We are asking our sporting personalities how they are dealing with action coming to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected their daily lives.
Today, we speak to Down's top-scoring hurler Oisin McManus who has helped to take his side to the cusp of promotion in the Allianz League and is hoping they will still get the opportunity to play the Division 2B final against Derry.
Q: How are you keeping?
A: I am keeping fine and trying to stay in trim. Obviously everyone is very aware of their wellbeing just now because of the situation in which we find ourselves, so even in small ways we have to continue to look after our health and fitness.
Q: How have you been affected?
A: I am a coach with the Ulster Council GAA and my work involves dealing with children in primary schools. Obviously the schools are closed right now but people in my position are doing a lot of work from home. We are doing coaching webinars and skills videos so that the children can work and learn from these. Even though there may not be anything happening on the actual field of play, I can assure you that full-time coaches like me are still kept busy. We are trying to be as innovative as we can be with the resources we have at our disposal.
Q: How are you keeping fit?
A: I do a fair bit of road running because I live in a rural area close to Loughinisland and I have plenty of scope for this. I can also do exercises and circuits in the garden and I am able to brush up on my striking of the ball. I have been managing to get some scores for Down and I want to be able to keep my eye in.
Q: How are you maintaining morale, yours and the team?
A: I try to remain as structured as I can in terms of work and down time - such as it is! I find that by being busy I stay focused and this is a big help. Obviously I have been accustomed to going training with my club Liatroim Fontoneys and with Down of course but until such times as both teams get the green light to resume normal activity I will do work-outs on my own and try to push myself as best as I can so that I will be up to speed when things resume. Down have conference calls during which the players can all talk to each other and I find this very uplifting.
Q: Where are you drawing your personal strength from now?
A: I contrast my own position to that of people who work in the health service. I can go up to my room, switch on my laptop and work away but there are other people who have to leave their families and put their lives at risk by going on front line duty. They show great courage and commitment and they should inspire the rest of us. My late aunt and my grandmother were members of the nursing profession so I know what is involved, although the current crisis presents really huge pressures.
Q: Can you recommend a book, film or box set you think stay at home sports fans might enjoy?
A: In terms of a book, I think 'At all costs', the autobiography of Davy Fitzgerald, the colourful Wexford hurling manager and a born leader, is a great read as it gives a tremendous insight into the sport. The Michael Jordan docu-series 'The Last Dance' is a very compelling watch and as for a film I think 'The Da Vinci Code', featuring Tom Hanks, is superb.
Q: What life lessons are you learning from this?
A: My whole life tends to centre on hurling all day every day but latterly I have taken a step backwards to enable me to appreciate more fully what is going on around me. When you see people struggling health-wise, others maybe lonely and yet more facing financial stress, you come to be more than thankful for what you have got. That's the most important lesson I have taken from this crisis.
Q: What is the first thing you will do when this is all over?
A: I will head straight to the pitch as soon as it opens again and enjoy a long session of hurling - it can't come soon enough!
Q: And your message to Down fans in particular?
A: My message to fans would be contained in just three words - please be patient. There is a great desire within the county to see the team move up a division in the Allianz League and I know everyone is very keen to see our divisional final against Derry take place. We are in the lap of the gods on this one, however, but hopefully our followers will get the chance to see this game - they deserve to do so as they have been very faithful.