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Tina Bradley: When I look at the way nursing colleagues go about their work uncomplainingly it gives me hope



Tina Bradley

Tina Bradley

�INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Tina Bradley

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 Slaughtneil camogie player Tina Bradley who has won three All-Ireland senior club camogie championship medals as well as a host of Derry and Ulster honours and has been her team's highest scorer for several seasons. A native of Co Offaly, she is married to former Derry senior county football player Patsy Bradley.

Q: How are you keeping?

A: I am feeling fine and trying to be as positive as possible in all the circumstances. I am kept extremely busy at work and this ensures that I don't have too much time on my hands but I am not complaining. I try to keep my spirits up and hope that this rubs off on others.

Q: How is the virus affecting your everyday life?

A: I am the deputy manager of a nursing home in Derry and obviously this brings its own pressures in the current climate. These are unknown times in which we find ourselves and it's something which I have never experienced. What we are looking at every day in work is a lot of palliative care and obviously it can be quite emotional because relatives of patients cannot come into the home to visit them. There has been a huge change in the whole dynamic of nursing and the manner in which we as staff interact with patients and residents has changed as well but there is a good spirit overall and we are coping quite well.

Q: How are you keeping fit?

A: Because Slaughtneil have had a good run in recent years in terms of the Derry, Ulster and All-Ireland club camogie championships, we now find that we are in down time. The fact that this coincides with the lockdown means that we are not missing out a lot in terms of games but I nonetheless like to keep myself in shape by doing a little training on my own. I do this when I get the chance.

Q: How are you maintaining morale?

A: We lost out in the All-Ireland camogie final to Galway side Sarsfields at the start of last month and while defeat was hard to take, we took comfort from the fact that we gave it our best shot. I am encouraged by the tremendous feeling of togetherness and camaraderie that continues to exist within the Slaughtneil squad and we hope to set our sights on winning another Derry title when things get up and running again.

Q: Where are you drawing your personal strength from right now?

A: When I look at the way my nursing colleagues and others go about their work uncomplainingly, this gives me great confidence and no little optimism. I take comfort from the example which is being set by others - we might think we have problems but when you see elderly people struggling your heart goes out to them and it helps keep everything in perspective. It's vitally important that we protect those who are under our care and make life as easy as possible for them by constantly assuring them that we are there for them.

Q: Is there a book, film or box set you would recommend to stay at home sports fans?

A: Like what seems to be every other female on the island of Ireland right now, I am immersing myself in home baking. In this connection, I would thoroughly recommend Nevin Maguire's Cookery Book - I think he is a brilliant chef and his television show is compulsive viewing for many. I also like Mary Berry's book.

Q: What life lessons are you learning from the crisis?

A: I have come to appreciate the simple things in life. My husband Patsy and I are starting to grow our own vegetables, would you believe! We are trying to make the most of any down time we both get and we have certainly come to relish even more the good health which we both continue to enjoy.

Q: What's the first thing you will do when this is all over?

A: There are two things, actually. I will breathe more easily because we have now become accustomed to wearing face masks at work. Hopefully, the situation will soon permit us to discard these.

And the second thing I will do, circumstances permitting, will be to travel to Offaly to link up with my family again. It has not been possible to go there of late and I would love to make up for lost time by visiting them.

Q: What message do you have for the team's supporters?

A: The main point I would like to get across is stick with us. I know there was disappointment when we lost the All-Ireland club final last month and while we as players were dispirited in the immediate aftermath of that, we now believe that we can make a strong bid to win further Derry and Ulster titles and see where that takes us. We need the encouragement of our followers if we are to achieve this.

Belfast Telegraph