BOXING gyms in West Fife have welcomed a return to indoor sessions after the Scottish Government eased coronavirus restrictions.

From Monday August 31, gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts were given the go-ahead to re-open and both Trench and Valleyfield boxing clubs have opened their doors to members for the first time in almost six months.

Although physical distancing measures remain in place, Trench head coach Gordon Brennan said that training sessions had been "plain sailing" within the parameters allowed.

Speaking to Press Sport, he said that while he had lost members during lockdown, the re-opening of the Touch venue had sparked a lot of membership interest, but that he wanted to "be loyal" to those who ensured it remained open.

"We're glad to be back," he explained.

"They (members) have been waiting patiently for nearly six months so it's good to get back in.

"Half of them have been supporting us for the full six months so you can't ask for anything better than that.

"I lost more than 50 per cent of my members over lockdown; it doesn't pay the bills. I'm actually back on the roofs full-time. The gym's just been covering bills; I've been putting money in, the members have been putting money in.

"If it wasn't for all those members continuing to pay their monthly fees, the gym wouldn't be there because I can't afford to pay my mortgage and the gym at the same time working full-time.

"If it wasn't for those people, there would be no gym to come back to. Obviously, all the coaches are grateful they've supported us and we can open again.

"Since we opened, I've had hundreds of messages from people wanting to be a member. I'm trying to be loyal to the people that have stuck by us and trying to make sure they're back in and getting all the classes they want first before we open up new memberships, which I'm sure will be happening in a couple of weeks.

"It's all looking positive since the announcements so it's all good."

James White, who coaches at Valleyfield, said his club had been taking advantage of being able to train outdoors when given the go-ahead to do so prior to the gym's re-opening.

"It's been a wee lift for everybody getting back in the gym," he commented.

"We're just trying to get them back and keep them ticking over. There's no point in training flat-out just now; we're just getting them punching a bag or whatever.

"There's no pads, no sparring. Unless they're sparring, there won't be any competitions, and it's one sport that you can't social-distance, and you're not able to wear a mask.

"Boxing Scotland were putting on online videos that boxers from all over the country could tune in to and do a wee bit of that, which was good. Then, when it came to the time we were allowed to do the outdoor stuff, we would meet at Crossford football park, at Pitreavie, in the Glen, we did a lot of hill runs in the Glen, which was good.

"There's a great wee atmosphere about the place; it's just getting bigger and bigger all the time. The membership's definitely building all the time."

For Dunfermline Boxing Club, however, their training sessions remain outdoors or online as they await the go-ahead to use their Woodmill High School base.

Press Sport reported last week that, while they may be able to return by the middle of next month, they are seeking an alternative premises in the long-term.

"I'm glad the numbers are still there, which is encouraging," coach Stuart Rowa-Dewar commented.

"You've just got to be innovative and what I'm determined to do is not do the same thing week-in, week-out. You do try and change it up which means researching on YouTube and various other places so you've got something fresh to keep everybody engaged.

"Otherwise, if you keep doing the same things, very quickly they get bored and they find something else to do. That's a priority, keeping every class different, which means you have to do more preparation, but I don't mind that too much.

"There's no competitions or anything either taking place through Boxing Scotland so, at the moment, we're still coming out of the lockdown period.

"That's why you have to keep it fun and innovative to keep the people coming through the doors. All these people are getting trained in the public park for free, so that in itself is an incentive, and every session is different, apart from yes, you will be running up and down hills, you will be doing push-ups down hills, sit-ups up hills and everything like that. There's always a new element built into it to build on their fitness journey.

"We're just waiting on updates from the council to see if there's anything we can do in regards of getting in."