁ850,000 McCallum Marsh and The Oliveti Group are proud to announce the launch of three individual country houses in the delightful south Leicestershire village of Willoughby Waterleys. This small, bespoke development includes a stunning 16th Century Grade 2 Listed property, an individually designed, contemporary barn conversion and an off plan barn conversion project. Each property has its own unique character with a choice of high quality finishes when purchasing off plan. Triple glazed windows and doors, along with exceptional insulation and underfloor heating throughout, ensure that both conversions will be highly energy efficient.

mccallum marsh.indd 1

24/11/2017 10:01


6 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///

6-7 SL AL Opener OK.indd 6

24/11/2017 16:58


/// DE C E M BE R 2017 7

6-7 SL AL Opener OK.indd 7

24/11/2017 17:03

Activelife Ease those aching muscles Bexters Soda Crystals originate from Australia and were developed to accompany the Bowen Treatment therapies. They are specifically aimed at easing aches and pains after hard training. The crystals have added magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) and peppermint essential oil which helps rejuvenate tired muscles whilst soaking in the bath. Local athletes are using them and say the crystals are really helping. www.bowensuppliesbyhelen.com

Glow in the dark dogs

INFINITY AND BEYOND Ragdale Hall’s latest exciting development is almost complete – the new rooftop infinity pool and lounge are almost ready. The pool will be heated to 35 degrees so you can relax in the water and enjoy the magnificent views across

the Leicestershire countryside, whatever the weather. They also have a few dates in December where you can bring a friend for free to try out the new pool. www.ragdalehall.co.uk

With the winter months taking hold, it can be more difficult to keep your dog warm and safe on dark evening walks. Equafleece recommends using its ‘high-viz’ fleecewear, which provides 360 degree glowing visibility for on-coming drivers and cyclists while keeping your dog dry. It also means you can keep track of your dogs when they go bounding off, and it eliminates any ‘wet-dog aroma’. www.equafleece.co.uk


Umoja Gold


Umoja Gold is pure macademia nut oil from Guatemala that has powerful antiageing properties when used as a moisturiser. But it’s more than just a moisturiser and can be used as a cleanser, hair and nail conditioner, shaving oil and aftersun lotion. It is great for soothing irritated skin and can help reduce scarring and stretch marks. It is also chemical and additive free. But it’s not just about the product – 25% of every sale goes back to Guatemala to projects that make sure mothers and their babies survive childbirth, because the country has a very high rate of maternal and new-born mortality. www.umojagold.com

Leicester-based Off The Eaten Path makes delicious snacks that provide fibre, contain no artificial colours or preservatives and are made from ingredients including rice, green peas, pinto and white beans. Seasoning such as sea salt, sour cream or black pepper is then added to make for a delicious, healthy snack. Available from many retailers, including Sainsbury’s and Ocado. www.offtheeatenpathsnacks.co.uk

A new watering hole Ralph Offer, previously from The Wine Bar in Stamford, has taken on The George and Dragon at Seaton. After a full refurbishment the pub is now open for business. With a chef who previously worked at The Ivy in London, food is going to be a major part of the establishment. Using local produce, dinner will be served every night, and lunch at the weekend. There are also three newly refurbished rooms for letting. 01572 747418.

8 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///

8 SL NEWS OK.indd 8

24/11/2017 17:03

avatar.indd 1

24/11/2017 10:58

Christmas gifts

Launde Abbey

Open daily for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea

Cyclists and walkers very welcome Why not start your walk or ride at Launde then reward yourself with a delicious lunch at the end? Visit our website for maps and routes at www.laundeabbey.org.uk Launde Abbey, East Norton, Leicestershire LE7 9XB T: 01572 717254 I E: info@launde.org.uk Charity No: 1140918

10.indd 1

24/11/2017 12:51


CHRISTMAS AT BELVOIR Belvoir Castle is hosting a Christmas musical extravaganza between December 10 and 13. It promises to be a great start to the festivities with beautifully decorated rooms, fabulous music, a craft area for children and, of course, Father Christmas making an appearance. There will be a chance to enjoy seasonal food and drink as well as rousing Christmas carols. www.belvoircastle.com

BRITAIN IN BLOOM AWARD Oadby and Wigston borough has won a Silver Gilt Award in the RHS Britain in Bloom competition. Fighting off tough competition (more than 1,600 communities entered), the judges said: “The award of Silver Gilt in the small city category recognises the efforts of local people and the council to rely make a difference to the quality of life across the borough.”

Have your say

BEAUTIFUL BRADGATE Bradgate Park on the edge of Leicester is one of the county’s most popular spots. The 830-acre park offers dramatic rocky outcrops and ancient trees and woodland, some of which are over 500 years old. Renowned for its deer, the park is an ideal spot to go and see them. The most famous owners of the park were the Grey family – Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England in 1553

following the death of her cousin Edward VI, but only lasted for nine days until she was overthrown by Mary I. The park was eventually handed in trust to the people of Leicestershire in 1928. There’s always lots going on with guided tours and events, but it’s just as enjoyable to go and explore yourself. www.bradgatepark.org

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council is holding a public consultation on the pre-submission local plan, which will be open until December 18. This, the third version of the local plan, is a final draft and contains the council’s preferred approach to tackling key challenges whilst offering sustainable development for the borough up to 2031. Therefore this will be your final chance to make comments on the draft local plan before it is submitted to the Government in January 2018. Details of the consultation are available on the Borough Council’s website www. oadby-wigston.gov.uk/pages/planning_ consultations. Copies are also available for public viewing – visit the website for locations.

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 11

11 SL NEWS OK.indd 11

24/11/2017 17:06

Running Shop Run by Runners Large Shoe Range Gait Analysis Friendly Service Clothing Accessories 146A Clarendon Park Road, LE2 3AE 0116 2708447 leicester running shop.indd 1

www.leicesterrunningshop.co.uk 21/04/2017 16:56


WHAT’S ON There’s lots going on in your area this month, why not try some of these? ■ Well-know funnyman of television’s Mock the Week, Robot Wars and much more, Dara O’Briain, will be hosting another hilarious stand-up tour across the country called ‘Voice of Reason’. He will be appearing at Leicester’s de Montfort Hall on May 9 and 10. www.daraobriain.com ■ Colourful Characters of Bradgate Park, to be held on December 7 at 6.30pm, is a light-hearted review of Bradgate’s history, given by Peter Tyldersley, director of Bradgate Park Trust. Taking place at The Walter Charles Centre, Oadby, it promises to be an entertaining evening. Tickets cost £5 to include refreshments. www.brockshill.co.uk ■ Leicester University is hosting an exhibition that will show a unique art and science project by

artists in residence from the Department of Genetics. Running until January 11, the exhibition is housed in Leicester’s Charles Wilson Building. Entry is free and open to all. ■ The Cotesbach Educational Trust is holding a two-day hands-on hedge laying weekend from December 8-10, and again on January 12th-14. You will be tutored by a professional HLA accredited hedge layer and will use traditional Midlands’ methods and tools. www.cotesbach.net ■ Budding young astronauts should head to the National Space Centre in Leicester for a very special pre-Christmas Small Space Day, including a visit from Santa on December 22. There will be lots going on for the under 5s to enjoy. www.spacecentre.co.uk

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 1 3

13 SL whats on OK.indd 13

21/11/2017 19:49

T J Thornton is a traditional family jewellery business established in 2007.

Looking after you - your gym, sports equipment and facilities - locally and nationally – for over 40 years G. M. SERVICES (LEICESTER) LTD GYM - SPORT - PLAY SERVICE - REPAIRS - SALES www.gmservicesltd.com info@gmservicesltd.co.uk Tel: 0116 2602475

18ct gold ruby pendant £799

18ct multi diamond £2335

18ct rose gold £2250

18ct three colour gold diamond pendant £1750

Antique diamond pendant £370

Silver & enamel fox brooch pendant £125

3 Coventry Road, Market Harborough LE16 9BX

Tel: 01858 468858

Email: tim@tjthornton.com Web: www.tjthornton.com Open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5.00pm

Learn the Secrets of Photography

Have yourself a Merry little Fit-mas!!

in stunning venues throughout East Anglia and the East of England Group Workshops or Bespoke One-to-One

B u y a g if t wit h a d iff e r e n c e a t :

Treat yourself or a loved one to 3 Personal Training sessions from £70


• • • • • • Vouchers available from reception or contact our friendly team for more information. 01572 820830 ussc@uppingham.co.uk www.sportscentre.uppingham.co.uk

14.indd 1

Get off Auto Skills with motion Birds of Prey and Action On the Wildside Landscapes and Water Close up and Macro

£10 off promo code REG9-Active

For further info and to book, contact: Peter Hallam MA, ARPS 0 7 74 2 6 14 3 9 3 peter-hallam@goingdigital.co.uk

24/11/2017 11:47



MAKE MINCEMEAT It’s very simple to make and tastes delicious. Also, it’s an ideal Christmas present which will be very well received. Ingredients 275g raisins 350g currants 100ml brandy 1 lemon, zest and juice 300g shredded suet 250g dark brown sugar 75g chopped mixed peel A grated small nutmeg 1 large Bramley apple, grated Method Soak the raisins and currants in the brandy and lemon juice for an hour, then drain and set the liquid aside. Mix the ingredients together and then stir in the brandy liquid when everything is mixed well. Spoon and press firmly into sterilised jars. Cover and leave for at least two weeks. This will keep in a fridge for up to six months, but it won’t last that long!


Create tealight table decorations This really is the most simple but effective way to make table decorations for Christmas. All you need is old jam jars, tealights and some pine tree cuttings, or yew if you prefer. Put a small piece

of fir in each jar, fill the jars almost to the top with water and pop a lit tealight in so that it floats. You can always add some cranberries, or use holly leaves with berries on if you want some more colour.

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 1 5

Cycle Clothing & Accessories

Cycle Sales Centre

Cycle Service Centre | www.cafe-ventoux.cc | 01162 598 063 | ride@cafe-ventoux.cc | | Tugby Orchards | Wood Lane | Tugby | Leicestershire |

16.indd 1

24/11/2017 11:47



HOLLY A small evergreen plant, easily recognisable by its spiky, glossy, dark green leaves and bright red berries. Perfect for Christmas decorations and making wreaths. It grows throughout the country and can be used for hedges due to its density and slow-growing nature. The berries attract native birds in the winter, but are poisonous to people and pets. And did you know that Harry Potter’s wand was made of holly wood?

The greylag goose


The greylag goose, the ancestor of our domestic geese, was formerly common before the Fenland area was drained. Its current high numbers are the result of introductions at gravel pits in the Nene Valley in the 1960s for sporting reasons. The development of reservoirs and fishing lakes has encouraged its spread and it now breeds at reservoirs as well as at Burghley Park, Fort Henry Ponds, Exton Park and Banthorpe gravel pit. Large numbers assemble in winter – 1,003 at Rutland Water and 310 at Eyebrook in January 2016, from where they fly out to feed on winter cereals in nearby fields. They can cause considerable damage to crops and the soil by trampling the surface. Greylag geese are now more numerous than Canada geese, with which they may interbreed. They are large birds with grey plumage and pale barring on the flanks and wings. In flight they show a pale grey patch on the fore-wing. Terry Mitcham

Sheep are often part of Christmas decorations and festivities thanks to their role in the nativity story. The type of sheep being reared in Roman times were predominantly fat-tailed and would have their lambs in the autumn and winter months rather than in spring, like now. Sheep are very common throughout Britain – in 2015 there were more than 15 million sheep in England alone. They can be found across all terrains, though mostly in upland areas, and in our area graze on land previously used for arable crops. An adult sheep produces one fleece a year, which is removed by a shearer. The fleece will be sold, but is not nearly as valuable as it used to be. Sheep are mainly reared for their meat and, in some cases, milk.

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 1 7


1 8 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///


800g potatoes Salt and pepper 50g butter Splash of milk 1 onion 1 large (or 2 small) carrots Oil for frying 300g venison mince 2 mushrooms 1 garlic clove 15g fresh thyme 1 tbsp tomato puree 50ml red wine 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp cornflour ½ savoy cabbage


● Peel the potatoes and cut into 2-3cm chunks. Put in a large pan with a good pinch of salt, bring to the boil and cook until tender. ● Preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Peel and finely dice the onion and carrots (1). Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, then fry the mince until nicely browned. Transfer the mince to a plate. ● When the potatoes have cooked, drain them and then mash with half the butter and a splash of milk along with a little salt and pepper. ● Add a little more oil to the frying pan. Cook the onion and carrot on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring now and then, until softened (2). Add a

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

splash of water it if looks like catching. Return the venison to the pan and cook for 5 minutes (3).


● While the venison cooks, wipe the mushrooms clean with damp kitchen paper then finely chop them. Peel and finely chop 1 garlic clove. Pick the leaves from three or four thyme stalks. ● Add the garlic, mushrooms and tomato puree to the venison mix. Cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the wine. Cook for about a minute until the wine is almost absorbed.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme leaves and 250ml water. Season and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring now and then. ●


● Mix the cornflour in a small bowl with a splash of water then stir into the mince. Cook for a couple of minutes to thicken the mixture slightly, then pour the mince into an ovenproof dish. ● Spoon the mash over the mince, making sure the meat is well covered. Spike the mash up using a fork (this helps it crisp up). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp on top.


● Once the pie has been in the oven for 15 minutes, finely shred half the cabbage, cutting out and discarding any tough core, and wash well. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the cabbage and stir fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes or so until wilted. Stir in the rest of the butter. Season and serve with the pie.

Tip: Minced beef can be used instead of venison.

45 minutes. Think well balanced and nutritious, with a few treats thrown in. Our cooks come up with nine new recipes every week, so there is always plenty of choice. There are three different varieties of recipe box - choose from vegetarian, quick, or original. A box for two people ranges in price from £33 for the vegetarian box, to £39.95 for the quick and original boxes. Delivered straight to your door, with everything you need to cook

included, generous portion sizes, and three delicious meals per box they offer great value for money. No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to

find out more or call 01803 762059.

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 1 9



Holiday Acco



Travel Agency

OPENING OFFER Free Parking or Lounge on all cruise or tour bookings (*t&c’s apply)

Book an appointment in our Oakam Office: 01485 505005 | ktatum@my-destinations.co.uk

Got a quote somewhere else? Let us beat it! Home appointments available!


Hambleton Hall, one of Britain’s finest country house hotels, overlooking Rutland Water, provides the most wonderful setting for a Christmas party

‘The Study’ – one of Hambleton’s fabulous private dining rooms is perfect for Christmas parties of 6 to 16 guests.

Terrine of Sea Bass & Artichoke Foie Gras Chicken Liver Parfait with Fig Wild Mushroom Risotto, Parmesan & Tarragon Middle Course Offer - the best fish catch of the day Fillet of Turbot, Cockle, Clams & Cucumber Merryfield Duck, Caramelised Endive, Cucumber & Plum Jacobs Ladder, Smoked Potato, Horseradish & Red Wine Jus

20.indd 1

If you would like to stay after your Christmas party and book two or more bedrooms on a Sunday to Thursday, we are offering a special rate of £240.00 per night, based on 2 people sharing one of our Standard double bedrooms, including full Hambleton breakfast & VAT.

Prune & Armagnac Soufflé Golden Chocolate, Passion Fruit Sorbet Lime Meringue Pie & Lime Leaf Ice Cream

We are offering parties a Special Limited Choice Menu, Sunday to Thursday, £65 per person for 3 courses. (£80 per person for 4 courses).

Hambleton Oakham Rutland LE15 8TH

At the end of the evening why not stay the night?


Log fires, a beautiful Christmas tree, sensational Christmas decorations and bedrooms to rest your weary head...

Coffee, Chocolates etcetera All menus are subject to a discretionary service charge of 12.5%


t: 01572 756991


e: hotel@hambletonhall.com


w: www.hambletonhall.com

24/11/2017 11:47



SEARCH FOR SANTA IN LAPLAND It’s Christmas which makes it the perfect time to go and visit Father Christmas in Lapland, in Finland. It’s a magical time of year and what could be more exciting than to go on an enchanting search for Santa in his homeland, releasing your inner child and making your own small bundles of joy ecstatic. As well as seeing Father Christmas and his elves you will most likely encounter his reindeers and have a sleigh ride. Skidoos are also usually part of the package as are husky sleds and, of course, playing in the snow. But be aware that these trips can be expensive – think around £2000 for a family of four for a two or three-night stay (or you can do a day trip which will probably cost about £500 per adult). Travel agent My Destinations has some last minute day trips still available, or can help you plan for next year. To find out more ring 01485 505005 or email ktatum@my-destinations.co.uk. Remember that it will be cold... really cold... temperatures will be as low as -20 to -35C and daylight will be short, about five hours. Luckily during daylight hours the sun often shines and the air is dry, so you will need to make the most of the short days and pack in as much as you can. It’s best to take an organised tour as everything is done for you including supplying you with snowsuits and boots. But make sure

you take warm clothing as well – layers are advisable in these climates, lots of them. And we have it on very good authority that the hot chocolates in Lapland are exceptionally good.


Take plenty of warm clothing, layers are ideal for this climate. ● Don’t forget your sunglasses. ● Make sure your insurance covers you for winter sports – skidoos can be hard to handle. ● Flights to Lapland take about 3 ½ hours. ●


www.tui.co.uk www.canterbury-travel.com www.santaclaustrips.co.uk www.my-destinations.co.uk

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 2 1

Feature /// Raging Bull


2 2 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///

22-24 SRSL FEATURE Phil Vickery OK.indd 22

24/11/2017 17:09

THE RAGING BULL Chris Meadows catches up with ex-England rugby captain and 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Phil Vickery as he launches his latest Raging Bull outlet store at Springfields in Spalding You had a great rugby career, so what led you to starting a sports brand? The brand was always running alongside my rugby career. The sportswear side of the business, doing team kits, is something I’d been quietly building, and then we launched the leisurewear brand in 2006/07. Why the new outlet store at Springfields? The farmer in me, the countryside boy in me. When we look at our demographic with stores with House of Fraser we do really well in areas where people care about where they come from, have a real sense of identity. I think the people in this part of the world are an incredibly proud of their area and where they live. They’re a very honest group. Inevitably the connection with the soil and the ground because of these rural farming communities is part of it. For me to open an outlet here at Springfields in Spalding is just fantastic. Speaking to the store manager this morning, the relationship with rugby families makes me feel really proud. I’m not really a professional rugby player – I fell in love with the amateur game and became a professional. But everything I love about rugby is that amateur ethos and the amateur side of things. Seeing the lad outside who brought his young boy in to the store, and plays locally, it’s fantastic, that’s what sport is. For me, Raging Bull, the brand, what we

stand for, what we adhere to, the way we behave, how we do our business, is very much based on what the values rugby, rural communities and farming stand for and that’s something I’m extremely proud of. Raging Bull comes from the nickname that Sir Clive Woodward gave you. Did he approve of the name? He is aware of the brand. I haven’t seen him for a couple of years but what he does do brilliantly is he tries to follow all our careers, particularly the 2003 guys. Clive’s a great guy and an ambitious chap. If you had to talk about people who inspired you to want to do it and gave you the confidence and courage to want to go and follow dreams, then that guy’s a pretty good example of what can be achieved. It’s not about ‘why not?’ it’s about ‘why can’t?’. Why is it not possible? I sit here today as a 41 year-old, who 22, 23 years ago was milking 100 cows twice a day six days a week down the end of a two-mile farm lane in north Cornwall, loving rugby but loving farming and wanting to have the best dairy herd of cows in north Cornwall. That was my ambition in life really. To be sat here now having done what I’ve done with my rugby career and Raging Bull is amazing; so don’t tell me things aren’t possible. You can achieve and yeah, of course you need a bit of luck along the way. And I’ve had my fair

share of good and bad luck, but I’ve worked hard like everyone else does. And it’s amazing what you can do then. Was that the best career moment for you? I think that’s a tough one. It’s in the moment. You can cherry pick walking round Twickenham, the Heineken Cup, being in a European Cup, being the Premiership champions, captaining England, the Six Nations, the first Lions win in your first game. But I can go back, and one of my most prized moments was the first thing I ever won – a wood mannequin and a cork from a bottle of asti which is the plate competition in Cornwall colts, and that was the first thing I was ever presented. Things like that stick in your memory. It’s so difficult to choose one moment. But yeah of course, the Rugby World Cup Final – you stand on that field, on that pitch having beaten Australia in their own country, and the stadium was full of white shirts. It was like being at a home game. I remember phoning home and speaking to my mum. I get quite deep about stuff as I’m quite an emotional guy. What you have to remember is all those people that sacrificed so much and did so much for you. And not always money but time and effort, and will. But there were the local businesses that sponsored me when I first

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 2 3

22-24 SRSL FEATURE Phil Vickery OK.indd 23

24/11/2017 17:09

Feature /// Raging Bull

started to help me pay for kit and go on tour. People say that was only £100 or £150, but it was £100 that you might not have had that gave to someone that was just a pure punt. It’s all good and well saying now that well you went on to do – but no-one knew then. So all those little businesses and the guys you went to school with and your family who have lived the dream with you, it’s magical. Do people still ask you about 2003 a lot? Last week I was down in London, on the tube in Liverpool Street. Someone was there chatting, and of all the people they had to ask was me wasn’t it, ‘is this tube going to…?’. Quite an elderly couple, got all their bags and stuff. So I ran back to look at the board to see which way it was going, and came back and this guy was stood by the side of me just sort of laughing. He said to the couple, albeit a bit over-dramatically: “Do you know who this guy is? He’s a national hero, he won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, he was a world champion.” I thought, bloody hell you know what, it’s amazing. What are your thoughts on the current England team? I think it’s really exciting and I think the potential is there in what they’ve shown. Eddie

is now in and has gone through that cycle of new coach and the impact he’s had has been incredible. The players look really strong and they all look like they know what they’re up to, they have their vision this is what we’re about.

WIN a £100 Raging Bull voucher and a rugby ball signed by Phil Vickery

You’re not just a professional on the rugby pitch, you won Masterchef in 2011. Has cooking always been a passion? It goes all the way back to when I grew up. Watching my grandmother, mother and aunts all cook and coming from a farming background it was second nature. And when I had the opportunity to go on Masterchef I jumped at it.. I learned so much... how flavours go together. Everything on the plate is there for a reason. When you go to a restaurant you should try a little bit of everything to get the full experience of what the chef is trying to achieve.

We have a £100 voucher to give away this month, redeemable at the new Raging Bull store at Springfields Outlet Shopping Centre in Spalding. On top of that we also have a size 5 Raging Bull rugby ball signed by Phil Vickery at the store opening. For your chance to win this great prize, head to www.theactivemag.com/competitions. Competition closes January 8. Our standard terms and conditions apply and are available at www. theactivemag.com.

Browsing through your Wikipedia listing, you’re apparently still a qualified cattle inseminator. Is this still something you keep your hand in? That all came about because of wanting the best dairy herd in north Cornwall. To do that it was a necessity, but then the rugby took over. But it goes back to don’t tell me things aren’t possible. You can’t do. You can achieve if you put your mind to it.

2 4 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///

22-24 SRSL FEATURE Phil Vickery OK.indd 24

24/11/2017 17:09




2 6 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///

CAVERN DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH If you are looking for an adrenalin-filled few days away, why not try North Wales? Chris Meadows takes on Snowdonia, above and below ground… AS WE SAT IN PIZZA EXPRESS in January my wife Lucy and I decided we were going to be healthier in the year to come, and made the usual New Year resolutions that tend to fizzle out by the 31st, if not before. We set ourselves the goal of walking up Snowdon. Feeling all self-righteous for making this important decision, we set back to the job in hand of devouring our large pizzas and bottles of Peroni. The thing is, that was January 2016. The trip to Snowdon never happened. So this year we once again set the goal, but with a plan to stick to it. It almost didn’t happen again – it’s too easy to find an excuse not to do something. Planning around work schedules and other commitments, we worked out a window of opportunity during October half-term and set about planning our ascent. While both keen on playing sport, neither of us are avid walkers, let alone mountain climbers, so the first port of call was to speak to local walking guru Mike Pratt, who it seems has climbed Snowdon from every conceivable angle. Naively I had only envisaged a path up and down, a tough walk up a fairly large hill. It’s not exactly Mont Blanc or Everest, is it? With route maps and suggestions we were now armed with some great advice. Mike had suggested his favourite path was the Crib Goch traverse, but mentioned that it was ‘very hands on’. Not really suitable for a pair of novices with a spaniel in tow. His next suggestion was the Rhyd-Ddu route, which starts at 193 metres west of the summit. So we opted for that. Mike had also offered some important advice with regards to what we’d need in terms of kit too. He recounted having seen many people while out on his travels somewhat under-prepared. We weren’t going to be in danger of that, more the opposite, a case of ‘all the gear, no idea’.

We stayed south-east of Snowdonia in a place called Llanwyddn, a quaint hamlet that sits alongside the dam that forms the impressive Lake Vyrnwy (I’m still not sure how to actually pronounce this!), which is just under a four-hour drive from Rutland. This meant a bit of a drive up to Rhyd-Ddu the following morning, so an early start, but it helped to break up one long journey nicely. Thankfully there was just time to explore the culinary delights on offer at the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa. Carb-loading for the trek ahead was important, of course. Setting off early on the Sunday morning it was clear that Storm Brian hadn’t fully dissipated. In fact when we arrived in Rhyd-Ddu it felt as if we were in Brian’s eye. Having come this far we were going to see how far we could go, but it might not be very far, it seemed. We failed at the first hurdle. Change for the car park. I’d recommend taking your piggy bank with you, as you’ll need change at most places you park and cash machines aren’t readily available. Once we’d found a suitable, free, parking spot we kitted up. The key to kit is layers, good quality waterproofs and comfortable, correctly fitted walking boots. As we started, the temperature was actually quite pleasant for a mid-October day and once you start to walk uphill we began to heat up fairly quickly. Being able to add and remove layers was vital throughout the day as we ascended, because it didn’t stay warm for long. The path was well marked out in the main. Due to recent heavy rainfall some of the paths had transformed into small streams but were still clear enough. As we reached the half-way point the weather started to take a turn for the worse. The wind was now picking up considerably. Mike had advised that anything over 55mph wouldn’t be pleasant. He was right. We met a ranger walking back the opposite way. Having chatted to him it was clear he


Stunning scenery in Snowdonia lulls you into a false sense of security... climbing Snowdon is far more demanding thank you initially believe

/// DE C E M BE R 2 0 17 2 7


Or THE CITY BUILT TO ESCAPE. It’s time you got away from it all. Climb on board the new Fiat Fullback Cross and follow a new road with bespoke black 17" alloy wheels, reverse parking sensors, soft tailgate opening, full leather seats and a 7" Touchscreen DAB radio with Bluetooth and Sat Nav. Ready to leave when you are…


Fuel consumption figures for the Fiat Professional Fullback Cross range in mpg (l/100km): Combined: 37.7 (7.5) – 39.8 (7.1). CO2 emissions 186g/km – 196g/km. Fuel consumption and CO based on standard EU tests for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. *Business Contract Hire. Fiat Professional 2.4 180hp 2

Cross Double Cab Pick Up Manual (incl. metallic paint at £400 excl. VAT). Initial rental of £2,421 followed by 23 monthly rentals of £269, excl. VAT & maintenance. Based on 10,000 miles p.a. Excess mileage charges apply. Vehicles must be ordered between 10/10/17 and 31/12/17 and registered by 30/06/2018. Subject to status. Guarantees may be required. Ts&Cs apply. Leasys, SL1 0WU.





Sign Off


IDF01130 Q417 Fiat Fullback Cross Rockingham Cars 285x220 ON35589

Acct Management


285 x 220

Studio Manager




Creative Director





FACTS Snowdon is surrounded by history, myths and legends. Below is a small sample of Snowdon’s trivia... > Snowdon is 1,085m/3,560 feet high > Snowdonia attractions include Surf Snowdonia, Mount Snowdon and Zip World > Snowdonia products include Snowdonia Cheese and Snowdonia Ale > Snowdonia Mountain Railway Line was opened in 1896 > Mount Snowdon is home to the extremely rare Snowdon Lily which can be found on its slopes

knew what he was doing, helped by the fact he walked the route on average five to seven times a week. His advice was to turn around, as he had done, and not attempt to go any further. Now I wouldn’t recommend ignoring the advice of someone with such experience, but for some unknown reason we did. I guess the sense of wanting to achieve something we’d finally committed to after two years of prevaricating over was the only reason. It was like the scene in the film Cool Runnings, when the Jamaican bobsleigh team walked out of Calgary airport for the first time only to walk out again moments later in everything they’d packed, including their holdalls. Having togged up in every single layer we’d carried with us to this point, along with hats, gloves, neck warmers, and we continued up towards what’s known as ‘the ridge’. Up to this point it had been a very pleasant walk. The ridge, however, tested us in every way. Thankfully there was another group taking the same route so we tagged along with them, as they seemed to know what they were doing. Lucy was more concerned we looked like we were stalking them, as every time they stopped for breath, we did too. That was the least of our worries. Along the ridge the wind was gusting up to 80mph and walking along a path with a substantial sheer drop either side wasn’t my idea of fun and given the comments coming from my wife, thankfully muffled by her neck warmer, I think she felt the same. Despite moments of having to crawl on our hands and knees we made it to the summit. A very windy summit. What’s more, when you get to the top there’s a great café you can shelter from the elements in with huge glass windows to appreciate the view. Unfortunately the amazing views we were told about were completely blocked out by the clouds. The café is part of the station for the railway

that runs up the mountain. Yes, you can actually just get a train up instead. But where’s the sense of achievement in that? Having warmed up with a hot drink we kitted ourselves back up and headed back out into the elements. Retracing our steps wasn’t an option, the look we gave each other required no words to suggest it was even plausible. Having seen others in the café that had walked up in much more casual attire from the opposite side we summited, we made off in that direction. There were a couple of options – the Snowdon Ranger path and the Llanberis path. Having parked the car at Rhyd-Ddu it made sense to opt for the Snowdon Ranger path. It’s not the most exciting route, but we’d had plenty of excitement during our ascent. It’s incredible the difference direction of climb can make: on one face it was a pretty extreme ascent, blasted by a storm, on the other side a pleasant hike. We were both more than happy with a more sedate route down. Ticking off Snowdon allows us to say we’ve completed one New Year’s resolution... we just now need to start on the 2017 ones.

> Mount Snowdon’s peak offers stunning views in good weather. The view from the top of Snowdon was recently voted as the best in Britain > The Snowdon Race takes part annually in July. The 10-mile race involves running from Lake Padarn in Llanberis to the top of Snowdon and back down again > Wild camping in Snowdon is technically illegal > ‘Snowdon’ is old English for ‘Snow Hill’ > The Welsh translation of Snowdon is ‘Yr Wyddfa’


FOR A LIST OF WALKS VISIT https://www.darwinescapes.co.uk/ wp-content/uploads/Snowdon-PathsWalks765.jpg

/// DE C E M BE R 2 0 17 2 9

land & new homes

Feature /// Adventure While in Snowdonia, and thinking that reaching the summit of Snowdon would be a fairly sedate affair, I felt some adrenaline would be required. So I had booked us into Zip World in advance. We set off the following day to Zip World Caverns. Zip World has a few sites around the country, with two in Snowdonia. At Penryn Quarry it boasts the world’s longest zip wire, while in Blaenau Ffestiniog there are a myriad of zip lines all built into the old slate mine caves. Thankfully, given that the weather hadn’t improved, we’d opted for the Zip World Caverns. On arrival you’re kitted up with the help of the very friendly and knowledgeable staff, although there are a few restrictions that may prevent you from taking part, so check the website first. Thankfully I’m under the 120kg limit. Just. Once you’re secured into your harness and have your helmet and safety gloves on it is time to head into the caves to learn how to use the equipment. The training takes about an hour, learning how to ensure you clip on correctly with your safety harness is a necessity for the course. After completing the training you’re let loose on the main course unaided, and it’s at this point you’ll be pleased you listened to the instructors, or panicking if you didn’t, as it starts with a zip line across a fairly big drop. Although with a mixture of ages taking part the techniques aren’t too taxing to get to grips with. The course itself will see you traversing round the edge of the cave walls, often with a considerable space between you and terra firma, not ideal for those who suffer from vertigo. There are a number of zip lines that you work your way around, all with a variety of obstacles to tackle between.

There’s a final zip line that requires the negotiation of the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, a series of small metal steps protruding from the cave wall. It’s aptly named. Before you get to that you have the option of taking on a set of monkey bars or a wire line across the void below. I opted for the monkey bars, and survived, for nearly three rungs. I’m not really built for that kind of stuff and it was further than I managed in the kilometre long option at Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley Park. Lucy sensibly opted for the wire line. Having made it up to the top of the steps, which felt like we were once again negotiating the ridge at Snowdon, although thankfully this time I felt much safer thanks to the harness, it was one last zip line to end the course. In all we were underground for nearly three hours. Time flew past. A great way to spend a day, and even better knowing that it was bucketing it down outside. We would both highly recommend it if you’re visiting the area. As you negotiate the zip lines you are likely to see kids jumping up and down and screaming with joy. In fact as I whooshed down one zip line I heard one exclaim, ‘this is the best thing ever!’. Zip World Bounce Below is a network of trampolines suspended high above the cave floor. So if you’ve got small kids, and big kids too for that matter, to entertain then why not give it a go. TIPS Wear warm, old, comfortable clothing Take £1 for the lockers Zip World www.zipworld.co.uk LL41 3NB, 01248 601444

EN ROUTE Travelling back from Zip World, we took the A5 route to Rutland and came across a thriving country café on the roadside, and stopped in. We were both glad we did. It’s a world away from your usual road side stop off and worth a visit. The Rhug Estate in Corwen, Denbighshire, is the main estate and home of Lord Newborough, covers 12,500 acres and at its heart is a 6,700 acre in-hand organic farm where beef, lamb, chicken, turkey and goose are reared. It has one of the largest organic farm shops in the UK with over 2,000 products with a real focus on Welsh and local produce. Its award-winning organic meat is served in Michelin starred restaurants around the world. Rhug’s online Christmas store is packed with lots of lovely things to buy from award-winning free range goose and turkey (loved by two Michelin starred chef Marcus Wareing) to ‘pigs-in-blankets’, cheese personally selected by Lord Newborough and luxury gifts. Rhug Estate www.rhug.co.uk Corwen, Denbigshire, LL21 0EH 01490 413000

ACTIVE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS Tell us yours! What are your new year’s resolutions for 2018? It can be hard to keep new year resolutions, so why not put it in print for an extra incentive. Tell us, commit to it, do it and we’ll feature how you got on in the pages of Active. Email editor@theactivemag.com

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 3 1

The new T-Roc. As confident as you are.

Solutions Personal Contract Plan* representative example subject to 10,000 miles per annum+ for a 1.0 TSI SE 5DR 115PS Duration

4 years

47 monthly payments of £185

From £185 per month. £500 towards your deposit.^

Deposit contribution


Customer deposit


Optional extra


Retail cash price


Optional final payment


Option to purchase fee


Total amount payable


Total amount of credit


Representative APR %

4.9% APR

Rate of interest p.a.

4.8% fixed

Available to order now. Robinsons Volkswagen Storeys Bar Road, Eastern Industry, Peterborough, PE1 5YS Telephone: 01733 312213 www.robinsons.volkswagen.co.uk

Find us on:



Representative *At the end of the agreement there are three options: i) own the vehicle: pay the optional final payment; ii) return the vehicle: subject to fair wear and tear,

4.9% APR

charges may apply; or iii) replace: part exchange the vehicle. ^Available on Solutions Personal Contract Plan. 18s and over. Subject to availability. Finance subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Offer available when ordered by December 31st, 2017. +Excess mileage charge of 4.8p per mile applies. Offers are not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Accurate at time of publication [10/2017]. Freepost Volkswagen Financial Services. We can introduce you to a limited number of lenders to assist with your purchase, who may pay us for introducing you to them. Images shown are not UK specification. Standard EU Test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Official fuel consumption figures for the T-Roc pre-sales derivatives in mpg (litres/100km): urban 33.2 (8.5) – 46.3 (6.1); extra urban 48.7 (5.8) – 62.8 (4.5); combined 41.5 (6.8) – 55.4 (5.1). Combined CO2 emissions 117–155g/km.

Active Magazine Troc Ad.indd 1

14/11/2017 15:56

Guest column

All that glitters is not sporting gold Martin Johnson is getting tired of the razzamatazz that accompanies every sporting match


here are various theories as to the major culprits in global warming – cars, chopping down forests, cows breaking wind – but I’ve yet to see scientists point the finger at the biggest of them all. Yes, you’ve guessed it. Every time there’s a rugby union international, another chunk of ice melts off an Arctic glacier. When I went to my first rugby international, Wales v New Zealand at the Cardiff Arms Park, I seem to recall the teams running out without the Welsh Rugby Union feeling the need to ignite a vast battery of incendiary devices. Which meant that, unlike today’s supporters, I wasn’t obliged to try and make out what was happening in the opening 10 minutes through a thick pall of smoke. You can get the same effort from driving a bit further down the M4 to Port Talbot, watching the steelwork’s chimneys belching away. And without getting charged for it. The only drawback is that then you’d miss the national anthems, although I’m not sure that qualifies as much of a loss any more. A capacity Cardiff crowd belting out Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau used to be one of the most emotional experiences in sport, but nowadays their voices are drowned out by some female opera singer, or male voice choir tenor, neither of whom sings at the same tempo as the spectators. It’s the musical equivalent of having Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army on the microphone – always half a verse too late. It’s all part of the belief that today’s sports fan is such a dimwit that the experience has to be choreographed for them. Although not even Wales came up with the brainstorm that the RFU had in mind for rugby internationals at Twickenham, which was – before sanity prompted a re-think - to greet every England try with a blast of music. Just in case the crowd hadn’t noticed, presumably. It has inevitably seeped down to club level, and while most Premiership outfits are too mean to fork out for fireworks, every one of them allows some complete charlie unlimited use of a microphone to ‘entertain’ the crowd with non-stop blather. Especially at half-time, when all attempts by spectators to have a natter about the first half are thwarted by this chump bellowing out what he curiously believes is an amusing line in patter while volunteers are invited to try and tackle the club mascot. Cricket is even more adept at relieving spectators of the irritating burden of having to entertain themselves. This is especially true of T20 games, when everyone arriving at the turnstile is issued with a piece of cardboard. On the front of which is written the number ‘4!’ and on the back ‘6!’.

However, cricket’s administrators are a far-sighted bunch, and they were quick to see the flaw in this enterprise. What if the spectator was too stupid to recognise the umpire’s signal? To the point where there was danger that he might wave a “6!” in the air when it was actually only a “4!”? Well, just in case the punters were unable to work out that the ball had gone over the boundary in the first place, a posse of heavily made up schoolgirls wearing short skirts would leap into the air and, to the accompaniment of a blast of pop music, start waving pom poms. Thus alerted to the fact that something exciting had happened, the spectator could then direct his or her gaze to the scoreboard, upon which the relevant information would be displayed – in the form of a large flashing ‘4!’ or ‘6!’. Years ago, cricket fans were pretty much left to fend for themselves, with no disco dancers or neon signs. Lunch intervals were especially boring, what with no mascot race or cheerleaders to alleviate the boredom. But then came one-day cricket, which kick-started the entire business of providing the fans with additional entertainment by having it written into the regulations that no limited overs international could begin until someone clutching the match ball had been dropped in by parachute . In a way, sport is just following the lead of business, which has solved the problem of how to keep customers entertained whilst making a phone call and hoping to speak to a human. Which is why, when you sit there with your life ebbing way waiting to be connected to someone from the claims department, your mood is uplifted by being treated to a rendition of Greensleeves. It was inevitable that sport would pick up on this brilliant idea, and we can expect even more thrilling innovations during lunch breaks at cricket, and half-time intervals at rugger, now that scientists have discovered that the average human attention span is getting shorter and shorter every year. Listeners to cricket on the radio have suspected this for some time, notably when Henry Blofeld has been commentating. A sample clip would be “and Root flicks it away for a single, where it’s fielded by, um, oh, look, there’s another pigeon just landed next to the square leg umpire...” But now it’s a scientific fact. According to research carried out in Canada, the average human ability to pay attention has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds today. Which makes us, officially, one whole second less attentive than a goldfish.  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?’.

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 3 3

33 SRSL johnson OK.indd 21

24/11/2017 16:45

BOOK YOUR 48-HOUR ADVENTURE IN THE MINI COUNTRYMAN. TAKE THE TIME TO GET OUT THERE AND EXPLORE. Have a MINI adventure on us! Book a 48-hour test drive and experience the MINI Countryman to its full potential. Afterwards, if you feel like making the MINI Countryman truly yours, our team at Sycamore Peterborough can help with that! We have a deposit contribution of up to £3,000 available* for you, and on top of that you may be eligible for and additional £2,000 of our Lower Emissions Allowance**. Who’s in? Call us on 01733 707074 to find out more and book your 48 hour test drive†. Sycamore (Peterborough) Ltd. Papyrus Road, Werrington Peterborough PE4 5HW www.sycamoremini.co.uk

MINI FINANCIAL SERVICES Official Fuel Economy Figures for the MINI Cooper Countryman: Urban 42.8 mpg (6.6 l/100km). Extra Urban 57.6 mpg (4.9 l/100km). Combined 51.4 mpg (5.5 l/100km). CO2 Emissions 126 g/km. Figures are obtained in a standardised test cycle. They are intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. *Up to £3,000 deposit contribution available to finance customers only, subject to model and status. Ts&Cs apply. Car must be ordered by 31 December 2017. ** £2,000 Lower Emissions Allowance available towards new MINI vehicles with CO2 emissions of 130g/km (NEDC) or below. New vehicle must be registered by 31.12.17 in the same name and address as trade-in vehicle. Trade-in vehicle must be diesel, EU4 emission standard or older and owned for at least 12 months. Retail customers only. Participating retailers only. Can be used in conjunction with other offers. Ts&Cs apply. †Over 25 years old, full driving license, subject to status and availability. Ts&Cs apply. 35947_BS115474_MINI_JCW_PRESS AD_285X220.indd 1

13/07/2017 11:24


/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 3 5


CRUCIAL CARE OF CRUCIATES Anterior cruciate ligament damage requires careful attention, says Craig Mortimer, consultant musculoskeletal physiotherapist at the Ashleigh Clinic

the integrity of the ligament. But these are not always conclusive and further diagnosis may require an MRI. • Sometimes patients present with a simple knee issue, are not sure why, and may complain of occasional swelling and ‘giving way’, but no real pain. This is usually because they have injured their knee many years before and not really associated the two. This can make diagnosis difficult without the full history even with physical examination.

The knee is the most frequently injured joint in athletes. Most injuries are caused by the extreme stresses of twisting and turning that occur in sports such as football, basketball, skiing and rugby. Medial ligament and meniscal injuries (cartilage) are in the majority of them. But anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) inside the knee account for a considerable amount of lost time from sport and activity. The anterior cruciate is one of four main ligaments within the knee that help connect the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (lower leg) and is the second strongest ligament in the knee with a maximum load of 500lb. The joint is held together by all these ligaments and allows great stress forces to be controlled and directed to perform complex movement patterns. This allows us the ability to be incredibly mobile and change direction rapidly. Injury to this ligament changes the whole dynamics of the knee and increases the instability and the chances of further damage to other structures. Mechanism of injury Isolated twisting injuries where studs dig into the ground increases the rotation of

the knee and combination injuries where there is impact from the outside or inside the knee. An ACL should always be suspected if there is any kind of extreme rotation or flexion injury. Very often patients may injure their knee and the swelling settles and many months later they start to complain of ‘giving way’ or ‘instability’. Signs and symptoms • During activity a patient may have a sudden pain or hear a ‘pop’. • Severe pain may occur, but often the athlete can walk off the field. • Swelling and heat from the joint may develop within hours causing discomfort and further pain and aspiration (removal of the fluid by syringe) of the joint by the doctor or physiotherapist may show blood in the fluid and a ruptured ACL should always be suspected. • The patient, with time, may develop a recurrent ‘giving way’ due to the absence or damage to the ACL and resultant instability of the joint. • Active and passive ranges of motion are limited. • Various tests can be performed to test

Treatment Treatment for ruptured ACL takes the form of ‘operative’ and ‘non-operative’. Usually very young or elderly patients may consider the non-operative option but some may require further intervention in the future. However, this is not always the case and they have a normal active lifestyle. Conservative treatment of the acute management of the swelling and pain with bracing is usually the physiotherapy approach. Progressing on to local and ‘chain’ progressive isolation and functional exercises programs to help restore good function, strength and co-ordination. Many patients make very good recovery with the conservative approach and I can think of two or three of our international athletes who returned to sport without surgery. It must be remembered, though, that there is always an instability issue, sometimes even after surgery. Surgery involves replacement of the ruptured ACL, usually using the hamstring graft as a replacement. Post-operative care is similar to that of the conservative approach and if the surgery and physiotherapy rehabilitation programs go well a good recovery is very common As with all of these types of injuries, we would always take into consideration lower limb biomechanics, which will be discussed in later articles, and looking at footwear the patient uses which may have increased the chances of injury. Careful functional rehabilitation is imperative to restore and refine quality chain (limb) movement and co ordination.

If you would like to discuss any issues that you may have then call Ashleigh Clinic on 0116 2707948 to discuss any injury prevention or rehabilitation issues.

3 6 NOV E M BE R 2017 ///

35 SL Ashleigh OK.indd 36

25/11/2017 06:38

Harborough Stone Master Stonemasons & Building & Restoration Experts

The future of flooring is closer than you think. Conveniently located in central Oadby, we’re your NEW local specialists for the latest luxury floors, carpets, wood floors and rugs. Call us on… Visit our NEW Website

37.indd 1

0116 271 6886

1 The Parade, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5BB w w w. o a d b y f l o o r i n g . c o . u k

• • • • • •

Woodburning & Multi-Fuel Stoves Hand Carved Masonry & Fireplaces Gas & Electric Fires & Stoves House Plaques & Date Stones Wooden Beams & Fireplace Surrounds Architectural & Restoration works

01858 41 00 33

1 Sulleys Yard, Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7LT


24/11/2017 11:46

Stay Fresh

at your wedding! Looking to keep your wedding breakfast cool? ~ Want to keep your bubbles cool and crisp?

Without the hassle of clearing your fridge out for space.. ~ We’ll keep your celebrations fresh with our refrigerated trailers

We will deliver and collect the fridge trailer as part of the package so you can focus on your perfect day Contact us for further information

01780 751313 or 07875 543065 and let us deliver to you‌.

Email: contact@fresh-wheels.co.uk


fresh wheels wedding.indd 1

10/05/2016 16:17


PREPARING FOR A MARATHON Function Jigsaw’s Lauren Dobson is already thinking about next year’s long distance challenges, and so should you... Did you manage to get a place in London Marathon for 2018? Even if you didn’t, is your goal for the upcoming running season to complete a marathon? It’s time to start training if you haven’t already! Preparation for training Setting a new goal of completing a marathon is up there with one of the most difficult challenges you will ever do. Some people commit to this to raise money for someone close to them who have been effected by an illness or disability, some people want to tick it off their bucket list, some people want to beat their previous marathon times. Either way, coming up is a long spell of training and commitment needed to be able to get through the big day. The biggest questions come along the lines of how much running should be done per week, how quickly should I be increasing my mileage, what is the best way to avoid getting an injury? Like with most things, training should be unique to you; your experience running, history of injury, work demands, other commitments and your physical or mental state. All pillars of performance should be approached from physical, nutrition, recovery, psychological and strength. Kit Initially it can all be a little overwhelming, but it is important not to forget about the basics of running; for example footwear, hydration, clothing, nutrition, etc. Don’t just chuck a pair of old trainers on and off you go. When you start to increase your mileage, if you are wearing poor footwear you are bound to pick up an injury. If the footwear you wear frequently looks like they are more worn on one side than the other, it is likely you might need some adapted footwear, in which case, a gait analysis is highly recommended. If not, get a good supported neutral trainer as you will be spending a lot of time in them. If you are unsure, it is worth getting your foot posture assessed. Warming up When you start training the first big thing that you should be thinking about is how you are going to warm up for your runs. Most runners start off with a fast walk/slow jog and slowly increase the pace, others might pull their legs up to their bottom or chest and swing their hips round and call that stretching.

Ideally you don’t want to be using too much energy during your warm up routine as you want to save this for running, but the main aim of a warm up, no matter what the sport, is to prepare the muscles, improve circulation and loosen off tighter muscle structures to enable full joint range of movement. This can be done simply with some active rolling/foam rolling. The biggest thing is that you don’t want to be running with tight muscles or reduced joint range of movement; this can be avoided with an adapted warm up. If you feel like you are still running with tight hips, lower back, calves, it is worth getting an assessment by a professional and you might be able to avoid this developing into a more severe injury. Cross-training Runners and other endurance athletes should consider cross training. This doesn’t have to involve joining a gym with a hefty monthly payment or committing to strength classes every other evening. Cross-training can be as easy as you want to make it. The idea of cross-training is to use the muscles that aren’t primarily used when running so we aren’t creating muscle imbalances and causing injury. For example, strengthening the hamstrings and gluteus muscles: if we cross-train correctly, this will have a huge effect on your running times, technique and help reduce the risk of getting an injury. Cross-training can be done simply with some resistance bands, performing exercises such as crab walks and body weight hip bridges. Some runners also benefit from occasional yoga or pilates sessions too, with the same approach as trying to improve joint mobility. Nutrition and hydration When increasing your physical activity, your nutrition and hydration intake should increase too. Planning and preparation is key, and unless you are overweight it is unlikely you need to make drastic changes to your diet, but start off by analysing what you eat now with a food diary. Do you consume enough calories, do you have breakfast, do you feel fatigued in the evening when you might be trying to go out for a run? If your food is repetitive and boring, you may not be getting enough variety of nutrition. Eat little and often by snacking on healthy snacks such as nuts and natural yoghurts, don’t forget or skip any main

meals as they are where the good nutrition really counts, drink plenty of water and learn how to drink while you run. Last but not least, eat for your recovery – you must refuel your body after a run but in the correct way with proteins and nutritious food. If you want to take this seriously, get advice from a sports nutritionist. Recovery Recovery is the most crucial part to your training and has the biggest effect on your run up to the marathon. If our body isn’t recovering as well as it can be, the next run you go on will be effected and then on. If as a runner you ignore the recovery side of training, this is when you are at the highest risk of injury. Recovery has a number of elements but he best way to recover and allow the muscles to return to their normal state is by stretching postactivity, by holding a stretch for 30 seconds after you run this means the muscles are warm and you will benefit from the increased blood circulation reducing the risk of injury, improving joint mobility and flexibility. Stretching will help the muscles recover faster from the micro-trauma that they have just gone through which avoids structures from going into chronic injury phases taking longer to fix. Recovery means to return to what is lost, but to be even more effective, recovery should also help enhance function. Effects of training are delayed for a period of time, sometimes several days after your run; delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Eventually DOMS build up to create increased muscle tightness, effecting the joints and surrounding structures. If ignored, it’s just like adding fuel to the fire. Treat these with occasional ice baths and regular foam rolling. Recovery days should be focused around self-massage, stretching, inflammation recovery and rest. Sports massage is one of the best things for recovery, this is something that isn’t needed daily but recommended fortnightly or monthly especially with an increase in continuous training and physical demands.

/// DE C E M BE R 2017 3 9


THE FINISHING TOUCHES Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, which means it’s party time – and party time means a new outfit! Edited by Mary Bremner

GLITZ AND GLAMOUR Christmas seems to come round more quickly each year... it only seems a few months ago that we were preparing for the last one. But amidst all the preparations, present buying, food shopping and cake decorating, spend some time looking forward to wearing a fabulous new party dress and killer heels – a girl has to be rewarded for all that hard work! Anna Couture in Stamford has got some lovely dresses on offer. She’s worth travelling to as, not only does she sell ready to wear dresses from London fashion houses, she will make one from scratch for you, or alter that perfect dress that you’ve found which doesn’t quite fit. What’s more, she’s a bit of an accessory

4 0 DE C E M B E R 2 0 17 ///

queen – fascinators, shoes, handbags and jewellery are all on offer, and there’s lots of choice. Last year velvet was the must have fabric – and it’s still very popular – but this year it’s all about metallics. They are everywhere – dresses, shoes, jackets... you name it, it’s metallic. And don’t forget red, this is the colour of the season. Luckily it’s a colour that suits most people and it’s easy to be savvy with it. If you feel it’s too bright or clashes with your complexion or hair, wear it on the lower half of your body. Red trousers are extremely popular at the moment, and red boots are everywhere – the perfect antidote to brighten up a winter’s day.

Anna Couture, 17c Cheyne Lane, Stamford, PE9 2DG, 01780 765174

CACI EYE REVIVE TREATMENT I’d heard lots about non-surgical facelifts but hadn’t paid much attention to them, never thinking that they would be anything that I’d come across and they’d be prohibitively expensive. Popular with many celebrities who swear by the treatment, CACI Ultimate is a non-surgical facial toning treatment. Basically it’s similar to going to the gym, but is a work-out for your face and eyes. You work your body’s muscles at the gym, and your beautician works your facial muscles for you using cotton covered prongs that send electrical pulses into the muscles. And it’s proven to be effective. Equilibrium in Stamford has just had a major makeover and to celebrate they invited clients to come and sample some of the treatments they have on offer. I was down there like a shot to have a look, and the results are impressive. The ancient building, all low ceilings and beams, blends well with the modern décor. Think relaxing and calming. And, of course, the staff are always so welcoming. Back to the eyes – the gateway to the inner soul. My peepers could definitely do with some reviving. Sadly middle age is here to stay and, combined with being a notoriously bad sleeper, the bags under my eyes and wrinkles around them are my bête noir. The CACI Eye Revive treatment uses the same process as the Ultimate treatment. A micro-current is used to gently tighten and tone sagging muscles

around the eye area whilst reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment uses serum filled eye rollers that help reduce puffiness and dark circles. If you’re expecting a calming, relaxing facial that sends you off to sleep, you’re not going to get one. It’s not unpleasant, and certainly isn’t painful, but the skin does tingle from the pulsation and I certainly wasn’t going to drop off. But the results are worth it! Let’s be realistic, I am never going to look like a fresh faced 21-year old again, nor would I want to. But I did look like me on a particularly good day, a really good day in fact. I did look noticeably, but subtly, better round the eyes; my skin was tighter, puffiness was reduced and frown lines were less noticeable. If this is what one quick 15-minute treatment does for you I would definitely recommend the full 30 minutes. To have a permanent effect it is recommended you have 10 treatments over about six weeks and then topped up monthly or so. It’s not cheap, but I think it will be worth it. It’s going on my Christmas wish list.

And finally... Get ready to party

H&M sequin dress £79.99 www.hm.com

Equilibrium – 01780 757579, www. equilibriumstamford.co.uk. The Eye Revive costs £45. CACI treatments also available at Oasis Hair and Beauty, Narborough, 0116 286 6575, www.oasishealthandbeauty.co.uk Fatima maxi dress by TFNC £65 www.topshop.com

Metallic silver block heel Chelsea boots £40 www.riverisland.com

Pleated midi skirt £39.50 www.marksandspencer.com

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 41


4 2 D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 ///


George Halls Cycle Centre 10-12, Northampton Road Market Harborough Leics, LE16 9HE 01858 465507 georgehallscycle@aol.com www.georgehallscycles.co.uk


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

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

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

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

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

43.indd 1

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

Ralph Offer - Owner Omar Palazzolo - Head Chef

24/11/2017 12:48


LOGISTICS, LOGISTICS AND MORE LOGISTICS! Academic and part-time adventurer Ash Routen tells us about the complexities of visa applications for his planned trek across Lake Baikal in Russia Tuning into the recent BBC three-parter ‘Russia with Simon Reeve’ I was taken aback by the mind boggling size, and the vast range of awesome geography on display (which included a brief glimpse of Lake Baikal). From the cultural hub of St Petersburg in the west, to industrial Vladivostok on the fringes of Asia some 10,000km to the east, it’s clear we are heading to a land of vast and contrasting proportions. Travelling to the remote reaches of Russia is clearly going to require some serious preparation. And that’s exactly what we’ve been spending our time on these past few months – logistics.

We’ll be flying from London to Moscow next March, and then onward via a domestic flight to the city of Irkutsk which is 100km from our starting point on the southern shores of the lake. Flights are just a mouse click away these days, but obtaining a visa for a 35-day expedition is somewhat more convoluted. Our plan is to spend up to 26 days on the ice, with the remaining time focused on transit and kit preparation. But this takes us over the 30-day tourist visa limit. The only feasible option therefore is to go for a business visa, which means paying a tourism company for an official invitation letter, and a

trip to the Russian consulate in London to supply biometric information. All of this, as you would expect, comes with the payment of a princely sum to the tourism company to expedite the process. With a little luck we’ll be over this hurdle in a few weeks and better able to focus on some of the core training tasks we need to cover. If you see two odd looking figures dragging tyres across farmland near Leicester airport in the coming weeks, you’ll know why! I’ll be updating you on our progress with training, finalising equipment and clothing, logistics, etc, over the next few months. In the meantime you can find out more at www.ashrouten.com or via Twitter @ashrouten. Our trip is kindly supported by Sub Zero Technology, Sigg UK, Nordisk Outdoor, Fuelling Your Adventures, Expedition Foods and A-B Tours.

4 4 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///

44-45 SL Local Challenge OK.indd 44

21/11/2017 19:57

MAJU TAKES STOCK Now that Maju Giga has her feet back on the ground she is taking her time to plan future climbs and get herself back into training

Post-Kilimanjaro – now that the novelty has worn off – reality has set in and it’s suddenly struck me, the journey has started. The first summit is completed, but there’s another nine to go. Which one next, when to do it, how to do it, costs, logistics, training, time off work, work life and balancing everything has suddenly hit hard. The spinning of all the plates

to make sure none fall or smash is a scary place to be, but exciting. These are the summits that I’m planning to climb, in no particular order: Mont Blanc (4,810m) and Mount Elbrus (5,642m) in Europe, Aconcagua (6,962m) in South America, Mount Vinson (4,892m) in Antartica, Mount McKinlay (6,194m) and Mauna Kea (4,205m) in North America, Puncak Jaya (4,884m) and Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m) in Australia, as well as Everest (8,848m). I plan to complete one a year and I’m hoping to have decided which one I’ll have in my sights for 2018 by the end of December. I’ll keep you posted. After completing Kilimanjaro I gave myself two weeks off to rest, relax and recover. This turned into four weeks, but I’m back at it now. I’m pleased to be at my favourite training ground, Bradgate Park, and this week did a 3.5-mile hike up and down Old John and a small 1.9-mile run. Once you stop training it’s hard to get back into the rhythm, but I’m there now. To help kickstart my fitness regime I am hoping to do a short two or three-mile lunch time run a few times a week to get back into the swing of things. I am seeing my trainer Mike Chapman from Inspire Fitness to discuss my training plan and

the areas I need to develop. My focus now is good strong running/hiking legs. Sadly I am no longer part of the Ice Warrior project. This expedition is not going to happen in 2018 and is unlikely to go ahead, so I have left the team to focus on my summits. Disappointing, but one of those things, sadly. I know that I need to now learn how to walk on ice and snow so will be concentrating on learning to use crampons. I shouldn’t underestimate the scale of this challenge, and am taking a sensible pragmatic approach, by taking each step at a time. I will pick a summit and focus on the skills required for it and make sure I am ready both mentally and physically. Balancing this with a full-time job and two young children is not easy, but is possible if you focus. I am pleased to say that my sister and I raised £882 for Community of Grace when we climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. I am also looking for potential sponsors to help me fund my future climbs. If anybody would like to get involved and support me please contact me on majugiga@ icloud.com.

ENDURANCE, NOT SPEED Mark Smith tells us how he is getting on with training for his mammoth John O’Groats to Lands’ End run, and how he has had to re-think his training strategies. So how am I doing? Well it’s been a month with a sore hamstring but training is still progressing well. Apparently the cause of the pain is nothing significant – but the massages are extremely painful. Reducing the mileage covered but increasing the gym work has been a challenge and, along with the structured diet, day to day life has taken a very different direction. Working to optimise my performance gives me an insight to the life of elite athletes. And I’m not always getting it right. A few weeks ago I had my first disastrous run. I planned a 12-mile run in the morning, which is straightforward at this stage, but it turned into a mammoth challenge. After nine miles I had nothing left. My legs and head had gone. One foot in front of the other became the challenge. What had happened? It turned out I’d eaten far too much protein for

breakfast and virtually no carbs. It wiped me out for the rest of the day. After that experience my personal trainer, Adam Jackson from Code Fitness in Newark, and a former Team GB athlete, put me right. I’ve changed my training focus from distance covered to time spent physically running. This is not a race but a challenge of endurance. Adam is showing me that I cannot run 904 miles at 10-minute miles. I’m no longer considering speed, which is difficult as it’s all I thought about before. My average weekend with my wife (and training partner) Vanessa no longer starts with a relaxing morning. Now it’s up at 07:30am, light breakfast by 08:15am (with plenty of carbs) and start running by 09:30. Run for three hours then cool down and stretch. All done by 2pm. Then it’s the same again on Sunday with a shorter run and then a couple of hours working out.

Next month I will tell you more about the challenge. Please visit my Facebook page, A Cure for Duchenne – Step by Step. I’m raising funds for Alex’s Wish. https:mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/marksmith6

/// DE C E M BE R 2017 4 5

44-45 SL Local Challenge OK.indd 45

21/11/2017 19:57


C t





t t


Have a go at clay or air rifle shooting

Ct C

The perfect Christmas gift Vouchers available

x Ct tC t

Nov-Jan Opening times Monday: closed Tuesday-Saturday: 9am- 4pm Sunday: 9am-3pm


t t

t Ct C c t tt C t

kibworth gun shop.indd 1

Feb-Oct Opening times Monday: closed Tuesday-Saturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: 9am-3pm (Late night Thursdays May-Sept: 9am-8pm)


t 24/11/2017 11:44


KITBAG THE LATEST OUTDOOR GEAR 1. Planks Happy Days jacket

This men’s pullover is a throwback to the ’80s, with modern technology. Waterproof, breathable and with a fully taped seam, you will stay warm and dry throughout the day. Price £167.95 From Tallington Lakes Pro Shop

2. 1.

2. GoPro Karma with Hero 6 Black

Capture professional quality footage in the air with the GoPro Karma, which has a detachable stabiliser mount that reduces motion blur. The Passenger app is perfect for sharing your flight with family and friends. Price £1,149.99 From shop.gopro.com



3. Picture ski pants

All of Picture’s clothing have an element of recycled material in them. These women’s Slany Navajo pants are waterproof and breathable. Price £179.99 From Tallington Lakes Pro Shop


4 Arc’teryx boots

The Acrux AR is suitable for a huge range of conditions and combines the warmth of a double boot and the protection of a super-gaiter boot with the light weight a single boot. Price £500 From Cotswold Outdoors


5. Le Col cycling bib tights

Le Col’s winter tights have been designed with warmth and safety in mind – they feature front and rear reflective panels for visibility. Price £250 From www.cafe-ventoux.cc

6. Volvik Vivid golf ball


Never lose your balls again with these luminescent balls that can be seen from hundreds of yards away. Price From £30 for a dozen From Local pro shops

7. Metier LED cycling jacket A revolutionary new cycling and walking jacket with 11 high power LED lights sewn into the fabric for added safety. Price £250 From www.cafe-ventoux.cc


8. On Running Cloud

Get ready to hit the streets with the revamped Cloud lightweight performance running shoe, which now provides even greater comfort. Price £115 From on-running.com

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 4 7

47 KITBAG OK.indd 47

24/11/2017 11:29

3636 PAT-Full Page Active Advert.qxp_PAT-Full Page Active Advert 24/11/2017 09:55 Page 1

Paten & Co, in the early 1900s was a wine and spirits merchants to the local population. Now this building has been transformed in to an amazing bar serving Craft Beer, Fine Wines and Spirits once again with the occasional Cocktail thrown in for good measure. The kitchen offers open plan viewing with a state of the art Charcoal oven cooking meat from KNEAD Farm, fish and game.


Monday – Thursday: 11am-11pm Friday & Saturday: 11am-12midnight Sunday: 12noon-8pm


Monday – Saturday: 12noon-9pm Sunday: 12noon-6pm


Designed to offer a social and fun experience where you can share a number of small plates (or not!) or opt for a main dish and choose your own array of sides. In effect, you can create your own dish exactly to your liking.


ACTIVE LOCAL /// Schools

SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR OAKHAM HOCKEY TEAMS Oakham’s hockey players have swept the board at the County Championships with all seven teams progressing to the regional finals, with six teams being crowned County Cup winners. Most impressively, the girls’ 1st XI (U18 team) were crowned County Champions for the eighth year running, winning against Welbeck College, Loughborough and Uppingham. They also secured their place as indoor County Champions. The girls’ U16 team also won all of their matches (against Ratcliffe, Welland Park, Loughborough, Uppingham and Leicester Grammar) to take the top spot for the second year running. They also took the indoor county crown, again winning all of their matches. Not to be outdone, the U18 and U16 boys’ squads are also County Champions and both through to the regional finals. This is in addition to the U18s’ recent success

Le Oakham’s winning county hockey team

HAYDEN IN DUATHLON FINALS at the Independent School Festival where they beat Millfield (4-3), Whitgift (3-0) and Ipswich (4-3). “For all of our teams to progress to the regional tournaments is a fantastic achievement,” said director of hockey James Bateman.  Elsewhere at Oakham, the U14, U16 and U19 netball teams have all

secured their places in the England Netball National Schools Competition. Both the U19 and the U14 teams remained unbeaten, while the U19s won seven of their eight matches. All teams will now be playing at the Grand Team Netball Leicestershire Finals taking place on December 7 in Leicester.

WINNERS THROUGH TO BIG BANG FINAL A group of students from Rugby High School have been selected to compete at the UK finals of a science and engineering competition after their exciting project caught the eye of the judges. The three-strong female team of 11 to 13-year old pupils from the school will now take their place in next year’s The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition. The team has been announced as one of the winners of the regional heats at The Big Bang Fair East Midlands, with the project from the group entitled ‘Our suggestion to your indigestion question’. As part of the project, the team carried out surveys to find the most popular brands of indigestion tablets which were then tested for effectiveness at neutralising excess stomach acid. The results were also used to consider the marketing of a new product.

Local duathlete Hayden Greaves has won a place in the Great Britain under 20s side for the European Duathlon Championships, which will be held in Ibiza. Hayden, who goes to school at Oakham, qualified to represent GB aer placing fourth in the qualifier at Oulton Park. He also came first in his age group (15/16) and was ranked 29th out of the 500 competitors overall. He finished the duathlon in a time of 1 hour 4 mins. Trefon Vandoros, Oakham’s director of athletics said: “I’m incredibly proud of his achievement. His level of focus, discipline and sacrifice is outstanding and he fully deserves this.”

NATIONAL SUCCESS FOR BROOKE PRIORY GYMNASTS Brooke Priory was the only local school to take part in the recent London Festival of Gymnastics at the Brentwood Arena. The gymnasts performed a four minute floor routine to an audience of more than 1,000, with the youngest member of the squad only six years old. After that, entered four teams entered the Independent Schools Gymnastics Association National 2 Piece Championships. The U9 girls’ team performed particularly well with Jessica Ford achieving individual sixth place overall and the team achieving fourth place out of 10 national teams. Right Some of Brooke’s gymnasts

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 4 9

49 SL schools.indd 27

25/11/2017 10:21

Take some time out for yourself at Aroha and find the beautiful, natural, you. Fire side, special guest treatments coming in January 43 High Street East Uppingham LE15 9PY 01572 822853 arohabeautyhouse@outlook.com www.facebook.com/arohabeautyhouse

50.indd 1


24/11/2017 11:46


A day in the life of



y day now is hugely varied. When I started the café at Wistow, over 10 years ago, my time was spent mainly in the kitchen cooking. But as the café has grown and expanded its outside catering operation, so too has my role developed and changed. No one day is ever the same, which I love. But whatever the day holds I always make sure that I have time to be in the kitchen and preparation rooms actively cooking or, at the very least, tasting what we are producing that day. It’s the only way of ensuring that we keep our standards high. Feedback and teamwork are hugely important to me and we have regular meetings where we discuss ideas and feedback, especially from customers, directly or from social media. We are constantly trialling different dishes, recipes and ways of offering our food to our customers. Over the last few months we have introduced a salad bar where you can choose from a range of salads, prepared daily, and be served directly at the front counter. This proved very popular (and helped with speeding up the queue) so we have been looking at ways to extend this throughout the winter with a self-service bar featuring both hot and cold dishes. It’s early days, but it seems to have been well received. If there’s one thing I’ve leant it’s that you’ve got to keep things fresh. That’s why we are constantly looking at innovative ways, tastes and trends that suit our broad range of customers. I regularly travel to London, and intend to do so more often to keep up to speed on the latest food offerings, bringing back ideas for us to try. Whenever I go away I am always looking at what others offer, and what might work at Wistow. This summer I spent a week in Ibiza at a ‘body camp’ where they produced wonderful and tasty food without refined sugars, very much plant-based and gluten free. Nutrition and mindful eating was accompanied by lots of great exercise. I came home feeling totally re-energised and keen to incorporate some of these elements at Wistow. I want to embrace elements of this diet and realise that there is a growing call for food of this nature from some of our customers. It’s very exciting and we are actively

have been for our inaugural Pudding Club night, this will become a calendar fixture. What’s not to like about an evening celebrating the delights of dessert? We’re already nearly fully booked in January – forget the diet!

finding ways to include it on our menu. The upstairs kitchen is now used solely to produce gluten-free and vegan foods, on a small scale at the moment, but who knows what the future will bring? If the demand’s there then we are ready, willing and able to fulfill it. While I am excited by new trends within the food market, I am also only too aware how important it is not to lose sight of what my lovely customers want from us. Well cooked, good quality classics will always have a place at my table so we are always striving to balance our offerings – healthy or indulgent. Our view is both have their place as long as they are enjoyable. When I am not involved in the food production, I am finalising quotes, discussing events with customers, looking for fresh menu options and ingredients, meeting with suppliers and planning events at the café or on site. Next year we are keen to expand our themed evening events and we are working on these plans. Over the years we have grown a strong following for our Wistow After Dark nights of themed food evenings. Our Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean nights have some very loyal followers, so we are going to introduce more evenings, such as a Sicilian night. One of our staff is Sicilian and he will play a key part. We will also offer a tapas night, and seeing how enthusiastic our customers

Ready for Christmas At the moment I am also busy finalising all of our Christmas offerings, at the café. As part of the rural centre I have over the last few years joined forces with the garden centre to build a Father Christmas grotto. We are expecting higher numbers than ever this year to enjoy the fantastic experience. I absolutely love seeing the reaction from the children, and adults, who visit the grotto. It’s so rewarding to see their beaming faces and worth all the hard graft to put the experience together. At this time of year eating and drinking with friends and family is often top of people’s list, and it’s a pleasure to play a part in customers’ festive special times. This year, by popular demand, we are bringing back our festive brunch and afternoon teas. And we are launching our festive sharing lunch platter for two, so there’s something for everyone throughout the day. We are well known in the area for our fabulous range of homemade cakes and bakes. Over the Christmas period these, as well as seasonal favourites, will be available to enjoy. Also this year we are offering a personalised service for our Christmas cakes and cookies, making a unique gift for that special someone. Taking on a site which had been closed for some time, and had, historically, served dishes with lots of chips, as I look back, was daunting. But I suppose we never looked at it too subjectively, we just worked hard, focused on putting out a quality product, and looked to some point in the future with a bit of a vision. I have a clearer picture now of how I want to develop the café and the catering business. I consider myself a very lucky person, who earns a living doing something I absolutely love, with a great team of people and wonderful customers. Happy Christmas to you all. Wistow Café Bistro, Wistow Rural Centre, Kibworth Road, Wistow, LE8 0QF. 0116 259 3756. www.wistowcafebistro.co.uk

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 5 1

51 SL DILO OK.indd 51

24/11/2017 11:30

ACTIVE LOCAL Great walks


y runs for 88 The Jurassic Wa Banbury and miles between named aer Stamford and it’s e rassic limeston the ridge of Ju s for most of which it follow . those 88 miles

ELKINGTON & HONEY HILL Fantastic views from the Jurassic Way make this walk one to remember, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


I parked on the grass verge in the tiny hamlet of Elkington, just south of the A14 and west of Cold Ashby, and this is as good a start and end point as any for this walk. From the middle of the hamlet take the Jurassic Way which runs east and slightly north along a narrow path. Pass some horses either side of the field and then an attractive grass bottomed vale on the left, before the path starts to head uphill. Elkington lies at 130 metres above sea level so it’s less than 100 metres to the top of Honey Hill but your legs will still tell you about it. The OS map doesn’t lie and the contour lines are packed pretty tightly together on parts of the western flank. However, even halfway up you will start to reap the benefits as the surrounding countryside

5 2 DE C E M BE R 2 0 17 ///

comes into dramatic view. Keep following the path until you reach the top. You will know you are on the right track when you pass the plaque on your left commemmorating the opening of the Jurassic Way here in 1994. Shortly after this you will reach a quiet country lane. Turn right and then very shortly afterwards turn right again, still following the Jurassic Way as it heads south. Stay on the path as it passes the almost impossibly picturesque Honey Hill Farm on the left and keep heading south on the Jurassic Way across an arable field. You will then pass through Cold Ashby golf course where you might get the opportunity to watch some players teeing off on the short par 3. The path quickly leaves the golf course behind as it heads out in to the open fields to the south. Just less than a mile south of the golf course the path joins a byway at a t-junction. Turn right here and then after another 200 metres turn right again to leave the Jurassic Way and join the Bridle Road. From here stay on the well established track

past Winwick Lodge on your right and then across the high open ground heading north, with Creeds Farm on your right too. This track will take you all the back into Elkington.

Clockwise, from above

This clearing lies just east of Elkington; Honey Hill is 214 metres high and offers superb views; this track heads down past Honey Hill Farm which looks like it’s been lied straight out of an Enid Blyton novel; the path up Honey Hill, which is 214 metres high

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION WHERE TO PARK Anywhere you can in Elkington.

DISTANCE AND TIME Four miles/an hour and a half.


HIGHLIGHTS Honey Hill offers tremendous views in all directions but particularly towards the south and east. Honey Hill Farm is straight out of an Enid Blyton story.

LOWLIGHTS Some of the views to the south are marred by wind farms.

REFRESHMENTS None on this route but the Wharf Inn at Welford is just up the road from Elkington and is well regarded. DIFFICULTY RATING Three paws; without Honey Hill this would be a very easy walk with mostly excellent underfoot conditions and few stiles. However, it’s quite a steep hill. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE There were some horses near the start but otherwise your dogs should be happy with this one. It crosses a small stream near the beginning and end. 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.


/// DE C E M BE R 2017 5 3

Lollipops provides all weather pottery painting fun for the entire family at our spacious studio on Gartree Road in Oadby. Open 6 days a week.

We offer Birthday parties for children & adults, team-building sessions and hen celebrations all in our separate private studio space. Our Coffee shop offers freshly ground Union roasted coffee, a great selection of hot chocolates and ice cream shakes and also has a traditional sweet shop too. Baby-printing service available to capture tiny prints for gifts and keepsakes.

For more information or to make a booking call us on 0116 2700177 www.lollipopsltd.co.uk. Info@lollipopsltd.co.uk Stoughton Grange. Gartree Road. Leicester. LE2 2FB lollipops.indd 1

18/10/2017 13:47

ACTIVE LOCAL Sportsman's dinner

Paten and Co, Stamford Steve and Chris sample the food in this new Stamford bar. By Steve Moody Attention to detail is a hugely important element of a great pub or restaurant. At the newly-opened Paten & Co, the levels of attention and detail seem to be off the scale. I would imagine that owner Mick Thurlby and his team pored over every exposed brick, every Victoriana tile and every vintage light fitting, such is its strikingly individual countrymeets-industry character. The result is a bar and restaurant in the deconstructed, post-modern sense, in that you could happily pop by for a day-wasting coffee or sweep in for a hugely lavish meal for a special occasion, and both could happily co-exist side-by-side. Having selected a couple of craft beers sprouting out of taps in a tiled wall, Chris and I settled into a couple of high-backed banquettes upstairs to have a look at the menu, suitably presented on rough hewn paper with the words seemingly clacked out straight from a 1950s typing pool. It’s a mouth-watering effort which has more than a nod to a British past, with a modern twist, laced with a few global wildcards. If you like, you can plate your table up with a tweedy tapas of various dishes such as lamb scrumpets, baked bone marrow, beef short rib,

roasted squash and black pudding scotch eggs, which variously come with more contemporary, worldly efforts such as salsa verde, quinoa salad and Vietnamese broth. We couldn’t really make our mind up so greedily opted for piri-piri prawns which had a magnificent quinoa salad with more heat than the prawns, wonderfully unctuous bone marrow (one was enough each) and lamb scrumpets that seem to be the indulgent pickings of a roast, then deep fried. The salsa verde cut through and complemented this hearty treat perfectly. For the main course, it is more of the same, and I went for Talligton farmed BBQ brisket of beef with a Kentucky bourbon sauce. To add to it, side plates of rosemary salted skinny chips and kimchi Slaw. Chris opted for the hangar steak (often referred to as the bit the butcher keeps back for himself), with spicy chimichurri sauce. He was eyeing up my kimchi as a side, but thankfully had his own chips, which lasted no time at all. The brisket was a slab of rich meat the size and shape of an adult foot, slathered in sweet, thick sauce, which went really well with the garlicky, spicy zing of the kimchi. I agreed with

Chris’s view, that the rosemary tinted fries were superb. Paten & Co offers up drink options to go with each dish, and they went beautifully together, although my 8% Kentucky Ale was a bit of a shock, especially as I was driving. I had a sip, and it was pretty good – not the usual bombastic fare most high alcohol beer is. There really was no room for puddings, but in the spirit of adventure, we gave it go. I went for cute little nuggety doughnuts with custard, which could have been more custardy, while Chris declared his deconstructed cheesecake delicious. Overall, Paten & Co offers up a new experience for those looking for a night out in Stamford. It’s very high end and uniquely modern with a retro twist in many of the things it does, while doing what every one of Knead Pubs outlets do, which is to remain very welcoming and relaxed.

Paten and Co

7 All Saints' Place, Stamford. 01780 408647. www.kneadpubs.co.uk/paten-co

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17

57 SR restaurant.indd 57


24/11/2017 16:52

ACTIVE LOCAL /// Netball

5 6 DE C E M BE R 2017 ///

56-61 SL LOCAL FEATURE OK.indd 56

24/11/2017 17:11

WALKING IT INTO THE NET Walking netball is allowing its older participants to still play competitive sport and get much needed exercise too. By Jeremy Beswick AS WE GET OLDER, many of us have to reluctantly relinquish playing a sport we’ve enjoyed for years, often one that’s been part of our lives since childhood. My own ‘last ever’ game of football (as I’ve promised myself) was about a year ago at the age of 60 and I admit it’s been a bit of a wrench. The biggest problem, if you’re anything like me, is not the playing itself but the recovery time from those inevitable knocks and scrapes afterwards. It seemed that what I was once able to shrug off easily started to take several days of discomfort to disappear. Similarly, Pip the photographer – not much younger than me – still plays veterans’ rugby, but is only half-joking when he says it takes him three hours to get out of bed the morning after a game. The trick for those of us who are no longer spring chickens is, I suppose, to find a more suitable replacement for the rough and tumble rather than spend our declining years apparently sewed into an armchair, missing out not only on the beneficial effects of exercise but also the camaraderie and social interaction that were, for most of

us, what we most enjoyed about our favourite sport anyway. Fortunately, the gentler ‘walking’ versions of many games are becoming increasingly popular, with Saga reporting that new clubs are popping up all over the country and noting that “the great thing about this type of sport is that it’s open to all – men and women can play alongside each other, less physically-abled individuals can also join in, and everyone will benefit from getting moderate exercise in a social setting”. Football, rounders and basketball are all popular in this format and, as I was to find out, so is netball. I went along to Catmose Sports Centre, just over the border in Oakham, one morning to learn about the sessions they’ve recently started and, while I watched the participants warming up and listened to the laughter from all as co-ordinator Kelly Hicks put them through their paces, I spoke to Amy Hammond, who’d also been responsible for starting the centre’s walking football initiative. “This is for anyone – of any age or ability, whether you’ve tried it before or not,” she told me. “It’s only our

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 5 7

56-61 SL LOCAL FEATURE OK.indd 57

24/11/2017 17:12

Bespoke Coaching, HR and Engagement Solutions

Helping you to… • Achieve career aspirations • Make career decisions that suit you • Overcome fears and phobias • Combat stress and anxiety • Conquer unwanted behaviours and habits

Our team of fully qualified Coaches are adept at assisting you to recognise and overcome situations or thoughts that have the potential to cause issues and build solutions to a number of areas in your life. We use professionally recognised therapeutic techniques to help you achieve your goals, aspirations, build confidence and improve your resilience.

Unlock your potential

If you want to reach your full potential then we would love to work with you. We are passionate about helping people develop, enabling you to be the best you can be. We develop and support the success and ongoing personal growth of all our clients.

For a free consultation or further information please email info@positivepeoplesolutions.co.uk life fit coaching.indd 1

24/03/2017 16:09

ACTIVE LOCAL /// Netball

third week but we have seven regulars already and would like a lot more. All the medical professionals say that exercise benefits people over 65 in terms of fitness, a feeling of wellbeing and also the social interaction and I can promise that we won’t ask anyone to do something they’re not comfortable with.” The governing body, England Netball, is right behind them. They say “walking netball has evolved from a growing demand for walking sports. Often, one of netball’s strengths is that people never forget playing the sport and the memories as well as the love for the game never leave. Walking netball is a slower version of the game; it is netball, but at a walking pace. The game has been designed so that anyone can play it regardless of age or fitness level. From those who have dropped out of the sport they love due to serious injury, to those who believed they had hung up their netball trainers many years ago, it really is for everyone”. Back on the court, while the action continued, I managed to prise Janet Horwood away from the fray. “I think there are such a lot of people out there who should come. It’s great fun, a good way to meet new people and a real giggle,” she told me. “Longer ago than I care to remember I played at school and it’s very nostalgic to start again – it quite takes me back to when I was 12 or 13.” That just underlines England Netball’s point, who go on to reckon that women the length of the country have begun playing the game for the fun, laughter and


Fun and games for all ages, and sexes, at the Walking Netball sessions at Catmore Sports Centre

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 17 5 9

56-61 SL LOCAL FEATURE OK.indd 59

24/11/2017 17:12



Our portfolio includes: • Scarves, hats, skipping ropes, horse blankets and lead ropes, dog coats and leads. • Exercise and keep active at night, ideal for sports clubs and available in club colours. • Stay safe with our retro-reflective gear while walking, running, riding or road skipping.

“As a parent, the safety of my children is paramount - the reflective scarves that we bought from Genesis are a brilliant idea providing both comfort and protection - I wholly recommend them!”


We welcome any enquiries to genesisproducts@talktalkbusiness.net or call Paul Hall on +44 (0)7746 776816 77A Harborough Road Leicester, United Kingdom

genesis reflective products.indd 1

16/10/2017 09:24

ACTIVE LOCAL /// Netball

camaraderie the social session brings, as much as the health benefits on offer. It can give those who feel isolated an outlet, it reckons, provide an activity for those who don’t deem themselves fit enough to run anymore and offer a stepping stone for those looking for a pathway back into netball. Lynn Cooper has been coming since the first session. “I just wanted to improve my stamina and fitness,” she said. “Now I’ve started it’s spurred me on to other things too. I’ve started swimming again which I hadn’t done for years but then again, it had probably been 55 years since I’d played netball! It’s fun. There’s nothing too intense and we all enjoy the coffee and a chat afterwards.” Team sports are ideal for building friendships, particularly netball as there’s no alternative but to work together on the court – there’s practically nothing an individual can achieve on their own in this game. The Centre for Ageing Better also notes the health advantages saying it enables people to stay connected to their friends and communities, maintains and improves muscle strength and balance, which can help people in later life live independently and reduce the risk of falls. Then there are the maintenance of cognitive function, reduction of cardiovascular risk, the retention of the ability to carry out daily living activities and improvements to mood and self-esteem. Barry Palmer is 66 and told me: “It’s not overly energetic but is good exercise nevertheless. It’s open to everyone and I wouldn’t mind a few younger ones coming to help out us

oldies. There’s no reason men shouldn’t play – I could really do with a few more turning up to help me out with all these ladies.” Lucky fellow! He went on: “The staff here are very good. It’s nice and informal with nothing too regimented – a good compromise between being competitive and enjoying yourself. The social thing is ideal, particularly for people who live on their own. I met someone here that I hadn’t seen for years who lived two doors away from me when I grew up.” As I said my goodbyes, Amy summed up what she’d like to say. “Please do come, we’d love to have you. There’s something for all abilities and it’s a great opportunity to make new friends”. And you’ll have no trouble getting out of bed the next morning, either.


Walking netball not only gets players active, it also encourages new friendships

WANT TO JOIN IN? Walking netball takes place weekly on Tuesdays at 7pm at Hinckley Leisure, LE10 1BZ. Contact Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland on 01455 619519. Also visit www.eastmidlandsnetball.co.uk/walking-netball Walking netball sessions take place on Tuesday mornings from 10.15-11.15am and Thursday evenings from 6pm-7pm at Catmose Sports Centre, Oakham. 01572 490030. Want to set up your own club? Visit www.englandnetball. co.uk/my-game/walking-netball/walking-netball-faqs for more information.

/// D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 61

56-61 SL LOCAL FEATURE OK.indd 61

24/11/2017 17:13

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


Lions restore pride after poor start to the season BY JEREMY BESWICK


fter an awful start to the season with four defeats – not what you’d expect from last year’s third-placed side – Leicester Lions have turned things around with a sequence of six wins and just the one reverse in National League 2 North, that only black mark coming against league leaders Stourbridge. They were quick out of the traps in their 24-10 away win against bottom side Wharfedale with three tries in the first 10 minutes from Patrick Ryan, Devon Constant and Henry Clement. The home side were not to score until just after the break with a penalty but Lions replied with a try from Alex Smit and it wasn’t until two yellow cards reduced them to 13 men late on that Wharfedale finally breached their lines. Next was a home game against Chester, in a similar position in the table to Lions and therefore no pushover, but Lions went over early doors again after six minutes. The club’s Mike Howkins, not given to hyperbole, said it followed “a superb break by No 10 James Morgan” which “allowed him to gracefully slip the ball to scrum-half Smit”. They were to add a second through Alex Wilcockson and then a third before the break from prop Joe Newton-Taylor which saw them comfortably into the dressing room 21-0. They were no slouches in the second period either, their fourth try coming early on from centre Nan Asiedu closely followed by a fifth from second row Ollie Tapscott to make

it 35-0. A series of personnel changes with the match all but won then saw Chester land a couple of consolation tries to make the final score 35-14. All five Lions’ tries had been successfully converted by Jon Boden, who reached the milestone of scoring 2,000 points during the match. Away to Blaydon followed and this was a close affair, the teams deadlocked until the half hour when James Wise, on his debut, went over – the ensuing conversion being the only points of the half. Blaydon pegged them back with a penalty after the break but, according to Howkins, “in the last quarter the game came to life” with a penalty try for Lions and then two regulation ones for the home side to make it 13-14 with all to play for. It was to be Lions’ day, however; their penalty being the only further score. Head coach Jack Heald called it “a competitive game where both teams defended well”. South Leicester also had a good month with a 44-34 home win against Otley and a narrow victory at Luctonians by 28-25. Fly-half Rick Aley was the man of the moment, settling that match with a drop goal that was the last kick of the game after having been named National Clubs Association Player of the Week a few days before. Market Harborough have had a tremendous start to their campaign in Midlands 2 East (South) and were unbeaten going into the away fixture against Long Buckby where, according to director of rugby David Nance,

they were given a stern test. Josh Haynes bagged their first eight points with a penalty followed by a try in the corner. Ed Sumpter added a second before a home try and a penalty early in the second half brought the scores close. Reduced to 14 men for a deliberate knock on, it was all men to the pump for a while before a storming run from number 8 Ethan Godefroy from his own five metre line set up Sumpter for his second. Harvey Slade added a third and then came a fourth from Harris Medwell. Although Harborough were by now well on top, Buckby “deserved credit as they never gave up as their solid defence thwarted numerous Harborough attacks” according to Nance. They were breached once again by hooker Stefan Ziemelis before they got a consolation try of their own to make the final score 15-37. That set up a top-of-the-table clash with Luton the following week which could have gone either way – the final result being 29-25 against Harborough despite a valiant fight back from being 22-6 down at the break with tries from Michael Woodford, Sumpter and Fraser Harrop. It was one of those days when the decisions and the bounce of the ball don’t go their way. Coach Richard Bowden said: “It was an extremely disappointing defeat in a game that we could and maybe should have won but we will learn from this game and make it right.”

6 2 D E C E M B E R 2017 ///

62-63 SL rugby OK.indd 60

24/11/2017 16:47

Tigers Talk Jeremy Beswick chats with Matt O’Connor about young players and the departure of Tom Cro


Although a young Tigers side lost narrowly away to Bath in the Anglo Welsh Cup, Matt O’Connor was pleased with the performance when I spoke to him aerwards. They’d been leading until the last seconds of the game and he told me: “The young guys performed well. It’s good for them to have a run out.” Development squad members Jordan Olowofela, Tom Hardwick and Tommy Reffell were making senior debuts and nine academy graduates in all were in the first XV, with a further five amongst the replacements. “The test break is their opportunity to shine,” continued O’Connor. “They were fantastic – the performance was very professional and determined.” He went on to praise ex-player Anthony Allen for his work as Academy head coach. “It’s a luxury situation to have Ant there who well understands what our values are and now he’s driving those values in the 17, 18, 19-year-olds. You may be on a different stage on the pathway but, with those values being the same, when they come into the first team it’s easier for them slot in.” In contrast, one former academy graduate reached the end of his own personal pathway this month, with the sad announcement that Tom Cro is retiring from all forms of rugby at the age of 32 on medical advice.

Chief executive Simon Cohen said: “Croy displayed a unique talent – a natural ability but also worked hard on his game which made him one of the leading back row forwards in the world.” That talent gained him 40 England caps and two Lions tours in a distinguished career and I, for one, will never forget the rousing reception he got when coming off the bench to resume his England career just months aer a life-threatening neck injury. The man himself said: “Leaving the game has been a massive decision, it is all I’ve known since leaving school. I’ve played professional rugby at Leicester for 12 years and in that time I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I’ve played alongside and against some incredible players and made lifelong friends in the game.” As we said goodbye to Cro, five players cemented their future at Welford Road and announced new contracts on the same day – Dan Cole, Mike Williams, Matt Toomua, Telusa Veainu and Greg Bateman. The day aerwards I sat down with front row Greg Bateman, who’d made his own mark in the record books last season by being the first Leicester Tiger to play in all three front row positions. Having played both hooker and prop, how would he compare his forward team-mates, I asked? “Coley (Dan Cole) is Mr Unseen Work. The vital stuff that sometimes is less understood. What he does in the scrummage, the mauls and the breakdown is incredible. One hell of a defender who always makes his tackle. Ellis Genge on the other hand is maybe more X-factor. A tremendous carrier of the ball and dynamic. Mind you, the way Coley turns the ball over is a bit X-factor too.” With Australian international hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau also joining, there’ll be no shortage of competition for those three places for the remainder of the season.


Tom Cro has called time on his rugby career aer 12 years at Leicester

/// D E C E M B E R 2017 6 3

62-63 SL rugby OK.indd 61

24/11/2017 16:47



Inspiration for Oadby Town as they finally score a goal BY JEREMY BESWICK


hen you’re a non-league side at level nine of the football pyramid playing in front of crowds of around 150, you can still dream of appearing on the BBC one day. An amazing cup run perhaps, followed by a glory draw at Old Trafford or the Emirates – that’s all part of the magic of football. Well, Oadby Town did indeed appear on the BBC a few weeks ago but alas, it was only on their website as part of a story about Crystal Palace. Noting Palace had gone almost four months without scoring, they asked: “How far down the Football League ladder do you have to go to find the next side who have not celebrated at least a goal this term?” You’ll have guessed their answer by now. “Oadby Town of the United Counties League Premier Division, a massive 186 places below Palace in the league.” A copy of that article now adorns the Poachers’ dressing room and its motivating effect seems to have worked immediately. Within two days they scored not once but twice to secure a 2-2 draw against St Andrews and subsequently found the back of the net in eight of their next 10 league matches. They were, however, still without a win 17 games into their league campaign until they played at Boston in mid-November when Josh Walsh and Lamar Parkes contributed the goals in their 2-1 away victory that a stunned local newspaper, the Boston Standard, called a “shock”. In truth, steady signs of improvement were

already there. The club’s Kev Zupp told me: “We’ve actually been playing really well. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been beaten or the opponents have equalised in the last moments of the game. They’re such a young side – I think the oldest is only 21 – that they’ll improve as the season goes on.” I’m sure that’s true and I’ll be watching with interest. As an aside, another notice pinned to the wall of that dressing room gives an interesting insight into the nature of football at this level. It’s a tariff of fines for misdemeanours including ‘late to matches’ (£5), ‘borrowing towel’ (£2), ‘phones in the changing room’ (£2), ‘no shower’ (£2) and, best of all, ‘arguing with fines’ (£2). Tongue in cheek? Who knows, but what a contrast to the gilded lives of the multimillionaire professionals at the top of the tree. By the way, if you’re a handy player yourself they’d like to hear from you – irrespective of the position you play. Club chairman Peter Hayes is the contact (peter@ oadbytownfc.co.uk or on 07786 17850). In contrast to Oadby’s travails, Harborough Town are in fine fettle in the same division, standing a proud third. During November they also beat the two teams above them, Leicester Nirvana (3-1 with goals from Forbes, Gladman and Usher) and Newport Pagnell away (0-1 with Gladman again on the score sheet). They walloped Sleaford 4-0 in addition, whose manager, Jamie Shaw, said: “We were so far off Harborough that it was a miracle it was only two at the break”.

All credit to the Bees’ new manager Stuart Spencer who took over only two months ago. One division below, Lutterworth Town won four on the bounce, the third a commendable 2-1 win against high-fliers Buckingham Town (Tendai Daire with a brace) and the last a hefty 6-1 away at Thrapston to put them in contention for the promotion slots. Lutterworth Athletic are hard on their heels just two points behind. Although Athletic were only able to hold Olney to a draw at home with a last minute penalty equaliser, given that their opponents were unbeaten in thirteen games, that’s a useful point. They’d have been disappointed to lose narrowly at Bourne Town, however, despite scoring three times through Danny Page, Harry Mattock and Ryan Kirk. They did follow up with a 2-1 win at home to Blackstones, this time Page getting both. The Leicestershire FA has re-launched its emergency pitch hire fund, which reimburses clubs who’ve had to find an alternative surface due to their own being unplayable – up to a maximum of £100. The objective is to ensure games get played and thus help to prevent a back-log of fixtures. Officer Shaun Wright said: “Through consultation with our leagues and clubs, we know postponement of fixtures can cause logistical challenges for all involved in the grassroots game. We hope this helps.” Further info from Shaun on 0116 284 3951 or Shaun.Waite@LeicestershireFA.com.

6 4 D E C E M B E R 2017 ///

64-65 SL football OK.indd 60

24/11/2017 16:49

Vox Fox Jeremy Beswick catches up with the other Foxes side – Leicester City’s high-flying women’s team With the latest international break there was less Premier League football around than usual so it was a good month to re-acquaint myself with Leicester City Women’s side – LCWFC. They’re having another great season, having finished a giddy third in the Northern Premier League last year, which was some achievement aer promotion just the season before. Captain Holly Morgan told me: “We’re second in the table right now having just beaten one of the favourites for the title, so it’s going really well.” Their success has not gone unnoticed in high places with striker Sophie Domingo called up into the England under 18s squad and both Charlotte Greengrass and Ellie May on the stand-by list. Domingo said: “I feel so excited and thankful to be recognised at such a high level! I think it will be a great experience to learn from and play with so many talented people. I never expected to be selected but now that I have, I feel more confident in my ability.” Domingo had only broken into the first team last season but immediately made an impression, being the side’s top scorer with 14 from 24 appearances. LCWFC have always had an accent on youth and the coaching set up deserves a lot of credit for bringing on young talent. Manager Jonathan Morgan said: “We are keen to develop our youngsters here and we feel this will be the first of many to come over the next few years that make the step up to international level.” Holly continued: “For a lot of our young girls this is their first season. They’ve matured in a very short space of time and handled it very professionally. There’s good squad depth here as a result with girls coming on as subs who might well have started.” As part of their progression the side have moved stadium this year and now play at Quorn FC’s ground in Farley Way with its brand new 3G pitch. “It shows we are still moving forward as a club both on and off the pitch” said Morgan. Crowd numbers are also on the rise. “We’re getting around 100 for every home game now” said Holly and I can well understand why. It’s not every day you get to see City play Forest, West Brom or Derby for £4 (£2 for concessions). The quality of the skills on show will surprise you if you’re not familiar with the women’s game, so I can thoroughly recommend you give it a try yourself soon. The next home fixture is on December 10 and all you need to know can be found at www.lcwfc.com Holly said: “We’re a fast-paced team so it’s exciting watching us, especially as we seem to like to leave it to the last minute to score the winner. Come along and watch us and you won’t be disappointed.”


Right, from top A team huddle; Kim Farrow in action; captain Holly Morgan

/// D E C E M B E R 2017 6 5

64-65 SL football OK.indd 61

24/11/2017 16:49

The Im In the a departure challenge not only f any posit wider wo enable yo merits. T success a – and sec the job, o your pow It’s arg apply to a if that rem mentione are more out. I beli there’s al but no th Ancelotti Mancini. So wha Leicester such a ro followed relegatio be forgive a realistic to the boa remains t with the c largest in what the Nobody’s There’s having “lo a respect club. Neit this, confi lined up. complete their poin fact they’ fixture lis Half of Shakespe Manches How man they whe



Huge support for local hunts BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


old frosty mornings have set up some wonderful hunting days already this year for local packs. The opening meets have again been fantastically well supported both by mounted and foot followers. The Fitzwilliam had its opening meet in Milton Park, and as usual there was a fantastic turnout with more than 100 mounted and a lot of local eventers out with their youngsters, including myself, Richard Skelt, Richard Jones and Holly Campbell. We had a fantastic day over the old parkland and jumped a huge amount of the small timber fences under the brilliant guidance of joint master Tracey Riddington. Then on to The Melton held on November 19 at Withcote Hall in the heart of Leicestershire’s finest hunting country. There was a huge field of 57, and to some this is the climax of the year and often one to tick off the bucket list for others – like winner Zoe Gibson for whom it is the start of the season. They were blessed again with beautiful weather, which meant a huge turnout, nearly 200 cars were in the car park and many more strewn round the roads.

G PLEWS GARDENING SERVICES All-year-round, RHS trained gardener 07999 649824

Dominic Gwyn-Jones, one of the favourites, had an unfortunate incident early on and managed to ‘wipe out’ some of the other favorites including Richard Walker, Rory Bevin and Rowan Cope! Harriet Walker also managed to hit a tree; they have both survived to tell the tale although her horse is a having a short stay at Oakham Veterinary Hospital. Geoff Bridges from Wittering had a slightly more eventful ride than planned, not only was he fresh out of plaster having broken his thumb five weeks ago (falling off team chasing) but disaster struck in the lorry park when somehow he managed to snap the ring off the bottom of his gag, which meant he had no steering at all and ended up just following whomever was in front of him, even when they started jumping a part of the course which he hadn’t walked. Geoff was (fortunately for us) wearing his infamous headcam. If you get chance, please do watch the madness unfold, as it is easy to find on YouTube. But I will warn you it does need to be after the watershed! Rebecca Bullock from Allington has made a very successful comeback in the show

jumping world having had a small crisis of confidence earlier in the year. She won a very competitive speed class at Vale View in the 1.05m, and then followed that up by winning the Area 16 qualifier for the Riding Club Championships at Arena UK on November 5. Rebecca was one of very few to jump two double clears followed by a speedy jump off for Howden and District Riding Club in the 1m class. Rebecca and her team will go to Bury Farm in the spring to represent them. Kelly Hetherington was also fifth in the 90cm for Howden and the Rutland Riding Club also finished in fourth. Burghley Pony Club held its very popular Hunter Trials in the park. It was combined for the first time with the riding stage for the Tetrathlon, which yet again was another brilliantly organised event by Claire Daly and Laura Leicester. Teams travelled from as far afield as Yorkshire and Hertfordshire. Burghley again came home victorious with wins and places in most classes including Harry McEuen, who was second in the Open Boys, and Will McEuen, who was also second in the Junior Boys.

Show your support for local sport... Email advertise@theactivemag.com

6 6 D E C E M B E R 2017 ///

66 SRSL horses OK.indd 61

24/11/2017 16:50

琀㨀  ㄀㜀㜀㠀 ㌀㐀㘀㘀㄀㄀ 攀㨀 椀渀昀漀䀀欀氀漀猀攀渀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀 眀㨀 眀眀眀⸀欀氀漀猀攀渀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀 昀愀挀攀戀漀漀欀⸀挀漀洀⼀欀氀漀猀攀渀甀欀 䬀氀漀猀攀渀Ⰰ 吀栀攀 匀琀椀爀氀椀渀最 䌀攀渀琀爀攀Ⰰ  䴀愀爀欀攀琀 䐀攀攀瀀椀渀最Ⰰ 倀䔀㘀 㠀䔀儀

䄀氀甀洀椀渀椀甀洀 䈀椀昀漀氀搀 䐀漀漀爀猀 簀 圀椀渀搀漀眀猀 簀 䘀爀漀渀琀 䐀漀漀爀猀 簀 刀漀漀昀氀椀最栀琀猀 簀 匀氀椀搀椀渀最 䐀漀漀爀猀 簀 倀爀攀洀椀甀洀 甀倀嘀䌀 圀椀渀搀漀眀猀 ∠䴀愀渀甀昀愀挀琀甀爀攀爀猀 愀渀搀 䤀渀猀琀愀氀氀攀爀猀 漀昀 琀栀攀 瘀攀爀礀 戀攀猀琀 愀氀甀洀椀渀椀甀洀                                               最氀愀稀椀渀最 猀礀猀琀攀洀猀 昀爀漀洀 愀挀爀漀猀猀 䔀甀爀漀瀀攀  ∠䠀椀最栀氀礀 琀栀攀爀洀愀氀氀礀 攀昀昀椀挀椀攀渀琀 愀渀搀 椀渀挀爀攀搀椀戀氀礀 猀琀礀氀椀猀栀⸀            倀愀猀猀椀瘀栀愀甀猀 挀愀瀀愀戀椀氀椀琀椀攀猀Ⰰ 眀栀攀渀 爀攀焀甀椀爀攀搀  ∠䠀椀最栀氀礀 欀渀漀眀氀攀搀最攀愀戀氀攀 猀琀愀昀昀 眀栀漀 漀昀昀攀爀 攀砀挀攀氀氀攀渀琀 愀搀瘀椀挀攀  ∠䔀砀挀攀瀀琀椀漀渀愀氀氀礀 栀椀最栀 猀攀挀甀爀椀琀礀 爀愀琀椀渀最 漀渀 愀氀氀 瀀爀漀搀甀挀琀猀Ⰰ 洀愀渀礀  愀挀栀椀攀瘀椀渀最 倀䄀匀 ㈀㐀

Bleed Template.indd 118

15/12/2016 17:27

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 8 8



8 8



Untitled-4 1

23/11/2017 10:28

Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // December 2017  

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

Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // December 2017  

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