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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