SPORTS clubs in Helensburgh and Lomond are preparing to welcome members and visitors back for the first time in more than two months after the Scottish Government announced plans to ease some of the country’s lockdown restrictions.

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to confirm on Thursday that solo outdoor sporting activities such as tennis, bowls, golf and fishing will be permitted – as long as social distancing measures are strictly observed.

And across the area preparations have been stepped up since last Thursday’s announcement by the First Minister, to ensure that people are able to take up the sports they love in accordance with the updated government guidance.

Helensburgh Lawn Tennis Club (HLTC), for example, will be opening up its courts from Monday, June 1, with a series of measures in place to ensure the safety of all.

In line with Lawn Tennis Association guidance, only singles matches will be allowed (the only exception is doubles matches in which, for example, two people from the Smith household play two from the Jones household), while there will be hand sanitising stations at court entrances, no group coaching, and no competitions.

READ MORE: Helensburgh hero Gordon Reid sets sights on 2021 after Paralympics' pandemic postponement

Access to the clubhouse will be restricted to the ground floor only, where a first aid station will be located.

Bobby Kerr from HLTC said: “The club will carry out a deep clean of the facilities and keep up a strict cleaning regime going forward.

“At this time of the year, we would be in the midst of league matches but they have been postponed until later in the year.

“Our junior coaching programme would also be in full swing and we would be planning our summer camps, but all group coaching will be postponed until the autumn.”

Scottish Golf has prepared guidelines allowing golf clubs across the country to reopen, again with social distancing rules strictly adhered to.

READ MORE: Helensburgh couple share the story of their lifelong love for tennis

Other conditions include requiring all golfers to pre-book time slots for their round, allowing three or four-ball groups only at the discretion of each club and if the rules on mixing with only one other household are observed, keeping all clubhouse facilities closed, and a recommendation agHainst competitions.

A statement on Helensburgh Golf Club’s website says that “preparations are under way for the safe return of golf on or around May 29”, while according to the club’s Facebook page, when play does resume, the ‘Putt Buddy’ system will be used, in which players can retrieve their ball from the cup without using their hand.

Helensburgh Bowling Club said in a statement: “President Eddie Claisse hopes that members of Helensburgh Bowling Club will return to the greens in early June.

READ MORE: Helensburgh FC youngsters do their bit to pay tribute to frontline workers with lockdown sponsored walk

“Those wishing to play will be able to pre-book start times.

“Games will be limited to two players on each rink and recommended social distancing will be adhered to at all times.

“Equipment will be sanitised before and after play.

“Regrettably at this stage clubhouse facilities cannot be used, however it is hoped this can be eased in later in the season, when further phases of the lockdown exit are announced.

“The greens are ready for use as, throughout the lockdown, the greenkeeper has maintained them as normal.”

READ MORE: Rosneath fly-fisher Joy is hungry for more after competing in Commonwealth championships for Scotland

Meanwhile, members of the Cove and Kilcreggan Angling Club will also be able to resume their passion – with club president Lachie Bain saying he expects adherence to the social distancing rules to be relatively simply.

He said: “It’s great news if we are able to fish after the 28th.

“The club’s waters are always quiet, so social distancing will be straightforward. I know the members have missed their fishing and will be delighted to be able to start again with most of the season still ahead of us.

“Members will reminded to observe the social distancing regulations, but as our fishing is bank fishing respecting the two-metre rule should be straightforward.”

READ MORE: Click here to stay in touch with all the latest news headlines from across Helensburgh and Lomond