Coronavirus is having a huge impact on sporting events in the Manchester region

  • Many sports have been neglected during lockdown with no firm return date in sight
  • Children in particular are missing out on their favourite sports
  • Two professionals working within the sports industry share their views and what to expect on return

The ongoing lockdown has affected many businesses and working people, but especially those involved in sports activities and societies. 

Manchester is known for its major football clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City, and even though the professional teams have returned to the premier league their academies have yet to return. 

Charlie Grey, 14, plays for the under-16s academy team representing Manchester City. He says City has given each player a rota to indicate what exercises are essential for each individual to keep fit.

He said: “I have had many different alternatives while I have been off, including football at a local park, creating a gym in my garden and running that tends to alternate.”

With the government beginning to slowly lift the lockdown, Charlie says City are gradually bringing players back into the routine of playing football.

 “I’m able to have 1-1 sessions to work on my technical ability,” he said. 

This progression helps youth players stay fit and keep them connected with their coaches. 

Charlie said: “The club have been updating us regularly on a return date and we get weekly calls from a member of Manchester City to check in on our wellbeing. The date has changed several times, but my age group are aiming to be back on 3August.” 

Another dedicated worker involved in the sports industry is Emily Walton, 20, who is employed by Salford Council to teach children a variety of sports on a weekly basis at Worsley leisure centre.

Emily has found it difficult not being able to teach young people kids sport lessons they are used to.

“It’s difficult not being able to see the kids progress because that’s the most enjoyable part about the job,” she said.

Youth sports worker Emily Walton 

Because children will not be able to enjoy their weekly sports sessions during lockdown, Emily has created a group chat to motivate the children while they are at home.

She said: “I’ve been using a big group chat for the kids so they can do fun exercises while having to stay at home, so I’ve been posting new videos regularly.”

A number of measures will be put in place when the sports club does return, both for and the children.

“The kids will have to be checked on arrival for a fever as it’s one of the key signs of the virus, and group activities will be reduced to six at a time,” Emily said

She added that “contact coaching will not happen at all until the government say it’s safe to do so.”