It is with great regret that I am asking you, on behalf of the community, to immediately close your Judo club until the Coronavirus Pandemic is over. This is in accordance with government advice (see link).
I know many of you have made this hard decision already.
I understand that this will cause great distress and long term damage to your club – this is unavoidable. I have seen in person the great ingenuity and creativity that clubs have gone to to keep their doors open. For me, this has been a great demonstration of the attributes of persistence and resilience that our sport personifies.
However, we are at a point in Australia now where the majority of our important social institutions are closed. We can’t “innovate” our way out of this, and we should recognise that trying to do so risks the long term reputation of our sport and our social licence to operate in the community.
Also, we know it’s not our role to ask you to close the club. Perhaps you’ll know from some of our previous interactions we’d much rather convince than coerce. Ultimately the decision does rest with you – but I am still going to ask you to close your club (if you haven’t already).
We are not alone – across Australia, gyms are closed, restaurants and pubs are closed, schools are closed and even beaches are closed. Many people have lost livelihoods, and face personal and economic uncertainty. Others face a serious health challenge – which is within our power to minimise.
We are not alone – internationally. In France, all Judo clubs have been closed by the governing body. In Japan, most clubs are closed. In the UK, clubs are closed.
Like many of you, we’re not sure how long you’ll need to close your club for – our objective is to get clubs to open as soon as possible and resume normal activities.
To that end, the board of Judo NSW has agreed to put aside up to $150,000 towards a ‘reopening’ fund to be disbursed across clubs that close now and re-open again when the time is right. Some of you will know that this money has been saved over the years by the careful custodianship of previous administrators – we thank you for this. We think now is the time to use this capital to support the long term viability of Judo in NSW, and will inform you of the details of the fund shortly.
Can I count on your support in this?