Kettering over-50s group still fighting fit two decades on

Members of the Kettering Over 50s Activities Group with founder Beryl Goodall (front left) who are celebrating their 20th anniversary today. NNL-190221-213216005
Members of the Kettering Over 50s Activities Group with founder Beryl Goodall (front left) who are celebrating their 20th anniversary today. NNL-190221-213216005

Forty over-50s who meet weekly for exercise and health classes are celebrating spending 20 years together.

The Kettering Over-50s Leisure Activities Group first met in 1999 after Kettering Borough Council asked local Badminton England coach Beryl Goodall to start a fitness group in the brand new Kettering Leisure Village with the help of centre worker Indy Mann.

Beryl Goodall (left) who founded the club, along with the longest-serving members Brenda Shouler and Pauline Bailey. NNL-190221-213258005

Beryl Goodall (left) who founded the club, along with the longest-serving members Brenda Shouler and Pauline Bailey. NNL-190221-213258005

Now, the group is 40-strong, has a combined age of nearly 3,000 years and is still meeting for four hours every Thursday to play badminton, table tennis and to go swimming.

Beryl said: “The sessions are very flexible, some play for an hour or so then go for a swim, other place both table tennis and badminton.

“Some members go out on trips together and some have even been on holiday together.”

Founder members Brenda Shouler and Pauline Bailey have been going to the group since the very first day it started.

Phil Ensor, 88, who is the oldest member of the Kettering Over-50s Activities Group NNL-190221-213117005

Phil Ensor, 88, who is the oldest member of the Kettering Over-50s Activities Group NNL-190221-213117005

Brenda said: “We’ve made lots of friends here and as well as the exercise, we go out for lunch and on holidays together.

“It’s as much for the social side as for the exercise.”

The group’s oldest member Phil Ensor is 88. He said: “I’ve always kept fit. I think it’s very important.

“I’m a table tennis player really but I do play badminton too.

“I still play table tennis two or three times a week. It’s important to eat healthily too.

“I feel 29 not 89.”

Anyone wanting to join the friendly group can call Beryl on 01536 743625 or turn up at Kettering Arena in Thurston Drive at 10am on Thursdays.