Dublin footballer Philly McMahon plotted out practices Ireland's young people can adopt during this period of isolation and carry through their lives thereafter on Wednesday's OTB AM.
A multiple All-Ireland winning footballer with Dublin, it is Philly McMahon's role as a gym owner that commands most of his attention these days.
"We've kept 70% of our clients which is incredible," he explained on Wednesday's OTB AM. "We've switched everyone onto an online app. Unfortunately, we've still had to make all of our staff redundant from last Monday, myself included, so I'm just looking at ways of trying to cover bills from the business."
As he desperately fights to keep a decade's worth of work alive through a series of online workout sessions with his remaining clients, the Ballymun Kickhams clubman has visions of what this period of widespread personal and professional uncertainty can enable, nevertheless.
In conjunction with the work of the Gaisce President's Award, Philly McMahon wants to enfranchise Ireland's youth with clear and concise ways of making a difference within their own lives, and the communities they are a part of.
I was active and developed myself on a personal level while impacting my community. That would be an amazing thing to be able to say on the other side of this. https://t.co/U9AzDCg3t4
— Philly Mc Mahon (@PhillyMcMahon) March 25, 2020
A self-development program established for young people between the ages of 15-25, Gaisce revealed their solution to the closure of schools and social distancing earlier this week. With 'Gaisce sa Bhaile', the 18,000 participants already committed to the program will seek to continue their journey from home.
Rooted in helping young people to help themselves and their surrounding communities, McMahon pointed to the organisation and its foundational pillars as a means of encouraging young people across Ireland to make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others.
"We can't keep pointing the finger at kids and telling them they're stupid and haven't got common sense," he remarked of those young people (without forgetting those a little older, too) who have been disregarding the instructions regarding social distancing, "We've got to give them opportunities, something to do."
"Wouldn't it be amazing if we could reach out to our young people and get them to do a 13-week program around impacting the pillars in Gaisce?
"If I saw kids in my community doing that while sticking to the guidelines the HSE have given us, I'd give them membership in my gym for the rest of the year once this blows over. I would love to see other companies jump on too."
Established in 1985, the foundational pillars of Gaisce are as follows: Empowerment, inclusion & equality, respect and excellence.
Philly McMahon believes that the adoption of such personal responsibility would not only ease the transition through this period of uncertainty, but may well have a lasting impact on Ireland's youth as they develop.
"They could continue this leadership on," he reasoned. "They can influence their peers and I think that's key."
Nevertheless, McMahon doesn't believe there is one simple solution for each and every community or set of young people. To put a realistic and feasible structure in place, those with authority must listen to young people before handing out instructions.
"It is very diverse but I think that each community should develop a small focus group of young people and ask them what they like," he proposed, "what they're hobbies are and then go after that.
"There isn't one answer for it, but if we look at Gaisce and the pillars they have, we can feed into them.
"I guarantee you that if we had a 13-week program and at the end you're going to get an award, but also you're going to be recognised by your community and on social media, that sense of belonging should give our young people a real buzz."
If you're interested in learning more about Gaisce and their new endeavour 'Gaisce sa Bhaile', click here.
You can watch back Philly McMahon in conversation with OTB AM right here.