Severn Sport Head of Online, Kelsey De Maria, has issued the following statement alongside Head of Programming Ryan Butler regarding the recent coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
Well, what a crazy couple of weeks for sport in Gloucestershire and across the country. Some of us are experiencing something we’ve never been through before with the outbreak of this virus.
Ryan and I were well on our way to chalking up 100 games of football covered for the season and now that’s been put on hold along with seemingly every sport in the country for the time being. With the lack of sport going on, of course that is going to mean a big reduction in content and coverage sadly.
That brings me very neatly to my first point, Severn Sport on Dean Radio. It’s unfortunate but we have to put the show on hold effective immediately. People might not know, but Matt, Ryan and I record it at Matt’s house on a Friday night. Matt and his lovely wife Emma are expecting their second child and with Emma being in the ‘high risk’ category as she’s pregnant, we have taken the decision to suspend the show because of this.
Ryan and I, however, are not pregnant. So we will be looking to do something between the two of us as and when we can to make sure that we can continue to bring you some form of audio content.
From an editorial perspective, it’s a real kick in the teeth for us as we were well on pace to clearly surpass our target for monthly views on the website but now it’s a struggle to see that happening without filling our site with awful clickbait – that’s not what we’re about here as we only want quality content to be proud of.
From a personal, human perspective, we both know that this is a time of uncertainty for many across our county and Ryan and I both knew that this would be the case and as much as it might suck right now, a few months on from now when things start to look up again we’ll look back on it and hopefully wonder why we all worried so much!
Ultimately we both know the decision to suspend grassroots football is the correct one to prevent further spread of this virus and, by following the correct preventative measures, we can all do our bit as well. But not only is it important to do our bit physically, mentally we need to look after each other.
If you are struggling with your mental health then Ryan and I would welcome you to reach out to us anonymously if you wish, or encourage you to speak to family members, friends, or a relevant professional service that will be listed below.
In terms of where we go from here well, does anyone really know? The resumption of football seasons will come as welcome news as and when it comes and that will allow us to figure out what we’re doing especially with The Severn Sport Shield to organise in the summer but more on that when appropriate. In the meantime though, hang in there, we’ll get through this!
Ryan Butler added:
Obviously in light of recent events we knew that without grassroots football being played, our coverage would be limited. But we will continue to do as much as we can to continue to promote local sport in and around Gloucestershire.
Kelsey and I will now get our creative juices flowing to ensure that we have weekly output in order to keep us all together at such a difficult time. I cannot wait to get back to covering our local sides but for now we must act accordingly.
For advice on coronavirus, visit the NHS website on COVID-19.
If you are, or someone you know is, struggling with their mental health during this time, there are many services available to you:
NHS Let’s Talk – https://www.talk2gether.nhs.uk/
Samaritans – Call on 116 123 (FREE from any phone 24 hours a day)
Mind – https://www.mind.org.uk/ or call on 0300 123 3393 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.