South Africa: HPCA supports “games for older persons”

Categories: Community Engagement.

When I think of a sports day back when I attended high school, I can clearly remember the excitement of pupils singing early hours of the morning outside the gates of the school waiting for the bus to arrive. Pupils would be dressed in their inter-house colours trying to chant their war cry’s much louder than the opposing teams as they made their way to the stadium. It was so amazing to see the spirit of these pupils as they came together hoping to win as many track and field events as possible in exchange for bragging rights the next day.

The Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) was proud to be part of the older person’s games event which took place at the Bellville Veledrome Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 4 000 participants from 185 seniors clubs and old-age homes across the city took part in the event, which was aimed to encourage older people to live healthy and active lives, interact with their peers, and join seniors clubs and organisations in their respective areas. The same vibrancy one would find at any high school sports day was displayed here as well. Participants represented their senior clubs through colourful banner displays and singing.

The event started with the South African National Anthem, followed by a 500m brisk walk for participants aged between 60 – 65 years. Opera singer, James Bhemgee (winner of South Africa has talent 2010) entertained the crowd.Other track and field events included: pass the ball race, duck walk, relay race, hoola hoop, basketball and many more activities.

Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille was the keynote speaker for the day thanking the City of Cape Town for putting the event together as well as to all the seniors for taking the time to be together as one big family. She highlighted that senior citizens play an important role in our country and that without them we wouldn’t be able to survive. “This event was planned to acknowledge all senior citizens and to ensure you that we have not forgotten about you”: Patricia said. Patricia added that she would love to see this annual event grow and fully supports this initiative hoping to participate in next year’s event as a participant!

The day ended with a march around the track where participants could display their banner one last time followed by the handing out of medals.

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