Much to the delight of the home crowds, the Molweni grannies team were crowned 2018 champions at the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust’s (HACTs) eighth annual Gogolympics event which took place at the Molweni Sports Ground in Durban, South Africa last Friday, the 20th April 2018. Over 1000 gogos from across the rural Valley of 1000 Hills region competed in the all-day, sporting spectacular which was held in partnership with the Molweni community, Durban’s eThekwini Municipality, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports & Recreation and the South African Department of Health. In addition to soccer, netball, running relays and traditional games, this year’s event also featured a board games competition for gogos with impaired mobility thanks to an enthusiastic volunteer team from HACT NGO partner, the Imbeleko Foundation.
Speaking at the event, HACT’s Gogo Support Groups Programme Manager, Cwengi Myeni said “We are so proud of all our gogos for their enthusiasm and dedication as well as the Molweni community members who have done an outstanding job in working with us to ensure today’s event was a big success.”
HACT’s Gogo (Granny) Support Groups Programme currently provides psychosocial support and economic empowerment opportunities to a network of approximately 2000 gogos across eight communities in the rural Valley of 1000 Hills region in KwaZulu-Natal, many of whom are caring for orphaned grandchildren who have lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS, violence and other issues.
HACT’s gogos 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.
Guest Speakers at this year’s event included US Consul General, Sherry Sykes who spoke movingly about her personal experience of losing her grandmother to HIV/AIDS and her commitment to seeing an end to South Africa’s AIDS pandemic as well as HACT Comrades Marathon Ambassador, Blanche Moila, who encouraged the gogos to keep active and lead a healthy lifestyle for the sake of themselves and their grandchildren.