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Watchet's elderly gym-goers set up official club
10:00am Saturday 2nd November 2013 in News
QUEENIE Newton may be 85-years-old but she loves to go ballroom dancing when she goes on her cruises away and she still enjoys spending time in her garden.
Queenie also likes going to the gym, having joined in 2009 after returning from holiday with a bad back, meaning she could hardly walk.
Twice a week, Queenie joins other elderly residents from Watchet and the surrounding areas to work out for an hour or two at The Temple.
She is the oldest lady at the fitness sessions, hosted by Age UK. Queenie’s physiotherapist had suggested joining the gym to help her back pain although she needed some convincing.
She said: “I had always thought the gym was for men and I had never dreamt of going but I’m glad I did because I don’t suffer with back pains at all now.”
She puts in two one-hour sessions at the gym every week, dividing her time between the treadmills, rowing machines and exercise bike.
Sometimes Queenie spends a little less time on the bike if she’s feeling tired, although she added: “Nothing stops me – the gym has a great atmosphere and Lon, our instructor, is lovely. Some people like to talk but I just like to get on with it.”
Age UK set up the fitness sessions at Watchet Gym a few years ago and are surprised at how far it has come since.
Now the regular ‘gym bunnies’ have set up an official club – ‘Fit For Life’ – and have even purchased their own T-shirts with the logo to use at the gym.
Dianne Ramsay of Age UK Somerset told the County Gazette: “I’ve never heard of anything like this and they should all be proud.
“Not only do they get some exercise but it also gets them out and socialising. They’re a great support to one another.
“There was one woman who was made redundant and she got a new job through other members alerting her to other jobs.
“They’re a real inspiration to others and hopefully this will encourage other elderly residents to pop along and get involved.”
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