Bulls’ skipper faces scary times

The term hero is so often overused in sport, but one person who can definitely lay claim to the title is Bradford Bulls Women’s captain Amy Hardcastle.
She is putting her own health at risk everyday as the NHS continues to treat the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world.
As a Healthcare Assistant in Calderdale Royal’s A&E department, she is on the front line of the battle and admits she is living through a very scary time.
“It’s been really hard and in the past week or so we’ve really started to see an increase in the numbers of people with symptoms coming through the doors,” the England international told League Express.
“When we get patients coming in from the ambulances that are hitting the right triggers for the Covid, my job is to cannulate them, take their blood, do their ECG’s and take their observations. So like the nurses, I am very hands on. At that point we don’t know if they are Covid patients, but it’s suspected.
“It is very scary at the moment, but it’s the current reality. We do this job because we care for people and we want to help them, but you are going into cubicles now, and even though you’re wearing all the protective gear you can, you still question if it is protecting you from the virus. It’s got to the point now that we have to wear a mask all day, which isn’t pleasant because it’s just confined air all the time. That in itself makes you come away feeling exhausted.
“But you just have to carry on and get on with the job.
“I have a daughter and I am going to work and potentially bringing the virus home with me. I’d like to think I won’t because of the measures we’re taking, but I am putting the health of myself, my daughter and my partner at risk by doing that.
“Until you are on the frontline of this it doesn’t really hit home how serious it is. It’s real and you have the fear inside you of what could potentially happen.
“There are times you feel anxious and start asking yourself if you’re getting a cough, but you have to try and just swap that feeling for something else. It’s anxiety, and the more anxious you are, the worse you’re going to make yourself feel.
“I have had to teach myself that I am okay. I haven’t got any of the symptoms so I just need to eliminate the anxieties.
“So I get home from work, have a shower and wash my hair. That’s me washing work away for the day and making the most of my time at home.”
With the virus putting an indefinite halt to all Rugby League proceedings, Hardcastle admits that she, unlike the rest of us, is actually grateful for the stoppage in play.
“Not having the training and preparations for the new season to be thinking about is actually a good thing,” she added.
“I have realised how much time I actually put in to the game and I couldn’t have carried on with that in the current climate.
“Work has to be my priority.”