By Owethu Kholosa Nokhangela, Zintle Makhanya and Selenathi Botha
Older people have found a better way to spend their retirement years celebrating active ageing.
On 31 August, the first annual The Golden Games took place at Rhodes University Astro Fields. The aim of the games was to encourage community members who are 60 years and older to participate in different activities, which included passing the ball, meters run, a rugby ball throw, a 200-meter peg for people living with disabilities, and many more. Participating teams were from Makana and Ndlambe Municipalities.
To kick off the games, the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church, Archbishop Nkosinathi Ngesi and Ward Councillor Ramie Xonxa welcomed the guests.
During an interview in preparation for the games, the Chairperson of Older Person’s Game Forum, 74-year-old Nombulelo Pona, said, “Older Persons Forum is about males and females who are 60 years and above, helping them to distress and enjoy their adult years”.
However, She adds, “You cannot mix a person who is 60 years old and 79 years old.” Therefore, the contestants were grouped according to their ages to promote equality and fairness. She also adds, “This is not a competition. It is just for fun.”
Sponsored by the Department of Social Development, the forum was founded in 2008 after the government saw that older people had less activity than in their youth years, contributing to the number of illnesses that they contracted, such as stress and depression, so they created centres for older persons to spend their days -where they eat, sew, crochet and practice for the National Golden Games.
Isikhalo Womxn’s Movement activitst Anelisa Bentele stated that while the games were for older people, the youth should support them.
Playing games is not just for youth but for older persons to have fun.