Gym bunny Ray leads the way on fitness challenge at Hudson Centre

Ray Woodford (seated) with fellow gym user Martin Pope (left), New Vision Fitness staff Graham Moore

Ray Woodford (seated) with fellow gym user Martin Pope (left), New Vision Fitness staff Graham Moore and Andrew Cornwell and Cllr Michelle Tanfield - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech gym goer has had a special reason for wanting to get himself in good shape for 2016.

Ray Woodford is facing a major operation on his leg that is due in the next few weeks. And to help prepare for it, he has been visiting the gym at the Hudson Centre in Wisbech virtually every day.

He is also one of about 100 people across the district who signed up for the North Pole Christmas Challenge, staged at all four New Vision Fitness centres last month.

He said: “Exercising at the Hudson helped me recover from the first operation I had on my knee. Now I’m concentrating on building up my muscles in preparation for the next bit of major surgery.

“But it’s not just the muscles that need working on – it’s also important to build up my general fitness before the operation. So I come here five days a week and use most of the machines.”

Councillor Michelle Tanfield, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for leisure, said: “We wish Ray well for his forthcoming operation – and well done to him for doing all the right things to prepare for it. He’s a great example.

“Exercise isn’t just good for physical health, it can also do wonders for mental wellbeing and for banishing any post-holiday blues. So why not get along to your local New Vision Fitness centre and make good use of all their fantastic facilities? New year, new fitter you – that’s our message for everyone for 2016.”

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The Christmas Challenge was to travel from Fenland to the North Pole – a distance of 4,140 miles - between December 1 and 24, with each visit to a gym, pool or fitness class counting as 345 miles.

It meant that customers needed to make 12 visits to be entered into a prize draw, with the chance to win a Garmin Vivo Fit fitness band.

Three winners are being drawn at random for each centre, with the 12 winners due to be notified by January 15.