Age is no hurdle for oldest athletics club member

Zainab Williams, in the front row, third from left, is still a member of the Bo-Kaap Athletics Club.

At 71, Bo-Kaap resident Zainab Williams is the oldest member of Bo-Kaap Athletics Club and loves walking, staying healthy and keeping fit.

Ms Williams said she was in her late 60s when she saw a group of people running by her house and was keen to get involved.

So, she enquired about the run and joined the only walking/running group in the area.

“The first thing I told the coach, was that I could not run and could only walk,” she said.

Three years later. Ms Williams has participated in different races in Cape Town, including the Cape Peninsula Marathon and the Two Oceans Half Marathon which she did when she was 69 years old.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would achieve that at my age. That was one of my biggest achievements,” she said.

She said she’s always been a walker and while participating in the Two Oceans Marathon had been on her bucket list, she never thought she’d actually do it.

Ms Williams said she’s grateful for her health and that at her age is able to run. “For me it’s about fun and I’m always amazed at our own beauty that surrounds us and the ability to get up every day healthy,” she said. “As an elder, the team is always encouraging me, telling me that I can do it, it feels like we’re family” she said.

Ms Williams said her life had changed for the better since she started running.

“I always tell people, anyone can do this. People shouldn’t be sitting at home folding arms. Go out, do some walking and running and you will enjoy the beauty
that God has created for us,” she said.