ONE of Ilkley's hotbeds for sport has found it as difficult as anyone to deal with the pandemic but thinks the return of sport would be a massive boost.

Ben Rhydding Sports Club, which plays host to a range of sports including football, cricket and tennis, was forced to close it's doors back in March when the country went into lockdown.

The closure of the clubhouse has been a big miss to go along with the additional revenue lost through no matches being played.

Chairman, Andrew Musgrove thinks it has been hard for every aspect of amateur sport during these times.

He said: "It certainly has been very tough and has affected a fantastic number of people. We have closed the entire facility.

"There is no doubt that financially there is a massive challenge with no income to the club at all at the moment.

"We have relied on being able to provide social facilities for people and that is not possible. We still haven’t open any aspect of the clubhouse.

"We have a limited number of staff anyway. Those that were on PAYE we have had to put furlough.

"We don’t employ professional staff who are full time so supervision and regular cleaning to different areas would be costly. That is difficult to budget for.

"We have got to be patient, like a lot of other clubs. We have got to get to a point where we can open safely and start to provide the provisions that the members enjoyed before lockdown.

"The difficulty for all amateur clubs is that there always has to be a balance between income, expenditure and providing the facility for the members.

"There has been a small amount of money from Sport England towards covid-19. Applications for grants and loans to other bodies have also been made. Some have been successful and some not.

"There has been help around, which we have used, but not necessarily everything we would need to cover the gap."

The club can take some solace from a number of sports dripping back.

Ilkley Town have returned to training, all be it under restrictions such as limiting sessions to groups of six.

Tennis and cricket are also back in some shape. Again not to full capacity, with stipulations, like an individual only using their own equipment and social distancing, in place.

Musgrove added: "Slowly but surely, as the governing bodies of the sports released their advice we worked with each of the individual sports to match what we thought was sensibly locally.

"We had to make sure people were able to return safely and adhere to all the guidelines that have been laid out.

"Cricket have got some potential schedules we just have to wait to see if the lockdown easing will allow them to do that. Football are still looking towards there new season and hoping they can get that underway too."