Women’s Rugby Society going sober for charity

GOING SOBER: Teesside Uni's Women's Rugby Society

GOING SOBER: Teesside Uni’s Women’s Rugby Society

Teesside Uni’s Woman’s Rugby team is participating in ‘Dry January’, where all members are sponsored to not drink any alcohol for the first month of the year to help raise money for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Forensic biology student and society member Laura Rook said: “There’s a few reasons why we wanted to do this but the number one reason is to raise money for fighting the disease of MS which is a cause we’d all like to see tackled.”

“By doing dry January we hope to raise awareness among people, especially students about this disease and hopefully raise enough money to make MS a real thought provoking issue to people around the university.”

Over 100,000 people in the U.K. are diagnosed as having MS.

Dry January is traditionally an event aimed at raising money for cancer research but the society decided to raise money for MS due to several members of the Rugby team having had first hand experience with the disease.

Laura, whose own father is sadly affected by MS, says that although it hasn’t been easy going the whole month sober, it will all be worth it:

“From a personal view point, raising money and awareness for MS charities is an issue that I hold very close to my heart and am inspired by the whole team participating.

“Not drinking for a whole month isn’t going to be the easiest thing to do, just ask any student, but when it comes to bigger issues like these diseases which affect thousands of people around the country it, it makes it all worth it.”

Jain Guillaume, another member of the universities Rugby society, lost her mother to MS and is keen to raise money as well as awareness for the disease:

“My Mum was diagnosed with MS when I was seven and I grew up looking after her until she eventually passed away when I was 23, almost 10 years ago.”

It really shaped the way I was brought up I think as I had to be independent quite young and I  don’t think enough people know about the effects it has on someone and their family so raising awareness is also important.”

As well as having an online donation account, the society has a collection box in the Student Union shop along with their own calendars dedicated to raising money for another charity, ‘Body Dysmorphia’.

Donations raised by the Rugby society will go towards helping the ‘Multiple Sclerosis Society’, the UK’s leading MS charity, fight the disease through continued research into cures.

The Rugby team has currently raised over three hundred pounds and hopes to have raised more by the end of the month with a team target of one thousand pound set.

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Are esports really a sport?

Video games have been around since the 70s, but only in the past few years have they become the international competitive phenomenon known as electronic sports.

Teams of professional players play against each other in a variety of games including League of Legends, Counter Strike and Hearthstone in tournaments that are broadcasted live on ESPN and across the internet to huge crowds.

lol 2013

GAME ON: The 2013 League of legends World Championships in LA’s Staples Center

The 2013 League of Legends World Finals drew a whopping 32 million viewers, double the amount for baseball’s World Series.

Some professional gamers can earn almost as much as some sports superstars, with two Korean esports icons earning between $800-900,000 a year.

The DotA2 2014 tournament offered a prize of over $5 million to the winners, out of a $10 million prize pool.

The statistics demonstrate the growing popularity of esports, but the question remains, is it a sport?

Esports tournaments, like other sporting tournaments, display elite players, managers and coaches exhibiting skills in their chosen fields

There are many well-known personalities within the esports community, much like those within traditional sports.

Players are also well known to transition into being pundits for the game, a very familiar concept for football and rugby.

However, critics argue that esports doesn’t involve any actual physical exertion, and as such, is not a sport.

ESPN President, John Skipper, recently said, ‘It’s not a sport — it’s a competition. Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition.’

Sophie Peterson, a local personal trainer, agrees with Skipper by saying: “I don’t think esports should be a sport, as you always think of sport as physically challenging, and requiring a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

“There’s always a risk of physical injury with actual sports, whereas the most you’re going to get from a computer is repetitive strain injury at most.”

Although there are arguments for both sides, and members of the Teesside University League of Legends society suggest there are elements of sport involved.

Edward Mitchell says: “Something that I feel is really important in the new era is the involvement of technology in everyday life.

“I think that this should definitely include the changing of the definitions of everyday things that we do, including sports.”

Callum Pumphrey, however, admits: “It should be a sport, but I can’t imagine people wanting their child to grow up to play competitively in esports.”

While Jordan Conlin suggests: “There hasn’t been enough time for esports to grow fully into a sport that’s passed between generations.

“But, as long as they’re not called ‘cyber athletes’, it shouldn’t be too embarrassing.”

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Middlesbrough labelled a ‘hotbed of great comedy’

FUNNYMAN: Patrick Monahan praises Middlesbrough ahead of hometown gig.

FUNNYMAN: Patrick Monahan praises Middlesbrough ahead of hometown gig.

MIDDLESBROUGH comedian Patrick Monahan has labelled his hometown as a nest of great comedy ahead of his Town Hall show this June.

Patrick, who shot to fame after winning ITV’s Show Me The Funny in 2011, says he can’t wait to be back where it all began.

Middlesbrough Town Hall will be host to the likes of Jimmy Carr, Alan Carr and Katherine Ryan as well as a homecoming show for the Teesside funny-man.

He said: “Middlesbrough has always been a hotbed of great comedy, mainly from the natural Teesside friendly banter.”

“Great comics will always come to Middlesbrough because the audience is always full of slightly drunk, but encouraging chatty Teessiders.

“The Town Hall has all the best bits of Middlesbrough inside it such as the old friendliness, funky corridors and a basement of treasures.”

The Irish-Iranian stand-up will be touring his ‘Adventures in Monahan Land’ tour across the UK from February with 46 dates lying ahead.

Having played over 300 shows as well as appearing on ITV’s Splash, Celebrity Squares and Fake Reaction in 2014, Patrick says he can’t wait to be back on stage.

“One of the main reasons for getting into stand-up comedy was so that I could go somewhere different every day.”

“Every night is a different audience and it gives you a different spin on your material and keeps you fresh and alive.”

As part of the new family show fans will see Patrick perform his traditional style of hugging people before, during and after show.

“I’m always up for doing anything that’s fun and that takes me on a challenge,” said Patrick, who attempted to break the longest hug record in 2013.

“There’s nothing as good as watching a live act, prancing, rocking, sweating and jumping about on stage.”

Despite travelling across the globe to perform in countries including Dubai there is no place like home for the comic.

“I love the warm weather of Dubai and swimming pools on top of every hotel, but nothing will ever beat a night out in Boro and a drink in Club Bongo International.”

Patrick also agrees with fellow Teessider and comedian Bob Mortimer in saying that the people of Middlesbrough are the funniest he has ever met.

He said: “Teessiders are always naturally funny because it comes from the honest and charm of Middlesbrough.

“As long as we have the A66, parmos and Teesside retail park, we’re rocking.”

Tickets for Patrick’s show at the Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt are available at middlesbroughtownhallonline.co.uk from £14.

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House of Freaks Charity Fashion Show

By Eleanor Anderson and Emily Conyard

A FASHION show is taking place in Middlesbrough after independent clothing brands joined forces to raise money for charity.

House of Freaks is hosting its first charity fashion show with  help from Vintageous Rags at the art gallery House of Blah Blah in Middlesbrough’s Exchange Square.

The show, which is planned for Friday March 20,  is being hosted by Jake Radio and features live models, raffles pop up shops and more.

House of Freaks  brand owner, Emily Jones, says it’s to showcase their latest designs and collections to the local public and  raise money for Cancer Research and the Royal Navy Lifeboat Service.

Emily says the reason for her chosen charities is because they are close to her heart.

“My friend has a long line of fisherman in her family and currently resides by the sea, I believe it’s very important to support local charities that help save lives,” She said.

“In terms of the cancer awareness, my friend’s granddad was cleared of cancer around Christmas time. Plus, cancer is an illness which affects most families.”

The hope this year is to raise £400 for both charities from ticket sales alone.

However additional donations can be made on House of Freaks just giving page, found on their Facebook profile.

Tickets can be bought for £4 either on the night or on houseoffreaks.bigcartel.com

house of freaks


Vintageous Rags:

This will be Vingateous Rags fifth annual charity fashion show.


Vintageous Rags’s unique shop design is an attraction for shoppers.


Owner Gracey Beattie Stringer

In the first year tickets sold out raising a total of £700 for local charity, Zoe’s Place.

Owner, Gracey Beattie Stringer, believes the popularity of the fashion shows is down to social media sites  such as Instagram and Facebook.

Vintageous Rags has over 17,000 followers on Instagram and posts outfit photos daily.

Gracey’s plans for the future are to expand her store online as she feels that’s where the future of fashion   is.

“My advice to small businesses would be, don’t follow trends, follow what you want and what you’d                                                                  wear,” She said.

Despite the increase in popularity Gracey still takes part in these fashion shows to raise awareness for certain charities.

In summer 2015 Gracey is hoping to put on an independent fashion show featuring a collection of hand-picked outfits from the store.

You can follow Vingateous Rags through Instagram (@vingateousrags) and Facebook (vintageous rags)


Vintage Charity shops are becoming a hot destination for shopping across all ages groups.







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Is it time for a new diet?



A new year has begun and it’s the time when   people are making resolutions and trying to stick to them.

One of the most popular resolutions that has been on everyone’s list repetitively include either weight lose, eating healthy or staying in shape.

I am sure many of you out there have tried several diets whether being the raw food diet, Atkins diet or the Cabbage soup diet.

Some students that I spoke to have all said they are trying to stick to healthy eating and reduce the amount of takeaways they consume in a week.

Teesside University student Vanessa Konyani , 20, said: “To stick to my plan I have created a vision board which acts as a reminder for me not to order that pizza, I decided to become healthier this year because I want to be aware of what goes into my body.”

However some students have expressed that eating healthy was expensive at times and in some cases they ran out of recipe ideas.

So I have produced a quick, healthy and budget friendly recipe known as the Puff pastry Spinach pie. Which is not only delicious but will look impressive on the table if you are planning to have your house mates around.

Ingredients and equipment:

300g Spinach

200g Cheese

1 Onion

1tsp Salt

½ Cup cooking oil

1 Egg

200g Minced meat

1 Sheet Puff pastry

1tsp Black pepper

1tblsp Margarine

Rolling pin

Baking tray

Key points: Preheat at gas mark 8 for 10 minutes then leave to cook for 35 minutes at gas mark 6.

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Exclusive: Why Bebo is making a comeback

EXCLUSIVE: Jack Crute speaks to Bebo's Shaan Puri about the future of the Bebo brand.

EXCLUSIVE: Jack Crute speaks to Bebo’s Shaan Puri about the future of the Bebo brand.

Remember Bebo? In 2007, it was The big social network – a rival to Facebook for teens across the globe. At its peak, the site had 40 million users and generated over a billion page views a week.

In 2008, the site was bought out by internet giant AOL for a whopping $850 million, and things quickly went downhill. Facebook and Twitter overtook the network, and in 2013 Bebo’s original founders bought back the flagging social network for $1 million, only to close it down.

CLASSY: The old Bebo featured custom themes for your profile.

CLASSY: The old Bebo featured custom themes for your profile.

The old Bebo is gone. No longer are we be subjected to an auto-play of Cascada every time we click on someone’s profile, nor do we have to face those glittery GIF backgrounds that made our eyes water. The new Bebo is modern and fresh, a true alternative to modern-day messaging apps like SnapChat and WhatsApp.

Now, Bebo is back with a whole new business model and ethos. Tside reporter Jack Crute spoke to one of its founders, Shaan Puri, about his plans for the future of the Bebo brand.

“We liked the challenge of bringing Bebo back,” Shaan begins, with an all-American enthusiasm.

“Very few internet brands have ever been turned around, but we had an idea exciting and unique enough that we thought it was possible.”

The new Bebo is mobile-focused. The network’s app, which is free, can be used to chat with friends through text and an innovative new hashtag system, where users can put their own cartoon mini-mes into the picture.

“The future is on mobile. We won’t be ‘mobile only’ but we wanted to be ‘mobile first’. The new Bebo is based around messaging friends, which naturally happens on mobile,” said Shaan.

“It’s much different to the old Bebo, and a pretty crazy idea in general,” Shaan adds. “At first, I was nervous, now I’m excited.”

Shaan has every right to be excited. In its first 24-hours on the AppStore, an incredible 1.2M messages were sent through Bebo, and the figure is growing day-by-day. Thanks to other social media sites like Twitter, the app is becoming a new viral platform, with millions of teenagers posting their avatars online to show friends.

MINI ME: Bebo's new cartoon avatars

MINI ME: Bebo’s new cartoon avatars

It’s not just teenagers who are enjoying the app, either.

“[X Factor’s] Frankie Cocozza was one of our first users, and when Jedward created a gigantic group chat for all their fans, our servers nearly melted down!”

“Brands and celebrities have shown a lot of interest, which is encouraging. We haven’t even started building features for them yet, but have some interesting plans that will roll out in a few months.”

The last couple of months have truly been a rollercoaster ride for the Bebo brand, and it appears Shaan’s plans for a big turn-around are paying off. So, what’s next?

“First, a good night’s sleep for me and the team. Then, global domination!”

Bebo is free on iOS and Android. You can find out more about the app on the official Bebo website.

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What to expect for Spring/Summer fashion

NEW LOOK STORE MANAGERS: Freya Coleman and Steph Spence

NEW LOOK: Store manager’s Freya Coleman and Steph Spence

With winter slowly leaving us, the fashion world is moving quickly.

Many stores are already introducing their spring/summer fashion lines, giving customers the opportunity to start their new wardrobes.

With an array of pastel tones making a bold statement this season, every girl will be drooling over these gorgeous pieces.

New Look store manager, Freya Coleman 23 said: “Spring/Summer fashion this year is highly centred around pastel tones, such as baby pinks and lilacs.

“We are set to introduce a lot of camel colours into this trend in the coming weeks, which will accentuate the pastel colours nicely.”

“It looks as though monochrome is set to stay this season too, with it becoming a lot bolder than it previously has been.”


NEW LOOK: New trends for Spring/Summer

If your looking for staple pieces to add to your wardrobe which will take you from winter to the new season then fret no more.

If you want to stay on trend, fill your wardrobe with plenty of pastels, monochrome and camel tones.

From monochrome shirts, camel trench coats, and pastel everything, there is bound to be something up your street to add to your wardrobe this season.

Amelia York, 22 from Teesside said: “I’m loving the trends that we are seeing already in store.

“I’ve already started purchasing some pastel items to start building up my Spring/Summer wardrobe.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what else is in store for us regarding this seasons trends.”

Whether your wanting to embrace the new seasons trends to the full or simply add keys pieces to your wardrobe, there is something for every taste this spring/summer.

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Boro Brush Aside Bluebirds To Jump To Second Place

FLOODLIT ACTION: The Riverside beginning to fill up an hour before kick off as Middlesbrough took on Cardiff


Middlesbrough continue to march on in their hunt for promotion after a 2-1 victory over Cardiff City at the Riverside Stadium.

The Smoggies seized the advantage of playing before all other Championship teams and now sit in second place, a point off top of the league Bournemouth who lost 1-0 away to Leeds United.

In the first half, the Bluebirds had clearly done their homework as Middlesbrough were pinned back and Cardiff’s defence were incredibly stubborn.

However, Boro eventually broke the deadlock just after the hour mark through Patrick Bamford and added a second through Lee Tomlin.

Kenwyne Jones made it a nervy last few minutes for Boro fans but the team held on to earn a second straight home win in four days.

Pre Match

Before the game, Middlesbrough had only lost one game from 14 and were unbeaten in 10 home games, winning six.

Cardiff hold a very poor record away from home this season, winning just one from a possible 13 away league games.

The last meeting between the two sides saw a 1-0 away win at the Cardiff City Stadium back in September with Kike grabbing the winner.

Middlesbrough had made just one change from the game at Huddersfield, Adam Reach replacing Albert Adomah who dropped to the bench, with a return to the subs for Jonathan Woodgate.

First Half

Middlesbrough started the game in blistering fashion as Tomas Kalas burst down the right hand side, freed up Patrick Bamford, he cut back for Kike but his touch was too heavy.

From then on, the half lulled as Cardiff pinned Boro back and forced them to hit the ball long rather than play their attractive passing style of play.

Clear cut chances remained a rarity as Cardiff posed no threat on goal and Kike went down in the box in contentious fashion, but the referee waved away the appeal.

Middlesbrough began to control the pace of the game and Daniel Ayala threatened from a corner but Simon Moore collected calmly.

Bamford was Boro’s main threat cutting inside from the right hand side but there was very little action to report on from this first half.

Second Half

Elements of the Riverside crowd were beginning to get frustrated in the early stages of the second half. Leadbitter earned himself a yellow card for a furious reaction on a legitimate tackle.

That frustration was compounded when Kadeem Harris provided the Bluebird’s first real threat with a bending shot that was parried wide by Dimi Konstantopoulos.

UNITED: The team celebrated with Aitor Karanka and his coaching staff after Bamford’s goal

The Cardiff bench jumped from their seats to the technical area after Adam Clayton and Alex Revell went in for a 50/50 and Clayton also jumped into the referees notebook.

Shortly after, Boro broke the deadlock on the counter attack when Tomlin released Reach down the left hand side, his low cross found Bamford (64′) and he eventually stroked home.

Bamford’s celebrated with head coach Aitor Karanka and the whole team showed unity by showing their appreciation to the manager.

Kike had two glorious chances to end his goal drought as he glanced a header just wide from a corner and Simon Moore did well to block his effort from 10 yards.

Middlesbrough continued to threaten on the flanks as Adomah’s low cross found Reach at the back post but he somehow ballooned over from 6 yards.

The lead was eventually doubled and was a mirror image of the first goal, Reach breaking down the left and crossing low to Tomlin (79′) who emphatically finished inside the box.

Cardiff made things nervy for Boro in the closing stages as substitute Kenwyne Jones (86′) headed low from 10 yards.

With five minutes added time, Karanka threw on Dead Whitehead to tighten up the back four but Boro held for yet another vital three pints.

Post Match 

After the game, Head Coach Aitor Karanka said he had similar feelings from this game to those on Saturday when they beat Huddersfield 2-0 at the Riverside.

He said: “Today was difficult because Cardiff have some very good players but we defended very well, we were confident and I’m very pleased.”

“I told the players at half time that I had the same feelings as I did on Saturday because we had to play well together and be more confident, but second half we were much better.

“The first half wasn’t the way I like it because we didn’t have much possession and we lost a lot of balls but we made them fight in the second half.”

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade admitted that the first goal was crucial and he also felt that Adam Clayton was lucky to stay on the pitch.

He said: “He was a very lucky boy not to be sent off, in my opinion he should not of been on the pitch and that could of made a difference.”

Team Line Ups

Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1): Dimi (GK); Kalas (90+2), Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Clayton, Leadbitter (C); Bamford, Tomlin (Vossen 84′), Reach; Kike (Adomah 73′)

Unused Subs: Mejais, Woodgate, Husband, Ledesma

Cardiff City (4-5-1): Moore (GK); Brayford, Connolly, Morrison, Turner; Whittingham, Gunnarson, Adeyemi (Ralls 77′), Noone (Macheda 86′), Harris; Revell (Jones 67′)

Unused Subs: Wilson, Fabio, John, Le Fondre


Possession: Middlesbrough 53% – 47%

Shots (on target): Middlesbrough 21 (7) – 11 (6) Cardiff City

Corners: Middlesbrough 5 – 3 Cardiff City

Fouls: Middlesbrough 10 – 13 Cardiff City

Yellow Cards: Middlesbrough 3 (Clayton, Leadbitter, Vossen) – 1 (Brayford) – Cardiff City

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Attendance: 16,035

www.tside.co.uk Man of the match: Patrick Bamford

Player Ratings

Dimi Konstantopoulos – 7 – Proved once again why he is the number one keeper at the Boro but will be disappointed to of let his goal in.

Tomas Kalas – 6 – Probably his worst game in a Middlesbrough shirt but proved to be strong at the back when called upon.

Daniel Ayala – 7 – Number one centre back for Boro as he is becoming a very complete central defender with each game.

Ben Gibson – 7 – Complements Ayala very well at the back and is very composed on the ball. Another strong game.

George Friend – 6- Similar performance to the Huddersfield game. He can do better but strong at the back.

Adam Clayton – 7 – Never seems to have a bad game. Very composed and comfortable with the ball.

Grant Leadbitter – 7 – Gave his team the kick up the backside it needed to go in front. Lifted the team as captain.

Patrick Bamford – 8 – Slowly becoming the fans favourite and rightly so. A classy player with a deadly finish to match. MOM.

Lee Tomlin – 7 – Was clearly frustrated in the first half but he eventually got his goal and proved his worth to the team.

Adam Reach – 8 – Two assists and a display that shows he is one of the deadliest wingers in the Championship.

Kike – 7 – Played well again, but another frustrating game as his goal drought continues.

Subs: Adomah (6), Vossen (N/A), Whitehead (N/A)

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Teessider Replaces Mo Farah To Lead GB In Cross Country

KEEP ON RUNNING: JONNY TAYLOR MAKING PACE. Photo: David T. Hewitson/Sports for All Pics

KEEP ON RUNNING: JONNY TAYLOR MAKING PACE. Photo: David T. Hewitson/Sports for All Pics

TEESSIDE’s Jonathan Taylor described it as an honour to lead Team GB into the Great Edinburgh Cross Country this month, taking the armband from an unavailable Mo Farah.

Jonathan was named captain of the team, after the former Olympic Gold Medalist Farah was sidelined with a flu which prevented him from competing in one of the biggest races of the year.

And former Teesside University student Jonathan, who currently now works here as a Research Assistant, was proud to be leading the Britain charge.

Jonny said: “It’s quite an honor and something I’ll be sure to look back on.”

The news that he would be replacing Mo as captain came as quite a shock to the Teesside man as he found out only just before he was scheduled to race.

Jonny said: “I found out two days before the race.”

“I found out from a reporter when he came to me asking for an interview.”

Despite university commitments, Taylor said that he was able to get in a lot of training heading to the race in Edinburgh.

Jonny said: “I had a lot more time to get training in as I had time off from the university.”

“In the week leading to the race, it was a normal week for me trianing and I was able to get a lot of hours in.

“I was training alright heading into the event.”

Jonathan had previously been a student at Teesside University, being a part of the Elite Athlete Scheme while studying Sport and Exercise Physiology.

After graduating, he began to work as a Research Assistant at the university and has appreciated the help from the university for all of his endeavors.

“It’s good working here and flexible place to work,” He said.

“Good facilities and people to work with to help me with the event.

“It’s good if you’re a student here or a lecturer to help you compete at the highest level.”

Taylor says cross country is for people all over the world to get involved in.

He said: “Cross Country is a good event and it doesn’t get as much publicity as it should.”

“It’s a sport where people can get involved in and not expensive.

“People all over Britain do it at school so it’s a good sport for people to get behind.”

Taylor praised his team’s effort despite not having Farah in the squad,

“We struggled a little bit but we are a young team and this was a big race.” He said.

“The women’s team did OK as well but overall we struggled a little bit and Mo was a big loss for us going into the event”

Taylor competed in the 8km race during the Edinburgh race, finishing 11th and holding his own against some of the best runners in the world.

Taylor says he was pleased with his performance.

He said : “It was a solid performance I think.”

“It’s always hard when you’re up against that type of opposition but you have to be on your best day to get a really good result.

“I thought I ran OK and I was very strong but I never had my day.”

Taylor’s had an impressive athletics career, finishing 31st in the 2013 Cross Country World Championship.

In March, he returns to the World Championships taking place in China and is looking to be in great shape for the race.

He said: “I feel I’m getting better with each race.”

“Hopefully, in the next month or two, I can get in really top form for March.”


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