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 As the draft guidance (still awaiting sign off from Department of Culture Media and Sport) issued by the BJA on Friday indicated that outdoor training with full contact was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

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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.

Posted in Blog, Training
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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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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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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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