"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Grannies Playing Soccer - Evidence for Longevity Studies

Lisa Cutforth - Saturday, March 13, 2010

Role of Exercise and Community in Longevity

Grannies in Polokwane (a small town in South Africa) have found a new lease on life as they have started to play soccer.

The World Cup organising committee is looking at the possibility of a soccer world cup for grannies.The Star reported on hundreds of elderly women from a township near Tzaneen, Limpopo, who had established a soccer league of their own.

Community worker Beka Ntsanwisi started the team three years ago to help older women exercise and give them a new purpose in life.She had been diagnosed with colon cancer and the doctor had told her she needed to exercise as part of her treatment.  She started to play soccer with two of her friends and eventually started to invite other women from the community to join in.  She said the women were bored and lonely and many of them were suffering with various illnesses.

The report said 35 women on the Vakhegula Vakhegula squad ranged in age from 40 to 83.  Playing soccer gave them a sense of being part of a community and made them feel better and they reported the exercise was very beneficial for them.  It also seemed to give them a reason to stick around or a purpose.  It appears they don't want to let their team down and they wanted to be around for the world cup.

The Star reported Nora Makhubela, 83, who had suffered six strokes, said kicking a ball around had given her strength she did not think she still had.  "I pray every day to God to keep me alive until 2010. I would really love to watch the games," she said.

The team are hoping to do a curtain raiser at the 2010 Soccer World Cup.  The possibility of this is being encouraged but the realities are still being explored.It appears there is growing evidence for Dan Beuttner’s Longevity Study, who found that exercise, being part of a community and having a reason to get up were all crucial ingredients if you wanted to live to 100.

How encouraging to have this sort of evidence fills me with hope and joy.  These women were not saying I can't go and play soccer because I have heart disease and arthritis and gout, they were saying I play soccer because I have heart disease, arthritis and gout and it makes me feel better.  I will play until I die!  One woman when asked when she would stop playing, she said, when she leaves this earth.

Game of soccer anyone?

Recent Posts


hunger and stress food sensitivities increasing energy cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia I've Got Life healthy cooking parties strength low calorie meal plan natural toothpaste calorie controlled diet health soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity improve your memory low calorie diet lunch soft drink and behaviour problems what is healthy food nutritious cooking motivation weight loss time management and healthy living sugar and add memory prostate cancer support your body anxiety the power to choose stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress wrong type of exercise, exercise and results celebrate life leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut pop-eye and spinach soft drink and behavior problems comfort pig nutritionist in brisbane diet diary of a nutritionist skip meals how to be happy immune boosting tips nutrition four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication how to love exercise healthy cooking demonstration healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options taking responsibility Lactose intolerance relationship with food life choices have fun in the kitchen feels good low cholesterol nutritionist Happiness trans fats happiness workshop sexy salad quick eating solutions organic vegetables Sensational allergies recipes for allergies how to say no focus the tummy beast benefits to keeping a diet diary relax seasonal quick and tasty recipes have more energy sexy salads obesity life lessons breakfast Cancer healthy shopping list music reasons to eat foods in season make stress work for you which is better for you butter or margarine taking a break salad delicious is chocolate bad for me go for 2 and 5 food intolerances sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas christmas life control dangers of multitasking while you eat 10 % principle health one step at a time detox fun brain health Lisa's Diary I don't get hungry recipies muscle wasting corporate wellness nutritious cooking with allergies what is movember fresh Nutritional Therapist herbal toothpaste food allergies mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results new year's resolutions are frozen veggies any good simple 7 day detox plan Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah healthy fast food, healthy take away best exercise quick recipes dancing how to get more of exercise empty your mind Nina Simone do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources is sugar bad making time to relax love, loneliness keep focused how to check your breasts comfort eating assertiveness health pioneers great second hand books ask my doctor Egg allergy to know and not do is not yet to know fatigue performance getting fit muffins 7 steps to detox fruit mood image overindulge are grains healthy Alan Pease 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart heart disease benefits of sleeping Add new tag indigestion weightloss comfort foods libido sensitivity to milk drugfree alternatives dance health for busy people healthy cooking party heart foundation tick explained immune system breast cancer prevention alzheimers reducing coffee cooking class in brisbane homocysteine maintain a healthy weight, underweight healthy shopping fussy eaters happiness course real food love food health with 10 % effort gluten intolerance energy sugar and adhd skipping meals how to avoid injury during exercise childrens lunch boxes weight success and you high cholesterol should I eat organic veggies cholesterol lowering diet fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys ways to improve prostate health nutritionists diet diary breast cancer awareness fresh start gift natural alternatives to drugs benefits of strength training, why you should strength train addicted to chocolate diet diary fruit and vegetable shortage recipe avoiding a choice foods in season, seasonal recipes what is a good breakfast ability to respond Laughter and stress blood pressure quizz