A FORMER gymnast is making sure care home residents are keeping fit and agile by teaching fitness classes – even after hitting her 100th birthday.

Marion Watson is a resident at Down Hall care home in Bradwell-on-Sea.

Despite having type two diabetes, she is still fighting fit and has no plans to slow down.

The great-grandmother has been at the home since September and teaches seated exercise classes three times a week to fellow residents.

Marion became a gymnast at the age of 18 and travelled the country competing in gymnastics competitions and winning medals.

Keeping fit has remained a life-long priority for the centenarian, who also played golf twice a week for more than 30 years.

In her 70s, Marion started teaching aerobics in Burnham and is thrilled to have the chance to continue sharing her passion for exercise at the home.

Marion said: “I just love the joy of movement and seeing people improve.

“I prefer to teach older people nowadays, though I do find it slightly frustrating having to use chairs.”

Home manager Karen Johnson believes that having Marion show off her moves inspires the other residents to join in.

She said: “There’s always a buzz in the home during one of Marion’s classes.

“She focuses on gentle exercises and breathing and encourages everyone to go at their own pace.

“Though that doesn’t stop Marion from showing off her moves and she will often amaze us all by stretching her legs above her head.”

The care home’s exercise class is usually led by activities coordinator Louise Simon.

She was happy to hand over the baton to Marion when she discovered her wealth of experience.

Louise added: “It’s lovely to see the residents enjoying Marion’s classes.

“Everyone enjoys taking part, we play some jolly music which livens them up, and even some of the staff join in.

“It’s great fun and there’s always lots of laughter.”