The phrase age is just a number was evident on Saturday as scores of senior athletes representing 15 disciplines paraded through historic Bridgetown for the launch of the 2019 National Senior Games.
The senior athletes, some in their 80s, marched from Jubliee Gardens to Independence Square, with placards for their representative sports such as dominoes, road tennis, draughts, squash and more.
Also participating in the proceedings were Minister of Elder Affairs and People Empowerment, Cynthia Forde and Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King.
During her feature address, Forde expressed concern about the high incidence of non-communicable diseases in Barbados, with the island ranking sixth in the global index. The Minister of Elder Affairs noted that despite an increase in the number of centenarians on the island, several people still suffer from ailments like diabetes and hypertension.
“There are too many thousands of our citizens who are living longer but they are generally plagued with numerous ailments and diseases and challenges which impact on the quality of life . . . Never mind we have been measured as the 6th country in the world with these challenges, we must look after our own lifestyles,” Forde warned.
The minister indicated that the Elder Affairs Department seeks to promote health and wellness as a component to leading a healthier and happier life. She urged all Barbadians to “sustain their bodies” and “chart a course for longer life”.
“Exercise of the mind and body will turn around the ugly surge of diabetes and the strokes and the heart disease and dementia,” Forde pointed out.
“We work assiduously to embrace, educate and practice all necessary aspects of good health, exercise, rest and diet which are all important to all of us going forward,” she added.
The National Senior Games kick off on May 2 with lawn tennis at the National Tennis Centre to June 10, with the grand finale at the National Stadium. (KK)