The 150 strong membership of the Devizes Canoe Club should be a lot fitter after the arrival of some serious gym equipment at the club’s headquarters in Lower Wharf.

Club secretary Ann Slator said: “The club is very grateful to Devizes Area Board for their contribution to the cost of the kit, which will be of enormous value to all members for strength and development training.”

She said the equipment includes a functional trainer and a full set of dumbbells ranging from 2kg to 20kg in a neat rack, and a bench complete with Olympic bar and weights.

Chair of the Devizes Area Board Cllr Simon Jacobs said he was involved in social care and welfare and public health issues.

He said: “It’s very important to encourage the public to exercise as much as possible.

“Canoeing is a low impact sport that anyone from the very young to older people can take up.”

The area board wanted to support the canoe club as it was part of the town’s community, and was famous for the annual Devizes to Westminster canoe race and made the award at their May meeting.

The club said in a statement: “At the last Devizes Area Board meeting the club were successful in receiving a grant from the Area Board.

“It will replace the second hand equipment that had been donated from various sources over the years.

"The new functional trainer in particular will enable coaches to create strength and conditioning programmes so members can work on canoe specific exercises.

Head Coach, Edd Dobson said: “It is a fantastic piece of equipment and fundamental for all our paddlers strength and development, especially the juniors coming through our development programme.”

Cllr Jacobs said the board matched the amount the club had already raised through their fundraising with a grant of £3,549.