After yet another week of increases in the number of Covid-19 cases and the imposition of more local lockdowns, plus the sometimes confusing guidance (and now laws!) being issued by governments – we would like to update all British Taekwondo clubs on latest developments and the position regarding what club activity is and is not permitted.
NATIONAL DAN GRADING CANCELLED
First of all, it’s become apparent over recent weeks that national level sporting events, where people are being asked to travel long distances to participate, and where spectators are not permitted for the foreseeable future, are unviable. Therefore, after consultation with members and the board, it is with a very heavy heart that we are announcing the cancellation of the National Dan Grading that was scheduled for the 6th December.
It’s a real shame as we were, like a lot of members, looking forward to this end of year event and clinging on in the hope that we could host this flagship event at the National Centre in Manchester that would have featured the highest ranking panel in years from all parts of the BT family.
Some club groups have already conducted Kup and Dan gradings safely under Covid rules, for those members that have managed to continue training during the pandemic and were ready for a test.
BT’s advice for clubs on this subject is simple. Gradings, especially Dan gradings, should be momentous and memorable occasions for members, who will have trained for months / years towards their goals. Clubs must ensure the experience matches up to this expectation, providing a thorough grading examination in a good formal setting, so that members feel a sense of achievement and appreciate the value (for money – as they are being asked to pay grading fees etc) of the event.
We ask clubs to be creative and ensure the quality of the grade is always high, replacing some parts of a traditional test (such as sparring, hand-held pad kicking and breaking) with more technical testing that does not require people to come within the 2m limit.
If clubs are thinking of hosting gradings – please remember to comply at all times with Covid-19 measures during the event as stated in British Taekwondo’s Phase 1 Return to Training Guidance.
This requires everyone to stay 2 metres away from each other at all times unless they are from the same household (who live together!). For Taekwondo training or gradings, this currently means no sparring or hand-held pad work or any other activity that brings people from different households closer than 2 metres.
Everyone involved, including examiners, must stay 2m apart at all times.
Current guidance also means there are no spectators allowed.
Failure to follow the guidance, places members at risk, could be breaching government advice and in extreme cases now risks a fine. It also risks invalidating BT insurances, including the coach’s / organisers indemnity cover.
BT club groups wishing to host a Dan grading, should still follow the usual process, submitting the Dan grading event form to BT (this can be obtained from membership services), ensuring the panel is of the required grades and receiving approval from BT’s Dan grading officer that the event is sanctioned before going ahead.
LATEST LOCKDOWN & LOCAL LOCKDOWN MEASURES
Grass roots club Taekwondo, like many class, gym-based activities has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions.
In most parts of the UK, this means clubs can only operate under the full 2m distancing rules between all participants from different households. As mentioned, this prohibits any close contact activity like sparring or hand-held pad work that brings anyone closer than the 2m rule (if it is someone that does not live in the same house.)
We implore club coaches to stick to this guidance to keep their members safe (and keeping their own indemnity insurances intact!).
Members can also play their part too – and raise concerns directly to their coaches if they feel under pressure, not safe or that Covid secure measures are not sufficiently in place for the club. If people disregard the advice, local authorities can come in and shut a club down. If that happens, everyone will lose out!
Many sports are really suffering at the moment, especially contact sports, and the introduction of the rule of 6 for some team sports threatens some clubs very existence.
As a gym /class-based activity that is currently fully distanced at all times anyway, club based Taekwondo is currently exempt from this rule of 6. However, that could change if government rules on grass roots organised sport get tighter.
As you know, there are some differences in the rules between England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. To keep up with these, please keep checking the British Taekwondo website, Covid guidance and Club Assistance pack.
Latest version here
And check the Home Nation government and sporting body websites for any breaking news.
We are constantly monitoring all the latest guidance and trying our best to keep everyone up to date at this very stressful time.
Keep safe, keep strong and keep training where you can!