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Stephen Peters explains why he’s reconnecting former teammates in lockdown.
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Stephen Peters has explained why he was motivated to pick up the phone to the PCA in early 2021, kick-starting the Talk to Teammates campaign which aims to combat isolation and loneliness among PCA members in lockdown.
Former Northamptonshire, Worcestershire and Essex man Peters, who retired from professional cricket in 2015 with over 450 professional appearances under his belt, has always tried to keep in touch with his former Northants teammates in particular since leaving the game.
In the context of a third national lockdown in under a year, however, ‘Pedro’ was determined to go one step further and reach out to those ex-colleagues who he hadn’t spoken to in a while, and might have slipped off the radar in recent years.
Peters recounts how the idea originally came to him, and also how a phone call to PCA Director of Member Services Ian Thomas led to the creation of the Talk to Teammates campaign back in January: “I was watching TV earlier on this year, and there’s an advert for a popular bank which talks about how they’ve been calling their elderly customers throughout the pandemic.
“I wondered whether the PCA were doing anything similar in terms of keeping in contact with its players, so I rang Ian and asked if it was something the PCA should be doing. At that point, I volunteered my services to get the ball rolling and start reaching out to people at the same time.
“Ian messaged a couple of days later saying it was a great idea, and he said that the PCA really wanted to do something on this and turn it into something really meaningful, and then the Talk to Teammates campaign was born.”
“I think it’s something that we should try and continue as much as we can, even after the pandemic."
Since then, Peters estimates he has reached out to at least half a dozen former teammates who he wouldn’t have otherwise spoken to. The 42-year-old says that a small gesture such as making a phone call or sending a WhatsApp can make a big difference, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Since it’s come about, I’ve had some great phone calls with some of my old teammates. It seems a bit corny, but you really do share some special moments in dressing rooms with those guys. Those simple calls you can make to teammates who you used to play with can really make a big difference.
“I’m aware the PCA runs a Confidential Helpline for people who need instant support, which is fantastic and no doubt will continue to support players for years to come, but these calls I’m talking about really serve a different purpose.
“Current players haven’t been seeing each other due to a lack of training, so I think it should be at the forefront of their minds, but from the past player perspective there’s nothing like one of your ex-teammates picking up the phone and checking in on you to see how you’re doing.
“I think it’s something that we should try and continue as much as we can, even after the pandemic. I hope it maintains some traction and keeps on being well-supported, so please do reach out and Talk to Teammates.”
– #TalkToTeammates –
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