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  • England beat Canada for Women's Rugby World Cup

    England managed to break the streak of 3 successive defeats in the final to win the Women's Rugby World Cup with a 21-9 win over Canada in Paris.

    The team led Canada by 5 points inside the final 10 minutes of the match leaving Canada with hope of stealing the win but Emily Scarratt pushed through, sprinted to the corner to make sure of victory.

    Vicky Fleetwood in action

    Vicky Fleetwood starred in the line up that took the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup for the first time since 1994

    Vicky is one of our stars who wears blazewear heated clothing. For more information on Vicky you can view her profile on the blazewear site here: https://www.blazewear.com/vicky-fleetwood

    A full match report can be found on the BBC Sport website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/28829205

    The full list of Women's Rugby World Cup results can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/28220631

  • Pamela Thorburn

    We are very pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring Pamela Thorburn through the next season of Ski Cross.

    Pamela Thorburn

    Pamela Thorburn began skiing in Schladming, Austria at the age of three. Fuelled by the desire to be faster than her older brother, a love of speed was obvious from an early age and her talent saw her win the Scottish Championships aged 9.The following year Pamela qualified for the British children’s team.

    At 16, Pamela Thorburn began racing full-time and soon afterwards she was selected for the Senior British Alpine Ski team. After earning her dues in FIS and Europa Cup events she made the step-up to the World Cup tour in the 2009-2010 season. Having been a fixture of the British Alpine team for the last 9 years, Pamela decided on a change and recently made the switch to Freestyle. The 2011-2012 season was Pam’s first in Ski-X.

    Ski cross is based on the snowboarding discipline of boardercross. It is a timed event but is often regarded as a part of freestyle skiing because it incorporates terrain features traditionally found in freestyle.

    The qualification for the event is based on a time trial where every competitor skis down the course which is built to encompass the natural terrain and artificial elements such as rollers, banks or jumps.

    Once the time trial is completed the top 32 (or top 16 if not 32) competitors compete in a knock out series of rounds in groups of four. This means four skiers race against each other at the same time and the first two who cross the line go on to the next round.

    Competitors are not allowed to intentionally pull or push each other during the side by side racing but if someone does fall, the race can suddenly turn on its head with competitors colliding with each other making it a very exciting spectator sport.

    You can see how Pam is getting on by visiting  http://www.pamelathorburn.com and also follow Pamela Thorburn on twitter @pamthorburn

  • Britain's Got Talent wears blazewear

    We are proud to welcome Britain's Got Talent semi finalists, Kieran and Sarah, who have joined us in wearing the latest blazewear clothing to help keep them nice and warm in between performing on the stage.

    Kieran and Sarah performing on the live show Britain's Got Talent Kieran and Sarah performing on the live show Britain's Got Talent

    Keiran and Sarah did fantastically well getting through to the semi finals and were up against some stiff competition, we think the best year yet with regards to the level of talent in the competition. Watched by over 11 million viewers they performed Barcelona on the live show putting on a great performance.

    BGT Ant and Dec Kieran and Sarah with Ant and Dec after their performance

    Since making the semi finals Kieran and Sarah have been very busy and if you would like to keep up with them then please give them a like on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KieranAndSarah

  • Loros and Cancer UK 3 Peaks Challenge

    Loros and Cancer UK 3 peaks challenge - Ben Nevis Base Camp

    (Phil, Dave, Steve (Driver) and Matt)

    The blazewear team have successfully completed the 3 peaks challenge in a fantastic effort over the bank holiday weekend in aid of Loros and Cancer UK. The challenge began even before reaching the foot of Ben Nevis with an 8 hour drive from the blazewear headquarters in Loughborough to base camp in the Ben Nevis car park.

    Phil, Dave, Matt and driver Steve are pictured above at the start of the challenge last Saturday (May 24th) at 6pm with the sobering thought that they only have 24 hours to ascend Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden.

    The conditions were good with no sign of rain and the team made excellent progress. They reached the summit of Ben Nevis just 3 hours after the start at 9pm and were welcomed by the mist gently clearing  to give an unforgettable view of the snow capped mountain in the evening sun. This amazing view gave the team a few moments to reflect, having Loros and Cancer UK in mind, before it was time to begin the descent in the fading light.

    Loros and Cancer UK 3 peaks challenge - Ben Nevis

    The team made great progress on the way down, completing the descent in just 2.5 hours, and the mountain was complete. It was now time to let Steve step up again and get on top of the 5 hour journey back down the country to the lake district where the next challenge lay ahead, Scaffell Pike.

    4:30am, it was still dark, pouring with rain but time to get ready for a 5am start to the summit. Having the weather against the team was going to make things tough over the next few hours but even with the rocky path being very slippery everyone made great progress and reached the summit in 2.75 hours. The view from the top could not have been more different from the day before with visibility down to just 20 metres it was time for a quick photograph before making the rapid descent.

    Loros and Cancer UK 3 peaks challenge - Scafell Pike Completed

    Mountain two was tackled in just 5 hours which then left another 4 hour drive to North Wales to face the final challenge of Snowden, the pressure was on!

    Steve did an amazing job throughout the challenge and got everyone to base camp at Snowden just after 2pm so just 4 hours to complete the challenge!

    The route up Snowden is fairly easy to start but then the path narrows and becomes very steep, narrow and rocky. This, combined with a busy day with lots of others making the ascent, affects progress and once we neared the summit the conditions became quite treacherous. Heavy rain with strong winds meant that the accent took 2 hours leaving just 1 hour and 50 minutes to get down and complete the challenge. Having come this far everyone was feeling tired but strong, though not going to be beaten and certainly keeping  Loros and Cancer UK in mind which helped focus everyone. The weather improved as the team worked their way down and everyone made it back to base with just 30 minutes to spare before the 24 hours were up!

    Loros and Cancer UK 3 peaks challenge - Snowden

    The climbing team would like to pass on their warm thanks to Steve for making the challenge possible. His driving skills allowed everyone to get between the Peaks, home safely and in good time.

    The vehicle for the event was kindly donated by Keyta Fire Protection Services and the fuel was donated by blazewear heated clothing which ensured that all money raised by the event goes directly to Loros and Cancer UK.

    The team would like to pass on their huge thanks for for all the generous people that have supported them and helped to raise money for the Loros Charity Hospice (http://www.loros.co.uk/) and Cancer research UK.

    If you would still like to donate to our chosen charities, the giving pages are still available and both charities would be most appreciative of any donation, no matter how small.

    For Loros please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/blazewear

    For Cancer research UK http://www.justgiving.com/matthew-baker12/eurl.axd/d13c5e1f47c27241b4b75af5f4cb897a

  • Harry Gurney - Pick of the England bowlers

    Lancashire Lightning v Nottinghamshire Outlaws - Friends Life T20

    A big congratulations to Harry Gurney for making his England debut this evening at the Oval in Englands T20 international games against Sri Lanka.

    Unfortunately England lost the game by just 9 runs but Harry was the pick of the England bowlers with figures of 4-0-26-2

    The full report can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/27491216

  • Loros 3 Peaks Challenge - May 24th

    The blazewear team are embarking on the 3 peaks challenge on May 24th in aid of the Loros hospice who provide care for the terminally ill. The hospice is very close to the heart of the blazewear team as we have experienced first hand their exceptional support and help through difficult times.

    "Being there for you and your family

    LOROS Hospice is a local charity and every year we care for over 2,500 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We provide free, high-quality, compassionate care and support to terminally ill adult patients, their family and carers"

    We have a current total of just over £2,000 and if you would like to support us by donating online then we have also setup the following on Virgin money Giving http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/blazewear any support would be greatly appreciated for this very worthy cause. More details about Loros and what they do can be found at http://www.loros.co.uk/

  • Louis Norman defends his English Flyweight title!

    Louis V Don 1

    Congratulations to Louis Norman on defending his English Flyweight title at the Hermitage Leisure Centre. The report from the fight is below.

    Norman had brought hefty support with him to the centre – wearing pink wigs and singing along to the Cartoon’s “Witchdoctor”, which had Broadhurst’s manager and trainer Jon Pegg looking on unimpressed.

    Former Commonwealth champion in both the amateur and professional ranks, Broadhurst (7st 13lb 12oz) settled quickly against the current champion and was quick to establish his jab. Broadhurst was able to march into range to tee off with his jabs and hooks, but, Norman (7st 13lb) was trying to pin the Brummie on the end of his jab and walk him onto right uppercuts.

    Norman began to get moving in the third, whipping his long levers to the body of Broadhurst but Don was staying with him and responding to every attack. Norman had a welt under his right eye.

    The champion was trying to remain comfortable behind his jab but Broadhurst was able to jab his way in and rough him up to make life difficult in the fourth, and in the fifth Norman was trying to move but “The Don” would stick with him working him to body and head.

    The sixth was a round in which Broadhurst apparently hurt his right arm and probably accounted for the challenger momentarily switching off and being caught by a left hook. Suddenly hurt, Broadhurst tried to grab hold and ride out the storm but Norman was able to land a follow up right-hand.

    It was a quiet seventh that followed before Broadhurst proved that it wasn’t only Norman who was capable of moving effectively as he used his jab and superior foot movement to get the better of the close exchanges – but with Norman being nifty on his feet too, he may have been able to steal any exchange where the judges were struggling to separate them.

    The general consensus ringside was that Don had done enough, but to the dismay of his team, this was over-ruled by the men who mattered. Robert Chalmers scored 96-94 to Broadhurst, Shaun Messer scored 97-94 to Norman and came down to the referee Terry O’Connor who scored the bout 95-95. Norman is now 7-0-1 and Broadhurst 16-3-1. The Don revealed afterwards that he had also perforated an ear drum in this bout and his team were hopeful about securing a rematch.


    Louis V Don 2 Louis V Don 4 Louis V Don 3

     

    reports from the other bouts on the day can be found at: http://birminghamboxing.co.uk/Brummie-Broadhurst-So-Close-To-Bagging-Title.php

  • Harry Gurney getting ready for the heat!

    Harry Gurney Lancashire Lightning v Nottinghamshire Outlaws - Friends Life T20

    We are proud to welcome Harry Gurney to the growing number of sports stars who are taking advantage of our blazewear heated clothing products. We will be following the progress of Loughborough Town cricketer as he attempts to become a regular in the England squad and hopes for big things this summer. He is pictured wearing our G-series sports garments which he will be using during the season to stay warm when the weather interrupts proceedings during matches.

    Harry Gurney Harry Gurney blazewear

    A recent article from the BBC website.

    Harry Gurney: England experience spurs Notts paceman

    By Andrew ButlerBBC Radio Nottingham

    Nottinghamshire fast bowler Harry Gurney says travelling with the England squad over the winter has given him an appetite for international cricket. The 27-year-old spent time with the England team in Australia for pre-Ashes series net practice. "The month I spent in Australia was a real learning curve, I took a lot away from it," he told BBC Radio Nottingham.

    Who is Harry Gurney?

    • Born: 25 October 1986 in Nottingham
    • Played for Leicestershire from 2007-2011 before joining Notts in 2012
    • Leading Championship wicket-taker for Notts in 2013, with 44 at an average of 30
    • Member of the MCC squad for 2014 tour of Abu Dhabi

    Gurney subsequently received his first call-up for the one-day tour of the West Indies earlier this month. And although he did not feature in any of the games in the Caribbean, he believes the experience has developed him into a better player. England have not had a left-arm pace bowler appearing regularly in the side since former Notts paceman Ryan Sidebottom, now with Yorkshire, played his final game in 2010. And Gurney would provide welcome variety if he could improve on the form that brought him 70 wickets in all competitions for his county last summer and force his way into the selectors' thinking. "To get called up to the full squad was an amazing feeling despite not playing. I feel like I've come back a better player and hopefully I can show that," he said. "I loved every second I was there, and I'll be doing everything I can to perform for Nottinghamshire. If that leads to more involvement in the England set-up that would be great."

    Read the full article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/26855006

    You can follow Harry on twitter and facebook

    • https://twitter.com/gurneyhf
    • https://www.facebook.com/harry.gurney.31
  • Joel Hicks - World Coal Carrying Championsips

    World Coal Carrying Championships 2014

    Joel Hicks is the founder of the ‘Always With A Smile’ foundation and the fire breathing front man for our blazewear heated clothing.

    First established in 2006, through the foundation he travels all across the UK and abroad competing in crazy sports, weird championships, adrenaline fueled activities and absurd traditions in order to raise awareness and funds for various charities and good causes, whilst putting a smile on the face of as many people as he possibly can!

    World Coal Carrying Championships 2014

    In 1963, in a small Lancashire pub in the village of Gawthorpe, two men stood, enjoying a pint, lost in their own thoughts.  One of these men was Reggie Sedgwick, whilst the the other was Amos Clapham, a local coal merchant.  Suddenly, in burst a third man, Lewis Hartley, in a somewhat exuberant mood.

    “Ba gum lad tha’ looks buggered!” he said, slapping Reggie heavily on the back.

    Now, whether it was because of the force of the slap or the tone of the language that accompanied it, Reggie was (as legend tells it) a little put out.

    “Ah’m as fit as thee” he told Lewis, “an’ if tha’ dun’t believe me gerra bagga coal on tho back an ah’ll race thee to t’ top ‘o ’t’ wood”.

    As a taken-a-back Lewis considered the implications of the challenge, a fourth man raised a cautioning hand.  Fred Hirst, never a man to let a good idea go to waste, pondered: “Owd on a minute, aven’t we been lookin’ for some’at ta do on Easter Monday? If we’re gonna ‘ave a race, let’s ‘ave it then…”

    Thus was born the World Coal Carrying Championships… and 51 years later, the event is still going strong.

    Starting at The Royal Oak public house, both men and women race with a sack of coal on their shoulders for just short of a mile (1012 metres to be precise) in the quickest time possible, eventually dropping their sack on the Village Green, where the traditional Maypole is situated in the heart of Gawthorpe.

    Sounds easy enough doesn't it?…  Well, hold back your judgement until you read the fine print.  The women battle against the uphill course with an impressive 20kg of coal, whilst the men carry a staggering 50kg (yes, 50kg) in weight!

    Still think you could mix it with the Northern folk?… What if I tell you that the current record time for the women’s race is 4 minutes 25 seconds, and for the mens it is a truly unbelievable 4 minutes and 6 seconds! That’s a speed of over 4 metres per second… or covering 10 metres in 2.4 seconds…

    Having been a fixture at the World Coal Carrying Championships for several years, I know that the £750 prize for coming in first is, to say the least, a little beyond me… If I’m honest, I doubt I could run 1012 metres in under 4 minutes 6 seconds without 50kg of coal slowing me down.  As such, I take part (like so many) to test myself, to rally on others and to soak in the atmosphere on what is a wonderfully heart-warming event.

    To get things up and running, entrants are first ‘loaded’ prior to the official start - this is where the sacks of coal are hoisted on to the shoulders of the runners from a large lorry.  Grabbing the sack at it’s corners, the best one’s for running with are those with a bit of slack in them, so that your hands can grip tightly and easily adjust the weight as you mould the coal contents to your shoulders.  A slippery or ‘bulging’ bag can ruin a competitors time in the first 100 yards… and so many make a close inspection before selecting their sack.

    When in position, it doesn't take long for you to realise how much weight is actually pressing down through your whole body…  yet you really don’t have enough time to think about that, for as quickly as you are in position, the race starter gives a countdown and it’s “3, 2, 1… go!”

    Is there a particular tactic or strategy you should adopt at the World Coal Carrying Championships?  No… My only advice is simply never to drop the bag!

    Some runners set off like whippets around a race track, whilst others start slow and make a push during the second half of the race.  For non-locals it’s a tricky decision, as knowing exactly how far you are along the course and how hard to push it is always a gamble.  Go to soon, and you’ll empty your tank too early and be left almost crawling to the village green… Leave it too late and you’ll kick yourself for not pushing hard enough.  Many of the ‘elite’ runners (and it’s probably right to call them that…) have coaches who encourage them around the course - though the committee has tightened up the rules on this in recent years.

    For me… running with what felt like only half a lung due to the summer cold that I've managed to pick up, and acute tendonitis in my arms and shoulders… I opted for a steady state run.  At the start I could see the heals of many a man shoot off ahead, but within just a few hundred yards I had managed to catch and overtake many of the sprint starters.

    At around the half way stage, the pain really begins to take effect.  Your legs can start to tremble as you push through the incline, whilst your breath gets heavier and heavier as you gasp for a little more air.  In your head, as you constantly shuffle the coal sack across your shoulders for comfort, you question whether you’re actually going to be able to complete the course…

    But it’s at this stage that you begin to enter the village, and with that, you hear for the first time the claps and then the roar of encouragement from the hundreds of people who have lined the street to cheer you on.  The lift or kick that this gives you is simply incredible… You find energy that you never thought you had, and you find yourself not slowing down but pushing harder, pumping your legs and grinding your teeth.  With the odd glimpse up you can see the competition running ahead of you, you know you’re gaining on them, and you set your target on getting past them…

    It’s quite amazing watching a group of men and women, who have given it all, dig a little deeper to push themselves beyond their limits… This was optimised by both Brian Gumbley and Gary Mallinson, two members of the Always With A Smile foundation who took part in the event for the first time.  Arguably not suited to the rigours of coal carrying, these best friends found themselves bringing in the final coal sacks of the day… and with just yards between them, their faces echoed the feelings of nearly every person that takes on the challenge.  Brian, his mouth gaping open, his eyes dropping, and with sweat tumbling from his face, looked like a ruined man who had left every ounce of energy he had on the course.  Gary, on the other hand, although moving at the same speed, pounded the road like a Spartan Warrior, his teeth grinding down, his face bright red, with an animalistic roar sounding out from under his heaving gasps of air.  It was pure theatre to watch as both men swapped positions several times in the last hundred yards before collapsing on the village green like so many before them!

    In the glorious sunshine, I was pleased with a time of under 6 minutes… though this was more than a minute behind the winner of this years men’s race who came home in a time of 4 minutes 46 seconds, whilst the leading lady crossed the finish line in 4 minutes 39 seconds.  Now, where’s my Easter Egg?!

  • English Flyweight Championship - Norman v Broadhurst

    English Flyweight Championship - Clash of the LightansSunday 11th May will bring the clash between the champion Louis Norman and the challenger Don Broadhurst for the English Flyweight title. With only a few weeks to go Louis has said he is "being pushed to new levels" by his own desire as well as having "a different mentality" in preparation.

    Louis is also hoping that this 10 round bout will be recognised as a final eliminator for the British title currently held by Kevin Satchell.

    Broadhurst is bringing over 200 of his fans to the Whitwick Leisure Centre for the English Flyweight title bout which is on home turf for Louis so we need to top that!

    Tickets are £30 for unreserved seating and £50 for ringside seating, to book please call 01332 367453

    Silver Street, Whitwick, Coalville, Leicestershire. Doors open 2pm, first bell 3pm

    www.mitchellsportspromotions.com

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