Councillor shines in Amos Masondo Games
Councillor Zodwa Nxumalo of Ward 37 in Johannesburg’s Region D led her senior citizens’ soccer team – Jabavu Top 10 – to a resounding victory over Cosmo City senior citizens’ team during the inaugural Amos Masondo Games at Marks Park Sports Grounds in Emmarentia at the weekend.
Senior citizens’ six-a-side soccer was one of the 17 sporting codes featured in the Games, held in honour of Amos Masondo, the first Executive Mayor of Johannesburg in the democratic South Africa.
The 50-something Councillor Nxumalo, an athlete in her youth, was a marvel to watch as her side, aided by her amazing flair and crisp passing skills – pipped Cosmo City 5-0 on Saturday.
It was an uphill battle for the Cosmo City players as Councillor Nxumalo’s side virtually camped in the opposition’s half. Try as they did, the Cosmo City team were completely outplayed and spent most of the time chasing shadows.
Councillor Nxumalo attributed the success of her team to hard work and determination. She said Jabavu Top 10 was formed six months ago to give older citizens in her ward the opportunity to lead a healthy lifestyle in line with the City of Johannesburg’s Go Jozi Healthy Lifestyle Programme.
Councillor Nxumalo said her initiative attracted a significant number of senior citizens to join the club.
“What was pleasing for me was to see senior citizens who could not walk running and kicking the ball. I would definitely want to see senior citizens in other wards starting to take part in sport. It is not healthy to just sit around at home and not engage in physical ability. To have a healthy mind you need a healthy body,” she said.
Another player who impressed during the match was Lindiwe Mkhasibe, 55, of Rockville, Soweto. Her ball control and dribbling wizardry set tongues wagging.
Speaking in an interview after the match, MaMkhasibe said she had always loved soccer and was behind the success of former Banyana Banyana star and last season’s SA Player of the Year Portia Modise.
MaMkhasibe said it was extremely important for senior citizens to form sports clubs and start engaging in fitness programmes.
Cosmo City’s Constance Ngubane, 75, protested that Jabavu Top 10 had fielded younger players.
She said her team would go back to the drawing board to avenge the devastating defeat in next year’s tournament.
“All in all, we had a wonderful time even though our bodies, especially our legs, are still aching,” she said.
After receiving the winners’ medals, Councillor Nxumalo sent a warning to senior citizens in Limpopo, the reigning South African champions, that Jabavu Top 10 want their scalp.
Apart from exercising and playing soccer, members of the Jabavu Top 10 club are involved in a variety of community programmes, including running a soup kitchen.