The Department of Sport and Recreation continues to strengthen its partnerships with non-profit organisations to encourage elderly citizens to remain active in order to stay healthy. The Department recently teamed up with Age in Action - a non-profit organisation based in Pietermaritzburg – in a programme to encourage active ageing and to create a platform for senior citizens to interact. Scores of elderly people from different areas within UMgungundlovu District attended the programme.
The purpose of this programme was to engage with the elderly people and to inform them about their rights, healthy living tips and how they can keep themselves fit so they can live longer. Part of the programme was a 30 minutes aerobics session, which involved the stretching of joints and muscle excises. This was to give the elders a few tips on the activities they can practise on their own at home.
Sport Officer Mr Arthur Maseko from the Department’s Umgungundlovu District advised the seniors that cleaning their gardens at home is also a way of exercising so they can live a longer and healthier life.
“As the Department of Sport and Recreation our job is to encourage you to keep fit and young by playing sport and keeping your body active. We understand that you have your own local clubs in your areas and there are a lot of things that you do in them like knitting etc., but we also encourage more of you to participate in the different sport codes in the Golden Games,” he said.
The Chairperson of the Age in Action programme Mduduzi Mncwabe spoke about the abuse of senior citizens at home and in society as well as other problems that they face. He advised the seniors to report any form of abuse to the Age In action toll free number - 0800 333 0231.
Senior citizen Dumile Nkala from Ndaleni, Ward 2, in Richmond said he was excited to be part of the programme as it was his first time attending such an initiative. Nkala said he was happy to see initiatives that will help senior citizens live a more positive and productive life and not let old age catch up with them too soon.
“As senior citizens we will go back and spread the word on the knowledge we have acquired today in our wards. If anyone is facing any form of abuse we will advise them to call the toll-free number. When looking at this I see that life is heading in the right direction and there’s a lot that senior citizens can do to live active lifestyles,” he said.
The Department is implementing several programmes to encourage senior citizens to live a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy food and being active. This helps to reduce the old age and lifestyle diseases.