AGE is no barrier to keeping fit - as octogenarian Nina Stevens can testify.

She is one of the oldest and longest-serving users of the Hambleton Leisure Centre, in Northallerton, and has just clocked up her 500th visit.

Nina, from nearby Brompton, rarely misses her weekly trip to the swimming pool for the Aquahealth class.

She first used the pool in 1991 when it was new. She had broken her leg in an accident and was advised that swimming would help regain her confidence.

"Getting to this 500 mark is a testimony to Nina's own efforts and commitment to maintaining her fitness," said Aquahealth class instructor Julie Burnett.

"She is an inspiration to all the class members."

The leisure centre's assistant manager, Richard Boucher, said: "We are very proud of having such a loyal and long-serving customer as Nina on our books.

"She is an inspiration to all our users, young and old."

Aquahealth is designed to assist people who are in need of rehabilitation following an operation or illness and also those people with a disability.

The session runs every Monday, from 11.45am to 12.45pm.

For more information, contact the centre on (01609) 777070.