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Coach doing his bit to keep kids active

THE current situation is tough on businesses, particularly small companies who rely on face-to-face contact.

One such concern is Pro Football Coaching, run and operated by Omagh man Caolan McAleer, but rather than bury his head in the sand and hope everything blows over, he is being pro-active while his company hibernates.

The Dungannon Swifts midfielder has been uploading training drills and challenges for children over the past few weeks free of charge in order to do his bit to help keep the next generation sane and healthy during this difficult period.

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“When I stopped coaching I started thinking ‘what can I do to help?’ because I know there are a lot of board kids out there and parents were getting to me asking for drills and ideas. So I had loads of drills and plenty of time so I thought I’d do a different drill or challenge every day for them,” explained the former Sligo Rovers and Partick Thistle player.

“It doesn’t cost much to give a wee bit of your knowledge at a tough time. It’s just wee things they can practice, to keep the kids occupied and get them active.

“It’s for anyone and everyone, it’s basic but there are ways to make it easier or harder depending on your level of progression.

“I don’t want to go down the route of charging people because it doesn’t cost anything to help at this time. It’s tough and obviously you want to be making money, but I think in the long term it will hopefully work in my benefit.”

As well as pre-recorded drills, Caolan also does a Facebook live session every Sunday and having been out injured since Lockdown was initiated he’s finding the service he’s providing every bit as rewarding as the participants because it‘s helping him recover his fitness and boosting his mental health in the process.

“I’m getting good responses from it, which is nice because I know people are worried and the kids, I want to see them playing, so if I can help them that’s what I’ll do,” added the 26-year-old.

“ It’s been good craic with the kids sharing their videos too and the parents getting involved and I enjoy seeing them doing the wee drills.

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“It helps me too because I’m the same as everyone else, I can’t wait to get back coaching and get back to normality, so it’s keeping my brain active.

“I get a buzz waiting for the videos of the kids attempts because there are all different levels and there are people following from as far away as Sligo and England, so it’s great to be able to reach out to people and to help them.

“I’m missing playing massively! I injured the ligaments in my ankle against Cliftonville, in the first two minutes in one of the last games we played, so I’m only just back now and I’ve been trying to do wee drills, which I’ve been limping through to show the kids!

“I started doing 5Ks and wee bits and now I’m back kicking the ball and doing things a wee bit more high intensity to show them a better level.”

Check out Pro Football Coaching on Facebook for more information.

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