Award for pensioner who battled back from stroke

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A FORMER serviceman aged 83 has been recognised for his determination to keep fit.

Norman Payne, of Bradford, was wheelchair-bound following a stroke 14 years ago but the keep-fit fanatic fought back and still visits a gym every other day between caring for his wife, who suffers from dementia. The pensioner has been awarded a 
b active award from Bradford Council in recognition of his commitment to keep fit.

Mr Payne, who is an inspiration to both staff and customers at the gym at Eccleshill Pool, discovered his love of exercise when he was in the Army, which he joined at 17.

“When you’re in the Army you’ve got fitness training every day,” said Mr Payne, who spent 28 years serving his country.

“That never left me, I’ve been keeping fit all my life. Once you’re a fitness freak there’s no going back. I was wheelchair bound for some time after my stroke but I thought to myself, I’m not having this. Without a doubt, coming back to the gym was the best thing I ever did. The exercise I get here has helped me regain a bit of mobility and strength back in my stroke-affected arm.”

Mr Payne completes one and a half hour workouts on bikes, rowers and treadmills as well as using weights. The b active awards recognise people who have encouraged others to lead healthier lives through their own achievements.