By Lachlan Bruce

THE coronavirus lockdown has had a massive impact upon everyone, throughout the UK.

It has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives, the way we interact with friends and family, the way we shop etc etc.

Another thing that has been affected is sport, whether that be kids unable to play together in the park, grassroots clubs not being able to compete or our senior football and rugby clubs unable to finish their seasons.

The first two have negative impacts for both the individual and wider society, in terms of people staying fit and healthy both physically and mentally.

I for one am missing spending the summer playing incredibly badly for Tranent and Preston Village Cricket Club with my friends.

Something I look forward to during the cold, dark, winter months are those afternoons running around, having some banter and generally getting out of the house.

The football and rugby clubs unable to finish their seasons is also something I feel strongly about.

There’s an importance in having teams and individuals competing at the highest levels, representing our communities.

Whether it be football, rugby, hockey or any other sport, having someone represent you, wearing the name of your town or village on their kit, can create a great sense of worth and community spirit.

These institutions in our communities are embedded deep but it has never been more difficult to run a club or team than it is now – and that was true before coronavirus.

In the case of football, the cost of running a team is higher now due to SFA rules and regulations, crowds not being what they once were in some areas, and there being more competition for players.

Anyone who has seen how football nationally is being run by overpaid people like Neil Doncaster, of the SPFL, will understand that life is not easy for grassroots sport.

These are institutions within our communities and it is vital that we protect them, or they will not survive.

So, if you can afford it, maybe get in touch with your local club and offer to buy a season ticket, even if you won’t go every week, or support one of their ongoing fundraising events.

Preston Athletic players are cycling to 20 different football grounds to raise money, and you can donate here if you wish to help –

Sport is a vital way of life in East Lothian so we need to embrace it when it returns and protect it in the meantime.