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An age category is not a barricade but a challenge

24 Sep 2010

EdiliaEdilia Camargo, 72

It was a very little village not far from the Panama City, capital of the so called  "Banana Republic" with the same name, located in between Costa Rica and Colombia. 

My grandfather's wife raised me

My grandfather's wife raised myself and my two brothers. She was in her sixties when I was growing up and I can tell you that it was not so funny at all. The age of knowledge arrived... and I learnt to read and write, in Spanish, at 3 years old. Since then, these two activities took my brother and sister's place little by little...they even took the place of my grandma. I forgot to say that she was illiterate.

I was the breadwinner

I was a breadwinner not by choice but because I was "forced" to carry the responsibility of raising three boys. When I was close to my forties, I decided not to just wait to see my "retirement age" but to move to France as one of the youngest International Civil Servants.

ADA campaigners in Latin AmericaHere, I joined a running team to minimise the impact the crazy work of bureaucrats had on my body.

After an entire life of doing the mum's job of providing for my children intellectually and materially, I will never envisage my life without my boys. But the "age" also arrived for them... and one after the other they embraced their own path.

I completed my first marathon!

The net was empty at the end of the 1990s, and so this was the time to run! My first marathon opened a new space and "duty" in my life. 

I connected with the Older Latin America and Caribbean Network in 2003 after winning a bronze medal running my fifteen marathon in Carolina at the World Master Athletics Championship.

Age Demands Action!

Campaigners in ColombiaThis year, our demand is adressed to our National Sports Institute, calling for action from our Minister of Education as President of the Governing body of the Institute. 

We have made two proposals written as an open letter which will be handed over by a delegation of 5 representative leaders - pensioners, athletes, coaches and myself.

Our demands are:

1. A more inclusive policy in sports so as to permit the participation of athletes aged 60 and over as part of our delegations competing at national, regional and international levels.  

2. To call for universities and physical educational  departments to promote sport not as a competitive action, but as part of an interdisciplinary strategy which can link people together and help support the reconstruction process after natural disasters and emergencies.  

For us, running is not synonymous with being old...  it's a full time job ... within an age category which is not a "barricade" but a challenge.

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Author profile

Edilia Camargo
Country: Panama
Job title: ADA spokesperson

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.