19 Oct 20 News Communities South Africa

Youth footballers team with wind farm to tackle Covid hardship

Olympiakos squad is working with local health clinics to distribute hot meals, in a programme funded by Noupoort Wind Farm

Young football players are pitching in to help their community get through Covid hardships in South Africa, after teaming with their local wind farm.

Youth members of Olympiakos Football Club in Noupoort, in the Northern Cape, have been providing daily cooked meals to 140 local residents – 72 of them children – who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

Local club has won new fans in high places for its community work

The feeding project was launched in collaboration with health workers at Nonqo Simon Zono Clinic in Kwazamuxolo and Eurekaville Clinic, who identified those most in need.

Covid sufferers, patients with chronic conditions such as TB and child-headed households are provided with daily meals over a two-week period during October. 

Emlyn Lukas, owner and founder of Olympiakos FC, explained how the community soup kitchen initiative took off after he approached Mainstream’s Socio-economic Development team at the nearby Noupoort Wind Farm

He said: “On the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the livelihood of the most vulnerable, we applied to Noupoort Wind Farm for funding.

“This food programme has enabled us to play our part as a local club, and more importantly, as the youth of Noupoort, in making a lasting contribution in the fight against Covid-19, by providing food to the most vulnerable, even if it is just for 14 days.”

While most of the programme’s beneficiaries collect their meals at the clinics, Olympiakos players are making home deliveries to those who are quarantining or are too ill to leave their house.

Their dedication to community outreach has caught the attention of the sporting chiefs at the South Africa Football Association.

David Bantu, President of SAFA in the Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality, said: “While the teams could not play during COVID, the club found a way of supporting the community, which we highly commend.

“Emlyn and his team are not only dedicated to the sport, they are dedicated to improving the community and making a difference.”  

  • Noupoort Wind Farm was developed, constructed and is now operated by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power. The 80 MW plant began generating around 304,800MWh of clean energy a year for the Eskom grid in July 2016, enough to power up to 69,000 South African homes.