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ISSUE 09 // JANUARY 2016



South Leicestershire’s sport and lifestyle magazine

Mix a Bloody Mary Poach the perfect egg Spot a grey wagtail Buy the best skiing kit

Make 2016 your

BEST EVER! Get over it!

The ins, outs, up and downs of going obstacle racing in 2016


Harborough Town FC

49 teams and counting! Their remarkable story

Will’s Walk

Tilton-on-the-Hill and Lowesby

COVER 43 options.indd 116




ISSUE 09 // JANUARY 2016

Inside: brilliant ideas for a fitter, healthier, more active year

13/12/2015 22:53

We‘re exploring our Universe What Could

Our research changes the world. At Leicester you could be taught by the experts working on future missions to Mars.


Editor’s Letter CONGRATULATIONS TO JAMIE VARDY ON his incredible goal-scoring streak at the end of last year, and the same to Leicester FC, for just about the best story I can remember in football for decades. Almost since the Premiership launched, the moneybags clubs have had it all their own way, and the notion that a ‘smaller’ club can assemble a squad worthy of challenging as they did in the old days, when somebody like Cloughie could unearth a few rough diamonds and turn them into stars, has become fanciful. So I just hope Leicester can keep going, keeping in mind that trying to win the thing isn’t pressure. A relegation dogfight is pressure. These are the best days of their lives and I hope they keep playing, as they have been, like they know that. Just over the road, things are going pretty well at Leicester Tigers. I’ve spoken before about how Richard Cockerill is the cornerstone of this great club, imbuing everyone with the essential values necessary to the Tigers. But Aaron Mauger has come in and added sparkle on top of the steel and they can only get better and better, especially with stars such as Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs now signed up for more years at Welford Road. Such is the development in play and personnel going on there I have this prediction: Saracens will top the table at the end of the season, but Tigers will beat them in the Premiership Final, and will win the Champions Cup the following year. That’s how good this squad could be. You may have noticed a few changes to the look of Active this month. Although it’s relatively new to the area, we have been going in neighbouring regions for a few years now and we thought it time for a bit of a wash and brush up. The thing is, Active isn’t just about sport: it’s about getting out and doing things, whether it be gardening, crafts, birdwatching or cooking. It’s about making yourself busier, fitter, healthier, looking great, dressing well and living a fuller, better life. I hope you enjoy the changes, and Happy New Year! 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, Sandie Hurford, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Withers lisa@theactivemag.com Amy Roberts amy@theactivemag.com Editorial and Advertising Assistant Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789 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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2092 GPL-SBC Double Page April Active Advert-Final-sp_GPL-SBC Double Page April Active Advert 19/03/2014 11:01 Page 1


2092 GPL-SBC Double Page April Active Advert-Final-sp_GPL-SBC Double Page April Active Advert 19/03/2014 11:01 Page 2

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ISSUE 9 /// JANUARY 2016



Another tasty recipe from Riverford Organic

16-17 HOW TO...

Make a Bloody Mary, poach an egg and chop firewood


The seasonal delights on offer outdoors


Retired snooker player Willie Thorne


Great things to do locally for all the family



Get yourself prepared for an obstacle race


Get your ideal body in three months with our fitness plan


More expert advice from our sports injury therapists




How to ensure you get enough vitamin D


The Sunday Times writer offers some predictions for 2016


Essential gear for winter sports action


Will Hetherington heads to Tilton on the Hill


We try out The Vaults in Uppingham


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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Season in full swing The National Hunt season is in full swing at Leicester Racecourse. There are two meetings a month and plenty of dramatic racing in January and February at this stunning venue.

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In Play

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Match of the day Pre-match tension builds as last-minute instructions are given and kick-off approaches at Harborough FC. See pages 28-31 for our feature on the club.

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ONE-POT BASQUE CHICKEN INGREDIENTS 2 chicken thighs Salt and pepper Olive oil 1 large onion 1 red pepper 2 tomatoes 2 garlic cloves 100g cooking chorizo 1 vegetable stock cube ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ½ tsp dried thyme 150g calasparra paella rice 60ml white wine 30g black olives 1 orange

METHOD Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Put the casserole pan on a medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides.

tomatoes. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Remove the skin from the chorizo and break into small chunks.


Dissolve the stock cube into 400ml of boiling water. Put the oven on to 180 degrees or gas mark 4.

Add the chorizo to the pan, turn up the heat a little and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme, rice and a pinch of cayenne. Turn everything lightly to mix then cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and wine. Cook until most of the wine has been absorbed.


Pour in the stock and bring everything to a simmer. Slice the olives in half and add to the pan. Zest ¼ of the orange and keep for later (2). Finely slice the rest of the orange and add to the pan.

Nestle the thighs deep into the rice (3). Pop the lid on the casserole and bake in the oven until both the rice and chicken are tender – about 30-40 minutes.


Check the seasoning and add more if needed. Divide between two bowls and garnish with the orange zest.

Whilst the chicken colours, peel and finely slice the onion. Deseed and slice the red pepper. When the chicken thighs are nicely coloured remove from the pan. Put to one side and add the onion and red pepper.

Cook the onion and pepper gently for 10 minutes until starting to soften, stirring often (1). While they cook roughly chop the

Tip: use a metal casserole dish so you can cook on the hob before placing in the oven. This dish is a mixture between paella and stew with the rice absorbing all the flavours.

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 the perfect pick-me-up

A BLOODY MARY Ingredients 2 shots of vodka ½ a glass of sherry, red wine or port 150 ml tomato juice A few drops of Tabasco sauce 6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce Celery salt White pepper Large squeeze of lemon juice Stick of celery Mix all of the ingredients together (bar the stick of celery) and mix well in a cocktail shaker if you have one, otherwise give it a good stir. Serve with a stick of celery, ice and a slice of lemon. Courtesy of The Wine Bar, Stamford


Poach an egg perfectly Perfect to go with your Bloody Mary, poached eggs are healthy and delicious. Make sure your eggs are fresh. Use a wide, large pan, fill it with water and bring to the boil. Simmering over a medium heat, add a pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar. Crack your egg into a cup. Create a gentle whirlpool in the water and slowly pour the egg in. It will start cooking immediately, don’t worry if the edges look slightly scruffy.

A softly poached egg will take a couple of minutes, a slightly firmer one about four, but this will depend on the size of the pan and if you’re using the eggs straight from the fridge. To check if the egg is done remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and gently push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft pop the egg back in the pan for another minute or so – use your instincts. Serve on buttered wholemeal toast sprinkled with black pepper.

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Rehabilitation Exercise HOW TO…

CHOP FIREWOOD There’s nothing better than sitting in front of a roaring fire toasting your feet in the depths of winter. Release your inner lumberjack, grab your axe, wrap up warm and get outside to chop some wood. Set the log you are going to split on to a larger unsplit one: this will raise the target and save your back. Put the log upright, hold the axe with both hands, take aim and swing. But save your back by bending your knees and using your legs. You want to split the log like a pizza, in half, then quarters and keep going until you’ve got the size you want.

Functional Rehabilitation with the Philip Cutts Pain Management & Rehabilitation Group percutane4pain@gmail.com Mobile contact : 07742 072182

Household tip of the month… Next time you squeeze a lemon don’t throw it away. Give your slightly whiffy fridge a treat instead. Place the lemons in a bowl and leave them in the fridge for two days – you’ll notice the fresh citrus smell immediately.

Sponsored by Organo Gold - A selection of Gourmet Teas, Coffees & Hot Chocolate.


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Activelife NATURE

SNOWDROPS Snowdrops are the very welcome first sign that spring is on its way. Look out for them towards the end of the month when they usually start flowering. They can often be found in churchyards, woodlands and many gardens, large or small.

GREY WAGTAIL Grey wagtails are typically found by fast-flowing upland streams and rivers, but in our area they have to make do with weirs and sluices. Locally they have bred at Tinwell Pumping Station, Fort Henry Ponds and Langham Brook. In winter they are more widespread found by reservoirs and sewage works, where they feed on the clinker beds. They have been recorded by garden ponds in Oakham. Despite their name, it is often the yellow vent which first catches the eye as they fly off with a loud ‘tzi, tzi’ call. They are clearly wagtail in outline with a long, constantly moving tail and a running gait. The back is grey with darker wings and a pale yellow breast and belly. Males have a black throat in the breeding season. Nests are usually concealed beneath a steep bank, often over flowing water. Four or five eggs is the usual clutch and two broods may be reared. Grey wagtails are badly affected by cold snaps in winter. Terry Mitcham

Wood louse A crustacean with 14 parts to its body rather than an insect, it can curl into a ball to protect itself. Found all over the world and very common in our gardens and houses it feeds on decaying leaf and plant matter. Have a look in your garden today, you’re sure to find one.

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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

WWW.FRESH-WHEELS.CO.UK fresh wheels full page.indd 1

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Activelife HEALTH

BENEFICIAL INFUSIONS Mushrooms and their nutritional values are well known. But some mushrooms have been found to have extraordinary health benefits, including antioxidants that help maintain a healthy mind and

body. Ganoderma lucidiam, also known as Reishi the king of herbs, has now been infused in teas, coffees and hot chocolates. To find out more about their benefits and how to buy them, visit www.

MAKE LIKE A COWBOY Beef jerky that the American cowboys enjoyed is growing in popularity over here. Made from the finest joints of air dried silverside beef, it’s an ideal, healthy snack containing virtually no fat, no carbohydrates and packed with protein. A much healthier option than a packet of crisps and just as delicious. We tried, and like, Wild West beef jerky that can be found in most supermarkets. www.wildwestjerky.co.uk

Stroke risk: is your pulse regular? Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common condition, but sadly it is not always picked up before it causes a problem. Over the last 30 years medicine has concentrated on monitoring and treating high blood pressure as a means of preventing stroke, but recently there has been more interest in screening for atrial fibrillation (AF), by measuring the rate and rhythm of the pulse. The pulse irregularity associated with AF can produce strokes and sadly these are oen the most severe form of the condition. As we age the risk of rhythm disturbances of the heart increase. Other factors include alcohol intake, high blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, diabetes and stress. If the rhythm of the heart is irregular, this can be investigated further by an electronic recording. This is called an ECG and can be done at the surgery or hospital. If atrial fibrillation is picked up by an irregular pulse and confirmed on an ECG, this normally needs further investigation and treating with medication. We now know that controlling the rate of the pulse and thinning the blood to prevent clot formation in the heart can prevent strokes. Previously AF was treated with warfarin - this is an anti-coagulant, but can interact with other medication and needs careful monitoring. Newer medications called NOACs are making it easier to treat this condition, and do not require frequent monitoring like warfarin. However, up to 80% of strokes in people with atrial fibrillation can prevented, and risk can also be reduced by lifestyle changes: • Eat more foods from plants, such as vegetables and beans, whole grains and nuts. • Eat more seafood in place of red meat, poultry, and eggs. • Limit the intake of sodium, solid fats, added sugars, and refined grains. • Reduce calories you eat and drink and increase calories you burn through physical activity. Unfortunately atrial fibrillation and the irregular pulse it produces is oen asymptomatic and can go undetected. A simple pulse recording and further investigation if indicated can make a big difference to your future health. Dr Nigel S. Hume, private GP

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Avendita Units 25 and 27 Springfields Outlet Shopping Camelgate Spalding PE12 6EU

at up to DESIGNER %


Avendita Unit 3 Rutland Village Ashwell Road Oakham Rutland LE157QN





Running Shop Run by Runners Large Shoe Range I Gait Analysis Friendly Service I Clothing Accessories 146A Clarendon Park Road, LE2 3AE 0116 2708447

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11/12/2015 10:58

Could you be eligible for a scholarship? For information and sport scholarship opportunities for 13+ and 16+ entry call 01572 758758 admissions@oakham.rutland.sch.uk

Oakham is a great co-educational boarding and day school for 10-18 year olds offering A Levels and the IB


Read the magazine first online at: www.theactivemag.com Connect with us on the following social media platforms: facebook.com/theactivemag





linkedin.com/company/ theactivemag

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ROWING THE ATLANTIC An intrepid quartet of Old Uppinghamians have been preparing for a gruelling 3,500-mile row across the Atlantic to raise money for two charities. This month it has all come to fruition and they took to the sea a few days ago. Before they left they filled us in about their final preparations. The boat was shipped out to La Gomera a few weeks ago so before the boys left to join it they managed to fit in a few more training sessions focusing mainly on strength training as they will need this to battle the huge waves. Along with the boat went the food rations – 1.2 million calories in total including 1,000 ration packs, 700 packs of biltong and 1,200 packets of nuts.

There was one final thing to do before heading out to La Gomera – to attend the ‘Last Supper’ – a charity ball (pictured right) held in London for 600 guests. The committee had hoped to raise £50,000 but thanks to everyone’s generosity the final figure raised was £70,000. Next month we will let you know how they are getting on with their challenge. Happy rowing boys!  The team, known as Ocean Reunion, are raising money for cystic fibrosis and Teenage Cancer Trust. Follow them on Facebook and at www.oceanreunion.co.uk which has a link to their Just Giving page.

WORK OUT LIKE YOU’RE IN THE SPECIAL FORCES Fitness expert and Elite Special Operations physical trainer Mark Lauren, who has trained US Special Operations soldiers for action, has written a book, ‘Body Fuel.’ In the book he shares his expertise, explaining how to ‘cycle calories’ and supercharge your metabolism helping to build and preserve muscle. Including recipes, an easy to follow meal planner and workouts ,this book is full of interesting fitness information. We have his book to

give away. To enter go to www. theactivemag.com/competitions

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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.

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A day in the life of



suffer from a bad back because you twist your spine when you bend over the table – that’s one of the perils of 28 years of snooker playing. I turned pro when I was 21 – I was the youngest pro in the world back then – and retired in 2001. I also have tennis elbow from playing charity golf. I play a lot now, off a 10 handicap, as I’m a patron of a few charities such as the Rainbows, Variety Club, Sparks and Age Concern. I also do a lot of after dinner speaking for Champions UK, which is a brand agency supplying celebrity clients. While I was playing I did the odd dinner because there weren’t tournaments virtually every week like there are now. Nowadays people play 38 to 40 weeks of the year, while we played about 25. The money wasn’t great in those days so we’d do the holiday camp circuit at Pontins and Butlins where the visiting pro would play some of the punters. That’s how people like Dennis Taylor and myself developed some sort of personality, but players don’t need to now as the money is so good. They won £500,000 for the World Championship this year whereas I was winning tournaments for £50,000 in the 1980s. I started on my brother’s little 6’ x 3’ table. My father was a miner and when the mine closed he took a job at a local Conservative club which had a big table. My mum bought me my first cue for 2s 2d and within a year I’d made a hundred break. I’ve still got the cue – it’s made from maple and has never warped. I was petrified when I had to start putting it in the hold of aircraft while travelling and not take it on board. It’s my right arm. I also do a lot of sports commentating. There are always two commentators in the box so you can always rely on the other person to watch the action and we always wind each other up. Not everyone can get the hang of it as you have to read the game properly and say the right things. In the ’80s there were only four television channels and snooker was the most watched sport, so it was easy for us to become a household name. Now there are at least 140. I stopped playing because I had an eye problem. I won the World Senior Masters in 2000 but found my right eye was shaking and it turned out I had cataracts. I decided to stop while I was still close to the top. I love watching sports and I’m a massive football fan, particularly Leicester City. Gary Lineker was my closest pal – he was best man at my first wedding and I watched him make every debut for each club he played for, except

‘I work all over the country but come back every night to see the dogs, and the wife!’ when he was in Japan. We used to play snooker for hours in my club in Leicester. I love walking my dogs – my wife and I have two cocker spaniels – and we take them everywhere. I work all over the country but come back every night to see the dogs, and the wife! Whatever mood you’re in they’re always happy to see you. I was on Strictly Come Dancing which was fabulous and I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed it until I was voted off. I’ve just done the

Antique Road Trip with Dennis Taylor. We’re so competitive with each other: he won the World Championship, he’s a better golfer than me, and got further than me at Strictly. I beat him at Bargain Hunt and the cooking thing though. I’ve just had another stroke brought on by the stress of everything – the gambling and bankruptcy, but I’m still busy. I’d like to do I’m A Celebrity as I would have a laugh. You’ve always got to reinvent yourself and get your name out there.

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WHAT’S ON Get out and explore all the great things on offer in South Leicestershire

■ Keep the first Friday of each month free to see a film at Lyddington Village Hall. Popular films such as Lady in the Van and Suffragette will be shown and tickets cost £5. To find out the running order, ring Katherine Gregg on 01572 822296. ■ The Riverdance Tour of 2016 is coming to Leicester’s De Montfort Hall on March 29-31. Celebrating 21 years of Irish dancing, the show will be selling out fast so book your tickets on 0116 2333111. ■ Greater Health for Women is a workshop run by Philip Cutts, health, fitness and sports medicine expert. The two-hour workshops, covering long-term plans for general health, well being and natural products (samples will be available) will be held at Stamford Arts Centre once a month starting on January 24. To find out more email drinkhealthydrinks@ gmail.com.

habits, likes and dislikes, as well as your training needs and will come up with a personal plan. He will then train you 1:1. To find out more visit his Facebook page Anthony Gray – Fitness or call 07739 355997. ■ BungyPump a new, fun way to exercise. Low impact, designed to boost mood, strengthen energy, relieve tension and increase stamina. Exercising with poles to music, it’s great fun. Classes are held on Mondays in Manton. To find out more visit www.inspire2tri. com/courses/course-overview/ bungypump

■ Anthony Gray has recently opened a personal training studio in Uppingham at Sidings Place on Station Road, specialising in body transformations. He will talk to you about your lifestyle, eating

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Feature /// Local football

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ON THE TOWN Harborough Town FC is a club with a bright future, but it’s success is due to long years of dedication from its members. By Jeremy Beswick Photography: Pip Warters

AS I ARRIVED at Harborough’s Bowdens Park ground, seeking out the turnstiles at the side of the ultra-modern clubhouse complex, neatly-pruned conifers and well-kept garden, the initial impression of clean efficiency was underlined by my welcome; the staff on the gate knowing immediately who I was and ushering me into the hospitable presence of Pauline Winston as their match against Eynesbury progressed under the floodlights. Pouring me a cup of tea in the VIP room (yes, they do have one) Pauline joked that she’s been involved at Harborough ‘for ever’ and had been instrumental, together with husband and vice-chairman Andy, in starting the senior side. The history behind the club is one of mergers and alliances that have now resulted in one seamless organisation that offers football for minis, girls, juniors, youth, ladies, inclusive, senior, veteran and walking football. “We’ve 49 teams here in total at the last count,” Pauline told me, which makes them one of the largest mini-soccer providers in Leicestershire. Alumni include Richard Stearman (Leicester City and England), Chris Carruthers (Bristol Rovers and England) and, the one that got away, rugby legend Martin Johnson. In more recent years there have been many players, both boys and girls, that have progressed into centres of excellence and elite squads at local professional clubs. Husband Andy, who played for and managed now sadly defunct Harborough Spencers, told me: “We’re a fairly ambitious club, with the first team at the front end leading the way. We want to make them as successful as we can which will raise our profile and help to attract new players of all ages.” Currently they play in the United Counties Premier, which is a semi-professional division five tiers below the football league, and the medium term ambition is to progress two tiers closer. “We’ve got a very young side that can only get better,” Andy told me. “The oldest two are only 25 and the captain is 20.” They certainly won’t be held back by the quality of the facilities, with a jaw-dropping 11 pitches, 10 dressing rooms, three referees’ rooms and two bars, although I suppose too much time spent in the latter might not prove too helpful to performance on the field. It was a sevenfigure grant from The Football Foundation that made most of this possible, and they haven’t finished yet. “One

current project is to turn our first team pitch into a stadium quality one,” said Andy, an objective which he hopes to see fulfilled in the close season. “We’re also looking to start an academy next year, providing BTech education for 16 to 18-year olds and with the best qualified coaches.” I told him how taken aback I was by the scale of things. “It is a fantastic set-up,” he continued, “providing the right environment for kids to thrive”. Marion Hayton from the FA stopped by and gave me a copy of the club’s manager and coach support pack she’s helped them put together. It was another example of the professionalism and attention to detail that exists here, which is further evidenced by the slew of accreditations and awards they’ve achieved. The pack includes their ‘ethos and vision’ which is ‘to play football matches by developing the ability of local children, youths and adults through effective coaching. This is to be achieved through educating, appreciating and making football fun and enjoyable in a safe environment. The club is keen to provide football opportunities for children and players of all abilities’. Most of all “I’m just passionate about football,” she said. “Everyone here is.”


It’s not just about the first team at Harborough Town; the club also fields sides for a variaty of age groups, from minis to veterans. There’s even a walking football side

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Something special is coming to the Harborough District in the New Year. Something special is coming to the Harborough District in the New Year. JUST is for ladies only, so if you’re looking for something fun and social to JUST is for ladies only, so if you’re looking for something fun and social to do, that JUST happens to involve some exercise, pull out that active wear, do, that JUST happens to involve some exercise, pull out that active wear, grab your trainers and get ready to join in. grab your trainers and get ready to join in. ForFor more info, check out www.harboroughsport.org.uk more info, check out www.harboroughsport.org.uktweet tweettotous us @JustHarborough or find us on Facebook : Active Harborough District @JustHarborough or find us on Facebook : Active Harborough District Just turn upup and Just turn andget getinvolved involvedinin2016 2016

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Feature /// Local football

Le and below

The club’s Bowdens Park ground is impressive, boasting 11 pitches and 10 dressing rooms. There are plans afoot to create an academy too

‘We need people who want to get involved in grassroots football, be that as trustees or volunteers’ We were joined by Gary Wainwright, who’d played here as a junior from 1977. I expect he’d seen a few changes in the past 40 years? “It did use to be a bit ‘jumpers for goalposts’ in those days – quite literally for training – and we played on different local recs around the city then,” he told me. Now he plays for the vets having managed one of the junior sides for 11 years. “My son Calllum started when he was six and I was watching him play when one of the trustees mentioned to nobody in particular that his side would need a manager next season. I looked round and all the other dads had disappeared.” He continued in the post until his son reached 17 and, along the way, took his coaching badges, which was funded by the club. “Overall, this is a really friendly club and a good place to be,” he said. One of their trustees, Gordon Robinson, has had almost as long a history here. “I’ve been a trustee for 15 years and associated with the club in one way or another for 25,” he told me. “Only

because they didn’t shut the bar,” chipped in Gary, to general laughter. Gordon continued: “I remember a little tiny building and fund-raising based on bingo. Andy and I used to do maintenance and I can recall fitting out the changing room with seats. When they built this facility it seemed almost too big, being about 10 times the size of the old place, but now Market Harborough is growing so fast as a town we need it all.” State-of-the-art it may be, but they rely on volunteers just as much as any local club does. Andy said: “We need people who want to get involved in grassroots football, be that as trustees or volunteers.” Gordon agreed: “My son played here and went on to be a semi-pro, so it’s good to put something back.” Trumping them all for longevity is ‘founder member’ Len Sharman, who was there supporting his grandson Sam who started at seven and is now in the first team squad at 18. “It’s wonderful here now,” he said. “It’s changed out of all recognition but it’s all for the good.” Not a bad summary I thought. As I left I stopped to watch the last few minutes of the game with the hardy souls outside braving a bitter wind but still managing some light-hearted banter and then returned to the clubhouse, walking past some smart office accommodation and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The brightly lit bar and bacon sandwiches on offer were tempting, but alas a drive awaited me. It’ll be a pleasure to come back through those turnstiles and take full advantage on some future occasion. At £5 per game I’ll even pay my own way, though I expect that VIP room will be off-limits to me next time.

HARBOROUGH TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS County FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year 2009, 2010

East Midlands FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year 2009

Awarded charitable status 2009

National Winners FA Respect Club of the Year 2012

County FA and East Midland Volunteer of the Year 2009 – Tim Bale

County FA Outstanding Contribution Award 2012 – Gordon Robinson

Leicester Football League and County FA Fair Play Award: Veterans – 2013, 2014

Nike Partner Club 2015

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Guest column

‘Bonjour mon canard’ and other need to knows for 2016 Martin Johnson offers some predictions for the sporting year ahead oothsaying, like nostalgia, isn’t what it used to be, which is hardly surprising given that history’s great predictions have all come from peering into tea leaves. These modern bags just aren’t as reliable, so I’m sadly unable to guarantee every one of my predictions for 2016. Apart, perhaps, from Leicester City for the Premier League title. The pundits greeted their rise to the top with a unanimous ‘they’ll never keep it up’, but why not? Quite a few people would have predicted at the start of the season that City’s last match – away to Chelsea – would be for one side to clinch the title, and the other to avoid the drop, but not the other way around. Even if it’s only a top four finish, City fans can already start planning for next winter’s assault on Europe. Two seasons ago, they were tapping Barnsley, Doncaster and Yeovil into the sat-nav, but next winter they could be warming up for the big game with a plate of oysters on the Champs Elysees, or a bowl of pasta overlooking the Colosseum. I’m already planning to publish a book of handy phrases for those away games against the likes of Paris St Germain and Inter Milan, along the lines of ‘bonjour mon canard’ and ‘ciao mia anatra’. Which, if you hadn’t guessed, translate into ‘hello me duck’. Just across the city, however, my tea bag reveals a large and angry gathering of Tigers fans outside Welford Road. Mounted policemen and water cannon are being deployed in case the situation gets out of hand, but mostly the demonstrations are confined to chants of ‘Boring, boring Tigers!’ and ‘Mauger out!’. It’s all down to the new, all-singing all-dancing Tigers, and an overnight revolution involving things like flinging the ball out to the wingers and scoring lots of spectacular tries. It’s a culture shock to all those weaned on a diet of arm wrestling, and eight very large sweaty men all heaving together for pushover tries, and I see large groups of St John Ambulance volunteers administering smelling salts to badly disorientated Leicester supporters. In the end, I see mass resignations at the club, and the world’s press gathering to greet the return of a Leicester icon, Dean Richards, as the new supremo. Richards promises the immediate abolishment of what he calls ‘this wholly unacceptable fancy Dan stuff’, and pledging that while Tigers were still committed to selecting wingers, they will now be charged for admission like the rest of the spectators. However, it will be just the opposite in Formula One, with sweeping new changes in order to try and reverse the trend of doctors substituting Mogadon prescriptions for their patients with


DVDs of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Which, like every other F1 race, begins with David Coulthard rushing up and down the pit lane to bring us the fascinating news that Felipe Massa will be starting on the super soft compound tyres, and that Jenson Button has fixed the problem with his Kers, but is now a bit concerned about his DRS. Swiftly followed by two Mercedes cars droning round and round at the front. No longer. From next season, the F1 bosses will give up trying to make anything exciting happen on the track, and concentrate instead on the pit stops. This will involve the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg having to come in for petrol just like the rest of us, paying by credit card and waiting for a VAT receipt. On top of which the tyres will have to be changed by a Kwik Fit fitter, armed with a wheel spanner from B&Q. The tension could be unbearable. Just imagine, the entire championship boiling down to whether Hamilton can get to the counter ahead of that woman buying a packet of fags and lottery ticket, or Rosberg pulling in for a tyre change and finding out that the chap in the overalls is having a fag break and reading The Sun. Further perusal of my tea bag, even though it’s drying out a bit by now, reveals a major overhaul at FIFA. Blatter and Platini have gone, and the new chief executive – the head of the Columbian drug cartel in Medellin – announces that all future World Cups will be awarded strictly on merit rather than the old system of who bungs them the most. Adding that there is no reason to believe that the award of the 2026 World Cup to the Sultan of Brunei’s back garden is connected in any way to the gift of an oil well for each member of his family. Finally, I see major advances in the field of player safety in all contact sports. Rugby union now has already introduced concussion management guidelines, and in 2016 football will make similarly impressive strides in this area. Up until now, medical experts have been baffled by the sight of footballers falling over for no apparent reason, even on non-windy days, and particularly when entering that part of the pitch known as the penalty area. Research has involved trying to find out whether people with an imbalance of the inner ear go on to become footballers, or whether this is a condition which only afflicts people after they go on to become footballers. In 2016 however, I see a dramatic change as rugby-style health measures kick in. Namely, anyone falling over without coming into contact with anything other than fresh air will be instantly removed to hospital, and left lying on a trolley in a corridor for several hours before an over-worked doctor can spare the time to examine them. As historic sporting revolutions go, pink balls in floodlit cricket matches aren’t in the same league.

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Feature /// Gear



THE LATEST KIT TO KEEP YOU ACTIVE ON THE SLOPES 1. Icebreaker Everyday longsleeve half zip


Constructed of a soft, breathable 200gm merino rib fabric, this top is both warm in winter and cool in summer, and only becomes more comfortable with age. Wear it as a baselayer, a superlight midlayer, or a jersey during sports; the natural odour resistance of merino ensures you can wear it for several days between washing. Price £60 From uk.icebreaker.com

2. Atomic Hawx 110 ski boots A lightweight, warm and comfortable 3M Thinsulate liner has been added to this boot, helping to keep your feet warm on the coldest and dampest days. For a personalised fit the Hawx 110 feature a memory fit shell which can be moulded perfectly to your foot shape. Price £296.99 From www. tallingtonlakesproshop.com

3 Schoffel Lacoquette Stylish mid-layer featuring elaborately stitched panels and a faux fur collar. Fleece is the optimum intermediate layer, featuring a high thermal rating in relation to weight. Price £159.90 From www.ellis-brigham.com



4. Oakley Canopy Factory Pilot

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Oakley’s designers have created a low profile frame whilst expanding lens volume, giving a wide view and excellent downward vision. Price £127.99 From www. tallingtonlakesproshop.com

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Feature /// Obstacle races

UP, OVER, UNDER, DOWN, THROUGH AND ROUND… Extreme obstacle course runs are increasingly popular, and they require commitment and training, as well as choosing the right challenge for you. Here’s our definitive guide to this year’s events

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A YEAR OF EXTREME Which obstacle race would suit you? We preview the races taking place in the region THE AVALANCHE RUN Distance: 5km, 10km, 20km When: February 27

A series of winter endurance runs to test you and your body to the max in this extreme mud run. There’s also a quest to ‘catch the Yeti’, suggesting this is going to be a cold one! Based on farmland, the run goes through bogs, streams and quarries, and the course has been set up by special forces and army PT instructors. Address: Wrongs Farm, Welford Road Sibbertoft, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 9UJ www.avalancherun.co.uk


Distance: 5 miles, 10 miles When: February 28

The Winter Beast is a double or quit trail race of about 40 obstacles, many of which are usually tackled by four-legged challengers. But for the two-legged racers, there are steep hills, water, mud, water, more hills and a few surprises… Address: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PF www.thebeastrun.co.uk


Distance: 5 miles, 10 miles When: March 12 Don’t be fooled by the beautiful location; Rockingham Castle’s Great Park deserves respect. Set in 400 acres of hills, mud, slopes and

forest, this is not for the faint hearted, and there are three races for adults, with The Pain & Suffering the most extreme: 10-mile minimum distance and more than 35 obstacles designed to break even the fittest. There are also less tough (all relative!) The Suffering courses, and a kids one, too. Address: Rockingham, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 8TH www.thesufferingrace.co.uk

INSANE TERRAIN Distance: 5km, 10km When: April 10

Boasting significant water runs, a 4×4 course and spectacular scenery to run through, Grange Farm usually offers up some tough challenges, usually reserved for horses or cars. The organisers have altered the course and added more obstacles this year. Address: Wittering Grange, Wansford, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE8 6NR www.insaneterrainrunning.com


Distance: 10 miles When: April 16 Set in Deene Park, a rugged 4,500-acre estate in deepest, darkest Northamptonshire, this is an obstacle course with a difference. In daylight, the paintball snipers, dark, dense woodland, long tiring hills, freezing rivers, huge lakes and

obstacles would be tough – but this event is run at night. Address: Deene Park, Corby, Northamptonshire, NN17 3EW www.nightgamesraces.com



Distance: 10 miles, 20 miles When: May 7 One of the original, and one of the best, obstacle races – 200 obstacles over 20 miles face entrants to the Dirty Weekend in Burghley Park. Now an established national event, the challenges will be more fiendishly innovative than ever, and for those that make it, there’s a beer tent and party with live headline act afterwards. Address: Burghley Park, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3JY www.ratrace.com/dirtyweekend2016


Distance: 3km, 12km, 6km When: May 14 The Iron Run is a great family event, with distances for serious entrants, those out for some fun and kids too, and they promise that the marshals won’t be out to punish runners, like at some events. That’s not to say the obstacles aren’t hard though, but it’s an ideal event for an active family to do together. Address: Cranford Hall, Kettering, NN14 4AL www.ironrun.co.uk

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Feature /// Obstacle races

Capital adventures There are dozens of obstacle races all over the country, so why not make a weekend of it and do some sightseeing too? Bear Grylls Survival Obstacle Race 10km, 30km Trent Park, North London, EN4 0PS August 6 www.beargryllssurvivalrace.com London River Rat Race 10km ExCel Centre, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL July 236 www.ratrace.com/londonratrace2016 Mens Health Survival of the Fittest 10km Wembley Park, London, HA9 0WS November 26 www.mhsurvival.co.uk


Distance: 10 to 12 miles, 5 miles When: May 21-22 Tough Mudder is a team-oriented 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit. Tough Mudder puts camaraderie over finisher rankings and is not a timed race but a team challenge. There’s also a Half Mudder event for those wanting something less extreme. Address: Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Leicestershire, NG32 1PE www.toughmudder.co.uk


Distance: 5km, 10km, 10 mile When: June 11 Airfield Anarchy is an obstacle event combined with a headline music festival. This super-tough race is held at the site of RAF Winthorpe, a disused WWII airfield combining rough undulating terrain with around 40 obstacles (man-made and natural) and is unique – the course is permanent which means it is worked on all year round to improve it and make it uniquely challenging. Address: Newark Showground (RAF Winthorpe), Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 2NY. www.airfieldanarchy.com


Distance: 10km When: June 11-12, 2016 The Wolf Run is Wild Running – a combination of three kinds of off-road running: mud runs,

trail runs and obstacle runs. The only Wild Run in the UK, it’s a hardcore run across raw natural terrain, including open ground, woodland, lakes and thick mud. Running in a pack, or as a lone wolf, you’ll tackle a series of tough obstacles – both man-made and natural – designed to test your mental and physical strength, skill and stamina. Address: Stanford Hall, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6DH www.thewolfrun.com



Distance: 10 miles June 26 If you couldn’t make the races earlier in the year, there’s another chance to get round Rockingham Castle’s Great Park, although hopefully the sun will be shining and the going good to firm! Address: Rockingham, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 8TH www.thesufferingrace.co.uk


Distance: 13km When: September 4 Based at Elton Hall’s 3,800-acre estate, in which the River Nene runs, the 5km+ course with more than 15 obstacles is perfect for anyone new to Spartan, or a seasoned athlete looking to set new personal records on this super-fast course. You can do two parts of the Trifecta and complete the Sprint on Saturday and the Super on Sunday. Address: Elton Hall, Peterborough, PE8 6SH www.spartanraceuk.uk

Mens Health Survival of the Fittest London Night Run 5km Wembley Park, London, HA9 0WS November 26 www.mhsurvival.co.uk Beer Belly Running 5 miles 80 Farringdon St, London EC4A 4BL August 6 www.beerbellyrunning.weebly.com

WIN YOUR ULTIMATE EXTREME YEAR! You can win entry to two of the best local obstacle runs in our competition. We are offering: 1 x entry to Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley worth £140 2 x entries to The Suffering at Rockingham Castle worth £86 To enter, go to www. theactivemag.com/ competitions

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GETTING OVER IT! Local obstacle racers Leah Jennings and Nick Crowson talk about getting the extreme running bug, battling hypothermia and camaraderie

How did you get into extreme events?

Leah: I’m a runner at heart but periodically fall in and out of love with it. Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) seemed a good way to spice my running up. I had seen the inaugural Rat Race at Burghley Park and I decided there and then that I had to complete the 20-mile, 200-obstacle course the following year in 2014. Nick: Leah hoodwinked me into it in January 2014 one night in the pub. Her argument was that, “if Active publisher Chris Meadows can do it, so can we”. I drunkenly agreed and then regretted it the next morning.

How hard did you find them at first and how much training are you doing for them now?

Nick: The Rat Race was brutal. 20 miles is a long way, but it’s the cold water in the lakes near Wittering that really messes you up. Both of us had the first stages of hypothermia at this point (shivering, loss of co-ordination and concentration). After

that the others didn’t seem as soul destroying. Leah: Training-wise, I run with Stamford Striders when I can, have a personal training session with Emma Brewster once a week and do classes at the gym. The beauty of OCRs is that any type of training is good training.

What events did you do in 2015 and what were your highs and lows?

Leah: In 2015 we did the Rat Race (Burghley Park), Pain & Suffering (Rockingham Castle), Iron Run (Kettering), Tough Mudder (Boughton House) and Bear Grylls Ultimate Survivor (London). Nick: The Suffering was our favourite – tougher than expected, good fun and great value for money. The obstacles made good use of the natural terrain. Leah: All my highs come from crossing the finishing line and feeling like a warrior. My lows are all the cold water obstacles. I love water, but not when it’s freezing. Nick: I agree with the hypothermia. My

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Feature /// Obstacle races

KITBAG EXTREME You can’t take on the hardest obstacles and challenging conditions without the right kit. Here’s our pick... 1. Merrell All Out Terra Trail running shoes Get 360° protection from rock and debris as you dig into rugged terrain with a built-in sock liner and deep, diamond pattern lugs. From www.merrell.com Price £100

4. Tribesports tights The Tribesports men’s running tights combine the latest tech and highest quality fabric to keep you warm in a wide range of conditions and help you perform at your best, on the road and on the trail. From www.tribesports.com Price £35

2. ON running – Cloudcruiser personal low was the Bear Grylls race. The course was disappointing and I was tired and grumpy before I even started, which led to a miserable four hours of running. I’m sure Leah will testify that I wasn’t particularly happy that day. Leah: No he wasn’t! His constant moaning had us all laughing.

What are your plans for 2016?

Leah: More of the same, although I am currently back in love with running again so more of that too. Nick: No OCRs for me, although I really fancy doing the Greenland marathon in the snow and ice in October and the Las Vegas ‘Rock n Roll’ 5km fun run! OCRs have been a great stepping stone towards other challenges. Leah: I’m also hoping to do the Greenland, event – definitely one to tick off the bucket list.

What would you recommend to readers in terms of training and any top tips during the race?

Nick: Miles under the belt. Running pure and simple and a bit of upper body work. Leah: I would say to cross train. Don’t neglect your strength training. Incorporating circuit-type training and weight training can only stand you in good stead. Train hard, race easy. Nick: These events are all about being social, so enjoy them with friends and fellow competitors. There is little element of actual racing in OCRs for most people so have fun and enjoy the mud. Leah: I love OCRs for the simple reason that you can’t really complete them on your own. Racers help each other over the really tough obstacles so there’s a real sense of camaraderie. Enter into the spirit of the race, get your family and friends to spectate and cheer you on and celebrate properly once you’ve crossed the finished line. Nick: I think we would both agree that the people you meet and the friends you bond with are what make these things really worthwhile. Not many people call it quits after they do their first OCR.

The Cloudcruiser offers outstanding impact protection and takes full advantage of the patented CloudTec system with 15 highprofile ‘Cloud’ elements and a flexible midsole giving you both a cushioned landing and a powerful takeoff. From www.on-running.com Price £125

3. Athletics8 calf sleeves A8 calf sleeves give all the benefits of comfortweave medical grade sports compression, reducing muscle cramps and improving your performance. The best value for money sleeve on the market. From www.athletics8.co.uk Price £28 (special Active magazine offer – 10% off with discount code ACTIVE8)

5. Tribesports Capris You can work up a sweat when training for a race, so Tribe has equipped its women’s running capris with stretchy fabric that allows smooth, natural chafe-free motion, and strategic stretch mesh leg panels that shed excess heat as you get going. From www.tribesports.com Price £32.50


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Best value for money calf sleeves on the market

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Feature /// Obstacle races

TOP THREE PREPARATION TIPS FROM OBSTACLE COURSE PRO KATIE KEEBLE Prepare as best you can, use the right equipment and, possibly the easiest of all, get some sleep 1. PREPARATION

“Make a list, go through the race in your mind from waking up, travelling to racing. You do not want to be distracted by last minute dramas! Taking longer to get to the venue than planned is the most stressful thing. Think about pre, post and during race nutrition.”

2. KIT!

“This can make or break a race – in the run up to an event attempt to work out and keep a diary of what kit works well for when; for example: ‘it’s 14 degrees and sunny - didn’t need gloves, but needed arm warmers and full length running tights’.” “Finding yourself too hot or too cold during an event can be catastrophic. I live in my Athletics8 - pre, during and post race, drinking coffee, cycling to work, under my scrubs at work.”


“Sleep is training! Any decent book I have read, research I have studied suggests sometimes to skip a training set to sleep. If you are on point with your training you will have room in your schedule to allow for this.”

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‘NEW YEAR, NEW YOU’ FITNESS PLAN Kick your body into shape in the New Year with this healthy and lean fitness plan, designed to make you feel good and achieve your ideal body in three months. By Gareth Sapstead Over the next three months personal trainer Gareth Sapstead will outline a fitness plan that leaves no stone unturned. Whether you’re looking to lose body fat, drop a dress size, gain some definition or just feel fitter and healthier; this plan will be your ultimate guide. This month it’s all about the Phase 1 ‘Setting the Foundations’ plan. Next month we’ll show you the Phase 2 ‘Define Yourself’ plan, and in month three the Phase 3 ‘Shape and Sculpt’ plan, where you’ll be fine-tuning your body for the final four weeks. PHASE 1 PLAN – SETTING THE FOUNDATIONS The Phase 1 plan is all about building your fitness foundations. Think of Phase 1 of the 3 Phase plan like building a brick house; the foundations need to be built strong and sturdy before the rest of the house is developed, in Phases 2 and 3. The stronger the foundations the longer the house will last, and the better the structure will be. In this phase you will improve both strength and fitness whilst getting your body into shape, and kicking your new fitness journey into gear. The exercises in Phase 1 are also aimed at developing basic movement patterns that will set you up for more complex exercises to come in Phase 2 and 3. For the end of January you will aim to have improved drastically at the Phase 1 exercises, lost a little unwanted body fat, gained some shape and definition, and be ready and raring to hit Phase 2 as hard as you can. HOW TO DO THESE WORKOUTS You’ll have two separate workouts to do in Phase 1 of the plan. Ideally you’ll do four workouts each week, Workout 1 twice and Workout 2 twice, alternating between the two. Workout 1 will be based around a full-body resistance training session, while Workout 2 will be your ‘steadystate cardio’ day, designed to burn calories, and lay the foundations for more high-intensity ‘metabolic- style’ training in Phase 2. Workout 1 includes 3 supersets of exercises – exercise A is performed

back-to-back with exercise B without any rest. These exercises are designed to work the entire body, kick your metabolism into gear, and enable short, fast and highly effective workouts. Stick to the plan below until the end of January and you’ll be ready to hit Phase 2 hard in February knowing you’ve set the foundations for pushing yourself harder and one step closer towards achieving your ideal fit body.

3b feet elevated plank (picture left) or long lever plank (picture right) – 3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold, rest 1 minute, back to 3a.

WORKOUT 1 Warm-up – 10 minutes of foam rolling and dynamic stretching exercise 1a kettlebell deadlift – 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions, move straight to 1b. 1b inverted row – 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions, rest 1 minute, back to 1a. 2a goblet squat – 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions, move straight to 2b. 2b suspended push-up – 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions, rest 1 minute, back to 2a. 3a dumbbell box step-up – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions each leg, move straight to 3b.

Option 2: 30-40 minutes. Brisk walking on a treadmill set to a level 8-10 incline, maintaining a heart rate of 70-80% of its maximum (3-5 out of 10 in level of perceived exertion).

WORKOUT 2 Option 1: 30 minutes. Running on a treadmill at a slow-moderate speed, maintaining a heart rate of 70-80% of its maximum (3-5 out of 10 in level of perceived exertion).

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







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Long-term shoulder pain. Catching in the joint. Aching, stiff shoulders. All terms we hear daily at Function Jigsaw. One of the most common sporting injuries across all sports involving the upper limb is non-traumatic shoulder pain. Shoulder pain of this sort can come on from any number of things: playing sport that involves lots of overhead movement such as swimming, water polo, weightlifting, cricket and tennis. It can also present itself in sedentary individuals: poor posture from sitting at a desk for long periods of time can also lead to shoulder issues and injuries. This is the sort of niggling, nagging, long-term issue that clients often say has come on seemingly from nowhere, with no clear ‘injury’ event, and no matter what approach they take, it does not seem to go. But how do you treat this sort of pain? What is the most effective way of relieving such a longstanding, debilitating injury? Shoulder pain, often referred to as impingement, tendinopathy, sub-acromial pain, or even labels such as arthritis, can all be correct definitions, but this sort of injury is often misunderstood and mistreated. This is often because not many athletes are able to identify and fix the root cause of their pain. To understand how to fix shoulder pain, it’s essential that we understand a little bit about the anatomy of the shoulder joint, what a healthy shoulder looks like, and how somebody can take themselves from an injured state over to the ‘healthy’ model that we should all be striving for in training and performance. THE SHOULDER JOINT The shoulder joint itself actually resembles a golf ball sitting on a tee. A very shallow socket that gains its stability from close interaction between a large number of muscles: most notably the rotator cuff, a group of four muscles that constantly act on the ‘ball’ part of the ball and socket joint. These four muscles work together to make sure the ball never falls from the tee, and stays stock centre in the joint no matter what position we choose to move

our arm into. In order to gain full range of motion around the shoulder and get our arm behind our back, over our head, or way out in front of us, the socket portion of the joint must also be free to move. If you feel for the edge of your shoulder blade sitting just behind your armpit, and move your arm over your head, you should feel the shoulder blade actually slide around your ribcage, creating a stable, yet mobile platform for the shoulder joint to function from as it effectively floats around the ribcage. In a similar way to the rotator cuff muscles constantly working around the shoulder joint, bigger, stronger muscles like the pecs, the latissimus dorsi, the trapezius, rhomboids, and the levator scapulae (one of the muscles coming off the back of your neck) work to position your shoulder blade as your arm moves into different positions. If any one of these muscles is weak, short, tight, injured, or painful, then effective and healthy movement of the shoulder blade relative to the ribcage breaks down and will often present as pain in the shoulder joint itself. GOOD MOVEMENT This movement of the shoulder blade is often the most overlooked factor for good shoulder health. If you habitually have your arms overhead in a sport such as swimming, but you don’t have the full ability to move your scapula into a strong position due to stiffness in the pecs and lats resulting from a 9-5 desk job, the structures working over time to stabilise your shoulder joint are the rotator cuff muscles. These then become overused and painful in the same way as an Achilles or quad tendon in runners, and the tendons of the forearm in people with tennis elbow. Once this pain sets in, the difficulty then comes from the fact that the pain actually weakens the muscles further, causing more overuse, and more pain. The key to breaking this cycle of pain leading to weakness, weakness leading to more pain, and so on and so forth, is simple: to remove the root cause of pain. Whilst the cause of shoulder injury is

different from person to person, the first thing that should always be addressed is any lack of mobility. Tight, short muscles are the first things to affect movement in negative ways. If we do not have a full range of motion available because a muscle is too short, inevitably another muscle or joint will have to pick up the slack and move further. Think of the skill of throwing a cricket ball: if you have a stiff, tight shoulder and tight pecs, this won’t stop you throwing the ball, you’re still going to perform that skill as best you can, but based on what physical traits you have available to you. Instead of throwing with perfect technique, your body will naturally compensate, gain range of motion from other body parts such as the hips, ankles, or spine, and you run the risk of injury somewhere else in the body. With this considered, look to improve your range of motion first by stretching out and mobilising the muscles of the chest, back, neck, shoulders, and hips, before undertaking appropriate, well thought out, good quality strength and movement training exercises, designed to encourage good movement of the shoulder blade and stability of the shoulder joint. This sort of exercise includes lots of strength work to the upper back and shoulders, rotator cuff exercises, and stability exercises using bands, kettle bells, medicine balls, or unstable surfaces such as wobble pads and cushions. This sort of upper limb ‘balance’ training helps to train the muscles of the shoulder to work together, keep the golf ball sitting dead centre on the tee that is the joint socket, and ensure your long term, pain free, healthy shoulders.

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

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SUNRISE AND D-LIGHT The main source of vitamin D is sunlight, so what do we do about it during the long, dark winter months? Our diets can help... By nutritional adviser Helen Cole

WHY DO WE NEED VITAMIN D? Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphate from food and so is essential for healthy bones and teeth. It is also thought that this vitamin has functions in the brain, the nervous system, cellular growth and regulation of the immune system. The main source of vitamin D is by exposing the skin to the UV radiation in sunlight and we are unlikely to obtain all the vitamin D we need through diet alone. SYNTHESISING VITAMIN D Our ability to synthesise vitamin D is affected by our skin pigmentation – the darker it is, the less we can produce. There are three sorts of people who may have difficulty in synthesising enough vitamin D – older people, especially those who are bedridden or unable to go out easily, and clients who live in regions with limited sunlight. The same goes for people whose clothing completely covers their skin, either for protection or for cultural or religious reasons. RECOMMENDED INTAKE As our bodies store vitamin D, it does not need to be consumed every day. Most people should be able to meet their vitamin D requirements through sun exposure and a balanced diet. However, at this time of year, the emphasis is on diet. For adults under the age of 65 and children over the age of 3, there are currently no UK guidelines as to how much vitamin D we should have each day. However, the World Health Organisation recommends 15 mcg for over 65s, 10 mcg for 51-65 year olds and 5 mcg for everyone under the age of 50. DO WE NEED SUPPLEMENTS? In the UK, the Department of Health recommends the following people take daily vitamin D supplements: • All children aged six months to five years old • All pregnant and breastfeeding women • All people aged 65 and over • People who are not exposed to much sun • People with darker skins such as people of African-Caribbean and South Asian origin. CAN WE TAKE TOO MUCH? Although it is unlikely that we will consume too much vitamin D through natural food sources, there is a danger if we take additional supplements when we don’t need them. Because it is a

fat-soluble vitamin and is stored in the liver, too much vitamin D can be toxic. Taking 25 mcg (0.025 mg) or less a day of vitamin D supplements is unlikely to cause any harm. SOURCES OF VITAMIN D The best dietary sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, eggs and smaller amounts in meats. Fortified foods such as margarines, cereals, yogurts and soya milks also have added vitamin D. LEVELS OF VITAMIN D IN SOME FOODS: Grilled chicken breast 0.4mcg Boiled egg 0.6mcg I bowl of Weetabix 1.3mcg Half tin of tuna 2.5mcg Grilled trout 14.9mcg Tin of pilchards in tomato sauce 21.7mcg ** mcg = micrograms. 1 mcg = 1 millionth of a gram ** 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 Edited by Mary Bremner

Welcome to our new health and beauty pages, The Finishing Touches. You’ve done all the hard work in the gym, playing sports and getting fit, and now have the body to die for – or are getting there at least. So now is the time to add the finishing touches and show it off! All the sweating at Zumba or working on the weights might have made your hair go limp and frizzy. Or running up and down a pitch in the elements means your skin needs a bit of tlc.

And the odd massage to soothe those aching limbs wouldn’t go amiss. These are the pages to turn to when you are looking for the latest treatments and trends. And once your skin is glowing and your hair is gleaming, take a look at some of the latest fashions on offer to complete that new look. You’ve worked hard to achieve those sculpted muscles, so add the finishing touches and get out there to show it all off…

GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL Sometimes you just need to get away from it all, pack your bags and clear off for a bit of head clearing and ‘me time’. Whatever life throws at you (and January can be a month when you are feeling particularly battered) there is nothing that can’t be solved by beating a retreat. This could mean getting on a plane and going to a swanky resort where you indulge in numerous therapies in an idyllic setting and

emerge as a new person – nice if you get the opportunity – or something as simple as heading to the beach solo and sitting on the sand contemplating life, just taking time to gather your thoughts. Whatever your options, it’s a good chance to clear away a few cobwebs, regroup and return to everyday life ready to catch and throw back whatever life has in store for you this year.

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EASE AWAY THOSE ACHES AND PAINS WITH A SWEDISH MASSAGE The strains and stresses of life often deposit themselves in your neck and shoulders. The build up of all this tension can cause stiffness and soreness, so the ideal way to get rid of some of it is to have a massage. A Swedish massage is a traditional technique that can be adapted to suit your particular need, and release endorphins so you are left invigorated, too. We tried one – our masseuse gave a lesson in what a Swedish massage can achieve: long, smooth strokes along with kneading to loosen up muscles. The firmness was part-pleasure, part-pain (in a good way!), as the tension – created by lactic acid which causes knots that feel like gristle – was eased away. A massage releases the lactic acid, flushes the toxins into your body and the experience is incredibly soothing: at the end of the 20-minute session we were almost asleep! A tip: drink plenty of water as this will help flush away the toxins that have been released into your body.

And finally... The latest fashions to show off

BOOST YOUR ASSETS It’s important to have regular bra fittings, as it’s amazing how many women wear the wrong size. And if you’ve lost weight or changed shape you need a good bra to show off your new contours. A well-fitte d bra can make a difference to your posture and overall appearance too, making you look slimmer. Go to a good lingerie shop where an experienced fitter should quickly be able to put you at ease. You don’t have to take all your clothes off, as they can do it with your top off, but bra on. A quick glance and they should be able to judge your size accurately, then measure the torso, ask you what sort of bra you want, and find the perfect one.

To ensure the bra lasts longer, fasten it on its loosest fitting and as it loosens with age use the tighter clasps. Alternatively, if pregnant or a growing teenager try the bra on its tightest setting so that there is room to grow into it.

Essentiel, Kinzafur down coat Fun and fashionable, and very warm Price £398 From Cavells, Oakham

TIPS FOR GOOD BRA FITTING ● 80% of the breast should be supported by the back of the bra with 20% coming from the straps. ● The back strap should be level and fit smoothly. You should be able to fit two fingers under it. ● The wire on the cups should sit on your ribcage not cut into the breast. ● The cup should be smooth with no gaping or ‘double boob’ over the top of the cup. The middle of the bra should fit snugly against your breastbone.

Enchantee Cherry bra A pretty half-cup bra Price £56 From Poze, Stamford

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Feature /// Great walks

Tilton on the Hill and Lowesby

One glance at the map contours and village name will give you a clue to the nature of this walk, says Will Hetherington Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


This majestic walk starts in the most unremarkable of spots. I parked in Digby Close, a small housing estate which just happens to guard the stunning entrance to one of the better walks in the area. Nearly hidden between two houses is the top of the short track which takes you from almost suburban gloom straight into rural paradise. In fact the tight little valley at the beginning of the walk reminded me of a West Country Combe. Follow the path down the hill and through a couple of gateways and the valley opens out into a wider sheep pasture with a spring fed stream in the bottom left and steep banks on either side. The path heads north west across this field and then passes Springfield Hill Farm on the left. With a few sheep around I kept the dog on the lead as requested by the signs. Then after a couple more fields we crossed another stile and went down an embankment on to the dismantled railway and Springfield Farm. The old station building has been converted into a very smart looking dwelling, complete with an immaculate red telephone box and it’s

just one of the unexpected pleasures of this walk. From here the path continues north west and uphill through a couple more fields. When you get to the top of the hill there is a 500 metre stretch of track with plenty of game cover on either side so you can expect to see pheasants and partridges here. At the end of this straight route the path cuts through a small piece of woodland and drops down towards the stunning hamlet of Lowesby with its pretty church nestled into the trees. When you get to the church don’t be put off by the rather aggressive signage warning of security and dogs at Lowesby Hall as the footpath cuts off to the right near the start of the drive. There is a circuitous route around the graveyard but you only end up having to cross the drive anyway. Lowesby Hall is owned by house builder David Wilson and it is evident he has invested heavily in the upkeep of the area. The Georgian house itself is simply stunning from all angles and the grounds are immaculate, as you will discover. The footpath leads out into Lowesby Park in front of the house where you will find the impossibly picturesque and quintessentially English Tilton & Lowesby cricket ground. Once you have gone past the cricket ground you soon reach the Park Road. Turn left here and immediately after you leave the park on the road you will see the footpath sign directing you off

over the fields to the left. Cross the first stile and then head down to the bank of trees running along the hollow on your left. You will soon come to a bridge over the stream and out into the field on the other side. Turn right in the field and head towards the next trees you can see. When you reach this piece of woodland don’t go in. You need to turn left and head up the hill with the trees on your right hand side. You are now on the Midshires Way and, after a couple of fields, you will cross a road just north of Cold Newton and follow the track downhill towards Hamner’s Lodge Farm. This road recrosses the old railway before starting the steep climb towards the rather bleak farm. It was extremely muddy underfoot here with cows roaming the yard and a dog tethered to a kennel. And even after you pass through the farmyard it continues to be very heavy underfoot, so much so that I would suggest by-passing this section of the walk. There is another footpath slightly further south leading from Cold Newton back to Tilton which is hardly any diversion at all. In fact it might be quicker because the two paths join anyway. Whichever route you take the final section is straightforward enough as you can always see Tilton although the footpath joins the main road a few hundred metres south of the village and you turn left and walk back in from there.

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Distance and time Five miles. Two hours.

Lowlights There are sheep in places on the way round so the dog does have to stay on the lead where appropriate.

Where to park I parked in Digby Close in Tilton, but you can park anywhere in the village.

Highlights This walk has lots of different elements; stunning scenery, the railway houses, Lowesby Church, Hall and cricket ground and no end of contours.

s in the heart of Lowesby Hall sit untry and has fox-hunting co rkland with 18th Century pa ry formal early-20th Centu d by gardens designe ns. Sir Edwin Lutye


Refreshments The Rose and Crown in Tilton is a welcoming village pub.


Difficulty rating Four paws. This is a very tough walk with lots of high stiles, at least four climbs. It’s five hard miles but worth every step. The pooch perspective Pretty good but you have to put the dog on the lead when necessary. I met the gamekeeper at Lowesby on my way round and he couldn’t have been more pleasant but this land is well monitored so be respectful. 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.


Clockwise, from above

Lowesby Hall is a stunning Georgian house in the heart of hunting country; the view of Lowesby Church as you approach from Tilton; from the very beginning it’s clear this will be a cracking walk

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Opening Times Mon - Fri 7.30am – 9.30pm Sat 7.30am – 8.30pm Sun 8.30am – 7.30pm

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Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG33 5EJS T: 01529 531291 E: leisureclub@stokerochfordhall.co.uk


Please call to make a booking



01572 823259 BOSTON







17/07/2015 10:17













A17 A1 The Vaults is Uppingham’s version of a traditional English pub, with a A1101 brews A606 generous selection of cask ales, continental beers and local set in A47 A606 MARKET DEEPING OAKHAM the cosy welcoming Grade STAMFORD II listed building, dating from the 17th century.

M1 A50






A6003 A15 Still showing its original character features, with cosy sofas, DOWNHAM A47 A47 UPPINGHAM MARKET A47 colours, making it a relaxing place to meet. wood-burning fires and warm WIGSTON A1122 PETERBOROUGH The Vaults serves traditional pub food with a difference, offering a hearty A1 MARCH A6003 M1 A6 full of flavour and quality, cooked in-house using local ingredients. meal CORBY A43 A141 A10 MARKET A427 The perfect accompaniment to a pint of local ale. HARBOROUGH OADBY










A6116 A43


A509 A6










www.beaverinns.co.uk We are located just off the A47 between Leicester & Peterborough, situated in Uppingham’s historic Market Place.

Sat Nav LE15 9QH



Email: info@thevaultsuppingham.co.uk The Market Place, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9QH

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Feature /// Sportsman's Dinner

The Vaults, Uppingham Will and Matt enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and hearty food at this pub Matt I don’t know Uppingham too well. In fact apart from playing cricket here I’m not sure I have ever been into the town centre before. But it’s a really attractive place with lots of stunning old stone buildings. Will If you batted for your usual length of time I would have thought you would have had time for a walk around. But yes, Uppingham is a pretty market town and I've always enjoyed a pint or two in the Vaults. Then there was the time we were bowled out for 31 by Uppingham and we were in this pub by 2.30pm. I think we may have had more than two pints that day… Matt That’s a charming thing to say at dinner – I wasn’t even in the running for the Duck Cup this year. Anyway I will turn the other cheek and continue to enjoy my pint of IPA in what can only be described as a cracking atmosphere. This corner table in the main eating area by the bar really helps you feel like you're part of it. Will Good job there is plenty of space because your surf and turf main course looks like something Henry VIII would have enjoyed. And my inferno burger (£9.75) looks fantastic. I feel like I've earned it today as I did a long walk over the Rutland hills and played squash again. If I

didn’t eat and drink so much I might be in danger of losing some weight. But then I would have to buy new clothes and I don’t want that…

we didn’t have starters, and I am definitely going to the gym tomorrow and all next week, I think a pudding is fair enough don’t you?

Matt No, your Scottish genes would definitely come into play when it comes to parting with any cash. But you're right, my rump steak surf & turf (£13.95) was a giant main course. I asked for the steak to be cooked medium rare and that’s exactly what it was. Also on the plate were scampi, a generous portion of chips, mushrooms, tomatoes, peas and salad. And not forgetting the peppercorn sauce! There was so much there I couldn’t finish the chips .

Will When the barman recommended the trio of chocolate (£6.95) without being prompted my ears pricked up. And I’m glad I went for it. The chocolate brownie was fine but the millionaire’s shortbread was as good as it gets. And he said it is made by one of the waitresses who originally brought some in as a treat for the rest of the staff. No wonder the atmosphere is so good here if the staff look after each other like that. The chocolate mousse and ice cream were good too.

Will My inferno burger was really rather special. It’s served with cheese and plenty of jalapeno peppers and certainly packed a punch – but I love spicy food so it could never be too hot. The burger itself was first rate – pink, juicy and tasty. And the curly fries were the perfect accompaniment. A little touch of English mustard also worked. And all washed down with a well-kept pint of Pedigree. That was such a good main course that I really don’t want or need to help you finish those chips, but I suppose one won’t hurt…

Matt My sticky toffee pudding was exactly what I wanted, just like everything else has been tonight. It’s a great looking pub right in the middle of town with friendly and knowledgeable staff, a welcoming atmosphere, good beer and delicious well-cooked food. What’s not to like?

Matt I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist. As

The Vaults 4 Market Place, Uppingham, LE15 9QH. 01572 823259. www.thevaultsuppingham.co.uk

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Feature /// School sports

Double top for Manor as year 8 sides win county championships In December, four Year 8 and 9 girls (aged 13) from Manor High School competed in the Under 16s Table Tennis County Final at Knighton Park Table Tennis Club. The Manor High School U16s team were: Kinar Sheth, Ella Parmar-Saville, Paige Uppal and Byren Van-Wattingen. The girls played fantastically to overcome four other schools in Leicestershire to be crowned Leicester and Rutland County Champions and will represent Leicester and Rutland at the English Schools Table Tennis Association (ESTTA) Team Zone Finals in January. The past few weeks have been amazing for table tennis at Manor High School with:  Year 8/9 Girls - First at the County Finals and going to zone finals in January. They are the best team in Leicestershire and Rutland.  Year 8 Boys - First at the County Finals and going to zone finals in January. They are the best team in Leicestershire and Rutland.  Year 6 Boys - Second at the County Finals and possible wild card for the zone finals in January. They are the second best team in Leicestershire and Rutland. PE teacher Mr Burbidge said: “I am extremely proud of everyone involved and excited with the prospect of taking three teams to the zonal finals in January. The growing interest of table tennis at Manor High School can only get better and we are constantly finding players of a high standard.” The teams are looking forward to the next round of the competition and are hoping to continue their run of success to be crowned national champions in this, the fiftieth, year of the competition.

Wadokai competition Pajhan Jaffari, a Year 8 student at Manor High School, has just returned triumphant from his latest Wadokai competition. Pajhan travelled to Budapest at the end of October as he was representing England for the third year running in the FEW (Federation European Wadokai) European Championships. Wadokai is the organisation within the Japan Karate Federation (JKF) which practices the Wadoryu style of karate, a unique form of karate which was developed by professor Hironori Ohtsuka. Wadokai has numerous associated organisations and member clubs on different continents of the world. Pajhan was representing England in four categories for which he won four medals: Silver in individual kata, silver in team kata, bronze in individual kumite and silver in team kumite. 5 6 JANUARY 2016 ///

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Focus on sport at Stoneygate Headmaster Michael Murphy explains to Active why sport is valued so highly at Stoneygate School “The ethos of Stoneygate School is to give our pupils a proper all-round education. Therefore, in addition to maintaining excellent academic standards, music, drama, art and sport play a very important part in the curriculum. “Children play competitive sport from year three upwards to year eight and all the children will represent the school as we have teams of varying abilities. “We have seen how our children benefit in the classroom as their confidence builds through their sporting achievements. Our major sports are rugby, football and cricket for the boys, and hockey, netball and rounders for the girls, but other sports played regularly at Stoneygate include tennis, squash, swimming, athletics and cross country running and we play competitive fixtures in these sports too.

“Our extra curricular clubs, at lunchtimes and after school, include tennis, netball, football, tae kwon-do, rounders golf and running. Year 3 and 4 have two whole afternoons of sport per week whilst the seniors (years 5 - 8) enjoy three whole afternoons. “Understandably the standard of the sport at Stoneygate is excellent. We have had several past pupils go on to gain international honours in rugby, cricket and rounders and many have represented the county at a variety of sports. Although we enjoy winning, we also enjoy watching those less able pupils improve and reach their individual goals. All pupils are equally important to us and they receive the same amount of coaching/training each afternoon. “Over the past years our teams have won

many tournaments, most recently the National Schools English Cricket Board U11 Championships, County Schools U14 Rounders Championships, North Midland Prep Schools U9 Cross Country Championships and Area Sports Athletics at U9 and U11. As a further aide and incentive for our pupils, top coaches and ex internationals are invited to the school to give specialist tuition in the various sports. “We pride ourselves not only on the number of academic scholarships that our pupils win to their senior schools but also the many others won for sport, music, drama, and art.”  If you would like to visit the school there is an open morning on Saturday, February 6, between 10am-12noon. Alternatively contact school secretary Julia Whittle on 0116 259 2282 or email jwhittle@ stoneygateschool.co.uk to arrange an individual tour.

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Stoneygate School An Independent Co-educational Day School for children aged 3-13years.

Friday mornings during January First session on 8 January from 11am is free, followed by a Q&A in the cafe

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We’re open part-time in January Visit us on 2-10, 15-17, 22-24 and from 29 onwards

OPEN MORNING SATURDAY 6TH FEBRUARY 10AM-12NOON Help your child discover their future at Stoneygate School 6 London Road, Great Glen, Leicestershire, LE8 9DJ 0116 259 2282 www.stoneygateschool.co.uk school@stoneygateschool.co.uk



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Feature /// School sport

How to choose the right swim school The New Year is a great time to enrol your child in swimming lessons, but choosing the right swim school can be confusing. Discovering the swim school’s method of teaching is essential, as it will help determine whether it suits your child and your expectations. Conrad Nancarrow (pictured), Oakham Swim School’s swim manager, offers some helpful advice: “Age and ability quite often don’t go hand-in-hand in swimming, so it is important the teacher takes time to assess each child’s capability before deciding which stage they should join. Swimming in a smaller group allows more focus on the individual child, particularly if an assistant is working alongside the teacher.” It is important to choose a swim school with a structured approach to progression – Oakham Swim School follows the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) Learn to Swim Framework offering Stages 1 – 7. These stages take your child through the ‘FUNdamental Movement’ programme and are based on developing core skills, teaching through fun as well as practice. Conrad recommends: “Choose a programme that fits your child’s preferred method of learning. If they have the fundamental skills but don’t seem to be progressing, consider an intensive course – delivered once a day over a week to really hone their skills and grow their confidence. A good swim school will recognise the need for a

little bit of extra coaching, and can offer individual sessions or a group crash course. “Look for a warm and friendly atmosphere when you arrive. Starting or changing swimming lessons can be a daunting prospect, so staff should be welcoming and considerate. It is also a good idea to book a free trial session to make sure it does meet your expectations. Swimming lessons can be a busy experience, but try to talk with the teacher either before or after the lesson to find out what you can do to support your child’s progress.”  Call Conrad Nancarrow on 01572 758754 to find out more

Check mate! Pupils from Oakham School were challenged to a simultaneous chess display by grandmaster Graham Lee. The school’s resident chess grandmaster challenged 20 pupils, many of whom take part in the school’s chess club, to see if they could beat him. They took their turns one by one as Lee progressed around the room playing moves in response. Lee orchestrated his moves in such a way that he was able to checkmate six pupils consecutively. Two students managed to earn the offer of a draw, which both accepted, having successfully deflected Lee for an impressive amount of time.

Matt in Tigers A League win Oakham School pupil Matt Riddington was part of the team who won the Leicester Tigers Aviva ‘A’ League team who enjoyed a 9-7 victory over Sale Jets at Welford Road on Monday evening. Matt’s rugby prowess has long been recognised by both the school and the Tigers.

Vale’s Daniel becomes British Judo champion Nine members of Vale Judo’s competition squad were in action recently in the biggest competition of the year for juniors. Under 15s category Three girls were in action, fighting hard to justify gaining places in the England squad. First on the mat was Mary Tomblin competing for the first time in this national event in the under 44kg category. Despite fighting hard she narrowly lost two contests, but gained good experience. Next up were Holly Woolman-Lane and Bryony Cutforth competing in the very competitive under 57kg category. Both girls fought hard to win through to the bronze medals fight offs with Bryony gaining a

to win his next with a well-timed foot sweep against a squad player. A loss in the next contest meant he was unable to progress to the bronze medal knockout.

bronze medal and Holly having to settle for a fifth place this time round. Ryan Doyle competed in the under 50kg category for the first time, in a large group of 24 boys which included several current England squad members. Ryan lost his first contest but recovered well

Under 18s category James Reseigh competed successfully for the first time in this category in the under 42kg group by progressing from his pool to the medal knockouts and taking a hard-earned bronze medal. Igor Levitin competed in the under 73kg but failed to progress to the medal knockouts having lost his second contest to a strangle. Daniel Bennett fought in the tough under 81kg group and fought his way through to the final with an impressive display of judo tactics and

techniques – Daniel dominated the final contest in front of a large number of spectators and convincingly won the title of national champion by throwing his opponent for a full score. Sofia Palmer and Alex Cutforth fought in the large under 63kg girls category, Alex had a tough draw against seeded players and failed to progress to the medal knockouts despite working hard and showing progress. Sofia started the day well by winning with convincing throws and progressed to the last 10 girls in the medal knockouts but had to settle for a ninth this time round. Vale Judo is now the biggest judo club in the East Midlands and has more than 220 members. For details visit www.valejudoschools.co.uk. /// JA N UA R Y 2 0 1 6 5 9

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


Harborough lose their unbeaten record BY JEREMY BESWICK


arket Harborough finally lost their proud unbeaten league record this month, but did so in a way that demonstrated that their season is still full of great promise. The setback came away to fellow league leaders and local rivals Lutterworth but, disappointed as they will doubtless be, there was much to admire in their performance. After a strong start from the home side including a try in the first ten minutes, Harborough fought valiantly back and levelled the scores as Joe Margetts went over in the corner. They went on to have much the better of the first half overall, a second try from Michael Woodford and the boot of Billy Blair contributing to a 15-5 lead at the break. Lutterworth came out for the second period with all guns blazing and dominated possession for long periods helped, it must be said, by a malfunctioning Harborough line out performance. This was a time for do or die

defence and the Harborough forwards did not disappoint, standing firm in the face of continuous pressure. A penalty from Lutterworth seemed to be all they would have to show for their endeavours until eventually the damn broke and a second try reduced Harborough’s lead to two points. A rare foray up field gave the forwards some much needed breathing space and the backs chipped in by winning a penalty albeit – given the strong wind - in an unkickable position in the corner. Doubtless not trusting the line out to maintain possession the usual kick for touch was spurned in favour of a tap penalty which ultimately came to nothing. Needing only three points to steal the match Lutterworth desperately tried to set up a drop goal opportunity to no avail until the last play of the game. Harborough must have thought they’d won it as they saw one of their number charge down that final attempt, only for the referee to award a penalty for offside. It was therefore quite literally the last kick of the match that

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gave the home side victory by 16-15. It must have been hard to take for Harborough, but they bounced back with a 22-17 win over Vipers. Elsewhere, South Leicester went down to a 22-30 home defeat to Otley or, as ever-upbeat president Wayne Marsden put it: “We won the second half 15-3.” The visitors were first over the try line but were soon pegged back by Tahir El Mahdi whose try followed good work by Gaz Turner. The next 20 minutes were something of a disaster for South however, as three penalties and three tries from the visitors effectively put the game out of reach by half time. Trailing by 27-7, in the second period South’s forwards ensured Otley knew they’d been in a game by dominating the pack. Their performance earned a try for Kris McFedries who picked up from the base of a scrum to dive over. Rick Aley was also able to get across the white line with a magnificent assist from Chris Bale, but this was no more than a consolation try – too little, too late to save

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Tigers talk Richard Cockerill was, understandably, in bullish mood aer the Tigers’ recent victory over arch rivals Bath which continued their good start to the season. Traditionally a side that starts slowly then builds momentum as the campaign progresses, third place in the table is more than satisfactory for the Tigers at this stage. “The players showed great spirit to find a way to win when we were under intense pressure” he said. “We’re in a good place right now, but we know that can change very quickly”. In spite of the inclement weather, Welford Road had been a good place to be on that Sunday. There was even a collectors’ piece – Dan Cole’s first try for 78 games – and the milestone of Ed Slater’s 100th cap. If you’re yet to visit this season, you’ll be surprised by how much the match day experience has improved overall, and not just because the side is now playing much more with the ball in hand. The recently installed big screen is a big bonus, not least because it dampens the tedious questioning of refereeing decisions. Furthermore the new stand is nearing completion, there seems to be more glitz and glamour surrounding the main event and even the new strip is easier on the eye. Of greatest importance, of course, is the innovation in their style of play. “What’s key is that we’ve been able to freshen things up,” said Cockers. “On reflection, I made a mistake in not replacing Matt O’Connor” (the attack coach who le for Leinster in 2013). “With Aaron Mauger here it’s exciting now. Our core values, culture and heritage remain the same but it’s been refreshing. All the new backroom staff are good blokes, and Aaron knows and respects the culture of the club having played here”. He added: “Sure, we have some robust discussions but if we all agreed on everything we’d be a bad coaching team.” He was also full of praise for their new number seven, Kiwi Brendon O’Connor. “He’s one of those players that’s not manufactured. Rugby comes naturally to him having played since he was a child. For example, if you join in at every breakdown you might win the turnover steal stats but cost your side in other ways defensively. He’s smart. He knows when to go in and when to stand back”. This new side feels as if it has more natural talent and flair. It was a them. A narrow defeat at home to Sandal also followed. However, South always knew this season was going to be a learning process at the higher level and overall they will be content with their progress so far. Leicester Lions would have known they’d have their work cut out with the visit to Macclesfield, their hosts topping the table and sweeping all before them, and the match reflected the form book with an easy 43-0 home win. Lions’ director of rugby, Ken Whitehead, said: “This was a good performance by a skilful and effective Macclesfield side. They are by far the best team we have played this season. Lions showed real commitment by

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Matt Smith in action againat Stade. He’s relishing the new style of attacking play

revelation to see them run the ball from deep against Bath not just once but three times, including an effort from five metres from their try line that included a long lobbed pass over the head of a Bath shirt. Wing/centre Matt Smith told me: “We’ve been told that we’re expected to make some mistakes, but to take the risk nevertheless. If the space is there, run the ball. Even from the deep. The phrase we use is ‘get your Vs up’ – it means make sure you’re using your peripheral vision to spot where there’s space and then exploit it.” Another side desperately in need of a different philosophy is England and Cockers’ attention turned to new coach Eddie Jones. “One of his main challenges will be the relationship with the clubs and how that works. It will be new to him not to have centrally-contracted players, but we here want to make that relationship work and get as many players into the England squad as we can. I’m sure he’s looking for experienced assistance, someone who knows northern hemisphere rugby and knows the clubs. There are plenty of talented people around. It would be silly not to at least have a look.”

sticking to their game throughout the match.” Next up was the visit of Caldy, two places above them in the table, and Lions will have been keen to stop the rot with a better performance on a windy day that rendered kicking problematic. After exchanging penalties Lions landed the first try through Joe Collingham who exploited a hole in Caldy’s line out. Alas, a yellow card for Drew Rudkin soon followed and Caldy were able to profit from the numerical advantage, a try making the scores level at the break. Caldy had the better of most of the second half and two penalties saw them lead with 10 minutes remaining, but they then had their own yellow card and this accentuated Lions’

scrum supremacy. Right at the end they were awarded a penalty try to put them one point behind. With no time left for a further play, Jon Williams stepped up to take the conversion in what were still very blustery conditions but kept his nerve to win the match 15-14. Whitehead highlighted Lions’ ‘stoic and valiant defence’ as the key to their narrow win. They would need all that stoicism the following weekend when, having made the long trip to Preston after getting the all-clear from a local referee’s pitch inspection, they arrived to find it under 5cm of water and completely unplayable. Oh how they laughed…


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Harborough brought back down to earth with a bump BY JEREMY BESWICK


arly on this month, Harborough Town continued their recent fine run of form to reach six matches undefeated with narrow victories over Sleaford and Deeping Rangers, but were then brought down to earth with a bump by Holbeach and Eynesbury Rovers, who both beat them convincingly. Two goals in the first half from Barnes Gladman (‘a cracker’, according to the club’s Gary Wainwright) and Dino Tuksar were enough to see off Sleaford but the Deeping side that came to Bowdens Park were in good form themselves and this was an even closer affair, Jordan Crawford’s goal on the half hour proving to be the only one of the game with keeper Glen Giles coming to town’s rescue by tipping a Deeping effort onto the bar in the last minute. Away to a Holbeach side smarting from their elimination from the Vase, town started well and there was no hint of the goal landslide that was to follow for most of the first half. Holbeach’s opener didn’t come until

the 38th minute, but almost immediately afterwards a penalty doubled their lead and deep into first half stoppage time they added a third to put the game out of Town’s reach. A further two goals in the second period completed what looked like an easy win at 5-0. Wainwright’s perspective was somewhat more upbeat. He said: “In a scoreline that suggests a one-sided affair the truth was something a little different with Harborough hitting the woodwork, having a shot scrambled off the line and several times calling the home keeper into action. However, Holbeach showed the importance of taking the chances when they arrive.” Their mini-wobble continued with the visit of Eynesbury Rovers who swept them away 3-0 in the face of what felt to me at the time like a Force 9 gale. Oadby Town’s travails continue but they did defeat Ellistown and Ibstock United – unfortunately, that’s only one team, not two – by 1-0 in an away cup fixture. In the league it was the same, all too familiar story, with losses

against Eynesbury, Northampton Spencer and Kirby Muxloe. Midfielder Ben Stephens has jumped ship to Kettering but captain Joe Latham returned against Eynesbury after a long absence through injury, and they came close to getting something from the game. After scoring one each, Oadby’s coming from Scott Halland, the visitors went ahead as a result of what the club’s Tom Robinson called ‘a questionable penalty decision’. Thereafter, town had an attempt cleared off the line and several other chances until Perry Johnson was shown a red card for a professional foul on the halfway line which rather scuppered their chances of a comeback. Robinson commented: “The result leaves Oadby without a win in nine league games. However the performance was spirited and there were definite positives to take.“ At home to Kirby Muxloe Kev Charley was unlucky to see his effort hit the bar and Mason Hirst also came close before a piece of pinball football in the Poachers’ penalty area saw

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News from the Foxes I suppose it was inevitable, but the back pages of our national newspapers are currently awash with Jamie Vardy transfer speculation. Doubtless most – if not all – of the stories are baseless, but there is always the danger that the noise and rumours in and of themselves can prove unsettling to a player and become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The pundits point out that, at 29, this could be his only chance to join a so-called “big” club and substantially increase his current earnings at Leicester, widely believed to be a ‘paltry’ £40,000 a week. To play devil’s advocate for a moment, it’s true that - high flying though the Foxes are at this stage of the season - by the end of the campaign it may still appear to him that only another club could offer him a stab at the Champions League or a greater chance of landing some other silverware and, although he’s already paid sums beyond most people’s wildest dreams, with only three to four years le of his career the chance to maximise his financial return to support him and his family for the rest of his life might be a factor. On the other side of the argument is that this Leicester side, although far from a one-man show, are set up perfectly to enable Vardy to thrive. Although there are plenty of other clubs who rely on the fast, counterattacking football that suits him, you wouldn’t say that either of the Manchester clubs, nor Chelsea nor Arsenal have a tactical approach that is anything like as good a fit to Vardy’s strengths as Leicester’s is. Certainly Claudio Ranieri will do all he can to retain him. He recently went public with the following typically likeable and eccentric description: “Yesterday, my friend in Italy asked me ‘what does Vardy have?’ To explain, I said I believe if Vardy takes a bulb, the bulb switches on. Jamie is electric. He has good energy – I’ll bring him into my house so I don’t have to pay for electricity! He wants to play every game. He’s very brave. He’s very fantastic. Each of us has a grade of pain – he doesn’t feel pain.” In the end, it may boil down to the fact that success and money didn’t land on Vardy’s plate easily. It took years of toil and sweat in non-league and lower-league football to get him where he is today and I suspect he’s a much more grounded individual than most of his peers as a result. He also seems to be well aware that Leicester’s style suits him. Here’s what he said when picking up his Guinness Book of Records certificate for beating Ruud van Nistelroy’s record. “I’m delighted to have broken the record, but them concede just before half time. They started the second half brightly but another red card – this time to Chris Hollist for two yellows –again gave them a mountain to climb and Kirby added a second at the death. Leicestershire & Rutland’s under 18 team progressed in the FA County Youth Cup with a convincing win (if that’s a strong enough phrase) away to East Riding by eight goals to nil. County FA chairman David Jamieson said: “The side were convincing throughout and, despite difficult conditions, played confident and attractive passing football. Five


Mark Albrighton in action during Leicester’s 1-1 draw at home against Manchester United

the most important thing is that the team is getting positive results. I’ve managed to get on the end of things, but it’s my teammates that have got me into the positions and all of our hard work that is making the difference. The record is a nice thing to have, but I don’t mind who is scoring the goals, as long as we keep picking up points every time we go on the pitch.” It would be a great shame if he spent his last years on the subs bench at the Etihad or Stamford Bridge and, aer all, there’s always the MLS in a couple of years time for one last pay cheque. The best result all round would be for the Foxes to qualify for Europe themselves and for the owners to tip the balance by allowing him to renegotiate a more lucrative contract soon. Then he can achieve his ambitions right where he is – which is where he should be.

different players got their names on the scoresheet, which shows just how well the team worked together for the victory. The squad’s manager Nimesh Patel and his coaching team are working wonders.” Successes too for Annie Zaidi, Pay Singh and GNG FC. Annie coaches at Leicester City Girls’ Centre of Excellence and has won the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration at the Sportswoman of the Year awards and was congratulated by video by none other than David Beckham. Pay Singh, who is the county’s coach development officer, won

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Coach of the Year at the Asian Football Awards and GNG FC was chosen as Team of the Year. David Jamieson said: “Annie is a brilliant role model to the players she works with and this is a thoroughly deserved accolade. Pay Singh does fantastic work in making sure we have a strong network of highly-qualified coaches and I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the award. GNG FC is a great club, which works hard to make sure it has a positive impact on the community through its work.”

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Are you ready for the game season?

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Leicester lose to league leaders


4-0 loss to top of the table Canterbury disappointed Leicester but the quality of the performance gave them real confidence as they go into the mid-season break, looking forward to the second half of the season. As usual, Leicester were the brighter side at the start of the game and dominated proceedings for the first quarter. However, good chances following excellent slick passing hockey were squandered and it was Canterbury who then stole a march with a short corner goal against the run of play, with their first shot of the game. Leicester’s confidence was dented and Canterbury added a second close to half time following a poor defensive lapse. Half-time enabled Leicester to re-group and re-focus and came out of the blocks strongly for the second period. The game was more even but yet again it was the opposition who took their chances and Leicester who wasted theirs. The game ended with Leicester still pressing for a consolation goal, but Canterbury stood firm and claimed three deserved points. Leicester now have a mid-season break and return to action in the outdoor game on February 6.


Above Leicester Riders completed a strong 83-65 Lizzie Honarmand in action against Canterbury win at third place Worcester Wolves that saw

Leicester Riders completed a strong 83-65 win at third place Worcester Wolves that saw them move to second place in the BBL Championship. A close contest turned at the end of the third period when Tyler Bernardini beat the buzzer from beyond-the-arc to stretch a four-point lead to seven. He then added five more points in a 7-0 first minute of the final stanza as Rob Paternostro’s side seized the initiative before going on to complete a win that sees them improve to a 10-1 record. Worcester had started the game well, ending the first period in front before Drew Sullivan began to exert his influence on the game, finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists – while Neil Watson added 20 points and five assists. Tyler Bernardini led the scoring with 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds showing his strength on both ends of the floor. It is Riders’ second victory over Wolves this season, meaning they now hold the head-to-head tie-breaker should the teams finish the season with the same record.

Show your support for local sport Email advertise@theactivemag.com /// JA N UA RY 2016

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13/12/2015 11:50



Daring Dianas at the steeplechase BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


case of supply and demand judging by the entries. There were two very full days of dressage from 8am-6.30pm. Trish Wright on Tausendsassa and Sarah Hawkins on Greys Rhapsody won the advanced mediums. To qualify, riders have to be over 55 years old or the horse has to be over 15 years old, then they are in separate sections. You only need to be an associate (free) member to start the process. Nico Morgan

he Dianas of the Chase side saddle race, held at Ingarsby Old Hall in High Leicestershire on November 29, was a great way to start the Christmas period and a sure way to know that winter is here. It is the only side saddle steeplechase in the world and is run over two miles of the best old turf, timber and hedges the Quorn has to offer. It was just the third running of the event and is fast becoming one of the highlights of the rural calendar. With all 14 riders in full traditional dress, it is a sight to behold. Millie Stewart-Wood, who is a vet at Valley Equine Hospital in Oxford, was the first past the post to take the trophy, with Polly Mallender in second place riding a beautiful palomino called Pancake. Local rider Lisa Freckingham has moved her horses to Somerby to the Gemini Stud, where she will continue to event horses over the 2016 season. Lisa has been riding for the Preci-Spark team and finished an impressive second in the Dubarry Young Event horse final. She’ll be one to watch out for next year. Vale View Equestrian Centre hosted the first British Dressage Veteran Horse and Rider


Victoria Nicholls and Sarah Byrne in action at the Dianas of the Chase event at Ingarsby Old Hall

Championships over the weekend of November 1, which had a plethora of entries from all over the country and some very stiff competition. Last year British Dressage announced the new championship with classes for horses and riders from prelim to advanced medium. It is working hard to entice new members and it seems a bit of a

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The point to point season has just started and these are your local dates...  Midlands Area Club, February 14, Thorpe Lodge, Notts  Cottesmore, February 23, Garthorpe, Leics  Belvoir, March 19, Garthorpe, Leics  Oakley, March 20, Brafield-on-the-Green, Northants  Woodland Pytchley, March 26, Dingley, Northants  South Notts, March 28, Thorpe Lodge, Notts  Quorn, April 23, Garthorpe, Leics  Fernie, May 1, Dingley, Northants  Melton Hunt Club, May 8, Garthorpe, Leics.

New classes starting in February

across Leicestershire and Rutland

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // January 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 // January 2016  

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