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Article date - 18 July 2017
91-year-old Wilfred Potter regularly visits Selwyn Jones in Ashton Road, Newton-le-Willows, twice a week where – despite sometimes needing assistance – he manages to swim 16 lengths of the centre’s swimming pool.
Having been a member for just over seven years, Mr Potter, who spends his leisure time in Newton-le-Willows, went down to renew his membership in April and asked on the off chance if there were any special offers for senior citizens in his age category.
Although there was nothing in place at the time of asking, Wilf’s enquiry certainly got leisure centre staff thinking – which has led to the introduction of free honorary memberships for residents aged 90 and over.
Mr Potter was invited down to Selwyn Jones on Friday 14 July, where councillors Sue Murphy and Gill Neal were on hand to present him with his membership.
After presenting Wilf with his honorary membership, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, Councillor Sue Murphy said: “First of all I’d like to thank Wilf for his fantastic suggestion which I’m delighted to see has come to fruition.
“Not everyone Wilf’s age has the independence to go out and enjoy some leisure time, but if there are people out there - we should absolutely encourage them to get out of the house to come and meet and talk to other people, while getting fit and active at the same time."
Councillor Neal, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, added: "Wilf is an inspiration and I take my hat off to him for his enthusiasm for exercise at the age of 91.
“Exercise is obviously one of the key components to living a healthy lifestyle and Wilf is a wonderful example that you shouldn’t allow your age to get in the way of keeping active.”
Any borough residents interested in becoming an 'honorary member’ can visit their local Go Active centre for more details or call 01744 671720/671726.
Proof of age will be required.