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Grannies take to the soccer pitch


One is never too old to play a game of soccer or engage in a physical activity such as aerobics.

A group of Johannesburg senior citizens showed how at the Umthombo Wolwazi Hall in Dobsonville Extension 2, Soweto, on Wednesday, where they competed for top honours in the “Beautiful Game” and in a round of aerobics as part of the City’s Healthy Lifestyle Programme and to be exemplary to younger members of the community.

In the first tournament, the grannies and oupas exhibited amazing skills in aerobics. Gogo Sheila Mphuthi was the last person standing after the gruelling and energy-sapping marathon exercise. In recognition of her amazing staying power and efforts, she was rewarded with a T-shirt, a medal and a water bottle. After this, the elderly took their skills to another level when they competed in a six a-aside soccer competition.

Zola, known as O’Gogo Besivivane, beat Jabavu All the Top Ten Veterans 2-1; and Pimville Ladies overcame Slovo 2-0. Busi Zuma, a City of Joburg’s Sports and Recreation Area Manager in Region D, said the City’s initiative was aimed at helping the elderly to feel loved and honoured by the community.

Zuma said in addition, the City helped them by arranging trips for them and giving them advice on how to apply for identity documents and pensions for themselves or other members of their families. Nonhlanhla Nkosi, Organiser of the Aerobics Marathon for Senior Citizens – which caters for areas such as Emndeni, Zola, Jabulani and Dobsonville – said she started working with the senior citizens six months ago.

Nkosi said the idea was to encourage them to maintain a healthy lifestyle, teach them new skills and keep them occupied. She said the elderly were also taught self-defence tactics, arts and crafts, and gardening.