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Britain’s oldest gym buff turns 100 years old and celebrates with a personal message from Sir Richard Branson himself 

22 Oct 2014

Britain’s oldest gym buff turns 100 years old and celebrates with a personal message from Sir Richard Branson himself

- Grandfather, Sam Heggessey enjoys yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi once a week at his local Virgin Active in Stockley Park 

- He says his secret to a longer life is half a glass of champagne once a week 

- Sir Richard Branson sends personal birthday message from Necker Island 

Wednesday 22nd October, This week, the UK’s fittest grand-father and oldest gym buff, Sam Heggessey celebrated his 100th birthday. 

Sam, a retired accountant and great-grandfather of six has been a member of his local Virgin Active for 20 years. Every week, he attends different yoga, Tai Chai and Pilates classes with his wife Doris aged 83.

Exercise has always been a part of Sam’s life. During his 50 years as an accountant, Sam would swim for one hour three times a week during his lunch break. He and Doris are also keen walkers and will often go for a walk on a Sunday afternoon together.

On his diet, Sam commented, ‘I eat three healthy meals a day which include cereal for breakfast, a hearty sandwich for lunch and a healthy dinner. I avoid red meat and alcohol – although I treat myself to half a glass of champagne per week!’

To celebrate Sam becoming a centenarian, the team at the recently refurbished Virgin Active Stockley Park threw him a special party with a little help from his wife Doris.

In honour of Sam, the club was decorated with one hundred red balloons and members were also treated to a three-tier Victoria sponge cake decorated in Virgin Active’s trade-mark red icing and mini figurines representing Sam’s yoga and Pilate’s poses.

Sam even received a very special message from Sir Richard Branson himself, wishing the 100 year old a happy and healthy birthday, all the way from Necker Island. The special tribute was Virgin Active’s equivalent to the queen’s congratulatory message.

Christopher Knightly, Operations Manager at Virgin Active Stockley Park said: “We’re honoured to have the UK’s oldest gym goer at our health club. Sam and Doris have been loyal members for many years and when we found out his birthday was this week, throwing him a special birthday party was the least we could do”.

Sam commented saying: “It was a lovely surprise when I arrived at the club on Monday. I was just expecting to attend my usual yoga class and had no idea Virgin Active had the celebrations planned for me. Receiving the special message from Sir Richard Branson was rather unbelievable – I can’t wait to show my daughters and grandchildren”.

Doris added: “I can’t thank Virgin Active enough for arranging this event on for Sam; it was a wonderful surprise for him and lovely to celebrate with the staff at Virgin Active whom we see so regularly. The message Sir Richard Branson was an exceptionally special treat!”

As part of the Virgin Active’s on-going commitment to its members, Stockley Park is one of a number of UK Health Clubs Virgin Active is investing in as part of their three year, multi-million pound refurbishment programme.