Sport as we know it has been forced to press the pause button for now, and many athletes have been using this time off to help their surrounding communities.
As the Coronavirus pandemic rapidly spreads around the world, some of our favourite sportswomen have been offering help to those who need it most as we try to navigate through this period of uncertainty.
We’re taking a look at how our favourite female athletes are giving back during the Coronavirus pandemic:
Chicago Red Stars defender, Julie Ertz, is donating money from her Family Foundation to Philadelphia-based food bank, Philabundance. With some families unable to afford food due to cancelled work, health issues and redundancy, Ertz, along with her husband, Zach, hope to help those in need during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Ertz Family Foundation will be donating a sum of $100,000 to Philabunance, who on average provide 90,000 meals per week. The USWNT star is also urging members of the public to donate, as her foundation explains that just $15 can provide a “one shelf-stable box of four meals for a family of four”.
America’s most decorated gymnast is teaming up with Athletes Relief to help raise money for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Covid-19 response fund.
Biles, along with other American sportswomen such as Rose Lavelle, Elena Delle Donne and Jennie Finch, has donated a signed item, in her case; a leotard, which has since gone up for auction.
Her signed leotard has so far raised $501 and has a target of $25,000. Every $25 donated to the response fund equals one entry to win the signed leotard, with the winner being announced in just under two weeks. Rose Lavelle’s signed jersey has raked in the most money so far, having already raised $6,622 with still a fortnight of fundraising to go.
The response fund will be used to support those who are directly affected by Coronavirus and the healthcare professionals who are on the frontline. It will also help to ensure stability for businesses and schools as they may be forced to shut during the pandemic.
American journalist and writer, Shea Serrano, has been handing out money to people in need on Twitter and on Saturday took to his social media to announce that he would yet again send $250 to eight people who, in his words, “need a W today”.
Serrano went onto reveal that Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird had sent him $2000 to hand-out to those in need at the weekend, and in a very understated tweet, the USWNT trailblazer endorsed Serrano’s act of giving by calling him a “real-life angel”.
Tennis coach and mum to Andy and Jamie, Judy Murray is constantly campaigning for more girls to get involved with tennis and has launched a fun starter tennis program for girls age 5-8, Miss-Hits, which looked to take a back seat following government guidelines to self-isolate.
However, to ensure that young girls can still exercise at home, Murray has announced that the entire Miss-Hits programme will be available to access online for free to help parents build tennis skills and keep their children active and engaged at home.
The decision to offer free courses comes after Tennis Scotland began tweeting different #StayHomeChallenges which were derived from Miss-Hits routines and exercises.
Orlando Pride’s strength and conditioning coach, Ivi Casagrande, has been offering a different type of training session as the postponement of the National Women’s Soccer League was announced.
Wanting to give back to her community, Casagrande has been leading free group workout routines for her neighbours. The video, posted on Casagrande’s Twitter, shows the NWSL coach directing a full workout session as her neighbours follow on their balconies.
The Orlando Pride coach tweeted alongside her video, “For my own sanity, being able to coach, give back to the community and stay active and healthy. We shall get through this together!”
Yet another Chicago Red Stars player, Kealia Ohai, is giving back to her surrounding community. Ohai, alongside her husband and NFL star, JJ Watt, has donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank.
ESPN reporter, Adam Schefter, revealed the couple’s generous donation on Twitter last week, explaining that their contribution will help provide over one million meals for those struggling to afford food in the Houston area during the pandemic.
Aussie rugby league player and gym owner, Sammy Bremner, took to Twitter to reveal that she has been forced to close her gym, BCC Fitness, following instruction from the Australian government.
Despite business fears, Bremner announced that all of her clients can take her gym equipment home for as long as the government’s restrictions stay in place, encouraging those who visit BCC Fitness to continue to exercise safely outside whilst continuing to social distance.
“Today I have had to close my gym, but my work is not done. My clients’ happiness & health is still of great importance to me!” the rugby league player added alongside her announcement.
Chelsea Football Club, have offered their Millenium Hotel to all NHS staff in the North West London Clinical Commissioning Group for free of charge.Chairman, Bruce Buck, wanted to support NHS staff and decided that the best way to do so was through free accommodation for those working on the frontline.
“Many of the medical staff will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes,” the club said on its website.
The North West London Clinical Commissioning Group said,”We’d very much welcome similar offers of support from other hotels. This really does help us keep services running at a time when the NHS is likely to be under enormous pressure.”
Esme Morgan and Lauren Hemp
And when all else fails, we often turn to two things: laughter and music.
Women’s Super League stars, Esme Morgan and Lauren Hemp, have been live-streaming a free ‘concert’ to their fans via Twitter. On Saturday, Hemp and Morgan performed a half an hour set featuring songs by Queen, Adele and Ben E.King.
With a promise of more possible live-streams, fans took to social media and thanked the players for entertaining and keeping spirits up during the unsettling times that we currently find ourselves in.