The Minister for Sport, Senator Richard Colbeck, has announced new community sport guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19. In the guidelines it acknowledges:
“contact sports have a greater risk of transmission than other sports, and as such, should be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, other mitigation strategies for match socialisation and contact must be employed to reduce the risk to players, visitors, and officials more broadly.”
These are challenging times in our complex Judo environment and we appreciate that there is not one consistent club structure across our grass roots community with many clubs operating a variety of services on a commercial basis and others operating in not for profit circumstances, which makes it difficult to apply a one size fits all approach to our community.
At the core of our values we believe in always acting in the best interests of our participants, coaches and volunteers. Therefore we are doing all we can to keep our community safe and healthy during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Based on recent Government announcements regarding the need for self-distancing Judo Australia (JA), in consultation with the state and territory associations, recommends modification of all contact based judo activities.
While acknowledging that JA is not the controlling body of training and activities undertaken by states, territories and clubs, we feel it is prudent in the current climate that we issue this advice in order to support our community to consider the impact and risk of ongoing training activities. Judo is a close physical contact sport creating a higher risk for participants of exposure to the virus. Our sport involves significant close contact for minutes at a time. Clubs and coaches should be looking at training structures and processes and how they can be modified, where possible. Ongoing fitness training that complies with the health warnings and leadership remains a viable option for clubs and athletes.
We know that additional hygiene measures and communication about hygienic practices while attending judo activities is being undertaken by our clubs and coaches and we encourage you to continue practising safe and hygienic sessions which do not include contact or a breach of the social distancing protocols.
JA and our state and territory associations will continue to monitor and reassess and provide guidance as matters change in the weeks and months ahead.
Further details from the Australian Government announcement around the new community sport guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19 can be hound here.