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The ultimate active Christmas presents for friends and family


Amazing prizes to be won in three competitions

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How our local teams - and The Foxes - are faring


The Tigers legend on 10 years at Welford Road

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23/10/2015 13:10

Editor’s Letter I FEEL DOUBLY GUILTY WRITING THIS, because as I do my dog is looking at me mournfully. I am sure he’s wondering if I’m ever going to stop hitting the big silver thing with my paws and take him out for a walk. Sorry Bertie, but it’s wet, windy, cold and I’m on a deadline. So the only walk you’ll be getting today is a quick run round the field later. More ambitious adventures will have to wait for another day. Perhaps one in June. It’s so easy when the weather gets more inhospitable to compromise on these things. The run that might have been is put off to watch Strictly: It Takes Two, with the heating on full blast. A round of golf ditched in favour of a pot of coffee and hiding under the Sunday papers. So in this issue, for all those winterphobics, we have suggested some solutions. One is shopping. After all, if you’re finding it hard to get heavily into the exercise vibe, then why not get kitted out fully for the moment when you commit again? As the old saying goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. So you can feel better about yourself by planning for when you step out of doors again post-hibernation with a vast selection of the best sport and leisure gear you can buy. Another solution is immersion: throw yourself at the mercy of your phobia with complete commitment. Why not book a winter ski trip and make the most of the season? We have suggestions for all budgets. Alternatively, stay indoors. But an indoors filled with gym equipment where you can work your buns off and then emerge in spring, muscles rippling, torso firm and glistening. We’ve suggested the best places in which to make this transformation. The other thing is to eat better. I must admit the winter is all about roasts and curries for me, and as usual we have various ideas for a better diet including - and I shudder at the thought but nevertheless - why not become a vegan for a month? Personally a month without meat alone is a step too far, but shopping, skiing and great food sounds about bearable. And as I’m done here, I might even give the dog a decent walk too. Enjoy the issue, Steve

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

Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Production editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art editor Mark Sommer mark@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Sandie Hurford, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Withers lisa@theactivemag.com Amy Roberts amy@theactivemag.com Editorial and Advertising Assistant Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789 A member of the Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@ theactivemag.com. If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@ theactivemag.com Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. ISSN 2059-8513 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318 Disclaimer

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2015. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

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2092 GPL-SBC Double Page April Active Advert-Final-sp_GPL-SBC Double Page April Active Advert 19/03/2014 11:01 Page 1


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

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Stamford Building And Construction 4 Silver Lane, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2BT Tel: 01780 427 027 Email: sales@stamfordbuildingandconstruction.co.uk www.stamfordbuildingandconstruction.co.uk




New season of entertainment launched

16-17 FIVE THINGS TO DO IN NOVEMBER Great days out in and around our area


Another tasty recipe from Riverford Organic


Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn


Editor Steve Moody updates us on life with chickens

25 ALL CHANGE AT WELLAND PARK School extends curriculum to include GCSEs

26-27 WHAT’S ON

Christmas fairs and light switch on details


The Sunday Times writer on the Law of Sod

34-39 KIT BAG CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Great gift ideas for friends and family





We list the best places to work out

40-43 WINTER SPORT The best skiing holidays


The latest on looking and feeling great


Will Hetherington heads to Billesdon


We try out The Fox Inn at Hallaton


Our focus on the latest achievements from local pupils

60-66 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring


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APPOI NTMENTSAVAI LABLE7DAYSAWEEK Whi t wel l01780460705Pet er bor oug h01733371013 Ema i lbi kef i t @r ut l andcycl i ng. com

In Play

A hunting we will go! Leicestershire is the home of hunting, and despite the controversy the sport attracts, it’s still a glorious sight to see horses and riders in full flow across our beautiful countryside at this time of year.

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Tigers start strong Laurence Pearce’s late try saw Leicester Tigers battle back from behind against Harlequins to earn their first home win of the new Aviva Premiership season. More Tigers talk on p61.

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Activelife GREAT THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO SEE, PEOPLE TO MEET // Edited by Mary Bremner


Drama in Harborough

Market Harborough Drama Society, based at the theatre in Church Square, has just unveiled its 2015-16 season and there’s some cracking entertainment on offer. There are plays by Alan Bennett and Harold Pinter as well as some very funny comedies and short one-act performances. As well as live theatre there are also films on show, usually every Friday night. To find out more go to their open evening on November 3 between 7.30pm and 10pm when there will be a chance to have a backstage tour, light and techno demonstrations, a display of archives and information about forthcoming auditions. The society is very keen to find more ‘off stage’ helpers so do go along to have a chat and a free glass of wine. www.harboroughtheatre.com /// N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5

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Great things to do this month  Nordic Walking is coming to an area near you and there’s a chance to enjoy a free introductory session. Nordic Walking is a good way to get fit and socialise. You burn nearly half as many calories again as you would just walking normally and exercise the whole body. It helps improve posture and co-ordination as well as general fitness along with exercising outside and in a friendly group. The free sessions are being held on Tuesday,

November 3, at 12.30pm at Stockerston, at Medbourne on November 10 and at East Carlton Park on November 17. To find out more contact Jo Douglas on 07949 392018. www.nordicwalkit.co.uk  Take to the air with Leicestershire’s Aero Club. At the moment they are offering a Richard III Flying Experience. They will take you up in a four seater aircraft and fly you over King

Richard’s final battle route and out to Bosworth. Who knows it might inspire you to learn to fly. www.leicesterairport.com  Oundle is holding its Sausage Festival between November 7 and 14. How does a sausage shaped stroll take your fancy followed by a sausage lunch? And of course, there has to be a sausage dog show. www.oundle.info

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There’s n leaves d in you! try Park dland to and a hair and or a nice

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ations in


Five things to do in November  Wrap up warm and go for a walk. There’s nothing better than scuffing through fallen leaves at this time of year releasing the big kid in you! One place to do this is Brocks Hill Country Park that covers 67 acres. There’s lots of woodland to find your leaves, and meadows, ponds and a community orchard. Paths are wheelchair and pram friendly and there is a lovely café for a nice cup of tea!  Stir-up Sunday falls in November so make your Christmas pudding. The last Sunday before Advent is the traditional day for making your pudding. Everyone in the family should take a turn at stirring and make a wish as they do.  It’s Bonfire Night so enjoy some fireworks. There are quite a few local displays or you could travel further afield to the largest display in the Midlands which is held at Ashby de la Zouch. They have lasers as well as fireworks, a fairground ride and toffee apples too! If you have young children who are not a fan of noisy fireworks head to West Lodge rural centre at Desborough where they are having a big bonfire party on November 1 and 7.  It’s Diwali this month and the celebrations in Leicester are one of the biggest outside India. Visit Belgrave Road on November 1 to see the lights being switched on. Diwali – the festival of light – marks the start of the Hindu New Year and there is a two week programme of events running from November 1-15.  Plant some spring bulbs. This month, early on, is the ideal time to plant daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and other spring bulbs to guarantee a gorgeous display in the spring.

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Ingram Publishing

LEICESTER GRAMMAR JUNIOR SCHOOL & LEICESTER GRAMMAR SCHOOL • Co-educational Independent Day Schools • Pupils aged 3-18 • London Road, Great Glen LE8 9FL • www.leicestergrammar.org.uk



9.30AM TO 1.00PM


November facts Random facts about November that might just impress your friends...  The gemstone for November is the topaz and its flower is the chrysanthemum.

Best GCSE & A Level results in Leicestershire 2015

 The name November comes from the Roman word novem meaning nine because it was the ninth month in their calendar.  A rather odd one... on November 6, 1942, the Church of England relaxed its rule about women having to wear hats in church!  The Berlin Wall (pictured above) came down in November 1989.  November 11, 1918 – Armistice Day.  November 1914 saw Britain’s first policewoman go on duty in Grantham.  November 30 is St Andrew’s Day, for the Scots among us (and we won’t mention South African referees...).

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FRAGRANT SQUASH AND TOMATOES WITH HERB BULGHUR WHEAT Ingredients 1 small butternut squash 1 red onion 3 tomatoes 1 orange 25g ginger 150g bulghur wheat Olive oil 1 vegetable stock cube ½ tsp cinnamon 2 cloves 1 star anise Pinch of saffron 1 bay leaf 2 tsp brown sugar 30g coriander 30g parsley 15g mint Method Peel and finely slice the onion and roughly chop the tomatoes. Zest and juice the orange. Peel and finely chop/grate the ginger. Boil the kettle. In a heatproof bowl mix the bulghur wheat with 3 tbsp olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt. Dissolve the stock cube in 400ml of boiling water, tip over the bulghur wheat so it is just

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-bystep recipe cards and all the ingredients in exact quantities. The recipes are quick to cook and ideal for week nights – most are ready in under 45 minutes. Think well balanced and nutritious,

covered, cover the bowl with a tight layer of clingfilm and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Add the onion and tomatoes to a wide based pan along with the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, star anise, saffron, bay leaf, sugar and half the orange juice (1). Top up with 350 ml of water and simmer for 5 minutes. Peel the butternut squash and chop into 2cm chunks. Add to the pan, season everything with salt and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes until tender and starting to collapse (2). While the squash cooks, wash the coriander, parsley and mint. Shake dry, pick off the leaves and finely chop them all together. Check the bulghur wheat, it should be tender with a definite chewiness and bite to it. Stir it well with a fork to break up the grains. Allow to cool a little until the squash has cooked. When the squash is ready check the taste and season with salt if necessary. Add the chopped herbs to the bulghur wheat along with half the orange zest and a few turns of black pepper (3). Serve the squash with the bulghur. Delicious!




Tip A low calorie, low fat delicious recipe. We found there was easily enough for three people.

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

No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to find out more or call 01803 762059.

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A day in the life of


Cookery writer and winner of the Great British Bake Off in 2013


’ve always been surrounded by books

– my dad opened Quinn’s Bookshop in Market Harborough – and originally I wanted to be a children’s book illustrator. Quentin Blake was a big inspiration. But while I was doing an art foundation course at Loughborough I found I really enjoyed textiles so then went to Nottingham Trent and did textile design. After placements with Orla Kiely, Liberty’s and Red magazine I spent a year in Vancouver where I discovered cinnamon buns which are now my all-time favourite bake. After that I became a childrenswear designer and worked in London for a while before coming back to Harborough to work for Joules. The company had just started selling baby clothes and, maybe because I’m so tall, these tiny clothes appealed to me. You can be so imaginative and fun working with children’s wear. It was at Joules that my baking took off as they wanted someone to put recipes on their blog and as I was always baking for friends’ birthdays and weddings, my colleagues encouraged me to enter Bake Off. The secret squirrel cake I made on the show was originally created for my colleague Susie who was pregnant and whose nickname was squirrel. I get all sorts of ideas but don’t necessarily know if they’re going to work so hiding a squirrel inside a cake was a gamble – it might have looked like the Turin Shroud not a squirrel! Luckily the gamble paid off. When I was little the kitchen was an extension of the living room and baking was never a big deal. I was the youngest of five children so there were always loads of mouths to feed and I’d just go into the kitchen and get on with it. You never want cooking to be intimidating. Things will go wrong but mistakes can be serendipitous – look at Eton Mess and Tiffin, they came about through broken biscuits and meringues. Edible tales I constantly look at new cook and design books for ideas that I can adapt. My new book Quintessential Baking is like a storybook because every bake has a narrative. As well as the edible designs I drew all the illustrations too. Each chapter has a paint


‘Things will go wrong but mistakes can be serendipitous – look at Eton mess and tiffin, they came about through broken biscuits and meringues’ splodge like a pie chart which displays the proportions of the ingredients visually. There are the basic recipes and then a table that scales all the bakes up or down into 24 little cakes, 12 normal cupcakes, a loaf and so on. After Bake Off I used up all my ingredients then had a baking detox. I’m very healthy when I’m not baking. I get up quite early and have porridge with loads of different toppings. I love swimming and walk everywhere because I don’t have a car and it’s a good time for me to catch up with phone calls. I find I get ideas when I’m swimming, running or spinning. I get so inspired by musicians, architects and artists, not just other chefs. I recently made some Barbara Hepworth sculptures out of shortbread and created a giant club biscuit with sweet Bombay mix for the band Bombay Bicycle Club.

I constantly listen to music and the radio both when in the kitchen baking and outside running. I’m looking forward to exploring all different avenues – creativity is about expressing yourself in different forms and it’s a process. I keep sketchbooks that show how I build up an idea behind a bake with lots of drawings, collages and experiments and I have a mood board for each bake. We may do an exhibition in London to show off all the artwork. The ideas just come and I want to be able to use them – in TV, video, product ranges and collaborations with companies. It’s about pacing and the long term and I want to make sure I do something I’m proud of. So far I haven’t had a minute to stop and take it all in.  Quintessential Baking is published by Bloomsbury, priced at £25 and is on sale now.

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

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With winter almost upon us, you need to think about caring for your chickens over the colder months, says Carrie Wright of The Clever Coop Company...  Providing additional feed will help towards building up their inner insulation. Introducing ‘slow release’ grain such as whole wheat or maize will not only be heating, it will bulk your birds up.  Shorter days means fewer eggs.You will notice a decrease in egg production from your hens due to the shortened daylight hours. In addition, your birds will moult and all their energy and resources will be put towards the growth of new feathers. The increase of food will ensure a good strong feather formation and start the new laying period in prime condition.



 Do not be tempted to use excessive amounts of bedding in your housing. Filling your coop with hay and straw will only cause more problems as when soiled, the moist environment is a breeding ground for fungal growth – a potential respiratory risk.

As winter approaches, the Moody household’s chickens are getting militant about egg production

 Need advice? Call The Clever Coop Company on 01780 411194


ur chickens have clearly been reading about Jeremy Corbyn supposedly returning Labour to the dark old days of 1970s militancy. They have decided to take the approach of Red Robbo and the strikers of that era, for they are on a go slow: the cold weather has seen a marked reduction in the number of eggs produced on a daily basis. Being hybrids, they are bred to lay, so they haven’t called a complete halt, but nevertheless we are down to about one egg a day as the days get shorter and the weather colder. Quite how long this winter of discontent will last, I don’t know, so I looked it up on the internet.

Most chickens produce eggs at the fastest rate when there is a better chance their offspring will survive to maturity. Chicks clearly would not survive as well in cold weather. For a chicken, that gives them no reason to lay eggs in the winter, so their bodies automatically shut off egg laying for the colder months. Chickens are ‘told’ to produce eggs by their endocrine system, a system of glands and organs that produce hormones. As the daylight hours shorten in winter, changes in these hormones shut down egg production. Adding additional light triggers the endocrine system into action, causing them to produce more eggs. Continuously giving chickens light in the winter

fools their bodies into thinking that the days aren’t getting shorter at all. But I’m not so sure we need to go down this route. At about 7am every morning Daisy lays an egg, and such is the squawking and hollering that giving them a rest for three or four months seems a good idea. Although the longer hours in the coop has produced an interesting side effect: Ollie gets hen-pecked by the other two; nothing major, but her plumage is definitely a bit scruffier as a result. Perhaps that’s why she is always escaping – to get some peace. It seems all is not quiet so comradely in the Stamford branch of the Poultry Union after all…


How to spot... the goldeneye Drake Goldeneye are one of the most striking of our winter wildfowl with their black and white plumage and a large white patch on the face. Females are duller with a grey body and a brown head but with the distinctive angular head of the male. Goldeneye are to be found on our reservoirs between October and March where they dive for snails and other invertebrates, often gathering in small flocks. Rutland Water is the key local site, attracting over three hundred in some winters.

Smaller numbers visit Eyebrook Reservoir, with one or two lingering into May at both waters. In spring parties of displaying birds are a fine sight. The males throw back their heads and make a loud creaking call to impress the females.

The birds are very active, flying low over the water, the wings making a loud whistling sound. Goldeneye breed in the northern conifer forests of Russia and Scandinavia, nesting in tree cavities, often high above the ground. Newly-hatched ducklings must then leap from this secure nest before the female can lead them to a nearby lake. A few pairs breed in the Scottish Highlands using specially sited nestboxes. Terry Mitcham

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23/10/2015 15:42

An eye for winners Thoroughbred Purchase, Management and Consultancy

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All change at Welland Park Welland Park Academy in Market Harborough is changing, and for the better. Historically it has always been a middle school, educating children up to the age of 14. But from September 2016 it is going to carry on educating its pupils until they are 16 taking them up to their GCSEs. Everybody at the school is very excited about the big changes and looking forward to welcoming pupils for longer. All year 9 pupils currently at the school will be offered an automatic place for September 2016. Judged to be outstanding in its most recent OfSTED inspection the school serves the community well and is oversubscribed. As a community college its facilities are available to hire and evening classes are run from there, find out more from the school’s website. Prospective parents are always welcome to visit and will be given a tour by some of the students who we are sure will also give glowing reports about their successful sports teams.  To book an appointment contact the principal’s PA at burgessn@ wellandparkacademy.com or visit www.wellandparkacademy.co.uk.

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Christmas is coming... The area is turning festive in the run up to Christmas. Enjoy the lights being turned on with all the Christmas festivities and late night openings giving plenty of opportunities to shop for presents  It’s Christmas in 1881 at Rockingham Castle between 16-20 November. The Castle is decorated for Christmas, the fires are lit and tables laid. Enjoy a guided tour in period costume throughout the day and then pop into the gift shop to do some Christmas shopping. Mince pies and mulled wine will also be available. www.rockinghamcastle.com  Christmas comes to Market Harborough on Friday, December 4, with their Christmas Fayre. Proceedings kick off at 4pm and roads will be closed to make the heart of the town pedestrianised. There will be lots of entertainment throughout the town including a Victorian Food Quarter, spectacular entertainment on The Square and, of course, Santa’s Grotto inside the Old Grammar School.

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 The lights are being switched on in Lutterworth (left) on Friday, November 27, between 6pm and 8pm so pop along to enjoy Santa’s grotto and lots of Christmas stalls. To make everyone feel even more Christmassy there is a concert, The Sounds of Christmas, on November 28 at 7.30pm in St Mary’s Church. Tickets, with all proceeds going to local Rotary charities, are available from John Wells and Son in Station Road, Lutterworth, or by calling 01455 552991 or 556616. And to round up a lovely festive weekend the Santa Fun Run is being held on Sunday.  Christmas in Uppingham takes place on Thursday, December 3. Almost all of Uppingham’s shops will take part in the late night opening until 9pm. There will be a craft and gift fair and a free concert. www.christmasinuppingham. co.uk

Santa Fun Run Don’t forget to sign up for the Market Harborough Santa Fun Run that takes place on December 13 in Welland Park. Entry is limited to 500 places so don’t delay in signing up. There are two distances, 5k and 2k, and dogs on leads are very welcome. Their mission this year is to double the amount raised last year. They hope every runner will raise at least £10 so they hit the £5000 mark for local charities. Time to join in the fun and get dressed up as Santa! www.raceharborough.co.uk

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Feature /// Training


HOW TO BE A GYM BUNNY! 2 8 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 ///

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Looking for the perfect training facility? We profile all the major gyms and health centres in the area SNAP FITNESS, MARKET HARBOROUGH

The concept behind Snap Fitness, the world’s fastest-growing fitness franchise, is a simple one: compact, 24/7 gyms with state-of-the-art equipment, minimal staffing and no fuss. Founded in 2003 in the United States, Snap Fitness has taken on a rapid expansion plan and currently has more than 2,000 clubs worldwide including USA, Canada, Mexico, India, Australia, New Zealand, and is now in Market Harborough too. It offers top of the range Cybex equipment, a studio with the latest Fitness on Demand! programmes, private changing rooms, personal fitness training, and is open at all times so you can train when it suits you. www.snapfitness.co.uk/market-harborough


Sandwiched between two parks, the centre has undergone a significant refurbishment programme. The new 115 station gym features a range of state of the art equipment as well as a free weights area and dedicated stretching area, while the new six lane 25m swimming pool (open in early December) offers a full range of aquatic activities including an award winning swimming lesson programme suitable for adults and children from beginners to those wanting to improve technique. There are five different exercise locations at Parklands comprising a dedicated dance/ exercise studio, a group cycling studio, an innovative outdoor training area and the facility to hold large group exercise classes in the Cedar Suite. The eight court sports hall also offers a wealth of space for various sports to help you keep active. www.everyoneactive.com/centre/parklandsleisure-centre/


The leisure centre features a swimming pool, gym, sauna, chiropody room, facilities for kids’ parties and group exercise classes. It is currently in the process of refurbishment, with completion due this month. The developments will create state of the art facilities

and equipment for all areas of the centre. www.everyoneactive.com/centre/wigston-pooland-fitness-centre/


Waterfield Leisure Centre offers two swimming pools, a new gym, a group exercise studio and multi-purpose room. The gym features some of the very latest fitness equipment and also provides a specific area of the gym dedicated to 11-16 year olds. The group exercise studio is home to a range of classes including Group Cycling, BodyCombat and Zumba. The same room also hosts a range of local groups and children’s activities. www.everyoneactive.com/centre/waterfieldleisure-centre/


Body Fitness Personal Training, Market Harborough reckons its programmes will change the way you think about how health and fitness training is done. Its holistic coaching and mentoring system will help your not only change the way you feel and look, but also help you maintain these results for years to come. Firstly, a professionally trained coach will sit down with you to learn about your health history, any past injuries, your training history, successes and failures, your nutrition and lifestyle and specific goals, and how you want to achieve them. It is less gym machine based, and more centred on one to one sessions, with a range of accompanying complimentary therapies. www.bodyfitnesspt.com


Harborough Leisure Centre allows you to swim, relax in the Health Suite or work out in the Fitness Suite - all under one roof. The wide range of activities available ensures there is something for every age or ability. For the adults there is a variety of workout classes, tennis and badminton courts and bowls; while children can learn to swim and be entertained in our school holiday clubs. www.harboroughleisure.co.uk/harborough

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Specialists in bespoke construction projects, from extensions to entire new builds as well as period property restoration. Working with a trusted team of local craftsmen to create the property of your dreams

Thorpe Construction Ltd Tel: Stamford (01780) 749599 l Email: info@thorpeconstructionuk.com l www.thorpeconstructionuk.com Find us on www.facebook.com/thorpeconstructionukltd Company registered in England No. 8917848

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Feature /// Training


A fitness club and gym for ladies exclusively dedicated to fitness, with simple and efficient workouts in only 30 minutes, supported by a coach and without schedule restrictions. www.curves.eu/uk/clubs/curvesmarketharborough


Lutterworth Sports Centre offers a range of workout classes and racquet sports for adults, while children can learn to swim and take part in a number of sports and courses including badminton, dodgeball and gymnastics. The Fitness suite boasts new state of the art cardio and resistance equipment in a fully air conditioned environment. www.harboroughleisure.co.uk/lutterworth


Bruno’s Gym is a family run business serving Market Harborough for many years which has built a reputation for quality and its down-toearth friendly atmosphere. If you want a good workout in unique ‘old school’ surroundings then this is the gym for you, with a wide range of resistance machines, cardiovascular equipment and free weights. www.brunosgym.co.uk


The gym claims it offers one of the lowest membership fees on the market, as well as non-contract membership options, and is open 24/7, making it a more relaxed environment for training in. Equipped with high spec kit, and lots of it, the whole space offers a light and uplifting training environment. www.thegymgroup.com/leicester


Bannatyne’s contains a 22 metre heated swimming pool which is available to all members, numerous Technogym cardiovascular machines ranging from treadmills to cross trainers, and bikes to rowing machines. There’s an extensive free weights area with numerous benches and a great range of resistance machines covering chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abdominals and legs. Also, there is a spa, steam room and spinning studio. www.bannatyne.co.uk/healthandfitness/ leicester/

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Guest column

Upsets, a commentator’s curse and the Law of Sod Martin Johnson explores what happens when things go wrong ife is full of laws. The law of averages, the law of diminishing returns, the law of the jungle… but in my experience the law which is always lurking just around the corner is the Law of Sod. In sport, this is sometimes known as the commentator’s curse. You know the thing – a player lines up a penalty, the commentator says ‘this man never misses. If you wanted someone to score for your life you’d take him every time…’ and you can put any money you like on the ball flying towards the corner flag. Sod’s Law. There is a hard and fast rule for journalists covering Ashes cricket in Australia, which is never to forget the time difference. And I only disregarded it once in several visits, when England were playing so badly in Adelaide that when play ended on day four I informed the reader that they should perhaps make the same sea voyage as the original settlers, only in reverse – manacled below decks and served with a tasty weevil biscuit when the dinner gong sounded. You can guess the rest. Australia collapsed, and when people back home were digesting my suggestion over the breakfast table that the entire team be incarcerated in the Tower of London, the radio was informing them of a glorious English victory. And so it was last month in the Rugby World Cup, when I was appointed to cover Tonga v Georgia. With every player on the field a cross between Jonah Lomu and Oddjob, the tackling was so bone crunching it prompted me to write that the days of rugby being a game for all shapes and sizes were a distant memory. An open invitation for Sod’s Law to make another appearance, and within 24 hours South Africa had been beaten by Japan. Next to the Springboks, the Japanese looked like Subbuteo players, and as sporting earthquakes go, this was about 11 on the Richter Scale. It was described at the time as the biggest upset in rugby history, although it has a strong claim to be the biggest upset in sport, never mind rugby. Which got me to thinking about sporting contests which had produced similarly seismic upsets. Boxing has seen a few upsets, two of them involving Muhammad Ali. The first when – as Cassius Clay – he beat Sonny Liston, and then towards the end of his career when he knocked out George Foreman. But an even bigger shock took place in 1990, which I witnessed from a Jamaican hotel beach bar during England’s cricket tour to the West Indies. Amusingly, when a sponsor put up a large bonus for England winning the series against the then all-powerful West Indies, a


colleague wrote: “there’s about as much chance of them collecting as Buster Douglas has of beating Mike Tyson”. A few days later, we were watching Tyson, brain so scrambled he was crawling around on all fours trying to put his gumshield into his ear. The Open golf championship traditionally ends with a bigwig from the R&A saying “the winner of the gold medal, and the champion golfer of the year, is….” followed by someone famous coming up to collect the claret jug. But in 2003 the speech could easily have gone something like ….”and the champion golfer of the year is, er, um, hang on, it’ll come to me in a moment...” It was, in fact, an American by the name of Ben Curtis, who was ranked 396th in the world, had never won a tournament and had never played in a major. There were America golf writers who’d never heard of him, and yet Curtis, a 300-1 shot, won by a single stroke. In 1981, the England cricket team were not 300-1 to beat Australia at Headingley, but 500-1, the odds flashing up on the electronic scoreboard when England, at 135 for 7 in their second innings, still required 39 to make Australia bat again. At the time, I was covering a county game in Leicester and play was constantly interrupted by cheers from a crowd plugged into radios. At one point the Leicestershire batsman Chris Balderstone complained and there was a loudspeaker announcement asking for the radios to be turned off. There have been many upsets in horse racing, but nothing quite like Foinavon winning the 1967 Grand National. A 100-1 shot, Foinavon was so far behind when a loose horse (Popham Down) caused a pile up at the 23rd fence, that his jockey was able to avoid the carnage and ended up 30 lengths clear. But as profiteers of sporting pile ups go, not even Foinavan can match Australian speed skater Steve Bradley in the 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City. Bradley was actually eliminated after his quarter final race, only to find himself re-instated when one of the qualifiers was subsequently disqualified, then got through to the final when three of the four men ahead of him crashed. Bradley was then tailed off in the semi-final when three of the four men ahead of him crashed, and he now found himself in the final, 15 metres behind in last place with 50 metres to go. Amazingly, on the final bend, all four of the men in front took each other out, and Bradbury skated through to become the first ever southern hemisphere winner of a Winter Olympic event. Thirteen years on, the vernacular Down Under for an improbable event has become known as “pulling a Bradbury.” Sadly, not enough proper ski jumpers managed to land on their heads, or embed themselves in a snow drift to do something similar for Eddie the Eagle Edwards.

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Feature /// Christmas gifts


Great active Christmas present ideas Icebreaker men’s Sierra long sleeve zip Built for performance, keeping out the cold, but always breathable and resists odour day aer day. Price: £180 From: uk.icebreaker.com

2016 Specialized Fuse Pro 6Fattie mountain bike

Adidas Response Boost 2 Techfit

The next step in the evolution of trail riding with latest technology for snappy handling and quick acceleration. Price: £2,200 From: www.rutlandcycling.com

With so cushioning this is a lightweight shoe ready to give you great comfort. Price: £89.99 From: Rutland Sports

100% whey protein A non-GMO, non-denatured, non-acid treated, cold pressed whey protein powder. Price: £41.99 From: CrossFit Oakham

Buff neck warmers Ideal for the chilly months. Warm, comfortable and hundreds of different designs and colours available. Price: from £15 to £26 From: Get Lost in Rutland

66Fit EVA Foam Roller

Fox & Crop utility jacket

The 66Fit EVA Foam Roller can help smooth out those tight spots and Price £28 From www. rutlandlifestyle. Icebreaker Women’s Comet co.uk ( Advertiser)

Multi-purpose jacket with chest and below pockets, check lining and elbow patch. Water resistant. Price: £100 From: www.foxandcropclothing.co.uk

A body-mapped zip-neck made from merino wool with a touch of Lycra. Price: £85 From: uk.icebreaker.com

sleeve half zip


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Meindl Dovre Extreme MFS GTX boots

TO ENTER, GO TO www.theactivemag.com/competitions

A fully waterproof high leg boot with Gore-Tex liner and waxed nubuck leather upper. Price: £265 From: John Bradshaw Gun Shop

Polar Loop 2 A stylish and waterproof activity tracker that includes smart phone notifications too. Price: £94.50 From: www.polar.com/en

Moso air purifying bag Absorbs unpleasant odours throughout the home. Price: £10.25-£19.97 From: www.lakeland.co.uk

STK Explorer black camera A high-def camera built for adventure, with a waterproof case resistant up to 30m. You can also use your phone to view the photos and videos taken. Price: £129.99 From: www.stklife.com

Icebreaker SB+ Medium Over the Calf snowboard socks Snowboard socks with a super-comfortable anatomical fit. Price: £25 From: uk.icebreaker.com

Animal women’s Avoraa beanie Perfect for lighting up the winter gloom. Price: £18 From: www.shop.animal.co.uk

Croots Rosedale canvas and leather shotgun slip Shotgun slip with a flap and buckle opening plus full-length zip. Personalisation available. Price: £195 From: John Bradshaw Gun Shop

Lotil moisturising cream Sage by Heston Blumenthal Nutri Juicer

Recommended for use on all dry skin that needs repair. Price: £3.59-£9.33 From: www.boots.com

Works really quickly, extracting an average of 70% of nutrients from fruit. With a centered feed chute and less than 2 degrees of heat transfer, this juicer maximises nutrition. Price: £149.99 From: www. sageappliances.co.uk

STK Flasko Bluetooth portable speaker Splashproof and extra rugged, it is equipped with a carry clip and bottle opener. Price: £49.99 From: www.stklife.com

X-Pole XPERT Get fit while enjoying the exhilarating fun of a pole workout or develop your dance moves! Price: £199.99 From: www.x-pole.co.uk Competition terms and conditions are available at www.theactivemag.com

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Feature /// Christmas gifts Harkilla Pro Hunter jacket

Equipped with a Gore-Tex membrane for the ultimate in waterproof performance and breathability. Price: £429.99 From: John Bradshaw Gun Shop

S7 remote trolley Boasting a sophisticated guidance system, utilising two motors to provide a combination of power and precision, plus an anti-tip wheel to ensure stability. Price: £799 From: Peterborough Milton Golf Club

Deep Heat roll on Aku Erera GTX

Treat those aches and pains with this handy roll on applicator. Comes with a herbal aroma. Price: £4.99 From: Boots, Tesco and chemists

Lightweight, comfortable and supportive hiking and trekking boot. Price: £125 From: Get Lost in Rutland

Fox & Crop cable knit jumper Three quarter, threebutton collar detail with leather hem patch on this quality jumper. Price: £55 From: www. foxandcropclothing.co.uk

TomTom Runner2 + Music GPS watch Take over 500 tracks with you on your wrist with 3GB of storage - phoneless and wireless. Audio performance feedback allows you to concentrate on running and get information on how you are doing as you are running. Price: £189.99 From: Leicester Running Shop

Exposure Equinox Mk2 front bike light with 3.1A cell A wireless remote switch changes modes effortlessly without sacrificing speed on this light, bright helmet mounted light. Price: £238.99 From: www.rutlandcycling.com

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Asics winter beanie

You’ll be able to focus on the road ahead as this beanie blocks out chilly gusts with 3-layer windblocker material. Price: £16.99 From: Rutland Sports

WIN ALL THIS! TO ENTER, GO TO www.theactivemag.com/competitions

STK Intense Bluetooth headphones Enjoy wireless stereo music from any Bluetooth device. The built-in microphone allows hands-free calling. Price: £69.99 From: www.stklife.com

Schoffel socks

Rugby stripe design shooting sock with matching garters. Price: £49.95 From: www.schoffel.co.uk

The Nutri Ninja® with Auto-iQ For your nutrient and vitamin extraction needs. Unique blending, pulsing and pausing patterns. Price: £119.95 From: www.johnlewis.com

Ronhill Vizion bib

With adjustable straps and mesh material, this hi-viz vest is perfect to place on top of your running outfit. Price: £11.99 From: Rutland Sports

Animal Men’s Allex beanie A dual layered beanie hat constructed with a rib knit weave. Price: £15 From: www.shop.animal.co.uk

Percutane Joint Action A deep penetrating solution for assisting joint mobility and flexibility. Price: £16.99 for 75g From: Philip Cutts Pain Management & Rehabilitation Group

Munkees keyrings Keyrings including handy tools. Price: £4.99 each or 3 for the price of 2. From: www.getlostinrutland.co.uk

Tribe Sports long sleeve running tops Used as the primary layer in warmer weather, or as a base layer in cooler weather, this top offers year round versatility. Available in men’s and women’s styles. Price: £26 From: TribeSports.com

STK Neptune power bank Never be without power for your USB chargeable devices. Price: £39.99 From: www.stklife.com

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Rockingham Cars, Cockerell Road, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 5DU. Tel: 01536 268991 WWW.ROCKINGHAMCARS.CO.UK The New Abarth 595 Factory Racing starts from £17,420 OTR. Official fuel consumption figures for Abarth 595 Factory Racing Edition: mpg (l/100km): Combined 47.1 (6.0), Urban 35.8 (7.9), Extra urban 57.6 (4.9), CO2 Emissions: 139 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are obtained for comparative purposes in accordance with EC directives/ regulations and may not be representative of real-life driving conditions. Model shown is the Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition 1.4 T-Jet 160 HP at £17,890 OTR including Gara White paint at £300 and optional Side Stripe and Mirror covers at £170. Abarth UK is a trading style of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK Ltd.

Feature /// Christmas gifts

WIN ALL THIS! TO ENTER, GO TO www.theactivemag.com/competitions

Schoffel merino scarf

66Fit EVA Foam Roller The 66Fit EVA Foam Roller can help smooth out those tight spots and niggles. Price: £28 From: www. rutlandlifestyle.

Luxurious 100% merino printed scarf. Price: £54.95 From: www. schoffel.co.uk

Jimbag canvas duffel shoulder bag Made in Great Britain, this 100% cotton canvas duffel shoulder bag is sure to turn heads in the gym. Price: £34.99 From: www.jimbag.co.uk

Noble Outfitters Peddies Add some colour to your outfit with these socks. Price: £9.95 From: www. nobleoutfitters.co.uk

UK Parachuting gift voucher

Asics Lite-Show winter jacket

Valid for 12 months from date of purchase. Restrictions apply. Price: from £199 From: www. skydivesibson.co.uk (Plus indoor skydiving with Bodyflight Bedford from £75.)

You’ll never be forced inside because of the weather thanks to a lightweight, soshell front and a fleece-lined collar. Price: £79.99 From: Rutland Sports

Noble Outfitters Perfect Fit Gloves Lightweight and durable, with breathable Spandex. Price: £17.50 From: www. nobleoutfitters.co.uk

My Trusty sunflower cream Developed by the NHS and used by staff treating patients recovering from burns and plastic surgery. Price: £6.99 for 100ml unscented tube From: www.mytrusty.co.uk

The Wave Fork The innovative design that makes mucking out a breeze. Order your choice of coloured tines for a stand-out look on the yard. For colour choices see website. One size only. Price: £39.95 From: www. nobleoutfitters.co.uk

On Running Cloud trainers Built from Zero-Gravity foam, the Cloud unites lightness with superior cushioning. Price: £110 From: www.on-running.com

Castelli Alpha Wind Jersey FZ Excellent weather protection, comfort, and specifically made to the geometry of your body to ensure an exact fit. Price: £174.99 From: www.rutlandcycling.com

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Feature /// Winter sports




Still undecided where to go for your next skiing holiday? We’ve compiled a list of the cheapest, friendliest, most extreme and costliest resorts on the planet

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Arinsal, Andorra Back in the 1980s, Andorra was the location skiers whispered about as a great spot for a cheap and cheeky weekend ski. It ha increased in price since then, but the facilities have improved commensurately too. It’s not the place to return to time and again, but if you’re a first-time skier or boarder, or a keen freestyler, Arinsal’s gentle nursery slopes and massive terrain park are a good place to start, and there’s a lively atmosphere in the resort’s bars and discos. Bregenzerwald, Austria The entire 150 miles of skiing in the Bregenzerwald region is linked by free buses and a single lift pass, and has a relaxed atmosphere. There’s none of the party-all-night madness of some Austrian resorts, with good value accommodation in family-owned hotels attracting mostly families and couples. There’s a new lift connection to Lech, one of Austria’s most celebrated expensive resorts, but prices are at the opposite end of the price spectrum. Kranjska Gora, Slovenia The pretty village of Kranjska Gora is a perfect example of a cheap eastern European ski resort establishing its place in the market - so get there before it hikes prices. Ideal for beginners and families wanting compact, gentle tree lined slopes, there’s not much challenging terrain, but it is great value. Les Menuires, France Pick up a very reasonably priced self-catering apartment in Les Menuires, in the same valley as Val Thorens, and you can sneak over into the Three Valleys without paying the five star prices of the region. Poland First impressions of Zakopane, south of Krakow, is that you get all of the whimsical chocolate box buildings and character of Switzerland, and the decent skiing illustrates why it is Poland’s most popular resort. But there’s not the food, organisation and lift structure of its famous southerly neighbour. There’s not the extortionate prices either, though. Bulgaria The Lidl of skiing for decades, there’s plenty of choice of cheap and cheerful skiing in Bulgaria. The oldest and biggest resort is Borovets, which has been completely modernised and boasts pistes up to a very respectable 2,600m.

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Do you need a lawyer?

Led by a trained restorer with 21 years experience as a specialist dealer in Antique and Contemporary Hand knotted Rugs & Kilims. Large restoration projects and duplication a speciality to restore and refurbish your home.

THE RUG STUDIO, 2 High Street East, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9PZ. Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 5pm or by appointment Telephone: 01572 829927 or 07885 757 796 Email: info@therugstudio.co.uk Website: www.therugstudio.co.uk

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Feature /// Winter sports

Mammoth Mountain, California Looking for plenty of powder and long days of endless skiing? Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort boasts an impressive 400 inches of annual snowfall and the highest summit elevation in California. It lives up to its name by offering over 3,500 skiable acres and a 3,100ft vertical drop.


Megève, France A charming traditional Savoyard town, Megève famously attracts an affluent clientele including many celebrities. There are no huge hotels or other mass market elements: indeed, this is one of the main attractions of this pretty medieval town with its narrow, cobbled streets and exclusive boutiques and prices to match. Ski wear invariably must include some real fur…


Alpe d’Huez, France Above Alpe d’Huez is a vast bowl of easy green runs, which are ideal for kids starting out with skiing or snowboarding, and once they have got the hang of it, there’s a good range of blues to progress on to. For those looking to learn tricks, the terrain park at Alpe d’Huez isn’t the most extreme either. There are plenty of self-catering apartments and hotels, but perhaps the best option for families is the ski-in, ski-out Club Med Alpe d’Huez La Sarenne. Avoriaz, France In car-free Avoriaz travel is by horse drawn sleighs, which is bound to excite the kids, as is the Village des Enfants which features Disney characters and slopes designed for the very youngest skiers. It is a functional rather than pretty resort though, with mainly self-catering apartments blocks. Cervinia, Italy Cervinia isn’t a big resort, but it’s a good place for kids who are starting to progress: pick a hotel near the nursery slopes close to the village centre. From these, progression to the gentle blue runs at Plan Maison then the cruising reds at Valtournenche is a realistic achievement for any beginner. Saas Fee, Switzerland The car-free village of Saas-Fee in Valais is a perfect choice for young families - it’s a rural haven perfect for just strolling around and relaxing in. Saas Fee is also a great destination for those with older kids, with two terrain parks. Ylläs, Finland As with much of Scandinavia, Finland offers a very different skiing experience, which is ideal for families because the locals tend to come in, ski and go home. This means the evenings are quiet, chilled and peaceful. Ylläs, with its gentle

Arctic landscape, is ideal for beginners, although accommodation tends not to be beside the slopes.


Jackson Hole, USA Jackson Hole is only for expert skiers because the terrain is all steep and very little is groomed. On a powder day, which is most days, drop into the Hobacks or hire a guide, head to the Cody bowl or attempt the legendary Corbett’s Couloir: plenty have looked over the edge at the 20-foot drop and walked away… Chamonix, France Chamonix offers everything for the extreme skier, with some adrenaline-buzz drops off the glaciers of Les Grand-Montets and Mont Blanc, and lots of off-piste skiing throughout the valley for boarders. The legendary Vallée Blanche tour from the Aiguille du Midi is talked of in hushed tones, but it’s as much for the roped climb in on a mountain ridge above a 2km drop than the fairly easy off-piste run when you get there. Verbier, Switzerland Verbier thinks of itself as the home of extreme skiing and hosts several competitions each year to prove it. With short hikes from the cable cars you can get to legendary runs like Stairway to Heaven, Rock Garde or over the back side of Mont Fort to really get the adrenaline flowing. The clinics for expert skiers in Verbier are probably the best in Europe. Grindelwald, Switzerland Grindelwald is picturesque and the skiing in the area is varied and challenging, with the Lauberhorn downhill course a serious proposition. But it’s the geography that makes it so impressive, dominated by the north face of the Eiger. This is the Alps at their most beautiful, and brutal.

Courchevel 1850, France Courchevel 1850 has long been the flagship for exclusive ski holidays in France. Boasting two Michelin-starred restaurants, the place to be seen is Le Cap Horn up on the slopes, from where you can watch other diners flying into the tiny snow covered Altiport airfield, right below the restaurant. In recent years the Russian oligarchs have taken over Courchevel 1850 in the first week of January for their New Year party. St Moritz, Switzerland Here the adventurous eccentrics of European gentry risk their lives on the infamous Cresta Toboggan Run, race their horses on the frozen lake, and then try a little skijoring (skiing dragged behind unbroken horses on the lake at speeds over 50kph). The skiing is great, but the people-watching combined with the off mountain activities make it a mind blowing destination. Go in February to do the Cresta and see the horse races. Whistler, Canada Whistler Blackcomb attracts the jet set crowd from across the world to ski its two amazing mountains and experience the best of Canadian hospitality. The ski school and guiding services here are arguably the best in the world and well worth the costs, while the amount of terrain available to ski is staggering. Heli-skiing here is very popular too, for those with fistfuls of dollars. Aspen, Colorado Aspen is old-school money, in the American sense, and has been the home to celebrities and billionaires for 40 years but still stays true to its mining town roots with down to earth locals and strict adherence to an architectural code. For posing and celeb spotting you have to ski on the Ajax Mountain right above the town. Hotel Jerome is popular with movie stars and billionaires alike, and its J Bar is the ideal spot to rub shoulders with the Hollywood elite.

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Healthy produce: higher productivity If you eat well, you will work better, a new study has discovered NOT EATING HEALTHILY and a lack of exercise can lead to marked drops in productivity at work, a study has found. A new study that will be published in the journal Population Health Management has claimed that eating unhealthily is linked with a 66% increased risk of loss of productivity, while rare exercise is linked with a 50% increased risk of low productivity. And smoking is linked with a 28% increased risk of loss of productivity, researchers found. “Total health-related employee productivity loss accounts for 77% of all such loss,” study researcher Ray Merrill, a health science professor at Brigham Young University, said in a statement. The study included 19,803 people who worked at one of three large companies. The research was conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University, the Centre for Health Research at Healthways and the Health Enhancement Research Organisation. It’s an issue that financial services organisation, BGL Group, headquartered in Peterborough’s Orton Southgate, is aware of and as a result is committed to encouraging and supporting its employees in leading a healthy and active lifestyle. The group takes healthy eating seriously. Its state of the art restaurants serve organic and locally sourced fresh produce, there is free fruit for all and smoothies. On average, a staggering 16,249 pieces of fruit are consumed each month across BGL’s offices while the recently launched ‘smart choice’ section of the menu (meals under 500 calories) has proven a big hit in the restaurants as have the deli and salad bars. BGL source its fresh meat and vegetables from local, organic suppliers. Highlighting BGL’s commitment to supporting the local community and its goal of providing fresh, healthy food to all of its employees. Phil Croney, fitness manager, explained the benefits of having onsite dietary advice: “Our in-house fitness coaches have extensive experience in providing healthy eating and nutritional advice to a range of athletes, gym goers and working professionals. If someone wants to they can use an online food diary app to analyse their consumption on a day-by-day basis and we can advise them on how they can further improve.” Discussing the common themes found when providing the nutritional advice, Phil added: “Often our advice involves highlighting the surprisingly high levels of sugars or fats that are in the food and drink that people consuming every day. These often lead to a feeling of fatigue. Our sessions provide advice on various food groups and meals which are focused on energising people for longer and leading to a more productive day, and increasing the general levels of health across the group.”

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// Edited by Sandie Hurford

Some eager advocates for us all to take up a vegan diet, no doubt

WORLD VEGAN MONTH: The Great Vegan Challenge The Great Vegan Challenge, which takes place every November during World Vegan Month, is masterminded by animal welfare charity Animal Aid and aims to persuade people to try going vegan for 30 days. What is a vegan diet? A vegan diet is 100% plant-based. Like lactovegetarians, vegans do not eat animal flesh or fish, but they also avoid all other animal products, including dairy products, honey and eggs. As the number of vegans has increased, says Animal Aid, it has become increasingly easy to live healthily without using animal products, particularly for food, clothing, entertainment, household products or cosmetics. There are also claimed to be health and environmental advantages to a vegan diet. What do vegans eat? Pretty much the same as everyone else! For those

who like cooking from fresh ingredients, recipes embrace dietary traditions from around the world. Cakes and puddings can be made easily without eggs and dairy. If you prefer convenience foods, simply replace animal products with the many vegan alternatives that are widely available in wholefood stores, high street shops and supermarkets. These include vegan sausages, burgers, mince, bacon, ham/chicken/turkey sandwich slices and fishless fingers, as well as vegan cheeses, milk, custard, ice-creams, yoghurts, cream, margarines and mayonnaise. Health issues Animal products are not essential for health, and a well-balanced vegan diet can provide all the necessary nutrients for a healthy diet. The US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – the world’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals – says: ‘Appropriately planned

vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.’ US doctors have had success treating heart disease patients, including former US president Bill Clinton, on a 100% plant-based diet and have shown that it can prevent and, in some cases, actually reverse heart disease. There is also said to be evidence linking a vegetarian diet with lower incidence of some cancers. A decade-long study carried out by Oxford University epidemiologists – published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2009 – found that vegetarians were 12% less likely to contract cancer than their meat-eating counterparts. For some cancers, the difference was up to 45%.

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Active Fit

WORLD VEGAN MONTH Recipes to try Mushroom stroganoff (serves 4) Ingredients • Dairy-free margarine for frying • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped • 3 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed • 500g mushrooms, sliced • 150ml vegan white wine • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour • 250ml soya cream • Lemon juice • Freshly ground black pepper Method Fry the onions and garlic in a little margarine until so. Add the mushrooms and cook through. Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the wine and simmer until it has evaporated. Mix 3 tbsps of water with the cornflour to make a paste and then add this and the cream to the vegetables. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and season with black pepper. Serve with rice. ©flavourphotos.com

Sausage and bean casserole (2-4) Ingredients • 2tbsps olive oil for frying • 1 onion, peeled and sliced • 1 courgette or carrot, sliced (optional) • 1/2tsp smoked paprika • 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes or 1/2 jar passata • 1x400g tin white beans (eg butter beans or cannelini) • 4 veggie sausages, sliced • 1/2tsp vegetable bouillon powder • Chopped parsley to taste • Freshly ground black pepper to taste Method Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the onion and courgette or carrot until so. Add the paprika and stir briefly. Then add the tomatoes, beans and sausages. Add the bouillon powder and stir. Add water if needed. Cook for 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced. Add fresh parsley and black pepper as required. Serve with jacket potato or rice.

Liz Hughes - www.ourlizzy.com Research findings indicating that eating red meat increases early mortality rates have been given added authority by a study conducted at Harvard University and based on data from 121,342 men and women over a 28-year period. Figures show that eating processed red meat (eg. hot dogs or bacon) raised mortality rates by 20%. Non-processed meats also led to increased risk of death – particularly from cancer and heart disease – by 13%. Summarising the results, senior author Professor Frank Hu, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, said: ‘This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death.’ Studies have also linked consumption of animal products with increasing risk of obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, eczema, bowel disease, arthritis, gallstones, Alzheimer’s, kidney disease and Crohn’s disease.

Fish A popular modern myth is that fish is necessary to human health because it is the only source of vital omega-3 fats. This is not so. Tom Sanders, professor of nutrition and dietetics at Kings College London, states: ‘We have studied omega-3 fatty acid levels in vegans for over 30 years and shown that vegans can make DHA (long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) from alpha-linolenic acid. Rich sources of alpha-linolenic acid include soybeans including soya milk and tofu, walnuts, rapeseed oil, flaxseed and dark green vegetables such as spinach.’ Despite its reputation as a healthy food, up to 30% of the fat in fish can be saturated. The fats act like a sponge, soaking up toxins – including mercury and cancer-causing dioxins – from polluted oceans. Nearly half of all the fish eaten today are farmed. In an attempt to limit disease in the crowded underwater cages, farmed fish are given

vaccines, antibiotics and chemicals with known human health risks. Dairy milk Cows’ milk is promoted as a healthy product that will help to keep hair, skin and nails looking good, build muscles and strong bones, and provide daily calcium requirements. Yet there are no nutrients in animal milk that cannot be obtained from vegan alternatives. Moreover, there are serious problems that can result from the proteins, sugar and fat in milk products. Milk contains significant amounts of saturated fat, as well as cholesterol, which can lead to obesity and contribute to heart disease and certain forms of cancer. And, contrary to common belief, eating excessive amounts of dairy products can actually contribute to weak bones and osteoporosis, rather than protect them. ■ You can order a free Guide to Going Vegan at www.govegan.org.uk/

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Are you ready for the game season?

John Bradshaw’s Gun Shop Perio Mill Farm, Cotterstock Road, Fotheringhay, Peterborough PE8 5HU United Kingdom Tel: (01832) 226376 • Mobile: (07754) 868818 Email: marcus@johnbradshawguns.co.uk

On site Gunsmith


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14/10/2015 10:37 20/07/2012 09:20 12:37 22/07/2012


// Active Fit


How High Intensity Interval Training can get you fit, even if you don’t have much time HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has been one of 2015’s biggest exercise trends, giving time-poor Britons the formula for spending fewer minutes working out while burning more calories. HIIT is a training technique, which consists of short, explosive periods of maximum effort exercise followed by rest periods – making it quicker and more efficient than an average cardio session. HIIT also helps to burn calories even after the work out is finished thanks to EPOC – excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This is triggered through challenging both anaerobic and aerobic systems during training. EPOC can last over 24 hours meaning the body is in an elevated fat loss state during this duration. However, while the rewards are great, they are reliant on getting the technique spot on. Incorrect technique and over training are common mistakes amongst beginners as well as many regular HIIT enthusiasts. To help you get maximum output from your sessions, the experts from health app Noom Coach, have put together advice and tips designed to aid safe and effective training. Noom Coach expert Susanne Wechsler, says:

“HIIT is an intense type of training, which is not for the faint-hearted, however, it is a type of exercise that you can build up to. “Incorporating body weight exercises, such as burpees and squats into your current routine enables you to perfect the techniques before including them in a HIIT workout.” Beginners are recommended to start with shorter bursts of maximum effort combined with resting periods that are two to three times longer. For example 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by a one minute rest. As your fitness increases, the rest period can decrease, for example 30 seconds of high intensity with a 10 second rest. HIIT can be integrated into any form of exercise. The most common type of HIIT is sprints; sprinting at maximum effort for 30 seconds and then walk/jog for 60 seconds. The workout intensity can be increased by changing a few factors; increase sprint time, decrease rest time or increase speed during sprint. Incorporating HIIT in a circuit format is also popular. This involves performing various exercises, such as mountain climbers, press-ups and crunches at full effort followed by a short rest before moving on to the next exercise.

An example HIIT circuit:

30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, repeat circuit three times • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Burpees REST Squat REST Mountain climbers REST Bicycle crunch REST Box jump REST Tricep dips REST Jumping Jacks REST Push ups REST

It is important to manage the work to rest ratio based on your own fitness levels. Make sure to start slow and build up, but make sure you are always challenging yourself a little more each time you do a HIIT session.

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// Active Fit

Train as an all-rounder

Even if your sport demands a focus on one discipline, you need to develop strength, mobility, speed and stability to improve, says Function Jigsaw’s Max Hartman ‘I DON’T WANT TO GET TOO HEAVY’, ‘weight training makes you too stiff’, and ‘I need to be more flexible’ are all phrases that I hear repeatedly in clinic. Athletes looking to perform better in their chosen discipline may focus too much on one form of training or not enough on another because they are worried about potential negative affects on performance in sport. With the marathon season upon us, here at Function Jigsaw we have been full up with keen runners looking to get themselves ready for their next big race and time after time when strength training is recommended, they have reservations, yet they will regularly perform speed work on the track, balance and control work in the gym, and when certain flexibility training is prescribed, there is very rarely any hesitation and the athlete buys in to the programme immediately. One thing that I regularly try to convey to these athletes is that strength; mobility, speed and stability all go hand in hand to produce improvements in the skill of the sport: running. While this is just one example, we see the same pattern emerge in athletes of all disciplines: bodybuilders focussing purely on strength and muscle growth with little focus on stability or mobility, rugby players focussing purely on strength and speed: the list goes on.

stiff, there is often an underlying cause as to why. If the calves are particularly weak, or the athlete is not stable at the ankle joint, the brain must still perform the same skill and run, but in order to do so will restrict movement around the ankle to make up for the weakness and instability, resulting in long term muscular tightness. Again this is just one example of needing a blend of physical capacities to effectively perform a skill that people often see as just the result of cardiovascular fitness.

How our brain makes our body move

To understand fully why all of these areas need to be kept in balance it is crucial to understand how the brain makes our body move, and how this movement is determined. Physical capacities - strength, speed, mobility, and stability - are all factors which impact how we perform skills: running, jumping, throwing. Our brain is actually very good at performing movements in the most efficient way possible based on the raw materials available to it: our physical capacities. Think of the brain as a highly trained and experienced builder. If we ask it to build a house, i.e. perform a skill, it will do so to a high standard provided it is given the raw materials to do so: bricks, mortar, tools. While each sport and sporting skill require different amounts of each capacity, to perform the skill as well as possible we must have an abundance of all capacities available to us. Going back to our example of a marathon runner, we may have an athlete come through the door who is a very good runner, naturally very quick, yet is consistently cramping in the calves or suffering severe calf tightness following their race. While they may actually be very tight and

So how do you perform at your best?

Ensure that your training for your given sport encompasses elements that aim to develop all of your capacities simultaneously, improvements in athletic performance will surely follow. Granted, marathon runners should not devote five days a week to heavy weight training, but a well structured strength training programme developing maximal force and stability will overall have a benefit on performance. Similarly, while mobility through the whole body is essential for remaining injury free and able to reach all the positions of your chosen sport, without training strength and stability in extreme ranges of motion, this mobility is extremely hard to keep hold of. Putting all of this into practice, mobility is one of the most crucial capacities to develop in the first instance. Using tools such as foam rollers, hockey balls, and heavy stretch bands can be useful in developing greater ranges of motion

around selected joints either in isolation or by stretching multiple joints simultaneously. Resources such as ‘Becoming a Supple Leopard’ by Dr Kelly Starrett are superb reference points for developing better mobility. Exercises that include dynamic stretching as opposed to old fashioned static stretches are much more effective for producing long-term improvements in mobility, so always strive to keep a stretch as active as possible. Gaining range of motion lets you then perform stability and strength training through greater ranges too, leading to greater gains in muscular development and control in the long term. While strength training will generally improve stability, it is vitally important to distinguish between stability focussed training and strength focussed training. Strength training should always be performed from a stable surface so that you can focus your effort on moving the weight and not just holding your balance. Stability training on the other hand greatly benefits from the introduction of an unstable surface to force the brain to coordinate movement with added complexity. Finally, because of its great strain on the body, speed training should only be performed once a strong physical foundation has been laid with other training. Explosive speed training puts phenomenal strain on the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. If these tissues are not suitably conditioned then high impact, explosive training can lead to injury. So, putting it all together: no matter what your discipline, always remember you are first and foremost an athlete, not just a runner, rugby player, footballer, or whatever else you spend your weekends doing! To give yourself the best possible chance of performing at the highest level it is crucial that you develop a mobile, stable, strong and fast body that can then be applied effectively to a sporting skill. You cannot be truly athletic without first striving to develop a high level of all four of these capacities. Aim to train to become mobile first and foremost, then develop strength and stability through this range of motion, and finally learn to apply this strength quickly. See how your performance benefits from putting this into practice!


For further information regarding any of the content covered in this article, please contact Function Jigsaw at: 0116 340 0255, @FunctionJigsaw info@FunctionJigsaw.co.uk

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Feature /// Great walks

Beautiful Billesdon With a stunning array of period buildings and a decent pub this village makes a good base for a stroll in the surrounding contours, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


Clockwise, from above

Billesdon is a large village just nine miles east of Leicester on the A47; there are some cracking views of Leicestershire from the high points on this walk; the village is packed full of stunning period houses of all shapes and sizes.

Park on Church Street down by the Queen’s Head, which has a big car park out the back if you are planning on spending a few pounds inside at the end of the walk. The footpath actually heads west out of the village from the pub car park so it makes sense to park there. Once you get out of the village on the path which is signposted towards Frisby it heads across a couple of pasture fields before crossing through a hedge and over Billesdon Brook. From here the path gradually climbs diagonally across a series of arable fields as it heads towards what is now barely a hamlet at Frisby, although there is a medieval village marked on the OS map. A good mile after leaving Billesdon you will come out on the road at Frisby Farm House. Cross the road and head downhill on the road

which runs in a south easterly direction passing a handful of houses on the way. At the bottom you will see a construction straight out of Grand Designs on the right. This modern house certainly attracts attention and, judging by the conversations I had with a few other walkers, the feedback is not all positive… Once clear of the Grand Design the bridleway takes a more easterly route as it skirts around Frisby Dairy Farm with a few cottages on the left hand side. Keep going here and you will soon pick up the ancient track which heads uphill with a grazing field on the left hand side. I felt like an ancient drover for a few hundred yards here as a few sheep had escaped from the field and as we plodded along they pushed on ahead of us. Thankfully when we took the left hand turn near the point which is marked as 179 metres above sea level on the map we lost the sheep, otherwise I might be in court by now accused of rustling. From here the path takes a fairly direct northerly route for a mile or so all the way back to Billesdon. There are a couple of options for re-

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ough Billesdon The A47 ran thr y the present da en wh 86 19 til un ened. bypass was op



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entering the village but I took the most direct one, passing through Vicarage Close on the more modern southern edge before getting into stunning old Billesdon with its collection of beautiful old houses of all shapes and sizes. There really does appear to be no end to the list of

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villages packed with attractive character-filled houses in this part of Leicestershire. When you make it back to the Queen’s Head you might just be hungry enough to avail yourself of the fine food on offer. And it would almost be silly not to.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park Either on Church Street by the Queen’s Head or in the large pub car park around the back if you are planning on enjoying the catering here at some point during your visit. Distance and time Three and a half miles/one hour and a quarter Highlights: Beautiful village just off the A47 and some cracking views across Leicestershire from the high points, over 180 metres in places. Lowlights: It could be quite hard going underfoot in very wet conditions in some places, but a decent pair of wellies or walking boots should keep you in order Refreshments: The Queen’s Head in Billesdon is the obvious choice. Difficulty rating: Three paws. There are plenty of contours but it’s not too long. The pooch perspective Pretty good for the dog although there are some livestock at various points on the route.

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

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


Relaxed, friendly atmosphere, ample parking and outdoor seating overlooking a beautiful large duck pond make it a hit with regulars and visitors alike.

17/07/2015 10:17

Maz and Wendy Farabella welcome you.

North End Hallaton

01858 555278 TALLY HO GIFT SHOP

“Great service lovely food good food portions. Great atmosphere and dog friendly” Shop open during pub opening times

Open: Mon-Thurs Noon till 3pm & 5pm till late Fri & Sat Noon till late Sun Noon till 12pm

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Feature /// Sportsman's Dinner

The Fox Inn, Hallaton Will and Wendy take on some big portions at this classic country pub Will It’s only two miles south of the A47 but it feels like we are in proper countryside here. Maybe that’s because those couple of miles are a bit of a rollercoaster in this hilly southern part of the county – and you can’t get much more Leicestershire than a fox so it’s a fitting name for the pub. Wendy I hadn’t realised Hallaton was so close to the A47 either. In fact I’m not sure I’ve ever been here before. But the well-lit exterior of the pub is a welcome sight on a dark winter’s night and judging on how busy the car park is there must be quite a few people in. Will What an atmosphere. There’s a large gang of the younger generation all enjoying a pint or two in the bar – in fact they remind me of the cricket team on a Sunday night when we retreat to the pub for that post-match analysis. I would be tempted to stop at the bar for a quick drink before dinner if I wasn’t quite so hungry so I’m glad we were ushered to our table in the corner. Wendy You wonder why I’m not thrilled by the invitation to come down for a drink on a Sunday night in the summer? It’s bad enough that it takes you seven hours to play the game but then you go and talk about it for another three hours. It’s so

boring it makes Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow seem like a double bill of Bond. Anyway, never mind that – I’m starving. Will The international burger menu is a fun concept so it was good of the boss to suggest we try one as a starter, and this Italian version (£9.25 for the main course option) is certainly a well cooked burger served in a decent floury bun. It’s not been over-cooked so has kept all the flavour and juiciness. Topped with mozzarella, basil pesto and chargrilled pepper it was very tasty and has taken some of the edge off my hunger but I did play squash today so I have an appetite tonight. Wendy When don’t you have an appetite? And I really like the international burger menu too – it’s creative and fun and demonstrates a willingness to do something different. That said my brie wedge starter (£4.95) was a huge portion but very tasty too, with a sweet chilli dressing. For that price it’s very good value. Will Yes, it is god value and as a regular Oakham Ales consumer I am very pleased with this pint of JHB. In fact it might make it into my top five JHB establishments. But returning to the food, it wasn’t hard for me to choose the 8oz ribeye steak

(£16.50) with stilton sauce (£2.75) and giant chips. The steak was recommended and it was excellent, as was the stilton sauce – properly cheesy. I managed to finish the chips but I declare myself full now. Oh go on then I will have one of your chips too… Wendy You are welcome. The hunter’s chicken (£10.75) was chicken breast with bacon and cheese and glazed with a homemade barbecue sauce, with chips, salad and coleslaw. Apart from being very tender chicken, good bacon and generally very enjoyable it was another enormous serving so there was no way I was going to eat all those monster chips too… Will Well you have been hitting the gym pretty hard recently and I do my fair share of exercise so I think we are allowed a slap up meal every now and again. And I think it’s fair to say anyone who visits the Fox will get just that – a slap up meal in a busy but relaxed atmosphere and all served by an efficient and friendly team.

The Fox Inn 30 North End, Hallaton, Market Harborough LE16 8UJ. 01858 555278

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23/10/2015 15:27

Feature /// School sports

County calls for Stoneygate pupils Having won the Stoneygate School award last term for the most promising cricketer, Arush Buchake has been named in the Leicestershire U10 County Squad. Molly Johnson competed for Stoneygate School in the under 13 South Leicestershire Schools Athletics Track and Field Competition in June 2015, competing in the shot put. She won this event to qualify and represent South Leicestershire in the County Schools Athletics Championships. Molly then went on to win this event and became the Under 13 County Champion for the shot put. Because of this achievement Molly was then selected to represent the County in the U13 and U15 Inter County Championships on Saturday 13th September in Barnsley where she came 6th. Gracie Fraser also competed for Stoneygate School in the under 13 South Leicestershire Schools Athletics Track and Field Competition in June 2015, competing in the Javelin. Gracie won her event, becoming the under 13 County Champion for the Javelin. Jacob Mills, eight years old, is part of the Tigers Academy Swimming Club. He took part in a swimming gala in Nuneaton and managed to break a county record that had been held for ten years. He swam 25m freestyle in 16.75 seconds.

Clockwise from above

Jacob Mills, Gracie Fisher and Molly Johnson

Izzy celebrates great year in the saddle It has been a great year of riding for Elizabeth (Izzy) Christopher, a 12 year old star of the future. A pupil at Stoneygate Prep, Izzy has been riding competitively as a member of British Showjumping for just two years. Since joining she has been a member of the Leicestershire and Rutland academy team, and has won numerous classes with her 138 pony Bronllwyn Paris. As Izzy is so tall she moved on to horses in January and purchased April IV, who is a 15.3 9 year old

brown mare. With April Izzy has had great success, as they qualified for the Children on Horses Grand Prix final at the Pony of the Year

Show, and having won classes up to 120cm against professional adults, April and Izzy jumped at the British Masters in the amateur section finishing twelfth. At the beginning of September, they entered the All England jumping championships at Hickstead, where they won a 110cm class, beating more than 75 adults, and have just returned from Barbizon in France where they competed in a Children on Horses tour, finishing eighth.

Tennis success for Samik

Gracie chosen for hockey camp Spratton Hall’s Gracie Turberville Smith has got through to the U15 High Performance Assessment camps. Teenagers who have been identified as talented players with potential in hockey are asked to attend U15 and U17 camps as part of the U18 hockey player pathway. These camps are run by England Hockey and give players first-hand experience of an international training camp environment with England Hockey appointed coaches.

Samik Chandarana, in Year 6 at Manor High School, finished the winter 2014 tennis season and the summer 2015 season as the number one ranked player on the Leicestershire County leader board for the 10 and under age category. His success carried on in the regional tour and he completed the summer 2015 season ranked #5 in the Midlands in the 10 and under category. His previous accolades are equally impressive: In 2013, he became the junior county champion in the U8 category and in 2014 reached the finals and came runner up in the U9 category at the Leicestershire County Championships.

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Manor progress in National Cup The Year 7 Manor High School Boys football team qualified without a hiccup for the second round of the English Schools’ Football Association National Cup with a victory against spirited opponents from Ibstock Community College. The success continued when they qualified for the third round of the National Cup by beating the George Spencer Academy in a close and hard fought contest. Two goals from Chikuza proved the difference on this occasion. In the South Leicestershire league, in the first game the Year 7 Manor High School Boys Football team beat Lutterworth College 3-2 in a thrilling match. Manor were in control for most of the game but a fight back from Lutterworth made it a close finish. Goals from Chikuza and two from Watson secured the win for Manor High. In the second league match against Wigston Academy B, Manor showed their attacking talent with a comfortable 5-1 win. Again, goals were from Chikuza and Watson, as well as a surprise goal from defender Sahota.

SPRATTON’S SAINTS Three of Spratton Hall’s Year 8 pupils – Alex Summers, Henry England and James Langham – have all been selected for the Northampton Saints development programme. This follows a scout from the top-flight rugby team coming to watch one of Spratton Hall’s matches, selecting the boys aer seeing their potential and inviting them to trials.

Tae Kwon Do classes in Wigston SEND US YOUR NEWS We’d love to hear news about what your school or club is up to. Please send news and pictures to: editor@ theactivemag.com

A new Tae Kwon Do club has launched in Wigston, following on from the successful growth of three others in the Leiecstershire area. It is being run by Kerry Sergiew, a highly qualified and accredited TAGB instructor with many years experience. She has four clubs running around Leicestershire where she has a successful number of students who have all passed their gradings highly, with some having gone on to win in the British and English Championships. Becoming a member of the TAGB (Tae Kwon Do Association Great Britain) means joining an

association that has been going for over years 30 with over 26,000 other licences members. Because of its high-kicking, fast-paced style Tae Kwon do is a truly modern way of getting fit, and helps children will gain self confidence, better fitness and mobility The TAGB Tiger programme is designed specifically for children and is taught in a way that they can have fun whilst learning and it will help with co-ordination and balance.  For more information, call Kerry Sergiew on 07702 966806. /// N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 5 7

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Feature /// School sport

Adventure tales Students from Oakham School faced a series of adventurous DofE and CCF challenges during Service Weekend. Held twice a year, the weekend provides an opportunity for students to get out of their comfort zone, discovering more about themselves and the world around them. Pupils working towards their Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE awards set off on their practice expeditions in various locations around the country, from the Snowdonia to the Solent! Pupils prepared for the expeditions themselves, and had to carry all of their equipment and supplies with them over the course of the challenge. Gold walkers in the Peak District covered a good distance, as well as seeing the spectacular sights of Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, High Peak and Ladybower Reservoir, to name a few. Meanwhile, bronze cyclists travelled to Thetford, Norfolk, for their first ever expedition. Meanwhile, Fifth Form CCF recruits ventured to North Wales to be introduced to the fun of adventure training. The cadets arrived on Friday evening at Capel Curig Training Camp in the heart of Snowdonia. On Saturday, half the group headed out for Tryfan – the only mountain in Snowdonia that you can’t climb without scrambling. The groups headed pretty much straight up the north face, summiting just after

Hayden wins triathlon gold A triathlete from Oakham School was part of the Gold winning East Midlands team at the Inter-Regional Championships (GB National Finals TS3 for 13-14 year-olds) held at Mallory Park. Hayden Greaves also placed an impressive seventh at this national event – placing him as one of the top triathletes for his age group in the country. Competing against 12 other regions from across Great Britain, Hayden was one of three athletes representing the East Midlands TS3 male team, having won his place after strong performances in the qualifying rounds. “It was my goal to just qualify for the event,” says Hayden “so I was really pleased to have come in first for the region as well being ranked 7th in GB for my age group.”

lunch, having negotiated some tricky sections of scrambling on the way up. The other half headed off to Llyn Padarn near Llanberis to open boat canoe and also to hone their climbing skills nearby at Fachwen. On Sunday, the groups swapped over so the cadets experienced all the activities. All the cadets found themselves outside of their comfort zone at some stage, but all returned knowing a little more about themselves.

Hockey stars of the future Nine talented hockey players from Oakham School have been identified as some of the top players in the region after being selected for the Junior Regional Performance Centre (JRPC) Tier 2 activity. Additionally, Lucas Ward has been picked for the U23 GB Development squad, a squad that has been picked in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Alice Huddlestone, Maddie Pearce, Abi Rawlins, Amy Schanschieff, Finn Milbank Ali Eatch, Bryn Davies, Jess Barrett-Drylie and Tom Schanschieff all performed impressively at the JRPC Tier 1 competition in September, which led to their progression to the next stage. They will now either be entered into the Futures Cup competition (for U16 and U18) or attend the three-day High Performance Assessment Camp for (U15 and U17).

John Wycliffe sports award John Wycliffe Primary School had a very busy sporting year throughout 2015 achieving the Sainsbury’s School Games Silver Mark Award for sport just one year after achieving the Bronze Award previously. This Government-led scheme started in 2012 to reward schools for their dedication to the growth of competition across their school and into the community. The children worked hard to achieve the Silver Mark, entering many competitions from tag rugby to basketball. In order to achieve the mark, good attendance at extra-curricular sport clubs was essential. Last year, they ran a range of clubs that included football, cross country, dodgeball and golf, and have added archery, yoga and dance to an already extensive list. Competition dates for this year have just been published which means the children will have another year full of opportunities to enter competitions against other schools. /// N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 5 9

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


Harborough harbouring hopes for promotion BY JEREMY BESWICK


outh Leicester, having been promoted to National Division level for the first time in their history last year, could have been forgiven for a small, yet nagging, crisis of confidence when they lost their first two fixtures at this higher tier. However, any of those with little faith in their character will have been put right by this month’s opening performances as they chalked up their maiden – and then a second – victory. The first was done the hard way – an away fixture to fifth-placed, unbeaten Chester. Yet South not only won the game but ‘had the match wrapped up by half-time as they were truly dominant’, according to chairman Wayne Marsden. Although no-one would accuse him of being an impartial observer, the truth of his summary is evidenced by South being 30-3 up after half an hour with tries from William Cave, Stuart Bale, William Sutton and Calum Gunn. Chester fought back in the second as two South players were yellow-carded but a further try late on from Thomas Gregory

ensured a 33-18 win. “A joyous afternoon for South,” said Wayne . With their spirits high and their next fixture against a known quantity as fellow promotees Sale came to Welford Road, the good form continued. After a nervy start from both sides characterised by a spell of kick tennis, South’s anxiety was settled by Rhod McNaughton who drove over for a try after a driven line out. Sale pulled three points back from a penalty but South’s increasing confidence was evidenced by an audacious move as Rick Aley picked out Cal Gunn with a stunning crossfield kick for a classy second try. Yet they didn’t have things all their own way as Sale added a try and a couple of penalties before Gunn popped up to score in the corner to leave South looking comfortable at the break. Not to be intimidated, back came Sale early in the second period, Adam Aigbokhae going over, and it seemed that South then decided to go for attrition and let their forwards take control as prop Ed Hopkins entered the fray from the bench.

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It proved to be the right call as Sale’s scrum faltered and Dale Aggar, Chris Gibbs and Tristan Trehan all went over for tries. Sale scored one of their own before Rod McNaughton got another. Seven tries in all and a bonus point to go with the win. This is a tough league however and South’s balloon was somewhat punctured in their next fixture, a 47-19 defeat at Macclesfield. Captain William Ward said: “It was a tough day for us, now we have to go back and have a look at things and assess what happened. The way we came back in the last few minutes was a positive; credit to Macclesfield they came out flying and they were getting quick ball. We have a strong positive attitude in the camp and we will look at today as an off day and look to bounce back next week.” Alas that was not to be as visitors Caldy, despite losing the try count 2-1, ran out winners 25-18 the following week. Leicester Lions briefly reached the dizzying heights of second in the same league following a 34-12 home win against Luctonians with

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Tigers talk

tries from Brad Talbot, Mark Byrom and Will Roach but lost the following Saturday at third-placed Sandal, 24-18. Lions had led narrowly at half-time but Sandal took advantage of playing with the slope in the second. Lions’ director of rugby, Ken Whitehead, said: “This was a well competed game between two good sides, with plenty of opportunities and which Lions could have won. Unfortunately we did not convert some of our pressure into points. “The team is now starting to work as a cohesive unit. Three wins from four games, plus a bonus point from today’s close defeat has been a most pleasing start to the season.” Next up were Harrogate which proved to be a close affair, in spite of Lions having the better of the first half, going into the break with a 20-7 lead through tries from Joe

Collingham and John Murdoch. Harrogate went over early in the second half however, and an exchange of penalties meant the last quarter was played out with the visitors one score away from taking the lead and both teams having opportunities. In the event, both defences just about held firm, Lions winning 26-20. A home draw against Stourbridge, 23-23, followed before a trip to Huddersfield’s picturesque ground. Three tries were scored in the first ten minutes, the one to Lions a fine individual effort from the restart by Devon Constant. A further two were added before half time with there being only three points separating the sides at the break, but a lack of discipline cost Lions dear in the second period with penalties proving to be their downfall. For the second Saturday in a row Lions had


As the World Cup – disappointing for England but a wonderful tournament nonetheless – fades in the memory, rugby fans’ thoughts will return to the Aviva Premiership and the teams they support. For the Tigers, the work is already under way and the new season is in full swing. Boss Richard Cockerill (pictured) was pleased with their start, a hard fought 28-16 victory at London Irish. He said: “It was good performance. The Madejski Stadium’s not the easiest place to go and any points away from home are good points. It was good to see the new players integrating so well.” One of those new faces was Aussie Peter Betham, who scored a fine individual try, but most of the plaudits will go to 22-year-old Tommy Bell who showed great composure and kept his nerve to kick 23 of their points. “All of our young lads are growing and gaining belief – in some areas we’ve deliberately not recruited because of the quality we know we have coming up,” Cockerill said. Tigers were without their experienced world cup trio of Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and Ben Youngs for this match. “We’re managing their return with not only the short term in mind but also what the situation will be in six to eight weeks’ time.” said Cockerill. “The World Cup means this is a truncated season with a tight fixture list and a competitive fixture every weekend, so we need to be conscious of keeping our international players fresh, tempting though it is to put them straight out on to the field.” The coming season holds a lot of promise for Tigers supporters, with a more expansive style of play promised following the recruitment of Kiwi Aaron Mauger to Cockerill’s coaching staff. They’ve even widened the pitch at Welford Road to suit. “We’ll have a new way of playing this season,” continued Cockers. “Globally, the game is getting faster and more open as we saw in the World Cup. We’re going to persevere with a new approach, play all-round rugby and grow our game.” This will be music in the ears to most of their loyal fan base who, while admiring the resolution of their forward play, might yearn for a little more entertainment value. “We have to have the attitude that we’ll take more risks. Run from deep and play with width” he continued, “and our decision making will be even more crucial. We’ll make mistakes, but we can’t let that make us go back to the old way of playing.”

scored 23 points but it turned out to be Huddersfield’s day with a total of 27. Market Harborough take the accolade for most in-form team, winning all five of their opening fixtures in both league and cup. Opening with a home win against Tynedale they travelled to Olney – a side they’d lost to four times on the bounce. This time it was Harborough’s day, and specifically full back Laurence Joel’s who amassed 25 of his side’s 50 points but was still beaten to the man of the match award by Ed Sumpter. Neither Peterborough nor, in the cup, Belgrave could get anywhere near them in the next ties before a thriller at Rushden & Higham that they shaded 41-30 having played some fantastic stuff. If they can replicate that period more often then promotion from Midlands 2 East (South) is surely on the cards.

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Tigers’ Tom back in action for testimonial season BY JEREMY BESWICK


t’s enough to make a man feel old. Those two Leicester Tigers youngsters, Tom Croft and Matt Smith (surely it was only yesterday they were playing for Oakham School together?), are entering their testimonial year. To be fair, they both have many years of rugby ahead, and reaching the 10-year mark is due to them joining Tigers at an early age, but it still comes as a shock to learn they both turn 30 this month. Once I’d recovered from hearing the news I grabbed a few minutes of Tom’s time. As polite and gracious off the field as he is committed and ferocious on it, he isn’t taking the anniversary as an opportunity to look back and reflect on his career to date. “For the last two to three years I’ve been out almost all the time with injury,” he reminded me. “So it’s more a case of champing at the bit to get back out in a Tigers shirt with the boys than reminiscing. That isn’t in my psyche at all.” Following his latest set-back – a dislocated shoulder incurred playing against Newcastle

in March – it was good to see him do just that in Tigers’ opening league fixture against London Irish and to know he is still very much in the frame for England, training with the World Cup squad and joining them as an injury replacement a few games in. “I’m focused on the future,” said Tom. “I was disappointed not to be more involved in the World Cup but if I can get through this season injury free I hope my time will come again. One of my big ambitions is to go on a third Lions tour.” Perhaps mindful that an England recall may come his way, he was reticent on the reasons for their poor performance. “It was a tough pool. The post mortem will be long and detailed. Obviously it was frustrating, and I feel especially for the lads from Leicester, but the silver lining is it’s good for the Tigers to have them back relatively fresh.” What was the stand-out performance for him? “I thought New Zealand were awesome and inspiring against France.” Tom and Matt go back a long way so it

makes sense for them to have their testimonial events together, and they were touched that a few key individuals have put together an ad-hoc committee to help them organise a series of events to mark the anniversary. “We’ll be announcing more throughout the year,” said Tom, “but for now we’ve a number of dinners in London and a ladies’ night at Welford Road in December. We hope to have six or seven hundred there and the players will be waiters for the evening. It’s sponsored by Ann Summers, but I ‘m not sure yet what I’ll be wearing.” I do hope none of the forwards own a mankini. Worthy causes benefitting will be the Matt Hampson Trust and the Prostate Project. In addition there will be a ball at Oakham School, hopefully on the evening of speech day, and the committee is working hard on other ideas that will be announced in due course. If you want to stay in touch with developments, the Twitter feed is @croftsmithtest and we’ll also do our best to bring you the details as they emerge.

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Cro in the thick of it during one of Tigers’ pre-season Kings of the North games against Sale

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King Power’s comeback kings BY JEREMY BESWICK


eicester City’s impressive start in the Premiership is beginning to look less like a flash in the pan and more like a slow cooked casserole. Their current return is four wins and four draws from their first nine fixtures and this run of good form, following their heroics at the end of last season, has not gone unnoticed with Jamie Vardy back in the England team and shortlisted for Premiership Player of the Month and Riyad Mahrez nominated for African Player of the Year. Speaking after the win at Norwich, Marc Albrighton summed up the situation: “No-one will want to play us at the moment with the form and confidence we are showing. It is definitely all positive from our point of view.” Claudio Ranieri will have been hoping the two-week international break hadn’t affected their momentum. “We must continue, but every time it is difficult to restart,” he noted, but Albrighton continued: “The last international break we said we wanted to keep playing but we came back and just carried on.

It is good to have a rest but when you are in a run of form you don’t want to stop”. The lay-off has, however, given Nathan Dyer the time he needed to recover from injury and he had played in a friendly behind closed doors before the draw at Southampton. “I’m feeling good,” he said. “It was good to get game time last week in the friendly match and come back into the frame by training and hopefully getting back on the pitch.” With Dyer returning to action Ranieri has the luxury of a fully-fit squad but doesn’t see this causing him any selection headaches. “I know very well all the players want to play and believe me, at this moment, all my players deserve to play, but only 11 can play. The league is very long and everybody will play – that is important.They must be hungry.” Hungry they appear to be as Vardy’s two goals at Southampton made it the third time this season they’ve recovered from a two goal deficit – a statistic that shows the spirit and belief running through the squad. Most of our local sides’ managers would

who we are

kill for the type of form the Foxes are in. It’s been a torrid month for most of them. Oadby’s patchy start continues and, at time of writing, they sit in 19th place – three points from the bottom. The entertainment value, however, is far better than their results. First up last month was a home fixture against Yaxley which saw both sides spurn several chances in a goalless first half. The second became a penalty festival as the referee awarded three, one of which was brilliantly saved by Yaxley’s Ricky Hailstone who had a fine game. It proved to be the key moment as the visitors eventually triumphed 3-2. Their manager, Ian Benjamin, was gracious in victory saying: “I felt that Oadby are in a false position in the league in the way that they played. We had to show a lot of character to come out on top. It was another entertaining game and the only surprise at half-time was that it was 0-0, both teams having chances for it to be at least 3-3. The second half continued in the same way but we got the better of a 10 or 15 minute spell.”

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Action from Leicester City’s 2-1 away win at Norwich

A home draw against Wellingborough Town and a defeat to Desborough did little to improve their league position. Last month the Poachers at least had the consolation of some cup success, but an easy victory against Irchester United was later rendered irrelevant as they crashed out of two competitions at the hands of Solihull Moors and Burrowash Victoria. The game away to Moors looked to be heading for a classic piece of giant-killing by Oadby – their unbeaten opponents leading the National League and almost a hundred places above them in the pecking order – and they led by an expertly chipped early goal from Ollie Brown-Hill. Town manfully repelled wave after wave of Moors’ attacks until, just as the Poachers’ supporters were beginning to believe the win was possible, their opponents scored with just a little over ten minutes remaining. Tiredness and the psychological deflation then got the better of them as they conceded a further two late goals. It was a difficult month for Harborough

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Town too, the only bright spots coming with victories against Desborough and Cogenhoe United, although they did give league leaders Kirby Muxloe a run for their money in an unlucky 1-0 defeat. Town undoubtedly had the best of the game and manager Nick Pollard rated it as the best performance he’d seen from his team as they dominated proceedings but managed to miss the myriads of chances that came their way. “Mugged” was club stalwart Gary Wainwright’s succinct headline in his match report, every bit as pithy as his assessment of their 1-6 home defeat to Kempston Rovers – “Ouch”. While we’re on doom and gloom it wasn’t a great month for Lutterworth AFC either. A string of home games had boss Mike English hoping that they would improve their league position but he will have been disappointed with their points return. It started well enough, with the home fixture against in-form Oakham United seeing them come from behind three times to earn a creditable 3-3 draw but they then allowed Woodford to gain

their first away win of the season 3-2 and worse was to follow against Northampton ON Cheneks, as two late goals from the visitors saw them win 4-1. Back on the road they managed a 2-2 draw at Irchester with goals from Dom Ivens and Danny Laywood but, back at Hall Lane, they went down 1-2 to Blackstones. At least Cosby United are in great form and lead the table with points to spare. A highlight was their 4-1 win against Leicester Three Lions with a hat-trick from Russ Douglas. At county level, Leicestershire and Rutland Under 18s opened their first campaign in the Midlands Youth Football League with an away fixture against Northants. A goalless first half saw manager Nimesh Patel switching tactics to support lone striker Theo Lobel-Graves and it proved an inspired move as Oadby’s Sam Grouse played a through ball for Jordan Nelson, who scored the winner. Patel said: “I felt we deserved the three points and there were some good passages of play late on to be proud of.”


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Early morning hacks signal start of hunting season BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


ale View Equestrian Centre held its arena eventing final and a very successful weekend of competition it was too, attracting large sponsorship. In the first class, the winner received a Barnsby Mary King saddle, sponsored by Buckaroo.The lucky winner was Ella Marshall riding Blue Bell. Gemma Dickens on Duo Du Marais won the 80cm. The 90cm was won by Lucy Stimson on Blondie, then lastly the 1m open, which was the most nailbiting of the classes. Taking the £650 winner’s cheque was a thrilled Elicia Miller on Gentleman George. Qualifiers have already begun for next season, and with great prize money at all the qualifiers and lots of training available at the Caroline Moore clinics which run most weeks, it should again be very popular. The Cottesmore Pony Club also ran some showjumping alongside it, which hopefully will become a regular in the calendar. Quite a few competitors did the final then had a show jumping round to finish the day. Autumn hunting has just begun, but the Belvoir Hunt was getting an early start. Most

hunts do a bit of hound exercise at this time of year, which is basically a hack (walk and trot only) with the hounds and hunt staff at 7am. The early Belvoir meet at Belvoir Castle was quite surprised to have 70 mounted followers pIus car followers. I have heard it may have something to do with bacon butties afterwards! Burghley was again an amazing competition to watch and proved that it’s not all about dressage, as our local riders Emilie Chandler and Simon Grieve both completed successfully for lower places. Willa Newton from Melton Mowbray put in an amazing cross-country round and was the fastest of the day for some time. Unfortunately, Newmarket Vasco One sustained an injury on the cross, which meant she couldn’t complete on the final day. However, she made up for it the following weekend by coming third on Caja 20 in the CIC2* against a very strong field at Gatcombe, which was the first time the mare had stepped up to that level. Osberton Horse Trials is one of the last international events on the calendar for the year and what a spectacular event it has

turned into. Osberton now hosts four different international classes: the Young Horse Championships, In-hand classes, Pony Club jumping and Gate Jumping. They have also built up a good trade stand village around the two main arenas with gun dog displays, birds of prey and, of course, the obligatory food area. Poor Tamsyn Iveson recorded one of her best tests to date on her own Olympic Du Loir of just 46 penalties in the CCI1* and added a foot perfect clear round on the cross country, which was sure to finish them with a top 10 placing. But unfortunately Olympic sustained a small injury on the cross, which resulted in them not completing. Kerry Varley had a better run in the CCI2* on Cariba 15, which was her first big run after having a break. She added just a few cross country time faults to her dressage to complete in the top half. Willa Newton was the best of the locals to win the CICYH** on Caja 20, where the combination led from start to finish and added nothing to their impressive dressage score of 44.5. That will be a really good combination to look out for in the future.

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IT'S nOT ALL mUd, gLORIOUS mUd... Sun, sea, sand: where to travel for the best sport this winter ISSUE 06 // OCTOBER 2015

South LeiceSteRShiRe SPoRt AND LeiSuRe MAGAZiNe

ISSUE 06 // OCTOBER 2015

OAD TO JOY Oadby Ladies are taking football by storm


Far and away around East Farndon

A dAy In ThE LIfE

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Oadby and Wigston Girls & Ladies FC is an example of how women’s football is thriving. By Jeremy Beswick Photography: Pip Warters Women’s football has been around for much longer than many people think. Depending on your definition of ‘football’ we could go back to the Hen Dynasty or even to many millennia BC, but we may as well start in 1895 and a match between the North and South of England organised by the deliciously named Nettie Honeyball (it22:19 finished 7-1 to the North – as many 17/09/2015 of you will doubtless recall). A few years later during the First World War the popularity of the women’s game soared in the absence of their male counterparts and by 1920 Goodison Park would see more than 50,000 fans attend a match with, according to reports, ‘several thousands locked outside’. There were well over a hundred women’s teams across the country by then and the future seemed bright until the cold dead hand of

bureaucracy dealt it a near fatal blow. The doubtless blazered fools of the FA (how little things change) pompously declared: “The Council feel impelled to express their strong opinion that the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged” and banned them from its grounds. It took 50 years for them to correct the mistake – to the FA’s eternal shame it remained in force until 1971. The redoubtable aforementioned Nettie was far more prescient, saying that women’s football was a way of “proving to the world that women are not the ornamental and useless creatures men have pictured.....and I look forward to the time when ladies may sit in parliament and have a voice in the direction of affairs.” Who knows what heights the women’s game

might have reached had it not been all but killed by the faceless committee men, but fast forward to the current day and the sport is rightly thriving again. Globally, it is arguably the most popular team sport for women and once again there are over a hundred sides across the country. One such club is Oadby and Wigston Girls and Ladies FC. I joined them for Thursday night training at their Meadows Park ground in Countesthorpe, poles and cones already laid out and the sessions’ activities finely tuned by the coaching team. “We’ve over two hundred female players here, from the academy for six-year olds to over 30s,” first team manager and vicechairman Alan Wells told me. “And there’s a wide variety of skill levels – we never turn anyone away – from some in their 20s who’d

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Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // November 2015  

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

Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // November 2015  

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