Almost 300 senior citizens were treated to a day of thrills and excitement at the 30th annual ACVV Sports Day for over 60s at the NMMU Indoor Sports Centre yesterday.
A total of 282 participants from 17 clubs and frail care homes took part in ring the stick, bounce pass and roll, target throwing and the highly competitive pegging event.
There was also a netball game, which wrapped up the day’s activities.
Organiser and Louis Dubb retirement village manager Tiaan Steynberg said: “Since my involvement in 2011, it has been our aim to get people over the age 60 actively involved and also show the world that older people can take part in sporting activities.
“The elderly participate in specifically structured games that help them process things and help with their health and fitness.
“The initiative has grown immensely. It is so enriching, they can show their competitiveness outside of their village homes.”
Dr Maryna Baard, from the NMMU department of Human Movement Sciences, said: “NMMU has been involved in the initiative for over 25 years.
“Seeing this grow and improve has been a pleasure for us.”
“It also assists our students to get out of the classroom and explore fitness theories when working with older people.
“This is a platform where they can apply what they have learnt and implement it in the real world.”
Participants came from as far as Despatch and King William’s Town for active engagement with the local retirement homes.
“The social engagement has had a psychological effect because some participants are isolated in their old age homes,” Baard said.
“The programme has had a positive impact on their health.
“Some of them have seen their blood pressure and blood sugar diseases decrease.”
Eastern Province pegging champion and 35-pegs-per-minute record holder Willem Daniel de Klerk said: “The games bring us a lot joy.
“One of the most important aspects is that it keeps us fit and brings us closer to our friends who live in different old age villages.”