Return to Training Update (29th May)

Hello again everyone,

Government advice on the Coronavirus is changing rapidly and on a daily basis, so here is yet another update for clubs and coaches regarding what is and is not permitted.

It is also complicated by the fact that rules are now slightly different in England to what they are in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland so we would ask coaches to check the Home Nation government & sporting websites such as Sport Scotland, Sport Wales & SportNI for clarification.

As many of you will have noticed, some sports facilities and training activities have started to return in some form, as central government relaxes the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

We are still receiving enquiries from concerned coaches and club leaders, all desperate to get back to delivering Taekwondo classes for very understandable financial reasons as livelihoods rely on it, and a large group of us that are just itching to get back in the club to do some training!

The government advice is still very clear, in that indoor sport and physical activity is not currently permitted apart from a few exceptions where stringent operating rules have been put in place.

Some outdoor sport, that is by nature an individual activity and can be practised with low risk, has been permitted to start up on a limited basis. Sports such as golf, fishing and tennis are returning, but even they have strict policies on social distancing to follow to limit risk of spreading the virus.

A very small number of indoor elite and high-performance level sports have also returned to training. However, these are adhering to very stringent measures involving testing, locked-down facilities, travel restrictions and dozens of operating policies that create a secure environment for athletes and staff. These levels of restriction and health protocols are logistically difficult for sessions involving the public and would be prohibitively expensive to implement in the club setting.

This means that all public gyms and places where group activity takes place, must remain closed for the time being, until government rules relax further.

The one very small exception to this is if you are a personal trainer/coach.

From Monday 1st June, in England & Northern Ireland you can now meet with up to 5 clients from different households outdoors (the Coach counts as 1 person from another household), in parks or in someone’s back garden (provided you don’t all need to go indoors to get there), on condition everyone (including the Coach) is staying a minimum of 2 metres apart at all times if they are not from the same household.

You must also conduct a full risk assessment of the space you are using outdoors to ensure it is fit for purpose, and has no trip or fall hazards for all participants.

You should also enforce strong hygiene measures. This might be cleaning any equipment rigorously in line with wider guidance on hygiene, for example by using antibacterial spray and washing hands thoroughly before and after use. And, never sharing equipment between socially distanced people or household groups.

In Scotland, the rules are slightly different at the moment, up to 8 people (7 people + the Coach) can meet outdoors but only from 2 household groups (1 household group + the Coach) who must maintain the 2 metre social distance at all times. As an example, a coach could host a private outdoor session for a family of up to 7 people, but only if all 7 people live in the same house. Remember this is in Scotland only!

In Wales, it’s a different and more locked down picture, from Monday, 2 people from different households can meet outdoors, but keeping 2 metres apart. This means personal trainers can only do 1 on 1 private outdoor sessions, but nothing more……….. and this needs to be local (within 5 miles travel of each other)

And remember to do that risk assessment for any outdoor spaces!

British Taekwondo is liaising with Sport England and other indoor sport NGB’s about the phased return to play of indoor classes and will publish guidance on best practise in the coming weeks, when it is appropriate to do so following government guidance.

In the meantime, we would ask all clubs and coaches to continue to engage with their members as best as you can, via online sessions and content.

Keep safe, keep strong and keep exercising where possible

Ian Leafe

CEO British Taekwondo