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Video: Leeds pensioner hooked on Zumba classes

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A Leeds pensioner has got back into the rythm after getting hooked on weekly Zumba classes at his local village hall.

Alan Gluck, 69, has mobility problems but is now able to walk to and from the popular Zumba classes.

Alan, who has lived in Boston Spa his whole life, only started the exercise classes a year ago and never misses a session - despite being the only male there.

He said: “It’s good exercise that helps to keep my weight down and I walk here from home every week now.

“There are usually about 20 of us and most weeks I’m the only man - but they do look after me.”

The special Zumba Gold classes are run by Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE), one of the city’s neighbourhood networks, funded by Leeds City Council.

With the new confidence Alan has gained from the exercise classes, he has also got involved with a singing group and a poetry group, developing a love for the works of Dylan Thomas.

The retired electricals worker said: “When I was younger, I used to enjoy going to the local pub.

“But now there are only a couple of pubs left in the village and they’re a long way from my house.

“The Zumba and the other groups are an alternative to that now I’m older and it’s a really good way to meet new people.”

WiSE is one of 37 neighbourhood networks that work with more than 21,900 older people across the city.

Supported by the council, the community based organisations are aimed at enabling older people to live independently and get involved within their own communities.

Lillian Allen, who co-ordinates the activities at WiSE, said the networks make a massive difference in tackling social isolation.

She said: “I’ve seen a huge difference in the people who attend, their confidence grows and they get involved in spin-off groups, meeting new people and making new friends.

“We don’t just do the things you might traditionally expect older people to do- we’re always trying new things they can get involved with.”

 
 
 

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