Irish GAA stars are encouraging young kids to stay at home during the COVID-19 crisis by setting them daily skill challenges on social media.
Patrick Horgan, a Cork hurler, and Ciaran Kilkenny, a Dublin Gaelic footballer, are among a cohort of high-profile players setting the daily stay-at-home challenges.
They hope that they can simultaneously encourage kids to practice social distancing and also help them to stay active and improve their game.
Horgan is one of the best hurlers in the country and is setting 30-second challenges every second day that kids can attempt in their own back yard.
The four-time All-Star winner set the first challenge on March 18 and each challenge aims to improve hand-eye coordination. Each challenge lasts for 30 seconds.
Challenge no.3. Keep the ball off the ground for 30 seconds using every second side between bas and handle. Up to ye now and no excuses. @Joycey27 @Aidan9Walsh @ColmSpillane1 @CussM @tomas_mulcahy @smcdonnell_ #30secondchallenge pic.twitter.com/ktV66ge7FE— Patrick Horgan (@Hoggie088) March 22, 2020
Kilkenny, meanwhile, is also widely regarded as one of the best footballers in the country and is also setting daily challenges to keep kids active and occupied during this age of social distancing.
The five-in-a-row All Ireland champion is setting both football and hurling skills challenges and each also lasts for 30 seconds.
Kilkenny is challenging kids to work on the basic skills in both codes, such as passing and control, so they can improve their game while training sessions are postponed.
Posting a skill a day for you all to do over the next couple of days, all you need is a wall, a ball and a timer.— Ciarán Kilkenny (@CKKilkenny93) March 19, 2020
Make sure to wash your hands after! Post video & tag me to enter & win prize see if you can beat my score! @AtakSport @DubGAAOfficial @DublinWestEC @CastleknockGAA pic.twitter.com/GUzDe2bc0o
GAA clubs across the country have also been active on social media encouraging their younger members to stay busy.
Similar to Kilkenny and Horgan, the clubs are keen to urge kids to stay active whilst also staying at home.
Check out @GPOBlarn_Btown for daily challenges.@MColeman197 got 60 pucks in a minute. Would love to see videos or pictures of our boys and girls trying to beat him! 😎@BlarneyCamogie @RathpeaconGAA @muskerrynews @echolivecork @buff_egan @Blarney_NS @mhuscrai @Blarney_Mills pic.twitter.com/xSGgDNkb0t— BlarneyGAA (@BlarneyGAA) March 22, 2020
The Irish government is trying to ensure that teenagers and children stay home at a time when they have no school.
Groups of teenagers have frequently been spotted outdoors since Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced drastic measures to tackle COVID-19, drawing widespread public criticism and renewed calls from the government for younger generations to practice social distancing.
Read more: Coronavirus live updates: 102 cases newly confirmed in the Republic of Ireland