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Cheerleader Grandmas are Shocking the World

  • 04
  • 10
  • 2016

There are a lot of people who use aging as an excuse to avoid trying something new, whether that be learning a language, instrument, or sport.

While there are occasions when age can have an effect on a person’s ability to perform certain tasks, these Japanese ladies are proving that it’s never really too late. So stop making excuses for yourself.

In this picture taken on March 26, 2016, 84-year old Fumie Takino (C), leader of middle-aged and elderly women cheerleading group "Japan Pom Pom", and members perform during the national cheerleading and dance championship 2016 of the United Spirit Association (USA) Japan in Chiba, a suburb of Tokyo. Strutting her stuff in a gold-hemmed mini-skirt, white leather boots and shaking silver pom-poms, octogenarian Fumie Takino has discovered her elixir of youth -- cheerleading. Takino and her troupe of spirited grannies tweak the nose of old age, even if their rambunctious routine to the song "Dreamgirls" leaves them painfully out of breath and their pink tank tops dripping with sweat. / AFP PHOTO / TORU YAMANAKA / TO GO WITH AFP STORY: "JAPAN-ELDERLY-CHEERLEADING" FEATURE by Harumi OZAWA

The ladies in question are members of a cheerleader group called the “Pom Pom’s” and have a minimum membership age of 55. Some of the members, including the founder, are in their late 80’s.

The group of cheerleader grannies are led by Fumie Takino, an 84-year-old who was mesmerized by the sport of cheerleading when she first saw it in Japan. The flips, dancing, outfits, and music drew her to the activity, but she claims the friendships she made as a result of getting involved in cheerleading have kept her there for the past two decades.

Fumie Takino, a 78-year-old cheerleader, practices cheerleading with other members of a seniors' cheerleading group called "Japan Pom Pom" in Tokyo March 24, 2010. Japan may have little to celebrate with its economic recovery still fragile, so some cheerleaders are hitting the streets and stages to pep up the mood - including one pom-pom squad whose average age is 66. Picture taken March 24, 2010. To match Reuters Life! story JAPAN-CHEERLEADERS/ REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN - Tags: SOCIETY SPORT)
Japan is well known for having a large elderly population. The average life expectancy for women is 87 years, and it’s 80 years for men. So finding an active group of elderly women interested in joining the PomPom’s is no real challenge for Takino.

She insists that her interesting hobby has helped slow down the effects of aging for both her and her team members, making them feel mentally and physically more able.

The group has been practicing for over 20 years and consists of more than 20 elderly women who sing, dance, and perform along to the song ‘Dreamgirls.’  



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