It was on a very cold, windy Friday afternoon when grannies aged 60 and above from different service centers around Bushbuckridge took center stage to participate in the annual Golden Games at the Thulamahashe Stadium.
17 different sporting codes, including soccer, breast-walk, athletics, ring the stick, ball relay and others were part of the day’s event hosted by the Department of Social Development, in association with the Mpumalanga Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation (DSCR), Emergency Medical Services (EMS), South African Police Service (SAPS) Forum for Older Persons and the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.
“Today we start locally with the sub-district golden games for the whole Bushbuckridge, and all the participants are old people from different service centers and individuals from different communities. From here on, the winners will participate at a district level, then provincial and lastly nationally.” Sibongile Ngobe, sports coordinator said.
The winning grannies on the day will go on to participate in the next round, where they will represent their various teams against other competitors.
“The next stop is at Kabokweni Stadium for the three districts in our province on the 26th of this month. We aim to promote active ageing among older persons and encourage them to remain fit as they grow old, because the more they exercise, the more they remain healthy. We also aim to reduce the risk of diseases for them.”
For some of the winners, this is an opportunity for to stay fit while also preparing for the next rounds.
Speaking to Bushbuckridge News John Ngobeni (70) from Rolle, “I feel very happy. I tried my best and I believe this is how older persons like me should live. It’s crucial to stay fit, so we have to continue training in order to be ready for the trip to Nelspruit for the next rounds.
Chairperson of the Forum for Older Persons, Freddie Makaringe, “the grannies appreciate all the contribution from the government. Today we’re here to play different games as older people. The government came in handy for us as older people by organising these games because we were ageing very fast by idling at home, so this, for us, is a great opportunity to enhance our health for the better.” Makaringe said.
Elsa Lamule, Victoria Khoza, Reuben Sibuyi, Grace Nxumalo, Rileta Shabangu are a few of some of the winners from the event, and will represent the Ehlanzeni District in the next round of the Golden Games.