Heather St John’s FC relegated after only winning four games in the season

By Jess Bourne

Heather St John’s FC have been relegated into the Midland Football League after a disastrous season.

During the 2022/2023 season, the football club, based near Coalville, were playing in the United Counties League Premier Division North, and finished in 19th place above Selston FC.

In the season, the team played 38 games for the league; won four, drew nine and lost 25.

Only last year, they finished sixth in the table but after the manager left the club with most of the players, and the arrival of a new chairman, the club had to rebuild itself.

Phil Owen, media officer at the club, said: “There is no single reason for the club’s relegation season; the appointment of an inexperienced manager, who only had a few weeks to bring a new squad and a backroom team together.

“At the same time a new chairman started.”

He added: “The new players, mainly inexperienced at the level, found it tough against established teams.”

Neil Costello, Shaun Hession and Stuart Beniston have been appointed as the new management team ahead of the upcoming season.

The club are hoping to bring in more local talent and unite the junior and senior team together.

Bill Nally, director of Football at Heather St John’s FC said: “I want to build the reputation of the team on and off the pitch.”

Ahead of next season, the annual Simon Blyth Memorial Charity Match will be held on Saturday, July 8 at St John’s Park, Ravenstone Road, against Hinckley AFC with a 3pm kick off.

The new season will commence at the start of August, and you can find their twitter page here: https://twitter.com/HSJFC_Official

Rothley 10K run returns for 37th year

By Jess Bourne

The annual Rothley 10K run is raising money for LOROS Hospice next week.

In February 2020, Colin Favell, founder of the race, sadly passed away and to honour his legacy, the race was dedicated to him in 2021.

Joanne Spain, events manager at Mattioli Woods, said: “It was a lovely way for the running community, the spectators, the volunteers and residents of Rothley to just kind of come together and acknowledge all that he bought to the race over the years.”

Alongside the 10K run, they also host ‘Joe’s Jog’ which is designed for families and young children to support the work of the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust.

After 2019, LOROS Hospice became the sole beneficiaries of the race.

Since the race’s inception in 1986, it has raised over £400,000.

Advertisement for the Rothley 10K run by partners, Mattioli Woods.

Joanne added: “I think that they love the community spirit of them all coming out. The residents will line the streets and they will cheer on the runners.”

She believes that the local businesses and residents have a huge impact on the outcome of the race.

“They all get involved and provide valuable services like toilet provisions or parking spaces. The signage that they put up and the general crowd support on the night means that we really do have it as a community race.”

Raina Hussain, events coordinator at LOROS, said: “Because Rothley is a small village, it’s more meaningful to the locals and to the runners aswell, so it does have a special energy to it.”

In the future, they are hoping to increase the amount of people who are taking part in the race and returning to pre-pandemic levels but also improve the local business involvement so they can raise as much money as possible for LOROS.

The race is taking place on Tuesday, June 6.

Joe’s Jog takes place at 6:15pm and the Rothley 10K run starts at 7:15pm.

The standard fee for registration is £25 but, on the day, registration is £40, and 100 percent of the registration fee goes direct to LOROS.

Registration can be found here https://www.entryhub.co.uk/2023-rothley10k

Leicestershire Fitsteps dance instructor hosts inclusive classes every week

By Jess Bourne

A Leicestershire woman has been hosting Fitstep classes in Ibstock, Ashby and Moira every week aiming to build people’s confidence in themselves.

Rosemary Debney, a Fitsteps dance instructor, first attended with a friend and then was given the opportunity to host her own classes.

Rosemary Debney dancing during an event.

She attended ballet and tap classes when she was a child and has been dancing ever since.

During the classes, she teaches ballroom and Latin dances including the waltz, jive, quickstep and cha cha.

She said: “I want people to leave with a big big smile and a bit of sweat.

“Exercise is not the best way to lose weight, it’s to tone muscles, build balance and build confidence.”

In the future, she wants to host seated and toning exercises in order to accommodate for others who are less able to take part.

If you want to contact Rosemary or book a class, you can follow the link https://www.facebook.com/FitStepswithRose

DMU first university to achieve Silver Race Equality Charter Award

By Jess Bourne

De Montfort University is the first institution to be awarded a Silver Race Equality Charter Award after its continued efforts to tackle issues of racism and inequality.

The award was given to DMU by Advance HE that oversees equality issues for the education sector.

The Race Equality Charter has 99 member institutions and DMU is the first university to achieve the silver award.

Dr Melanie Crofts, Interim Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at DMU, said: “It’s a real privilege to work at an institution where we’re the first university to get the silver award.

“It’s really important for the university to have received the recognition for the work it has been doing.”

The university focused and continues to focus on tackling issues surrounding recruitment, inequalities in senior teams, the awarding gap between black and white students and decolonising the institution as well as the curriculum.

“It’s about being honest and acknowledging the issues that DMU has,” added Dr Crofts.

She believes that receiving the award has sent a strong message that shows that DMU is serious about achieving equality and demonstrating good practice in the sector.

She added: “With all of the positivity and publicity comes a responsibility on the university to make sure that it delivers on the things that it has promised to do.”

The Decolonising DMU project, which has been ongoing since 2019, was set up to encompass the whole of the university and address the racial problems that faced the staff and student experience, progression, employability, promotion and equal pay.

Following the Race Equality Charter Award, the university will also be setting up working groups that will implement the action plan to further eradicate racism and discrimination.

The university’s Vice Chancellor, Katie Normington, and Kaushika Patel, who lead the decolonising project, will be leading self-assessment teams and these will be ensuring that the action plans are put into place. 

DMU’s working groups are hoping that the university will become a place where people feel free to express themselves openly and able to challenge hate and discrimination in an appropriate way.

First time rower wins gold in championships for DMU Rowing

By Jess Bourne

First year De Montfort University student, Lizzie Webster, has won first and second place medals at the British University Championships (BUCS) Regatta.

Winner: Lizzie Webster warming up for the race during a competition day.

The event was held at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham between April, 29 and May, 1 and universities from all over the UK attended.

The BUCS consists of head-to-head races against six other teams.

Lizzie, 19, said: “I went to a taster session out of curiosity and then I was asked back.”

The regatta was her first-time rowing competitively.

In April, ahead of the race, the team were training on the River Soar in Loughborough, learning all about the technical aspects of rowing.

She took part in the Beginner Women’s single, Beginner Women’s double and Beginner Women’s Quad.

She added: “I was most nervous for the single race. It was not knowing what to expect as I had never done it before.

“I won the semi-finals, and it gave me the confidence to win the final.”

During the competition days, there was constant rowing, and all the teams were supporting each other during the races.

She also said: “I can’t believe I won because I wasn’t expecting to.

“My legs and lungs were burning.”

Lizzie hopes that she will be able to win senior BUCS Regatta medals in the future.

She added: “There’s never something you can’t work on.”

DMU also came fifth in the Beginner Men’s 4x (A Final) and sixth in the Men’s Lightweight 4x (A Final).

DMU Rowing are now looking towards the Metropolitan Regatta in June and the Henley Women’s Regatta which takes place on the River Thames.

Information about DMU Rowing can be found on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.