LOCAL boxing clubs can return to action on August 10 in line with the Irish Government's advice on the resumption of close physical contact sports.

The announcement was made recently by IABA President, Dominic O'Rourke who said that the return would be subject to various safety measures being put in place.

The St Michael's, Athy clubman also confirmed that competitions are still some way off but to social distancing requirements, but when they do return it will be for domestic competitions initially, given international tournaments will be impacted by travel restrictions and quarantining guidelines for people entering the country.

“We are using August 10 as the reopening date for all clubs, but with strict guidelines in place, he confirmed, in a statement.

“The IABA will produce guidelines for boxing clubs and advise on actions to take to ensure all our boxers, coaches, officials, medics and the general public are protected as much as possible.

“Domestic competitions will remain on hold until such time as it is safe to resume. Unfortunately, International competitions on any scale are still a long way off, with travel restrictions and controls at ports and airports to remain in place for some time.

“Spectators can begin to attend other live sporting events only in accordance with both indoor and outdoor number restrictions and where social distancing can be complied with.”

O'Rourke acknowledged that it will take some time before things fully return to normal with boxing and that it will be a gradual process in line with government guidance.

He also admitted that things can change and the date of August 10 will depend on the threat of the virus receding in the country, with a second wave likely to put them back to square one.

“The government will regularly assess the situation as they seek to keep the level of transmission low,” he continued.

“The gradual restarting of activities should enable us all to get back to as close to normality as this pandemic will allow.

“We are very conscious that there are significant consequences of social distancing measures. The normal structures of daily life – work, school, sport, entertainment – have temporarily ceased to exist. As we reopen, we will be living our daily lives in modified ways for as long as this pandemic remains.

“Boxing has been dealt a serious body blow by this pandemic, and we are all under varying degrees of pressure across all levels of our sport. But we will persevere, and as an organisation, do everything we can to help our clubs to get up and running as quickly as possible.