INTERNATIONAL elite athletes, coaches and sports figures share their experiences of unexpected setbacks and coping strategies with people who have been impacted by Covid.
The Sport v Covid programme which connects individuals who have been directly impacted as a result of the pandemic has been launched on June 30 by Abertay University
The programme involves a range of high-profile sportspeople from across the world, harnessing their ability to offer motivational techniques that have worked for them personally in promoting recovery.
The elite participants share their experiences as athletes, including how they’ve dealt with uncertainty during their career, stayed motivated during long periods of rehabilitation, and navigated the waves of changes and unexpected career transitions.
The project is supported by a host of sports organisations around the world including the World Players Association and also FIFPRO, which recently released its own report into the impact of Covid-19 on the football industry and professional football players.
Track and Field athlete Eilidh Doyle said: “This has been a fantastic project to be involved in and I’m delighted to be using my own experiences to help the recoveries of those who have suffered from Covid.
“Being able to share experiences and coping strategies to help manage set-backs and challenges is so important and it was great to be able to feel I’m making a tangible difference to someone on a one-to-one level.”
Tennis coach Judy Murray said: “Sport forces athletes to get to grips with winning and losing.
“Winning is, of course, easier to handle and although defeats and disappointments are tougher to deal with, they build resilience and persistence.
“It’s all about finding a way through and I love that the Sport v Covid project allows athletes to share their experiences with those who have been most affected by the pandemic.”
Participant David Bellingham, who was hospitalised through Covid earlier this year, said he was struggling to find motivation given the uncertainties surrounding his recovery and had become frustrated with the fallout of having to be off work.
He added: “Having a one-to-one conversation with someone as credible as Eilidh Doyle really helped me put things into focus.
“Hearing about her experiences of coming back from injuries was perfect timing for me and really beneficial in helping me get back to work.”
Scottish basketball player Kieron Achara said: “As an athlete, my sport has helped me develop so many life skills and qualities that I believe should be shared with the wider community.
“The past year has been a very testing time for us all and this initiative is a perfect opportunity for sport to play its part by sharing our knowledge and aiding in the recovery.”