British Judo Stage 2 Return to Training

Following the success of the British Judo Stage 1 Return to Training earlier this month, this week sees us start our Stage 2 process which sees our elite fighter return to contact training at the British Judo Centre of Excellence.

It is important to stress that British Judo have been given permission by the UK Government and UK Sport to commence judo with a contact element, a privilege that has not been provided to the wider British Judo membership.

Stage 2 has been designed to prepare all fighters to be competition ready.

All fighters and coaches have been given the opportunity to ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ of Stage 1 and Stage 2, should they, or their family, not be comfortable with them returning to the training environment.

British Judo have set strict guidelines that all fighters must follow in order to return to the Centre of Excellence. This includes providing 14 days continuous medical data, compete a Covid-19 medical questionnaire and agreeing to having a temperature check upon arrival. Only if all these measures are met satisfactorily, will a fighter be allowed to train.

All fighters have been split into ‘clusters’ to help limit the possible spread of Covid-19 amongst the wider group. Within these clusters’ fighters will be allocated 1-2 contact training partners, a pairing that will remain constant throughout the training process.

During training sessions coaches will wear full PPE and keep a 2m social distance and when fighters are not training, they will also wear PPE and adhere to the social distancing rule.

British Judo have scheduled four 2-hour training slots across each day for clusters to train on the mats, complete a gym session and clean the training areas prior to leaving. At no point during the day will these clusters mix or meet.

Upon arrival at the British Judo Centre of Excellence, fighters will sign-in and a staff member will record the fighters temperature. The Fighter will then be directed to enter the Dojo via the one-way system to their designated bench.

Fighters are advised to bring enough water for their 2-hour session as any water fountains and the kitchen area is strictly out of bounds. Prior to training, fighters must apply their own tape and strapping as needed and following the training session on the Dojo, the fighters will clean and sanitise the mats before moving to the gym for the second part of their session.

When in the gym, fighters will remain in their clusters. All non-essential training equipment will be removed from the gym and any equipment and machines used within the training session must be cleaned using anti-bacterial cleaning products provided at the end of the session.

Upon completion of training all fighters and staff are required to leave as quickly as possible. Any post training debrief will be completed via a phone or video call.

Nigel Donohue, British Judo Performance Director, has said ahead of Stage 2 commencing: “Following a successful Stage 1 return to training, we are now ready to commence with Stage 2, which will see our elite fighters return to the British Judo Centre of Excellence and engage in contact training.

We have put a lot of work into preparing this training programme and ensuring the safety of all our fighters and staff, however we are fully aware that the risk of contracting Covid-19 is now increased. To combat this, we will ensure fighters will only train with 1-2 contact training partners, and should we have a case of Covid-19 reported, we can fully shut down and isolate a training cluster for 14 days.

This is a really exciting time for the sport of judo as we near a return to the sport we remember, however it is important to stress that British Judo have been given permission from the UK Government and UK Sport to commence in contact training.”