MARIA BAYI: FROM FARM SCHOOLS TO NATIONAL ATHLETIC REPRESENTATIVE

0
36

By Lerato Khateane

  • Maria Bayi, hailing from Petrusburg, Free State province, joined the Bolokanang Luncheon Club in 2023, where she discovered her passion for brisk walking among other sports codes. Selected as the district and provincial participant for the 2024 National Active Aging games during the 2023 Xhariep districts competition, Maria embraced her first experience at the national level with determination.
  • Starting her day with daily training, Maria’s brisk walking routine around the township of Petrusburg prepared her for the rigorous competition. Her 45 years of working at various farm schools, including Georgina, Tjhebelopele, and Wolfskop Farm School as a school Principal, involved walking long distances when transport was unavailable, further honing her walking skills.
  • Despite being a first-timer at the National level and finishing in the 6th position, Maria considers herself a winner. Her transition from a teaching career to cattle and goat farming, coupled with selling goods, reflects her dynamic approach to life in retirement. Encouraging other senior citizens to stay active, Maria highlights the invaluable role of the Department of Social Development in promoting fitness and health among older persons.

Mme Maria Bayi from Petrusburg, Free State province,  joined Bolokanang Luncheon Club in 2023, and amongst the sports codes they practiced, she joined the Brisk walk. During the 2023 Xhariep districts competition in Edinburg, she was selected to be the district and provincial participant for the 2024 National Active Aging games, and this is her first experience participating at the National level.

Mme Bayi says back at home, her day starts with training daily by walking at a faster rate of about 100m – 200m around the township of Petrusburg.

Little did she know that walking daily and working at different farm schools for 45 years would turn into the opportunity to become a Free State provincial representative at the National level. As a former Teacher at Farm schools like Georgina, Tjhebelopele and  Wolfskop Farm School as a school Principal, when there was no transport to drive them back to the township and having to walk 10km from their place of work on Fridays prepared her for Brisk walk. She says that as a first-timer at the National level and coming in the 6th position, she regards herself as a winner, and she is more encouraged because she was at least not the last in the row.

In 2003, when she retired from her teaching career, she started exploring her other passion of cattle and goat farming, as well as selling soft goods she bought in Johannesburg and Cape Town before she joined the Luncheon Club. She encouraged other senior citizens not to stay at home doing nothing because the Department of Social Development is doing a wonderful job of keeping older persons fit and healthy to enjoy their golden years. 

Leave a reply