THIS week Craig Borland is celebrating another sign of Helensburgh’s return to some sort of ‘new normal’ following the coronavirus lockdown – in this particular case, as it’s seen towards the back of the Advertiser’s pages...

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IT’S not exactly a secret that filling the Advertiser has been, shall we say, a bit more challenging over the last five-and-a-bit months. All the schools, and the vast majority of community groups, clubs and societies that are regular sources of news, suddenly weren’t able to do much, if anything – by order of the Government.

Of course, many things have happened during lockdown that wouldn’t have happened in the extraordinary circumstances we’ve found ourselves in since March. But even so, like every one of you, we have let out a small gasp of joy every time we see a small step back towards life as it used to be lived.

The lack of things to report has been particularly evident in our sport section. We’ve just about managed to fill our back page every week since lockdown restrictions took hold, but when the matches, tournaments and events on which every local paper’s sport section relies are not happening, you do have to think a bit more creatively about how to fill that awkward white space. And I should say here that I am immensely grateful to all the clubs and individuals who have helped us do that over recent months.

READ MORE: Helensburgh's rugby youngsters return to training after lockdown

So it was with great joy that I realised on Monday that we’d have enough sports news to fill a second page in this edition. Helensburgh’s young rugby players are back, and with news that competition has resumed at Helensburgh Golf Club, and that the popular From Hel ‘n’ Back hill race organised by Helensburgh Amateur Athletics Club will take place as planned next month, there is – at last – clear evidence of the green shoots of sporting recovery.

It will be some time before what we think of as ‘normality’ returns to our sports pages – and indeed to the rest of the Advertiser. Personally, I’ll be in my happy place when I can spend my Saturday afternoon watching an actual, genuine, live football or rugby match somewhere in or around Helensburgh. But for now, just being able to read reports of people and clubs getting out and doing things is cause for a small celebration in itself.

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