It’s a small (Nordic walking) world

Anthony leading a walk at the Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival 2017

Nordic walk leader Anthony Prior and his wife, Carol, live in Hertfordshire but have a holiday home in Swanage near NWUK HQ. They use their FREEDOM passports to browse and book walks in both areas and this led to Anthony becoming a leader in both areas too. Now also a key member of the Purbeck Festival Team, Anthony wasn’t always a healthy active individual and his story includes a surprising coincidence!

Although he is now an enthusiast for the health and fitness benefits of Nordic walking, Anthony suffered two heart attacks in 1999. He made a full recovery after joining a cardiac rehabilitation programme at his local hospital in Hertfordshire and he believes he is now fitter than ever.

Anthony in his stride

‘We love to get down to Swanage when we can and Nordic walking has been a good introduction to this lovely area,’ says Anthony who was soon persuaded by the HQ team to plan and lead some of the festival routes – see him below with his 4 leaders route packs!

‘I found I had more local knowledge than I thought,’ Anthony recalls. ‘It was good to share it with the Nordic walkers at the Festival.’

It was quite a surprise when out on one of the group recce routes last Summer that Anthony recognised one of the other walkers. It was his former rehab therapist from the Cardiac rehab scheme who is now a NWUK Instructor. Shirley Cannon has relocated to the Swanage area and regularly leads walks with Purbeck Nordic Walking but she previously worked for ten years in cardiac rehabilitation creating bespoke exercise programmes for a range of patients, including Anthony!

Festival Walk Leaders Anthony, his wife Carol, and Sally Challis with their Walk Leader packs

Now both are busy planning more exciting activities for the 2018 Festival and spreading the word about Nordic walking which Anthony enjoys because it is FUN! ‘I think it is great and would much rather go Nordic walking than go to the gym, which I find boring by comparison,’ he concludes.