JEFF STEPHENSON 

THE TikTok phenomenon has surged in these days of COVID-19 with sporting personalities of all codes and at all levels around the world garnering their 15 seconds of fame. 

While some Redland players (not so many coaches – with one notable exception) have joined the craze, it has been the efforts by the playing group in other fields of endeavour that has heartened coach Phil Carse. 

“I’ve got to say the boys have been unbelievable,” Phil said. 

“We’ve split into eight groups led by the leadership team and each week they’ve been given challenges to keep them in routine as well as keeping fit and connected. 

The one challenge that was well and truly taken on board by all has been the “GPS Challenge”. 

It is where the players went for a run, recorded the exercise on their device and return the result to each team leader, who kept the data for verification and forwards it to “the boss”. 

Team William (Reuben) won the challenge with an incredible 241kms over the course of the week and the accumulated total of more than 1100kms astounded the club’s hierarchy. 

All the challenges have been tackled with gusto and enthusiasm, but it was this one that really impressed the coach. 

“Every week has been different, but I thought this one really showed how well the boys are buying into the process,” Phil said. 

He agreed the events of the past six weeks had shaken the club across the board and offered up new challenges for players and coaches. 

“There’s really been massive change and it’s affected everyone differently,” Phil said. 

“For some of the boys it’s been business as usual as far as their jobs are concerned, while others are out of work. 

“We’ve been doing everything in our power to maintain the connectivity so that when we come out of it, we’ll be really strong as a club and as a playing group.” 

Phil has been in constant contact with all players on the list as has Club Chaplain Dean Sandham 

The times can be worrisome in terms of mental health and this is another area being monitored closely. 

“This is a really challenging time for all of us, but we think we have the processes in place where we can come out stronger from a team perspective and as individuals. 

“We’ve also spoken to the players about goal-setting and getting the group to talk about what they are hoping to achieve in their personal lives. 

It’s about staying connected and remaining positive and keeping up and about.” 

As Phil says – it is a huge challenge amid the most confronting of times. 

From the outer, howeverit is re-assuring to know the lengths the playing group are going to in order to remain focused and invested. 

More importantly is the knowledge that there are leaders in place capable of meeting the challenges and guiding our group to a better and more prosperous place in what we hope will be the short-term future. 

 

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