Many of the organizations listed at Sports Doing Good and the stories covered deal with kids and young adults. However, there is no doubt that in the U.S. and in most developed countries around the world, we have an aging populace. People are living longer and hopefully somewhat better than they have in the past. We will, though, have new challenges regarding elder care and the provision of activities so that they, just like kids and young adults, benefit socially and health-wise from sports and recreation.
Below is a fun story about a group of some senior ladies who are demonstrating their excitement for next year’s World Cup on the soccer pitch.
The full article and a short video can be found at http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SPORT/football/10/25/football.africa.world.cup/index.html, with an excerpt below.
World Cup fever grips African grannies
By Chris Murphy, CNN
October 25, 2009
(CNN) — It seems no-one in South Africa can fail to be gripped by World Cup football fever.
The running, tackling, shooting, offside-appealing proof comes with a clutch of grannies who have been playing in a fiercely competitive league around the Nkowankowa township, 600 kilometers north of Johannesburg.
A squad of 35 nans down domestic duties twice a week to take to the field for their team Vakhegula Vakhegula, and compete against seven other teams in the region. Some of them even credit the beautiful game as having turned their lives around.
“I like to play soccer because it helps,” said Nari Baloyi, who at 47-years-old, clocks in as one of the youngest players. “We were sick, but now our temperatures, our blood pressures… have gone down …even our doctors are amazed when we go for a check-up.”
One of the more elderly members, Nora Makhubela, is convinced that football has given her a new lease of life following the setback of suffering six strokes.
“My life has really changed…if I were to run with you I would beat you even though I’m much older,” she said, throwing down the gauntlet to the likes of Ronaldo, Messi et al.
“My life has improved because of the football. I wish God could bless the person who came up with this great idea.”
The women contribute around $1 a month each for footballs, kit, and travel to the bi-annual regional tournament.
Dozens of noisy fans cheer on the players, with the distinctive sound of the vuvuzelas — a South African trumpet — creating an atmosphere that would be welcome at any European Champions League tie.
Makhubela is hoping her new-found love of the game extends long enough for her to be able to watch some of the matches when the World Cup begins in June.
“I pray every day to God to keep me alive until 2010. I would really love to watch the games,” she said.
(The article continues at http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SPORT/football/10/25/football.africa.world.cup/index.html)