Feature: Basketball lightens up Chinese grandmas' retirement

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CHANGSHA, China, March 7 (Xinhua) -- What would you choose to do after retirement when reaching 60 years old? Taking care of grandchildren or just staying home? In Changsha City of central China's Hunan Province, a group of retirees chose to lighten up their life with basketball.

This is a women's basketball team called Feiyue, with an average age of 60 years old.

Team member Li Ying dribbled the ball quickly, broke through the defense, turned around and made a rear shot. The ball entered the basket accurately and hit the ground with a bang.

Ten years ago, out of their common love for basketball, they spontaneously set up this team. Team leader Xiao Jing said, "Life isn't all about basketball, but life cannot be without basketball."

Both Xiao Jing and Li Ying have had a long history with basketball of over 40 years. They studied basketball together in a sports school in their childhood. Although they did not engage in professional sports for long after graduation, they were known as "basketball pros" at their workplaces.

"Even if I haven't played for a period of time, when I pick up the ball, it is like it sticks to my hand. No one can steal my ball," Li said.

Many members of the team came from a sports background. Some practised track and field in sports schools and some practised swimming. Believe it or not, there is an Asian relay champion on the team.

At the same time, they have also became coaches to their teammates. A member of the team searched the team's information on the internet and came to sign up when she barely knew anything about basketball. The senior members of the team explained the rules, demonstrated the movements and made the newcomer a skilled player shortly after.

"Some people say, how can 60-year-old women play basketball? But look at us, we feel like we can run all over the court!" Xiao said.

The habit of playing basketball on a regular basis has brought a lot of positive influence for the grandmas. They are now able to move fast and react quickly with good physical strength. "For so many years, we have hardly ever been sick or hospitalized," said Xiao.

Apart from the physical influence, the most precious gain basketball brings to everyone is a young heart and mindset. "We train twice a week, and we don't feel tired even playing continuously for an hour. Whenever we have the chance, we will go compete all over China," Xiao said.

In the past ten years, all the members have sweated, run and enjoyed the joy of victory together. Their hearty laughter can be heard on and off the court.

"The passion and pure love for basketball is what brought us all together," Li said.

"Age is only a number for us, but not a limit," Xiao said that women their age can not only take on family roles, but also develop hobbies to enrich their lives through sports.

After the final whistle called it a day, members made an appointment with each other for the next training.

Every time Li Ying plays with her oldest teammate, who is 65 years old this year, she always thinks she wants to be like her. "As long as you can play, you should keep playing." Enditem

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