A couple who run a Huddersfield travel business are helping older people stay active after the closure of a Kirklees sports centre.
Colman and Rachael Coyne, owners of Huddersfield-based travel consultancy Jetset Not Just Travel, are sponsoring classes in Dewsbury.
A popular fitness class for the older generation deemed a “life saver” by its members faced being disbanded after Dewsbury Sports Centre was suddenly shut down.
Fitness instructor and trainer Marie Coyne had been running her class, Mature Movers, at the sports centre for 15 years.
But in September Kirklees Council closed Dewsbury Sports Centre due to the discovery of the collapse prone Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the building.
For the 45 people who enjoyed attending Marie’s classes twice a week it was a shocking blow and Joyce Walker, 81, from Mirfield, said: “When I was told the sports centre was closing, I got home and I cried. These classes keep me alive.
“My doctor originally referred me to attend them after I lost my husband. It’s a great way to get out of the house, keep active and to socialise. I feel great after every class and my family think it’s great for me too. I want to keep doing these classes until I’m 90!”
Things looked bleak for the future of the classes but a chance conversation between Marie and her brother Colman and wife Rachael, changed things for the better.
The couple offered to sponsor Marie’s classes, paying for weights, stereo, microphones and speakers, if she was able to find a new venue.
In stepped the Longcauseway Church in Dewsbury town centre and Marie now runs classes there every Tuesday and Thursday.
Rachael Coyne said: “As a business we have always been keen to support our local communities. When Marie told us about the real possibility that her classes could stop, we knew we had to try and help.
“We have seen first-hand the vital role these classes play for local people, for their health, getting them out of the house and socialising and having a laugh with old and new-found friends.
“We are sad that the sports centre remains closed but we are delighted that we have been able to play our small part in creating a happy ending for Marie’s Active Movers.”