A decision on the potential future of the 2020 GAA championships will be discussed this weekend with the extension of the Covid-19 restrictions until the first week of May meaning a much changed campaign is in store.
The uncertainty surrounding how 2020 will play out is something that Clare senior hurling star David Reidy feels some players are struggling to plan around.
“We are doing our work at the moment and trying to get the touch sharp, while having in the back of our minds that we are still training for a championship. The biggest thing at the moment is the uncertainty around it and it put a bit of fear in us to an extent because we are wondering what exactly are we are training for. No one knows if there will be a championship, or if there is one, when will it be? We just have to prepare as if there will be one because it could be too late for us to be ready if we don’t” said the Eire Óg clubman.
Reidy’s return to the panel after a year out in 2019 saw him in fine form in the early part of the season before games were called off amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The LIT Marketing Officer says while it was a shock to everyone as to how quickly the pandemic unfolded, it is important to put sport in the context of the wider global health crisis.
“The times we are in now are a lot more important than sport. It is not just us going through this pandemic, it is the whole world and sport is only a small part in that. We have to be looking at the health and safety of people more so than going out on a Saturday or Sunday to play whatever sport it might be. That being said, sport is still a great release and the fact that we can do something on an individual level and getting mental health right is still really important in these times. It has really shown us that we have to appreciate the time we have and the opportunities we have when things hopefully go back to normal. We have to grasp everything and live in the moment. You can’t be thinking too far ahead, it is all about what is happening now and be appreciative of the sport that we can play and the opportunities it gives us. It was strange because we didn’t expect it to get totally shut down. We were told we had to stop any form of collective training and move to individual programmes. That puts the onus on the player then to get the work done, but it is limited enough in terms of what you can do on your own at the same time. You can do your runs and that kind of thing, but even a few weeks ago we could get to the ball wall but all that is nearly gone out the window now at this stage too. I have my sitting room turned into a little gym with a few weights so I am lucky enough in that I can still keep active while we train away by ourselves. At the moment, it is hard to know when we will be able to get back to some form of collective training and when we do go back, it is important that we appreciate the chance to do that” he observed.
A number of the Clare squad have taken to their social media channels to urge the public to adhere to the current guidelines in the fight to flatten the Covid-19 curve, while others have taken up various skills challenges online. Reidy feels everyone should make the effort to stay engaged and active during this period for their own wellbeing.
“Mental and psychical health is extremely important and there should be no excuses to get your walk in every day if you can. If you are more athletic, get your run in and do your weights exercises. There are so many videos online now giving different classes free of charge that you can do in your room and it is important to take that time out of the day to do that. If you are lucky enough to be still working, take your lunchtime and go get some fresh air before getting back to the job. If you are not working at the moment, keeping the routine is still really important I think. You need to make sure that you are still keeping the mind and the body active. I am lucky enough to be still working from home and we are focused on the moment at letting students know what is happening on a daily basis. It is important to keep them up to date in relation to what is happening with exams and just the general queries that they might have. It is all being done from home so I am conscious of still keeping a working routine in terms of starting on time, taking a lunch, and finishing up on time too. When you are working from home, it can be easy to just leave the laptop out and keep going later in the evening, but that would not be a great habit to get into either” he said.
Reidy is currently living and working in Limerick but admits his trips home are for all the right reasons.
“When Covid-19 became an issue first, my mother did not allow me to come home. I have been isolating really since then but I have been going back to get shopping and things like that for her. She has a few underlying health issues so she needs someone to do that for her. In the first few weeks of it, I was not allowed back to Ennis at all so that would make you appreciate that time we can spend with her too. She is fine at the moment thankfully but it is nice to be able to do the shopping for her and know that she is looked after. That is why we have to follow the advice we are getting at the moment from the experts. The weather is nice at the moment and we have seen all the instances of people travelling to holiday homes but I really hope that stops and people take the advice from the HSE because the longer people ignore it, the more risk it will bring and a further spread of Covid-19 is something that no one wants to have to deal with. We need to do everything we can to try and keep it to a minimum” he noted.