Blog Archives

Relevant to judo or not, this is where Court Lane Judo will broadcast their ponderings.

Stay safe on the mats

It is fantastic to see so many returning and new faces on the mat – last night was our biggest session for some time. We are very happy to welcome you to the Club.

It is easy to forget as life returns to normal that the coronavirus is still in circulation – 45,066 cases were logged on Thursday, over 7,000 people are in hospital with Covid and sadly the death toll is running at between 800 – 1,000 per week. Obviously the vaccine has significantly reduced the risk of infection and hospitalisation, but it is not 100% effective.

The virus is largely airborne, as we enter the autumn/winter season it will become more transmissible and with us all spending more time indoors, the risk of infection will rise.

We will endeavour to keep doors / windows open for as long as practical in the hall to ensure a steady supply of fresh air.

Please continue to follow best practice on hand hygiene – hand sanitiser is available in the hall.

Whilst Government requirements and restrictions have been lifted, and parents are welcome to stay and watch, mask wearing and distancing is still recommended.

The club has a Test and Trace QR code – this is displayed on the board when you enter the hall, you can check in using the Covid-19 app.

If you should return a positive test result or are showing symptoms associated with Covid, please do not attend training sessions. This advice applies to all illnesses – it is general good practice, both for yourself and to protect other people in such a close contact sport as judo.

Latest guidance on coronavirus can be found on the Gov.UK website.

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Catching up…

Although the last 12 – 15 months have been hard, it has been great to keep in touch with so many of you – either via social media or bumping into you in the street etc.

We thought it would be nice to briefly update on what some of the club’s former faces are now up to…

John Luijken has relocated with his family to Holland, and is still continuing his judo studies there.

Azhar Baree is studying economics at Southampton Uni – where he bumped into former Court Lane alumni Lewis Dolman on the mat. Lewis has now moved to Birmingham…

Jonty Bassil is joining the Navy, with an aspiration to become a PTI. Best of luck Jonty!

Isla Savellis-Fry has competed her studies at South Downs College, and is offering sports massage at Bodyworx 360 in Leigh Park as well as a mobile service. You can contact her via her her Facebook page – Isla’s Massage Therapy – or her mobile 07389 821386

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Return to adult judo likely to be delayed

John Buchanan Choke

Messages from Government today indicate that it is likely that lifting of final restrictions covering gatherings, sports participation etc. are likely to be delayed following a rise in positive tests, largely linked to the new Delta variant. Reassuringly hospital cases, whilst growing, are not increasing at the same rate, indicating that the vaccine programme is effective (with caveats about number of received doses).

You can read a more detailed analysis here.

It looks as if adult judo judo will be delayed until mid July – and as we are likely to be shut over the school holidays, that effectively means September for us.

We will confirm more detail as soon as we can.

In the meantime, the mantra (vaccinated or not) remains Hands – Face – Space – Fresh Air.

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Will adults be able to return to training in June?

Under the Government’s plan to exit coronavirus restrictions, it was envisaged that all restrictions in England would be lifted on 21st June, meaning that adults could return to full contact training from that date. (Currently adults could train indoors, with no contact other than people from their family group. At the moment, we have chosen to work just with under 18s who are allowed full contact).

Each stage of the lifting of restrictions is dependent on:

  • the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • UK Government assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

You will be aware of course that a new variant has emerged, which appears to be even more transmissible than the variant that drove huge hospital admissions over the winter months. The latest evidence is that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations continue to offer good protection against the latest variant, but that there is a rise in infection showing amongst the younger age groups who may not have received the vaccination as yet. This will be driven in part by the relaxing of restrictions, as well as the new variant.

So, will adults be able to return to training towards the end of June?

For a definitive answer, we will need to wait for an announcement, probably in week commencing 14th June; but we are cautiously optimistic.

We envisage however that registering attendance via the Club’s QR code and submitting a Covid declaration will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future. It is possible that regional restrictions or increased testing may be applied to manage local outbreaks – we understand extra testing capacity has been created in north Hampshire recently, linked to the latest variant. (Portsmouth City Council yesterday sounded the alarm about an increase in local cases, although it is still a long way short of the figures seen earlier in the year).

In the meantime, please continue to practise Hands – Face – Space

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Guilty Pleasures #1

A particular joy over the last couple of years has been rediscovering sumo. First broadcast to British audiences by Channel 4 in the 1980s, with commentary by Syd Hoare (a Judo 6th dan) major tournaments are now broadcast by NHK World, or can be viewed on YouTube.

Major tournaments are held in odd months (January, March, May…)

It is perhaps an acquired taste – but once you get across the initial shock you get to realise that sumo has much in common with judo – action, reaction, breaking of balance, momentum – and shares many of the same techniques – seoinage, leg and foot sweeps… Although player health and safety at tournaments does need to be looked. The lack of a safety area outside the raised contest area is a concern that should be addressed.

Current idols of the sport include the Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho (who is likely to play some part in the Olympic opening ceremony) and up and coming stars such such as Enho, Wakatakakage, and Tobizaru.

One of the greatest stars of the sport was the late yokozuna Chiyonofuji, thankfully no one now approaches the size of the giant Hawaiian, Konishiki!

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The excitement is building!

Hopefully you have all seen the news about classes restarting next week!

We can’t wait!

Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with the steps we all need to follow to keep ourselves safe and compliant with the plan agreed between British Judo and the Government to enable Judo to restart.

You all need to check to make sure your licence is in date to return to Judo – have you seen the new offers from British Judo to help us all return to the mat?

Like us, you are probably checking to make sure your judogi still fits… Don’t worry if it doesn’t! As always, we will jackets available to borrow – we do ask please, that you take them home to wash afterwards and return the next session, rather than just returning to the box. Alternatively we are happy for sweatshirts, school PE kit to be worn as we return to the mat. We will build up an order for new kits over the next few weeks.

Can’t wait to see you all on Tuesday!

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Taking steps to keep us all safe as we return to Judo

Covid has been a fact of life now for over a year, and even as we look forward to a return to Judo, the harsh fact is it hasn’t gone away.

We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe. By following a few simple steps, we can reduce the risk of infection and having to close down.

These steps are based on the Return to Judo plan submitted by the BJA to Department of Culture Media and Sport, and take into account the regulations in Contact Combat Sport Section Phase 1 for Adults and Phase 2 for Under 18’s (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-grassroots-sports-guidance-for-safe-provision-including-team-sport-contact-combat-sport-and-organised-sport-events).

Club and Coaches

  • As a club, we will notify the BJA of our intention to reopen, ensuring our insurance cover is reactivated.
  • All coaches have been busy making sure qualifications and DBS are up to date.

Players

  • Please make sure your licence is up to date! No licence = no judo. In the current circumstances, we are sure you can understand why. Various extensions were granted by the BJA last year during the first lockdown period, you can check your current status via the Dojo online system.

At the Club

  • All players and coaches need to complete a Covid declaration before each session – these can either be on paper and submitted on the night, or can be completed online.
  • A one way system will be in operation – please enter from the playground and exit the hall to the car park.
  • All players aged 16+, coaches and parents who are staying at the Club (see below) are required to scan Club’s QR code with NHS Covid app.
  • A list of attendees will be supplied to the school.
  • Whilst usually parents are welcome and encouraged to stay, in line with current Government guidance for both indoor and outdoor sports, spectators are only allowed if actively supervising their child – so only the very young, new beginners or those who may have support needs on the night please. Spectators need to remain a 2m distance from other spectators, and 3m from the edge of the mat.
  • Face coverings should be worn off the mat, in line with current Government guidance.
  • Sanitiser will be available
  • Staff toilets only will be accessible.
  • Players should be prepared to administer their own basic first aid – plasters, strapping etc. to minimise contact with coaches. First Aid supplies will be available, but players may wish to bring their own.
  • A waste bin will be available, but ideally rubbish should be taken home with you.
  • In order to facilitate antiviral cleaning of mats between sessions, reduced session times will be in place.

Please remember that the Club is currently only open for players aged under 18. We hope to restart adult sessions from June in line with the BJA roadmap.

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Return to the mat! (Hopefully).

As you will be aware, easing of Government covid restrictions means that we can start to consider (again!) a return to training.

Outdoor training is permissible from 29 March, with gyms allowed to reopen from 12 April.

We have decided NOT to take up the option of starting outdoor sessions from Monday. Instead, we are targeting the reopening of gyms as a possible date to return our junior (under 18) players to the mat. As the draft guidance (still awaiting sign off from Department of Culture Media and Sport) issued by the BJA on Friday indicated that outdoor training with full contact was possible, for players aged under 18, we are hoping that by time we return to the mat, this will also be possible indoors.

We have been in contact with the school and the Headteacher is happy for us to return from Tuesday 20 April. Hopefully this will be indoors, mat based training for our junior players – decision needs to be ratified by school Trustees, based on the risk assessment we submit. Adults will need to wait a little longer to get back on the mat. If we are not able to return to the mat, we will commence outdoor training from Tuesday 20 April, using the school site.

The graphics below indicate the BJA’s understanding of the current situation:

It is still an evolving situation, all dates remain provisional and are dependent on the Government being satisfied that :

  • the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

We will keep you informed as we approach the target date.

Please make sure your licence is in date for when you return to training!

Posted in Announcements, Blog, News, Training
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1 year, 1 day… Is the end in sight?

Yesterday, 12 March, marked the anniversary of our last sessions on the tatami. When we closed down the club in light of the just declared Covid pandemic, we thought we would be back in a few weeks…

However, thanks to the successful vaccination programme being rolled out across the country, it looks as if a return to training is on the cards soon. Whilst we await details from British Judo, who are in consultation with Department of Culture Media and Sport, the potential return dates remain as in our earlier post. Please note, these are all earliest dates, they could be put back if cases or hospital admissions rise again – as sadly we are seeing in Italy and Germany. Full details of the Government roadmap can be found on Gov.UK

29 March – possible resumption of outdoor training. We are talking to the school to see if we can use the school grounds for this – it offers more parking, more privacy and may enable us to access equipment we have stored at the club. If this is possible, it will not be until after Easter.

12 April – gyms can reopen. This may enable children’s indoor sessions to recommence, or this may be delayed to 17 May, when gym classes can recommence. Presumably at this point indoor non-contact training for all can recommence. Contact only allowed between members of same household.

21 June – social distancing requirements removed. Although what this means for contact sports is still unclear, it seems reasonable to assume that kata and uchikomi at least will be allowed between members of different households.

We can’t wait to get back into training, and back on the mat. In advance of this happening, please make sure your licence is in date!

Keep watching and we will update you as and when we get news.

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Celebrating the women and girls of Court Lane Judo Club

This International Women’s Day, we like to take a moment to reflect on how many great women and girls have graced the mats of Court Lane Judo Club.

We were lucky that from the very beginning we had a female coach, Jill Brown, who has recently returned to the club after taking a break.

Jill was vital in many of the club’s early successes, and was shortlisted for The News Sportscoach of the Year.

Many of our female players have achieved great things too – here are just a few names from our ladies’ rollcall of honour:

  • Kate Borland
  • Sophie Read
  • Tiffany Caswell
  • Louise Growse
  • Sophie Dolman
  • Sarah Carr
  • Maddi Cox
  • Jess Oakden
  • Isla Savellis-Fry
  • Chloe Lymer

We have also been lucky enough to attract some of the country’s top female players, all Olympions, to the club to run sessions for us:

  • Kate Howey MBE
  • Sophie Cox
  • Nekoda Davis

Prior to closing our doors due to the Covid pandemic, we had one of the highest ratio of female to male players in the BJA.

Girls, we salute you and hope to see you all back on the mat soon.

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