A BOLTON gym is boosting fitness for pupils at a high school thanks to its members who won a national competition.

The USN Bolton Arena was one of 176 fitness clubs in 10 countries taking part in the month-long “Let’s Move For A Better World” challenge run by Technogym, the global supplier of cutting-edge gym equipment with a strong ethos of promoting wellbeing.

About 20,000 people took the challenge worldwide, training in gyms to collect MOVES — Technogym’s unit of measure for movement.

The USN Bolton Arena gym was the UK winner with more than 350 members clocking up 2.3 million MOVES — nearly 360,000 more than any other in the country. This is the equivalent to 5,700 miles.

Their efforts won state-of-the-art circuit training equipment for Rivington and Blackrod High School where the school’s headteacher Tony Purcell said they were “delighted” with the hard-won gift.

He added: “We want to thank all the staff and members of the Arena for their tremendous commitment to the challenge.

“The equipment will further enhance our sports’ provision within school and encourages young people to keep active and healthy.”

USN Bolton Arena commercial manager, Gwyn Hughes, added: “We’re delighted to win because anyone involved in competitive sports and fitness wants to win. But it makes it even better that our success has achieved such a positive outcome for the school and the community.

“We have a long relationship with the school, working with them on our performance tennis programme and on the Teenage Health partnership, and we know this equipment will be put to good use by them and get young people moving more.”

The gym member with the most MOVES was 72 year-old retired consultant paediatrician Anand Ahuja with 49,422.

He spent hours on the treadmill to reach his winning total during several visits a week to the Arena.

He said: “I come to the gym regularly anyway but really enjoyed the challenge and wanted to do well. I’m also very glad that the Arena won.”

Another gym member and challenge high achiever, was 55 year-old semi-retired nurse Gwyn McGrath. She said she was very impressed with both the numbers taking part and their commitment.

Mrs McGrath said: “Part of the driving force was seeing where the Arena was in the rankings each week.

“When we saw it was number one in the UK we were determined to keep it there.”