Meet Fenland’s fitness superstars, aged 87 and 94

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Two Fenland seniors have a spring in their step after becoming superstar members of Fenland District Council’s New Vision Fitness leisure centres.

Both attending four or five times a week for fitness classes and to meet friends, Mollie O’Brien, 94, and Les Wiles, 87, have proved you’re never too old to be fit.

Mollie, a former nurse, is a regular at the Manor Centre in Whittlesey. She does Pilates on Mondays and Wednesdays and attends keep fit classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually accompanied by her daughter, Ros Payne.

She said: “It’s good for my health, of course. But it’s more because I enjoy it.

“When I first came to Whittlesey 15 years ago, I didn’t know anyone. So I went to the Manor to swim, met someone and then starting coming to classes, too.

“I think it’s meeting people, sharing and enjoying life. I’m quite a bit older than many others and it makes me feel younger. Sitting at home watching TV all day wouldn’t be me.”

Les Wiles is an equally familiar face at the Hudson Centre in Wisbech. A retired postman, he plays badminton there three times a week, alternating with visits to the gym.

He said: “I took up badminton when I retired from the Post Office 27 years ago. I didn’t play any sort of sport before. Why do I play? It saves you doing the housework. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! Seriously, though, I like playing and I enjoy the social side”

Les’s fellow players include 70-year-old Ann Leahy, Brian Kierman, 69, and Keith Jobson, 67.

Ann has been playing badminton for 14 years and also goes to the gym. She says: “We occasionally get the table tennis table out, too. The exercise is good for the brain.”

Brian had a heart bypass last November. He said: “After that, I tried the gym briefly but I hated that, so I started playing badminton about a month ago.”

lCall 01354 622399 or visit www.newvisionfitness.co.uk for information about joining New Vision Fitness centres.