Wayne Godwin has been scoring diving tries into paddling pools and developing a love for wheelie bins as rugby league’s lockdown answer to Joe Wicks.
The former Castleford, Wigan and Hull FC hooker had already earned a reputation as one of the sport’s most animated characters through his post-playing work as a roving reporter for TV show Rugby AM.
But his other passion in life is inspiring young players as part of the Elite Kids Coaching company he runs with fellow former Super League forward Ryan Hudson.
So when Godwin realised the country would be largely restricted to their homes for an extended period, he combined the two with daily training videos for kids from his Castleford back garden.
Sons Charlie, 5, and Zac, 3, have played their full part in the drills, with some posts racking up over 40,000 views and a host of Super League stars and amateur clubs offering their support.
Godwin – who also played for Bradford, Salford and Dewsbury – explained: “I’ve got massive admiration for what Joe Wicks has been doing.
“I know with my professional background how important routine is for kids. It’s all about getting them engaged through your personality to help them learn and stay active at the same time.
“Everybody in rugby league knows me as a positive, energetic guy and my day job is to inspire keeps and keep them fit and healthy.
“I thought there might be some parents and kids at home a bit lost and not knowing what to due during these difficult times, so I asked Charlie if he’d be up for taking part in some drills and it started from there.”
Godwin, 38, has had support from Zak Hardaker, Sam Tomkins and Jesse Sene-Lefao from within Super League, while former Exeter Chiefs winger Matt Jess has taken part in cross-code challenges.
Halifax stand-off Scott Murrell has got his community club Drighlington involved, with a host of amateur teams across the country joining in.
That has seen Godwin rack up as many as 20,000 steps a day in his own back garden while kicking and passing balls into wheelie bins, and replicating spectacular finishes from the likes of Tom Johnstone and Tommy Makinson.
Godwin – who has also hosted some of Rugby League Care’s daily exercise sessions online – added: “I’ve given myself the nickname ‘One Time Wagga’ but it’s taken me a fair few times to do most of the challenges.
“It’s been great seeing kids sending their videos in and we’ve offered prizes to camps that we run when everything starts up again.
“It’s shown what the rugby league community can do because it’s keeping kids and clubs connected to the game.”
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