Lifetime leisure membership for inspirational instructor from Harborough district

Recognition...Clive Grafton-Reed, Mary Stannard, Richard Stannard, Neil Bannister leader of Harborough District Council and Claire Lodge deputy partnership manager of Serco and Harborough District Leisure Trust during the presentation of a lifetime membership certificate. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Recognition...Clive Grafton-Reed, Mary Stannard, Richard Stannard, Neil Bannister leader of Harborough District Council and Claire Lodge deputy partnership manager of Serco and Harborough District Leisure Trust during the presentation of a lifetime membership certificate. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A fitness instructor, who has been an inspirational figure in helping others improve their health, has been surprised with a special award.

Richard Stannard (70) a spinning instructor at Lutterworth Sports Centre was presented with a certificate and lifetime membership award by Harborough District Council.

Richard, who has worked at the Sports Centre since it opened in 2005, was surprised with the presentation during a charity ’spinathon’ on Sunday 4 March 2018 which was raising money for the Lutterworth Rotary Club and Cystic Fibrosis.

For the past few years, Richard has held the ‘spinathon’ at Lutterworth Sports Centre helping it grow into an annual event, with more than 150 participants, and raising over £2,500.

The Leader of Harborough District Council Cllr Neil Bannister presented the award and commended Richard on his dedication and life-changing contribution.

Cllr Bannister said: “Richard is clearly a well-loved and inspirational figure in Lutterworth and we are thrilled to be able to recognise his tireless efforts in ensuring others in the community stay fit and healthy through his classes, as well as his charity work.”

Richard is a an active member of the local cycle club, Welland Valley, helping to encourage people who would otherwise not be attracted to a leisure centre. His use of flags and maps to illustrate ‘where we are going to cycle today’ are now the stuff of local-legend and show the planning which goes into his spinning sessions so they are much more than ‘just another leisure centre class.’

Stephen Webster, from the Harborough District Leisure Trust and a regular in Richard’s spinning classes, said: “He is in every sense a gentleman and pillar of the local society serving the centre with unrivalled distinction and loyalty far beyond the required level. Although 70 years of age is a milestone for some, one of Richard’s favourite phrases often mentioned in the class is by attending and keeping fit, we are leaving hospital beds empty for those who really need them!”

Sign up to Richard’s spinning classes at Lutterworth Sport Centre by calling 01455 200800.