Tag Archives: 2012

Sales Manager Becomes British Dragan Champion

May 31, 2012


By Michael Hoppitt

Breaking News…..

Following on from our recent story in April, Motorbike Sales Manager Phil Byerley has realized his dream of becoming the Dragan Challenge Sprint champion, beating all-comers from across the country, and even going up against legendary strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski.

On the 19th of May 2012, Phil completed his 2 year journey to become British champion, earning the title of Britain’s Fastest Endurance Lifter, competing on the main stage in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the NEC Body Power event in Birmingham, a 2 day international fitness bonanza. 

For the Dragan Challenge Sprint competition, competitors must lift a 20kg dumbbell from having their arms straight down by their sides, curling it up to their shoulder, then finally pressing it up over their head until their arms are straight, doing one arm after the other, for a lung and muscle busting 100 reps.  

To win the overall championship, Phil had to endure two grueling rounds of this with just 30 minutes rest in-between, against the best fellow lifters in the country and guest athletes trying to test their mettle.

Phil won the semi final in an amazing 3 minutes 24 seconds, dashing the dreams of four other regional champions. In the final, he was pitted against 3 of Britain’s best lifters Nuno Barretto , Mick Swickbank and Kurt Hoffman, both Mick and Kurt former team British Champions for the North of England and Nuno the star of Southern Britain in 2011.

In an adrenaline filled effort, and roared on by the strong Midlands contingent in the crowd Phil pulled ahead in the final last few reps hanging on to win the British Finals in an awe-inspiring 3 minutes 14 seconds, and was elated to have finally realized his dream.

Five-time Worlds Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski came on stage to congratulate Phil and present him with his prizes, including a generous £500 worth of Maximuscle products.

Phil say’s “my adrenaline was pumping all day and then to win was absolutely amazing, I felt so much pride and it was such a great honour to receive my prizes from Marius and then lift against him”

The crowd was then delighted and cheering when Phil and Mariusz picked up the dumbells for an encore and lifted for another 30 reps or so.

When asked what his next challenge will be, Phil said “it’s time to relax for the time being after the intense training over the past few months, and wait and see what challenges come along next. I’d also like to say a big thank-you to everyone who’s helped and supported me, all my family and friends, and everyone at CIA.

Watch this space for Sales Manager Phil Byerley’s next great physical feat!



Here is a small piece from the Dragan Challenge website…

Mens SPRINT finals 2012

Men’s elite 20kg sprint (100 reps) was the first time that athletes were required to get through a semi – final before completing another 100 reps for their GRAND FINAL, meaning that both endurance and power would be tested to their max. Winner Phil Byerley smashed out a winning time of 3min 14 to not only beat all his competitors, but also beat all previous best times set at LA Fitness clubs across the country in 2012!

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CIA Insurance do Race For Life 2012

May 21, 2012


At CIA Insurance we always like to do our bit for charity and two departments are doing just that on the 15th July.

Race for life comes to Rugby and the ladies who work in the Commercial and Administration departments will be taking part.

To find out more about what Race for life is and what Cancer Research does CLICK HERE.

To donate to the Commercial ‘Pink’ ladies CLICK HERE

And if you are feeling extra generous…

To donate to Kirsten from Administration CLICK HERE

Thank You.

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Tenants are being evicted so landlords gain a profit during the Olympics

May 8, 2012


Some landlords with tenants in East London are evicting people to cash in on the Olympics. Other landlords are even raising rent prices for the duration of the games this summer.

These are illegal practices which housing charity Shelter fear will get worse in the run up to the games which start in July.

Landlords are giving people between one week to three weeks to move out of their properties and some private rentals are rising to £6,000 per week!

The NLA (National Landlords Association) are encouraging landlords to keep their loyal tenants as they may pay a price in the future with bad ones.

Here are some guidelines for landlords with property in East London who would like to rent during the Olympics from the NLA…

1)    Ensure the accommodation is properly furnished and includes beds, sheets, towels and appliances – a Wi-Fi connection will be an advantage

2)    Keep the property to a high standard, tenants visiting during the Olympics will expect good quality accommodation

3)    Check the terms and conditions if using a letting agency to find a tenant; typically, they charge a commission of up to 25%

4)    Use a letting agent that is registered with a professional body such as the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) or the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA)

5)    Issue a contract for a Holiday Let or Licence. This can be downloaded from a reputable service that supplies such legal forms such as www.oyezforms.co.uk 

6)    Be aware that this type of tenancy contract does not fall within the legislation requiring a tenancy deposit to be protected in a government-authorized tenancy deposit protection scheme

7)    Take an inventory detailing the contents of the property

8)    Ensure that rent for the whole tenancy is obtained upfront

9)    Supply enough sets of keys for the number of people renting the property

10)    Provide information about the area, such as maps, an events calendar and transport advice.

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Predictions have started for let property in 2012

January 25, 2012


Paragon Group


Predictions are now being made for the let property market in 2012, after 2011 being a big year for let property owners are expecting tenant demand to keep rising in the new year.

The Paragon Group have researched and found that 2012 may be another fantastic year for landlords and let property. Over half of landlords researched expected the market to grow this year, a small 6 % predicted a decline in the market.

Expectations have certainly changed from when research was done a year ago at the beginning of 2011. Only 45 % of landlords had predicted a boom in the let property market. Even less landlords predicted a decline as 2 % of them expected this.

With the economy in a bad place at the moment, one in five landlords have predicted a rise in rental arrears because of job losses and pay cuts/freezes. The other two thirds of landlords researched predicted a stable 2012 with rental arrears. It is always wise to look into protecting your property with landlord insurance as with last year the economy will be unpredictable!

The chief executive of Paragon Group, Nigel Terrington has said :

“With the success of 20122 to build on, i believe the private rented sector will continue to perform and provide a valuable tenure choice for even more people in 2012.”*


*Quote source – Simple

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Olympics 2012- Regenerating East London and higher rental prices all over the city

December 2, 2011


The Olympics are coming to the UK next year

The Olympics are coming to the UK next year making it a big year for our country. Team GB have pledged to come at least fourth on the medals table and landlords, agents and first time buyers are making the most of rental prices and new buildings being built-in East London.

Landlords and agents

This is obviously a fantastic time to let your property out, people from all over the world will want to come over to the UK and they need places to stay.

London estate agents, Foxtons, seem to be making the most of the Olympic season. Foxtons are advertising their ‘Olympic Properties’ for extraordinary  prices, one of their properties being a penthouse in Knightsbridge setting potential tenants back £100,000 per week.

They also have two properties in Wapping, one is £1,350 a week not during the Olympic period but then there is one at £7,000 a week during the Olympics seeing an increase of almost £6,000 for the same area of London.

Foxtons are not the only ones upping their rental prices, on a whole rent will rocket in the run up to the Olympics by six times the normal value causing some legality issues.

Owner occupiers who also want to join in on the bandwagon may not realise that their lease may not allow them to rent out their property. If they do want to rent their property out to tenants they need permission from their lender, insurance company and also get planning consent. Any breach in local council requirements could set them back £20,000 in a hefty fine.

First time buyers and the re-birth of East London

East London in green has some of the poorest boroughs in London

East London is seeing an amazing transformation in the run up to the events in 2012, a multi-billion pound investment has been pumped into the area and they are certainly seeing a re-birth there.

In the Olympic boroughs, Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, they are seeing great housing developments in what are the poorest boroughs of London.

Flats are being built and they seem to be pulling in the first time buyers, owner occupiers and letting agents are also trying to get in on the money-making action and investing in buying property in the Olympic boroughs.

Ian Conway from Felicity J Lord’s estate agents said that the real benefits will come after the games.

“Obviously the infrastructure is being put in now and they’re working day and night to create a nice atmosphere, but i don’t think we’ll see the full extent of it until after the games, which is historically when Olympic cities tend to see the benefits of regeneration.”*

Hopefully this will create a wonderful regeneration for a poorer part of the city.

*Quote source- Findaproperty.com

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