Vintage Kingston: A town of fitness fanatics

Vintage Kingston: A town of fitness fanatics

Vintage Kingston: A town of fitness fanatics

First published in News

  • September 1, 2004

Everyone knows all you have to do to lose weight is eat sensibly and exercise moderately - advice the people of Kingston apparently took to heart 10 years ago.

Figures released by BT showed Kingston had the 10th-highest proportion in the country of fitness stores and facilities per 100,000 people.

From swimming pools to gyms, and golf courses to sports shops, Kingston had 458 facilities per 100,000 residents.

The proliferation of top-notch sports facilities was thanks in part to the work of Kingston Sports and Recreation Services, a branch of Kingston Council.

It was responsible for the management and monitoring of five of Kingston’s biggest leisure facilities, including Kingsmeadow athletics track and the Malden Centre, and produced the council’s sports plan.

One member of the team said: "I think Kingston does offer a lot. When you look at all the clubs, leisure centres and private providers, there are massive opportunities out there.

"For the younger people we produce brochures in the summer and Easter holidays and we get a lot of feedback from parents about the range of activities we offer - some people plan their holidays around the brochure."

Another major part of the borough’s ranking was the influx of modern, luxurious gyms catering for Kingston’s more affluent health conscious people.

They included David Lloyd health and fitness centre in the Rotunda, one of several town centre gyms offering top end provision for around £50 a month.

And it was not just Kingston faring well in the health and fitness stakes. The whole region’s heart was pumping healthily, with Epsom and Leatherhead sixth, with 542 facilities per 100,000 people.

A diet of mung beans, rice cakes and vitamin pills helped put Epsom and Leatherhead top in the number of health food shops per 100,000 residents.

The Comet had previously reported on a Tesco study which revealed its New Malden store sold more fruit and vegetables than any other store in the country.

  • September 1, 2004

A golden image of the Hindu god Lord Murugan rode through Chessington in a multi-coloured chariot.

The procession was part of the borough’s first ever Hindu chariot festival, which featured singing, dancing and vegetarian food.

Lord Murugan represents youth, justice and combating arrogance, and worshippers often leave offerings of milk and fruit.

  • September 1, 1989

Kingston Hill scouts declared war on vandals who daubed graffiti on their hut in Tudor Drive.

Armed with brushes the youngsters set about covering the affected areas with paint.

They were able to buy plenty of paint thanks to GST Joinery, which offered to pay half the bill.

  • September 2, 1964

Being bitten by a horse was the last thing you might expect if you were walking along a footpath in Malden.

But that was the experience was Mrs Alice Palmer, 83, from North Cheam, when she was bitten on the arm by a brown and white pony.

She had the bruise treated at a nearby chemist.

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