It’s time for the 2017 Gogolympics

2017-04-04 06:02
Photo: suppliedUmkhulus enjoying a game of soccer.

Photo: suppliedUmkhulus enjoying a game of soccer.

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THE Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust’s (Hact) 2017 Gogolympics is taking place on April 28 at the Molweni sports ground and the community is invited to attend.

Initiated in 2011, the event is hosted every year by Hact’s Gogo (Granny) Support Groups Programme and its partners — the Fisher’s Net, eThekwini Municipality and the KZN Department of Sports and Recreation. The programme provides psycho-social support and economic empowerment opportunities to over 2 000 grannies across eight communities in the Valley of 1000 Hills region.

Hact’s grandmothers train year-round in the lead up to the annual Gogolympics event, helping them to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle that not only benefits them through stress alleviation and improved mobility, but also benefits the many orphaned grandchildren in their care.

The gogos compete in a wide variety of sports and games on the day, including soccer, netball, 100 m sprints, relay races as well as indigenous games such as jukskei, umlabalaba and stick fighting.

For over 10 years, Hact’s Gogo (Granny) Support Group Programme has been supporting and empowering grandmothers in KwaZulu-Natal who are impacted by the challenges of poverty, inequality and health conditions such as HIV/Aids, TB and age-related illnesses. The programme made headlines last year when it organised a march of nearly 2 000 grandmothers in conjunction with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, calling for the human rights of grandmothers in South Africa to be heard ahead of the International Aids Conference that took place in Durban.

This year’s Gogolympics event promises to be bigger and better than ever. In addition to teams of gogos from across the Valley of 1000 Hills region, this year’s event has also attracted the interest of gogos from Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu, Clermont and as far afield as the North West Province, who are also hoping to compete on the day.

“We are very excited that our Gogolympics is starting to attract new participants from other communities across the province and indeed the country,” said Hact’s Gogo support groups manager Cwengi Myeni.

“Our programme and its Gogolympics event are both sustainable initiatives that with the buy-in of local gogos, the government and other partners, have the potential to be replicated in communities across the country where, just like our programme is doing here in the Valley of 1000 Hills, it can bring hope and relief to thousands of grandmothers who have lost their children to violence, crime and disease, and are now struggling to care for their orphaned grandchildren.” — Supplied.

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