Fortune Makaringe. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ANESH DEBIKY
Fortune Makaringe. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ANESH DEBIKY

Fortune Makaringe says he is impressed at how Orlando Pirates have gone about using technology to keep players integrated in their home training regimes during the coronavirus lockdown‚ and to incorporate fans in the process.

Pirates have a small army of technical boffins responsible for social media‚ regularly putting out slickly produced video clips.

Defensive midfielder Makaringe‚ staying home in Alberton during the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, said Bucs have even made the process enjoyable for footballers used to being highly socialised.

“It really is a strange experience‚ but thanks to Orlando Pirates for being very informative in things they’ve been doing to make sure that we stay safe and we don’t lose ourselves during the process‚” Makaringe said.

“They’ve been coming up with strategies to make sure we take the fear away and we actually approach the pandemic in a whole different perspective. And be positive at all times.

“I’ve been checking the social media platforms. Orlando Pirates are always innovative. They come up with ways to use the platforms to integrate the fans‚ players‚ staff.

“I’m even enjoying the moment. It’s something different.

“The technical team has come up with strategies for us to stay fit‚ and we still see our family — the Orlando Pirates family.

“Everything we do‚ we do it together. A few moments ago I was seeing something about chilling with Bra Stan,” he said, referring to technical director Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala. “They’re giving content to the Mzansi viewers because they’ve also posted it on Pirates’ Instagram.

“Chilling in our homes, you have a lot of stuff taken away from you. I’m a Pirates fan‚ so I always check the things the club are doing. There’s an Adidas drive where players use their creative minds to entertain the people. There are challenges.

“Pirates were the first team in the PSL to come up with a logo to encourage social distancing‚ and they made it into a challenge‚ and all the other teams have followed that.”

Makaringe said the creative posts on social media by Bucs and their players have included fun things such as dancing, as well as training tips to share among themselves and the public.

“There’s one where ‘Figo’‚ Linda Mtambo‚ made a dance competition‚ challenging everyone to come up with a dance move. And he set the bar high‚” Makaringe laughed.

“Innocent Maela came up with training strategies. If you have a mat, or anything. Some don’t have cones but have soccer balls to use to replace gym and training sessions.

“Xola Mlambo had a clip kicking the ball against the wall‚ showing people how to collect the ball with his back foot.

“We use the Strava [GPS] running app. When we run we accumulate data and we have to send that so the technical team knows what we’ve done.

“In the Zoom app everyone can see who’s cheating.”