The bracing impact of coronavirus upon grassroots sport has been felt by every individual involved, but particularly by those who also work in the medical field.
Doctors, nurses, physicians and carers in the West Country, and the entire nation, have all been put under enormous strain in recent weeks as Covid-19 grips harder.
As a consequence of the virus, all organised sport has been brought to a halt with the conclusion of many leagues and competitions still undecided; for most, it is the greatest disruption since the outbreak of World War II.
For those individuals acting on behalf of the National Health Service all week, matchday was a chance to put work behind them. Now, however, the burden is even greater.
Rob Hosking is a player, assistant manager and club first aid volunteer for St Day in Cornwall’s St Piran Football League; he also works as a paramedic for the South Western Ambulance Service.
Devon One rugby side Plymouth Argaum, meanwhile, have no less than three NHS staff in their ranks. Second-rower Chris Langley is an emergency nurse, hooker Thomas Mann is also an intensive care doctor and club secretary Stuart Quarterman is a charge nurse at nearby Derriford Hospital, where he also runs training and education for nurses.
Hosking, who previously turned out for Falmouth Town and Porthleven in the South West Peninsula League, has been involved with the emergency services since he was 18 and said: “I’ve not experienced anything like this in my lifetime and don’t think I will for a while again.”
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