Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // March 2016

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ISSUE 11 // MARCH 2016



South Leicestershire’s sport and lifestyle magazine

Spot a Redshank Eat healthy chocolate Make Simnel cake Rejuvenate a clubhouse

Sad d le U p! Cycling special:

Train and ride better The best kit to buy Great local routes


A £1200 Rutland Cycling bike

ISSUE 11 // MARCH 2016

Forest on Fire Boom times for Leicester Forest Cycling Club 03

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The Finishing Touches All the latest beauty and fashion

19/02/2016 13:23

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.

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Editor’s Letter MY FIRST PROPER JOB, BACK IN THE LATE 1990s, was working for a magazine about the cycling industry, and it was a pretty miserable experience. Every day I had to speak to shopkeepers or companies in the trade and all they ever did was moan. They would say that nobody wants to go cycling, and if they do, all they buy is cheap rubbish, the professional sport is full of drugs and all the small independent shops are closing. How things change... in 2014, when the Tour de France came to Yorkshire, bike sales jumped by two-thirds off the back of a boom already fired by the success in the 2012 London Olympics. Now, more than two million people across the country cycle at least once a week, an all-time high according to British Cycling. If you go to a store now, what is striking is the cost of the kit on display: bikes worth thousands of pounds are commonplace, when such a thing would have been inconceivable a decade ago. It’s great to see and it is no surprise cycling has taken such a hold round here because the huge variety of wide but quiet country lanes make for some fabulous riding. So this month we have given over the magazine to this hugely popular pastime. As spring inches towards us, has there ever been a better time to drag that old bike out of the shed, or splurge some of your hard-earned cash on a shiny new machine? Whatever you’re planning, we have plenty of advice on what to buy and where to go. Enjoy the issue! Steve

Publisher Chris Meadows Editor Steve Moody Deputy editor Mary Bremner Production editor Julian Kirk Art editor Mark Sommer Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Withers Sarah Stillman Amy Roberts Editorial and Advertising Assistant Kate Maxim Accounts 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 If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@ If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@ Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. ISSN 2059-8513 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318 Disclaimer

Twitter // @theACTIVEmag Facebook //

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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Contents ACTIVE LIFE 12-13 HOW TO...

ISSUE 11 /// MARCH 2016


Bake a Simnel cake, prune roses and make a bonnet


The seasonal delights on offer outdoors


Another tasty recipe from Riverford Organic


Chief inspector Chris Cockerill


Great things to do locally for all the family


Leicester’s thriving (and friendly) cycling club




Our essential guide to getting out on your bike


The final instalment of our fitness plan


How to have a healthy Easter


More tips and products to help you look great




The Sunday Times writer on the invasion of cyclists


Essential gear to keep you dry during April showers


We try out the Best Western Rockingham Forest Hotel


We head to Tugby and Rolleston


Our focus on the latest achievements from local pupils

60-66 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring

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21/02/2016 08:43

Your property in Park Lane

A strategy for success Fine & Country has the unique advantage of both in-depth knowledge of the local property market, as well as benefiting from both a national and international marketing reach due to the extensive array of resources and offices available to us, including our London Head Office and Showroom on Park Lane.

The Fine & Country national network of offices in over 225 locations

We adopt a lifestyle approach to the promotion of your property, rather than just focusing on the bricks and mortar. This includes a journalist conducted seller interview that aims to highlight important lifestyle aspects of the home that factual descriptions fail to do justice to. Our bespoke property brochure includes professional photography, floorplan and EPC as standard whilst Refined Magazine is our own national publication that showcases your property throughout the UK Fine & Country network at over 225 offices. The dedicated Fine & Country Media Centre is based in London on Park Lane where the team not only coordinate our national advertising but regularly secure editorial coverage throughout printed and online press including, but not limited to, The Sunday Times, The Times, The Saturday Telegraph, The Financial Times, The London Evening Standard and Country Life Magazine. Online marketing includes a Premium Listing on Rightmove as standard, the country’s leading property portal, as well as presenting your property to a global audience on 65 portals, across 35 countries and five continents, where the property details are translated into each country’s native language. Why not call in and see us in Market Harborough or visit us at Park Lane when next in London to discuss our innovative approach to selling homes and how it could be of benefit to you.

Fine & Country Market Harborough 36 High Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7NL Tel: +44 (0)1858 463747 | Email:

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15/02/2016 14:27

In Play

Robert Smyth students pull a sporting all-nighter More than 130 Robert Smyth Academy students participated in Lock In 2016 recently, remaining in school overnight to participate in more than 15 different sports across 24 hours. The theme of the event was the Olympic Games with students creating team names and banners surrounding competing nations. The sports included football, handball, uni hoc, basketball, goalball, dodgeball, skipping, salsa and badminton. Students participated in a mass early morning wake up led by sports leaders and were given a inspirational speech by Leicester Riders player and GB basketball captain Drew Sullivan as part of an opening ceremony. The event was being held to raise money for the charity ASSERT, a charity closely linked to one of the members of the student sports council.

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MAKE A SIMNEL CAKE Ingredients 175g butter 6oz so brown sugar 3 beaten eggs 6oz plain flour ½ tsp ground mixed spice 12oz mixed raisins, currants and sultanas 2oz chopped mixed peel ½ lemon, grated zest only 1-2 tbsp apricot jam 1 pack of marzipan Method Preheat oven to 140 degrees. Grease and line a 18cm cake tin. Roll out a third of the packet of marzipan to make a circle 18cm in diameter – keep the rest for the cake topping. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and then sift in the flour and mixed spice. Finally add the mixed dried fruit, peel and lemon zest and stir together. Put half the mixture in the cake tin, smooth the top and cover with the circle of almond paste. Add the rest of the mixture and smooth the top, leaving a slight dip in the centre. Bake in the oven for 1 ¾ hours. Test to see if it’s cooked by inserting a skewer in the middle – if it comes out clean it is ready. Remove from the tin and allow to cool. Brush the top of the cooled cake with apricot jam. Divide the marzipan in half, roll out one half in a circle to cover the top of the cake and make 11 small balls with the other half. Put the circle on the top of the cake and set the balls around the edge. Brush the marzipan with a little beaten egg and then place the cake under a hot grill for a couple of minutes until the top of the marzipan begins to brown.


Make an Easter bonnet There are literally hundreds of ways to make an Easter bonnet but we are going to stick to the traditional bonnet decorated with flowers. Find an old straw hat – charity shops could be a good source for this – and then scour the high street for cheap imitation flowers, or better still pick fresh flowers such as daffodils, primroses and tulips from the garden. And then simply attach them to your bonnet. To finish it all off, and to help secure the flowers, tie a ribbon around the middle.

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PRUNE ROSES March is the time to prune your roses as this will encourage vigorous growth and an abundance of flowers, as well as maintaining a good shape. Cuts should be no more than a quarter of an inch above a bud and should slope away from it so water does not collect on the bud. Remove any dead wood and don’t be afraid to cut the bush back hard – it will do it good.

Lutterworth High School

OFSTED Outstanding 11-16 Academy in Lutterworth, Leicestershire

Household tip of the month… It’s spring clean time. Rather than do it yourself, why not employ a cleaner to do a massive blitz for you?

Where learning comes first 01455 552710

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Activelife NATURE

BOXING HARES Hares are quite common in this area, so keep an eye on the fields for hares chasing each other and boxing. This was thought to be a competition between males seeking dominance, but is now thought to be a mating dance between the male and female.


Redshanks are medium-sized waders, a little larger than a lapwing, and named because of their long red legs. The bird is grey-brown above and paler below in summer. In winter it appears more grey. In flight a white rump and hind border on the wing are good field marks. Redshanks are wary birds, alerting other wildlife to potential danger with a ringing ‘tew, tew’ call. Redshanks are found all year round locally, frequenting Rutland Water and Eyebrook Reservoir where they meander along the shoreline or wade belly deep in the water seeking shrimps, snails or worms. In winter up to 30 may be seen around Rutland Water and not just on the nature reserves. Smaller numbers occur at Eyebrook. There is evidence of spring and autumn migration through our area when odd birds have been seen on Stamford Meadows and at Banthorpe gravel pit. Marshy fields, where redshanks nest in tussocks, are scarce in this intensively farmed area and breeding attempts are limited to the reservoirs, especially at Egleton reserve on Rutland Water, where recently created wet meadows attract them. The sight of an anxious pair of adults escorting two or three downy chicks to the water is one of the delights of a summer visit to the reserve. Terry Mitcham

Primroses March is the month when you might spot your first primrose in flower. They flower between March and May and are a delightful sign that spring is on the way. Wild primroses are to be found in damp, shady conditions and grow in small clusters across the woodland floor or at the base of hedgerows.

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STAY FRESH AT YOUR EVENT! WHAT WE CAN DO YOU FOR YOU... Are your events getting booked up? Do you need more fridge space for food or drink?

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BRAISED CHICKEN, SHALLOTS AND LEMON INGREDIENTS 1 lemon 2 chicken legs Bag of fresh thyme – use two good sprigs 3 garlic cloves 500g shallots 1 stock cube 25g butter 1 tsp brown sugar 150ml white wine 1 bay leaf 600g potatoes Salt and pepper

METHOD Season the chicken legs well on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a dash of oil in a casserole dish or frying pan and fry the chicken over a medium heat until golden brown all over (1).

While the chicken browns, peel the shallots. Use a peeler to pull 3-4 long strips of zest from the lemon, then juice it (2). Split the garlic cloves open. Boil the kettle.

Remove the chicken from the pan and leave to one side. Add the shallots, fry for 5 minutes on a medium heat, stirring until starting to colour all over.


foams and starts to darken slightly (3). Now add the wine, bay leaf, stock, garlic cloves, a couple of thyme sprigs and a pinch of pepper.



Bring to a simmer, sit the chicken on top of the shallots, pop on the lid and cook on a low heat for about 40 minutes, adding a dash of water if it starts to dry out. Alternatively, pop it into the oven at 180 degrees for the same amount of time.

Meanwhile, wash your potatoes and dice into even 2cm square pieces. Boil for 8 minutes in salted water until partly cooked.


Crumble the stock cube into 250ml of boiling water, stir until dissolved.

Drain the potatoes and heat a dash of oil in a frying pan. Add the potatoes to the pan and sauté them for between 10 and 15 minutes until browned and cooked through (4).

Add the butter and sugar to the shallots and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the butter

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

Tip You want most of the liquid to have been absorbed, but not so much that the shallots catch at the bottom of the pan.

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

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Our four old Uppinghamians – Angus Collins, Gus Barton, Joe Barnett and Jack Mayhew (sailing as Ocean Reunion) – have finished their rowing race across the Atlantic and did it in style. They won the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and, at the same time, broke the previous race record by completing the race in 37 days and nine hours – four days quicker than the previous fastest time. The team rowed a tough rotation of two hours on and two hours off for 24 hours a day and coped with sleep deprivation, a tropical storm, sea-sickness and extremely painful salt rashes. But they stuck at it and were much more successful than they ever imagined they would be. Joe said: “Before you leave you have irrational fears of sharks and stuff but when

you’re out there you have more rational fears about the water.” Now that the mammoth task is over the boys have been able to work out how much money they have raised for their two charities – The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Teenage Cancer Trust. At the moment, the figure is more than £130,000. Congratulations to them for a job well done and hopefully they are getting a well deserved rest. To donate to their chosen charities visit www. which has a link to their Just Giving page. Do you have a challenge that you are planning and training for? If so, drop an email to: – we’d be delighted to hear from you.

THE RACE IS ON A group of friends from Leicester have set themselves an ambitious challenge – to cover 1,015 miles by rowing, running and cycling as well as completing 13 miles over muddy obstacles, a 10km run, 100 miles on a bike and the London Marathon. They intend to complete seven sporting events this year and would be delighted if lots of you joined them by competing at some of the events too. Despite being pretty fit and active they are training hard for the first event in April – the Family Health and Wellbeing Festival – and will carry on until the final event, the London Marathon in April 2017. Jit Chauhan, leader of the group, said: “We are pulling together to complete a series of challenges which will be great fun but at the same time we are aiming to raise lots of money for LOROS, Ward 27 Teenage Cancer Unit, Leicester Royal Infirmary Bone Marrow Transfer Unit and the Humphries Memorial Trust.’ We’re going to be following the team and reporting on how they get on at each event. To find out more follow them on Twitter @7eventsleics.

PHOTOGRAPHERS WANTED Brocks Hill Country Park in Oadby and Wigston has set volunteers a photography challenge – can you photograph the changing seasons in your local area to help map the effects of climate change on the local environment and wildlife? Oadby and Wigston Borough Council wants to find out how fast the seasons change and if there are any differences in timescale from previous years. So grab your camera and start snapping. The council would like the photos to be shared on social media. Search for Natural Discovery Conservation Projects on Facebook or look up @NaturalDiscov on Twitter.

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WIN 20 MILES. 200 OBSTACLES. We’ve got another chance for you to win free entry into this year’s Rat Race Dirty Weekend taking place at Burghley House this May If you have taken part before, then can you beat your best time – and if you’ve never done it, then this is a chance not to miss an incredible experience. We are giving away free entry for one lucky winner to the amazing Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley House – a brutal obstacle race set in the grounds of the finest Elizabethan houses in Britain. Rat Race Dirty Weekend is bringing its monster builds, phenomenal after-party and brutal course back to Burghley House on May 7. The world’s biggest obstacle course race offers up 20 miles jampacked with 200 obstacles designed to test your limits and give you the best obstacle racing weekend in the country. Rat Race’s after-parties are legendary and the one this year is going to be an absolute beast. Previously headlined by Ocean Colour Scene, Greg James, Reverend and the Makers, Ash and Craig Charles, you’re guaranteed a good night in the big top. All race entries include after-party entry and you can buy extra tickets for Saturday night for your supporters. Friday night entry is free. For more information head to



win FREE For your chance to Rat Race entry into this year’s to: go nd eke We ty Dir om/ www.theactivemag.c competitions

RAT RACE FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! Rat Race Dirty Weekend isn’t just for extreme adult athletes – there’s also a fun challenge for kids too, the Young Mucker. Starting at 2pm on the same day (May 7) as the main race, the 5km course is aimed at 8-15 year olds. Designed specifically for kids, it’s still full of plenty of mud and obstacles and even accesses parts of the adult course too. So it is sure to whet the appetite for what’s in store when they’re old enough to tackle the full 20 miles and 200 obstacles. Adults are permitted to run alongside children during the race and there is a medal, rat rag, chocolate, water and special event stash for all finishers included in the £25 entry fee. Enter at

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A day in the life of



’m now a chief inspector at police HQ at Enderby but I started in the police force after seeing an advert on the TV for special constables. I was fortunate because as soon as I started the job I knew I’d found what I wanted to do, and I’ve enjoyed every minute ever since. I’ve had a number of roles across the ranks. I was head of operations and contingency planning which involved planning major operations, football matches, firearms and public order operations as well as potential incidents at East Midlands Airport and other critical sites. As new threats emerge, we shape our response accordingly. I used to be the local policing unit commander responsible for Leicester city centre. It was a busy, very pressurised job but also incredibly rewarding. City centres have many challenges, such as homelessness and street drinking, so I worked with Leicester City Council and voluntary agencies to help reduce that and other anti social behaviour. It’s important to remember we’re there not just to arrest, but to support vulnerable people as well. Prior to that I was chief inspector in charge of criminal justice so I was responsible for things such as custody, identification suites and all the firearms and alcohol licensing. I‘m currently working with the five East Midlands forces to bring on board a common IT platform for the recording of crime, intelligence, prosecution case preparation and custody. Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire are already on it and by June all the forces will be live so it means we will use the same database. We will all instantaneously view the same information, transfer it at the touch of a button and have much closer collaboration between us. It will be the first time five forces in the country will be able to do that. Each day is different and I travel across the region a lot. People often have the impression that policing is all about racing around with blue lights on. Those things happen, but most of the time keeping our communities safe is done away from public view. The force is currently in the midst of a big recruitment drive for special constables – it’s a really great way of helping your community. In the 22 years I’ve been in the job I’ve dealt with some very challenging incidents that, quite rightly, most people never get exposed to. There will always be incidents that stick with you and how you manage that is key. You have to have huge resilience and fortunately after a traumatic experience we have a debrief process with

‘Most of the time keeping our communities safe is done away from public view’ counselling and support. Policing is a very demanding career but also very rewarding. I’ve recently got back into motorcycling and my bike is a Triumph Tiger. I forgot how much I enjoyed riding after being away from it for 10 years. My wife tells me that it’s something to do with my age, and it may well be but it clears my head and is great fun. I also enjoy clay pigeon shooting. We have a team in the national league and championship representing the force. I’m the chairman and Leicestershire came second last year. There’s always a friendly rivalry between us and Lincolnshire Police. I was lucky enough to win a

medal at the national championships last September – my first one in 12 years shooting. I’m also really interested in the First World War. My great-grandfather joined the 9th battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment in 1915 and was wounded and captured in 1917 at the Battle of Polygon Wood. I found some paperwork in a shoebox a relative gave me and since then I’ve done a lot of research and try to go to the battlefields in France and Belgium at least once a year. I go with a group of friends from work who are also interested in history, so we usually make a bit of a trip of it. This year is the first year I’m going on the bike.

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Easter Holiday Courses at Uppingham

From baking to sport and nature to art there is an extravaganza of activities on offer at Uppingham this Easter! 4 - 6 April 4 - 6 April 4 - 8 April 4 - 8 April 4 - 8 April 4 - 8 April 11 - 12 April 11 - 15 April

Easter Baking for Kids Nature Explorers Art Week – Drawing & Painting Course Easter Tennis Easter Cricket 1 Upholstery (adult course) Athletics Easter Cricket 2

£120 £125 £250 £215 £215 £225 £90 £215

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

as well as demonstrations and the chance to have a go yourself. There are also family fun days taking place throughout the Easter holidays. Check out their website for more details: www.

■ Kelmarsh Country Show takes place over Easter on March 27 and 28. The family show offers the chance to have a go at clay shooting, a busy main arena, food festival and lots more stalls and entertainment. ■ There’s an Easter craft extravaganza on March 26 at Brocks Hill Country Park. Free to enter, there’s lots of locally made crafts and produce for sale


■ The Flashback Festival is coming to Rockingham Castle on July 9 and 10 and tickets are on sale now. Offering a weekend of 1970s, ’80s and ’90s music and stars such as Billy Ocean, Kim Wilde, The Bay City Rollers and Soul ll Soul, as well as Heaven 17, there are also facilities for camping. To find out more visit or ring 0845 075 6101.

■ Join in with the Hallaton hare pie scramble and bottle kicking on Easter Monday. The scramble starts at 2pm, the game at 3pm. It’s an ancient custom that’s great fun – basically a mass ball game played with small wooden casks called bottles. But first of all the hare pie has to be blessed and distributed among the crowd. Go along and see for yourself. ■ There’s a children’s Easter egg hunt at Rockingham Castle on March 27 and 28. Get the kids out searching for eggs and wear them out! www. ■ Sir David Attenborough has officially opened the University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre. Open to all, the gallery offers one of the largest contemporary art spaces in the region and hosts many exhibitions. Its main aim is to improve access to the arts for all.

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Feature /// Cycling

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FOREST ON FIRE Leicester Forest Cycling Club is booming, with four times the number of members it had five years ago. Jeremy Beswick finds out how they’ve done it

CYCLING IS A FAST GROWING sport in the UK, beginning to match the popularity it has always enjoyed on the continent. Clubs across the country are flourishing, with riders inspired by the multiple successes from British athletes in the velodromes and in the mountains of France, and none more so than the venerable Leicester Forest Cycling Club. Founded in 1923, five years ago it had around 60 members but has quadrupled in size to around 240 today. I spoke to member Andy Ward, who gave me the low down: “We’d really like to recruit even more members, and of all levels of ability from beginners to enthusiasts and children as well as adults. It’s good for the club to have a wide range of cyclists because that broadens the variety of activities we can get involved in.” He was keen to correct some false assumptions he’d obviously come across in the past. “People sometimes think joining a cycling club will be all about Lycra, expensive bikes and the right kit with everyone trying to go as fast as possible, but that’s not what we’re like at all.” He told me they usually have around three different rides each weekend at varying levels of pace, distance and difficulty and, as evidence of the inclusivity of their approach, here’s how they describe their ‘Sunday social’ ride on their website: “This is an ideal ride for those seeking an introduction to club cycling at a more leisurely pace, to build confidence before joining the faster-paced club rides. So this is a great starting ride for those wanting to improve their fitness, build up their speed and distance before attempting the faster and longer Saturday rides that the club also has to offer. Non-members are welcome.” Proof that you can have a leisurely sociable ride and a chat and still burn off the calories. The club’s Facebook page is also full of members asking ‘Anyone care to join me...’ to organise smaller ad hoc rides and helpful answers to questions such as “Hello! So I’d really like to come for a ride with the club if that’s ok? I’ve never cycled with a club before only been out with friends. When do you ride and how far/fast?” There are excursions organised by the club to events such as the Tour de France and participation in the Dunwich Dynamo – a night time ride from London – and I’m told the annual dinner is a must. Andy himself joined six years ago and he

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Le and below

All ages, sizes and abilities are not only welcome but also catered for at the club. As well as road racing there are mountain biking, trail riding and Audax events

added: “One of the reasons we’ve grown is we pride ourselves on being welcoming. I remember when I first went along, everyone was so friendly and supportive I signed up on the spot.” Indeed, they refer to themselves as ‘Leicester’s friendly cycling club’. Andy’s a GP by profession, so he’s qualified to say: “Cycling’s a really excellent way to get healthy – both physically and mentally. But it’s a fun social activity as well. We go to some beautiful parts of Leicestershire and it’s a great way to explore.” Members will see hidden gems of the county they otherwise wouldn’t and get to share them with others rather than cycling alone. At the elite level, the club’s produced many local, county and national champions in many different disciplines of cycle racing. Time trials, road racing, mountain biking, Trailquest and Audax riding are all enjoyed by various members of the club. If you want to improve then you’ll find that encouragement, advice and guidance from other more experienced cyclists is always on hand and there is even qualified coaching from Nick Walling, who’s involved with GB cyclo-cross and Team Wiggins. There’s also a special junior section – The Rockets – for five to 16 year-olds. Although it’s possible to spend thousands on hi-tech cycles and kit if that’s your thing, you’ll have gathered by now that, for this club at least, it doesn’t need to be the case and that it can be an eminently affordable activity. Club subs are only £12.50 per year or £5 for under 18s and £25 for families. Hence you’ll meet people from all walks of life united by their love of cycling and the outdoors. As the club says: “We are a little different to many clubs who exist only for racers and chain-gangs. We are all cycling fanatics, but like to enjoy what we do at the same time. Our conversations are more likely to be about which cafe we will ride to rather than what our resting heart-rate might be. “We have members of all shapes and sizes and guarantee a warm welcome for any new members, regardless of experience, equipment or ambitions in the sport. That said, we do have some very good riders but we don’t care what you ride, how fast you ride it or whether you

‘We don’t care what you ride, how fast you ride it or whether you shave your legs. As long as you ride a bike, you’re welcome here’ shave your legs. As long as you ride a bike, you’re welcome here. All that we ask is that you have a sense of humour and a tolerance for the aged!” Feel like giving it a whirl? The advice Andy gave me was: “Take a look at the website and chose a ride. If you’re not sure you can keep up, email and ask. We don’t like to leave anybody behind. Then bring your bike and a helmet and just turn up.” Alternatively, the Sunday social is a good place to start if you’re a beginner. Whichever way you go, if you do choose to join this thriving club then relatively effort-free fitness, fun, friendship and the fair fields of Leicestershire await you. What’s not to like? For more details, check out:   

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21/02/2016 09:10

Feature /// Club maintenance

Building blocks The second part of our series on how to keep your club’s facilities in the best condition WHETHER YOU ARE A professional organisation such as a golf club or leisure centre, or a small amateur sports club, maintaining your building and grounds is essential. But it can be an expensive and complex business. Setting a framework and action plan for upkeep and maintenance is the first step, because as with most things in life, prevention is better than cure. So to start with, here are some tips on how to create a plan, and the various organisations you could speak to who can help give you guidance.

PRODUCING A MANAGEMENT PLAN Clubs should produce a management plan to set and monitor standards. The plan should start with the process of surveying and recording the state of current facilities and ground, assessing

the standards, deciding on future standards and the need or otherwise to alter the regime or initiate layout or other changes. In order to simplify the collection of information, it is best to divide up any large site into small sectors or compartments that can be easily identified, because the issues with building will be very different to those with grounds. Brief action notes and timescales for action plus costs can then be added to the plan. Discussions with club members and their reactions to pitches are vital at this point. In the maintenance plan, clear times at which vital items are to be ordered must be established, such as soil, fertilisers, seed, machinery. This will enable work to proceed smoothly when planned. Any plan will need updating regularly.


• Institute for Sport, Parks & Leisure (ISPAL) The Grotto House, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9NE Tel: 01491 874800 • Institute of Groundmanship (IOG) 28 Stratford Office Village, Walker Avenue, Wolverton Mill East, Milton Keynes, MK12 5TW Tel: 01908 312511 • National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) 2d Woodstock Studios, 36 Woodstock Grove, London W12 8LE Tel: 0208 735 3380 • British Standard Institution (BSI) 389 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4AL Tel: 0208 996 9001 • Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) RoSPA House, Edgbaston Park, 353 Bristol Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7ST Tel: 0121 248 2000 • Health and Safety Executive Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS Tel: 0845 345 0055 • Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI)

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St Ives Estate, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16 1AU Tel: 01274 565131 • British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) Landscape House, Stoneleigh Park, National Agricultural Centre, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG. Tel: 0870 770 4971


In many sports clubs, the wash and shower rooms take the biggest pounding. Studs, spikes, mud, bits of tape and rubbish end up strewn around and with stressed players often in a rush to get out on the pitch or the course they don’t tend to look after the place as they would their bathrooms at home. So it’s no surprise that they can get tatty pretty quickly, with broken doors, locks and toilets a regular sight. Especially if you have bought cheap, flimsy units and sanitaryware. The thing is, that for visitors, your facilities say a lot about the way the club is run. If a parent brings their kids along for introductory sessions and finds the club an unhygienic tip, with leaking plumbing and broken toilets, what might their view be of joining them at the club? Julian Beardsell, at Leicester-based Oliveti Cubicles, says he sees a lot of clubs and organisations who have had this problem. He said: “A glance around any of the big private sports facilities will show you how important high quality and stylish washrooms

and changing rooms are. The big brands carry out regular refits – for a reason. “Your facility may have had years of hard use, inadequate cleaning and un-repaired damage resulting in a tired and unloved appearance. Sometimes it is tricky drawing the line between a low cost washroom clean up, and a complete refit. The first thing to decide is what level your washrooms or facilities are at. “Walk in with a neutral set of eyes – take a look around as a visitor would – and be honest.” There might be some things that would benefit from a quick fix, but Julian recommends breaking the room down into sections: floor, ceiling, panels, lockers, benches, wall covering, sanitary ware and accessories such as showers, hand dryers and mirrors. “Then decide what’s wrong, what’s perfectly OK, what is worn out, and what can be simply cleaned up,” he said. “Decide if the washroom facility is well or badly laid out, or just too cramped, if you need provisions for wheelchair users as per regulations, and put a plan together. “Expertise, such as ours, is about all of the above. It costs nothing, apart from a coffee maybe, to call us over to take a look. We’ll then present you with a plan and prices for either a quick makeover or more complete building works.” Tel: 0116 277 7771



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21/02/2016 13:47

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Guest column

The invasion has begun – and it’s clad in Lycra The Sunday Times writer Martin Johnson on the rise of the cyclist ome of you may be old enough to remember a television series – long enough ago for it to have been filmed in black and white – called The Invaders. It began with a chap driving around late at night in a remote part of America pulling over for a nap, and when he woke up he spotted a spacecraft disgorging what appeared to be humans, but who were actually dastardly aliens who’d been programmed to infiltrate society and eventually make slaves of the unsuspecting humans. Needless to say, when our hero reported this first sighting to the authorities, he was politely patted on the head and sent on his way with the suggestion that a slightly less intimate association with the gin bottle might help with the hallucinations. So every week – for lord knows how many years – he fought a lone battle to save planet Earth, having learned to identify the invaders by a crooked little finger. Hello? Steve Davis used to sip his water at The Crucible with a bent little digit. Surely not… And now I fear something similar is happening to me. I too have gone to the authorities to warn them of an impending takeover by alien beings – only this time the equivalent of the crooked little finger is people dressing up in Spiderman-style Lycra body suits. They gather furtively in quiet country lanes before pedalling through the highways and byways of Britain collecting impressionable recruits for their ultimate mission. Which is, of course, for cyclists to take over the world. Is it my imagination, or are these creatures multiplying at roughly the same rate as oryctolagus cuniculus, or to give it its more common name, the European rabbit? Actually, it’s all intrinsically linked to the decline in golf club membership, as all those people who were previously content to burn off roughly five calories over eighteen holes, before repairing to the clubhouse to put a couple of thousand back on in pink gins, have now transfromed into Lycra-clad, pedal-pumping fitness fanatics. They’ve been taken in by the Team GB hullabaloo accompanying the London Olympics, which made household names of Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. The hysteria was such that the security staff at Halfords were issued with water cannon to keep back the hordes of people trying to get their hands on a Cervelo S5 Dura Ace 11 speed, and the latest aerodynamic bicycle clips.


Actually, you have to have some sympathy for those responsible for promoting cycling, given that this is a sport in which you have to be ultra careful about the way you phrase things. A chum of mine who writes on cycling was penning a sentence about Bradley Wiggins when he became the first Brit to win the Tour de France back in 2012, which included the phrase ‘shot in the arm’. And, once he realised that a shot in the arm was something you do with a syringe, he had to find a different way of putting it or risk setting off some accidental media frenzy. Drugs and cycling are inextricably linked, and it would be remiss of me to continue without revealing that I too, in my cycling heyday, resorted to artificial stimulants in order to complete an arduous journey by bike, in my case cycling 15 miles from home to meet up with my sports editor in a pub in the picturesque Leicestershire village of Hallaton. Ergo, for the route back, I was unable to contemplate remounting the old Raleigh three-speed without half a dozen pints of Theakstons in the pub, followed by several Irish malts back at the sports editor’s house. However, with the 2016 Olympic Games fast approaching, it appears that the testers will need to be on their guard against cheating that can also involve tampering with your machine as well as your body. At least judging by a recent case in the women’s under 23 cyclocross world championships in Belgium recently, when a 19-year old Belgian was found guilty of ‘mechanical doping’. Which, in layman’s terms, translates into finding a hidden engine that was propelling her bicycle along. She had a totally plausible explanation, which was that she had this friend, who happened to own an identical looking bike, and this friend decided to have a spin around the racetrack the day before the race, and when this friend left her own bike lying around afterwards, one of the team mechanics mistook it for her bike, gave it a clean and prepared it for the race. And, yes, you’ve guessed it. She didn’t notice it was actually her friend’s bike during the race, and had ‘no idea’ that it might have a concealed motor. For reasons best known to themselves, the authorities didn’t accept this wholly reasonable account of events, placing it instead into the school of ‘please sir, the dog ate my homework’ excuses. And they banned her. However, the good news is that if she really is part of an alien network planning to take over the universe, with that kind of IQ there’s nothing much to be worried about.

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21/02/2016 10:17

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Feature /// Gear




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21/02/2016 13:49

Feature /// Cycling

THE POWER OF THE PEDAL The cycling boom shows no sign of slowing, so here is our guide to everything you need to know to get on your bike this year

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GET STARTED! Alex Woollen of Rutland Cycling has some advice for how to get yourself out in the saddle, no matter if you’re a novice or haven’t ridden for years. He said: “If you are new to cycling, the vast array of equipment available can be daunting. Similarly, hearing that your colleague at work rode 100 miles over the weekend on their expensive carbon fibre bike can sound out of your reach. However, with the right guidance, kit and training, you too could be taking the right steps towards those big miles in the summer. “Your local bike shop is a hive of knowledge. At Rutland Cycling we have staff who live and breathe bikes, from daily commuters to ex-professional riders. They are always looking to share their experience and love to see more people riding bikes. They can recommend the right bike for you, the right components for your bike, the right clothing to stay comfortable and offer friendly advice to rookies and racers. “We even run group rides from our stores for all abilities where you can experience some friendly banter and competition, while gaining all those little bits of knowledge that can help you in the future. “For improving fitness, one of the best things you can do is make cycling a habit. Rather than thinking of a ride as exercise, make it part of your daily life – commute to work every day, pop out for half an hour in the evening. Whatever you can do, make it consistent. Alternatively, find the elements of cycling that you enjoy and make them part of your routine,

whether that’s going fast, conquering hills or just finding a good café in the countryside. The more you enjoy your riding, the less you think about the fitness gains you’ll be making. Gradually try and go more quickly, higher or further and you’ll soon find that your Sunday mornings are lost to cycling!”

JOIN A CLUB OR SIGN UP TO A RIDE If you’re new to cycling, you might think that joining a club is not for you. Fears of cycle snobbery and getting left behind by super-fit racers can easily put off inexperienced riders. Leicester Forest Cycling Club member Andy Ward gives his five reasons for thinking again:

1. The riding The club run is one of the great traditions of cycling in this country. Riding in a group of like-minded individuals provides a very different experience to riding alone. A chance to chat, discover new routes, enjoy the inevitable café stop and take advantage of the aerodynamic advantages of a mini-peloton can be an altogether pleasurable experience. Many clubs such as Leicester Forest offer different distances and average speeds to accommodate all types of riders. Check the website and don’t be afraid to ask if you’re worried that you won’t keep up. 2. The racing If you’re a bit more experienced, you might fancy trying your hand at racing. Whether it’s road-racing, time-trialling, cyclocross, hill climbing or mountain biking, a good club will

have representatives at most local events. Racing as a club member means you will always have a bit of support to cheer you on when you need it most. Many clubs will also offer coaching to help get the best out of your abilities. 3. The kit Once you’ve settled on a club, you’ll probably want to get hold of some of the latest club kit. A good way to identify fellow members on sportives or in races, the club jersey lets people know where you are from and can certainly be a conversation starter. Most clubs offer kit at very good prices for high quality gear. Leicester Forest ran a competition to create their latest offering, with club members voting on the final design. 4. The advice Joining a club gives you access to a huge pool of experience. Whatever problem you are having with your bike or your cycling, you can guarantee that someone in the club will know how to sort it out. Need a spare part or a specialist tool? There’s a good chance a club member has it stuck in the back of their garage somewhere. The club’s Facebook page or website forum are excellent places to get the advice you need. 5. The social side Cycling clubs are a great place to meet and make new friends. A good club will have an active social side to go with the riding. From pub quizzes to trips to watch top races such as the Tour de France, membership of a club gives you the chance to enjoy all that cycling has to offer and more. Follow Andy on Twitter: @awkwardcyclist

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Feature /// Cycling


It’s not always possible to get out on your bike and put the time and distance in, but there are other solutions. Obviously gyms have bikes that you can use if the weather is putting you off, or you’ve got a technical problem. But not many offer what Westside Gym does: a two-hour ride in a safe environment every Sunday and Wednesday, riding realistically like you would when out on the road. It’s suitable for all abilities. The session is run by Paul Brewster, a level 3 personal trainer with a passion for cycling who wants to pass on experience of competing in triathlons and Ironman events. He said: “To cyclists who wish to gain experience and fitness to hit their goals, with the possibility of attempting an Ironman challenge, we will guide you all the way, if you have the grit and determination. “What we basically do is a virtual ride. I get on the computer, map the route, its ascents and decents, and imagine the effort that will be needed for each rider in a group – when they will be at the front or in the middle, for example. “Then we have two teams, all with monitors, and they each have certain cadences, resistance and effort levels at various times on the ‘ride’. “We are out for long ride, it’s not spinning with music. We imagine we’re in a race, so there are big climbs, cadences, headwinds and changing conditions. It’s the best way of replicating what happens outside, inside, and we can look at technique, pushing people’s boundaries, improving aerobic capacity and lactic acid tolerances. “As we move into spring and the days grow longer and the weather improves there will be outside cycling in place of the two-hour indoor ride.” Cost: Westside members £5, non-members £9. Sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance booking essential – 01780 480651.


Pretty good, but now want to zoom like Froome? What if you’re already obsessed with cycling? How can the advanced cyclist get fitter and faster? It’s important to consider that once you’re building up your mileage, a good bike fit becomes important. Rutland Cycling’s master bike fitter, Andrew Shore, explains: “The more pressure we put our bodies under, the more those little niggles and posture oddities can become pronounced. “Therefore, getting a cycle fit means you can stay comfortable on the bike for longer, so you can go even further than before. “We offer fully-certified Specialized Body Geometry bike fits at our Whitwell and Peterborough stores, which provide a comprehensive, personalised session dedicated to making your riding more efficient and enjoyable.”

Andrew’s experience goes as far back as the 1980s, looking after the performance requirements of professional riders in the highly successful Team Peugeot, while Uldis is a UCI-level professional and has previously cycled for Latvia. If you want to get fast, Andrew and his colleagues are the guys to speak to.


We are blessed with some incredible countryside for riding in, with wide lanes and incredible views. But where do you start to plan a route? The Rutland Sailing Club Cycling Group have rides all over Rutland and Leicestershire, and have got some blogs linking to them on their website at or, if you’d like to join them at any time, they usually ride through Normanton Car Park most Tuesdays and Thursdays where they would be pleased to have you join them. Oakham Cycle Centre, www., has some great organised social cycle rides in Rutland. Runing rides from their shop on Thursday evenings leaving at 6.30pm. They split the rides into manageable groups, based on the average speed riders prefer. There are usually three to four groups, averaging speeds from 13mph to 20mph and covering distances between 20 and 30 miles.

Regular rides are also available at Rutland Cycling. See for the latest schedule and to book your place: Breeze mums and tots – Fridays weekly, 9.45am. Venue alternates between Rutland Cycling’s Whitwell and Fineshade stores. Free to join with your own bike, or hire a bike, child seat and helmets from £5. Breeze women – Sundays fortnightly, 9.30am. Meet at Rutland Cycling’s Whitwell store, or at the Giant Store at Normanton. Free to join with your own bike, or hire a bike from £5. Beginners – Saturdays monthly, 10am, from the Giant Store at Normanton, and Rutland Cycling Peterborough. Free to join with your own bike, or hire a bike from £5. Tuesday road ride – Tuesdays weekly, 6.30pm, between April and September. Meet at Rutland Cycling’s Whitwell store. Free to join with your own bike, or hire a bike from £5. Silver Cyclists (with U3A) – Tuesdays weekly, 10am. Rides only take place during the summer months. Meet at the Giant Store at Normanton. Free to join with your own bike, or hire a bike from £5.

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21/02/2016 14:01

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Feature /// Cycling

RIDE, THEN RELAX AND REVITALISE! Steve Moody finds a sophisticated slice of French adventure among the green fields of rural Leicestershire It’s not often you find a stylish French mountain café nestled in the greenery of the English countryside. But just outside Tugby, nestled in an orchard, is Café Ventoux – a stylish cycling and skiing bolthole beautifully designed in wood, glass and brushed metal (with a little Fiat 500 too for added charm) offering coffees and food to passers-by. It’s clearly a place that gets a lot of passing trade, and most of it is on two wheels, being on route 64 of the National Cycle Way. Having received recognition as one of the best cycle cafés in the country after such a short period is testament to the work that has been, and continues to be, put in. There are racks for bikes and lots of pictures on the walls of its customers on their adventures – not just around Rutland and Leicestershire, but all over the world. But it isn’t just a sharp espresso, a slab of cake or a wealth of great food waiting for exhausted cyclists: the café has a lots of bikes along with cycle and ski wear from high-end suppliers: Intense, Vélobici, Salomon and local bespoke bike maker J Laverack to name a few. So it’s a great place to come and shop, even if you don’t get there by pedal power. Owners Brian and Rosie Jordan first came up

with the concept when they were in France, and transplanting it to Leicestershire has been a labour of love. Brian said: “We take our name from the famous Mont Ventoux in France, which has been featured in the Tour de France since 1951. “The café was conceived around the idea of ‘summer on your bike’ and ‘winter in the mountains’, thereby creating the region’s first true cycle and ski café. “We are passionate about good food, a relaxing environment and outdoor activities, particularly cycling, running and snow sports. Our aim is to create a vibe at Café Ventoux which brings all these passions together under one roof to create a unique experience for all our customers. But remember, you do not have to ride a bike to enjoy the buzz of Café Ventoux, so why not stop by for a bite to eat, a refreshing beer or glass of wine from our a fully licensed bar?” Set within a 20-acre site, the café has parking for 500 cars and has an outside space which has been designed to host sportives. The café caters for ‘roadies’ and ‘mountain bikers’, with Saturday mixed group, beginners and ‘women only’ ride-outs being run by the team, all of

whom share the same passion as Brian and Rosie. Evening events take place with product launches and talks by professional sporting celebrities, not just from the worlds of cycling and skiing. Rosie adds: “Café Ventoux is far more than just a café, we call it a ‘destination café’. A place to eat, drink, chill out and shop. It is important to us that we have selected food suppliers which are local to Café Ventoux and offer quality as well as being ethically sourced from within the region. We have some exciting plans over the next six months and we look forward to developing our offering further.” Café Ventoux Route 64 – National Cycle Way Tugby Orchards Leicester 0116 259 8063

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21/02/2016 17:24

Feature /// Cycling

GET GREAT KIT Here are some of the best bikes available locally to suit all budgets

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Trek Madone 9.9

Lexa is a light, fast women’s road bike. Sleek shaping and a carbon fork make Lexa the perfect choice for road rides, triathlons, or however you choose to rack up the miles. It has an aluminium frame with a carbon fork and Shimano Claris 8-speed groupset. Price £575 From Bristows, Peterborough

Every detail of the Émonda line serves the same goal: to create the lightest line of road bikes. The ALR offers elegance on a new level, surpassing the performance of many carbon competitors, with its aluminium frame and Shimano 105 11-speed groupset. Price £1,100 From Bristows, Peterborough

A full carbon frame and fork, with Shimano Dura-ace Di2 (electronic gears) 11-speed groupset, every detail of the Madone 9.9 is engineered for performance, ride quality and efficiency. A women’s version is also available. Price £9,000 From Bristows, Peterborough

Giant Defy 0

Bianchi Infinito CV

Specialized Venge Pro Vias Carbon

Built on an aluminium frame made proven endurance geometry, the Defy is a versatile choice. Widely regarded as one of the best all-around road bikes for under £1,000, it is comfortable, fast and light. Price £999 From Rutland Cycling

Sitting between the middle and top of the range, with Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels and ‘CounterVail’ frame technology and cutting edge carbon fibre technology to provide vibration damping. Price £3,399 From Rutland Cycling

The fastest road bike money can buy. The Specialized Venge ViAS. Designed from the ground up to be as aerodynamic as possible, with 1000 hours of wind tunnel testing helping to refine the revolutionary frame design we see today. Price £6,499 From Rutland Cycling

Liv Avail Advanced 3

Enigma Exemplar

Liv, Giant’s bespoke women’s brand, has produced what it claims is the perfect endurance bike with a lightweight frame, compliant ride and Shimano Tiagra drivetrain. Light and lively on the climbs and supremely confident on the descents, this is a great all-rounder. Price £1,149 From Rutland Cycling

Handbuilt in Sussex using a brand new 6AL 4V titanium tube set that features a unique 44mm down tube elevating the performance of the frame to a new level. Strictly limited edition model of just 20 bikes worldwide, each one individually made and totally bespoke for its owner. Price £1,500-£12,000 From Windmill Wheels, Wymondham

Café Ventoux Edition J.Laverack J. ACK III These bikes are a bit special, and locally built. The gorgeous titanium Café Ventoux Edition J.Laverack J.ACK III has Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and hydraulic brakes. You can have your bike designed exactly as you want it, by visiting their boutique at Café Ventoux. Price £5,750 From Café Ventoux, Tugby

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21/02/2016 14:04

WIN GO ON AN AMAZING JOURNEY Planning a great cycling adventure this year? Active and Rutland Cycling can help with our brilliant competition. You could be heading off on a 2016 Genesis Croix de Fer 20 adventure road bike Tell us what your cycling adventure is and your challenge could win you this amazing bike and Ortileb panniers from Rutland Cycling, a prize worth £1,350. Whether you are thinking of riding around the world, across Europe, around Britain or through your county, tell us what cycling adventure you have planned this year and one lucky winner will receive an amazing bike and expert back-up from Rutland Cycling to help you achieve it. We’ll follow you all the way through training and the challenge in the magazine too, helping you drum up support.

The bike

One bike. Come rain or shine, the Genesis Croix de Fer 20 olive green will take you almost anywhere thanks to its excellent blend of Tiagra components, TRP Hy/Rd-C brakes and Reynolds 725 steel frame. Fast and responsive on the road, yet stable and perfectly balanced, the Croix de Fer 20 is a real pleasure to ride on both smooth Tarmac

and on terrain where you’d normally reach for a mountain bike. The wider gear range and great trickle down technology in the new 2016 Tiagra creates a premium riding feel for a more affordable price. TRP Hy/Rd-C brakes offer all the benefits of hydraulic disc brakes with standard cables. The Reynolds 725 frame is tough, and fully fitted with all the mounts you can think of.

Getting you fitted right

Rutland Cycling will get the right fit for you, using the latest in Retul sizing technology and years of good old-fashioned experience. You’ll enjoy its Bike Fit process, using the latest Body Geometry video capture technology in the hands of guys who have raced and coached at the highest level. You’ll then be helped with training, with the team getting you out on their regular organised rides and tailoring a bespoke program. They’ll also offer you nutritional advice. So you’ll be as well-prepared for your challenge as it is possible to be.


Our standard competition terms and conditions apply,, in addition to the following additional terms and conditions: • The winner must be prepared to take part in publicity, including writing a training blog on a regular basis. Failure to do this will result in the bike being reclaimed by Rutland Cycling. The bike only becomes property of the winner upon completion of the chosen event. • The winner must be prepared to train, as per the training schedule set out by Rutland Cycling, for the event of their choice. • To be in with a chance of winning the bike you must live within 50 miles of Rutland Cycling’s Whitwell store.

How to win

To enter the competition send us your CV – not your actual CV, a cycling CV – stating your name, address, cycling experience (if any), the challenge you’re planning and 100 words telling us why you should be shortlisted. Send your cycling CV, along with a picture of yourself, to by Wednesday, April 20. After the closing date, a select panel will choose a shortlist of entries to feature. We’ll announce those shortlisted in the magazine and then readers will be asked to vote for who they would like to see win the bike. So what are you waiting for?

Also up for grabs are these Ortileb panniers worth £150

• Entrants must be over 16. Entrants under 18 are able to apply but must have parental permission and parents must be prepared to travel to Rutland Cycling’s Whitwell store with the winner if the winner is unable to organize transport to the training sessions and event. • The winner, and those shortlisted, must be willing to have their pictures printed in Active Magazine, and shown on social media. • By entering the competition you confirm that you are in a fit medical state and the event will not put you in any medical danger. If you are unsure then please seek advice from your doctor before entering. Active magazine and Rutland Cycling will not be held liable for any medical issues that arise.

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21/02/2016 09:15

FITSPIRATION NOT THINSPIRATION Survey reveals sports stars, not celebrities, are increasingly the inspiration for us wanting to get fit The majority of women now look to high-achieving sportswomen such as Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill, England football captain Steph Houghton and boxer Nicola Adams for fitness inspiration, rather than celebrities, a survey has found. According to a nationwide survey of 2,000 women by active wear firm by Stacey Jackson, their influence now ranks higher than the likes of Kelly Brook, Jessica Alba and Khloe Kardashian, illustrating a shift in the way women want to look, from trying to be thin, to being fit. There has been a shift from purely physical goals – how you look in a mirror – to one involving internal goals, such as how many push-ups you can do or weight you can deadlift. Research from Fitbit corroborates this: it found that 46% of people in Britain now consider their personal feelgood factor and achieving goals more important than looking good (23%). HOW TO BE FIT, NOT THIN Strength train Strength training increases muscle mass in the body for toned muscles. You will need to increase the ratio of lean muscle mass in the body versus fat to achieve a well-defined physique. Aim to complete two to three strength training sessions per week with exercises that target all of the major muscle groups. Short cardio sessions Do cardio exercise three to four times per week to improve heart and lung health. While cardio is great for the heart, it also burns calories for weight loss. Heavier weights Lift heavier weights to gain muscle. In order to do this and increase strength, you will need to lift heavier weights for fewer repetitions, rather than lifting lots of light weights. Eat more You will need to eat more calories overall in order to gain muscle and improve your fitness level. The body needs adequate energy intake to fuel workouts as well as everyday physical and mental activities. This is just the start: if you want more advice on how to achieve this and what will work best for you, speak to the experts at your local gym or a personal trainer.

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Many of you will have been influenced to get out on the road by the rise of British cycling over the past few years. Dave Brailsford, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy are all very much household names following recent Tour de France and London Olympics successes – and all have been knighted for their efforts. The costs of success for amateur cyclists aiming to improve their times can be sizeable. We all want a top-of-the-range bike with a lighter frame, better brakes, electronic gears, more streamlined clothing, and an aerodynamic helmet. This list goes on and could set you back well over £1,500. So what if we suggested doing something that costs much less but will still improve your performance and give you those marginal gains that all amateur cyclists crave? FUNCTION JIGSAW AND TEAM BOTTRILL Function Jigsaw has teamed up with newly-formed Leicester-based professional cycling team Team Bottrill. Together, we aim to show cyclists a dynamic which proves that you don’t have to just train harder on the bike to improve your performance. We have developed a comprehensive movement screening programme which outlines any individual cyclists’ movement flaws. From this screening, we can devise individual corrective exercise as well as a strength and conditioning programme to enhance performance and reduce the risk of any further injury. Done well, this can give cyclists those marginal gains that everyone is looking for. Bottrill said: “You can get whatever equipment you like but lots of riders have imbalances in their legs and body which mean they are never reaching their full potential. “This screening movement programme enables you to find out where any imbalances may be and work on improving them. “The riders from my team that have taken part so far are really pleased with the outcome.” HOW TO GET THOSE MARGINAL GAINS – ASSESS YOUR MOVEMENT The following are three tests of the programme that we have completed with Team Bottrill and are three ways of improving your performance. I wanted to outline a few simple cycling-specific assessments that you can all do and score yourself from 0 to 3 on the levels of success you reach. 1. STRAIGHT LEG RAISE Lying on your back, raise one leg at a time

and measure the range of movement at your hip. This is a great test for hamstring flexibility and you will ideally achieve a range of 90 degrees. 0 would be 90+ degrees. 1 would be 60+ degrees. 2 would be 45 degrees o 3 would be less than 45 degrees. Improvement: Hamstring stretch. Feeling a pull through the back of your thigh and hamstring. Improves lower back pain. 2. SINGLE LEG SQUAT Sat on a chair, stand up and down tapping your bum on the chair and standing up again. Repeat five times. Isolated assessment of the lower limb mechanics and control, through a repetitive pushing action. 0 full control 1 some instability at the knee 2 poor knee control knee points over second toe 3 no control at the knee and a true valgus, knee points inside big toe Improvement: Swiss ball squat. Double leg squat. Improves quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal strength. 3. WALKING LUNGE A dynamic single leg exercise incorporating a cycling action from one leg to another. Assessing the movement control at the hip, knee and ankle. 0 full control and stability 1 some instability at the knee 2 poor knee control knee points over second toe 3 no control at the knee and a true valgus, knee points inside big toe Improvement: Clam. Increases gluteal strength and reduces knee pain. A more comprehensive batch of tests is completed with each Team Bottrill athlete and a more structured exercise plan can be advised from the results. You can find these exercises online. If you would like any more information on the prices of a movement screen and how you can make the marginal gains discussed in this article, please contact: or call 0116 340 0255.


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21/02/2016 13:52

sa lo no mon w in ski st we o c ar k

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

wood lane tugby leicester le7 9we

tel: 0116 259 8063

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

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

the region’s favourite destination cafe


NEW YEAR – NEW YOU FITNESS PLAN – FINAL PHASE From the start of the New Year we’ve been showing you how to make 2016 your fittest and healthiest year yet. Active has shared tips on nutrition, recipes, injury treatment and prevention, and exercise advice. If you’ve followed us over the past few months you’ll be familiar with our ‘New Year – New You’ fitness plan; a plan that is designed to help you lose body fat, target typical problem areas, get in shape, and strengthen weak and under-used muscles. In the January issue we focused on phase 1 (setting the foundations), progressing in February to phase 2 (define yourself). If you’ve followed this by now you should have seen some great results, but in this final phase (shape and sculpt) it’s all about putting the finishing touches to your new and improved body. FINAL PHASE – SHAPE AND SCULPT In phase 1 it was all about setting the foundations, setting you up for future success in your new fitness journey and exercise plan. Phase 2 got a little more complex and involved slightly harder and more challenging workouts, and maximising the time spent in the gym – why spend hours working out in the gym when you can get better results in half the amount of time? One of the objectives of phase 2 was to do just this; minimal time spent for maximum results. In the final phase time in the gym is maximised, but the workouts have got a little harder. This plan is all about putting the finishing touches on your body, becoming even more lean and defined, and pushing your fitness a little further. In order to do this a little more effort is needed. Enter Metabolic Resistance Training! MRT is a highly effective form of training where a circuit of exercises are performed in a series using the same form of resistance. The idea is that you select your form of resistance, in this case you’ll be using a Kettlebell, and then perform around 4-8 exercises back-to-back with minimal rest in between. MRT is a great time saver, only taking around 30 minutes per session, and combines the strengthening and body shaping elements of resistance training with even more fat burning potential than your typical cardiovascular exercise routine. MRT can also elevate your metabolism for hours, and even days, after doing the routine. There’s also minimal fuss involved in MRT routines. In this case you’ll select a single Kettlebell,

complete each exercise back-to-back, rest a little at the end of the series of exercises, and repeat for 3-5 rounds depending on your time allocation and fitness levels. HOW TO DO THESE WORKOUTS As in phases 1 and 2, you’ll have two separate workouts to do; an MRT workout and a cardiovascular workout. Each week you’ll ideally perform five workouts. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays you’ll perform the MRT workout, and on two other days of your choosing you’ll do just 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise. MRT workout – complete 3 days each week, ideally Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday/Sunday. Perform each of the five exercises back-to-back without any rest in between and without setting the Kettlebell down. Rest for 2-3 minutes after doing all five and then repeat the entire series of exercises again for a total of 3-5 rounds. If you haven’t been following our previous workout plans or are new to MRT-style training, then start with just 2-3 rounds and work up to 3-5 rounds. You can also begin at three rounds in week 1, four in week 2, and five in weeks 3 and 4.

Cardiovascular workout – take the day off from MRT and instead perform 20-30 minutes of medium intensity cardiovascular exercise. Any form will do, just keep your heart rate around 70-80% of its maximum. MRT WORKOUT Warm-up – 10 minutes of foam rolling and dynamic stretching exercise 1. KETTLEBELL 1-ARM HIGH PULL – 6-8 repetitions each side, move straight to 2. 2. KETTLEBELL 1-ARM SWING – 6-8 repetitions each side, move straight to 3. 3. KETTLEBELL 1-ARM CLEAN – 6-8 repetitions each side, move straight to 4. 4. KETTLEBELL 1-ARM PUSH PRESS – 6-8 repetitions each side, move straight to 5. 5. KETTLEBELL GOBLET SQUAT – 6-8 repetitions each side. Rest 2-3 minutes, repeat routine 3-5 times. CARDIOVASCULAR WORKOUT Warm-up – 10 minutes of foam rolling and dynamic stretching exercise, followed by any form of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise for 20-30 minutes maintaining a heart rate of around 70-80% of your maximum (HRmax).






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

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21/02/2016 09:17


Reasons to choose Banks & Banks Local Business Personal service Extensive product range Unbeatable prices

Direct supply to your builder now available


KITCHENS 01780 250062


SAVINGS! We provide a wide selection of merchandise, plus the convenience of speciality departments and exclusive member services, all designed to make your shopping experience a pleasurable one. We are confident in the quality and value of our products, and we stand behind them with our guarantee of satisfaction. The annual membership fee for Standard Trade Membership is £20 (plus VAT). The annual membership fee for Standard Individual Membership is £25 (plus VAT). Membership Criteria applies. Membership must be obtained before purchases can be made. Costco accepts cash, debit card, cheque or American Express.

Costco Leicester, Westmoreland Ave, Thurmaston, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE4 8PH T: 0116 269 0730 E:

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Costco Wholesale is a membership warehouse club, dedicated to bringing our members quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.

19/02/2016 19:28


CHOCS AWAY? Nutritional adviser Helen Cole on how to treat yourself more healthily this Easter WITH EASTER FAST approaching, chocolate is very much on all our minds. But, as we step into a more health conscious era, are we kidding ourselves when we hear that chocolate is good for us, or is this just a good excuse to eat as much as we like? And, are all chocolates created equal? Let’s look at some stats comparing small bars (100g) of milk and plain chocolate: MILK CHOCOLATE Calories









Of which sugars






Saturated fat





















Anti-oxidant power


TE/100g20,816umol TE/100g

HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS: • Both are high in calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar. • Plain chocolate actually contains more fat and saturated fat, but significantly less sugar, than milk chocolate. • As expected, milk chocolate is a good source of calcium, which is needed for strong bones and teeth. On the other hand, plain chocolate contains much more iron, magnesium, copper and manganese than milk chocolate. Copper and manganese play important roles in anti-oxidant reactions within the body. • Plain chocolate has four times more caffeine than milk chocolate. Caffeine may have negative effects, such as insomnia,

on caffeine-sensitive individuals. • ORAC is a scale that quantifies the anti-oxidant capabilities of various foods. The ORAC of plain chocolate is almost three times higher than that of milk chocolate. Cacao is a fabulous source of flavonoids, which are part of a powerful group of anti-oxidants known as polyphenols. Flavonoids may help to fight heart disease, cancer and ageing through their anti-oxidant boosting effect. SO, WHICH IS BETTER FOR US….? Although milk chocolate may taste great, it’s not nearly as good for you as plain chocolate is. This is because milk chocolate contains less of the original cacao bean than plain chocolate does. Although milk chocolate does contain some cacao solids, this is diluted with the addition of milk solids, cream and sugar. This is important because the more cacao, the more flavonoids, and the better for you the chocolate becomes. So choose dark chocolate varieties that contain at least 65% cacao. Having said that, plain chocolate is still very high in calories, fat and sugar. So, you still need to consume dark chocolate in moderation. Limit yourself to no more than half a small bar (or around 50g) per day. Flavonoids are also found in red wine, fruits and vegetables. So including more fruit and vegetables is a great way to promote cardiovascular health, and an occasional glass of red wine won’t hurt either! Cole Nutrition offers a full dietary analysis to identify the requirements for each individual, looking at current eating and lifestyle patterns or habits and identifying possible changes in realistic and achievable terms. Whatever your lifestyle, Cole Nutrition will endeavour to find the perfect balance for a happy, healthy you. If you would like to book a consultation or find out more about what we offer, contact Helen Cole on 07966 050193, email or visit our website at All information in this article is provided by Future Fit Training.

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21/02/2016 09:18


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

EXERCISE ISN’T JUST ABOUT LOOKING GOOD Most women want to get fitter to improve their appearance – fact. Men, on the other hand, often start exercising because they feel generally unfit or have been advised to by their doctor. Either way, exercising to look good – an added bonus – is one of the least important reasons why we should exercise, but I’ll take the benefits anyway. Getting fit and taking exercise is of great benefit to health. Strong is better than skinny and lifting weights will help you avoid injury in day-to-day life. Learning to use weights correctly can help you avoid injuring your back when lifting a child or heavy shopping. Feeling strong in the body helps you mentally feel strong as well. There are more benefits of exercise, and there really are too many to list, but here are some of them: ● Helps avoid osteoporosis in older women by increasing bone strength, but also sustains flexibility and balance ● Endorphins are released every time you exercise that give feelings of pleasure ● Ageing is slowed down ● Better immunity and lower stress levels ● Helps fight depression. The benefits of exercise are limitless, we all know that, and the added bonus of

looking good in a bikini is just that, a bonus, but a very welcome one. The long term effects on our health are what really counts – and it’s fun. KEEPING FIT WHILST PREGNANT Pregnancy can be a challenging time on any woman’s body, which means it is especially important to keep as active and fit as possible. With the guidance of a physiotherapist pregnant women can safely exercise, giving health benefits to them and their baby. Participating in moderate intensity exercise at least three times a week improves cardiovascular health and also has long-term cardiovascular benefits for the baby. Scientific studies have proved that an unborn baby has a healthier heart rate if mothers exercise during pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy can help keep a healthy pregnancy weight, so help reduce the chances of developing pregnancyinduced diabetes. Pregnancy will naturally put extra strain on certain areas of the body, sometimes causing aches, muscle tightness and muscle weakness. The body produces relaxin during pregnancy, which is

responsible for making joints more flexible in preparation for labour. Taking part in pregnancy-specific exercise will strengthen core muscles and main muscle groups, including the pelvic floor and protect those more supple joints so preventing injury during and after pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy will also release those feel good endorphins.

Charlotte Chapman from Physio and Pilates In Motion offers Pregnancy Fit and Post-Natal Pilates Classes. For more details on the classes, visit her website at www.

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THAI DEEP TISSUE OIL MASSAGE This is a massage that really does iron out the lumps and bumps of tight, knotted muscles. My tiny, lovely masseuse certainly packed a punch when it came to deep massage. Every part of my body from my toes to my scalp was massaged. And when it’s described as deep tissue, it really is. The masseuse’s clever hands found every pressure point – and I’m not going to say it was exactly pleasant some of the time – but the pain was a good pain and I could feel the muscles give up their tightness. As the massage continued it became more relaxing as my muscles accepted her skilled hands. A Thai masseuse is well trained and can tell from pressure points on your feet whether you have problems sleeping, have

other health problems and even if you are constipated. It was quickly pin-pointed where my particular aches and pains were – neck, shoulders and lower back – and even what was causing them. She was able to tell me that I was putting more pressure on one leg when walking as I was favouring the other leg because of a long-term ankle injury, and this was causing my pelvis to twist. I hadn’t even realised I was doing this, but it all made perfect sense. I left the massage feeling slightly tender but invigorated. The next day I knew I’d had a good pummeling, but after that I felt wonderful – no aches, pains or stiffness. I’m definitely going back and would thoroughly recommend a Thai massage. A one-hour massage cost £40.

And finally….. The latest fashions to show off

Holly dress £65 www.crewclothing

Barbour Wytherstone quilt £168

Replay Hyperfree Luz skinny jeans £145

TITANIC SPA Arriving at the Titanic Spa on a bleak wintry morning, thoughts of ‘dark satanic mills’ came to mind. The spa is housed in a converted mill just outside Huddersfield. Enter the spa and your surroundings are forgotten immediately. A warm welcome awaits with friendly staff who couldn’t be more helpful. A quick tour of the facilities and we were left to change into our robes after being given our timetable for the day. The treatment rooms are quiet, spacious and well furnished. My first treatment was a body wrap using Decleor products which was incredibly relaxing as well as effective.

My skin was glowing and super smooth after the massage, exfoliation and moisturising. I was pleased to be treated by the same beautician for my second treatment later in the day, the consistency was good to have. And after having a rejuvenating facial I was so relaxed all I could do was stagger into the relaxation room for a quick snooze. I managed to revive myself to have a quick swim and the outdoor hot tub was a must. Mention must go to the heat and ice experience. The area guides you through heating and cooling the body with the ultimate aim of deep relaxation. The ice

rub down could not be described as that, but it was invigorating. Food at the Titanic is excellent, they pride themselves on using sustainably produced ingredients, organic if possible. And it was all delicious with very good service. The spa also offers 30 apartments for overnight guests. The accommodation is newly refurbished and extremely spacious and well equipped. We can see why this spa has won so many awards. The spa offers many different packages. Why not treat your mum for Mother’s Day, they are offering special deals. To find out more visit

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21/02/2016 09:20


Market Harborough Tel: 01858 462 752

Real Indian & Nepalese Cuisine - Served with Style & Panache

Happy Hour!

AVATAR restaurant presents refined Indian & Nepalese food of today.

One course meal £8.95 Two course meal £9.95 Three course meal £10.95

Mon-Thurs from 5pm-7:30pm

113 St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough , LE16 7DT Also large car park at rear

Located on Rockingham Road, Corby

Parties – Weddings – Christmas Christenings – Funerals - Accommodation

NEW Bar & Restaurant menu now available Sunday Lunch served every week from our Carvery -

54.indd 1 01536 401348

To make a reservation for accommodation or in our restaurant

Rockingham Road Corby, Northants NN17 1AE

please call 01536 401348

Please quote: ACTIVE when making an enquiry or reservation

19/02/2016 19:27

Feature /// Sportsman's Dinner

Best Western Hotel, Corby Kate and Tim are impressed with the food and atmosphere at this busy local hotel Kate I’m sorry to say that despite living just down the road in the Welland Valley I’ve never been here in my life. I didn’t realise how big the hotel is and all the facilities it has on offer. There’s a beauty parlour and a variety of function rooms for meetings and parties, but the thing I’m most excited about is the White Collar Boxing fights they have going on here. Have you heard of them? Tim Yes. Anyone – male or female – can sign up to learn how to box in a local gym in eight weeks and then they’re put in the ring with an evenly matched opponent. Along the way the contestants raise money for Cancer Research UK. I’ve never watched a fight though. Apparently they take place in the ballroom here and they’re always really popular. Kate I don’t know how I’ve missed it. It’s something completely different right on our doorstep so I think we should come along to one. I bet the ballroom has an amazing atmosphere on fight nights. It’s a great space and has one of the biggest dance floors in the county with row upon row of gorgeous chandeliers. I can see why it’s popular for weddings and dance groups. Tim I know, I’ve seen the events calendar. They

have Motown evenings; lazy jazz Sundays and charity fashion shows amongst other goings-on. And the new pagoda in the garden is fully licensed for weddings, too, so I bet it’s buzzing during the weekends.

bite to it too. Can you manage tackling a pudding after your steak? I fancy the chocolate box with carameletti ice cream (£4.95). The lemon tart with raspberry sorbet looks enticing as well (£4.95). We could share?

Kate Often hotels can be a bit soulless but they’ve decorated the restaurant in such warm colours it feels quite comforting in here tonight, in spite of the gale blowing outside. The staff are very friendly and welcoming too, particularly our waitress Karen. She’s recommended the wild boar terrine with a tomato, pepper and lime chutney as a starter (£5.95).

Tim Go on then. Sorbet is always good for your digestion, and the raspberry and lemon together is a perfect combination of sweet and tart flavours. In fact every part of this meal has been well balanced.

Tim You know how much I like pâté so this was a great choice. It’s not too overwhelming and it has a nice bright colour. Just right. And the chutney is delicious: the peppers are hot and the lime gives it a pleasant kick too. I’ve chosen an 8oz surf and turf for my main course (£16.95). What about you? Kate I’ve gone for a pan-fried seabass fillet with roasted new potatoes, chorizo and green beans with a tomato salsa (£13.50). Chorizo with fish seems to be a pretty popular combination nowadays and I can see why. I love chorizo and they certainly haven’t skimped on it in this dish. It jazzes up the fish and the tomato salsa has a

Kate I agree. Everything has been just right. I thought at first there was some booze in this ice cream, but the taste comes simply from the sea salt and caramel. I couldn’t manage another mouthful. Maybe I should take up boxing. Not because I particularly want to land a punch on anyone, but to keep the weight off after consuming all this lovely food.

Best Western Rockingham Forest Hotel Rockingham Road, Corby, NN17 1AE. 01536 401348.

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20/02/2016 12:04

Feature /// Great walks

Tugby and Rolleston Two impressive old halls bookend this wonderful walk in rolling countryside, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


Tugby is on the A47 between Uppingham and Leicester and when you turn in to the village you can park anywhere, but I found my way to the Tugby Centre car park which is right at the start of the walk. This lottery-funded building is a recreation centre for the village and the large empty car park served my needs well. Turn left out of the car park and you are almost immediately out into the countryside with the A47 already a distant memory. After the first gate turn left and cross a couple of field boundaries with views towards grand old Keythorpe Hall on your left before you reach Lake House Farm. Take the footpath which branches off to the right just before the main farm and walk across the

pasture until you reach Palmers Lane. Turn right here and walk downhill along this very peaceful country road until you reach the bridleway sign on the right near the bottom of the hill. This narrow bridleway then heads uphill steeply and, as with all narrow bridleways in winter, it can be quite muddy but it’s not impassable. When you reach the top of the hill enjoy the great views to the north before heading down the steep bank and into the woodland around the stream in the valley. It’s a pretty spot and once you are over the footbridge and out of the wood cross a couple of fields and you soon get the sense of being in old parkland with planned plantations old and new. Stay on the path as it meanders down into the grounds of Rolleston Hall and just after the lake on your left the path turns right back to Tugby. But I thought I may as well go and have a look around the grounds while I was there and it’s worth a detour. Once you are back on the eastward path to Tugby it’s a pretty straight line

passing Crow Wood on your right and then a series of fields with a stream halfway for the dog. And before you know it you will be back in Tugby at the end of one of the better walks to be had in the area.

Clockwise, from above

Look out for the old bridleway sign at Rolleston; this undulating route has lots of lovely views; the Lake at Rolleston Hall is just one of many significant landmarks; it’s a dog friendly part of the county

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Winston Lord Churchill, in, was Lord in Churchill’s cous n Victoria and Waiting to Quee ston estate in lle Ro bought the most of the ilt bu 1896. He s. estate building

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park Tugby Centre in the village is a lotteryfunded recreation facility with a large and empty car park. Distance and time Four and a half miles / one and a half hours.

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Highlights Rolleston Hall and grounds will take you back to a forgotten way of life. Palmers Lane is a peaceful country road and the whole circuit provides variation and interest. Lowlights The bridleway from Palmers Lane was muddy and hard going and there are some other muddy areas, but it has rained a lot and this is the countryside. Refreshments The Fox and Hounds in Tugby.

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Difficulty rating Three paws. There aren’t too many stiles and while it can be muddy generally it is pretty good going underfoot. The pooch perspective The route crosses two good streams for cooling off and drinking and I didn’t see any livestock on my way round. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it. ©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2015 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 055/15

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Feature /// School sport

Hundreds take part in Girls Active Around 300 girls from more than 30 schools in South Leicestershire are to take part in the Girls Active Lifestyles project, run by the Learning South Leicestershire School Sports Partnership. Aiming to encourage girls aged between 9 and 16 to get involved

with physical activity and learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, each school is given funding for six to 12 weeks of activities at their school, and the girls come together at local leisure centres for a celebration event at the end of each block of activity.

The Girls Active Lifestyles event in Market Harborough took place on February 8 at Harborough Leisure Centre and involved nearly 100 girls from 10 primary schools. The girls tried activities including street dance, martial arts and yoga and received an inspirational talk

Manor team qualifies for finals Three Manor High School teams competed in the English Schools’ Table Tennis Association zone finals involving a number of schools from across the East Midlands and East Anglia. The year 8/9 girls’ team (pictured right) won their matches to qualify as U16 girls’ zone champions, and will now go forward to compete in the U16 section at the Butterfly National School Team Championships Regional Finals in March. Ella Parmar-Saville and Kinar Sheth won all of their matches without losing a single game along the way and Paige Uppal and Byren Van-Wattingen won two matches out of the four they played. The year 8 boys’ team drew three out of four matches which meant they were tied for third place, although they didn’t qualify for the next round as they needed to finish in the top two. PE teacher Mr Burbidge said: “I am extremely proud of everyone involved and excited with the prospect of taking three teams to the zone finals. The growing interest of table tennis at Manor High School can only get better and we are constantly finding players of a high standard.” Abdullah Al-Taan, a year 6 student, played in a competition group with others two years older than himself. Mr Burbidge added: “He didn’t look out of place all day, even winning a match and taking a couple of games off other players. For that he should be immensely proud of himself.” In the Butterfly Schools’ Individual Championships Leicestershire competition Kinar Sheth won the U16 girls’ competition, playing

against three other girls two years older than herself. She won all of her matches and was crowned U16 county champion. Ella Parmar-Saville won the U13 girls’ competition, playing against four other girls, one being Paige Uppal (also from Manor). Ella won all of her matches and was crowned U13 county champion. Paige finished second behind Ella. Jinious Sheth was playing in the U13 boys’ competition with other Manor High students. Jinious won all of his matches and was crowned U13 county champion. All three students will now represent Leicestershire in the Butterfly Schools’ Individual Championships finals taking place in Wolverhampton on April 23.

from international athlete Gemma Hillier-Moses, who used physical activity to help her battle cancer. The project is free of charge to schools and girls are encouraged to continue participating in physical activity after the project has finished.

Paul going for gold Bilton Grange Prep School deputy headmaster Paul Nicholson has once again been asked to represent England in the FIH Masters Hockey World Cup in 2016. Paul will be playing as part of the England over 55s team in Canberra, Australia, and is hoping to win gold for his country. No stranger to international competition, Paul was vice-captain of the England Euros team earlier this year which won silver, and also of the Home Nations championship-winning side. Paul said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen to take part in the England 2016 World Cup team. Playing for England is always an honour and I hope to use the experience to inspire future generations to enjoy hockey as a sport.” /// M A R C H 2 0 1 6 5 9

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


Lions begin to roar as South stutter BY JEREMY BESWICK


eicester Lions have crept, almost unnoticed, into contention for second place in National League 2 – a sterling performance after their twelfth place finish last year. It’s largely down to excellent home form but, with many of their remaining fixtures away, an improved points tally from their travels will be needed if they are going to cement that position runner-up spot. After a home win over Sandal, they visited seventh-placed Harrogate and were soon on the back foot, the hosts scoring a try from a running move after only two minutes and Lions then losing Joe Collingham to a yellow card. They managed to survive the rest of the half without conceding and scored a penalty of their own, adding a second after the break to take the lead, before a fine individual try from Harrogate’s fly-half Callum Irvine made it 12-6 to the home side. Needing a converted try to turn things around, they found just that close to the end with a flowing move that ended with winger

Devon Constant going over in the corner. Jon Williams, in what Lions’ Michael Howkins called a ‘Boys’ Own Annual Roy of the Rovers’ moment, landed the conversion from the touchline to see them home 13-12. An even sterner test of their away form followed with the visit to third-placed Stourbridge. The first half, despite some intense action, finished scoreless. Lions then came out with all guns blazing in the second; Sam Benjamin with a try immediately after the restart and Sam Roach, with a 30-yard run, doubling the lead a few minutes later. Stourbridge were only to manage a penalty in response and it finished 10-3. Lions’ director of rugby Ken Whitehead called the performance ‘superb’ and highlighted their speed to the breakdown as key. What looked to be a relatively comfortable home fixture against bottom placed Huddersfield followed, but a rather sterile first half in difficult conditions ended with Lions 3-0 down to a last minute penalty, and they rather got out of jail in the second,


Huddersfield belying their lowly league position and keeping the home side at bay until a try right at the end by Devon Constant enabled them to squeak through 5-3. Their form didn’t improve at Sedgely Park who caught them cold with three tries in the first quarter and won easily in the end by 30-5 to leave Lions in fourth spot. South Leicester are in a patchy run right now, having won only two of their last nine. Although probably safe from relegation in this, their first ever year in National 2, they’ll be keen not to get embroiled at the bottom. Having been well beaten by leaders Macclesfield and fifth placed Caldy, they would have seen the trip to fellow strugglers Broadstreet as a must win game so will be mightily relieved to shade it 30-29. Although Market Harborough lost their County Cup semi-final 19-5 to Hinckley, their run of league wins continues. They haven’t lost a match since mid-December and proudly occupy one of the two promotion slots behind all-conquering Melton Mowbray.

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Tigers talk Ed Slater’s a hard nut and has gone toe-to-toe with the best of them – Paul O’Connell, Alun Wyn-Jones, Nathan Sharpe – and never given an inch, but every man has his match and no opponent is as formidable as a killer bagel. Richard Cockerill would not have been in the best of moods in any event following Tigers’ defeats to Sale and Newcastle, but the fact that Slater was unable to play because he’d cut himself preparing breakfast just takes the biscuit. Cockers, demonstrating deep tactical insight, commented: “The moral of the story is don’t get a really sharp knife and try to cut a frozen bagel. The knife slips, slashes your hand and you have 14 stitches and can’t play”. That’s the sort of priceless knowledge you only get from decades spent in the game. Doubtless a memo to all playing staff about the dangers of food preparation is being dra ed as I write and I understand that a strict ban on all dough-based products has been imposed at Welford Road as a result. The bagel, meanwhile, is understood to be in contract discussions with Northampton Saints. Slater joined a long list of players unavailable for those matches including the Youngs brothers, Tuilagi, Goneva, de Villiers, Thompstone, O’Connor, both of the Williams, Cole, Bell and Bai. The only silver lining to the cloud of their consecutive defeats is that Saracens, Exeter and Harlequins also lost which means Tigers remain in third place, but Cockers is still fuming and refusing to use injuries, suspensions and international duty as an excuse. He said “We’re bitterly disappointed. It’s not acceptable and we need to have a hard look at ourselves... and we clearly have a few things to sort out. Once is a mistake but twice is unacceptable and we have not been good enough. As we always do, we will confront those things head-on and work hard and aim to come out the other side”. He later described the conversation he’d had with the players as “very frank and honest” which is Cockerese for “there’s no paint le on the dressing room walls”. Tuilagi should have returned to the side by the time we go to press, having had a slight hamstring strain in his third match a er 15 months out with a groin injury and the Tigers management team will be keeping their fingers crossed that there are no further complications. There is still some debate about his best position, both for Tigers and for England. “Manu’s an intelligent player who can play 12 or 13 equally well,” Cockers told me. “Don’t forget he’s still very young and we can expect a lot more from him”. There is no doubt whatsoever about his value to the team. Perhaps they should consider hiring him a kitchen maid as a precaution.

Barring miracles, only Lutterworth in third can catch them now. However, they are finding ways to win matches in spite of some below-par performances. Number 10 Harry Durham was the star of the show in their 33-18 win at Peterborough, with the tries coming from Sam Herrington (two), Ed Parker and Fergus Clarke. Complacency nearly got the better of them in their next match against bottom-placed Rushden and Higham and it became a somewhat bad-tempered affair, Harborough not gaining a bonus point until right at the end as they limped home 29-13. Coach Mark Thornton conceded “this was not the level of performance we have come to expect” but pointed out they had been unable to train mid-week since before Christmas due

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Ed Slater was out of action following a cooking injury which required 14 stitches in his hand

to waterlogged pitches. Chairman Phil Jarvis was understanding and said: “We put a lot of pressure on these young lads and they have put in some cracking displays over the season. We must not lose sight of the fact that this was a bonus point win after a poor performance and it keeps some daylight between us and the teams in third and fourth place.” A difficult fixture awaited them next at fifth placed Belgrave and some poor defending meant they had it all to do after half an hour with the home side scoring three tries and leading 24-3. This was a test of character and Harborough stepped up to the plate. Ed Bale just about kept them in the match with a try of his own before half time and, early in the second, two penalties chipped away at the gap. After an hour Billy Blair went over to

make it 24-21 and the match was in the balance. Despite losing George Lee to a yellow card it was Harborough who prevailed, Ed Parker showing great pace to score from the half-way line and some heroic defending in the last 15 minutes contributing to their narrow 26-24 win. There followed another off-colour performance at home against bottom side Biggleswade. Although they eventually escaped with an 18-15 win thanks to a late try from Stef Ziemelis, Thornton is clearly worried: “Since the turn of the year we have not found any consistency, not helped by the lack of time together on the training field. We have six matches left to achieve promotion. It needs everyone to commit themselves to training and availability on a Saturday.”

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Harborough toil but youth team make cup final BY JEREMY BESWICK


ames were somewhat thin on the ground in the past month due to the usual toll of winter postponements, and highlights for Harborough Town have been even harder to come by recently, but they nevertheless remain safely anchored in the middle of the Premiership. The bright spot amongst what would otherwise have been a five-match losing run was their trip to Newport Pagnell, at that time lying third in the table. After a goalless first half in which Jack Burrows, Barnes Gladman and Danny Wright all threatened the Newport goal, Jordan Crawford bagged the opener mid-way through the second – following up on his first attempt which was saved. With 10 minutes to go they were pegged back by a Newport penalty, but Burrows scored immediately afterwards as their opponents lost their defensive shape. Although Newport still had time to hit the post, Harborough held on for a much-needed, against the odds, 2-1 victory.

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Alas, defeats against relegation strugglers Wellingborough Town and mid-table Yaxley followed, despite Harborough leading twice in the latter. There are signs that the future is brighter, however, as the under 18s made it to the County Cup final, although they were not able to overcome Oadby, who won 2-0. Oadby’s first team remain in a relegation battle against Northampton Sileby and Wellingborough Town, with Huntingdon already apparently dead and buried at the foot of the table 12 points adrift. The Poachers faced mid-table Harrowby twice in the space of three weeks, first at home. They had much the better of the first half and were unlucky to go into the break 1-0 down, having created several clear chances without scoring. They drew level through a Louis Hamilton free kick early in the second but Harrowby’s Jack Whyley got the winner from a corner; Oadby’s late pressure proving as fruitless for them as their first half dominance had been. In the away fixture Harrowby’s Luke

Parsons gave them an early lead but Louis Hamilton was again Oadby’s opening scorer and Jurelle Phillip, who has recently returned to Freeway Park after a spell at Kirby Muxloe, put them ahead in the second half. Ollie Brown-Hill then sealed at the end for a well-deserved 3-1 victory to avenge the home defeat. The management team will be hoping that Phillip’s return, together with that of Sam Gent and new arrival Louis Guest, will strengthen the squad for the remainder of the season. Cosby remain in the running for a second consecutive Premier title but, after hammering Queniborough 7-1 away, they were surprisingly held 0-0 at home by Birstall. This was on the same day that Kibworth Town, in third place, also handed a pasting to the unlucky Queniborough, this time 6-1 – Kibworth’s Paul Lewis with a hat-trick, Patrick Robertson, Ben Matthew and Taylor Sharpe the scorers. All local clubs will be interested in some

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News from the Foxes For that ever-dwindling, yet still stubbornly opinionated, rump of non-believers February was supposed to be the month that The Foxes finally stumbled – found out at last, their lack of class exposed as consecutive fixtures against Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal restored the natural order of things at the top of the Premiership. Well, silence now finally seems to reign in those quarters as the three matches yielded two stirring wins and only the narrowest of defeats a er a last-minute goal at Arsenal (City having led at half-time and been reduced to 10 men) although whether this new-found reticence in the land of punditry is down to some well-earned embarrassment or because their collective mouths are so full of humble pie that they are physically unable to speak is unclear. In contrast, at the King Power stadium Claudio Ranieri remains as humble, modest and loveable as ever. A er their famous victory at Manchester City he chose to refer back to their pre-season target of 40 points to avoid relegation and said, with glorious understatement: “Now we are safe.” City have completed their fixtures against the rest of the top four whereas the others are bound to take points off each other which, together with what looks an easier run-in on paper, are two reasons why all the major bookies now have City as favourites for the title. Not that that impresses Ranieri, who was – incredible as it now seems – their favourite for the first manager to go at the beginning of the season. “I don’t believe them. They said I was first to be sacked – but I hope this time they are right.” All the talk now seems to be about whether they can handle the pressure of being favourites. Well, forgive me, but this same group of players didn’t do so badly under the pressure of probable relegation last season – and that’s far more intense. Psychologically, Ranieri is playing his hand well and doing his best to alleviate the pressure – hence his dismissal of their status as bookies’ favourites. His message is “Face to face, we play with our strength and they play with theirs. If we win, fantastic. If we lose, next match. I think the pressure

news from the Leicestershire and Rutland FA about funding. The Football Foundation’s Grow the Game initiative has announced £1.5 million of nationwide support for new teams, be they women and girls’ sides, teams for disabled players or male teams from under 14 level and above, so if you’re thinking of adding one of these to your club, or starting a new one altogether, get your application in. You’ll need to move fast as the window closes on March 10, but each successful bid will receive £1,500 for new kit, league entry, referee fees, first aid courses, coaching courses and so on. The county FA can be contacted on 0116 286 7828 or via email at info@LeicestershireFA. com. The county FA has also opened


Action from Leicester’s stunning 3-1 win away at Manchester City

is on the other teams. We continue to dream with our fans and we want to continue to dream. Nobody wake us up please. There’s no pressure, just enjoy!” As he doubtless calculated it would, this state of mind is transferring itself to the squad. Here’s Riyad Mahrez summing up the mood in the camp: “Last season, it was very difficult with a lot of pressure. This year it is a positive pressure. If we finish first it is a bonus. If we finish three or four then it is OK.” He added: “This is Leicester; it is not like Manchester City or Manchester United. They have an obligation to win things. We don’t have an obligation, it is just a dream. A dream is better than an obligation.” And what a dream it is.

nominations for the FA Community Awards. Chairman David Jamieson said: “I’m sure you will know at least one volunteer who puts in several hours a week into grassroots football. “The FA Community Awards offer a chance to all those involved in grassroots football to shout about the person, or team of people, that have made a real difference to their experience whilst playing or just being involved in the game. “So if you know someone who deserves a pat on the back go to the website (www. and click on ‘Who’s your grassroots hero?’. “The nomination process only takes 10 minutes, so please ensure our grassroots heroes are recognised.” Categories are:

 Volunteer of the year  Young volunteer of the year (under 25)  Outstanding contribution to community football  Club of the year  Community club  Development club  League of the year. Finally, a well deserved mention for those men in black without whom we wouldn’t have a game and who give their time for free. They gathered at Welford Road for the county’s 2016 Referee Development Summit and congratulations are due particularly to Olly Mackey, who was named referee of the year; Sammy McIlroy, clubs’ referee of the year; Paul Riley who won the fitness training award and Clive Bruce for referee workforce volunteer of the year.

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Thrills and spills at the Melton Hunt Ride BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


he Melton Hunt Ride took place on February 7. The sun shone, but it was a bitterly cold, freezing day. Luckily that didn’t dampen the spirits of the spectators who turned out in droves to watch the 40 competitors hurl themselves over 3.5 miles of the cream of the Belvoir country’s old turf. Some said that it wasn’t as big as usual, but people often don’t appreciate how far 3.5 miles is when going a good speed and the ground is sodden – certainly to the end of the course when the horses were starting to tire and the fallers started flopping, much to the entertainment of the huge crowd on the hill. Rory Bevan (son of William Bevan from Oakham Veterinary Hospital) riding For A Change was this year’s victor, and he was also best under 25, being only 20 and beating the favourite Richard Walker into second spot. I’m sure Richard was more than happy, as Rory is his godson! Third place and the leading lady went to Suzi Culloty, who was riding in her first Melton. It wasn’t all smooth running. I have to admit I was slightly confused when the first horse

ridden by George Henderson came galloping down the hill to the last ditch, popped over it and then proceeded to walk up the hill towards the finish looking exhausted, allowing the rest of the field to gallop past. It appears there was a bit of a pile-up early on, where Rory had then swung to his right, falling off and knocking Richard and a few others off, too. To be honest, I’m surprised anybody turned up after ex-Belvoir master Martin Brown and his new wife of three hours, Holly Campbell, turned up at the Lycetts-sponsored riders drinks the night before, which turned into a jolly affair where everyone drank the place dry… Although not local, Geoff Bridges from Cambridgeshire was having his second stab at the race and again was one of many who suffered a fall on the course. Although he didn’t finish as highly as last time, he has become an internet sensation as he was wearing a head cam. His round can be seen at The video has had more than 1,000 views in 24 hours and is definitely worth a watch. Second

placed Richard Walker also wore a head cam but it has been banned from social media! Emma Hyslop-Webb from Melton Mowbray, last year’s Express Eventing winner at the Game Fair, has been hitting the headlines recently as she has dyed her beautiful Badminton bound grey called Wally bright pink! It was all in aid of Beast Cancer Now, and their aim was to get 30,000 likes on Facebook in 30 days. They managed a whopping 70,000 likes and personally donated £500 to the cause, which is an amazing effort. Brooksby Equestrian Centre has been busy over the winter and continues to be over the spring and summer. It has something on most weeks at the moment including evening dressage or jumping, combined training, weekend events, and a mini one-day event in March. Brooksby not only is one of our local colleges, it is fast becoming the place to train in the area with fantastic facilities including a full BE course, two outdoor schools and two indoor schools and a full set of showjumps to hire. Just look up for more details.

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Leicester continue their winning streak


eicester travelled to Holcombe in good spirits having used the Christmas break to re-charge their batteries after a chastening first half of the season. The opening exchanges were very positive for the Leicester team and they were quickly into a rythym, playing controlled hockey that saw them dominate possession. The decisive moment came in the 24th minute when midfielder Sally Whyte found herself in the D and calmly took the ball round the goalkeeper and fired home from close quarters. It was a deserved lead on the balance of play and Leicester drew confidence from the goal and saw the half out without further incident. The half-time team talk centred on the need to match the intensity anticipated from the Holcombe team at the start of the second half, but it was Leicester who came out of the blocks better and scored two more goals within the first 10 minutes. Leicester’s second goal came from Katie Long after a well worked short corner routine

and the third from Rachel Mack who neatly poached a goal on the far post after a flowing move. Within the blink of an eye Leicester found themselves 3-0 up for the first time this season and could have added a couple more in the opening 15-minute salvo. After that Leicester’s play became a little tentative and Holcombe came back into the game. Holcombe scored their only goal from a penalty stroke mid-way through the half; however, after that jolt Leicester re-asserted themselves and confidently saw the game out and went home happy with a convincing 3-1 win. The first team then faced recently crowned indoor champions East Grinstead. The game was a total transformation and the players can truly be proud of a welldeserved result as they battled to a 2-1 victory at home. With a biting wind and driving rain both sides saw ample possession and high turnovers in all areas of the pitch meant an open and exciting game throughout.

East Grinstead opened the scoring through a direct strike on a short corner which Leicester answered three minutes later, returning the favour through a Rachel Mack short corner strike. Goal two came from a strong run from new player Laura Evans who was recruited for Leicester’s indoor campaign and soon made an impact in the outdoor game. Laura managed to break away from the East Grinstead defence, finding herself in a one-on-one with the East Grinstead goalkeeper who deftly knocked the ball out of Laura’s possession and into the left hand corner only to be picked up by Katie Long, who within the narrowest of angles fired a fantastic reverse stick shot into the top right hand netting. East Grinstead continued to attack throughout the second half but Leicester held strong and pushed forward with a positivity and confidence great to see in such a young and developing side. This result sees Leicester climb up the table into seventh place and find themselves another step closer to league safety.

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Pizza Night

Enjoy Happy Hour with ‘Buy One Cocktail Get One FREE’

Every Monday night ‘Buy One Get One FREE’

Every Sunday night ‘Buy One Get One FREE’

“The food is incredible - authentically cooked, fresh and full of flavour. Friendly staff too, was a very enjoyable dining experience. Will definitely return again”

- Becci Ellen Cook

8 Church Street • Lutterworth • LE17 4AW

Tel: 01455 553 100 Mon-Thurs: 17:00-22:00 / Fri-Sat: 16:00-22:30 / Sun: 17:00-22:00

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18/02/2016 12:09