WATCH | Sundowns and Galaxy players take Covid-19 vaccine jabs
Mamelodi Sundowns chairperson Tlhopie Motsepe led the football fraternity vaccination drive on Monday as the Premiership champions played their part in spreading the message to get as many people inoculated as possible.
Motsepe addressed the players and guests, including dignitaries from the Gauteng department of sports and their health counterparts before Sundowns players Themba Zwane, George Maluleka and Rivaldo Coetzee were photographed taking their jabs at the club’s Chloorkop headquarters in Midrand.
Sundowns players George Maluleka and Rivaldo Coetzee taking their jabs at Chloorkop today as the club plays its part in encouraging millions of football followers to get vaccinated. Gauteng health and sports department officials and Premiers office in attendance. pic.twitter.com/oZFTsNX9ET— Tiisetso Malepa (@TiisetsoMalepa) September 13, 2021
“Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time. We look forward to seeing you at the vaccination stations,” said Motsepe.
“Most important word of the day to take away is let’s vaccinate and make sure that we all return to play.”
Chloorkop was abuzz today with a vaccination drive to encourage millions of football followers to get vaccinated. @Masandawana chairperson Tlhopie Motsepe addressed the players and everyone present. Themba Zwane, George Malulela and Rivaldo Coetzee were seen taking their jabs. pic.twitter.com/Jrfrv2Dxd0— Tiisetso Malepa (@TiisetsoMalepa) September 13, 2021
Sundowns were joined on the charm offensive by Gauteng-based Mpumalanga Premiership club TS Galaxy, who inoculated their playing squad in a separate vaccination drive in Sandton.
Newly appointed Galaxy captain Mxolisi Macuphu and assistant coach and former Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett led the club’s drive.
“We felt the need as a club to put the message out there that it is important to vaccinate. Personally I have had [my jab] about a month or so ago,” said Bartlett.
“For me it is to influence my players and the technical team to go and have it. Sometimes as sports personalities we have to use our voices and this the best way to do it.
“Sometimes you don’t have to say much. I think the image alone of the players getting vaccinated today will show the confidence and trust that is needed.
“Too many fake messages are going around about the vaccine and I think to get things back to normal we need to do this. It is important for us as a club to get the fans back into the stadiums.
“We trust the vaccine and that is why we are doing it today.”
Macuphu said the players want to see fans returning to stadium but that can only happen if more people are vaccinated.
“We really want to get back to normal and if this is the first step of getting back to normal then why not. So I have taken this huge step of getting vaccinated.
“As players we would like to get them back. We miss the atmosphere and we want it back.
“So I urge them to go out there and get vaccinated in every town and province. We can only start there. We miss the fans so much.”
The vaccination drive is part of football’s effort to help spread the message to its millions of supporters.
Last week sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa launched “Return to Play — it’s in your hands” – a government campaign that seeks to spread the message that the more people are vaccinated, the better the chances of fans returning to the match venues.