The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lock-down have had far reaching consequences for so many people, their jobs and businesses, with no part of our normal way of life untouched.
Taekwondo is no different, with clubs shut for months on end, and a difficult time ahead as we adapt to social distancing and hygiene rules within our club operations, when the government finally relaxes the lock-down measures for community sport and the leisure industry. This was expected, but we were all very disappointed when rules were relaxed recently for the hospitality sector, but not the health & fitness parts of the community. British Taekwondo has a comprehensive return to training guidance pack ready to publish which sets out the measures that clubs need to put in place before they can reopen. This includes step by step templates to help clubs conduct the necessary risk assessments and templates for an implementation plan that all clubs must put in place and give a copy to members. This is rounded off with a selection of useful downloadable posters that you can put up around the club environment. All we need is the government to confirm the social distancing rules and a date when leisure centres and community sport venues can reopen and we will get this out to everyone immediately.
Against this backdrop, the BT board have been constantly reviewing our planned events program and it is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of our National Kyorugi Championship and National Poomsae Championship for 2020.
We have not taken this decision lightly, and have only done so after a thorough review of the known and likely logistical challenges of running large indoor participation events under Covid-19 restrictions, including a potential ban on spectators, having to severely restrict entry numbers, plus a raft of potential social distancing measures that would make an event extremely difficult to host. Many many sports have been forced into the same conclusions and these decisions recently, and have had to cancel major participation events this year.
Added to that, is the huge uncertainty of what a “new normal” might look like in a few months-time, with the possibility of a second wave of the virus, that could result in another partial return to lock-down measures. Larger indoor gatherings, like our events, would be the first to be called off at very short notice, with the potential for huge financial consequences for all concerned, including the travel and hotel costs for teams and supporters if we were to cancel at the last minute.
We appreciate this will be disappointing for many, but have made these difficult decisions now so everyone understands the position and the unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in.
We are continually exploring opportunities to host these events as soon as we can, and host them as early as possible in 2021.
We will continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation, and once there is a level of stability and some normality returns (hopefully in the autumn or by the end of the year) we will aim to announce new dates for these 2021 events.
In the meantime, we stand ready to help clubs get back to training once government relaxes the lock-down further for indoor community sport and leisure activity.
Keep safe, keep strong and keep doing what you can online and outdoors!
The BT board and Team