Irvine Judo Club senior coach Gordon Brawley says the club is still going strong despite lockdown restrictions stopping them from training in person.

The club were back training together after the easing of the first lockdown in September last year all the way through to December, but the latest lockdown restrictions mean the club is back fully online.

Despite there being no competitions students still have things to work towards, with the club managing to carry out gradings over the internet.

Speaking to the Times, Brawley said: “We managed to do a couple of online gradings, we called up maybe three or four kids and went through the grading with them.

“It was pretty good, the kids bought in to it and so did some of the older juniors. It managed to get everyone graded again and gave them a bit of an interest.”

Although it looks as if the club will not be able to get into Parterre Hall anytime soon for training sessions, it does not mean the facilities are lying empty, with Brawley saying the NHS have been regular visitors.

“We’ve not had much income coming through the door since last March, but the NHS has been using our facilities for the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine as well.

“That has kept us pretty much alive and financially sound, with them taking up the halls quite regularly.

“It has been a great source of income but hopefully we will be able to get back into full swing shortly and get some people in the door training. “

On the competitive side of the club, they have a number of talents to keep an eye on with members training with the Scottish and British National Judo Squads.

Brawley said: “Last year, Grant Blair won a medal in just about every competition he entered including the Scottish, Welsh and British Open and he was training with the British squad just before lockdown.

“Ross Carswell got picked to train with the Scottish squad and Charlie McLean is one of our junior coaches and he has won a lot of awards through his school and Sports Scotland too.”