CARDIGAN ABC are confident that - following a five-month hiatus - they are ready, willing and able to re-open the premises while adhering to strict Covid-19 restrictions laid down by amateur boxing's governing body.

A team led by head coach Guy Croft and assistant coaches Kev O'Sullivan and Tom Lloyd has been adapting the gym to conform with tough criteria drawn up by Welsh Boxing.

These include a deep clean of the Maesyrhaf premises and the taping off of areas to enable boxers to observe two-metre social distancing at all times.

The club now hope to receive the all-clear to resume training sessions sometime in the coming weeks.

Although fitness work, skipping, bag work and shadow boxing are permitted under the current guidelines, padwork and sparring will not be allowed until further notice.

“We're all looking forward to getting back to some kind of normality,” Guy told the Tivyside. “But because of space restrictions we'll be limited to a maximum of eight boxers per session to begin with.

“And initially boxers will only be able to attend via invitation only – we're just not able to throw open our doors for all and sundry.

“Obviously, the hope is that as restrictions are gradually lessened we can in time allow more and more kids back into the gym.

“We've been keeping parents notified as to what's happening and the vast majority are very keen to see their kids back in training.”

Chairman Mike Lewis admitted the restrictions the club faced were 'challenging'.

“To be honest, when I found out sparring and padwork weren't allowed my first thought was: 'how do you run a boxing gym without those?',” he said.

“But now we've re-arranged the gym from top to bottom I'm more optimistic. I honestly believe we can make this work and hopefully progress before too long to the next stage.

“We all just have to be patient and take things one step at a time.”

Guy added that plans to open the club's new £57,000 extension have also had to be put on temporary hold.

“But once we get the go-ahead to re-open we'll be putting a new ring in there hopefully within a month or so,” he said.

The ambitious project was largely financed by a £25,000 Ceredigion County Council grant, along with £22,950 from Sports Wales.

In addition a grant of £6,500 from West Wales Freemasons will finance the new ring.

“Cardigan freemasons were so impressed by the very enthusiastic volunteers that run Cardigan ABC and the young members that train there, that they were delighted to award a £6.5k community grant from the West Wales Freemasons Charity,” confirmed a spokesperson.