In pictures: South Africa's Boxing Grannies pack quite a punch

A group of elderly South African women, many of them in their 70s, have taken up boxing. Around a dozen of the Boxing Gogos (Boxing Grannies) don their gloves for twice-weekly training sessions at the A Team Gym in Cosmo City in Johannesburg.

77-year-old Gladys Ngwenya (L) winces as she chews on a piece of ginger before a Boxing Gogos (Grannies) sessionGulshan Khan/AFP

Gym owner and boxing coach Claude Maphosa puts the ladies through their paces as they pummel the punch bag and spar with him and his staff. He also gives them nutritional information to help them live more healthily. It seems to be working – all of the Gogos say they feel much happier and healthier since they started boxing. Some claim they no longer suffer from the ailments they had before, such as asthma and high blood pressure.

Constance Ngubane told South Africa's Times newspaper: "I love boxing because it keeps me healthy and I get fit and I feel young." Constance is 79 years old.

Constance Ngubane, 79, and Gladys Ngwenya (77) use a punch bagGulshan Khan/AFP
Gladys Ngwenya and Constance Ngubane work out during a Boxing Gogos training sessionGulshan Khan/AFP
The Boxing Gogos stretch as they take part in a training sessionGulshan Khan/AFP
79-year-old Constance Ngubane prepares to take part in a Boxing Gogos training sessionGulshan Khan/AFP
The Boxing Grannies pray together before getting into the ringGulshan Khan/AFP
Gladys Ngwenya, 77, prepares to enter the ringGulshan Khan/AFP
Constance Ngubane, 79, spars in the ringGulshan Khan/AFP
Gulshan Khan/AFP
74-year-old Zodwa Thwala spars with trainer Nqobile KhumaloGulshan Khan/AFP
Coach Claude Maphosa poses for a portrait ring-side after a Boxing Gogos training sessionGulshan Khan/AFP

Maphosa says he hadn't specifically planned to coach old ladies, but when he opened the gym, they were the first and most enthusiastic customers. He says the experience has made him realise life has no age limit. "The age limit is when you tell yourself 'I am tired'."

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