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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland sports stars take on '10 touch challenge' to beat the boredom


Jonathan Rea and Holly Hamilton

Jonathan Rea and Holly Hamilton

Jonathan Rea and Holly Hamilton

Northern Ireland sports personalities are taking part in a '10 touch challenge' in an attempt to battle the boredom of self-isolation and encourage social distancing.

Athletes and sports journalists have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as games, leagues and tournaments have been cancelled across the world.

To avoid climbing the walls, people across the world are challenging themselves to do 10 keepy-uppies with a roll of toilet paper.

The game is believed to have been started by FC Barcelona's Riqui Puig.

Spanish footballer Puig posted a video on Instagram alongside the hashtags "#StayAtHome #ITrainAtHome" in an endeavour to encourage his fans to do the same.

Northern Ireland's World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea took on the challenge and proved he's not only skilled on a race track.

Sharing a video on Twitter with his 157k followers, the Ballyclare man successfully completed 10 keepy-uppies with ease.

BBC sports presenter Holly Hamilton responded to Rea's challenge, taking it up a notch and using a hockey stick to keep the toilet roll from touching the ground.

On Tuesday the 34-year-old, from Greyabbey, took to social media to wish her followers a Happy St Patrick's Day from her Manchester home.

"Slainte to all of you who (like me) are spending it practising 'social distancing'. Cheers! #stayhomechallenge," she tweeted.

Football player Jamie Glackin of Coleraine FC was also among those participating in on the viral social media craze.

The football club shared a video on their Twitter page of the midfielder taking up the 10 touch challenge and showing off some fancy footwork in his kitchen.

Meanwhile, the women on the Ireland hockey team have come up with a challenge of their own.

To tackle "cabin fever" on her third day of practicing social distancing, international player Nicci Daly got outside in her back garden to showcase impressive dribbling, keepy-uppies and balancing the ball with her hockey stick before dropping it on the pump of a bottle of hand sanitizer.

"A request for some skills to practice got me out," she wrote on Twitter. "So kids, up ya get. Plenty of #socialdistancing tricks for you to practice there."

Musical stars have also been trying to lighten the mood and provide entertainment for those confined to their homes.

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody will perform a live gig of requested songs on Thursday night on Instagram.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin serenaded fans with an acoustic set from his home on Monday while rocker Keith Urban’s Instagram Live gig featured a cameo from his Hollywood actress wife Nicole Kidman.

US singer John Legend has also joined in, performing with his piano from his home in California.

Belfast Telegraph