Team of grandmas prove you’re never too old to get physical 1



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If you’re looking for some inspiration, these grandmas are sure to give you some.

Dubbed the Japanese granny ‘Dreamgirls’ by the ABC, this group of over-55 cheerleaders are taking the world by storm.

You might be wondering, who are these women?

Well, the Japan Pom Pom squad was founded by 84-year-old Fumie Takino some 20 years ago after she was bitten by the cheerleading bug.

Each of the ladies in the group is over the age of 55, with the average age on the team at 70.

“Once you hit the age of 70, you have to admit it’s downhill,” Fumie said.

“We’ve come a long way in 20 years!”

In Japan, the average lifespan is long – 87 years for women and 80 for men.

But for a lot of older people in Japan the final 10 years of their life isn’t regarded as “healthy”.

Despite her age, Fumie insists that cheerleading has helped offset the effects of aging.

So how did she come to start cheerleading?

According to Fumie, it all began when her marriage began to falter.

“My marriage was not going well. I put up with it until my children got married.”

As a teen Fumie said she didn’t have the confidence to pick up her pompoms and cheerlead, but she became emboldened as she hit middle age.

As cheerleading became popular in Japan, Fumie described how it blew her mind and she immediately got five friends together to start the cheerleading troupe.

The team competed at the United Spirit Association nationals in Japan earlier this year to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Source: AFP/YouTube

So what does it take to be a cheerleader?

Well, the grannies gather weekly for training – they don’t do too many acrobatic stunts but they take training seriously and analyse videos of themselves to become better.

Although some members drop out for health or personal reasons, new recruits are reportedly not hard to find.

For cheerleader Shinko Kusaijama, aged in her late sixties, it’s all about the friendships forged.

“When you get old, you keep losing friends,” she said.

“But you always have mates here to share a good time.”

Awww how great are these ladies?! Do you find them inspiring?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

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