Meet Japan’s senior cheer squad, Japan Pom Pom. A little different from other cheerleading squads, all members are aged 60 to 89. Originally started with five people 26 years ago, the elderly – but no less energetic or enthusiastic – troupe has just resumed practicing after a year off due to the pandemic.
Pompoms rustle and silver shoes flash as Japan Pom Pom moves to a lively cheer dance beat. With members aged 60 to 89, this is no ordinary squad. But don’t you dare call them grannies. “Right at the start, we weren’t very happy about being called ‘granny cheer dancers’, ” says Fumie Takino, the bubbly, energetic 89-year-old woman who founded Japan Pom Pom (average age, 72 years) more than 25 years ago.
At weekly practice sessions, resumed after a year off, mask-wearing members check temperatures before stretching then move into their dance routines –socially distanced, of course.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Visit The ‘Seaside Circus'
There’s a new art activation on the prom …
SA's Food Capture?
While the debate rages on over glyphosate-based herbicides, farmers are spraying the chemical all over the world
Design That Uplifts, Delight Intrigues
A collaboration with Southern Guild at the Silo District in Cape Town showcases designer Rich Mnisi’s first solo exhibition, titled Nyoka, on show from 2 October 2021 through to 4 February 2022. Designed to reach out and inspire.
Why Kaaps Language Dictionary Matters!
The first-ever dictionary of South Africa’s Kaaps language has launched. Why it matters …
Hungry, And Tired
This charity has been feeding Cape Town’s hungry for more than 80 years. Never have so many people queued for food.
Life's Ups And Downs
Feeling burnt out? Clinical Psychologist and Business Director at The Human Edge, Helene Vermaak, gives some grounded self-care advice for anyone feeling overstressed or depleted.
Get out and about under the spring sun, or enjoy entertainment online from the comfort of your couch …
SPACE TO REFLECT
When former Big Issue editor, Alicia English, lost her husband to Covid-19 earlier this year, she and her son discovered a novel way to process overwhelming, difficult feelings.
Whether you tap, turn pages or listen to audiobooks, an inspirational read can help you relax and see the world differently.
“Winters are the worst nightmare for us,” says a homeless man in Springs. Temperatures dropped to minus 7º C recently.