So far as we know, almost all sports have been paused until further notice due to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. As such, ESPN has begun to air more “alternative sports” that require little to no contact, including marble racing, sign spinning, and even cherry pit spitting. But in the meantime, most major athletes are left with nothing to do until the coronavirus threat blows over.
Well, not all athletes. A growing number of the top players in women’s sports have started giving back to their communities, whether it be donations to local food shelters, hosting exercises and workout routines online, or giving back to the medical staff members that cannot take time off during this difficult time.
Here are some of those great athletes who are striving to make a change:
Julie Ertz and Kealia Ohai
While the two professional athletes aren’t working together to make money, they are two of the top names giving back to their communities.
In light of countless people being forced to take off work, many people cannot afford to pay for fresh groceries, let alone pay their rent. Julia Ertz, of the Chicago Red Stars, and her husband have started to funnel some of the money earned through the Ertz Family Foundation to Philabundance, a local Philadelphia-based food bank. The food bank already supplies more than 90,000 meals each week, but this number could drastically increase with Ertz’s donation of more than $100,000.
Ertz’s teammate Kealia Ohai is performing a similar feat in Houston. With her husband JJ Watt, the duo has donated more than $350,000 to provide more than one million meals to local food banks in the area.
Since the vast majority of Americans are being encouraged to practice social distancing, many are lacking the ability to go to the gym or venture outside to get exercise. As such, tennis coach Judy Murray has released her entire Miss-Hits program to young, aspiring tennis stars to encourage exercise at home. While swimming might be the “fourth most popular sport in the United States, tennis is the most popular sport to play individually across the globe.
With each passing day, it seems that more and more businesses are being forced to close because of the coronavirus outbreak. By auctioning off her signed leotards for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Covid-19 response fund, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, plans to support schools and small businesses alike. With local restaurants offering only takeout across the country, such funds like these are vital to keeping their doors open for the long-term.
The Chelsea Football Club
Across the pond, the Chelsea FC has offered free use of their Millennium Hotel to medical professionals working in London. In light that many medics will be unable to travel home during the pandemic, this type of accommodation is essential.
The Stamford Bridge location will offer accommodation at no cost to NHS staff thanks to generous donations from the owner and chairman, Roman Abramovich and Bruce Buck respectively.
“We really are enormously grateful to Chelsea Football Club and Mr. Roman Abramovich for their offer to support our hard-working NHS staff during the Covid-19 emergency,” said the North West London Clinical Commissioning Group (NWLCCG). “This really does help us keep services running at a time when the NHS is likely to be under enormous pressure.”
These are just some of the athletes hoping to make a difference in the face of COVID-19. With these women paving the way, things are starting to seem a little less bleak.