Petition Approve the return to training plan for contact sports
On the 31st July a plan for a return to training was submitted to DCMS by a consortium of contact sports associations working in collaboration with Sport England. This plan was supposed to be reviewed by Downing Street but the meeting was cancelled. We ask for the plan to be reviewed and signed off.
Martial arts schools offer a valuable service to their local communities. They work with children to tackle issues of bullying, improving discipline and building resilience, they help people of all ages improve their mental health and help manage stress, and they build strong supportive communities. We have become a forgotten sector and the livelihoods and well being of many people is being threatened. We are asking for our plan to be signed off, as has been done already for many other sports.
This response was given on 7 December 2020
Contact Combat sports are now able to return, consistent with the phases in the published Government guidance, once their National Governing Body has had guidance reviewed.
Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of national restrictions earlier this year - and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so over the summer. Government recognises the many benefits that contact combat sports can bring, such as in relieving stress, stimulating endorphins, and building physical strength and self-confidence.
Following the end of national restrictions, on Wednesday 2 December, gyms and indoor sport facilities reopened across all tiers. As part of the relaxing of restrictions, the government has published guidance to support the return of contact combat sports in as safe a way as possible.
Contact combat sports can now take place provided they follow the COVID-secure guidance set out in the contact combat sport framework (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-grassroots-sports-guidance-for-safe-provision-including-team-sport-contact-combat-sport-and-organised-sport-events#organised-sports-participation-events) and adhere to wider restrictions including legal gathering limits. National Governing Bodies of contact combat sports (such as boxing, wrestling and martial arts) must develop their own sport specific action plans and submit them to government for approval in order to resume activity above Phase 0. You should check whether your sport has received approval on the guidance page (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-grassroots-sports-guidance-for-safe-provision-including-team-sport-contact-combat-sport-and-organised-sport-events#organised-sports-participation-events).
If they are not listed, you should not participate in contact combat sports in numbers above the legal gathering limits, or contact combat sports in any number, until they have been approved.
As of 2 December the activity allowed in each tier is as follows:
• In Tier 1 areas, contact combat sports can resume training but contact between participants is limited to pad work only (phase 1). Participants can train in groups of up to 6 people, in line with the COVID-secure guidance for this phase (and any relevant guidance published by the sport’s national governing body.
• In Tier 2 and 3 areas, contact combat sports are only permitted to undertake non-contact training (phase 0). Participants can only train individually and there should be no activity with others, including with equipment (such as pad work).
Across all alert tiers, exemptions are in place for supervised activity for under 18s, educational purposes, and disabled people.
For more details, please contact the relevant National Governing Body of your sport, as they will be able to provide specific guidance on how their sport can be played/adapted to enable social distancing and adherence to the government's guidelines.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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