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Results etc. Newsworthy happenings.

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 As the draft guidance (still awaiting sign off from Department of Culture Media and Sport) issued by the BJA on Friday indicated that outdoor training with full contact was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!

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Website updates

Some essential maintenance work has recently been undertaken on our website, most obviously it’s move to a secure, industry standard “https” domain. This makes our site much more secure (you may be surprised how many hacking attempts we get…) and enables better integration with our social media feeds.

Many thanks to John Rogerson for sorting this and other background issues for us.

The cost of website hosting, domain registration and email addresses are all part of the hidden costs of running a modern sports club. A digital presence is vital however in the 21st century and will help us to attract new members and keep in contact with current players and parents as we navigate our way out of the Covid pandemic.

You can support us with these hidden costs by playing the Portsmouth Lottery or using the Easyspace portal when shopping online, as we all are these days. Full details can be found on our Fundraising pages.

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A way forward…

Yesterday’s announcement from the Government gave us cause for hope.

11 months after we closed the dojo, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In a speech that emphasised data over dates, there were still several key dates. Below is our take on what these might mean for us.

8 March – schools return, outdoor after school sports and activities can resumePossibility of resuming outdoor training sessions?
29 March – Organised outdoor grassroots sports can resumeOutdoor training sessions can resume
12 April – gyms can reopenChildren can return to mat based training – no contact – although this may not be until 17 May
17 May – Indoor group exercise classes can resumeAdults can return to mat based training
21 June – most social distancing requirements removedReturn to some form of recognisable judo – uchikomi and kata, possible randori and shiai?

This is just our take – we are awaiting guidance from British Judo, who will be in consultation with Department of Culture Media and Sport. We are also obviously dependent on the school agreeing our return to the premises.

Much is dependent on the infection rate and hospitalisations remaining their downward trend, and the rollout of vaccines. Please remember to keep following the mantra of Hands – Face – Space to keep yourself and others safe – Portsmouth’s judo and martial arts community has suffered at least one loss due to Covid this year, we know of other people who have also died following infections.

Whilst we wait to return, don’t forget to make sure your licence remains in date so you can continue to participate in online training sessions organised by British Judo, and take advantage of other benefits. Your licence must be in date to return to the mat.

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You need to be in it to win it!

Last weekend saw our 38th winner on the Portsmouth Lottery!

By playing the Lottery, you are making a 50p donation to the Club for every ticket sold, as well making a contribution to support other causes across the City.

We we look to recover from the effects of the Covid pandemic, these funds become ever more crucial.

You can purchase your Portsmouth Lottery tickets here.

Thank you for your continued support.

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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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Return to indoor training

The school has given us permission to return to training from Tuesday 10th November.

Please note that this will be in line with Phase 1 of the British Judo Return to Judo plans. The emphasis will be on movement and fitness, as non-elite contact sports are still prohibited under Covid regulations. As anticipated, the school has also put some requirements in place.

We are of course aware that Covid cases are rising around the country and that further restrictions are possible.

Before we commit to a return to training, we are seeking your views – to that end, we are running a poll in our Parents and Players Facebook group, to see whether you support a return to judo related (but not judo) training in the current situation. Please take a few seconds to vote. You can also comment below.

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Update on our Return to Judo

We have submitted details of our planned return to training to the school as requested.

This has included a detailed risk assessment and insurance details for the club.

Additionally we have submitted a grant application to the BJA for support to offset any losses in mat revenue due to reduced mat numbers, and purchase of additional cleaning materials.

In both cases, we are currently awaiting a response.

We will update you all as soon as we have any news.

Don’t forget that in the meantime you can continue to support us via both the Portsmouth Lottery and Easyfundraising. Your support now is more vital than ever and is greatly appreciated. And did you know, Portsmouth Lottery has just had it’s first £25,000 winner!

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