Seniors sweat it out on track

ORIELLE BERRY

More than 1 000 senior citizens competed in jukskei, 25m and 50m sprints, duck walks, hula-hooping and other races and games at the City of Cape Town’s Games for Older Persons at the Green Point Athletics Stadium on Wednesday March 30.

The Kraaifontein Active Seniors’ Club was just one of the more than 200 clubs that were involved.

Hazel Gelant, 80, who lives in Eikendal, is a founding member of the club, which meets weekly, as she told Northern News, to practise the mantra of “living a healthy and fit lifestyle”.

“We have 55 people in the club and they range in age from 87 to our youngest member, who is 60 years-old,” said Ms Gelant. “At our meetings, we do dancing, and all types of exercise, which includes walking, stretch classes and we also go to church functions where we sing.”

For some, she said, it had initially been a challenge to start getting fit, but with regular exercise and positive reinforcement (and the sight of other people in a similar situation) many of the seniors had become fitter and more able.

Members come from the surrounding areas of Northpine, Scottsdene and Kraaifontein.

As for herself, Ms Gelant, said she felt very fit and healthy. “I don’t have an ache or a pain, even though I have a small problem with my eyes,” she confided.

“This is the third instalment of our Cape Town Games for Older Persons and the event is proving as popular as when we first started,” said Mayco member for social development and early childhood development, Suzette Little. “This event is designed to celebrate active ageing and is a wonderful platform for our seniors to showcase healthy lifestyles.

“We hope that the younger generation will follow their example and engage in sporting activity to keep fit and healthy, but also hope to steer clear of negative social influences.”

Off the track, competitors could also have free health checks done, including blood pressure and diabetes screening tests, and receive advice on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

* The Kraaifontein Active Seniors Club meets every Monday , from 9am to 12pm. For more information contact Hazel Gelant on 021 988 3698.