Before the lockdown, Fridays were a time to put the working week behind you, go out to a café or bar and hang out with friends or family.
Maybe Fridays were the days that inaugurated a weekend of dancing, clubbing, going to the cinema or out to a gig. Or was it a time of just pure relaxation with hiking or sport, or simply reading a good book alone?
Whatever made you feel good about Friday, we want to help bring some of those vibes back to you — even in these times — by rounding up some fun, feel good stories from around the world.
This week we want to talk about staying active. Something that, in these times, helps keep you mentally fit as well as physically happy.
Anyone for tennis?
Carola, 11 and Vittoria, 14, from Liguria, Italy, keep active with a spot of rooftop tennis. This video became a social media sensation and made the New York Times this week.
It was viewed over 9.1 million times after it was tweeted out by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the global body that administers men’s professional tennis. The girls received praise from tennis greats like Tracy Austin — the former U.S. Open champion — who advised them to, “keep the ball deep.” And no drop shots please.
Kosovo’s Vesa Gjinaj shows off some nifty racquet moves for the Kosovo Olympic Committee’s “White Card” celebration for the international day of sport earlier this month. The Olympic Committee asked athletes across Kosovo to make videos from home and show their “White Card” to celebrate and encourage people to stay home and do sport. (But don’t break a window with those balls.)
Mirlind Gashi, Kosovo gymnast, shows off some sweet moves for his “White Card” day video. But we’ll just leave these moves to the professionals and enjoy.
The Basketball Federation of Kosovo is also providing some very nice exercises on their Facebook page to do during your 1.5 hour outdoor time (in between running to the shops of course) to keep your court skills ready to go.
And finally, how about a book for the kids? “Uta e Maleve” (Uta and the Mountains), all about Uta Ibrahimi’s climb to the top of Mount Everest, was launched this week and is available at Dukagjini Bookstore and in the Gjirafa Mall (they deliver!).
The new book is aimed at a wide age group of children, up to 12 years old, and hopefully parents will be entertained too.
The publication was inspired by the school presentations Ibrahimi did across Kosovo to motivate children after her success. It’s already in English and Albanian, soon to be translated into Serbian.
“The author of the book — Tefta Kelmendi — did an amazing job and the Illustrator too, Katerina Nikolovska; she is a runner and a mountain lover, so she really understood the world in the mountains and it was really easy to communicate with her,” Ibrahimi says.
Get the kids reading and then climbing something (hopefully not the walls).
But all you sports fanatics also need to get ready for the return of professional golf.
Yes, sports fans, South Korea will be holding the first golf tournament since COVID-19 hit us. The Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association Championship is scheduled for May 14-17 in Yangju. Two of the top 10 players in the world have entered the tournament to compete for 1.8 million USD (about 1.64 million euros) in prize money.
Because South Korea seems to have the virus relatively under control, limited, non-contact sporting activity is allowed and golf naturally means keeping your distance. No word on whether there will be spectators yet.
Note to newcomers: The shirts are optional, the beer is not!
The World Darts Tour may have been cancelled like everything else these days, but the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) is running the PDC Home Tour. Professional Darts players are now competing from home and you can follow online. (Note to newcomers: The shirts are optional, the beer is not!)
But do make sure your WiFi is up to snuff, unlike poor Gary Anderson who was disqualified from the tour for having a poor connection.
The same thing happened to 16-year-old chess prodigy, Alireza Firouzja, who lost his advantage in a chess match against Hikaru Nakamura in the 250,000 U.S. dollar (about 230,000 euro) Banter Blitz tournament because his internet connection went down.
Sometimes it’s worth it to get the more expensive package.
Want to get active?
Now is a great time to get into some new routines and liven up the lockdown with some free or low cost online courses.
A free Pilates class with Erlet Mucolli will be streamed on his Facebook page every two weeks. Or sign up for his regular classes for 20 euros a month, that includes 14 classes live streamed via a private Facebook group. The classes run three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6 to 8 p.m. Go to Mucolli’s Facebook page for more details.
ZufitwithFjolla is also hosting Dance Fitness classes on Zoom Monday and Fridays from 4 to 4:40 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 7:40 p.m. The classes are 15 euros a month and take place twice a week. Check out the Facebook or Instagram pages for more information.
Urban Yoga Studio is continuing classes on Mondays and Fridays from 5 p.m. on Zoom for 4 euros per class.
And get ready Gamers, Prishtina’s first online FIFA20 esport tournament is taking place on April 25 from your own couch. It’s organized by XPortal sports and the Municipality of Prishtina.