It is now 2 weeks since we made the decision to close the British Judo Centre of Excellence due to COVID-19 and want to check in with you all, now that we are in the midst of the National Stay at Home campaign.
For the foreseeable future, all GB Squad and International activity is suspended until we have the authorisation from our Government to resume our normal lives.
Going forwards, we know that we have a planning challenge ahead of us both domestically and internationally, but one that we will effectively manage as new information comes through from our International Federations – the IJF and IBSA.
They will need time to consider all alternatives for continued qualification and classification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021, but right now, the GB Judo primary focus is, Family First and Judo Second, to ensure that we support the preservation of life, as our Prime Minster and First Minsters have enlisted us to do so in a bid, “to halt the spread of this disease to protect our NHS and to save many, many thousands of lives”.
It is vitally important that we look after ourselves and our families, follow the advice by the Government to Stay Safe, Stay Home and Support our NHS who are doing an incredible job to save the lives of the nation, whilst putting their own lives at risk.
Please see page three of this communication for additional information as to how you can look after yourself and if you do have symptoms, please follow the Government guidelines; https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
At this time, it is vital that you see yourselves as people of Great Britain first – and as athletes second. This is because you have a significant responsibility in protecting our nation from the Covid-19 virus before you take the opportunity to win medals and make our nation proud. As athletes, you have very strong immune systems which means that could carry the virus without really knowing – experiencing very mild symptoms, if any at all. Your responsibility to maintain social distancing is so very important as one person not observing social distancing, could infect over 400 people. The same person practicing social distancing could limit this number to 15.
This page illustrates this well: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52010555
If you develop symptoms, no matter how mild, you should visit 111.nhs.uk and be prepared to self-isolate for 7-days.
Of extreme importance is the need to avoid exercise for 10-days after the first day of Covid-19 symptoms. This is because the muscular tissue of your heart can become inflamed due to the virus and needs time to recover and applies to those who may have only has mild symptoms lasting only a couple of days.
If for example, you had mild symptoms starting on a Monday that lasted 3-days, you should not do any exercise until at least Friday of the following week.
However, if your symptoms were severe OR lasted for more than a few days, then you should not return to ANY exercise until you have spoken to a doctor as the recommended return to exercise time will be longer.
DO NOT TAKE ANY CHANCES WITH EITHER THE SOCIAL DISTANCING OR RETURN TO EXERCISE ADVICE. THE IMPORTANCE OF THESE TWO MESSAGES CANNOT BE EMPHASISED ENOUGH.
Your Mental Health and Well-Being
This is a new situation for everyone, and we will adjust in our own time. For some, this might be quite quick; for others, things might feel overwhelming and may affect all aspects of wellbeing; and everyone else will be somewhere in-between. Either way, feeling different is to be expected and it may take a bit of time to process and adjust.
Do what you need to do to help yourself – for some, you might think about limiting social media, muting WhatsApp groups, sharing feelings and supporting each other. For others, different things might help – like focusing on getting into a routine. There are number of organisations that will provide advice and support, such as:
- Big White Wall – https://www.bigwhitewall.com/
- Samaritans – https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/support-and-information/if-youre-having-difficult-time/if-youre-worried-about-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak/
- Mind – https://www.mind.org.uk/
- NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/how-to-access-mental-health-services/
- Papyrus – https://papyrus-uk.org/
- Shout UK – https://www.giveusashout.org/
Finally, we have already seen the resilience, creativity and innovation within the British Judo Community via ours and your social media channels and it is fantastic too so see how adaptive you can all be during your ‘home training’ or the various challenges that are capturing our imaginations and inspiring the nation.
Keep up the great work.
The Performance Team
Stay Safe, Stay Home, Save Lives, Support the NHS