Grannies galvanised for Gogolympics

(Back) Pandyan Nadar and Mbongeni Gambushe from Albany. (Middle) Prizer Msomi, Thandiwe Memela, Ntombikayise Mncwabe, Basizeni Mthethwa, Phindiwe Mashiloane (HACT) Nokuthula Mbatha and Happy Gumede.

GRANNIES from the Valley of a Thousand Hills have started training for one of The Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust’s (HACT) exciting and unique events, the Gogolympics.

This year’s Gogolympics will take place on Friday, 28 April at the Molweni Sports Ground.

The annual event, first conceptualised in 2011, is hosted every year by HACT’s Gogo (Granny) Support Groups Programme and its partners – the Fisher’s Net, eThekwini Municipality, the Department of Health and the KZN Department of Sports and Recreation.


Gilbert Rocha (Hillcrest Food Lover’s Market), Bonginkosi Ngidi (Albany), Ntombikayise Mncwabe from Molweni and Brent Grimsley (South African Society of Physiotherapy Sports Group).


Food Lover’s Market in Hillcrest, Albany and South African Society of Physiotherapy Sports Group have come on board as sponsors.

The programme provides psycho-social support and economic empowerment opportunities to more than 2 000 grannies across eight communities in the Valley of 1 000 Hills region.

HACT’s grandmothers train year-round in the lead up to the annual Gogolympics event, helping them to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle which not only benefits them through stress alleviation and improved mobility, but also benefits the many orphaned grandchildren in their care.


Prezer Msomi from Molweni hopes to take the trophy home.


In addition to teams of gogos from across the Valley of 1000 Hills region participating, this year’s event has also attracted the interest of gogos from KwaMashu and as far afield as the North West Province.

“We are very excited that our Gogolympics is starting to attract new participants from other communities across the province and indeed the country,” said HACT’s Gogo Support Groups Manager, Cwengi Myeni.

Prizer Msomi (60) from Molweni who has been taking part in the Gogolympics for the past three years said ever since she started taking part in this event she does not often get sick.


Happy Gumede from Lower Molweni practice her soccer skills.


“I was involved in a car accident a few years back, I use to depend on arthritis medication as my body was sore all the time. But ever since I started exercising, I have been very healthy and I do no take medication anymore,” she said.

Msomi said they practise twice a week and this year, they are hoping to be the overall winners as they are playing at home.



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Sanelisiwe Tsinde

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