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.
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.
We are delighted to announce that Rio Olympian Nekoda Smythe-Davis has agreed to run a session at the Club.
As well as representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympics, Nekoda won Commonwealth Games gold for England at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and a bronze medal at the 2017 Budapest World Championships.
Nekoda will be at the Club on Saturday 5th May, running a session from 1-3pm, with a meet and greet and photo opportunities after.
Prior booking and payment for this session will be essential, with priority being given to currently active players.
Full details of pricing and how to register will be released after half term.
Following on from our earlier posts on the dilemma facing the International Olympic Committee after the withdrawal of Hamburg, Rome and most recently Budapest from the 2024 bidding process, the BBC’s Dan Roan offers his own indepth analysis.
In an earlier post, I wondered what the future would hold for the Olympics with the announcement that both Rome and Hamburg had withdrawn their bids for the 2024 Olympics, citing cost.
Now Budapest – host of this year’s Judo World Championships – has also withdrawn, once again citing cost, especially as they considered they had little chance of winning against the other remaining cities – Los Angeles and Paris.
Bidding for the Olympics can cost host cities several million pounds, let alone the infrastructure costs that follow a successful bid. Many would argue that the cost of Athens hosting the Just About Ready In Time 2004 Games contributed to Greece’s economic collapse.
The Commonwealth Games is also faced with a similar crisis. Only two cities bid for the 2018 Games, Gold Coast (Australia) beating a bid from Hambantota (Sri Lanka). The only city in the running to host 2022 is Durban, in South Africa, following the withdrawal of a bid from Edmonton (Canada). Edmonton is now concentrating on a bid for 2026. The Glasgow Games were reputed to have cost between £500m – £1bn to stage; a phenomenal cost in an age of global austerity.
There is no doubt that hosting such events brings regeneration and investment to host cities – Athens’ transport system, East End regeneration in London, Delhi’s subway system, long term tourist interest – but do these outweigh the costs of bidding and hosting? Have the costs simply become unsustainable, especially in the current economic climate? And lets not even talk about state sponsored cheating, and how the Sochi winter games and even London are now being tarnished.
Having attended the 2004 Games, soaked up the atmosphere, and seen humanity at it’s best, I hope these events have a future; but do have to ask, is a multisport event on a global scale now just too much for any one city to consider hosting?
The future of the Olympics looks challenging as another host city withdraws their bid, once again citing cost and financial priorities.
BBC News reported today,
Italy’s Olympic Committee has officially withdrawn its bid to stage the 2024 Games in Rome after the city council voted to oppose the candidacy.
Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi from the populist Five Star party had said the city had to prioritise matters such as rubbish collection and corruption.
It means only Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest are left in the running after Boston and Hamburg also abandoned bids.
The IOC is due to make a decision next September.
After the excesses of Beijing, and the just ready in time status of Rio – where next for the Greatest Show on Earth? London was supposed to set a standard for a new low cost, sustainable Olympics – but it appears that baton has not been taken up.
On the one hand, I would like Paris to get the nod, as they have bid unsuccessfully so many times; but I fear recent terror attacks will go against them. I think it will go to Budapest, as a new venue.
But either Paris or Budapest would be easily accessible from the UK.
The two year qualification process for the 2016 Olympics has started – and Great Britain has made a great start, with medals for Colin Oates and Sally Conway in Baku, and Ashley McKenzie and Chris Sherrington in Havana, Cuba.
Still a long way to go, but lets hope we can keep this momentum going!