Blog Archives

10 months and counting…

When we closed the club in March 2020, a week before the first national lockdown, none of us really envisaged that 10 months later our mats would still be empty.

We were lucky enough to be able to run some sessions outdoors over the summer, but our return to indoor training has been knocked back – first from November 2020 to January 2021, and now indefinitely in the third national lockdown. We remain committed to opening when it is safe to do so.

Like everyone else, we await the lifting of Covid restrictions. Infection rates are falling, but are still high; and hospital admissions and deaths show no signs of abating. Sadly, Covid related deaths have even affected Portsmouth’s judo community.

International judo has been affected, as has been the Olympics. It is probably 50-50 at best if the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Games will take place this year. GB’s Alice Schlesinger has announced her retirement, missing her last Games, and Nekoda Smythe-Davis has announced her withdrawal from the selection race for Tokyo as she recovers from a serious concussion.

We hope you are taking advantage of the online sessions organised by British Judo. These are FREE to licensed members – another reason to keep your British Judo membership in date. You can book on to these sessions here.

Thank you for your continued support of the Club via Portsmouth Lottery and Easyfundraising. With online shopping our new normal, this is a great way to generate donations to the Club, at no cost to yourself. Funds raised will help us to weather the current pandemic and return stronger when we can get back on the mats, with whatever restrictions may still be in place. Judo, martial arts and other indoor contact sports will be the last to return to normal.

Please remember it is OK not to feel OK! The last year has been extremely testing for everyone. British Judo has published a list of organisations who can offer support if you or members of your family are struggling. Alternatively, you may find suggestions in Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s book ‘Feel Better in 5’ helpful. The Morning and Evening Flows are great stretching and relaxation processes, whilst guidance on daily gratitude list, affirmations and breathing practices may also be of benefit.

Finally, stay safe, look after each other and we look forward to seeing you all back on the mat when it is safe to do so.

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Delayed return to indoor training confirmed

British Judo has updated it’s guidance following the introduction of the new Stay at Home Tier 4.

As expected, no indoor training is permitted, hence the reopening of the club remains on hold.

Portsmouth’s Tier 4 status is due to be reviewed on 30 December, but with other areas of the country today also being put into Tier 4, it seems unlikely that we will see any immediate easing of restrictions.

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Grant application successful

We are delighted to announce that the Club received news today that it’s application to the Club Support scheme being administered by British Judo has been successful, and we will receive grant support towards reopening when this is possible.

The funds will be used to purchased training aids and other equipment as well as subsidising running costs due to potential loss of income from reduced class sizes due to social distancing requirements.

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Further delay to club re-opening

The Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday that Portsmouth was being moved to the new Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, after only a day in Tier 3, was unexpected.

We are still awaiting full guidance as to what Tier 4 means for community sports club; however we understand that it is equivalent to the national lockdowns imposed in March and November.

We hope that this will only be for a short period of time, but the Health Minister made clear on Sunday that these new restrictions could b ein place for several months – presumably by which he meant over the winter period.

It seems unlikely that our announced re-opening date of 12th January will be possible, however we will keep you updated with news as and when we can. This is incredibly frustrating, however the safety of everyone especially the most vulnerable must come first, and we continue to be patient.

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Club delays reopening due to Portsmouth entering Tier 3

It was confirmed today that Portsmouth (along with Havant and Gosport) are entering Tier 3 restrictions in the fight to contain the spread of coronavirus.

We have been in contact with the school to confirm what this means for our planned Return to Judo.

British Judo guidance is that

With the correct social distancing rules enforced in venues and the current non-contact nature of the training schedules, we are effectively classified once again as an “organised exercise class”.

Tier 3: Classes for under 18s can restart indoors. Sessions for ages 18+ must remain outdoors. Same Household sessions permitted.

Tier 2: As per our Phase 1 Guidelines for A “Safe Return To Judo”.

Tier 1: As per our Phase 1 Guidelines for A “Safe Return To Judo”.

The school have confirmed that they are still happy for us to proceed under this basis, however they have a new Headteacher commencing on 4th January who may wish to review this decision. With this in mind, we have delayed our planned reopening to Tuesday 12th January.

We will post further details of our planned Return to Judo over the Christmas period.

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Return to Judo in January

After the longest break in the Club’s history, we are delighted to announce that training will recommence at the Club on the evening of Thursday 7 January 2021.

It has been a long wait since we announced we were closing our doors due to the coronavirus pandemic; our planned return in November was delayed due to Lockdown 2.0.

Hopefully, Portsmouth won’t be put in a higher tier after Christmas, or another national lockdown imposed.

Keep an eye out for for updates as to what this return will entail, please reset assured it will be in line with British Judo’s Return to Judo plan as signed off by Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

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Delayed return to mat based training

Whilst we are still awaiting official guidance from British Judo regarding last night’s announcement of another English lockdown, it seems unlikely that our return to training on 10th November will now be countenanced by the school, even if permitted under coronavirus regulations.

Thank you to all those who registered their support for a return to training, and several new prospective players or parents/carers who registered their interest.

To that end we are now proposing, and are in negotiation with the school, to make a new start in the New Year.

Full details will be published at a later date.

It is frustrating, but important that we continue to abide by the rules to manage the spread of the virus.

We appreciate your ongoing support via our fundraising programmes, and hope you all continue to keep safe and well.

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A step closer to a safe return to judo

The school has informed us today a return to training is possible from after October half term, subject to us submitting a Covid risk assessment and our requirements being possible with their cleaning schedules.

We are planning a low key return with ONE session only on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. This is to safeguard club finances whilst we gauge interest and appetite for a return to judo.

We are still in Phase 1 of the BJA’s agreed Return to Judo plan – details are available here https://www.britishjudo.org.uk/covid-19/a-safe-return-to-judo/. Please make sure you are familiar with the requirements on you as a player / parent.

Key points to note at present:

  1. BJA membership must be up to date – no licence, no training!
  2. Covid declarations will be required for each session attended
  3. Attendance must be pre-booked – numbers will be limited to allow for social distance (3 square metres per player). Insufficient numbers means sessions will be cancelled. Booking will open a week in advance and close 48 hours before.

More details will follow as details are firmed up.

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Outdoor training comes to an end

Outdoor fitness training has now finished for this year.

We have been running these sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings since lockdown restrictions were eased. Thank you to all those who have supported.

With the evenings now drawing in, it is not viable to continue with these sessions.

If there is interest, a weekend session may be possible – please let us now.

In the meantime, we await a decision from the school as to whether they are resuming hiring facilities to external groups.

Posted in Announcements, Training
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Still no clear date for recommencement of indoor training

We still have no clear idea as to when we can resume indoor training.

The Government has given the go ahead for indoor training from 25 July, however despite repeated attempts to solicit a response from the school, we do not know if we can recommence any type of indoor activity when school reopens on Thursday 3 September.

We are provisionally working towards a possible return on Tuesday 8 September, however this is as always dependent on

  1. Approval from school
  2. Classes being financially viable with any social distancing requirements that remain

We will keep on endeavouring to get a response from the school. Please check back over the summer for latest updates.

In the meantime, outdoor sessions will continue to be held. Thank you to those who have attended, and parents who have joined in!

There are a lot of you who we haven’t seen – please do contact us if you wish to join in a session to make sure we comply with coach/player group size restrictions.

In the meantime, have a good, safe and healthy summer, and we hope to see you in September.

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