Some of you will have seen the recent announcement by World Taekwondo Europe, pressing ahead with plans to try to host a Cadet European Championship event in Sarajevo, Bosnia in December and a qualifying competition in Croatia in November.
British Taekwondo have looked in detail at all the potential scenarios and risks associated with these events and unfortunately decided that we are unable to send an official team.
Whilst we appreciate this is disappointing, it must be noted that this decision has been made to keep our young athletes safe, and considers a multitude of risk factors and unknowns including:
- Cases of Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions are on the increase, both here and in mainland Europe, and restrictions could ramp up significantly in the coming weeks.
- Restrictions placed on travel, especially to different countries, could change at a moment’s notice.
- Most athletes have not been able to do any contact training for over half a year and to enter into a championship like this from that position is very challenging and has significant risk.
- Preparation for such an event – at such short notice would be extremely low or zero.
- This situation would put a team of any age at a higher risk of injuries, within a preparation phase (if any) and competition phase.
- With potentially only around 8 weeks until a proposed mid – December competition, we have no other information provided by WTE or the proposed hosts, specifically on COVID19 preventative measures.
We are aware that earlier this year, there has been a competition that enabled athletes to pre-qualify by rights and not selection to enter the European Champs event. And that there are plans to host another qualifying competition in Croatia.
Whilst we cannot send official teams to these events for the very real reasons mentioned above, British Taekwondo will not stand in the way of any individual member that this pre-qualification ruling applies to – on the clear understanding that they (parents / guardians) accept the health and financial risks.
Ultimately, the risk of attending these (planned) competitions under current circumstances could highly outweigh any reward, and as your National Governing Body the safety of you all is our highest priority.
I hope that sooner rather than later we can go back to some kind ‘normal’, where our clubs and national teams can train with more contact once again, but until then please stay safe and keep smiling
If anyone has any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Cadet Coaching Team