Gail Emms Column: Creating opportunities in lockdown

Olympic badminton silver medallist Gail Emms MBE has joined Celebrate:MK as our resident health and wellbeing columnist. She kicks off by talking about how she turned the isolation of lockdown into a positive by knuckling down to launch a new book…

When the first lockdown happened in March 2020, it hit me pretty hard. As a sports consultant, compere, awards host and motivational speaker in businesses and schools, I watched as all my work was cancelled.

It was devastating for me as I have worked so hard to get those contacts and gigs. Not only did it hit me from a work point of view, but financially too. I’m self-employed and I was losing my income as well.

The stark reality of lockdown life was hitting me hard. As an Olympic medallist and former World, European, Commonwealth champion, I don’t do sitting down and doing nothing well – it isn’t in my nature or my personality.

I need to be active otherwise my mental health suffers. It was during the last gym opening day that I jokingly messaged ex-Man Utd and Newcastle footballer Keith Gillespie about creating a quiz to keep him
entertained (he is a massive quiz geek) and I’d put it out on Twitter.

20 sporting questions to see if he could get all the answers correct. And so, it started… the competitive nature of sportspeople, the connection of social media and ‘Gail Emms Pub Sports Quiz’ was born.

Every weekday evening in lockdown at 8pm, 20 questions were sent out on my @gailemms handle and lots of people joined in – including Keith.

Over 1,000 questions later, and I have turned the Twitter quiz into a book. At the start of 2020, I would never have thought I would have a book published, but it just goes to show what can come out of adversity.

There will always be obstacles in our paths, but life wouldn’t be fun without challenges, right?!

So to beat the lockdown blues or challenge friends and family, the book is available at £9.99 on Amazon or direct from the publisher here:

This column is sponsored by TBS Labour.

This feature was published in the February and March 2021 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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