THE elders refer to him as the coach who has transformed their lives, but Vuyisile Stillo, 34, of Mdantsane NU 3 says he is just an ordinary man who is passionate about playing a role in his community.
Stillo started a club known as the Nondzondelelo Inservice Centre for the Aged, a club that is aimed at encouraging a healthy lifestyle and improving to improve the well-being of the elderly.
The club consists of about 24 older people from the age of 60 upwards. and above.
“I live opposite a clinic and after seeing so many elderly people walking in and out of the clinic for check-ups and because they are getting more sick, I thought there could be something else that can be done. Exercising came to mind and I started a gym were the elderly can come to the field and play sports and can be able to enter sporting competitions,” Stillo explained. he said.
He said he then went from door to door, introducing the idea and encouraging the elderly to join.
The club came in at the top at last year’s Eastern Cape District Golden Games held in Victoria Grounds, King William’s Town.
“We brought home a trophy and medals. It was good to win as we have worked hard and now we are preparing for this year’s Golden Games in the hopes of that we can winning it once again, so all elders can be inspired to join,” he said.
Hombakazi Kala, 70, said before joining the gym last year she had cramps that made it hard to sleep.
“I had cramps all over my body and some nights I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Then I came to joined the gym and now I have some freedom and my body feels lighter and right again,” said Kala.
Another elder, Milton Blayi, 62, says said he now runs 800m regularly.
“I like a healthy body. I run long distance and I’m saying to others my age who think they are to old to run, to look at me when I run!” long distance,” he said.
The club has about 24 elders who Stillo meets members of the club every Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am untill 12pm.
“I wish other people could draw inspiration to what we do here and we could see other wards in our area taking part as well in small tournaments and this can enable us to participate on in national levels were we compete with other provinces,” he said.
“The Golden Games are games played by the elderly,” said Department of Sports, Recreation and Arts and Culture spokesman Andile Nduna. “It caters for older persons with the aim of keeping the elderly physically active and thus helping to improve and keep up their physical well-being.”
Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture spokesman Andile Nduna said they are willing to assist the club.
“They should send in a proposal to the department, stating what they need. We sponsor the Golden Games and always ensure the elderly participate. We would encourage the club to write to the Department and state what they need. Although, we know the club has participated and has won in the previous Golden Games. We therefore are looking forward to working with them and assisting where we can.” he said.