International Grannies Football Tournament kicks off in Limpopo

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The four-day International Grannies Football Tournament has kicked off in Tzaneen, Limpopo, on Sunday. The tournament, which features 16 teams from various countries, is held in a different country every two years.

The first elderly women’s football team in South Africa was established in 2007, by renowned Beka Ntsanwisi. The Vakhegula Vakhegula was formed with the purpose to socialise and exercise to keep fit.

Elderly women over the age of 50 qualify to be part of the elderly women’s team. Yvonne Kgomo, the founder of the Glory Gogos football club in Hammasnkraal, says the teams need more support.

“I feel very very happy and we are still happy to come here to Nkowankowa stadium for the first time is not Banyana Banyana only that are playing football we, as grannies, are playing football so they must support us and give us to give us space or whatever or league so they must do the grannies.”

64-year-old Jean Duffy, who plays for the American team Lex Pressas, is excited to be part of the tournament.

“It’s wonderful. It is a celebration of awareness, keeping fit into old age, and also a wonderful time to be together and share our passion for football. I’m hoping that South Africa keeps the trophy that is my hope.”

Sixteen teams from various African countries and outside the tournament are participating:

Meanwhile, the founder of the Vakhegula Vakhegula football team and tournament organiser, Beka Ntsanwisi, says more support is needed for the teams.

“I’m excited and I didn’t expect this and we have sixteen teams. We have teams from Mozambique, the United States and France. Some teams from Malawi and Togo were not able to make it because of a lack of funds. This tournament has a lot of potentials but we need more support from sporting bodies and sponsors.”

The tournament will end on Wednesday with the winner going home with a trophy. -Additional reporting by Pimani Baloyi