All posts by laursenavfc

Social media – More hassle than its worth?

Disadvantages of Social Networking: Surprising Insights from Teens

Social media can be a very toxic place which begs the question “is it really worth it?” to me. I cannot even begin to describe the countless times that I have considered deleting all or some of my social media. I look now at my phone and see the endless lists of apps; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. I begin to wonder, is this all necessary? Would my health be significantly better if I packed it in, and lived more outside of the internet and my phone?

I always wonder if I could make do with just one or two social media apps. But one thing that makes it hard for me to follow through with this is that I think each one serves some kind of purpose. I wonder if just Facebook would be enough for me, as I have the majority of my friends there and can share blog and social updates as well as photographs. It is important to me that I document my life, especially with my study abroad experiences. But is there a better way I can do this whilst protecting my mental health?

I firmly believe I am a lot more stable now and have much better friendships, which makes me worry less about being on social media. That being said, the negative elements of social media cannot simply vanish, not for me or others so easily. The constant jealousy or insecurities as people compare themselves to one another. It can be exhausting and depressing. What I find particularly awful is how ‘normal’ it is to just scroll through social media out of boredom… Because I wonder if this can lead to isolation and depression if people are reading bad things online, or seeing others have fun. It goes both ways and can affect a persons mood significantly.

At what point do we need to switch off for a while? What benefits do you think exist for living offline or reducing ones time on, or online presence?

Study abroad survival tips

I am five months into my study abroad experience and although I have finished my studying for this year, I wanted to share some of my survival tips for managing the experience. I hope those thinking of studying abroad are encouraged by this post and those who have studied abroad can share some of their survival tips in the comments. In this article are just a few tips but I have so many more. Let me know if you enjoy this post and if you want to see a part two. Anyway lets get into the article…

Learn the language – English is the most widely spoken language worldwide but that doesn’t mean you should not learn the native language of the country you will be studying in. There is a very good chance you can ‘get by’ with English, but to be polite and improve your experience it is beneficial to learn some of the new language. I would admit that I am guilty of not doing this and not learning has made interactions such as shopping or ordering food difficult, or at least socially awkward. If you struggle with languages, learn the basics so that you can hold an interaction with someone and appear willing and polite.

How to overcome the language barrier | Chemist+Druggist

Join a club – Making friends can be very difficult, especially for me… I recommend joining a club as you immediately find a bunch of people with a common interest. For me this was Badminton which I was playing twice a week before my University closed due to the pandemic. It felt like a good release of energy whilst engaging with other people in a very social sport, with friendly players. Maybe sport is not your thing, but there are plenty of other clubs and I guarantee there is something for everyone.

Don’t forget your friends back home – It can be an important time to meet new and intriguing people but don’t forget about those who were there for you first. That does not mean that you have to talk to them day in day out as you want to experience this exciting new lifestyle, but to simply catch up with them as often as you think is acceptable. If they are a good friend then they should understand that and encourage you to formulate these amazing experiences. Your friends back home will be one of the first to greet you with open arms and ready to hear all about your amazing experiences. Treat them kindly.

Silhouette Friends Having Beach Party Stock Photos - Download 435 ...

Give yourself time – It is wishful thinking to get on a plane and expect everything to work out immediately. There are so many new things such as language, place and people, that you are effectively starting a new life (for how ever many months or so you will be studying abroad). There is a good chance you will be nervous and even cry, or wonder what the heck you are doing in this foreign country. These are all normal emotions and ones that I experienced myself. But I can assure you that it gets better and you will start to live the abroad experience you envisioned, and more. For me this was heavily impacted by the pandemic which knocked my confidence, but I strongly believe in a normal year, things would have been much easy. Time is key to allowing ourselves to understand and adapt.

Time and Patience is Vital to Learning | A Nomadic Teacher

Underappreciated tracks from Green Day (part 2).

Last year I shared with you six extremely underrated tracks from my all time favourite band Green Day. ICYMI, there is an opportunity to read it here https://lifeistoo.sport.blog/2019/03/17/6-underappreciated-tracks-from-green-day/ With over 30 years worth of songs with many unreleased or even known to casual fans, there has come a time where I want to share some more of these tracks with you. I hope that you can take the time to freshen your mind by listening to them for the first time, or rekindle your love for them if you have heard them before.

When it’s time

First of all, I cannot believe this track released officially in 2010 did not feature on this original post, but, I can be excused with Green Day’s extensive back-catalogue of songs. This soft, acoustic number is a beautiful track that was originally written around 1992 during The Kerplunk era as “they didn’t have enough sappy songs”. You can find the original, raw version of it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCt0rSD5Ds8 The song was recorded in 2004 but did not make the cut for American Idiot. But this refined version can be found on the American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording. The song was a staple in the set, during most setlists of their 2010 tour. I haven’t quite heard another Green Day song like it, and I just cannot stop listening to it. If there was one main underrated song I would love to share with all Green Day fans, then it is ‘When it’s time’.

Too much too soon

Too much too soon features as a bonus track on the deluxe version of Green Day’s 2004 album ‘American Idiot’ and is believed to have been written for ‘Cigarettes and Valentines’- the stolen album that would have been the follow up to 2000’s ‘Warning. American Idiot is an album packed full of excellent songs that Green Day continue to play live to this day. Too much too soon has not been played live from my knowledge. The song itself will not set the world alight so it is understandable that it was not picked for the main album, but it does offer a simple yet catchy song in the sound style of American Idiot.

Stay the night (acoustic)

Originally from Green Day’s ninth album ¡Uno!, an acoustic version of ‘Stay the night’ was released on the 2014 compilation album Demolicious, for Record Store Day that year. Honestly, it took me a while to like this version it and may take you a few listens too. But this tuned down version of such an upbeat track is so beautiful. It is raw and honest, and it makes me listen to the song with a whole new perspective. A must listen.

Restless Heart Syndrome

Restless Heart Syndrome, the 13th track on Green Day’s eighth album ’21st Century Breakdown’. I feel that this whole album was incredibly underrated, as people seem keen to compare it to the timeless classic of American Idiot. They are both considered as rock-operas and 21CB is the successor to American Idiot, but the tracks must be appreciated for what they are. Restless Heart Syndrome is a song that has not been played live in eight years, so I am not sure how many new Green Day fans will know it. But it is my favourite track from 21CB and I highly recommend it.

I hope you enjoyed part two. Now you have ten amazing Green Day songs to listen to. Please share how many you already knew and liked, or even disliked? I am interested to hear your thoughts as always.

What now and what next? A quick catch up.

Hey everyone. It has been too long since my last blog entry as I have been so consumed with various things but mainly University. I now feel like it is a perfect time to give a little update on what else I’ve been up to and what is next for me this summer.

In the last few days I have finished the final assignment of my study abroad experience and consequently my second year of University. To put it bluntly, my semester abroad has not gone the way I had hoped and I have not seen anywhere near of Sweden as I would have hoped. But still, I am lucky and grateful to be here when many have gone back home months ago. Now I must make the most of the short time that I have left here and build more happy memories.

I feel incredibly relieved that summer is here, as I think I can speak for a lot of students here by saying that studying in a pandemic is incredibly hard. It is one thing adapting to online classes but another in finding the motivation to complete your assignments and studies. With so few classes and with most of them being in front of a computer, I could just not engage that well. It felt like the studying element was dragging on as there little interaction to be had online. With completion of this work it is like a great weight has been lifted on my shoulder and I can finally relax, whilst looking to spend time on things I have been neglecting recently.

Some of these things can be so simple but yet so easy to neglect when you have a lot going on, whether that is depression or if you’re incredible busy. Sometimes I am guilty of prioritizing the wrong things as I want to have good grades. But now I can finally get on with my time without stressing, at least for a little anyway. I feel very relieved.

So now I have a maximum of around two months left here in Sweden with a lot of spare time. There are hardly any restrictions here and some may like that, so they can go out and about. But for me, I am taking a much more cautious approach than most Swedes. I hope I can continue to travel to nearby places safely, as there is still a lot to do and see. I want to go to more nature reserves, parks and beaches. Sweden is a beautiful country and it is quite easy I feel to travel around. Thankfully there has been a lot to keep me busy these last few months.



For now I can just hope that the situation eases up to allow me to travel safely and that opportunities to social distance are possible. I feel that not many people respect the social distancing and that can make it terrifying to be outside – especially on public transport or small and narrow shops. I hope that the sun stays out and I can spread out in parks and nature, etc. There is a world out there to explore and there is a ticking clock in which to do it. I try not to think of regrets. For now I live in hope more than anything.

5 Songs that have addressed mental health (part 2)

Around a year ago I wrote about 5 songs that I like that have addressed mental health (https://lifeistoo.sport.blog/2019/03/13/5-songs-that-have-addressed-mental-health/) and because of the good feedback around it, I have decided to follow up with a part 2.

Real Friends – From The Outside

‘From the outside’ is a single from the Illinois outfit Real Friend’s third studio album. This is the second RF song to feature in this series of articles, after ‘Short song’ in part one. RF are excellent band that makes me feel so many emotions, particiularly in their earlier raw material, but also with their more refined sound. It is a shame that ‘From the outside’ is one of the last few songs with original vocalist Dan Lambton. I believe this song may be involved with Dan’s struggles with bipolar disorder. It shows that how easy is it to hide and mask our feelings from one another, and that we may not be as fine as we portray ourselves to be. ‘I’ll fill my glass to take the edge off. The choice is mine’ in the pre-chorus shows how dangerous it can be though to be alone with our own thoughts. I feel that the message here is to communicate when you’re feeling down and have more empathy with those feeling down, to understand that people may be feeling differently.

Neck Deep – The Beach Is For Lovers (Not Lonely Losers)

I feel so old that this album is five years old later this year. I’ve loved this band for long before this LP and this, their second album is an excellent continuation of their popular pop punk sound. The song itself to me seems like a mix of emotions… “Don’t wait until you’re just like me. To look back over history with nothing but regret.” The singer is being told not to be stuck in the past which implies he is burdened and dwelling with his past regrets. “So all my friends say “F*** forever. Live today and die together.” We don’t wanna tell the same sad story. Heard it all before and that’s f***ing boring” There is an apparent need to move beyond these regrets so that he is a healthy and proactive lifestyle with a healthy future. This is important so that we do not have any regrets about our lives before its too late.

Sudden Suspension – We’ll Always Have Each Other


I’d like to think that this Canadian band has a clear-cut message behind this 3 and a half minute piece of emotional pop punk. When we are feeling low it is easy to think it cannot get better, and sometimes we don’t want to be around others and end up isolating from people we love dearly. This is so dangerous as it can be too easy to get into such a bad habit, and harder to get out of it. There are so many relatable lyrics in this song but one of my favourites is “Just don’t forget to pretend that it gets better than this”. Whatever storm you are facing right now, generally the worst of it is over, and whilst we have the comfort of each other, the sun can shine a little brighter on us.

Linkin Park – Heavy

Chester Bennington was a great person who wrote many special songs and his legacy lives on forever. His struggles with mental health were very evident throughout Linkin Park’s long tenure as one of the most influential nu metal/alt rock bands. ‘One More Light’ their most recent album which features this song, is packed with emotional pieces that documents Chester’s strong feelings and struggles. ‘Heavy’ resembles a difficulty in overcoming the struggles that comes with anxiety and depression

Pale Waves – Noises

‘My mind makes noises’ is the debut album of Mancunian indie pop band Pale Waves. I would say that the album is fantastic and one of my favourites. It features a lot of sad and emotional lyrics but portrayed in a very upbeat way due to the catchy choruses. This song specifically targets mental health and body insecurity. ‘My mind makes noises too much I feel like I’m slowly losing myself I’m afraid that I need help’ shows what an exhausting feeling anxiety and depression can have on a person. We see problems and insecurities in ourselves that only we may see. It is exhausting and cause one to spiral out of course. We must be kinder to each other and offer reassurance. But from personal experience with self-esteem issues I feel the best way is to develop it by having healthy hobbies and coping mechanisms, whilst removing any toxic energy from your life. It really is the first step to getting better as with better self-esteem and company I make much better decisions.

I hope you have enjoyed part two to this. Please share in the comments some songs about mental health that you like or think are important. Please also let me know if you would like to see a part 3.

Is football returning too soon?

This is a very popular debate amongst many football and sports fans alike. The Belarusian Premier League started and has continued as normal, despite Belarus experiencing just under 900 new cases of Covid-19 per day. Meanwhile, in a country with 0 deaths and 0 active cases, the Faroe Islands are underway (as of 9th May) with their football season. The big talking point, however, lies in the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga, as two of the worlds most-watched leagues worldwide.

Covid-free Faroe football kicks off in rare spotlight
Empty stadium in Faroe Islands

The Bundesliga seems all set for its return on 16th May after a two-month absence, with nine matchdays left for fans all around the world who are looking for a good standard of football. The season appears to conclude on June 27th, a month later than planned. Not only is this a time constraint but also a health risk to the players. It seems to me that the restrictions don’t apply to athletes, which is frustrating as they are people too with their own lives. Not only does this feel like they are being forced to put on a show or amuse us in a tough time, but they are putting themselves and their families at risk to do so.

The Bundesliga Is Back! German Football To Restart On May 16
Borussia Dortmund

I read an article a few weeks ago (that I cannot find now but this article lists similar guidelines – https://futaa.com/article/206764/bundesliga-keen-on-finishing-season-lays-down-strict-measures) that explained all the different restrictions and guidelines for a safe return of the Bundesliga. As much as I love football and I am excited about its eventual return, I couldn’t help but think “Is this really too much?”. It shouldn’t have to be this difficult. If we are needing to put this many restrictions on it, then perhaps we are forcing it too soon. 

It is becoming a joke now in my opinion. It is impossible to socially distance in a sport that requires players to be compact, and tackle… Maybe we need masks or stilts for our players? It’s preposterous. I cannot imagine even Virgil van Dijk successfully stopping anyone in stilts! Cricket has been much more professional in my opinion, with the ECB (English Cricket Board’s) decision to put its national sport on the back burner for a bit, whilst the situation calms down. I find this interesting as cricket itself is one of the easiest sports to social distance – both in the crowd and on the pitch. Because of this, I find it difficult to understand when people are fighting for the return of football, especially when the game requires so much more contact and in closer proximity. 

Liverpool come up with genius way of getting around new wall ...
A free kick with football players bunched together.

I feel that we are not ready for the return of football in either of these countries, and I am still shocked that the Belarusian Premier League has continued – especially with the presence of fans. I don’t know any other leagues or countries that have taken this approach. Most are sacrificing their fans to play behind closed doors, but this is not what sports are about… Football is a release for many people from the stress of everyday life and is just not the same watching on a screen. I will, however, be tuning into the Bundesliga as and when I can, because despite my personal views on this situation, I miss football a lot and life without football is very strange.

Meanwhile, many teams themselves strive on their home support of their fans. Playing to empty stadiums should be a rare punishment, not a regular occurrence just to see out the season. It is not an ideal situation and there probably isn’t an ideal solution. But for me, it is preposterous to continue like this and instead leagues should be postponed until there are no new cases. Football is my love, my passion… But it is not worth infecting others for our entertainment. We are strong and independent: we can find our own ways to entertain ourselves for now.

Andres Iniesta sits alone in empty stadium until 1am - CNN

Life as a mature student

The term ‘Mature’ student makes me laugh sometimes, as I am probably only two years older than most of my compadres but it is what I am, nonetheless. In the UK most people start University at 17 or 18 but many also may starter later for various reasons such as having gap years for travelling. Whilst others may just have a change of heart in adulthood and want to study a degree. Whatever their reasons though, the mature student can still engage just as any other aged student would normally. I will discuss the life of a mature student with often examples from my personal experiences.

Fitting in

BILLY MADISON Quote-Along | Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

This is a huge one for many students but mature students also have the added weight of being older than their peers. This does not necessarily but generally means different interests as they are in different periods of their life. They might have a family of their own or a business on the side so they don’t have the time or interest to ‘party’. I have neither of these things but fitting in hasn’t overly bothered me, as I would prefer a small circle of friends with passions similar to mine. Partying is not my passion. I had a year or two of that which got boring for me as it is not in my introvert personality. I choose to ostracize myself on purpose so that I am not questioning my self-identity. I feel that as a mature student you are better equipped to deal with this concern, as you are not as impressionable as most teenagers.

Life isn’t just a party

Which university clubs and societies should I join?

There are many other clubs and societies where you can play sports or engage in fun and intellectual conversations. Sure they may have partying on the side but you are an adult who can choose whether or not to go. Maybe you’ve already done your fair share of waking up at 7 am hungover on someone’s bathroom floor? In that case, clubs and societies are a great way at any age for meeting people, as you already have one common interest with the potential to explore more of them. Also, I feel that it provides a stress-free environment for getting to know someone properly so that you can find out if you want to hang out with them more often.

A great opportunity to learn something new with a fresh mindset

I Prefer 'Mature Student,' not 'The Old Guy': My Return to ...

At a young age people are often pressurized with “What do you want to be when you’re older?” or “Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years”. How on earth are we supposed to know this when the brain is constantly developing and we are undergoing a process of self-discovery? At least as a mature student, you have less stress put on you and instead have many experiences that can help you to choose an area of interest. From there you will have a better idea of what you want to study as you have had time out in the real world to experience it. Also for me, having had no gap years it is very exhausting to be in education for so long. I feel that we as individuals can either do our best work with some time off, or in a gap year we may learn it is not for us. Either way, you can come back the next year with a fresh mindset and challenge yourself in whatever adventure your life takes next.

Things I miss about England whilst studying abroad

I was so dead set on enjoying and making the most of my study abroad experience that I was doing my best to avoid any ‘homesickness’ or looking back to what I have left. I am determined to live in the moment here by focusing on what I have now whilst also looking forward to what I may have when I return home. That being said there are a few familiarities and comforts that I do indeed miss (alongside the obvious friends and family of course!).

Supermarkets

In Sweden, I am enjoying some fine delicacies such as köttbullar (or meatballs if you wish) and kanelbulle that have been lining my stomach for many months now! But the variety of shops compared to the UK is much fewer here. And of course, the prices of food and groceries alike, are significantly higher here. I miss walking into Aldi on my way home after sport training and buying copious packets of 27p ‘knock-off’ jaffa cakes to see me through the week. In Sweden, there aren’t many variations of the same product I feel, but I know if I walked into an Aldi or an Asda for instance, I would be surrounded by a range of just the Mcvities brand!

Kavey Eats » The Kavey Eats Jaffa Cake Taste Test!

Food

There seems to be a running theme here… I like my food. Takeouts and restaurants are one of the biggest things that I miss. I like trying new things but I also like my familiarity as I know what I am getting from a place I’ve eaten before. From my local Chinese takeaway to Wetherspoons to my roast dinner. Oh gosh, I miss the comfort of my ‘Sunday dinner’ which was any day but Sunday (cheaper of course!). Nowadays, I am stuck ‘butchering’ chicken in the oven and serving up some frozen vegetables as a very questionable dinner. I know for sure, I will be stuffing my face with mixed grills and carveries when I get back. But also takeaways, as I haven’t eaten a single one in many months now.

Stonehouse – an amazing chain restaurant. Also this is not a picture of my own meal before you try and ‘roast’ me. 😛

Sport

I think it is safe to say a whole lot of us are missing sport right now. It is safe to say that I was enjoying going to Swedish football matches and playing badminton twice a week before things changed. What made me excited for the weekends is knowing that I could tune in to Aston Villa matches back home and scream away at my laptop like I was there. It was very comforting. Every time I saw a home match on I wished I could just transport back for those brief 90 minutes, be sat in my seat and wait for the stress to begin. I was also looking forward to the cricket season starting because I could watch some online and then dive straight into my summer of cricket once I fly back home. For now, though I must make do with Belarusian football and Taiwanese cricket on weekends!

Trezeguet sköt Aston Villa till final | SVT Sport

British TV

This is one thing that I can kind of control thankfully. I may not get access to BBC iPlayer, ITV Player or 4OD out here and Netflix SE may not have the best and up to date content but it has plenty of great shows! I cannot count the number of shows I have been binging over these few months but I also like the comfort of British humour. I have been rewatching classics British comedies such as IT Crowd (which my flatmates have absolutely loved) and The Inbetweeners when I need a guaranteed laugh! Also luckily Netflix SE provides both seasons of Sunderland ‘Til I Die which I have watched in recent weeks. This combines my love of sport and English television which is very comforting. Nowadays I am watching After Life starring Ricky Gervais.

The It Crowd - LOVE this show

British music

The wonders of travelling and sharing spaces with international people bring a vast range of cultural and musical differences. It is interesting getting to know what music other people like and how far the interest of ‘British music’ or certain artists travels around the world. In recent weeks I have made my British playlist (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1ru05UlaiXoVWFhlewufrj) just to remind myself of the many talented – mainly alternative rock bands that exist/ed. Sadly I haven’t had as much contact with Swedes as I expected, so my knowledge of Swedish artists and groups does not go much further than Abba. Thankfully I have picked out a few random songs from my dance classes that I was adding as part of a Nordic playlist that needs some more work from me (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/40rWBY4ri2iVhApWq4oi5b). Therefore, I am stuck with my very English music that probably not many people know of here. 

UK rock bands triumph at Kerrang! awards - BBC Newsbeat
You Me At Six

Inexpensive

I am perplexed at how expensive things are in Sweden after being quite luckily with cheaper products, food etc in England. Things such as alcohol, potatoes, paracetamol, bowling and BREAD. Yes, quite possibly the strangest shopping list you’ve ever seen? But my oh my, bread… It perhaps has more of a flavour over here but the cost is insane! Gone are the days of finding a reduced Warburtons loaf in Co-op and sticking it in the freezer! 

4 for £6 cider? Yes please.

I have some questions for my readers. What do you miss when you are out of your home country? How do you deal with this? 

Back to reality and adapting to the pandemic

It has been around five weeks now since I arrived back in Malmö after my amazing skiing trip to Tänndalen. However, a lot has changed with this pandemic, which means this period of my study abroad is extra significant. It is a time where so much change happened and one I will never forget, for a vast range of reasons.

Before the trip I was very consumed with finishing my work, settling into Swedish lifestyle, making friends and the trip I was most terrified about. What I was at the time sure of was that if I could do all of this and manage well, on the other side of the skiing trip I had an amazing few spring and summer months of exploration ahead of me. This unexpectedly changed what with, most of the people I had gotten to know being forced home sadly, before I could truly get to know them. As well as the deep concern about travelling, as I am avoiding public transport (walking everywhere is very tiring since I cannot cycle).

I find myself very depressed that a time I was so excited for, and worked so hard for, changed so abruptly. What I find even more difficult is that Sweden is taking a very unique approach to handling the corona virus with no real enforced lock down, so to speak. I decided to stay here in Sweden as at the time I felt it was the safer option to do, and out of respect for others and to protect myself, I am near enough living as though there is a lockdown. I generally only go out when I need to and I am distancing myself from others.

I am fortunate enough to still be on my study abroad experience but I am also devastated that it is and won’t be how I always dreamed of it. For now I am unable to travel around Sweden as I intended to, and I am generally limited to wherever I can walk to right now. I am still enjoying the parks which Malmö has in abundance. I wish now I hadn’t spent so much time enjoying them in the winter months though and instead moved around the country more and explored more.

I’m not a person who agrees with having regrets, but even with this unplanned pandemic I am scared I will have had too many. For now I am grateful I was able to have the wonders of the skiing trip… which was once my biggest fear, could now be my greatest experience.

Getting your sport fix!?

It feels very strange discussing sport right now, what with its importance currently being minuscule in today’s testing times. But for a lot of people, it is significantly important as it holds the key to many different things… things that are required more than ever right now. This includes structure, community and most importantly a distraction. What would our week be without looking forward to a 3 pm Saturday football game? I guess that is the pain of what we as sports aficionados are facing right now. Whilst the social network and friendships of others may evolve and survive around sporting fixtures. So my advice is to you is to not let anyone downplay or challenge the significance of sport. Sure, there are more important things in the world right now. But, its unique way of bringing people together is undisputed and thankfully there are still some ways to enjoy a range of sports.

I will discuss some sports that are available still and how it is possible to watch them. Please do share what else you have found in regards to this, within the comment section.

Belarus FA chief defends games going ahead: 'There is no critical ...

Football – My personal favourite right now is what I like to call the new ‘BPL’ … the Belarusian Premier League. It is probably the most recognised league right now, with matches still being played with fans in attendance. I have probably watched 4 or 5 games in full right now thanks to websites such as Bet365 (you must have £5 in your account) and Hesgoal. The standard may well be the best of what is available to the world right now but is far from the heights of the Barclays Premier League. I have placed small bets on the games just to keep myself interested in some way, as it is difficult to maintain interest in the full ninety minutes – especially when you are not supporting a team. However, @bpl_english has created a short quiz that decides a Belarusian team for you to support based on the answers you give.

I got Dinamo Brest. Who did you get?

Perhaps Belarusian football is not your thing? Or you need a greater fix? Other fixtures are going on right now in Tajikistan (the only active league in Central Asia) and now Taiwan’s 2020 season has started too (behind closed doors). Also, Burundi and Nicaragua have seen football in recent times, with all these countries taking different standpoints to the rest of the world, where football cancellation has become the norm.

Other sports

The best place I use to find fixtures is Bet365 as they have a clear schedule of what fixtures there are and what you can bet on. Sadly not everything you can bet on is viewable, but it is still interesting to assess what is still being played around the world. Something I see that is popular and prevalent on there is Russian Table Tennis, and interestingly I have not tried this as I usually play a lot of table tennis. This is something I will have to give a go I think. Russian, as well as Latvian tennis players, appear to be active, but these occasions appear much rarer and less obvious than the football.

Meanwhile, e-sports a more modern concept appears to be getting a lot more attention… with opportunities to bet available on Bet365. I have no idea if was available before, I guess not… as to me, it seems strange. But whatever you have to do to keep sane and healthy am I right? I for sure am missing my cricket fix and I have found nowhere in the world where it is being played. I will have to watch an e sports version!

Let me know how you are coping with the lack of sport and what you have been watched instead!