Club for older gym bunnies set to open after £500,000 facelift

Chris Lane at his new gym for older adults in Lanes Health Club, Golfers Lane, Angmering
Chris Lane at his new gym for older adults in Lanes Health Club, Golfers Lane, Angmering

An innovative gym for older people is set to open after a £500,000 makeover.

Chris Lane bought the Virgin Active club in Golfers Lane, Angmering in June and has been transformed into the Lanes Health Club, which will open on October 21.

He said: “We know that many people are relatively inactive and need to exercise more, but often they are too scared to join a gym or club. They frighten the living daylights out of most people and get even more daunting as you get older.

“We aim to change all that and we hope this is the first in a line of welcoming clubs aimed at older adults.”

The refurbishment features joint-friendly fitness equipment, which Chris claimed is not available anywhere else in the South East. This includes equipment that uses air pressure rather than weight stacks.

It also has a lounge with log burner, revamped exercise studios, a 25-metre pool, Jacuzzi, steam and sauna rooms and a full working kitchen for the café.

The creche that was previously at the gym has been removed – but Chris said this was because the gym’s new focus is not on families but the 40-plus market, which is relatively untapped.

He claimed that in the UK, six per cent of people aged 50 to 55 are members of any health clubs or gyms.

He said: “It’s a whole different concept to what was here before. It was Einstein who said the definition of madness is doing the same thing again and expecting a different result, so we had to do something different. The club just wasn’t working.”

The club also offers physiotherapy, rehabilitation and exercise facilities for people with a range of health conditions including Parkinson’s, arthritis, MS and heart disease. It will also have an enhanced social events programme.

Chris, 61, said: “As a former pro-tennis player, I have wrist issues, which means there are exercises I just can’t do. But using the latest machines makes most movements possible.”

Chris spent 16 years in professional tennis; three in competition and 13 as a coach. At the age of 24, he claimed to be the only English player to beat John McEnroe, who was 16 at the time of their encounter.

To mark the club’s opening, Olympic equestrian Tina Cook will cut the ribbon with Arun District Council vice-chairman Alan Gammon.