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Move over Wimbledon: Bedford pensioner plays tennis nearly every day to stay fit and well

17 June 2015


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A retired Bedford man has made a personal pledge to look after his health by continuing to play tennis every other day: he is passionate that people should take personal action to look after their health.

He made his pledge to keep playing tennis after hearing about Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s drive to encourage people to pledge to take care of their health to reduce the risk of illness or emergency care.

Allen Simpson who is in his mid-seventies first took up tennis in his 40s and hasn’t looked back since. Always keen on sport, Allen grew to love tennis and has formed friendships with other members of Mowsbury Tennis Club in Bedford where he plays for a couple of hours most days.

Staying well is crucial for Allen as he is also a carer for his wife who has dementia which means that he can’t be out of the house for too long at a time. Being a carer can be physically demanding and Allen has sustained a couple of injuries carrying out his carer duties and knows how important it is not to overdo things.

Allen says: “I’ve always been an active person – over the years I have enjoyed playing badminton, squash and swimming. I always worked indoors in an office, so I loved the change of being in the open with lots of fresh air playing outdoor sports and have played in a number of tournaments and leagues.

“I’ve formed some very good relationships with other players at the tennis club – they all encourage and support one another to play. They’re all very committed and we play tennis most days even shovelling snow from the court in the winter. Sometimes in snow or bad weather we modify the rules a bit so we don’t risk getting injured.

“It’s quite funny when passers-by do a double take at seeing a group of energetic older people playing tennis in all weathers.”

Allen received a £10 Sainsbury’s shopping voucher after his pledge was selected as a winner by BCCG.

And with Wimbledon about to start, Allen will certainly be keeping up with his favourite sport as he finds it a bit easier to keep up the commitment to tennis in the summer. He will add to his good health pledge this summer by picking and eating the fruit he grows in his garden for a healthy diet.

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