Old and young benefit from Chichester gym revamp

THEY may be 76 years apart in age but the oldest and youngest gym members are equally looking forward to a revamp of the Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester.

At 88, David Hoggard is the oldest and at just 12, Grace Howard-Colson, is the youngest; despite the age difference they both enjoy using the centre’s gym. Grace’s favourite item is the treadmill, while grandfather-of-five David’s is the exercise bikes.

As part of an overhaul next month, new state-of-the-art fitness equipment is being installed. The four new zones, which will be opened on Monday, December 19, include a functional training zone, a free weight area, a cardio zone and a fixed resistance section.

Work will start on Saturday, December 10, when the current fitness room will close for nine days. A small gym will be set up along with additional activities to minimise disruption to customers.

Grace, from Tangmere, said: “I’ve been a gym member since last August and started swimming here when I was seven. I think it’s fun.”

Mr Hoggard, from Boxgrove, said: “I’ve been a member since 2000. I started coming here for cardiac rehabilitation classes after having a heart bypass. I definitely feel much fitter and am well looked after by the staff.”

Kevin McCoy, the Westgate Leisure manager, said: “As well as new equipment, we will be using a new fitness programme which is tailored to meet gym users’ individual needs.

“We’ll also be able to send messages to those working on the cardio machines.

“So we’ll be able to let people know if there are spaces free in classes due to start, for example.”