The Paudie Palmer column: Working from home could be effective for sport

The Paudie Palmer column: Working from home could be effective for sport
TJ Reid of Ballyhale Shamrocks. whose recent onlie fitness class was watched by 10,000 people. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

IN light of Leo’s decision to effectively put the country on lockdown nearly two weeks ago except for essential services, some might suggest that the ban should be extended to sports columns at this time.

Are they an essential service? Answers on whatever type of medium that you wish to use!

One argument to support the need for alternatives to relentless Covid-19 news bulletins could be based on the number of seriously humorous messages and video productions that have almost caused the country’s WhatsApp network to collapse.

Yes, many of these messages may be considered by some to be in poor taste but in the majority of cases, they bring a smile to the face.

Some from the psychology department may carry out a study as to what the plethora of these productions say about us as a nation but that can hold for a while.

So to cut to the chase if the WhatsApp brothers have struck a chord, then surely there is a market for a sports column even one as mundane as this offering!

Earlier I had a call from a gentleman from the sticks whose son is based in Dublin where he now plays his Gaelic football with one of the city’s senior clubs. Did this club need another country boy?

Not sure, but his relocation to the bright lights is a loss for his local team.

I am not going to beat the sympathetic drum for this young man, because there is quite an amount of anecdotal evidence to support the view that many of these young people are only too delighted to move to the bright blue lights.

A few months ago I found my self in conversation with a few of the young generation from the Rebel county who are now working and living in Dublin. The group included an East Cork club hurler.

The conversation eventually moved towards rural depopulation. Well I better be honest here, yours truly moved it on to this subject and after a while I realised the only reason they were listening to this dinosaur was due to their decent rearing.

Anyway, I asked would they move to Ahiohill if they were presented with the same job opportunities as existed in Dublin. These young people have bought into the big blue movement.

However, one of the silver streaks that may emerge from this crisis could be the fact that a sizeable percentage of the workforce is now working remotely, ie from home.

This type of approach when the pandemic is over could go some way towards addressing the issue of childcare. It would also remove some of the traffic from our roads.

Home-working reduces employers' spend on office space too.

During the week, I spoke with the main man in West Cork-based accountancy firm which employs approximately 15 staff. The majority of them are now working from home.

It was his opinion that into the future all of them could work from home on at least three out of the five days. He also added that their output since this started had increased if anything.

I should send a request to the management of the Echo and its cousin the Irish Examiner to ascertain the percentage of their staff that can work away from the office.

Back on with the sports mask. A wee question, how many times over the past while have we heard of clubs losing players because of migration to the urban labour hubs?

Now, surely there is an opportunity to reverse this trend. I am looking forward to how all of this pans out in the 'New Ireland' that will exist when Mr Covid goes through the departure lounge.

Can we revert back to the conversation with the man out in the sticks?

While his son is back on home soil, his new club insists he maintains a level of fitness and must furnish the team management with his S&C programme on a weekly basis. He must also attend a weekly virtual pilates session again organised by the club.

His father was somewhat amused when he overheard a lady with a Dublin accent telling his son that some of his leg movements left a little to be desired.

Then we had the situation where Kilkenny hurler TJ Reid, who has his own gym, going online with a fitness class. 10,000 tuned in to his first offering. 

So, is there something here that could be incorporated into the way inter-county team managements carry out some of their S&C work? With a little tweaking, a certain modicum of it could be carried out remotely.

Again the advantages that would accrue are pretty obvious including time-saving, money-saving and reducing traffic.

The more one reflects, the 'New Ireland' could very well be a much better place. 

Mind yourself.

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