Charitable Sportsmen

Standish Park Rangers Football Club Christmas Appeal : After last year’s successful Christmas appeal where the club donated to the Preston Branch of the Rspca Standish decided that this year’s charity should be Derrian House. Derrian House is an extremely important organization which looks after children who are terminally ill and ensures that they have as normal life as possible by excellent support and care.  Derrian House is also well known for its excellent care and making the children feel special and happy regardless of the sad situation that has brought them there in the first place. We as a club wanted to support them at this important time of the year and so set up a toy appeal within the club. Players then donated both new and also old toys from their own childhoods to the appeal with excellent results.

It was clear that this appeal meant a lot to the people within the club and on the 20th December two of the first team players Simon Yarwood and Anthony Coppenhall along with manager Will Nolan and Chairman Bill Nolan presented their donations to the care team nurses and fundraising team at Derrian House. This was a really special presentation and it meant a lot to both the staff at Derrian House and the Standish team.

Local Business chips in

It’s fantastic to see local sports stars giving back to their communities that value them so much. There are youngsters all over the world that are disabled or unable to participate in sporting activities for whom a visit or some communication from a sports personality is a huge event that they would treasure for the rest of their lives. In South Africa there are many sports stars that are involved in charity work and community projects. Just this year, Wayde van Niekerk, the world’s four hundred meter athletics champion, donated five hundred thousand rand to Groote Schuur Hospital’s neo natal unit. South African national cricketers, Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis are also extremely active in community work and charity organizations. The two are often seen side by side, participating in charity sports events. Recently Mark Boucher appeared as the guest speaker at the Saint Luke’s Hospice Charity event at a seasid restaurant in Hout Bay, Cape Town. Mark Boucher recently founded his own charity organization, the Castle Lager Boucher Legacy. Boucher entered the forty two kilometer Otter Trail run to raise funds and awareness around Rhino poaching. Mark has encouraged his long time friend and professional trail runner Ryan Sandes to join him in this venture. Ryan Sandes has won the Otter Trail run in the past and competes in trail running globally in events all over the world. Ryan was quoted as saying that the Otter Trail is one of his favorite trails and that he felt honored to have been asked by Boucher to support him in his drive against Rhino poaching.

Footballers take Zanzibar by Storm

After the lads from South Lancashire had such a great holiday in Cape Town, a break from the intense football season in Britain, a couple of them decided to do some further exploring whilst on the African continent.

Zanzibar is an amazing holiday destination. The city is filled with the most breath taking locations and we have listed some of the best locations at bay.

  • Nungwi, North Coast: Nungwi boosts of some great tropical gardens and woods to marvel at. Awoke with a kiss of fresh breeze and sunlight, residing at Nungwi is something you will not get tired of. There many hotels and resorts to choose from which offer the best accommodation services. The hotels and resorts also have activities such as snorkeling, windsurfing and kayaking to name a few.
  • Stone Town City: Stone Town City has a lot to offer. This City has hotels and resorts that give you a Disney Classic and Arabian royalty feel. These hotels and resorts have been built in the finest shapes and deliver excellent service to guests. If royalty is what you looking for, royalty is what you will get at Stone Town City. The hotels and resorts that are situated in Stone Town City have a cultural mine which is an interesting place to visit for people who want to learn more about Stone Town City and Zanzibar in general. Stone Town is also very popular for Zanzibar honeymoons.
  • Kiwengwa, North Coast: Fancy some privacy? We know just the place. One resort in particular has a private beach. There comes a time during a vacation where you just want solitude. A private beach is about the highest isolation you can get! That is more like having a beach to yourself. Yes, a whole beach. Water activities are available in various hotels and resorts as well as transportation to sightsee.
  • Pingwe, South East Coast: Expect five star treatment when you set foot at one of the hotels and resorts in Pingwe, South East Coast. With beaches crystal in beautiful blue you are destined to have the time of your life. There are hotels and resorts that have villas, pool garden rooms and beach front rooms. It all depends on what you prefer when you book for accommodation. It is advised that you book according to your preference because we want to ensure you enjoy every minute of Pingwe!
  • Jambiani, South East Coast: The hotels and resorts in Jambiani are everything you can imagine. Uniquely crafted and admired by many, Jambiani caters for everyone in the world. There is one resort in particular that caters for people who are more of the African tribe. Less modern than the rest, it offers a marvel of seeing the day to day activities of being a resident in Zanzibar. Sometimes a place that is toned of the finer things in life is exactly the type of accommodation you looking for. Whoever is looking for an adventure in Zanzibar should definitely visit the Jambiani in the South East Coast.
  • Kama, North West Coast: Kama in the North West Coast is a definite must for the green lovers. It comprises of spectacular green plants and coconut plantation. It also has a historical significance that is related to the Tanzanian country. If anybody is a lover of the environment and history, Kama is the place to be.
  • Kendwa, North Coast: If paradise had a definition, Kendwa in the North Coast would probably be it. The hotel in Kendwa has a spa and is a great destination for lovers because it offers luxury hide outs and pleasant views to see. If love is the name, Kendwa in North Coast is the game. The activities include cruises, beauty treatments, water sports and even babysitting just to name a few. Exceptional service at the most exceptional value!

Football Holiday in Cape Town

Last month some of the lads from the local South Lancashire football teams headed down to South Africa for some much needed rest after a grueling season of non stop action. After a bit of squabbling and some careful deliberation, the blokes voted unanimously on making Cape Town the number one destination on the itinerary.  The goalkeeper from South Lancashire county has a niece working at a place called Ashanti Backpackers in Cape Town, nicely situated right at the foot of the world famous Table Mountain, and within walking distance from all the tourist attractions and vibrant Cape Town nightlife. The place has also got a fantastic tours desk if you are looking to go on an adventure tour. There was some apprehension about staying in a “backpackers”, just the term brought up images of some of the dirty and run down hostels I’ve stayed at in my younger days.

Ashanti Backpackers Cape Town

The blokes were completely blown away by the quality of the accommodation they arrived to at Ashanti Backpackers. The building is a converted Victorian mansion with some top class facilities. Wifi, crystal clear swimming pool, festival bar area where you can catch all the latest football games, a travel center that you can book a trip to some seriously exotic African destinations, a tennis court adjacent to the property and a convenient internet cafe close to the main reception. Ashanti Lodge is far more than just a Cape Town backpackers , it’s a luxurious home away from home at a very affordable price. The views of Table Mountain from the upstairs pub are spectacular, not to mention the views of some of the scantily clad beauties at the swimming pool below on most sunny days. Ashanti is clean, well run and has an adequate compliment of cheery staff willing to help with anything that needs getting sorted out. We spent a very satisfied week there, exploring Cape Town’s tourist attractions by day, and then venturing out into the wilder side of town in the evenings, partying hard and sleeping till late the next mornings.

Ashanti cape town backpackers

It was only toward the end of our stay that we realized that we had not yet experienced the famous Cable Car ride which takes you from the foot of table mountain right to the very top in a matter of a few minutes. It was not something we possibly leave Cape Town without having done, so we scheduled it for later that day. We met at the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway offices and bought our tickets. The journey to the top of the mountain was quite thrilling, as were the views from the top, so I’m glad we didn’t miss it. There is no doubt about it, the lads were all well impressed with the whole package – great city, great vibe, great beer – a lot of fun to be had. In fact there has even been talk of returning in a couple of months and trying out a full safari in Cape Town. Although somebody recalled a UEFA Cup match being played soon that day so we made haste and bustled off in the direction of Ashanti Backpackers in Cape Town again (via Cable Car), so that we would make it in time to catch the game in the Ashanti Pub, enjoying a couple of lagers as the sun slowly dripped into the sea. Ashanti Lodge far more than that, a real jewel in the Cape Crown. The lads had only good things to report when they returned home. Sun tanned faces and full of shenanigans.

Anxiety and Stress – It’s just not Football !

Anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on people and footballers are no exception. The pressure to continuously perform at peak levels and succeed at all costs is extremely demanding on football players, both physically and mentally. Stress and anxiety affect the young and the old, and those experiencing these conditions will often feel tense and overwhelmed. Obviously these feelings do not serve professional footballers and other sportsmen. The best thing an athlete can do, is as soon as they recognize that they are struggling to cope, is to make an effort to seek professional help in the form of a clinical psychologist or qualified counsellor. Treating anxiety and stress early is important in order to avoid it leading to long term depression. There are ways to reduce anxiety and stress provided it is not too severe and that your lifestyle allows for it. This would include:

  • Taking time out to relax. Walks in Nature, relaxing hobbies
  • When feeling overwhelmed, pause and count to 10 slowly
  • Talk to somebody about your feelings
  • Concentrate on your breathing. Breathe deeply.
  • Ensure that you are eating a well balanced diet.
  • Reduce you Caffeine and Alcohol intake

Some of our local footballers that have been contracted to play for Cape Town based sides have struggled with stress and anxiety. Being a professional sportsmen often requires you to be away from home for extended periods of time which only adds to the problem. Southern Suburbs psychologist, Anita Prag, is well know psychologist that has years of experience in helping people cope with anxiety and stress. Stress can manifest itself in many forms. The psychological symptoms include, feeling unable to cope, irritability, being fearful, having anxious thoughts and low self esteem.

anita prag

There have been several articles written recently about Anita’s successes in helping patients navigate through difficult periods of their lives. There is saying that says “It’s always darkest before dawn”, well from all accounts, Anita is the psychologist that will help cast light onto your problems, helping you grow through your difficulties. As a psychologist in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, Anita has client base that extends from the City Centre right through to Simonstown. Anita is not just a psychologist that is capable of treating adults. Dr Anita Prag comes highly recommended as a psychologist for children and adolescents too. She offers “Play Therapy” sessions for children where she performs behavioral and emotional assessments, as well as performing IQ assessments and helping children with learning difficulties. Anita’s practice in positioned on the Main Rd in Bergliet. There are several Cape Town psychologists that are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa but Dr Prag is one of the few that we can report as having a high standard of service. If you do find yourself struggling with anxiety, stress or depression and are in need of a souther suburbs psychologist click here for more information about Anita’s practice. So much attention is given to the physical well being of footballers and sportsmen that their psychological well being is sometimes overlooked. It should be a priority for trainers and coaches to ensure that all areas of their well being are being attended to.