Day of fun and games for our senior citizens

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

It was a day of fun and happiness as Gauteng's department of social development launched the inaugural Andrew Mlangeni Older Persons Games at Elkah stadium, Soweto, yesterday.

More than 8000 senior citizens from across Gauteng came to witness 300 contestant compete in eight sporting codes. Among the sporting codes were the duck walk, ring toss, egg and spoon and tennis ball race.

All the winners walked away with trophies. The contestants, ranging in age from 60 to 73, represented five Gauteng regions.

Preliminary games were held in different regions which included Johannesburg, West Rand, Sedibeng, Ekurhuleni and Gauteng North. Comprising all races and ages, the senior citizens, some in wheelchairs and others with walking sticks, had a day of fun.

The games, planned to coincide with the International Day of the Elderly, were officially opened by ex Robben Islander and activist Andrew Mlangeni.

"We organised this day to show the world that the elderly still have a contribution to make to society," said Mlangeni.

He said that the elderly should get involved in politics and cultural activities.

"Due to the HIV-Aids pandemic, the elderly are raising their grandchildren. Their role is therefore very crucial as they instill values in our society," he said.

A mobile clinic was on site to offer basic medical assistance for high blood pressure and sugar diabetics.