Aged people doing sports are seen everywhere in Pyongyang.
Kim Yong Gil, staffer of the Central Committee of the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, said that most of the visitors to sports parks were young men and women until a few years ago, but more and more old people come there today.
In the past, children generally prepared fishing rods or other simple amusement equipment for their parents when they were old enough to retire from their work. But at present they hope that their old parents spend their remaining years happily as they present them with badminton rackets and small amplifiers so that they can play badminton and dance at parks.
The Central Committee of the Korean Federation for the Care of the Aged hosts the badminton tournament of elderly citizens in Pyongyang every year to mark the International Day of Older Persons with an aim to encourage the older persons’ zeal for sports, and the popularity of the tournament is very great.
Last year, men aged between 60 and over 70 and women aged from 55 to over 67 were allowed to take part in the tournament. Among them, Ri Sang Hun, 79-year-old man living in Kyongnim-dong of Central District, and Song Jong Ok, 71-year-old woman from Puksae-dong, Moranbong District, were the oldest among others.
There were some couple players among the aged contestants. Yun Jong Su and his wife Pak Sun Hui won the men’s and women’s singles respectively, while Im Se Hyok and his wife Hwang Song Hui entered the rankings in the mixed doubles to draw the attention of spectators.
Ra Min who had competed in last year’s tournament together with his father Ra Hyon said that it became a routine for his father to run on Moran Hill and play badminton in a sports park every early morning and evening, adding sports give his father youthfulness.