Age is no barrier for this group

Age is no barrier for this group

Once a week, members of the Ageless Theatre gather at Chuan Park, near Lorong Chuan, to work on their acting and dancing skills.

Now if you were under the impression that this is just another ordinary theatre group, think again, because the youngest member is 47-years-old. The oldest is 77.

But age does not affect their ability to dance, act, or move around.

The non-profit theatre interest group was founded in May 2011 and has since grown to include 28 members.

Come December, they will be putting up a production called The Big 'D' at Tampines Primary School.

While some find the idea of older people participating in such activities refreshing, others have doubts and wonder if it is too taxing.

But chairman of Ageless Theatre Debbie Lee Lodge is quick to allay such concerns.

Said the 57-year-old: "Older people being advised to rest more and participate in less strenuous activities is a prescription that is dependent on the physical health of the person.

"If one is healthy, I think they should be encouraged to go out and try something new and enjoyable."


There are gains that come with such activities.

"Engaging in acting or dancing helps to keep the elderly alert mentally and physically, allowing them to learn new skills and find fulfilment," she explained.

She added that such activities help keep older folk connected to the world through appreciation of the performing arts. They also build trust and commitment.

"Most importantly, it enables them to have a sense of belonging to the community," she said.

Mrs Lee said she feels 10 years younger than her actual age, especially during practice sessions.

Keeping to a set of principles helps her to feel young and enthusiastic.

"Anger makes you age, and to be happy and youthful, I live by my 'ABC' principle.

"A represents Acting righteously, B is to Be thankful, and C is for Ceasing to hold grudges. You cannot let bitterness take over your life. Being youthful is to do and enjoy what you can," she said.

Her thoughts on ageing?

"Growing older is not a choice, but I feel blessed that I'm still around. I have dreams to live for, goals to work towards, people to care about and I'm looking forward to having grandchildren."

Ageing better with bat in hand

He used to suffer from backaches and joint pain.

For many, the logical course of action would have been to stay home and avoid strenuous physical activity, especially at the age of 50.

Not Mr Anthony Tan. The retiree now spends about three hours almost every day at the Happy Table Tennis Club at Horne Road, in Jalan Besar.

His pains gradually subsided, and he is now able to move freely, without any difficulties.

Founded 10 years ago, the Happy Table Tennis Club is a place for table tennis players of all ages.

It was founded by former businessman Loh Men Kuan, 65. It has since attracted a loyal following of about 20 regulars, aged 28 to 78.


As one of the most skilled players at the club, Mr Loh acts as a coach to other members.

A table tennis player since his primary school days, he also underwent a three-year training stint in China, while he expanded his business there.

The club also offers lessons for younger learners, with the fees varying based on the learner's family background.

Mr Tan said moving around and playing sports are ways one can feel more youthful.

"When I pick up the bat to play, I feel like a youthful 30-year-old all over again," said the 50-year-old

"People should not subscribe to the mentality that old people should not move around," he said.

"Exercise makes the heart pump and keeps the mind alert. It is definitely better than sitting in front of the television the entire day," he remarked.

70% of S’poreans over 50 feel younger

A study of 150 Singaporeans aged 50 and above revealed that 70 per cent of them feel younger than their real age.

On average, they felt five years younger.

The recent study was conducted by healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It revealed that only a third of Singaporeans are really concerned about growing older.

And even at their ages, 78 per cent felt that their lives were still ahead of them.

Respondents reflected that growing older is only giving them the opportunity to realise and spend more time on their passions and travels with family.

Mr Gijs Sanders, the general manager of GSK's consumer healthcare business here, said that the findings challenge traditional perceptions of ageing.

Interested in finding out your inner age (the age people perceive themselves to be)? Visit

This article was first published on October 7, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.