Lockdown life – the everyday impact on Bedford: Anxiety

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SJF Golf Academy

Lockdown life is affecting Bedfordians in many different ways and sharing the way that coronavirus has impacted on their lives.

Some have emotional experiences, others heart-warming, but all are helping us to see that we are not alone in this collective experience.

Today, in this honest and personal account, Sam Filipczak, talks about his struggles with anxiety, how the pandemic is affecting his golf academy business, and how if anyone wants a chat, he’s there.

I certainly feel some days I have no purpose

I am 28 years old and like many I am self employed and having to wait until June for any income from the government, whilst being ineligible for universal credit.

I am lucky enough to be able to call myself a PGA Golf Professional and I have owned SJF Golf Academy since 2018. The academy has a focus on Junior Golf and has over 50 juniors per week playing golf.

As I am writing this I should be out on the golf course doing my second fully booked Easter Golf Camp of the week with children between the ages of 6-16.

Instead we are all staying at home and rightly so, protecting are incredible NHS who are doing a magnificent job in saving our loved ones.

Over the last two years, I have spent over 140 hours in schools for free promoting golf, taking PE lessons and trying to convince children that golf is not a rich old mans sport.

This is no easy feat, believe me. However through determination and dedicating more and more free time to this cause the academy started to grow before coming to a grinding halt on march 20th.

Now however this future is unclear for us all and the academy, and for someone who has struggled with anxiety for 10 years like many others, possibly reading this it can feel a little bit too much at times and I certainly feel some days I have no purpose.

Through speaking to friends and family I know many of us are feeling this way and struggling with our mental health.

For anyone reading this please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would just like a chat or please reach out to someone you trust.

For the last 10 years I have lived and worked in the UK, Lithuania, Dubai, Qatar and Indonesia all my adult life I have worked six-days-a-week eating, living and sleeping golf and for that to be taken away with nothing to fill the time I have had to get creative.

To keep myself sane and continue to inspire junior golfers, I have been creating ‘Golf Challenges’ on my Instagram and Facebook. The very best videos that I get sent feature on my social media pages.

The messages of support I have received have been overwhelming and have kept me motivated to keep providing online content for junior and adult golfers a like to enjoy

This is an uncertain time for us all, please stay at home protect our NHS. Stay positive. Golf courses will be there when all of this is over I just hope my academy will be too.

By Sam Filipczak, Brickhill

Article may be edited for typos, grammar and length.


How to submit your own lockdown experience

Sharing your experiences, and how coronavirus is affecting you, will help others and also create a social record of how coronavirus is affecting us all.

How you write your experiences is entirely up to you. But here are some pointers:

  • Please submit photos to accompany the piece
  • Describe who you are? Are you a teenager, a parent, business owner or volunteer. Who you are will help readers understand your point of view
  • Write it in a way that’s personal to you and your experiences
  • You can talk about anything you want. How you feel, what you’re doing differently, how family life is at home, but be honest
  • You can write a diary style piece, a list of ideas, or simply a story, be as creative as you like
  • Try to keep it about 400 words

Send your article to news@bedfordindependent.co.uk.

Submissions from all ages are welcome. Please include your full name and what area of Bedford you live in. We won’t need your street address.


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