FAITH, FITNESS, AND FORTITUDE: JOSEPH GOMA’S INSPIRING PATH TO THE 2024 NATIONAL GOLDEN GAMES

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By Mamuligi Vhutshilo Percy

  • Mr Joseph Goma, a 74-year-old Bishop of the United African Apostolic Church from Dipeni, Limpopo province, defies age and geography as he prepares to compete in the National Golden Games, showcasing remarkable resilience and dedication to sporting excellence.
  • Despite facing challenges such as transportation and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Goma’s persistence and determination have propelled him to victory in regional, district, and provincial qualification rounds, earning him a spot in Team Limpopo for the 800m relay.
  • Beyond his athletic pursuits, Mr Goma is deeply involved in his community, ministering at various events and advocating for the importance of regular exercise among the elderly and youth alike, highlighting its benefits for physical and mental well-being.


As we honour the National Golden Games, we spotlight an outstanding individual whose rise to the peak of sporting excellence defies age and geography. Mr Joseph Goma (74) of Dipeni in Limpopo province, a Bishop of the United African Apostolic Church (UAAC), emerges as a source of inspiration as he prepares to compete in the coveted event. With persistent determination and a lifetime of dedication, Mr Goma symbolises the spirit of resilience, illustrating that age is no barrier to pursuing one’s sporting devotion.He has competed in the National Golden Games since 2017, representing Team Limpopo in the 800m relay. Coming into the 2024 National Golden Games, Mr. Goma is thrilled to have made it here, finishing first in the regional, district, and provincial qualification rounds, and is now looking forward to helping his team claim the ultimate prize.


Preparing for the games brings its own set of problems. For instance, transport to and from sporting venues is a major concern because he does not have his own vehicle. He also had to deal with the problems brought on by COVID-19, which halted all outside activities, forcing him to exercise in his backyard until the lockdown was discontinued in 2022.


He gets a lot of support within his community and as such he also helps within the community by ministering at funerals, weddings, parties, and other events. Mr Goma is also part of a forum that oversees the ministering of the word of God to the members of the members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) within the local community and surrounding areas.

 
He has emphasised the importance of keeping fit for elderly people, it is something he believes even the youth should engage in to keep themselves healthy and fit – “I encourage the elderly members of our communities to get used to the idea of exercising and make it a habit as it will keep their bodies fit and even suppress the burden brought by various chronic illnesses and for the youth, they can use this as a way of staying away from troublesome situations while also equipping their bodies to combat illnesses.” Said Mr Joseph Goma.

 
Mr Goma finished second in the 800m relay and is already looking forward to the next National Golden Games, where he hopes to go one place better than this year.

 

 

 

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