BIG O Sports has partnered up with Billson Plumbers and the Metrowind Wind Farm in Van Stadens, for their annual Billson Plumbers Turbine Trial Run. BIG O will be celebrating their 4th birthday this year in conjunction with the notorious Big 9 Turbine Trail Run. There are even greater surprises awaiting runners this year, not forgetting the biggest one of them all which is the reverse route. Here is just a brief history on how it all began!
This business started 30 years ago when Des Billson wanted to offer the city of Port Elizabeth a one-on-one customized plumbing experience. Des’ child Gregory Billson wanted to share his father’s skills and knowledge in the place where he grew up by utilizing various more youthful handymen to work side-by-side with him, in the hopes that they would keep his legacy of skills and knowledge alive. With Des’ remarkable plumbing skills and Gregory’s business acumen, this father and son duo have managed to build a brand that cannot be easily matched. They offer services such as: drain unblocking, geyser installation and replacement, sanitaryware installation and replacement, bathroom and kitchen plumbing renovations, leaking pipes and tap repairs. They are based in 169 Cape Rd, Mill Park, Port Elizabeth.
The Metrowind Van Stadens Wind Farm
This is a world-class 27MW wind energy facility. The Wind Farm is exclusively owned and operated by Rubicept (RF) (Pty) Ltd. It’s 100% South African owned, 35% black-owned and 5% is owned by the local community. The wind farm is situated within Nelson Mandela Bay just outside the coastal village of Blue Horizon Bay and owes its name to the area within which it is situated which boasts, amongst others, both the Van Stadens River and the Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve. Standing in dissimilarity to the natural beauty of the area is the impoverished communities near the wind farm. It is communities like this, that provide the opportunity for the wind farm to energize development and leave a legacy – a legacy of hope and self-belief. The wind farm is involved in various community development projects such as Food 4 Thought, Childhood Development and Enterprise Development, just to name a few.
The Food 4 Thought Initiative
This is a project that encourages and teaches young pupils from impoverished communities, how to grow and sustain their own homegrown fresh produce. The students and instructors at the Van Stadens Reserve School, Yellowwoods Farm School, and St Albans Primary School are effectively engaged with the support and enhancement of the Food gardens at their individual schools under the direction of Bountiful Grains. This initiative began in 2016, following the partnership of the Metrowind and Bountiful Grains Trust. The aim of this project is to: boost the nutritional inputs into the meals that schoolchildren receive; equip the children with the life-long skill of growing their own food; and support vulnerable members of the community (elderly, sick, disabled etc.).
How it all came together
Mr Big O, Christopher, met Gregory Billson at a coffee shop in 2016. They had a coffee together after Mr Billson recognised Chris as the event organiser of a trail run he had recently participated in. After a couple of hours chatting, Mr Billson became Big O Sports’ first title sponsor. Why the Metrowind Wind Farm? These partnerships combined earth, water, wind and electricity – The Billson Plumbers Turbine Trail Run 2018.
You don’t want to miss this one!