Executive Director, Centre for Gender Economics (CGE Africa), Uchenna Idoko, has harped on the need to leverage the latent knowledge of sport resident in the older population for national development.
Speaking at an intergenerational football match held to commemorate the United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) in Lagos, She said: “Many of the older women have not played before. We had a 90-year-old play. She never knew she could be on the sporting attire or even participate in the match. This would forever be in her memory that she can still actively be involved.”
The football match was between older women, aged 50 and above and children (from 11 to 12 years) of Itedo Community in Eti Osa Local Council.
Themed ‘I support active aging for women,’ the match was aimed at promoting the beauty of aging. Idoko noted that such activities also help change the mindset of children on the issue of aging and relating to the aged.
“The impression younger generation has about older people is that they are boring and grumpy among others.
Today, they have seen another side of them. We are also making them have a mindset that getting old is not scary,” she said.
She explained that they were initially concerned the project would not work, but expressed excitement on its success. On her experience working with the community, she said, “It has been quite challenging. We have our good times and not so good times but the beauty of it is that the perspective of the women are changing.
“We hold monthly meetings with them and it is exciting to see them come out to learn and relate. We have a 100-year-old, who doesn’t miss meetings and is always grateful that we come. That is really encouraging.”The match ended with the older women team 1-0 victorious.