Athletics: Kirsty Law on DIY discus practice and NHS volunteering

By Tyrone SmithBBC Scotland Sport
Kirsty Law
Kirsty Law has rigged up her garden as a makeshift practice area

"Mental health is a big thing just now, people need to look after it."

Scotland's top discus thrower Kirsty Law says she is ready to play her part helping the vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.

The British champion combines her training with her day job as a nursing assistant at Rampton Hospital - a high security mental health hospital in Nottinghamshire.

Law, 33, has now put herself forward as an NHS volunteer and is hoping her knowledge and experience can help in the frontline fight against the virus.

''I signed up for GoodSAM (NHS volunteer responders), they have had over 700,000 people wanting to do it which is amazing," she says.

"It is for people that are maybe alone or can't get out so we are there for a chat, if anyone needs to talk or delivering shopping or medicines, or taking people home from hospital if they are better, and stuff like, that, it is a brilliant way of helping.

"Mental health is a big thing, especially when people are by themselves and they don't have any family, they have to self isolate, it is important for people to talk and reach out to people if they are feeling low."

Law has been frustrated by those not following government advice on staying at home but believes the penny has finally dropped over the last few days.

"People are now understanding how serious a virus this is and that it can kill, not just the old and vulnerable, but anyone," she says.

"I do think it is a load better than what it was, people are listening. I see people social distancing in the street and shops, but there are still a few who don't seem to know what social distancing is."

Training with a shoe in the garden

Staying at home has meant Law has had to adapt her training routine, a situation she has approached with a real make-do-and-mend attitude.

"My kitchen is now my gym and my garden is now my throwing area," she explains.

"You often think outside the box in these situations, I either use a shoe or a D-ball. I can hold a D-ball and obviously don't let go. Yes it is challenging, but fun as well I guess."

Law, from the Black Isle, had considered retiring last year but her British Championship victory convinced her to carry on to push for Olympic qualification.

With the Tokyo Games rescheduled for next summer, she says she has no plans to put her discus away any time soon.

"It is definitely the right decision to postpone it," she says.

"I am not frustrated although I felt like I am in the best shape I have ever been in, I was definitely going to PB, but I will just have to do it again next year."

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