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Tuesday 7 April 2020
A talented local footballer is finding innovative ways to stay active as he aims to keep alive his dreams of representing England at a major tournament.
Isle of Man player Sean Jackson had been selected in the provisional England squad for this autumn’s European Cup Finals, held by the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF).
He had also been due to play for England’s Under 21s amputee team in France and Turkey later this month and in the EAFF Champions League in Poland in May.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic means all matches and training sessions have been halted and instead the 19 year-old, who plays for Manchester City’s ‘City in the Community’, has embarked on alternate ways to maintain his fitness.
Sean, who is supported by the Dandara Group, said:
Whilst I’m disappointed that all the games we have been training towards have been called off, it is only right that football takes a backseat right now. But there’s little respite as the England management team has set up four Google Meet sessions a week which ensure we maintain our fitness and skill levels during this difficult time.
One session is football based, so using what you’ve got at home, in the garden ideally. There is also weight training which is easier for people who have access to weights. I’ve not got a barbell so instead use a crutch and put bags filled with water to add weight on each end.
There’s also two sessions of HIIT training, led by the sports science team, to keep up cardiovascular fitness, and they are really tough sessions. You certainly know you’ve been through the mill afterwards!
I’m really fortunate as there’s a path all the way round the house so I’ve been able to keep running on crutches. This is an uncertain time for everyone but my teammates and I are trying to approach it with a positive mindset and we’re also using social media to keep in touch with each other and updated with what’s going on
As well as his football, Sean – the current Isle of Man Disability Sportsperson of the Year – has had to postpone his studies. He is undertaking a BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management degree at UCFB Etihad Campus University in Manchester.
Dandara Marketing Manager, Angela Beresford, commented:
We know how hard Sean has worked to get to this level so we’re disappointed for him, but obviously the health and wellbeing of everyone is a priority at this moment. Sean’s determination to keep up with his training is really inspiring and it’s great to see the creative solutions that he and his teammates have come up with to stay fit and motivated - that’s something we can all learn from
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