Warrington hooker Danny Walker has provided an insight into how he is coping during the current season suspension caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Following Monday’s announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom is now in ‘lockdown’, with strict guidelines in place restricting physical contact and travel between people.
Players, of course, are in the same position as the general public and are unable to train or interact as a team, with most carrying out exercises remotely at home.
“Don’t get me wrong it’s pretty tough,” admits Walker. “But obviously it’s one of those things that happens in life and we’ve got to get over it.
“I can still get out once a day and do a bit of running and Warrington have been alright with us going in to bring home some gym equipment to set up in our back garden.
“Ade Gardner’s set up some little sessions to do. Mobility, rehab, gym and running sessions. It’s all pretty similar stuff to what we’d be doing anyway but obviously it’s off our own backs.”
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When not training, the 20-year-old is trying his best to keep himself busy at home by doing odd jobs around the house.
Cooking to ensure he keeps up the right nutrition is proving another pastime, although he admits it’s a struggle when it comes to chilling out in front of the television.
“I’ve been helping around the house doing little jobs, watching Netflix,” he continued. “I’ve been asking all my mates what’s good for me to watch but they’ve been pretty rubbish.
“The stuff that they’re telling me about I’ve already watched. I’m probably going to have to keep watching things over and over again and before you know it I’ll know every line word-for-word.
“I’ve also got to keep myself healthy and eating the right stuff at the right time which is obviously hard at the minute with all the panic-buyers knocking about.
“But I can still whip a few meals together and keep on top of that. It can be a bit of a struggle for me because obviously I’m quite small anyway, so I’ve got to try and keep my weight on during this time.”
As well as training and diet, communication is among the biggest difficulties faced by clubs during the crisis.
With government advice now at the extent where people are unable to see anyone but fellow household members in person, players and coaches are limited solely to technology to keep in touch.
Despite this, though, Walker insists that even the most basic conversation can have a big impact, particularly when it comes to mental health.
“We’re going through tough times so you’ve got to keep an eye on your friends and family. Depression’s a big thing. Some people might not be able to handle this situation as well as others so you’ve always got to keep in contact and check up on how they’re going and if they need any help.
“Especially for vulnerable people like my nan, for example. I’m always there for people like that and going around to get little bits for them if they need me to. But I’m always here for my mates at the same time.
“Even a simple text saying, ‘How’s things going mate, are you keeping well?’ Just little messages like that will get some of your mates through the day. We’re a tight-knit group at Warrington so we always keep an eye out and make sure we’re there for each other.”