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Mr Simon Madamalala is a 75-year-old senior citizen who stays at Shakadza village. Madamalala is one of the elders who impressed spectators and organizers of the Musina Golden Games that recently took place at Lesley Manyathela Stadium. The old man, who runs like a jaguar, took the first position during the 200 metres race.

The Golden Games initiative is part of the Department of Health’s initiative of keeping the elderly busy and healthy. Only senior citizens who are 60 years old and above take part in these games.

Madamalala said after his hard earned victory. “I might look old by I feel very young. Many people say I’m old but I have the energy of a 21-year-old boy. I always keep myself busy to make sure I’m always fit.”

Madamalala, who is e member of the senior citizens club in his village, said he prefers walking than taking a taxi in order to keep himself fit. “Together with my colleagues, we practice three times a week to keep ourselves busy. I have no doubt that I will represent Musina Municipality well during the Vhembe District games in due course.”

When launching the games, Mayor Mihloti Muhlope said it is good to see elders enjoying themselves by taking part in various sports activities. She told the senior citizens that there are many advantages of taking part in sports. “Besides keeping yourselves busy, you minimize the chances of being attacked by opportunistic diseases like sugar diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.”

She encouraged other senior citizens who are not forming part of the sports clubs to join their colleagues. “We are happy that all 12 wards of our municipality are well represented in these games. We have no doubt that this will encourage those who are sitting at home to come and join the fun. Moreover, the competition was tough today and I’m convinced that the selected team will represent us well in the district competitions.”

Muhlope said she is aware of the challenges that the elders are having when they play sports. “We have noticed that there is shortage of sporting equipment and sportswear. We will sit down with the leaders of the various teams to see how we can assist.”

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