from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – CAPE Town City (CTC) FC is complementing government efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in impoverished areas as the city emerges the epicentre of the epidemic ravaging the country.
The Absa Premiership campaigners believe it is the duty of all stakeholders to support the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa in what has so far, by global standards, been a commendable effort to halt the virus.
“It’s of absolute importance for every sector to contribute in whichever way they can,” said Julian Bailey, the Cape Town City FC media’s manager.
“Our government has done a great job but they need all of our assistance to make this work. Hopefully, we can all pull together and do our bit, especially in Cape Town now.”
Cape Town is one of the hotspots of the COVID-19, which by Tuesday had overall infected 11 300 South Africans. Deaths have increased to 206.
The Western Cape, of which Cape Town is the capital, has the most infections, constituting 69 percent of the total cases for South Africa.
“The numbers have increased so much here. It’s actually scary to see,” Bailey lamented.
To help arrest the spread, Cape Town City FC recently donated 1 000 masks to mostly underprivileged areas in Cape Town.
The club funded the project, which was rolled out in conjunction with non-profit organisation, LulwaziLwethu, and Digital Express, which produced the masks.
These were distributed in clinics around Gugulethu, Nyanga and Houtbay.
Players and coaching staff were on hand to help spread the message against COVID-19.
“From the feedback we received, the masks were very well-received by these communities,” Bailey said.
“We tried to show that we care and want to do our part to help keep everyone safe. There were so many people who didn’t have access to any masks, which is a requirement to enter hospitals, clinics and grocery stores.”
The Citizens have also done an extensive list of challenges and motivational videos with its players to help keep people positive and to encourage everyone to stay home and follow the necessary hygiene protocols as spelled out in the lockdown imposed by government since late March.
“We hope that what we’ve done has helped and that these numbers will stabilise soon and eventually start going down,” the hopeful Bailey said.
The Blue and Gold Army were placed 10th on the log before matches came to a halt because of the COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown.
“It’s been incredibly difficult during the lockdown,” Bailey conceded.
“As a football club, our main job is to train and play matches. We’ve been unable to do this and there’s a certain psychological factor to it for our players, staff and fans.”
The spokesman said the technical staff led by coach Jan Olde Riekerink had created training programmes unique to the players and their physical needs.
Running has been incorporated into the scheme as South Africa went to Level of the lockdown on May 1.
There is also a technology application the team is using to track the daily training of each individual player.
According to Bailey, fitness training has continuously monitored the statistics closely and adjusted the programme on a regular basis.
“The response has been great from the players and the technical team is happy with how the boys have handled the situation,” he concluded.
– CAJ News