Coronavirus: Pigeon racing first sport to return after lockdown
Jun. 01, 2020
Pigeon racing has become the first sport to return after the lockdown restrictions were eased in England.
The Barnsley Federation of Racing Pigeons released 4,465 birds from a park in Kettering at 10:00 BST for them to fly the 90 miles (145km) home.
Organiser John Greenshield said he expects his 35 pigeons to start arriving at his allotment in Hemsworth about two hours later.
The sport has beat horse racing and snooker to be the first to resume.
More stories from around Yorkshire
The government approved the return of domestic competitive sport behind closed doors from Monday, for the first time since mid-March.
Guidance states it is up to individual sports to assess the risk and consult athletes, coaches and support staff.
Image copyright PA Media Image caption The birds were transported to the park on lorries before being released
Mr Greenshield, 72, said he was not expecting the restrictions to be lifted so soon and many of the birds were not ready to race.
He said: "This is a very strong ex-mining area and I worked in the pits for 41 years.
"So many people have lost people in the mines or are living with illnesses.
A SIMPLE GUIDE: How do I protect myself? IMPACT: What the virus does to the body RECOVERY: How long does it take? LOCKDOWN: How can we lift restrictions? ENDGAME: How do we get out of this mess?
"The whole current situation has got people down and there are a lot of mental problems.
"The racing is something for people to get out of bed for. People are really looking forward to it.
"I think it would have killed some off if there hadn't been racing until next year.
"It's like putting oxygen back into the area."
Mr Greenshield said people would be able to see the birds flying north, probably following a route close to the A1, before breaking into smaller groups near the Nottinghamshire-Yorkshire border.
Image copyright PA Media Image caption The released birds belong to a number of different keepers
Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram . Send your story ideas to email@example.com .
18 Stars Looking Sexy In Patriotic Outfits For July 4th: Carrie Underwood, Gigi Hadid & MoreStudents Of Accra Girls SHS Start Demonstrate To Go Home After 6 Students Tested Positive For COVID-195 Simple Ways To Enjoy Rough S3x With Your Partner From reducing dark circles to treating sunburns: Here’s how potatoes help in skincareHips don’t lie! This super-endowed lady has left tongues wagging after flaunting her incredible assets! (PHOTO)