Staying fit - at 100 years old

Ruth Dawson
Ruth Dawson attends a weekly fitness class Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

Ruth Dawson says she's always been a keep fit fan. That's no exaggeration. She is now approaching her 100th birthday and is still determined to attend a weekly fitness class.

Mrs Dawson and her daughter, Kathleen Edmond, are members of the aerobics class at St Margaret's church hall at Acklam in Middlesbrough. They have been part of the group since it began a decade ago.

Aerobics class
Ruth Dawson and her daughter Kathleen Edmond in their class Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Ruth Dawson will turn 100 on the 28th August. Many relatives are coming together for the celebrations, including some who are visiting from Canada. It's a proud time for the entire family, who say Mrs Dawson is a role model to them all.

Mrs Dawson has been living on Teesside since 1999 but spent much of her life north of the border. She says her interest in keeping fit was sparked by her love of Scottish country dancing coupled with the need to walk from place to place in her early life.

I've no trouble with my general health at all. If I fall, I don't hurt myself. I've never had a broken bone, I've never had an operation. I think it's the way I was brought up. The way I was brought up and doing the keep fit for so many years.

– Ruth Dawson

Fellow members of the St Margaret's Church aerobics class describe Ruth Dawson as an inspiration. One said: 'She's just so full of vim and vigour.'

The birthday celebrations have begun; they will continue for several weeks to come!