HASLEMERE sports enthusiast David Banks (pictured) is celebrating the success of a popular keep-fit class he has run with his friend Trevor Burton for more than 30 years.
Nowadays they run their hour-long class from Amesbury School, Hindhead, but they started out under the auspices of Surrey County Council at Woolmer Hill School, Haslemere, in 1980.
When Surrey pulled out a few years later, they decided to run it themselves at the school, before making the move to Amesbury.
“We welcome everybody, no matter what the age and we believe in having fun,” David said. “We celebrate with a pub Christmas dinner. The committee selects a keep fitter of the year and every member receives an appropriate accolade.
“When our family settled in Haslemere in 1984 after living in the Far East, we knew no one locally. Through the keep fit we increased our circle of friends.
“I am knocking on 70 but my weight is more or less the same as when I was 21. I am fit and can still put on a spurt of speed when playing games, not always to productive effect. I like to think I can give the younger ones a run for their money.
“The Keep Fit Club is an ideal vehicle for anyone who has let themselves go a bit and wants to regain fitness to enjoy life to the full.
“We are in the fortunate position of using the sports hall at Amesbury School which is quite outstanding in terms of its spaciousness and all round facilities.
“Instead of a trainer we each take it in turns to lead the exercises.’
“Everyone paces it according to what they can manage. This is especially important for those coming back to exercise after some time. We are by no means professional athletes. The whole idea is to get the heart pumping, the legs moving and maybe lose some pounds in the process.”