OVERCOMING a reluctance to go in front of the camera has kept a West Fife club boxing clever during lockdown.

Trench Boxing Club, which is based in Dunfermline's Mercer Place, are one of a number of local sports groups who have been picking themselves up off the canvas since coronavirus restrictions were brought in by going online.

Head coach Gordon Brennan, who since last year has also been delivering sessions to secondary school pupils as part of 'Punch Beyond', an initiative with Police Scotland, Active Schools Fife, Youth Justice and Boxing Scotland, is keeping his club's members in training by hosting virtual classes four days a week.

And he revealed that it has proven to be a big success all round – which will go a long way to ensuring that Trench will be in a strong position when classes begin to return to normal.

"Everyone is champing at the bit to get back, and I understand that, but we just need to try and keep things bearable at the minute," he said.

"If members are not paying their fees, the club shuts, it's as simple as that. Thankfully, they have been really supportive.

"The community aspect within Trench has always been brilliant so it's no surprise to me that it has taken off. I'm glad that I've done it.

"I've been getting told to try online stuff for about the last five years, and I've been reluctant to put myself in front of the camera. I'd rather be taking classes in the gym.

"It is massively out of my comfort zone but, after one or two, it starts to feel normal. We've got 20 a night at the moment online.

"It's hard to get new members in the current situation but our members and pay-as-you-go customers are all getting involved."

Gordon, who is a former professional boxer and coaches current Celtic super middleweight champion Tommy Philbin, launched a class offering mental health support and a fitness session last year and believes working virtually can help with that.

"We keep in touch through messenger, and everyone needs to train is the popular opinion," he continued.

"It helps with your mental health, to keep some kind of routine. Afterwards, we try to have five minutes where we sit down and chat, about how did it go, or what we can improve on.

"Half the time, there are kids jumping in in the background or the family pet! It definitely lifts your mood and your day to check in on everyone."

Brennan, meanwhile, has backed Philbin to come back stronger after his return to the ring was thwarted by the pandemic.

The 29-year-old, who hails from Edinburgh, had been due to take part in the 'Ultimate Boxxer 7' show in Manchester earlier this month, alongside seven other super middleweight fighters.

Brennan added: "It was a massive competition that he was training for and I think it will be pushed back to possibly September.

"It's no-one's fault but I hope that he can grab it next time round, hopefully do well and win it."