The hawkers in Nkowankowa outside Tzaneen, Limpopo, say the International Grannies Football Tournament has boosted their local businesses. The four-day tournament kicked off on Sunday. It featured 16 teams from various countries. It is now planned to be held in different countries every two years.
The tournament created a space for women 55 and older to improve and maintain their health, while showcasing their abilities in front of hundreds of cheering spectators.
The tournament was hosted by Vakhegula Vakhegula FC, a team formed in 2007 that inspired the creation of similar teams across South Africa. ‘Vakhegula’ means ‘grandmother’ in the Tsonga language.
Grannies International Football Competition this year was won by the United States, who will leave their trophy in South Africa as a gesture of gratitude for the country’s hospitality.
“Being back in the Motherland is incredible. It’s been fantastic playing soccer for the past five years. It’s the best experience,” said American player Domingo Seri.