Senior citizens from across Cape Town showcased their talents on the track and field at the annual Games for Older Persons held on April 1 2019.
The City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Dan Plato commented on the importance of the event.
“We need to cherish our older persons. They are trail blazers who have made many sacrifices that paved the way for others to enjoy freedoms and privileges that were not always available to everyone. I am in awe of their energy and enthusiasm, and we can certainly take a leaf from their books.”
The event hosted by the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department a crowd of 4 000 attendees every year and aims to promote healthy living and active ageing. Attendees are from various senior clubs and organisations and participants must be 60 years or older.
There are a range of games available from bowl-a-hole, basketball, duck wall, brisk walk, wheelchair pegging event, French Boules among others.
Thousands of specters cheer on the participants including peers from the respective senior clubs.
Plato explains how senior citizens look forward to the event each year.
“This event is a highlight for many of our seniors and it generates a buzz of excitement that is hard to beat. The participants are advocates for healthy living, something which is very high on the list of priorities for our Community Services and Health Directorate. More importantly, they return year after year to prove that many older persons can give those far younger a run for their money.”
It is hosted in association with various partners which include, City Health, the Western cape Department of Health and the Cape Peninsula Organisation for the Aged.
The event also aims to raise awareness about the service available for older residents – from health screening along with guidance and advice of retirement living options.
Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien explains that the event is more than just a sporting competition.
“Many households and communities lean heavily on their elders. While some are able to carry the load, the reality is that many grapple with socio-economic realities like exploitation and neglect. There are also those who need access to specialised frail care.”
He adds that the event aims to give back to the older community.
“The Games for Older Persons, while focused on fun, also seeks to address these very delicate matters. We want our participants to leave the venue with a sense of accomplishment about their performance on the track and field, but also armed with the necessary information that they need to make informed choices about their personal health and well-being.”
Picture: Supplied, City of Cape Town, Games for Older Persons, Bruce Sutherland