A Note from British Judo Chairman….

British Judo Chairman Ronnie Saez has a message for members during this difficult time:

Good morning all, I hope you are all keeping well during this turbulent and unpredictable period. It is safe to say that none of us has experienced anything like what the country, and the world, is going through at the moment.

British Judo has been working with Sport England and UK Sport to deliver guidance that is aligned across the sports industry and as the situation continuously and rapidly develops, we will be having regular Board meetings to provide greater clarity for the judo family.

Our participation figures saw an increase this year which was fantastic to see before the lockdown, however at the present time, I think we need to accept that judo is very much a secondary option when compared to saving lives and supporting our fantastic NHS.

We owe the staff and volunteers of the NHS a massive thank you for their unwavering commitment to the health of our nation and I was proud to stand on my doorstep each of the last two Thursdays to show my appreciation of their exceptional work. Two of our own – Dr Jo Banks and John Prescott – are working on the front line as part of the NHS so I hope you will join the rest of the country in saluting their hard work in the future.

There have been many disruptions to the judo community across Great Britain, most notably the complete closures of all dojos and leisure centres which has ground the sport to a halt. It can be very difficult to keep yourself motivated and active on a daily basis, so it is important that you keep yourself healthy by either working out at home and/or talking a walk or run outside. British Judo are posting some great content regularly throughout the week to help give you some inspiration – whether it is completing your daily planks involving baked bean tins or completing squats with a help of kitchen roll!

These are unprecedented times, but we are witnessing our communities coming together and helping each other out which is great to see. Many clubs are posting workout content on their social media channels to assist each other.

If, like me, you were looking forwards to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this Summer, you will be relieved to hear that the Games will take place in 12 months. The showpiece sporting event is the sport’s most important stage to showcase the sport. I have complete confidence that our current squad is one of our best to date, in particular our female squad, continuing to develop on and off the mat into regular medal contenders in any competition that they enter.

British Judo are working hard behind the scenes to keep the sport moving and it is important that the British Judo family pulls together to support one another during these challenging times. One of the ways you can continue to support the sport is by continuing to renew your membership with them. Although you can’t necessarily train at the moment, there are many ways you can still get involved in the sport such as enrolling in a number of different courses and training programmes to ensure that you are prepared for, when the dojo doors eventually re-open.

Our Chief Executive Andrew Scoular, the Board, the British Judo Head Office team and I will be working tirelessly to get us through this as best we can.

In the meantime, look after yourselves and your families, and remember you have the whole judo community there to support you.

Yours in Judo,

Ronnie Saez

Chairman, British Judo Association