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HOW TO… Fit a ski boot Make healthy pancakes

South Leicestershire’s sport and lifestyle magazine

Buy beautiful underwear Fall in love with slugs!

THE LONG AND WINDING ROADS All the amazing long distance challenges to do this year



A walk fro Hallaton to Medbourne

Is your ticker tickety-boo?

Food for a healthy heart www.theACTIVEmag.com

Beauty and Wellbeing

Fabulous facials, Spring style

Kick Starts

Leicester kickboxing, for women and kids too


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opening times monday - closed tuesday 10 - 5 wednesday 9 - 5 thursday 10 - 5 friday 10 - 5 saturday 8.45 - 5 sunday 8.45 - 5

wood lane tugby leicester le7 9we

tel: 0116 259 8063 ride@cafe-ventoux.cc


relax and shop for premium ski wear, cycle wear, road bikes and mountain bikes

come and enjoy the great vibe at cafe ventoux for breakfast, lunch and teas

the region’s favourite destination cafe

Editor’s Letter AS THE ENGLAND CRICKET TEAM WERE flattening the world number ones South Africa in Johannesburg the other week, it was great to see two local cricketers putting in exceptional performances. Stuart Broad, of Oakham School, ex-Leicestershire and a bit of a local round these parts, bowled as only he can when he is on song: with bounce, pace and accuracy. It was too much for the South Africans and his five wickets for one run sealed the series for the tourists. Broad has made a habit of doing this, perhaps as no English bowler before him has ever done. He steps up and is counted when it matters, ripping through the opposition in one spell. That he has done this on numerous occasions to win Ashes series and tests against the very best shows he is a fabulous competitor from the very top drawer of English sport. He was aided and abetted by James Taylor, from Burrough-onthe-Hill, who stood guard at short leg and took two of the finest catches you will ever see there. With less than half a second to react, move and take the catches, they were both inexplicably good. They breed them well round here. So the rumour goes, Leicester Tigers hooker Tom Youngs didn’t make the England squad because he wasn’t good enough defensively and didn’t carry the ball enough; warped logic that would see Stuart Broad dropped from the England cricket team for not taking enough wickets. It is so bizarre, I think I know what must have happened, because it happened to me. When I went to the under 11s cricket trials at my new school (and I’ll humbly profess to having been one of the better players at my age in the area at the time), I didn’t make the squad because the new teacher got me confused with another boy who looked like me, but was rubbish, and picked him instead. I can only think this has happened to poor old Eddie Jones. Perhaps he should get his eyes tested though: I don’t think Dylan Hartley looks anything like Tom Youngs. Enjoy the issue! Steve

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

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 Withers lisa@theactivemag.com Sarah Stillman sarah@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 A member of the East Midlands Chamber of Trade and Commerce If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@ theactivemag.com. If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@ theactivemag.com Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. ISSN 2059-8513 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318 Disclaimer

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.

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MMPS-February Full Page Active Advert_MMPS-February Full Page Active Advert 06/01/2014 14:16 Page 1

MM print services limited

A family run business based in the centre of Stamford, with over 60 years of combined experience providing print procurement solutions for clients worldwide. We can offer solutions for publishing, commercial printing, direct mail, storage and distribution. One of our specialist areas is the production of catalogues and daily magazines at international conventions and exhibitions, where a distinct attention to detail is required. We work with an added value approach to enable us to develop long term relationships with clients as well as our suppliers.

Services that we offer are: • • • • • •

Commercial Printing Magazine Design & Print Creative Design Service Warehouse & Distribution Direct Mail Book Binding

For more information, a quote or advice on your next project please contact us on 01780 751313 or email contact@mmprintservices.com

MM print services limited, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 1PG Telephone: 01780 751313 Email: contact@mmprintservices.com www.mmprintservices.com

Keep your products fresh and cool when things get heated!

who we are We provide Fresh, Clean and Mobile Refrigeration and Freezer units. We can deliver and collect the mobile units to take the stress out of your event.

We pride ourselves in providing a first class service to suit all our customers needs, with a fresh approach. Contact us to keep the temperature down.

01780 751313 or 07875543065

and let us deliver to you‌. Email contact@fresh-wheels.co.uk

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ISSUE 10 /// FEBRUARY 2016


Another tasty recipe from Riverford Organic

14 HOW TO...

Make a romantic St Valentine’s cocktail


The seasonal delights on offer outdoors


En-Tout-Cas managing director Rory Shepherd


Great things to do locally for all the family


Amazing long distance challenges to try

36 21


How to secure funding for your team


Get your ideal body in three months with our fitness plan



Our expert nutrionist explains good and bad fats


More tips and products to help you look great


The Sunday Times writer on Jimmy Hill’s legacy


More essential gear to help you look good on the ski slopes


We head out to Hallaton and Medbourne


We try out Avatar Dining in Market Harborough


Our focus on the latest achievements from local pupils

60-66 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring



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Help for flat owners in South Leicestershire Sexton Property Management is a newly established business that is helping apartment owners to affordably manage the maintenance of their buildings.

We are currently responsible for


Harborough totalling 86 apartments.

alongside our residents association

By partnering with us, you can sit

back and relax whilst we take care of all your financial, administration and on site safety requirements.

Need help managing your apartments? Get in touch by calling 07747 306095 sexton.indd 1

Sexton Property Management work and provide us with complete

piece of mind as they take care of all our day-to-day management responsibilities


three developments in Market

property management Sexton Property Management 1 Millers Yard, Roman Way Market Harborough LE16 7PW

24/04/2015 09:18

In Play

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Get to the point! Point-to-pointing starts this month at Garthorpe and Dingley. There’s always plenty of opportunities to make a few quid on the racing, but it’s a great social occasion too, with bars and food stalls, rides for the kids and shopping too. Find out more at www.garthorpe.com or dingleyraces.com

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2 large sweet potatoes Salt and pepper Sunflower oil 1 onion 2 garlic cloves 1 red chilli 1 tin black beans 1 tin chopped tomatoes 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp dried oregano ¼ tsp cinnamon 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika Pack of tortillas ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 1 pot soured cream

Add the garlic and chilli and cook for another three minutes until fragrant. Drain the black beans and add to the pan with the tomatoes, cumin, oregano, cinnamon and paprika.


Half fill one of the tins with water and add that too. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes (2).

Meanwhile brush four tortillas on both sides with oil. Cut each into eight wedges and sprinkle with a little salt. Lay them evenly on a baking tray and cook in the oven for eight minutes, turning them over after four (3). They should be just starting to colour and crisp.


When the potatoes are ready check the chilli and adjust the seasoning to your taste. If you want more heat add some cayenne pepper a pinch at a time.


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Scrub the sweet potatoes well, sprinkle the wet skin with salt and give it a rub to coat (1).

To serve, split the sweet potatoes open and divide them between two plates. Spoon over the chilli and top with a blob of soured cream. Stack the tortillas at the side.

Place the sweet potatoes directly on the oven shelf and bake until they can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife – about 45 minutes, but check after 30.


Peel and finely slice the onion and garlic. Deseed and finely slice the chilli. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion gently until translucent stirring occasionally.

Tip: This is a vegetarian version of chilli but it is very easy to add mince to the recipe if you wish.

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

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

great value for money. No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to

find out more or call 01803 762059.

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Make a delicious romantic cocktail

THE ST VALENTINE’S Ingredients 1 shot Warner Edwards rhubarb gin 10ml sugar syrup 15ml lemon juice (a large squeeze) Prosecco Ice Pour the gin, sugar syrup and lemon into a champagne glass. Add the ice and top up with prosecco. Fix a strawberry to the top of the glass. Courtesy of The Wine Bar, Stamford.


Create perfect chocolate covered strawberries The perfect accompaniment to the St Valentine’s cocktail, these chocolate covered strawberries are delicious. The crunchy outer chocolate shell melts in your mouth and combines perfectly with the sweetness of a juicy strawberry and, what’s even better, they are very simple to do. The secret is to use the best quality strawberries you can find and high cocoa content chocolate.


Ingredients 1 large punnet of strawberries 300g good quality dark chocolate Wash and dry the strawberries – it is vital that they are completely dry or the chocolate won’t stick. Break the chocolate up and melt it either the old fashioned way by using a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the

microwave at 15 second bursts, stirring each time. Cover a baking tray with parchment. Working with one strawberry at a time, grasp it by the leaves and dip it into the chocolate turning it until it is completely covered. Shake gently to remove excess chocolate and then place on the baking tray. Once covered leave them for the chocolate to set by putting them in the fridge.

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Church Langton CE (Aided) Primary School Looking for your child’s first school or relocating? Why not come to see the amazing opportunities we could offer your child. If you would like more Information or to organise a tour on a please contact


01858 545237

GET THE PERFECT FITTING SKI BOOT There’s no denying it, if your ski boots are uncomfortable you are going to have a pretty miserable week on the mountain. Your boot is the most essential part of your ski equipment as it’s what connects with your ski. Every movement you make with your ankle should immediately impact on your ski. A good boot fitter can help you find the perfect fit and will always ask what sort of skiing you do as this affects the choice of boot. The most vital thing is to get a secure snug fit around the foot without pressure points. The most common mistake is to get a boot that is too big, but remember that the boot liner will mould to your foot within 10-15 minutes and after several days skiing will have really packed down. So a boot that feels snug in the shop could feel loose and floppy within a few days. If it feels too tight initially it’s probably the right size. And make sure it’s snug around the heel and ankle. Don’t buy the first boot you try on, experiment with a few others and wear them all for 15-20 minutes. To get your boots fitted locally visit the pro shop at Tallington Lakes (www.tallingtonlakesproshop.com)

Household tip of the month… Always pop a penny into a vase of tulips, it stops them drooping.



Martial Art Training For Men Women & Children WIGSTON TIGERS

Bassett street community centre, Bassett St, South Wigston, Leicester LE18 4PE 6pm-7pm ages 4-12


Great Glen Village Hall, LE8 9GG Tigers class Saturday 9am-10am. Adults and over 12 yrs 10am-11am Thursday 5pm-6pm all ages


Dorothy Goodman School, Hinckley LE10 0EA Tuesday 6pm-7pm ages 4-12. Adults and over 12 yrs 7pm-8pm


Instructor: Kerry Sergiew 2nd Dan Black Belt Tel: 0770 2966806 | Email: k.greaves77@live.co.uk

Your Guarantee of Quality Tae Kwon-Do CRB Police Checked, Fully Qualified Black Belt Instructors




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Activelife NATURE

WINTER ACONITES Winter aconites are beautiful flowers that add a drop of colour to an otherwise dull time of year. A native European woodland plant, they are amongst the earliest to flower, along with snowdrops between February and March, and their bright yellow petals are very distinctive. They are easy to grow in the garden and lovely to spot when out and about on a walk.


Slugs Slug is a common name for a shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusc. Gastropod means stomach foot, a very apt description as they do look like they are crawling around on their stomachs. Despite looking so unappealing they do have a role in the eco-system. They are composters so break down vegetation and are a source of food for other wildlife. There are about 30 species of slugs, four of which are native to the UK and the bane of gardeners’ and farmers’ lives causing approximately £8 million in damage to vegetable crops each year. Each garden is home to about 20,000 of them – you have been warned…

A sparrow-sized woodpecker-like bird with a sharp pointed bill, nuthatches occur in deciduous woods and parkland – Burghley and Exton Parks hold good numbers, as do the Rutland Water woodlands. It is a regular at bird feeders in local villages, where peanuts and fat are favourite foods. Nuthatches are quite aggressive at feeders, driving away tits and finches. The cheerful ‘twit, twit’ call or a loud whistle is often the first indication of a nuthatch high in the tree canopy. When seen well, the blue-grey back, buff underparts and chestnut flanks identify it. The throat and cheeks are white and a black stripe passes through the eye. Well adapted for life in trees, nuthatches will descend headfirst down the trunk as easily as they move up it. Nuthatches feed mainly on seeds – beech mast, acorns and hazel nuts, with nuts and acorns wedged into crevices in the bark and hammered open. In summer, insects form a

larger part of their diet, especially when feeding chicks. Nuthatches are hole nesters and will plaster mud around the entrance to exclude larger birds. Occasionally they will use a nest box. Terry Mitcham

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We invite you to see and experience our excellent school during the school day—parents and children are welcome to attend

Speak to our friendly staff and students

See our inspiring teaching and learning in practice

Sessions at 9.00am and 10.00am each day

Book online: http://manorhigh-openmornings0316.eventzilla.net/

MANOR HIGH SCHOOL Copse Close, Oadby, Leicester LE2 4FU Telephone: 0116 271 4941   Email: admin@manorhigh.leics.sch.uk Website: www.manorhigh.leics.sch.uk   Twitter: @ManorHighSchool

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SHOP OF THE MONTH eLCy Clothing and Intimates is an online business selling handmade underwear and swimwear, designed and made from home by Stamford girl, stylist Lauren Crowe. Her beautiful, soft and delicate bralettes are very versatile and can be worn as underwear, outerwear and nightwear. Lauren is able to add linings to certain ranges and will make garments to order. The ideal Valentine present? Check out her website to see more of her designs at www.elcyclothing.com.

REMEMBER PANCAKE DAY! It’s shrove Tuesday on February 9, so get your pinny out and start making pancakes. Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent, which is the 40 days leading up to Easter. Traditionally a time of abstinence, pancake day was associated with clearing your cupboards of foods such as sugar, fats and eggs before starting the fast. And to enjoy it all the more, why not enter a pancake race so you can eat even more pancakes after all the hard exercise? How to make pancakes 100g plain flour 2 eggs 300ml milk 1tbsp oil pinch salt

Heat a frying pan over a moderate heat and wipe with oiled kitchen paper. Ladle some batter into the pan, tilting it to move the mixture around for a thin and even layer. Cook for about 30 seconds before flipping the pancake over – don’t drop it – then cook for another 30 seconds. Continue with the rest of the batter, serving them as you cook or stacking them on a plate. To serve, sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice or add the topping of your choice before rolling them into a cigar shape.

Put the flour with a pinch of salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the middle and pour in about 50ml of milk and 1 tbsp oil. Start whisking from the centre, gradually drawing the flour into the eggs, milk and oil. Then beat until you have a smooth thick paste. Continue whisking and pour in the rest of the milk until you have a consistency of thick single cream.

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Located on Rockingham Road, Corby

Parties – Weddings – Christmas Christenings – Funerals - Accommodation

NEW Bar & Restaurant menu now available

www.rockinghamforest.com 01536 401348 reception@rockinghamforest.com

Sunday Lunch served every week from our Carvery To make a reservation for accommodation or in our restaurant

Rockingham Road Corby, Northants NN17 1AE

please call 01536 401348

Please quote: ACTIVE when making an enquiry or reservation

Established 2001


01858 469616


Treat your loved one this

Valentine’s Day with the real taste of Mexico

Limited Space Book now! ENJOY...

No set Menu

our Mexican Cocktails



The Square, Market Harborough


Oakham Swim School February Half Term

Join our Intensive Swim Programme Half hour sessions over five mornings dedicated to help your child progress their swimming skills and techniques. • • • • •

Progress from floatation aids Improve stroke and kicking skills Gain confidence in deep water ‘Boot camp’ for ASA Level Progression Small group class sizes for ages 4 – 16 Contact Conrad at Oakham School on

01572 758754 or cgn@oakham.rutland.sch.uk

OPENING TIMES Open seven days a week 12 noon – 11pm Food is served from Tues – Sat 12-2.30pm & 6.30-9.30pm Sunday 12-4pm

The Red Lion is a friendly dynamic free house that prides itself on offering something a bit different and, we think, rather special.

Our team of chefs pride themselves in freshly prepared, locally sourced seasonal food delivered with warm friendly service. All of our bread, ice cream and desserts are homemade and we are constantly striving for

new and exciting dishes whilst ensuring that we never forget the Red Lion Classics that are so popular with our customers.

Put simply, we want to serve you exceptional quality food, drinks and service in beautiful surroundings.

With specially selected beers, wines and champagne, The Red Lion is the perfect venue for a quick drink or a great night out.

Call us on 01858 463571 Email theredliongb@gmail.com

THE RED LION I 5 Main Street, Great Bowden, Leicestershire, LE16 7HB I www.redlion-greatbowden.co.uk

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FOUR MEN IN A BOAT Our intrepid quartet of Old Uppinghamians have risen to the challenge of rowing the Atlantic to raise money for two charities, Cystic Fibrosis and the Teenage Cancer Trust. This month we learn how they are getting on…. The team, known as Ocean Reunion, were due to set off on December 15 but the race had to be delayed for five days because of the weather and wind direction. This gave the lads a few more days to gain their sea legs and also gave them a bit more time to relax, rest, eat a lot and enjoy a few beers before the mammoth task ahead. They got off to a great start on December 20 by leading the race and have continued to hold their own, getting into the routine of eat, sleep, row, repeat. They have suffered from sea sickness and heartburn, but row for two hours at a time, wash themselves (rationed to one baby wipe), eat and sleep for an hour before getting up to start all over again. They have had to cope with severe storms and, at the time of writing, are facing their biggest challenge from the weather yet. But it’s worth it. They are now, in early January, more than half way across the Atlantic and are still in the lead – go boys! Follow the race at www. taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge. com or to donate to their charities visit www.oceanreunion.co.uk which has a link to their Just Giving Page.

NORDIC Nordic Walk it have walked themselves to more success. In the recent 2015 British Nordic Walking Challenge series the teams were fastest in the 5 and 10k races with David Crooks being the fastest overall man. These results make Nordic Walk it the British Nordic Walking series champions for 2015 – well done! To find out more visit their website at www.nordicwalkit.co.uk/sport

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An eye for winners Thoroughbred Purchase, Management and Consultancy Blandford Bloodstock has helped their clients achieve international success on the racecourse, at public auction or creating a bloodstock portfolio. We have the knowledge, experience and expertise to guide you through the thoroughbred industry to help you achieve your goals. Call us today and see how we can help.

Blandford Bloodstock 6a Rous Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 8DL

www.blandfordbloodstock.com Blandford purchase Jack Hobbs winning the 2015 Irish Derby Gr.1

Tom Goff: +44 (0)7720 879 034 Richard Brown: +44 (0)7733 122 007 Stuart Boman: +44 (0)7980 461 814


Established as one of British racing’s top trainers First Royal Ascot Winner June 2015 Over £1m in domestic prize money in 2015

39% individual winners from runners in 2015

Consistent top UK trainer

The Office, Trillium Place Stables, Birdcage Walk, Newmarket, Suffolk, England, CB8 0NE Tel: +44 (0)1638 662968 | Fax: +44 (0)1638 663888 Email: david@davidsimcock.co.uk | Web: davidsimcock.co.uk

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A day in the life of



first joined En-Tout-Cas as a very young contracts manager in the early 1970s, following in my father’s footsteps. He had joined the company in 1946 and rose to be general manager. At that time it was probably the biggest sports field company in the world. They developed and built the running track for the austerity Olympic games in 1948 in just six weeks and also built and maintained the runways for the RAF during the war. Thirty foremen were sent on ocean liners to America every year to build tennis courts – they even built a court for the Roosevelts. It’s an amazing heritage and I’m very proud to be part of it. En-Tout-Cas originally started in 1909 when Commander Hillyard of the All England Tennis Club asked an engineer, Claude Brown, to create a surface using crushed bricks in imitation of the anthill tennis courts found in South Africa. Claude named his company after meeting a lady attending the opening of the first court at Thorpe Satchville who was using an en-tout-cas umbrella: first a brolly and then a tennis court that could be used ‘in all weathers’. I first built courts in French villages for ETC during my school holidays. Later I did the full En-Tout-Cas apprenticeship and then my diploma in building construction. In 1979 I decided to branch out on my own to start Anglian and Midland Sports Surfaces. With my brother on board, it grew into a family business. In 2010 we bought ETC. I often work in my offices in Cottingham or Oundle with my wife Celia, who is also a director of the company. We may write up reports from site visits or research new products such as the latest synthetic turf. We’ve just built a court on a garage roof in London, but mostly I’m out and about meeting people on site. I assess the sites and talk to the customers to find out exactly what they want. I’ll ask if there are any children in the family and what other sports they play. Many people perceive a court to be an oblong that you stick in the corner as far as possible away from the house and then you put a hedge around it. The problem with that is the foliage will cause moss to grow and the court will become slippery. We specialise in building courts that look good in your garden and we’ve designed attractive obelisk fencing which, because it’s very strong you use less of it, but against a background it virtually disappears. Play on You need to be able to see the court from the house so you get good old Anglo-Saxon guilt when you’re not playing on it. If you stick it in

‘I don’t play tennis as much as I used to due to being a bit clapped out’ the corner, the chances are you won’t use it as much. A Tarmac court costs around £30,000 plus VAT and synthetic grass would be over £40,000. Synthetic courts are easier for your body and they don’t need repainting. Also they can be used for other sports. With my son coming into the business now and bringing his civil engineering skills, it allows me more time to develop ideas like a cricket wicket where you just move one post and then you have a proper soft netting wicket. I’ve also worked out how to put a croquet course on a surface without putting too many pins in the court playing area.

We use our own machinery and workforce instead of hiring it in. Most of our foremen have been with us for over 20 years and they’re a wonderful team. It’s extremely hard work because we never compromise on our courts which means we choose the best rather than the cheapest materials. I don’t play tennis as much as I used to due to being a bit clapped out. And my friends are clapped out too! I do love walking my dogs and I’m hoping one day to be fit enough to play again. For more information contact www.tenniscourtsuk. co.uk or 01832 274199

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WHAT’S ON There’s lots going on in your area this month, why not try some of these?

■ This month pay a visit to Brocks Hill Country Park at Oadby. Spring is just around the corner so the birds are becoming more active and territorial while starting to make their nests. Blossom is also starting to flower and snowdrops are poking their heads up. There’s lots going on, particularly during half term. Visit their website to see some of the activities on offer www. brockshill.co.uk ■ Can Do Sports Club is an all-inclusive club for young people from 12 years old with any special need or learning difficulty (siblings are welcome too). It’s held every Tuesday in term time from 6.30-7.30pm at the Congregational Church Hall in Market Harborough and costs £3 a session. Contact Judy on 07834 439631 or Alison on 07966 882967 for more information. ■ Fancy a trip to London? The Telegraph Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show, the UK’s largest outdoor and adventure show is being held at ExCel from February 11-14. There’s something for everyone be it climbing, hiking, photography or extreme challenges. A ticket to this show will also give you access to The London Bike Show,

The Triathlon Show and a Dive Show that are running simultaneously. See www. telegraphoutdoorshow.co.uk


■ Cirque Berserk combines contemporary cirque-style artistry with amazing stunt action. There will be over 30 jugglers, acrobats, aerialists dancers, clowns and the most hair-raising circus act – the Motorcycle Globe of Terror. This exciting show will be at The Curve theatre in Leicester from February 4-6. See www. curveonline.co.uk for details. ■ Sleeping Beauty is being performed by the Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia at De Montfort Hall on February 26. Every child’s favourite fairy tale, this is a performance not to be missed. Details at www. demontforthall.co.uk ■ Jazz at the Theatre is being held at Harborough Theatre on February 19 at 7.30pm. It will be an evening of mixed guitar and saxophone jazz culminating in a fish and chip supper and surprise pudding organised by the Drama Society’s social committee. www. harboroughtheatre.com

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Feature /// Kickboxing

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KICKING OFF Mary Bremner has a go at kickboxing and releases her inner Bruce Lee… Photography: Pip Walters HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED a Bruce Lee film and marvelled at the fight scenes and thought ‘I want to be able to do that’? Natasha Mina and her brother did as children, and their mother got so fed up with them re-enacting the scenes in the living room that she decided to sign her son up for kickboxing classes to keep him quiet. Natasha got signed up for ballet classes instead, much to her disgust, and hated it. “I’m half Egyptian and girls are supposed to be girls in my culture,” she said. “I would go to the club and watch my brother, dying to have a go. One day Jag, the coach at the club, who is still my coach now, got me to join in and I loved it. Luckily my mum is pretty broad minded and let me carry on. I was hooked and before long was beating my brother. Kickboxing became a huge part of my life, and it still is.” I first met Natasha at a Rutland Girl Can event to encourage more girls to take up sport. She was promoting kickboxing and gave an inspirational talk to the girls. I was fascinated by her and her sport so got myself invited along to her club, Leicester Kickboxing Club, to have a go. Was I going to release my inner Bruce Lee or was this girl going to kill me? Kickboxing first became popular in Britain about 30 years ago and is a combat sport based on kicking and

punching. It could be described as half way between street fighting and martial art. It’s a form of karate that involves full contact – fighters are allowed to punch and kick each other above the waist. As Natasha says: “I can’t see the point of it if there’s no contact.” But you don’t have to have full contact – it’s entirely up to you. Leicester Kickboxing Club is hidden away in, let’s be honest, not a particularly salubrious part of the city, and waiting for me was Natasha, an attractive, diminutive, blue eyed brunette who looked like she wouldn’t, or couldn’t, hurt a fly. But she’s been fighting since she was eight, competing as a junior up to the age of 16 and now, after getting a law degree, has returned to kickboxing full time and is aiming to compete at the ISKA World Championships this year. She has fought all over the country and in Ireland and Germany. Look more closely at her and she may be tiny, but she’s all muscle. She’s a busy lady training six days a week, running classes and coaching privately as well. Kickboxing is becoming very popular with women. As a sport it keeps you incredibly fit, releases any inner aggression and, very importantly, gives you some self defence skills. Natasha’s club has many women members, more than men at the moment. But this is down to Natasha, she’s a great motivator and actively encourages


Mary steps into the ring with Natasha at Leicester Kickboxing Club

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Feature /// Kickboxing

‘I like teaching women... they listen, practice their techniques and become great fighters’ the girls to join in and start fighting. She runs a ladies only class on Fridays where girls from all walks of life join her including a couple of muslim girls who arrive in their hijabs before changing, spend an hour fighting, including contact, and then disappear looking as serene as ever. “I like teaching women to fight and encourage them into the ring. The men are stronger but many of them don’t learn the techniques properly, so as soon as they get in the ring are beaten. But the girls listen, practice their techniques and become great fighters.” And now it’s my turn. First of all we warm up and I am handed a skipping rope. I haven’t skipped since I was at school and that is an awfully long time ago. But it comes back quickly and soon I’m skipping away quite merrily, but not at the same pace as Natasha who looks like she is barely moving, but that rope is turning much faster than mine. Then it’s press ups, which I hate, and have always struggled with, sit ups and then lots of stretches. I have only warmed up for a few minutes, much less than for a normal class, but the heart rate is already rising and every muscle has been used – and that was just the warm up. Natasha hands me a pair of boxing gloves and instructs

me to climb into the ring. I have never donned a pair of boxing gloves in my life and, to be honest, have never really wanted to. I don’t really ‘get’ why anyone would want to go into a ring and punch someone else, but I was obviously going to find out what it was all about. And now I know and ‘get’ it completely, in fact I may have got the bug. Natasha donned a pair of padded shields on her hands, held them up in front of her and told me to punch them. The first couple of punches were tentative, it felt very odd thumping someone, and it wasn’t greatly comfortable. I was quickly told to not punch with the front of my hand but ‘to point my hand down and lift my elbow.’ Immediately I had more power and no discomfort at all. This punch was a jab and it was good. It no longer felt strange to be landing punches on Natasha, and she was very encouraging – ‘harder, harder, faster,’ she kept shouting. I was more than happy to oblige. Then she taught me the upper cut and we combined the two. This was fun. We then moved on to the kicks. Again Natasha told me exactly what to do – lift your leg high, twist and strike me with the top of your foot. It’s easy once you get the hang of it. I was worried I was going to send Natasha flying or would miss the shield and hurt her but it didn’t happen. She encouraged me to kick harder and harder, which I did. She also told me to add some aggression – or in her terms, venom – more than happy to, and thoroughly enjoyed imagining I was giving a few individuals a good kicking (they deserved it). We then did forward kicks with me

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kicking directly into Natasha’s chest before combining the punches with the kicks. I was hooked and really disappointed we had to stop because Natasha’s class of kids had turned up for their lesson. I wanted to do more as I thoroughly enjoyed it and could feel the benefits. Your adrenaline gets going, heart rate is up, muscles are working hard and you can get rid of all that pent up aggression (which I didn’t realise I had!). I drove home afterwards on a real high. This sport releases endorphins by the bucket load. I was feeling content, happy and so laid back. I’d released my inner zen. If this is what kickboxing does for me after only a short session of fighting I need to do more. I think I have become a convert and this could become addictive. But I like to think that, rather than Bruce Lee, I have released my inner Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider – much more me (I wish!). Go and have a go and release all that pent-up aggression, it will do you so much good and get you incredibly fit, while having fun, at the same time.

Above and le

Kickboxing not only gives you a great body workout, it also provides you with self-defence tips. An exhausted but happy Mary aer her session with Natasha

WANT TO GET INVOLVED? Leicester Kickboxing Club runs classes six days a week for all ages and sexes from 7 upwards. Beginners are very welcome. Natasha also holds private sessions. To find out more visit www.leicesterkickboxing.co.uk or ring 0116 251 2933 or 07973 131993 Natasha is looking for sponsors to help her with her training costs, particularly with regards to nutrition and equipment. If anyone can help please get in touch with her on 07534 342834 – she’d be delighted to hear from you.

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23/01/2016 12:36


SMITH STANDS THE TEST OF TIME Leicester Tigers stalwart has a well-deserved testimonial this year. By Jeremy Beswick This is Matt Smith’s testimonial season for the Tigers and he seems to be enjoying it – both on and off the pitch. We sat down together after training and – although there are still hopefully many years of rugby left in his tank – I encouraged him to look back on his 10 years at the Tigers so far. “My career has actually been a lot more successful than I expected it to be,” he said, with typical modesty. Two games in particular came quickly to his mind. “The most memorable was beating London Irish in the 2009 Premiership final – my first – closely followed by my hundredth start.” As many Tigers fans will know, that was the first and only time that a father and son have reached that milestone, Matt’s dad being the legend that is Ian ‘Dosser’ Smith. It hasn’t all been plain sailing however. “I’ve had ups and downs

over the last few years,” he said, but recent changes to the coaching line-up have been to his liking. “Since Aaron Mauger arrived I seem to have got a new lease of life. My baby son Monty made his own debut six weeks ago so maybe the lack of sleep is doing me good too.” His form this season has been outstanding and he was voted player of the month by the fans in November, so he must be doing something right. What insight could he give us about Aaron’s approach? “He’s big on detail. Everyone knows exactly what their role is and when replacements come on, or changes are made to the starting 15, they can fit seamlessly into the system. Also, we used to look to gain territory incrementally but now, if the space is there, we’ll run the ball – even if it’s from deep.” So, having been a useful

exponent with the round ball as well, he doesn’t regret leaving Peterborough United’s books as a teenager to come to Welford Road? “I might have made more money I suppose! My mum still says to this day that I’m a much better footballer than a rugby player. When I went to Oakham School at 11 I didn’t know there wasn’t a football team, which came as a shock, so I took up rugby instead.” Does he still play football? “No. I used to play with my little brother but now he’s 15 he’s got better than me so I’ve given it up,” he joked. What are his aspirations for the rest of his career? “It’s been a tough couple of years for the club, so it would be great to win the Premiership this year. As a 20-year–old I joined a club with a culture of success and we seemed to win it every year, so it’s

definitely going to mean more to win it back having had it taken away from us for a while.” Matt obviously doesn’t hold anything against Oakham School for not playing that other game, as he’s due to return there with fellow alumnus Tom Croft, also in his testimonial year, for a joint celebratory dinner on May 29. “There will be a few famous names there – Martin Corry, Darren Garforth, Lewis Moody, Louis Deacon, George Chuter and many more,” he told me, so it sounds like a perfect evening. Tickets are going fast so get yours at www. croftsmithtestimonial.co.uk. I’ll definitely be there and will be hoping Matt gets his wish. As he put it: “May 29 is the day after the Premiership final, so hopefully I’ll be bringing the trophy with me.”  For more details visit www. croftsmithtestimonial.co.uk

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Guest column

Jimmy Hill’s legacy: high wages and endless punditry Martin Johnson on how the TV presenter changed football for all hen Jimmy Hill died just before Christmas, it’s unlikely Wayne Rooney raised a glass to his memory over the turkey with (taking into account the presenter’s most distinctive feature) a hearty cry of “chin, chin.” It was an awesome chin, capable of staging – given a sprinkling of show – the men’s Alpine ski jump, but what Rooney may not appreciate is that if it hadn’t been for Hill, any toast he might have made would probably have been made with a cheap bottle Cava from Asda. Of all Hill’s legacies, including three points for a win and the slow motion replay, the biggest was his role in the abolition of the maximum wage which, in 1961, stood at £20 a week. In which case, far from pocketing a reputed £300,000 a week, if Rooney had been playing under the wage restrictions imposed back then – he’d currently be earning – allowing for inflation – £311 a week. There was, however, one innovation of Hill’s which may have required all his legendary gift of the gab when trying to get through the Pearly Gates. I have this image of a grim faced St Peter blocking the entrance and saying: “Oi, you with the chin and the beard. Aren’t you the bounder responsible for the football panel?” Amazing though it is to people of my own vintage, an entire generation of fans have grown up watching matches on television blissfully unaware that the coverage once used to start only five minutes before kick off. Nowadays, there is at least an hour’s worth of waffle about whether Rovers will be playing the diamond system, the pros and cons of zonal marking, a series of clips demonstrating that Albion are vulnerable to left footed crosses from the right hand side, and possession and territory stats from the previous games. All of which will be minutely dissected by a variety of so-called experts. Hill started it all, back in 1970, when there was only terrestrial television, the BBC and ITV shared the rights to World Cups, and the Beeb traditionally blew their commercial rivals out of the water when it came to viewing figures. But with Hill on ITV, surrounded by his revolutionary panel of experts, that was suddenly reversed. When the panel cranks up now, most sane people fill the time before kick off by taking the dog for a walk, or finally getting round to fixing that tap that’s been dripping, but in those days the novelty of listening to football people droning on holding midfielders and overlapping full backs was evidently more riveting than the game itself.


There were some classic moments with the panel, not least when Brian Clough was on. As in 1973, when England were playing Poland in a World Cup qualifier and, after the first 45 minutes of the visiting goalkeeper performing like an octopus with a set of extra tentacles, Clough spent the interval describing him as a clown. When the keeper pulled off about 20 more staggering saves in the second half Clough repeated his claim that the Polish keeper must have been recruited from a circus, and declined all invitations from the presenter, Brian Moore, to acknowledge that he’d had a good game. These gems don’t happen any more, partly because pundits as one-eyed as Clough are hard to find, but mostly because they talk informedly, calmly, and with a lot of sense. Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, that kind of expert. The analysis is top-notch, but frankly who wants it? Clough talked rubbish, but it was never boring. Hill was also a man with left field opinions, and it was about this time that the emphasis on commentary began to change. Up until then the chief requirement for any sport involving England was that you had to be delivered to a subliminal soundtrack of “Land of Hope and Glory”. You didn’t so much commentate as cheerlead. My two favourite programmes actually involved sports I couldn’t abide – Ski Sunday with David Vine, and the Horse of the Year Show with Raymond Brooks-Ward. Many of you will have heard clips of that footie commentary when Norway beat England - “Maggie Thatcher! Winston Churchill! We gave your boys a hell of a beating!” – but we had our own champions in the art of waving the flag, and it always came as a surprise to me when David or Raymond got to the end without bursting into a chorus of “Rule Britannia.” Ski Sunday would invariably involve a succession of Austrians and Swiss hurtling down a mountain without dislodging a single pole, but just occasionally there’d be a Brit in the field, and David would give him or her the big build-up. “In the form of her life”, “real chance of medal here”… and no sooner had David enticed you to shift to the edge of your chair in anticipation than our girl was identifiable only by a couple of skis poking out of a giant snowdrift. Raymond was an even classier act. The Horse of the Year Show was different to the skiing in that we actually had genuine medal contenders, and whenever one of our great hopes went deeper and deeper into a clear round, Brooks-Ward became hopelessly embroiled in a losing battle with his stiff upper lip. Times have changed, usually for the slicker, but not always for the better. Or the more entertaining. So farewell Jimmy Hill. You were a great innovator, and we’ll remember you fondly, but not quite so fondly, perhaps, when Alan Shearer is next droning on about Crystal Palace’s flat back four.

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Feature /// Gear





1. Salomon womens X Pro 90 green white ski boots Salomon has developed the third generation custom shell providing more heat mouldable area than ever before allowing the last to increase from 100 up to 106mm for a tailored fit increasing performance and comfort. Price £287.99 From www.tallingtonlakesproshop.com

2. Bloc Boa Goggle Team your helmet with a hardworking pair of goggles such as the Boa Goggle from Bloc. This dual lens goggle is both tough yet flexible, offering ventilation and UVA and UVB protection. Price £38 From www.cotswoldoutdoor.com (click and collect from local stores available)

3. Smoothie EC2 Women’s Snowboard This new snowboard incorporates a wide range of technical innovations developed through Lib Tech to produce an all mountain board. It has a full heart core which is made from a sustainable fast growing tree for its lightweight and environmentally friendly properties. Price £299.99 From www.tallingtonlakesproshop.com

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Available in a range of colours including Bright Plum Dobby, this sophisticated jacket boasts 550-fill power down technology, underarm venting, a snap-back powder skirt and thermal lining. Ideal for skiers who want to go straight from the slopes to après ski activities. Price £190 From www.cotswoldoutdoor.com (click and collect from local stores available)

5. Roxy Winter Break Snow Pants The 10K waterproof outer shell and critically taped seams help keep the worst of the weather out whether you are hitting the deep powder or hard packed piste. When walking to the first lift of the day you may have to cross some dirty roads so Roxy has incorporated a cuff lift system to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. For those colder days when extra layers are needed the ability to adjust the waist of these pants is crucial adding to the versatility. Price £91.99 From www.tallingtonlakesproshop.com


6. Dirty Dog Eclipse helmet Designed for maximum safety when you need it most. Constructed with a protective outer shell made of PC (Polycarbonate) or high impact ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). These shells give the helmets durability, weather resistance and are easy to clean. Price £54.99 From Rutland Sports

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VACCINATION AMNESTY If your pet’s annual booster vaccination is more than 3 months overdue we would recommend starting the full course again. Book their vaccination at Oakham Veterinary Hospital before 31st March 2016 and only pay the price of a standard booster to restart the course. Phone our Small Animal reception on: 01572 722646 for more information or to book your appointment. Ashwell Road, Oakham, Rutland LE15 7QH Small Animal: 01572 722646 / Equine: 01572 722647 www.oakhamvethospital.co.uk

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TAKE IT TO THE EXTREME! Triathlons, duathlons, marathons and long distance walking: why not take on some challenging events this year? March 5 Dambuster Duathlon Rutland Water

Starting with a 10km run around the lake and across the dam it’s important not to be deceived by the flatness of the run section which does a double loop of the dam. The fact that you can see the competition for much of the run means this is a psychologically challenging course, and is followed by a 42km bike ride around Rutland. www.pacesetterevents.com

March 27 East Leake Triathlon Loughborough

The friendly atmosphere makes East Leake Triathlon a superb event for the first timer (each event has over 150 first timers), whilst the fast flat course and distance makes for a excellent start to the season. Timing chips will be used, enabling you to view your time crossing the

finish line and provide full accurate results/ splits on the day. www.entrycentral.com/festival/657

April 10 Desford Sprint Triathlon Bosworth Academy

An early season event at this popular venue, a great way to start your season and see how that winter training has improved your times. The event begins with a 400m pool-based swim in the Bosworth Community College pool, before heading out on a 1 lap 18km bike course. You then finish with a spectator-friendly 5km run to the finish line within the college grounds. www.racetime-events.co.uk

May 2 Leicester Sprint Triathlon Leicester Grammar School

The fourth year of this great event based at the

stunning location of Leicester Grammar School in Great Glen, it begins with a 400m swim in the state of the art pool, before heading out on a 1 lap 20km bike course. You then finish with a 5km run through the local area to the finish line. www.racetime-events.co.uk

June 18 Dambuster Triathlon Rutland Water

First established in 2002 the Dambuster Triathlon is a well recognised feature of the triathlon calendar in the UK. The swim which takes place in the Rutland Water Lake is a straight one lap 1500m with no real surprises. A well tried and tested course which starts in front of the Harbour Bar and is a tremendous spectacle for competitors and spectators alike.

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Feature /// Challenge

August 16 Castle Classic Sprint & Super Sprint Triathlon De Montfort University Leisure Centre

The DMU campus will play host to the annual Castle Classic cycle race. Returning for the third year, the 3.8km circuit runs through the campus with the start/finish line at The Newarke, opposite Trinity House. The race includes this year’s final round of the British Cycling Elite Road Series, which will attract the best riders and teams in the country to decide the outcome of the series. Last year 3,000 spectators lined the course and it was televised too. www.dmu.ac.uk

September 14 Market Harborough Triathlon Market Harborough Leisure Centre

A pool based triathlon event featuring both a Sprint distance and a Try-a-tri distance, the Harborough Triathlon has created several new categories to help encourage many of the entrants that are often overlooked in traditional triathlon events. So as well as the usual rewards for outstanding achievement, there will be some extra ones: New Mum to Super Mum, Super Vets, Fit Couple and Fit Family! www.raceharborough.co.uk/triathlon

September 10 Vitruvian Triathlon Rutland Water

Established in 2003, the Vitruvian started from humble beginnings and less than 250 starters in its first year. Since then the Vitruvian has grown into one of the most respected and iconic races on the UK calendar. With a two-lap 1,900m swim in front of highly enthusiastic crowds, the race starts as it means to go on and the double lap bike course, covering 85km in total, is not for the faint hearted. With the 21km run to finish it off the Vitruvian is a true test of endurance. www.pacesetterevents.com

The bike – a slightly long 42km around the spectacular Rutland scenery – is a good testing course and well suited to strong bikers. Best described as undulating it’s sure to sort out the standings. The Rutland Ripple is not the only test of endurance on the course which offers little in the way of flat, but does offer good road surfaces and is a well established and clearly signposted route. www.pacesetterevents.com

July 31 Flashman Sprint Triathlon Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College

The Flashman Sprint Triathlon returns in 2016 at Welbeck Defence College in the heart of the Charnwood forest. After your 400m pool swim you will depart on the hilly bike leg which will see you tackling

some of Leicestershire’s signature climbs. During the bike leg there is a King of the Mountain stage, before returning to Welbeck Defence College to complete a 5km run which predominantly is on a bridal path. www.leicestertriathlonclub.co.uk

August 7 Rainbows Hospice Desford Sprint Triathlon Bosworth Academy

The event is open to anybody, whether you are a novice or a seasoned triathlete. Why not enter as a relay team and compete with your friends, family or colleagues? It begins with a 400m pool based swim in the Bosworth Community College pool, before heading out on a one lap 18km bike course. You then finish with a spectator-friendly 5km run to the finish line within the college grounds. www.racetime-events.co.uk

September 24 Equinox 24 Belvoir Castle

The Equinox24 is a 24 hour mixed terrain race around a 10k loop against the clock. The event is open to all abilities: whether entering to run solo or in a team of 2-8, whether you aim to win or just to take part, this race will be exhilarating, testing and rewarding with a great atmosphere. The 10k route will take you around the picturesque Belvoir Castle Estate. www.equinox24.co.uk

November 6 Duathlon Rockingham Rockingham Circuit

Rockingham Circuit offers a venue with a closed circuit track that has a fast course to test your early season sprint distance times. Nestled in the heart of Northamptonshire, this jewel of a venue is relatively flat, so good for setting a PB. www.rockingham.co.uk/portfolio/duathlonrockingham

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Feature /// Challenge

HALF AND FULL MARATHONS Feb 27 Belvoir Challenge 26 Melton Mowbray

The Belvoir Challenge first took place in 1990, with the aim of raising money for Harby Primary School. The race is organised by the Vale Striders running club and the Friends of Harby School. It takes place every year regardless of weather conditions. www.belvoirchallenge.co.uk

Mar 6 Cambridge Boundary Run Cambridge

The Cambridge Boundary Run is organised by Cambridge University Hare & Hounds, The University Cross-Country Running Club. The race stems from when three men and a dog ran around the boundary of the borough of Cambridge non-stop. Inspired by this, twentyfive years later, James Hasler and Derek Shorrocks decided to organise a similar event when about fifteen runners ran around the boundary in February 1949. Although originally

an irregular event, the Cambridge Boundary Marathon is now an annual event. www.cuhh.org.uk/competition/boundaryrun/

June 11 Market Harborough Carnival Half Marathon Market Harborough

The Market Harborough Carnival of Running Half Marathon raises funds for local charities. There is also a Market Harborough Carnival of Running 10K. The race starts at The Robert Smyth Academy on Burnmill Road and fisnishes at the Symington Recreation Ground on Mill Hill Road. www.raceharborough.co.uk

Oct 23 Leicester Marathon Leicester

The race starts and finishes at Victoria Park. From there, runners follow a loop, heading out into surrounding countryside, then back towards the finish line. www.leicestermarathon.org.uk

PERKINS GREAT EASTERN RUN Entries are now open for one of the biggest running events in the East Midlands – the Perkins Great Eastern Run. It was a record-breaking event in 2015 with almost 7,000 runners taking part across the half marathon, Anna’s Hope 5K Fun Run and wheelchair race. The half marathon winner, Kenyan Philip Koech, ran its fastest time yet of 61 minutes and 40 seconds. This was also the second fastest time in the UK during 2015. Annette Joyce, service director for city services and communications at Peterborough City Council, said: “We had such a great response to last year’s race and, with hundreds of people already pre-registering for the 2016 event, signs already look encouraging for October.” The event has a great reputation among half marathons in the UK, as its fast, flat course gives runners an excellent chance of a personal best. Close to the event, novice runners can get all the running support and training advice they need for the race. Free weekly training sessions take place at the Peterborough Embankment Athletics Track from July and on race day pacers will lead runners around the course. www.perkinsgreateasternrun.co.uk

COUNTRY WALKING’S 1,000 MILES BRITAIN’S BEST-SELLING walking magazine has launched a challenge for people to each walk 1,000 miles in 2016. It’s increasingly well known walking is the best form of exercise – adding years to your life, cutting the risk of diabetes, dramatically reducing the risk of hip fractures, boosting self-esteem and shedding pounds pleasurably and painlessly. But did you know walking an average of just 2.74 miles a day – less than a lunch hour – will not only see you hit an astonishing 1,000 miles this year, it will halve your risk of becoming obese, cut the risk of suffering depression or stroke by over a third, trigger your body to slow its ageing and repair its DNA, and turn your body into a fatburning machine even when you’re sitting at your desk? Now thousands are harnessing walking’s extraordinary powers as a panacea by pledging to hit the magical grand in 2016 – encouraged by

a vibrant social media support network, and routes, advice and recognition from Britain’s biggest walking magazine, Country Walking. Editor Guy Proctor said: “#walk1000miles shouldn’t be thought of as a tough, no-pain-nogain challenge. It works out at an average of 2.74 miles a day, and is eminently fit-in-able, involve-the-kids-in-able and pursue-in-slackmoments-of-your-day-able. Part of the joy we’ve heard reported again and again in the Facebook group for people doing the challenge lies in discovering all the walking there is local to you and how enjoyable it is to do! “Most of my miles will be earned in Stamford, Rutland, Leicestershire and Northants, and I constantly make new discoveries that remind me walking isn’t about travelling large distances to ‘resort’ locations – its pleasures and benefits are all around us. And the more you do it, the better everything gets!”

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Feature /// Challenge 1







WALKING April 9 The Twilight Walk King Power Stadium, Leicester

Dig out your ball gown, dust off your tiara for a girl’s night out in Leicester! Join ladies of all ages and fitness levels on a 10km sponsored walk in aid of charity LOROS, starting and finishing at King Power Stadium. The route will take you around Leicester City Centre, passing by some of Leicester’s most iconic landmarks such as the infamous Leicester Cathedral and the spectacular Curve Theatre. You will be welcomed at the Phoenix Square (the half-way point) by light refreshments and loads of entertainment along the way. www.loros.co.uk

May 8 Paws 4 a Cause Leicester’s City Park

Get yourself to the Oval in Abbey Park for a lovely 4K walk around Leicester’s City park, taking in the views of the River Soar and 12th century ruins of Leicester Abbey. Organiser Laura Fitzsawyer, fund-raising co-ordinator at LOROS, said: “Paws for a Cause was great fun last year and we hope this year’s event will be even more so. “Taking part is easy and entry is free – you can register and claim your free fundraising pack by clicking the link above. All we ask is that you raise some funds for LOROS by asking your friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you and your dog.”

KITBAG CHALLENGE You can’t take on the hardest obstacles and challenging conditions without the right kit. Here’s our pick... 1. 2016 Genesis Croix De Fer 20 Steel Adventure Road Bike - Olive Green

4. Salomon Women’s Wings Flyte GTX Shoe

This bike will take you almost anywhere thanks to its excellent blend of Tiagra components, TRP Hy/Rd-C Brakes and Reynolds 725 steel frame. Price £1,199.99 From www.rutlandcycling.com

The lightest weight option in the Wings line, Flyte is a mountain trail running shoe. Price £100 From www.cotswoldoutdoor.com

2. Dare2b Men’s Fired Up Windshell A super lightweight fabric jacket with a showerproof finish, designed for rainy weekend training or runs. Price £30 From www.cotswoldoutdoor.com

3. Cloudflyer running shoes The all-new Cloudflyer brings extra cushioning and stability to your run. Its patented CloudTec system is engineered with Zero-Gravity foam so the shoes weigh in at less than 300 grams. So they’re light, yet incredibly stable and cushioned. Price £130 From www.on-running.com

5. La Sportiva Men’s Bushido Shoe Neutral, lightweight, sticky and aggressive, the Bushido is made for technical terrain. Price £100 From www.cotswoldoutdoor.com

6. EzyDog Road Runner Lead Use as a standard dog lead or unclip the handle to wear around your waist/shoulder or use as a temporary tether. Price £34.99 From www.innerwolf.co.uk

7. 2XU Compression tights A versatile and essential piece for any activity or post-exercise recovery. Body firming and ideal for both high and low impact training. Price £75 From Leicester Running Shop

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Feature /// Sport funding

DOING YOUR BIDDING There are many grants available for clubs and organisations from the Government and local bodies, and local firms too. But how do you make a successful bid for them? THERE ARE A SURPRISINGLY high number of grants available but often clubs and organisations do not now how to get hold of them, or how to apply to get the best results. Often, the more you apply for the better you understand the process and how to present to distributing bodies and committees, because unlocking funds successfully and on a regular basis takes a lot of time and experience. It is best if one person takes charge of the whole project, as long as they have the full support of the rest of the organisation, because having too many people involved, however well-meaning, can often lead to confusion, replication of duties, or key elements of the bid being missed. Sometimes there are also presentations to do, so there needs to be somebody happy to stand in front of a group of people and ‘sell’ your bid. Rich Twigg of 4Grants, who work with many organisations and clubs to apply for grants, understands the intricacies of various systems and offers some key tips to writing a comprehensive funding bid... • Clearly demonstrate you meet all of the criteria. • Clearly detail the outcomes of your project. • Demonstrate that the project is additional to a statutory service. • Ensure you thoroughly evidence the need for the project. • Ensure your business plan is thorough and covers all aspects of the project, demonstrating that it’s a well planned and managed project. • In current times, even if you meet the criteria there will be too many bids for the amount of money that a funder can distribute, if a funder has priorities make sure you detail how you meet these in your bid. • Demonstrate your belief and enthusiasm for the project. • Make sure that the group writes the bid so they have ownership of it.

• Have the application form signed by the correct people. • Ensure that those group members that you put down as contact people are fully knowledgable about the bid. • Ensure the application is sent before the deadline. • Include all the documents that are required. • Apply for the amount of funding as detailed in the bid. • Make sure your accounts are not filed late and are up to date. • Make sure that you fully complete the form; if the funder asks for the finance information to be written in the bid, don’t ask them to see your attached budget sheet. • Clearly demonstrate how the money will be spent. • Spend time producing an accurate budget sheet that clearly details all financial aspect of the bid. • If your projects overall cost is more than the amount being applied for, detail where this money is coming from. • Make sure you are not applying for anything retrospectively.


4Grants works on a no-win, no-fee basis, and has experience of numerous funding sources available to community groups, schools, councils and charities. 4Grants reckons it can simplify the process and increase an organisation’s chance of success. Recently, 4Grants secured funding for Burghley Park Cricket Club, and club chairman David Billings said: “4Grants charge a percentage of any successful grants which is perfect for us; we pay the commission from monies we raised through our own fund-raising. It’s a no-win no-fee approach so it’s in their interest to get the grant for you and everyone wins. 4Grants come up with grants that no-one has ever heard of!! The club is now in a great position moving forwards.” For further information visit www.4grants.co.uk, Twitter:4Grants, Facebook: 4Grants For available funding streams in your area head to www.theactivemag. com/clubmaintenance Next month: we look at ways to spend the monies raised.

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STARTS 30/01/16

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Over the course of three months we’re outlining a fitness plan that’s designed to help make 2016 your fittest and healthiest year yet. The plan is designed to help you lose body fat, target typical problem areas, get in shape, improve posture and strengthen weak muscles. In the January issue of Active we gave you your phase 1 ‘setting the foundations’ plan. This month we’ll show you the phase 2 ‘define yourself’ plan. Next month it’ll be all about fine-tuning those results, with the phase 3 “shape and sculpt” plan. PHASE 2 PLAN – DEFINE YOURSELF The phase 1 plan was all about building your essential fitness foundations, developing a base level of fitness, strength and body conditioning that can be taken to the next level in this month’s plan. This month the exercises get a little more complex and the workouts get more challenging. The time

you’ll end up spending in the gym will be exactly the same, but this month you’ll burn even more calories, develop even more strength and body shape, and be pushed a little harder. However, if you didn’t have a chance to complete phase 1 then all is not lost – you can jump straight in to this month’s plan providing you start off a little slower. Spend the first week developing your technique in the exercises below, and when you’re confident enough then push yourself a little harder, then do so. This programme is also suitable for intermediate and advanced gym-users, so feel free to jump straight in to the plan at this stage if you feel it’s right for you. HOW TO DO THESE WORKOUTS Like in phase 1, you’ll have two separate workouts to do; a resistance and strengthbased workout, and a cardiovascular and

conditioning workout. Each week you’ll ideally complete both workouts twice, alternating between the two, making a total of four workouts per week. Workout 1 includes three ‘supersets’ of exercises – exercise A is performed back-to-back with exercise B with minimal rest in between. These supersets are designed to target the whole body in a very efficient way, meaning more calories burned, more muscle sculpted and a bigger boost in your metabolism. Workouts are shorter than you may have been used to previously, but that’s because they get straight to the point, meaning fast and highly effective training sessions. Workout 2 gives you an option of exercises to use. We’ve given you the option of three, where you’ll pick only one to do that day. If you’re feeling like a bit of a gruelling session however, then you’re also more than welcome to do the optional

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1A 1A

1B 1B







exercise at the end of the session, or add more sets on to your main session. These exercises are high-intensity, short duration, burners, and they’re designed to only take around 30 minutes from stepping foot in the gym to leaving. Gone are the days of having to spend hours in the gym to see results; these workouts give you the results you want in half the time of traditional workouts. Just make sure you’re pushing yourself a little harder every workout to ensure your body is progressing. Stick to the plan below until the end of this month, then in March you’ll be ready and raring to step it up another level with some metabolic resistance training (MRT) workouts, in phase 3. WORKOUT 1 Warm-up – 10 minutes of foam rolling and dynamic stretching exercise



1a kettlebell swing – 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions, move straight to 1b 1b plank row – 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions alternating, rest 1 minute, back to 1a 2a split squat – 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions each side, move straight to 2b 2b dumbbell rotational press – 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions each side, rest 1 minute, back to 2a 3a overhead walking lunge – 3 sets of 12-20 repetitions alternating, move straight to 3b 3b ball knee tuck – 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions, rest 1 minute, back to 3a

seconds, rest 30-45 seconds, repeat again. Repeat 5-7 times. Heart rate should be above 85% maximum. Option 3: Rowing machine. Resistance level 4-7. 500 metres as fast as possible. Rest 2 minutes. Repeat 3-5 times. Heart rate should be above 85-90% maximum. Optional: Follow each high intensity workout with 15-20 minutes of brisk walking on a high incline treadmill. Intensity should be low, maintaining a heart rate of 70-80% of its maximum (3-5 out of 10 in level of perceived exertion).

WORKOUT 2 Warm-up – 10 minutes of foam rolling and dynamic stretching exercise Option 1: Plate push 30 metres as fast as possible, rest 30-45 seconds, repeat again. Repeat 5-7 times. Heart rate should be above 85% maximum. Option 2: Battling ropes (Any variation) 30

Gareth Sapstead MSc CSCS Gareth is one of the leading personal trainers in the UK, a fitness writer, book author, healthy recipe conjurer, and award-winning blogger at thefitnessmaverick.com. For personal training enquires contact Gareth via his website at www.thefitnessmaverick.com/contact or telephone 07825 640837.

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ADDRESSING YOUR WEAK POINTS Function Jigsaw’s Max Hartman on building corrective exercise into performance AS ATHLETES, sports men and women, weekend warriors, or seasoned pros, we all have physical deficiencies that must be addressed to push performance forward and ensure we can achieve our best possible results in our chosen pursuits. One of the most common training strategies for athletes is well thought-out strength and fitness training, ensuring your body is adequately conditioned to perform the tasks you are asking of it. While one major facet of training is strength work, good quality movement, stability, optimal biomechanics, and mobility are all also essential qualities that must be developed. Exercises that look to address these factors are often referred to as corrective exercises, prehab, injury reduction, or any other buzz term that often gets thrown around. Whatever phrase is attached to this

form of training, it is essential that the outcome of improved performance is kept at the forefront of exercise selection. Finding the right balance of high intensity fitness and strength work, and the somewhat lower intensity corrective exercises, is essential. Not enough corrective work leads to limits on performance and increased chance of injury, and too much of it and you will not be pushing yourself enough to really get fitter, faster, or stronger. So what should you be doing? How do you know what applies to you? And where do you start? Throughout this article, we will discuss a number of corrective exercises, their progressions, why they apply to certain movements, and how to use them to successfully achieve the desired goal: improvements in your ability to partake in your chosen discipline, and the ability to

continue to push yourself forwards. For this article, we will look at a series of exercises aimed at developing the sled push. This has become an increasingly popular exercise recently as ‘strength and conditioning’ type facilities have become more and more common, and gym goers strive for more challenging exercises. While the sled push is an excellent exercise for developing lower body strength and power, you must have good technique to get biggest adaptation from your training. While technique is skill based, the fundamental quality underpinning technique is often ensuring adequate strength in the right areas of the body. From (image 1), we can see a very good example of how certain physical qualities can contribute to poor technique. The aim of a sled push is to

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In this instance, as is the case with many keen gym goers, the key lies with both strength and control through the anterior core musculature, or the ‘abs’. This is not necessarily referring to the typical ‘6 pack’ muscles you see in the mirror, but the deeper musculature of the transverse abdominals that work to stabilise the spine and prevent the excessive extension seen in the picture above. Whilst these muscles have to be strong to promote good function, its also essential to build control through the core as a whole so that when pushing a sled you actually realise and feel when you are in the right position, and when you aren’t. You can be the strongest person in the world, but with no awareness of what the right position feels or looks like, it becomes very hard to get into that position and then keep it, especially when under heavy loads! This is where corrective exercise comes in, you must start with low intensity, isolated movements, and progress load and intensity until the desired effect carries over into your training. The following series of drills are exercises that we commonly employ at the clinic to educate clients in situations like this where anterior core control is the main deficit.

produce high force at the legs and hips, and use that to drive the sled forward. The torso and upper limb act as the conduit to transfer the force from the legs to the sled: all quite simple in principle. Using the example above, you can see that although the upper back, head, and arms are in a good position, because of a very arched lower back the direction of the force is actually going DOWN toward the floor. This may not be an issue when working with lower weights, but high compressive load going through the lower back in a curved position such as this comes with a very high risk of injury. So, corrective exercises: clearly in this situation there is scope to involve some sort of ‘prehab’ routine to address this problem and start to change the movement pattern. But where to start? The main point of corrective exercises is that for them to contribute effectively to a chosen movement, they have to actually resemble that movement in some way, whether that is the position the joints are in, the speed at which it is performed, or the type of work a muscle is doing.

EARLY STAGE: ISOLATED ANTERIOR CORE CONTROL (image 2) This exercise teaches the basic contraction of the anterior core, or transverse abdominals, in isolation, and how to maintain this contraction to stabilise the spine whilst moving the hip joints. As mentioned previously, because our goal is to improve performance in the sled push, and a successful sled push requires a stable spine, our corrective exercises must target this sort of movement. Whilst real ‘core’ strength training should target the whole of the trunk musculature together, for the purpose of corrective exercise like this, isolated contractions in this situation can be very helpful. The aim is to keep the lower back flattened against the floor/ couch, and maintain this position whilst alternately lowering each leg slowly, returning to the start position, and repeating. Placing a small ball under the lower back gives good feedback with each rep: if your back raises off the ball and you can’t feel it, the correct stability isn’t being trained. If you keep pressure on the ball, great, you’re doing it right! PROGRESSION: EARLY QUADRUPED DRILLS (Image 3) The all fours, or quadruped position, is a great training tool for educating the musculature of the core, spine, and shoulders, and offers ample opportunity

to develop good quality movement and stability. For athletes such as runners or footballers however, this position has little benefit, as it is very rarely experienced during performance. However for athletes in combat sports such as judo, rugby, wrestling, or martial arts, the quadruped position is very useful indeed. Again, due to the similarities with the sled push, it is a good choice for our case study. The goal of quadruped exercises is again to maintain a stable pelvis and spine whilst moving the hips through range. Below is a basic quadruped exercise that demonstrates this type of movement with a low level of difficulty (image 3). Balancing a foam roller along the spine ensures the movement is performed correctly, as any movement of the roller shows that the pelvis is moving and that stability is not being trained. Whilst these exercises have been chosen for their application to a sled push, the benefits of core control training and spinal stability can be applied to any number of sporting movements. Developing this quality can help protect the lower back, improve your ability to strengthen the core, hips, and legs, improving your overall quality of training. See next month’s Active for further progressions building into a full sled push, and further discussion on where to apply corrective exercise to your training programme. Many thanks to NPC performance Loughborough for use of their excellent facility.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3 @FunctionJigsaw / @maxhartman4 info@functionjigsaw.co.uk www.functionjigsaw.co.uk

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A HEALTHY HEART FULL OF LOVE, NOT FAT As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, let’s give our hearts a bit of loving too, says nutritional adviser Helen Cole

One of the biggest influences on heart health is the amount and type of fat consumed. Here’s how to work out good and bad fat, and how much to have... FAT AS A FRIEND, NOT FOE A small amount of fat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids such as omega 3 – ‘essential’ because the body can’t make them itself. Fat helps the body absorb vitamins A, D and E. These vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be absorbed with the help of fats. THE FAT GUIDE The main types of fat found in food are saturated and unsaturated. Most fats and oils contain both saturated and unsaturated fats in different proportions. Government guidelines recommend that the average level of fat in people’s diet should be about a third, or approximately 33%, and no higher than 35% of their total energy intake, with saturated fats making up no more than 11% and trans fats no more than 2%. SATURATED FATS These are linked to increasing levels of bad cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease. Saturated fat is found in meat and dairy products, such as whole milk, butter and cheese, as well as in coconut and palm oils. POLYUNSATURATED FATS Tend to be liquid at room temperature and may help to lower total and LDL cholesterol (but may also lower HDL or good cholesterol). They can be divided into two groups – omega 3 and omega 6. Both are important for heart health but omega 3s also help to reduce inflammation and are

important for cognitive function. Polyunsaturates are found in certain plant oils, such as sunflower and soybean. OMEGA 3 Occurs in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, whitebait and herrings), wheat germ, nuts, linseed and rapeseed oil and soya beans. OMEGA 6 Occurs in nuts, sunflower seeds and oil, and wheat germ. MONO-UNSATURATED FATS They are the healthiest type of fat as they help to lower total and LDL cholesterol but, unlike polyunsaturates, they also maintain levels of HDL or good cholesterol, making them a great choice for a healthy heart. Monounsaturated fats occur in oils such as olive, rapeseed and sesame (which are good for cooking), avocados and some nuts and seeds such as almonds, brazil nuts and peanuts. TRANS FATS These are the unhealthiest fats and occur naturally in small amounts in meat and dairy products but are also made when unsaturated fats are altered during processing to increase their shelf life. The resulting processed fats (called hydrogenated vegetable oils or HVOs) are used in a variety of products, such as cakes, biscuits, pastry and fried foods. If you want to cut your risk of heart disease, it’s best to reduce your overall fat intake and swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats. There is good evidence that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol. UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS For a product to be labelled lower fat,

reduced fat, lite or light, it has to contain at least 30% less fat than a similar product. But if the type of food in question is high in fat in the first place, the lower-fat version may also still be high in fat (17.5g or more of fat per 100g). For example, a lower-fat mayonnaise is 30% lower in fat than the standard version, but is still high in fat. These foods also aren’t necessarily low in calories. Sometimes the fat is replaced with sugar and may end up with a similar energy content. To be sure of the fat content and the energy content, remember to check the nutrition label on the packet. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT FAT Cutting down on saturated fats is only one aspect of reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Other risk factors include eating too much salt and sugar, being overweight, smoking and a lack of physical activity. When it comes to heart health, you are better off focusing on your overall diet than on individual nutrients such as fat or sugar. A balanced and nutritious diet is considered one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Introduce plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oats, nuts and seeds, pulses, soya foods and vegetable oils to your diet every day for optimum health.

Cole Nutrition offers a full dietary analysis to identify the requirements for each individual. Together, we look at current eating and lifestyle patterns or habits and identify possible changes in realistic and achievable terms. Whatever your lifestyle, Cole Nutrition will endeavour to find the perfect balance for a happy, healthy you. If you would like to book a consultation or find out more about what we offer, please contact Helen Cole on 07966 050 193, email colenutritionh@gmail.com or visit our website at www.colenutrition.co.uk.

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THE FINISHING TOUCHES You’ve done all the hard work in the gym, playing sports and getting fit, so now is the time to reap the benefits and add the finishing touches… Edited by Mary Bremner

WINTER SKIN At this time of year our skin can suffer because of the changes in temperatures from cold winds outside to stuffy, warm centrally heated rooms inside. This can cause unwanted dryness and the skin can be left dull looking. So make sure you use a good moisturiser on your body every time you get out of the shower and always clease, tone and moisturise your face religiously twice a day – it’s worth it. HOW TO GET THE NO MAKE UP LOOK Make up this year is all about all or nothing, and it can be both in the same day. ‘Barely there’ is a trend that’s gaining in popularity and is great for the active girl as it brings your features to the fore, no overdrawn eyebrows and prominent lip lines. ‘It’s all about the face,’ is what many beauty and make up artists are saying this season. But, as with most make up, a naked face is rarely that. This season the make up looks like skincare – plump, hydrated and cared for complexions. In other words a bright, healthy, subtle look. Gym skin with an athletic, not cosmetic look to it. False

tans are out but facials are definitely in. No deep bronzes, unless you have a natural tan, peaches and beiges are the go to shades. Eyebrows are full and skin is lit up and highlighted rather than heavily contoured. Looking like you take care of your face as well as your body is the ongoing trend at the moment. But that doesn’t mean ditch the make up altogether, far from it. Grab a good foundation that is lightweight and blurs out blotchiness whilst giving you a glow. There’s a lot around at the moment. If you need hydration and line hiding try Givenchy’s Teint Couture Balm (£29) or for a more matte yet natural finish Nars Velvet Mat Skin Tints will be with us very shortly. Blusher should look believable – a healthy flush rather than sharp bone structure. Buff it into the apples of your cheeks. Lips should look full of life and hydrated rather than blotted out with heavy colour. A top quality balm that shows off your natural colouring is to be recommended. Eyebrows should be well groomed and natural looking – but definitely not drawn

on. Use pencils, thickeners and powders to get the effect subtly. Then it’s just a flick of mascara and you’re ready to go. A healthy, glowing skin that goes perfectly with your fit, strong body.

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And finally….. The latest fashions to show off

The Kendall bralette £30 www.elcyclothing.com

NEAL’S YARD LUXURY ORGANIC FACIAL Neal’s Yard is renowned for its organic beauty products and prides itself on its Fairtrade policies. Enter their shops and you are met with fabulous aromas and friendly staff. What is not so well known is that they also offer many beauty treatments and massages in treatment rooms located in their shops. We were treated to a luxury organic facial (cost £50) at their Stamford branch. Head upstairs within the shop and you are met by therapist Karen McGilvray, who takes you into her candle lit treatment room. A quick chat about what sort of products you use and what extra massage you would like, hands or feet, whilst the mask is in place, and then you get to lie on her heated treatment couch – a luxury in itself. This facial is all about relaxation, rejuvenation and indulgence and it really does fit the bill. Karen started by deep

cleansing and exfoliating using a warm muslin cloth and then, using Eastern massage movements combined with warm oils, stimulated and oxygenated the skin whilst releasing tension in the face, neck and shoulders. She then massages the shoulders, arms and hands whilst you relax with a face mask. We also benefitted from a foot massage which was fabulous. Be warned, it’s quite hard to stay awake it’s so relaxing. Afterwards, whilst having a refreshing cup of herbal tea, Karen discussed the skincare products she had used, how to apply them yourself and offered a 15% discount on any products you bought that day – not to be sniffed at. My skin felt soft and smooth afterwards and I certainly felt relaxed, rather too much so! www.nealsyardremedies.com 01780 752505.

GEL NAILS There’s nothing worse than spending ages painting your nails and then damaging them as they haven’t dried properly. Or, if you get past that stage, chipping them the next day. Gel nail polish is the solution. The application takes less than half an hour and lasts for two weeks or more without chipping and stays just as shiny as when it was first applied. It’s ideal for anyone with

Kaba tote bag £65 www.atticofstamford.co.uk

J Brand mid-rise super skinny jeans £194 www.cavells.co.uk

a busy active life. The secret lies in the application, numerous layers that are dried off using ultra violet light and are rock hard immediately. What’s more the gel does no harm to your nails and actually protects them. You do have to return to the beautician to have them removed but mine lasted nearly three weeks so I wasn’t complaining – and was very tempted to have them redone. Cost: About £20 plus £5 for the removal.

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DON’T BE A HOLIDAY FIT FLOP! Whether defining your abs in Ibiza or strengthening your arms in Thailand, Health and Fitness Travel, the leading experts in tailor-made healthy holidays worldwide, recommend their top fitness holidays to target your body goals

BEST FOR LEGS: TERRE BLANCHE FUSION FITNESS, FRANCE Achieve strong and toned legs on this active fitness holiday, set amidst a scenic provincial estate in the south of France. Explore your stunning surroundings whilst fitting in a great cardiovascular workout on a resort run, ideal for strengthening your lower body. Continue your mission for leaner legs with a 1-on-1 aqua gym, legs press workout, or legs, bums & tums session with a personal trainer, before toning with yoga and Pilates. End your day with a visit to the luxury spa to pamper your legs with an anti-cellulite or slimming and firming massage. Seven nights at Terre Blanche from £1,560pp or £2,495 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a fitness programme, return flights and transfers. BEST FOR ABS: 38 DEGREES NORTH IBIZA SUP AND SOUL RETREAT, IBIZA Busting out endless sit-ups and crunches is no-one’s idea of fun. For a firmer stomach and strengthened core, escape to Ibiza’s stunning coastline, where you’ll discover the endless benefits of stand-up paddle boarding a.k.a SUP. Requiring balance and a strong core, SUP is a low impact, low stress way to build your cardio fitness and rediscover your abs. Paddle the azure waters at sunset with a guided SUP surfari and complement your daily private SUP sessions with Ashtanga and Hatha yoga, for enhanced relaxation and full body toning. Six nights at 38 Degrees North from £1,630pp or £1,730 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a SUP programme and return flights. BEST FOR BODY TONING: ABSOLUTE SANCTUARY PILATES REFORMER BOOTCAMP, THAILAND Treat your body to a toning pilates bootcamp on the beautiful island of Koh Samui in Thailand; the perfect full body workout to increase muscle tone, flexibility and posture. Under the

guidance of instructors, make the most of group classes on state of the art reformer machines, before experiencing the benefits of a tailored private session, before indulging with luxury spa therapies, such as Thai stretch, to release tension and lengthen tight muscles. Seven nights at Absolute Sanctuary from £2,090pp or £2,340 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a Pilates programme, return flights and transfers.

BEST FOR CARDIO BUTT BUSTING: WILDFITNESS ZANZIBAR Boost your fitness on a butt-busting bootcamp in the beautiful surroundings of Zanzibar’s south east coastline. Following an initial assessment with professional fitness trainers, delve into a programme of daily training sessions with a strong emphasis on nature. Boost your fitness with activities from beach fitness training, to wild running, boxing and kettlebell sessions, before unwinding at the Hush Hut with a deep tissue massage. Fuel your body during your stay with natural cuisine and learn how to live a healthier lifestyle with nutrition workshops. Seven nights at Wildfitness Zanzibar from £3,085pp or £3,660 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a fitness programme, return flights and transfers. BEST FOR OVERALL FITNESS: THE BODYHOLIDAY FUSION FITNESS, ST LUCIA Return home feeling fit and healthy all

over following a fun-filled fitness escape on the tropical shores of St Lucia. Choosing from a diverse range of 1-on-1 fitness sessions, sports and daily spa treatments, tailor make your ideal fitness break and reach your body goals with your favourite activities. Kick start your day with yoga or morning meditation, before reaping the rewards of strength and cardio workouts, from TRX suspension training to a private bike ride, tennis or water sports such as ocean kayaking. Seven nights at The BodyHoliday from £2,520pp for double or single occupancy. Price is all-inclusive, with a fitness programme, return flights and transfers. BEST FOR ARMS: THANYAPURA FUSION FITNESS, THAILAND Banish bingo wings and pump up the guns with a fitness focused escape set in the culturally rich and unbridled beauty of southern Thailand. Boasting state-ofthe-art facilities that’ll tone limbs in no time, strengthen your arms and enhance your fitness with complementary group classes in Muay Thai boxing, kettlebell and circuit training. Keep active and release stress on the tennis court for an intense arm workout that also works the entire body. Stretch and tone with yoga, Pilates and a dip in the Olympic size pool. Seven nights at Thanyapura from £1,485pp or £1,685 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a fitness programme, return flights and transfers.

For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891.

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Reasons to choose Banks & Banks Local Business

Extensive product range

Personal service

Unbeatable prices

Direct supply to your builder now available 01780 250062 info@banksandbankskitchens.co.uk www.banksandbankskitchens.co.uk

AVATAR DINING Real Indian & Nepalese Cuisine - Served with Style & Panache

Market Harborough Tel: 01858 462 752 harborough@avatardining.com

AVATAR restaurant presents refined Indian & Nepalese food of today.

Book for Valentine’s Day - £22.95 for a three course meal including a glass of fizz 113 St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough , LE16 7DT www.avatardining.com Also large car park at rear

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Feature /// Sportsman's Dinner

Avatar Dining, Market Harborough Kate and Graham discover the delights of Nepalese cooking in rural Leicestershire Graham Thanks for inviting me along tonight Kate. I’ve never tried Nepalese cooking so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on the menu. Kate It’s an extensive list with both traditional Indian and Nepalese dishes and then some new recipes with a bit of a twist. Our host Suresh has promised to make some recommendations so we don’t only go for what we know. Apparently most people don’t just come in for a basic curry: they visit from all over Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Often the vegetarian dishes are the most popular. I’m going to try the monk fish tikka (£6.95). I’ve recently discovered fish curries and I love them. Graham I’m going to plump for the prawn puri which is like a wrap (£4.25). And Suresh has recommended the Goan style beef (£5.95) soaked in a yoghurt and rum marinade and spiced with ginger and chillies. It has a delicious texture and the mayonnaise is stunning. It’s flavoured with lemon and Dijon mustard. My favourite so far. Kate I love the monk fish and I’m glad I tasted it last as it’s been the mildest dish so far. I love spicy food but don’t want it to be overwhelming. Graham I don’t like food that blows my head off either so I’m going for the chicken Modu Murgh,

which is cooked in honey and coconut with crispy parsnips. It’s an alternative to a korma so should be sweet and mild. I’m presuming we’ll be sharing anyway? Kate Of course. I must try a Nepalese recipe so I’ve chosen the Gurkhali chicken, cooked in Nepalese herbs, yoghurt and green chillies. Apparently it’s easy to buy the spices in local supermarkets and the reason why these dishes aren’t too heavy is because the Nepalese don’t cook with a lot of oil or ghee. That’s got to be better for our cholesterol. Then again, it seems like Suresh is trying to kill us off as he’s insisting we have two more mains, a vegetable side dish, some paratha and boiled rice. Graham At least paratha is lighter than naan bread – it doesn’t puff up as much, and the asparagus, mangetout and potato dish seems light because it’s so crisp and crunchy. But the winner has to be the Gurkhali lamb. (£9.95). It looks the plainest dish but it’s delicious. It’s rich, tender and the amount of heat is just right. Kate I agree, it’s the stand-out recipe for me too. The stuffed chicken breast with spinach in a korma sauce is tasty (£11.95), as is the Tandoori seared rack of lamb in a pepper and mint sauce served with masala mashed potato (£14.95).

They’re both beautifully cooked and presented and it feels a bit like eating a roast with two veg but with an Indian twist. Graham The chefs have worked all over the world so they bring in different tastes and textures. The staff are also community minded. There’s a fund-raiser coming up in February to raise funds for children in Nepal. I think we should come back for round two. Kate That’s if I manage to walk out of here tonight! I didn’t think I’d be able to eat another mouthful but when Suresh suggested a dessert I couldn’t resist the Kulfi ice cream. It’s made from evaporated milk with cardamom and saffron and topped with pistachios and almonds. I think it even knocks the Gurkhali chicken off the top spot. Graham I like making ice cream so I’ll make you some, although it takes real skill to get such a light yet creamy consistency as this. It might take me a few attempts to get it right but I don’t suppose you’ll mind that, will you?

Avatar Dining 113 St Mary’s Road, Mkt Harborough, LE16 7DT. 01858 462752. harborough@avatardining.com

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23/01/2016 14:27

Feature /// Great walks

Hallaton to Medbourne

Two beautiful villages book-end this six-mile stretch which also has some excellent pub options, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


Park on Eastgate in Hallaton, 100 yards to the west of the Bewicke Arms and look out for the footpath which starts off in a passageway underneath an old stone house. This charming start to the walk leads downhill and straight out of the village. You will soon cross the stream on a well-constructed steel bridge and then head uphill into a large sheep pasture offering pleasant views back over Hallaton. Keep going until you reach the bridleway which is the Macmillan Way where you turn left and head downhill on the bridleway. This leads

you into two further fields before reaching the very minor Hallaton Road. Turn left here and then right after about 100 yards, continuing on the Macmillan Way towards Slawston Road. Thankfully the track skirts around Slawston Hill which saves the legs from perhaps one climb too many on this lengthy walk. When you reach Slawston Road turn left and stay on this very quiet country lane as it crosses the dismantled railway and for a further kilometre until you reach the road junction on the western edge of Medbourne. Turn left here and then left again shortly afterwards which will bring you to Medbourne Cricket Club. Turn right and walk across the cricket ground to the footpath which crosses the stream and leads up into Medbourne village. This path takes you directly to Medbourne church but you need to turn left before the church (unless you are

stopping at the Nevill Arms) and walk gradually uphill out of Medbourne on the Uppingham road. Once you have crossed another dismantled railway you will find the footpath clearly marked off to the left on a right hand bend in the road. Take this path and after a short downhill stretch you will pass the sign for Leviathan Wood which is part of the Nevill Holt estate and was planted in 2005 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. The wood is obviously in its embryonic stages but this is just one indication of the investment being made by the Nevill Holt estate under the ownership of Carphone Warehouse magnate David Ross. In fact this former school has become one of the area’s most significant country houses. From Leviathan Wood follow the path uphill through a couple of fields, enjoying the increasingly good views. Once you have passed a

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Where to park On Eastgate somewhere between the church and the Bewicke Arms.

Highlights Hallaton and Medbourne are both attractive villages and there are some great views from the high points.

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Distance and time Six miles/Two and a quarter hours.


Easter Monday Every year on kicking match ttle bo there is a idents of res the n betwee dbourne. There Hallaton and Me rules... only are no obvious in England!

Lowlights There are some sheep grazing in a few fields on the way round and the very last field before I got back into Hallaton contained some very inquisitive young cattle. Refreshments The Fox and the Bewicke Arms in Hallaton and the Nevill Arms in Medbourne. Difficulty rating Four paws. This is a long walk with generally good footing, but one or two of the stiles are quite tricky to say the least. The pooch perspective There is plenty of free roaming and you will cross three streams so there are opportunities for a drink and a cooling dip. But there are some fields with livestock.

For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it. ©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2015 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 055/15

significant copse on your right the path heads downhill and you will eventually come to a clearly marked path to the left which drops down to the Blaston Road through some old estate houses. Turn left here and keep on the road till

you reach the T-junction. Here there is a footpath directly ahead which leads over three fields and back into Hallaton. And by the time you get there you will be ready for refreshments in either the Bewicke Arms or the Fox.

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PIC 3 Medbou

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Clockwise, from le

There are a few places for the dog to have a drink; fine views of Hallaton; the start to the walk on Eastgate; Medbourne church

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23/01/2016 12:39

Feature /// School sport

Phoebe sails for GB Phoebe Le Marquand competed in the Cesme International Regatta in Turkey as part of the RYA National Intermediate Optimist squad, where she placed 19th out of 256 competitors. She came first out of her three GB teammates, and was also fifth placed girl overall. Phoebe said “After training for four years in Optimist squads, two years at regional level in the South Zone and now two years at national level, I felt privileged to be invited and do well for Great Britain.” The Optimist is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy made for children up to the age of 15, and is one of the most popular sailing dinghies in the world. Phoebe’s success comes after the British End of Summer Championship at Draycote Water in September, where she was the first placed girl. The Oakham pupil has plenty of upcoming events in 2016: “The next important ones are the Braassemermeer Easter Regatta in Holland, where I will be part of a large GB team, and the Selections. “The Selections are very important to me

because if I do well I will be able to be represent GB in one of their very top summer teams. Only five sailors go to the Worlds and six to the Europeans. It would be awesome if I made it!”

Lily wins her class at Jump Training event Lilly Sturmey has won her class at the opening British Eventing Jump Training competition of 2016. The competition, which was held at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, attracted more than 60 combinations, giving them the opportunity to train and compete before the eventing season begins. Lilly, from Oakham School , was “over the moon” to win the JT90 Jump Training class on her horse, Silvano Dazzling Diamond, especially since it was her first experience of Jump Training. She is now looking ahead to competing in two jumping and style competitions and another Jump Training event before her first event of the season.

Cross-country challenge Spratton Hall is looking forward to the cross-country this term having started off the season in the autumn with some very strong running, with 14 of its runners qualifying for the County Championships and the Senior and Junior Girls teams both winning at Beachborough. There are some excellent races to look forward to this term – Spratton’s own Cross-Country Relays, Bedfordia Championships, South Northants Championships and Swanbourne Chase coming up for the school.

Winter sports adventure for pupils Students from Oakham School travelled to Jasper, Canada to enjoy some fantastic skiing at the Marmot Basin ski resort where they encountered plenty of blue skies, sub-zero temperatures and a great amount of snow! As well as being challenged to improve their skiing and snowboarding skill levels, the students took part in a geocaching session, went on a snowshoe walk and did some stargazing through highpowered telescopes.

OO captains GB under 21 hockey team Old Oakhamian hockey player, Kathryn Lane, has been named captain of the GB U21 squad while they spend a fortnight playing matches in the US. Kathryn is no stranger to the challenge, having captained the England U18 squad while she was still at school. Kathryn led the side to some memorable achievements, including getting bronze medals at the EuroHockey Youth Championships in 2013. She capped off her time at Oakham with a call-up to the England U21 squad, playing alongside fellow OO Caitlin Jeffries. /// F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 6 5 9

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23/01/2016 14:28

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


A month of epic local derbies BY JEREMY BESWICK


ne local fixture many of us had been looking forward to for some while was South Leicester versus Leicester Lions. Not only was it their first ever league clash but also, to boot, 15 years since their last meeting of any sort. I recall writing the following last September having spoken to Lions’ stalwart Mike Howkins after South’s first ever promotion to the National League was confirmed: “Are you looking forward to playing derbies against South Leicester?” For a moment Mike went very quiet, then said “Let’s just say that will be an interesting and competitive fixture. An extremely competitive fixture”. The match itself lived up to the eager anticipation of both sets of fans, being a free running affair and the ultra-spirited match we’d been promised with a nail-biting finish. The first quarter saw the sides exchange penalties and some “fierce and unremitting” play, according to South’s ever-euphemistic chairman Wayne Marsden. It transpired that it

was they who scored the first try as the match moved into its second quarter, Rickie Aley’s cross-field kick rolling invitingly into the goal area and Blane Howe touching down. As befitted a match that was blow-for-blow throughout, Lions hit back immediately. Bravely eschewing the opportunity for an easy three points from a penalty, they elected to scrimmage and Joe Collingham picked up from the base to level matters. A penalty soon restored South’s lead, but they were then caught on the back foot by a kick ahead and Lions’ Luke Veebel scored the try that put them 15-11 up, yet a penalty in response from South from Aley’s trusty boot ensured there was only a wafer thin margin between the sides at half time. South were the first to take the advantage early in the second period with a penalty and subsequently with a push over try from scrum-half Jacob Nash as Lions missed the recently yellow carded Marco Dallavalle. However, as South’s Marsden conceded, Lions “were giving as good as they got” and it

who we are

took a desperate tackle from Gaz Kerr to stop the visitors’ winger from a free run in. By now Lions’ pack had the upper hand and series of infringements near South’s line led to them being awarded a penalty try, duly converted to give a lead of one point, but back came South again with another penalty from Aley and then, with what was arguably the key score of the match, a reprise of their earlier try in the form of a score from a cross-field kick by Aley to Howe to give South what proved to be the final word. That the second half lasted a full 55 minutes due to the many stops for injuries was evidence of the commitment of both sides to put their bodies on the line. Lions’ director of rugby, Ken Whitehead, said “Both sides made the best of the conditions. It was an evenly competed game where both sides had chances, but it was obviously disappointing to lose our first ever derby. We look forward to the rematch later in the season”. So will the supporters of both sides. South went on to record another impressive victory,

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Tigers talk There is genuine surprise and consternation at Welford Road at the news that Eddie Jones has le Tom Youngs out of his first England squad. As first choice hooker for the World Cup, it represents a dramatic fall in the pecking order. Tigers director rugby Richard Cockerill told me: “I was flabbergasted – and he was as well. The telephone calls were coming in to the other lads who have been picked and I joked that he was being le until last because he was going to be made captain!” Fly half Freddie Burns also told me: “I just don’t understand it”. Has Youngs been given the reasons for his exclusion? “He’s been encouraged to improve his ball carrying and tackling,” said Cockers, “which aer his performances lately just proves how subjective decisions can be. But look, he’ll get his chance at some stage. He’s a fantastic fella and you’d want him in your 23 for all sorts of reasons. Of course he’s hurt but Tommy just gets on with it”. Get on with it he did in his first Tigers match aerwards against Treviso with perfect line-out throwing, numerous crunching tackles and a generally barnstorming performance that merited the standing ovation he was given when substituted in the second half. On a happier note, Cockers was pleased with the way Tigers’ season is progressing, with a near record-breaking points tally in Europe at the end of the first phase. He does seem to be enjoying his year and the reduced workload as a result of Aaron Mauger’s arrival. Who picks the team now? “We do,” was Cockers’ canny first answer. “Five of us sit down and discuss it. Ultimately it’s about taking the backs’ point of view with that of the forwards and merging it together. Aaron has a full say but I have the last say, because if we get beat it’s down to me”. Later I sat down with fly half Freddie Burns – a bright character with a good sense of humour. What’s his body telling him at the moment? “All good. I feel sharp – got my legs back now aer the injury”. (He’d broken his 39-7 away at Sedgely Park, but later rather spoilt the narrative by slipping up at home to Chester. Another much awaited local derby saw Melton Mowbray, top of the table and scoring points for fun this season, make the trip to second-placed Market Harborough. It was eventually Melton who prevailed with the help of three tries from the excellent Marcus Badham, although Harborough’s own Jack Johnston, Ed Parker and Ed Sumpter also went over to ensure a reasonably respectable scoreline of 15-25. Harborough are nothing but resilient, however, and bounced back as they always seem to do with a victory at fourth-placed Oadby Wyggestonians by 34-12 and a man of the match performance by debutante Lawrence Plant that bodes well for the future.

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Tom Youngs’ omission from the England squad is causing confusion at Leicester

jaw in the pre-season Kings of the North tournament). What parts of his game was he working on? “I’m always looking to sharpen all aspects, but maybe defensively – nailing tackles. Also game management. For example, if someone gets sin-binned, how to respond. As a 10 you’ll touch the ball 80-90 times in the match, and what you do with it is a subjective judgment, a matter of opinion. If you have in your mind the team comes first you’ll get it right more oen. A fly half has to consider everyone, backs and forwards, always fine tuning your decision making, when to take a risk, when to play safe. There are so many variables – the match position, who you’re playing with, the oppositions’ strengths, even the referee’s style and the weather. You learn every time you play.” At 25 he’s plenty of time to improve and force himself into Eddie Jones’ reckoning, just as Tom Youngs will, if there’s any justice in the world.

They went on to knock Lutterworth out of the County Cup to reach the semi-final the following weekend and then to defeat Olney and Peterborough to keep the pressure up on unbeaten Melton at the top of the league table. Having licked their own wounds after that defeat at South, Leicester Lions followed up with a 33-12 home victory against Otley. Nerves were calmed by three early tries from Devon Constant, Joe Collingham and Luke Veebel – the last of which was one of those joyous occasions where the attacking opposition have misplaced a pass on your own goal line and you then have the pleasure of running the entire length of the pitch to touch down. Although, to their credit Otley fought back gamefully in the second period, the result was never really in doubt thereafter, Lions winning by 33 to 12.

Mike Howkins was magnanimous in victory, saying: “Lions made excellent use of the opportunities open to them, with Otley being much more in the game than the score might indicate.” Next up for them were Luctonians, based near Leominster. Lions were two penalties down at half-time but were awarded a penalty try early in the second half after sustained pressure on their opponent’s goal line and looked to be heading for a second successive win after a penalty from Jon Williams widened the gap but, alas, a try from Luctonians’ Jimmy Norris was enough to snatch a victory by a wafer thin 11-10. However, Lions’ fans will be heartened by their next result, an emphatic 25-0 defeat of Sandal; Adam Shaw, Ollie Taylor and Devon Constant sharing their tries.


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Oadby on the up as Harborough suffer BY JEREMY BESWICK


adby’s travails towards the foot of the Premiership table continue but have been eased by completing the double over fellow strugglers Huntingdon Town. Their 4-0 victory at home was followed by an identical score line and even more impressive away performance in the middle of January. Ollie Brown-Hill was the hero for the Poachers with a hat-trick in the second half; Sam Hollis also pitching in with a goal. Although they will have been disappointed to have been eliminated from the League Cup by Peterborough Sports of Division One, that may prove to be a blessing in disguise if it enables them to concentrate on securing their league position. Peterborough scored an early goal through captain Karl Gibbs, who nearly added another later in the first half but shot narrowly wide. In the second period they also hit the post before Oadby had the chance to level from a penalty given for a tug on Sam Hollis, but Sports’ keeper saved Jermaine Gordon’s effort from the spot.

Almost immediately afterwards, Oadby were handed the opportunity to play the rest of the match against 10 men as David Cobb received a second yellow, but it was the numerically depleted Sports who scored again with a little over ten minutes left to settle matters and confirm Town’s elimination. Two home postponements, one of them due to be against Oadby, meant Harborough Town played away from home three times in succession. What turned out to be a disappointing run of three consecutive losses started with their last home match against Newport Pagnell. Gary Wainwright observed: “The conditions yet again turned it into more of a battle than a football game.” No wonder vice-chairman Andy Winston’s next project is a new ‘stadium quality’ first team pitch to be laid in the close season. Although Town dominated the first half and played some impressive stuff in the difficult conditions, it proved to be a case of that old cliché of paying for not taking your chances when you’re on top as Pagnell were a different

proposition in the second period and scored right at the death through Sam O’Neill for what Wainwright called ‘a late mugging’. A trip to Kirby Muxloe’s Ratby Lane ground followed and, having already lost the equivalent home fixture the Bees would have known this was going to be a tough ask. Harborough started brightly however and had the best of the first half in spite of a spectacular long range opening goal from Kirby’s Luis Cabrall against the run of play. Town hit back immediately through Barnes Gladman but a second from Kirby late in the half proved to be the last of the match. Another narrow defeat at Boston completed their miserable run, the only score of the game being an own goal from the unlucky Callam Traynor, but they finished on a much brighter note with revenge in the away fixture to Newport Pagnell with a 2-1 win. Oadby & Wigston Girls won the under-14 Girls County Cup with a 4-1 win over Groby Juniors in the final and AFC Leicester Girls & Ladies beat Loughborough Foxes 3-2 on

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News from the Foxes Although the Foxes still sit proudly at the top of the table at time of writing, many loyal fans are beginning to worry that their form may have finally started to stutter. The other teams around them have faltered too, but that’s just as well, as otherwise their recent results in the league – draw, draw, win, draw – would have seen them start to slide down the table. Many observe that the talisman that is Jamie Vardy isn’t looking anywhere near as sharp since surgery on a groin injury and worry this is permanent, as opposed to part of his recovery process. Even the highly skilful Riyad Mahrez has struggled in a couple of matches lately as opponents double up on their marking. There are signs of fatigue playing its part too and it remains to be seen how Mahrez reacts to being taken off penalty duties aer his two consecutives failures against Bournemouth and Villa (he also missed one back in October against Hull). Claudio Ranieri admits he was disappointed but said “I told him don’t worry, take a little break, and then I’ll give you the chance again to score the penalty. He was a little sad. I spoke with him and said come on man, a lot of champions miss penalties. It doesn’t matter in your life, carry on and we have to concentrate on our jobs”. It would be a great pity if the rest of the season turns out to be not as exhilarating as the first half, especially as so many of us have kept the faith in spite of so many of the pundits continuously predicting that it can’t last. New signings to strengthen the squad and share the workload will help. Ghanaian defender Daniel Amartey is on his way from FC Copenhagen to join winger Demarai Gray who’s come from Birmingham. Although neither could hardly be classed as marquee signings – costing £3.5m and £3.75m respectively – both will help to ease the load. Gray - who has already made his Foxes debut with an assist and a standing ovation from the travelling Foxes fans at Tottenham - is a good prospect. Only 19, he’s represented England at under-18, under-19 and under-20 levels and, like most of his new team mates, has pace aplenty. The fee represents a bargain as the sum was a release clause in the contract with his former club. penalties to land the equivalent under-13 competition. Meanwhile, Leicester City Women are through to the third round of the SSE FA Cup following a 2-1 win over Radcliffe Olympic. Jonathan Morgan’s side will now travel to Sheffield FC in the next round. If you fancy taking up the game again yourself the local FA organisation is launching an initiative to improve participation in full sized eleven a side football, the only form of the game that doesn’t seem to be growing apace across the county. A new Monday Floodlight League is launched this month in the hope that some participants may go on to play for the more major sides. Leicestershire & Rutland county FA chairman David Jamieson explained:


Action from Leicester’s 2-0 home defeat at home to Tottenham in the third round of the FA Cup

Amartey, 21, has won six caps for Ghana and can play as a defensive midfielder as well as an out-and-out defender. Promisingly, his manager at Copenhagen Stale Solbakken said “Daniel has been a role model and a key player for us, and he has improved dramatically and faster than anyone could have expected.” Let’s hope Ranieri is showing himself to be just as adept in the transfer market as he has already proved himself to be both tactically and at man-management.

“Games will comprise of two 25-minute halves, played at Aylestone Park FC’s excellent 3G surface. Matches will be officiated by qualified referees, and all results will be published online via The FA’s Full Time website. For more information on this fantastic new league – and to register – please visit our website www.leicestershirefa.com” If, like me, you feel that your playing days have gone, how about coaching? Jamieson’s organisation has also revealed details of a host of discounted courses that they will be running in 2016. He said: “Thanks to The FA and Sport England’s Bursary Scheme, the Leicestershire & Rutland County FA is able to provide FA Youth Award Module 1, 2 and 3 courses, and the Level 2 Certificate in

Coaching Football course, for a fraction of the usual price. Details can once again be found on our website, but I’d encourage coaches to book as soon as possible, as spaces on courses are limited.” Lastly, if you’re already involved with a local club in some capacity, Shaun Waite has joined the local FA as football development officer. Jamieson said: “Shaun will have focus on retaining and growing participation in both the male and female game across all age groups, including mini-soccer, youth, adult and veterans. Don’t hesitate to give Shaun a call on 0116 284 4951 to discuss any challenges you may be having in terms of growing and retaining participation within your leagues, clubs or teams.”

Email: advertise@theactivemag.com /// F E BRUA RY 2016

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23/01/2016 14:34

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Mixed emotions for Riders The Leicester Riders took a 91-43 victory against Leeds Force in their last home game at Sir David Wallace before their move to the new Leicester Community Sport Arena for the remainder of their 2015/16 campaign. The Riders opened up the game with authority, going on a 12-0 run in the opening minutes of the game which included one of TrayVonn Wright’s trademark high flying dunks. The home side also began aggressively on the defensive end, with the Riders’ full court pressure causing the visitors problems. Sharp outside shooting from Tyler Bernardini stretched the Riders’ lead to 15 going into the final few minutes of the quarter. Despite Leeds Force beginning to look more comfortable on offence, the Riders continued to execute on both ends of the floor, finishing with a 25-12 lead going into the second. The Riders continued the second in the same fashion, taking their lead to 35-17 half way through the quarter. The home team’s ball movement and execution on the offence end is what separated the two sides, with the visitors struggling to get open looks. Going into the final minutes of the half,

Leeds were able to go on a 6-0 run. However, the Riders responded with a three, followed by a fast break finish from Tyler Bernardini to increase the lead once more. This spark in momentum secured the 45-25 lead for the home side at half time. Riders continued to lead in the third, looking very much in control as they advanced their lead to 58-31 half way through the quarter. The home team put on an impressive team performance, with scoring being spread across the entire Riders roster. As a result the Riders’ advantage was stretched to 72-33 going into the final quarter. The fourth saw much of the same for the Riders, remaining in control and increasing their lead to more than 40. With five minutes remaining, Raheem May-Thompson’s impressive block followed by a tough finish on the offensive end brought the Sir David Wallace crowd to their feet once more. This excitement was carried forward by sharp shooting by Harrison Gamble and Antony Rowe’s contribution to the scoresheet as he returned for the first time since the start

of the season. The final result saw Riders take the win over Leeds Force for their final game at Loughborough. The Riders came up short as they took on the Newcastle Eagles at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham in front of 9,000 people. The Riders led by as many as 14 in the third quarter; however the Eagles continued to chip away at the Midlands team’s lead to come back in front at the mid-point of the fourth quarter before taking the victory. Coach Paternostro commented after the game: “For two-and-a-half quarters we were in good shape. We shut off a little bit defensively, gave them some open looks and they got on a roll. “We allowed too much penetration to the basket, you can make mistakes in games and they have got to make shots, and they did make the shots. When we made a few defensive mistakes they punished us, by making the shots from the outside. “I don’t think we expected that when we had that lead, that we were going to run away with it. All great teams, in championship games, are going to make a run at you.”

Show your support for local sport Email advertise@theactivemag.com /// F E BRUA RY 2016

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24/01/2016 13:23



Cottesmore beating Belvoir in hunt shunts BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


e are having a particularly mild and wet winter, which luckily hasn’t dampened the spirits of the local hunts, with many hitting the front page, both locally and nationally, over the festive period. With most hunts meeting in local town centres on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day without exception they all had reports of huge support, from both mounted and foot followers, which is great news. The Cottesmore did indeed meet in Oakham on Boxing Day after having been very publically removed from Cutts Close. They met at the Catmose car park outside the Rutland County Council offices instead, where the public showed huge support for their local hunt. The Cottesmore were extremely grateful for their new meeting place in the middle of Oakham and are hoping that they will secure it for years to come. Hunting locally is famed for its witty banter among the subscribers and for the odd unseating of riders in the field: both the Cottesmore and the Belvoir run a Tumblers

Club – all you need to do to join is fall off! The Belvoir and some of their crazy antics mean they are leading the polls at the moment, with a total of £815 – no mean feat when you are charged £10 for a rider fall or just £5 for a horse fall, although you are pardoned if you get taken away in an ambulance! Fittingly, half the money is given to local air ambulance charities. David Bellamy, a guest field master, is way out in the lead with three horse falls and three rider falls, and Justine Smiley-Jones, who works for Noble Outfitters, is in second place with three rider falls. The Cottesmore are way behind with only £170 in their kitty so far, with Andrew Osbourne MFH and Will Grant tying for the lead with three falls each. I should point out that it is slightly cheaper to fall off with them at just £5 a plop. Both hunts have hilarious detailed reports on how some of the falls took place, which is certainly worth a read, with quotes such as “my spotters reported there was a fight with a tree crossing a ditch, the tree won and claimed two victims” would be one that stuck in my

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mind. If you are unlucky enough to fall off while out hunting, don’t think you’ll hide it; both hunts literally have spies positioned out in the fields with binoculars trying to catch you out. It’s that time of year again to don the wellingtons and Barbours and get out into the countryside to watch those brave (or foolhardy riders) at the Melton Hunt ride. This year it is hosted by the Belvoir Hunt on February 7 (from 12pm at Stonesby, near Buckminster) and is one of the first and biggest of the hunt rides of the year in the country, set over some of Belvoir’s most foreboding hunting country. There are basically a few flags scattered across the countryside and the aim of the game is to be the first through the finish flags and live to tell the tale. It is a great spectator sport; although you do have to be a bit careful where you stand, bearing in my mind it’s a ‘take your own line’ course. It is a sight to behold seeing 40 or so mounted hurtling towards the first fence. If you haven’t been before, I would definitely recommend it.

New classes starting in February

across Leicestershire and Rutland

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23/01/2016 14:50

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // February 2016  

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 // February 2016  

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