Written by Callum Walker
With the world currently under lockdown amidst the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is trying to do their bit to help. None more so than referee Chris Kendall who is among the army of volunteers that have signed up to help the National Health Service across the UK.
The Super League match official – who took charge of the 2019 Super League Grand Final – signed up when his department was furloughed by the Rugby Football League at the start of April.
Of course, in such difficult times, it is incredible to see such acts of bravery from all walks of life as Britain gears up for a prolonged period of isolation.
Kendall and girlfriend Sarah currently live in Kirklees where the local council put in place a scheme in order to take some much-needed pressure off of the badly-strained NHS. The referee has since been doing some shopping and taking magazines and newspapers round to neighbours.
His goodwill hasn’t ended there either as him and his partner are both on the NHS app created by developers. This has enabled the duo to get in touch with those classed as ‘vulnerable’ and who can’t get to a pharmacy for their prescription or purchase essential items because they shouldn’t leave the house.
— BETFRED (@Betfred) April 23, 2020
With both Kendall and his partner fighting fit, the decision to volunteer their help was simple, considering the rigorous routines referees have to go through to complete a full season at the highest level.
Kendall and company had one of their best ever pre-seasons going into 2020 as former Leeds forward Ian Kirke took them through their paces. That, in itself, showed at the start of the year with the cohort of whistle-blowers appearing much fitter than previous years.
With Rugby League expecting to take a back seat for another few months – at least – it has been superb to see those associated with the game do their bit for the nation in its time of need.
Once this heartache is finally put to one side, hopefully they will be recognized for their actions alongside the thousands of brave doctors, nurses, emergency and key workers that are doing their bit each day to get the country through the crisis.