Karyn Bailey (Surrey Storm) continues our four-month series of 12 months of coronavirus education and training – Lindsay Keable (London Pulse), Josie Huckle (Wasps), and Laura Malcolm (Manchester Thunder) also share their week-long journey
Three weeks after the opening of schools for all children, sports teams are now also welcoming everyone who has returned.
Last Wednesday, the government confirmed that the country could continue to return to normalcy, with England Netball following immediate confirmation that grassroots netball has a green light to start welcoming players back.
It has been 13 months of disruption, innovation, and avoidance of boredom for all walks of life, with very little rest as lock limits were temporarily reduced last year.
Now, as outdoor sports venues open and organized to re-launch sports, football, netball, rugby, and hockey teams are opening their doors again, we have spoken to four soccer players who have made the final year of athlete uncertainty by promoting the next generation in their sport roles as teachers and coaches.
Australian Storm shooter Karyn Bailey works as a temporary trainer and leads the Surrey line
My visa limits me to work 20 hours a week, so I work at two schools for training. In both schools I do about 10 hours each week, developing their little girls (hopefully) one day and giving them that ability to enjoy their game.
Karyn Bailey said I had made the decision to stay in the midst of the epidemic and certainly highlighted the challenges at the time, both emotionally and financially. It was also hard to stay here, knowing full well that I did not know when I could return home at this time.
When I go home it means that the two-week separation you had to pay for would be closed and I would have to re-apply to the North Area, which means another split I had to pay again. So, for me, going home was a four-day solitary confinement and had a huge financial impact and time, the feeling of doing so.
Australia is doing well; I think my family knows very little about the picture he made for us. In Australia, they face up to 20 cases a day and say they are in trouble… I tell them they are in a good mood and even though it may seem overwhelming if you don’t do that, this is the result. We really lived with it 12 months ago. I am happy for them to be able to control the Australian epidemic. They probably live a normal life there.
Adaptability and creativity:-
I think it was one of the things you had to adapt to, especially in the coaching role. I know about those 12 months ago with the school that ran ZOOM classes and we were trying to keep the girls motivated and outdoors doing exercise during their studies.
It is important to do so because at the end of the day they spend a lot of time doing homework, which can be dangerous for them. They need that social element.
As a coach, it was hard, and you had to be creative to try to keep the girls motivated and to keep wanting to do it.
While the government allowed two-person guides to participate in outdoor exercise we started doing a lot of 1-2-1 times for the girls to be outside, to catch a ball, and to walk slowly.
Sports are a great way to teach children basic skills such as teamwork, coaching, time management, there are all these skills that come from the game that I think are not well developed in the whole system of things.
He looks at the social side and the emotional side and plays a critical role in it, but for me, that is the social aspect of children. If they have a hard day at school then they will be able to go inside their club, be around their friends, relax and have fun. I think that is a critical issue.
Imprisonment for the past 12 months I think has highlighted how important work is; whether that’s sports or exercise, it’s an important part of [life].
Motivation, ownership, and being a top athlete:-
It has been extremely difficult but one of the lucky things is that I am in a sporting environment that has given me support at the time. Many girls have lost that and thought, what can I do now?
Karyn Bailey said She looks at the social and emotional side and that plays a critical role in it, but for me, that is the social aspect of children. If they have a hard day at school then they will be able to go inside their club, be around their friends, relax and have fun. I think that is a critical issue.
There have been times when I have thought, what do I do? Should I have gone home, should I have stayed? At last, the storm was over. Provide counseling services if I need it or a psychologist if I need it, all those amazing resources at the time. I think I’m one of the lucky ones.
Being a top athlete, when your time is suddenly taken when you are no longer allowed to train and you have to motivate yourself at home and be creative as to what you can do, leaves a deep hole in your life.
One minute you find out who you are, you are a great player and a football player, and then all of a sudden that is removed with no idea when that will start. So, in order to have that ability to play and we are lucky to be in that position again.