Around ten days ago, Government unveiled guidance aimed primarily at Personal Trainers that permitted the delivery of one-to-one instruction, outdoors, subject to social distancing and strong hygiene measures.
Naturally, martial arts was neglected from this release entirely. We partitioned the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Oliver Dowden, Sports Minister, constantly for clarity. Despite a template response (which didn’t address any of our questions or concerns) we have now finally received clarification from our partners at the Sport & Recreation Alliances’ Policy Team.
We are pleased to confirm that martial arts can be included in the definition of ‘personal trainer/coach’ for the purposes of the guidance, which lifts a complete ban on martial arts tuition.
@DCMS – Please can you confirm this guidance is also applicable to martial arts coaches, or that martial arts coaches are included in the classification? Thank youhttps://t.co/EbSHnAP92D#bmaba #bmabagroup #martialarts #ukmartialarts #covid19
— British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) (@OfficialBMABA) May 18, 2020
@CommonsDCMS @DCMS We know you must be extraordinarily busy, but we have 30,000+ members desperately awaiting clarity, some of which teach women at risk of violence, children at risk of knife crime and other extremely vulnerable groups. Please can you update us? Thank you #bmaba https://t.co/6BspDt7es6
— British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) (@OfficialBMABA) May 19, 2020
@OliverDowden – We’re desperately awaiting clarity as to whether or not Government guidance (https://t.co/qr1GcF4llB) for coaches includes #martialarts instructors. Please could you clarify asap? 30,000+ members are urgently awaiting clarity. #thankyou #bmabagroup #ukmartialarts
— British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) (@OfficialBMABA) May 21, 2020
Clearly this is still very early days, so it’s far from a ‘green light’ but it is a very positive start. One to one tuition to as many clients as you wish (provided it is no more than one at a time, following all of the guidance and distancing measures) will, we hope, allow some clubs to begin recouping losses and re-building their client base.
Naturally there are a number of questions this guidance raises, including;
- How insurance for this will work
- Other requirements not mentioned in the guidance, such as asking permission of landowners etc
- What sort of training will be permissible and what is not
- How this plays into your recovery plans, including the delivery of online lessons
We have put together full guidance which covers all of the above and more, including wider guidance on risk assessments and other considerations regarding this latest development.
It’s important to stress this is a very recent development so it will be subject to change – as is all social distancing and lock-down relaxing measures – so it is very important to check this guidance regularly for any developments or curtailments.
What else are we doing to help?
We’ve done everything possible to help the UK martial arts industry pull through this pandemic. Everything from an entire online delivery centre through to all of the insurance extensions needed to allow online and in-person (outdoor) training has been set up and provided by the BMABA without charge. You can learn more about our Coronavirus action plan here.