British Judo are pleased to announce that following Boris Johnson’s Press Conference on Monday 5th April, we have now received confirmation that England will be progressing to next stage of the National Roadmap.

This means that from 12th April, indoor contact judo for Under 18’s can FINALLY resume a year on from the initial Covid-19 lockdown. Judo clubs, coaches and participants can now move outdoor and online sessions into their normal club environments – adult indoor non-contact judo will also return with restrictions.

Finally, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, for what has been for many of you, a year of great change with some challenges along the way. Here at British Judo we would like to welcome everyone back into our clubs to the sport that we love, and more importantly have missed enormously.

To restart training and re-engage with your friends, please contact your judo club to find out more details on session times, Covid-19 procedures, and general information.

It is important to remember however, it has been a while since many of you have engaged in high intensity training. Therefore, start slowly and work up towards any grading or competitive events that you intend to participate in over the next 12 months.

Coaches up and down the country have welcomed the news that they will once again be able to open up the doors to their Dojos!

Samantha Chraniuk, Coach at High Wycombe Judo Centre said “After over a year of our young judoka being unable to take part in contact judo training we are pleased and excited to have finally progressed to this stage.

 The latest news is extremely welcome and a positive step forwards for our sport. Being able to plan for a gradual and measured return to the tatami in the safest way possible is worth throwing ourselves into! HWJC re-opened our outdoor Dojo last week and the smiles on our Judokas faces really did say it all.

It has been a difficult year for judo with everyone needing to adapt accordingly, getting back to contact judo training is a welcome reward for the BJA, coaches, judoka and parents who have supported us throughout.

Joe Nunn, Coach at Bishop Stortford, echoed Samantha’s comments: “Getting contact judo back for the U18s in grassroots clubs is massive, I think all of us; coaches, volunteers and players were near to the end of how much more zoom and solo-distanced activity we could take.

From my experience of opening the ETDCs a few weeks ago it can feel quite daunting at first, as with a year away you start to doubt if you can remember how to run a ‘normal’ judo session. But as soon as you say “hajime” for the first randori and see the smiles on the players faces, it makes you realise that keeping them all engaged with zoom and solo-distanced activity was worthwhile.”

Dr Karen Briggs MBE has been counting down the days until she can step foot back on the mat. “I thought that when retiring from competitive judo, it would be one of the most difficult things to do. I then moved into coaching children which I find very rewarding but Covid took this away, not only from myself, but every judo coach out there.”

I realised how much I loved coaching kids of all abilities. Roll on 12th April!! I has certainly taught me that I am not ready to retire after coaching for over 30 years in the sport which I love.”

I wish all the best to the many coaches who I hope will able to recover and return to their clubs.”

Engaging in Covid safe practices is still paramount and we would like to ask everyone to ensure you follow government health and safety advice at all times.

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