Manchester United Women duo Katie Zelem and Jess Sigsworth on how they are handling life at home

What exercises have you been doing in your garden?
Jess: We’ve got quite a nice garden here – it’s a bit downhill but we can do quite a bit in it. We’ve got a rope set up so we get on that to keep fit, and we’ve got a football as well, of course, to do some ball work. The garden gets a lot of sun too, which is great. 
Katie: Even if you’re not quite as active as we need to be for our jobs, it’s so important to get outside for some less vigorous exercise, or even just a walk, like my parents are doing.

How have you been staying in touch with your family members?
Just before we went into lockdown, purely by coincidence I went home and visited by parents, which was nice to do before all this happened, especially as my mum works for the NHS so she’s working really long hours at the minute. We message each other every day and FaceTime as much as possible, although it’s easier to speak to my dad as he’s off work and has a lot more spare time right now.

What does your mum do for the NHS?
She works in the anaesthetic department of North Manchester Hospital and is involved with the scheduling, but they’ve cancelled all operations. Like so many others there, they’re being trained up to learn new skills so they can help out with the coronavirus.

And what about your family a bit further north, Jess?
Jess: I didn’t see my family massively when I was in training, although we’d have the odd call in the week, so I don’t think I’m struggling with not seeing my parents in the same way as others might be right now. FaceTime obviously helps though. My sister begged me to download the Houseparty app so we can interact more online, playing games and stuff, but I’d rather just stick to Zoom or FaceTime.

We hear the squad has been embracing the video chats in recent weeks…
Jess: Yep, we have Zoom calls organised for Tuesdays and Fridays, so we all get to chat to each other, and Casey will send over a few video messages also. It’s nice, and it’s important, to be able to stay in contact with everyone like that.

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