A FORMER European and Commonwealth champion is helping young and old remain active during the coronavirus outbreak.

Chris Ewing usually hosts more than 20 karate classes each week throughout East Lothian, Midlothian and Edinburgh.

But with schools and sports centres closing their doors, the karate teacher has moved things online.

The man behind Chris Ewing Karate (CEK) is offering one-month free virtual karate fitness classes in a bid to bring the community together.

Mr Ewing, who is based in Tranent, said: “When the schools and sports centres closed, I was trying to think of a way how I could keep the classes going and keep members going.

“We have got a lot of members who are national team fighters and some are ranked in the top five in the world.

“I was looking online and a friend, Melissa Hand, saw an app called Zoom. She uses it for conference meetings and she came down and showed me how to use it.”

A few test runs later and 40-year-old Mr Ewing is now running a series of classes encouraging people to keep active.

He told the Courier: “I have even got the parents, mums and dads, all joining in with the classes. They are all staying active as well and sometimes there are five or six people all doing it at the one time.”

Classes take place throughout the day, with sometimes between 70 and 80 people all joining in.

Anyone interested in taking part is able to receive a code and join the class.

Sessions include padwork, cardio HIIT (high intensity interval training) and beginners’ karate classes.

Chris Ewing Karate Club trains in the style of karate known as Wado-Kai, which is a blend of traditional Japanese karate and jujitsu.

On a competitive front, Mr Ewing said the coronavirus outbreak had also impacted upon some of the club members.

Competitors are unable to reach tournaments in the Netherlands, Sweden and Croatia over the coming months, with Mr Ewing hopeful the club could get its money back.

For more information, go to www.chrisewingkarate.com

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