Gogos in Mpheni Village say they suffer from sore joints and chronic illnesses because they don’t get enough exercise or do enough hobbies. But days of sitting at home drinking traditional beer are over after football for the elderly in the village was launched. The pensioners have praised the initiative, saying it has given them something to do and it keeps them healthy and fit.
Mpheni resident Selina Sadiki, 69, said she finds the exercise relaxing because it allows her to forget about her problems. “I feel like a new person. It keeps me busy, healthy and happy.”
A popular form of exercise
She said the exercise has also cut down her visits to the clinic. “I used to visit the local clinic very often but now I only go once a month to collect my medicine.” Although she is happy playing football, Sadiki feels that more still needs to be done to empower elderly people.
Tackling old age: Grannies from various football teams in Mpheni village during a recent tournament
“We only play football twice a week which is not enough. On days we don’t exercise we get bored and sometimes end up drinking traditional beer again, though we know that it is not good for our health and wellbeing,” she said.
Playing football for elderly residents, especially women, has become a popular form of exercise in most villages within the Vhembe district and teams host tournaments and play against each other.
Grace Makushu, 52, plays football to lose weight and become healthy. “I am on the right path to have a healthy body which will be ready to fight against old age diseases,” she said. – Health-e News
Image credit: Health-e News