Senjokai Karate Scotland chief instructor Liam Gallagher says the club is still going strong despite lockdown restrictions stopping them from full training at their usual venues.

Senjokai Karate’s Cumnock branch normally train at the Town Hall, however they have been unable to since the start of the year due to the latest lockdown.

Despite this the club have managed to overcome their difficulties to start an online dojo and stream weekly classes online.

Alongside the classes, the club has also managed to carry out several gradings for lower belts as well as virtual fighting.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Gallagher said: “We have done a couple of online gradings but only to certain levels, obviously with the higher grades we have held off.

“We have actually been able do, although there is no physical contact allowed at the moment, sparring classes, almost like shadow boxing.

“Using video calls, we have been able to put people into rooms so they can spar against each other virtually.

“The things we have had to learn to do over this last year are things we would never have dreamed of doing before but using technology has kept the club going.”

The latest Scottish Government route map out of lockdown sees outdoor contact sports return for children April 5 and for adults in May 17, however there is no date in sight for indoor contact sport for any age.

Despite that Gallagher says the Cumnock branch’s coach Craig Milligan has managed to get the club training back outdoors again in the area.

“We were given the green light for outdoor training at the start of the month however with the weather it can be difficult.

“The town hall is being used now for the vaccination centre so we can’t use it at the moment, so we are currently training at Woodroad Park.”

On the competitive side of the club, they have a number of talents to keep an eye on with members having represented Scotland and in the top 20 rankings such as Billie Ross and and Aria Pascual.