FITNESS fanatic Leslie Hill is no ordinary gym member.
Three times a week he’s down at Fareham Leisure Centre using the equipment, – despite celebrating his 96th birthday today.
He is now the oldest active member of the gym.
Leslie, from Hillview Road in Portchester, has been exercising all his life and spends an hour using the treadmill and the weights every time he visits. ‘I have had a good life,’ he said.
‘I have never smoked. I have been doing a job that’s outside rather than office-based.
‘My wife likes me to keep up the exercise – it gets me out of the house for starters.
‘The main thing is that it makes me get up and get out. That’s the secret.
‘Otherwise I would just lay in and rust.’
Leslie used to be an engineer at nuclear power stations.
Throughout his life he has always had a passion for sport, often playing football and cricket.
But he didn’t sign up to the gym until he reached retirement.
‘My life was so active up to that point and I had been so busy with my job that I wouldn’t have had time,’ he said.
‘But after I’ve been to the gym I feel I have achieved something. There aren’t many 96-year-olds here. But I think I’m just lucky.’
He said age isn’t an issue for him. ‘I don’t notice any difference. You get used to it,’ he added. You get tired easily, obviously, but generally that’s what keeps me fit by having an activity and getting up to go to it.
‘I have a motto in life – everything in moderation.
‘My family look at me in amazement to think I’m still doing it. But you grow up with it don’t you?’
A party was held for Leslie at the centre in Park Lane yesterday.
Staff at the gym have now given him a lifetime membership and they have also presented him with a special certificate.
Ian Cook, general manager at the leisure centre, said: ‘He’s brilliant.
‘He’s fit and strong and getting in the gym keeps him going.
‘There’s a lesson to be learned by everybody from him.’