Solar and football, a perfect match
YINGLI Solar gets asked many times why they sponsor so many football events (like US Soccer, FC Bayern Munich, and the FIFA World Cup)? What’s the connection between solar and football?
It isn’t always immediately obvious. While they may seem different on the surface, there are deep affinities between the world’s most popular game and the world’s most abundant energy resource.
One of the reasons why football is the most commonly played sport in the world is that it’s so simple: all you need is a (relatively) round ball. To enjoy the game, you don’t need expensive infrastructure or equipment, and you don’t have to be wealthy or own a big piece of land. Back-alley matches can be every bit as fun – and competitive – as the FIFA World Cup.
FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke attributes the popularity of football to how naturally people across the world are able to pick it up.
Humans can kick a ball as early as age two. It’s an incredibly natural movement that can be performed on any surface: from a field, to a floor, to the cracked pavement of an old country road. It’s the simplicity of football that brings people together everywhere, across nations, cultures, communities and families.
Origins of the beautiful game
Football is one of the first and oldest games in human civilisation. According to FIFA, the earliest record of a game similar to present-day football comes from China.
A Chinese military manual from the second and third centuries BC details a team exercise called cuju, where participants tried to kick a ball through a net and, more importantly, were not allowed to use their hands.
As the first Chinese company to sponsor the FIFA World Cup, Yingli Solar takes great pride in serving as a bridge between the international football community and the country whose ancestors were (at least partially) responsible for the great game’s development and proliferation.
Of course, China isn’t the only country with a claim to football’s heritage. In the fourth century, the Greek playwright, Antiphanes, referenced a ball game called Episkyros, believed to have more closely resembled rugby because players would throw and catch the ball. Countless other tribes, cultures, and communities have developed their own ball games similar to football, from mob football in Medieval Europe to the Aztec game ulama.
A global star
Like football, solar energy has also been around basically forever. The sun has been central to human life, culture, religion and philosophy since the dawn of civilisation, as a shared global resource that transcends man-made boundaries. It’s no wonder that the Summer Solstice is observed around the world, with religious and cultural events like St John’s Day, Tiregan and Kupala Night.
And like football, solar energy is remarkably simple and accessible. As far back as the seventh century BC, humans began using glass to magnify and concentrate the sun’s energy to light fires.
Even today, with advanced solar technology, it’s never been easier to harness our shared global resource and to turn your house into a power plant.
Just ask US Women’s National Soccer Team Legend Mia Hamm, who with her husband, champion baseball star Nomar Garciaparra, recently decided to go solar.
She explains: “As parents and athletes, Nomar and I are especially proud to promote solar energy because we believe a healthy environment is the most important legacy we can leave to future generations. Our hope is that sharing insights from our own incredibly easy and rewarding solar installation will encourage families in the football community and beyond to go solar, too.”
Yingli Solar’s goal is to make solar energy affordable for all, and doing that requires transcending traditional political, social, cultural and economic boundaries.
It also requires the support of leaders like Mia Hamm who are taking a stand for our planet and our shared future.
If, as an industry, we continue to accelerate, solar technology will soon be every bit as prevalent as back-yard football matches.
Hopefully, our participation in events like the FIFA World Cup will help raise awareness for solar technology and the global imperative to tackle climate change. And hopefully, we will never forget that we’re all in this together: all under one sun.
For details, log on to www. yinglisolar.com, http://facebook. com/yinglisolar, Twitter and IG: @ yinglisolar.