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SNTV shines a spotlight on #AthleteLockdownStories

sntv is shining a spotlight on #AthleteLockdownStories by talking to a number of sports professionals and discovering how they are managing their time in lockdown.

With the world of sport currently on pause, many athletes are having to find new ways to remain fit and healthy at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. Measures taken by governments across the globe have caused unprecedented disruption and uncertainty for all industries and sport is no different. Professional athletes as well as passionate amateurs now face additional challenges when trying to get ‘match fit’. Routine training is no longer routine.

Athletes worldwide have taken these challenges in their stride

Although some sports across the globe begin to make their return whilst adhering to the current restrictions of lockdown, many athletes will face another year without being able to compete in their sports with numerous events postponed until 2021. Athletes worldwide have taken these challenges in their stride and adopted new ways of training with homemade gyms, marathons around the bedroom, renovating garages and more. 

So here at sntv, we’re shining a spotlight on #AthleteLockdownStories by talking to a number of sports professionals and discovering how they are managing their time in lockdown. Here are a few of the athletes sharing their experiences, including Shauna Coxsey, Beth Mead, Nikita Parris, Ibrahim Hamato and Geraint Thomas, to name a few. 

British sport climber Shauna Coxsey, 27, is one of many having to think creatively to transform her fitness regime. sntv recently caught up with Coxsey to talk Olympic aspirations and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. With walls and gyms currently closed in the UK, she has been making use of her climbing boards within her home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. She admitted the situation was not ideal, but she was extremely grateful to be able to train in some form. Even without a solid training plan or support from her physio, she is treating the current lockdown as just another wall to climb!

One athlete who has seen her Olympic dreams re-kindled is 24-year-old Arsenal and England forward Beth Mead. She sustained a serious knee injury at the start of 2020, putting her hopes of the Olympic Games at risk. With COVID-19 causing postponement and cancellation of major sporting events around the world, there is less pressure to rush her recovery.Using fitness circuits at home with Arsenal teammate Daniëlle van de Donk as part of her rehabilitation, she is hoping not to miss a kick and join her teammates on the pitch as soon as soccer returns. 

England and Olympique Lyonnais striker Nikita Parris has been in isolation and keeping fit in her home city of Liverpool for the past two months. In that time, she has been part of VISA’s train at home campaign, sharing her personal home workouts that will keep her at the top of her game, with the hope of encouraging young people to remain active, healthy, and safe indoors. On March 13, all professional soccer in France was put on pause, including the Division 1 Feminine, after 16 matches with Lyon top of the table and yet to lose. After reports in France suggested Lyon is to be awarded the league title, Parris expressed how it will be a great trophy to attain, regardless of the circumstances. 

Another athlete who has faced the challenging task of maintaining his fitness levels is Welsh professional racing cyclist Geraint Thomas. The lockdown restrictions have proved tough for Thomas as he has had to focus on maintaining general fitness, rather than improving it and testing his limits. Despite the challenge, Thomas used his time to compete a 36-hour static cycle on his turbo trainer at home, with the aim of raising £100,000 for the NHS to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. It is safe to say that he exceeded his expectations and raised a whopping £350,000 for the NHS.

Egyptian table tennis Paralympian Ibrahim Hamato was hoping to participate in the 2020 Paralympic Games but will now need to wait another year to compete after the postponement. Hamato lost both his arms due to a train accident when he was 10 but he has not let that hold him back. Even though the lockdown in Africa has postponed his dream, he is looking forward to Tokyo 2021 and is training as hard as ever in confinement. Without his daughter Malak, he would struggle to carry on training during the pandemic. From helping with his face mask to disinfecting his racket, she is key to securing his protection. He has promised his daughter that he will go on to achieve his dream and win a medal in Tokyo. 

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