Project Description

Covid-19 information for university taekwondo clubs

Restrictions on the practice of sport due to coronavirus (COVID-19) will vary by home nation, local authority and by university, and may be relaxed or tightened at short notice. We advise university club captains and members check this page regularly, and follow the relevant regulations and guidance from the UK and Local Government. Members should stay aware of the current restrictions within your institution as these may differ from national guidance.

Each university/ venue will make their own decisions about when their facilities are ready, so it is critical for club committees to speak with their students’ union/ sport department liaison regularly to discuss the latest local guidance regarding: (i) the use of your institution’s facilities, (ii) return to sport preparations for your university club members, and (iii) your obligations to the club’s employees and volunteers (including staff, contracted coaches, volunteer coaches/ assistants, and other club volunteers).

Please see the following Return to Play (R2P) Phases Guide which is aligned to the requirements set forth in the current Government legislation and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport guidance for safe provision including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events:

Click here to expand the Return to Play Phases table

 Current Return to Play Phase:

Phase 2


The current Return to Play Phase here is an average across all regions and authorities (and only for university clubs with exclusively adult participants) – restrictions can vary between universities based on current regional government, local authority and institution-specific social distancing rules and requirements.*

It is expected that the government lockdown exit steps (step 1, 2, 3) will be matched by progress between return to sport phases (phase 1, 2, 3) however, bear in mind it is possible that we may move between a lockdown exit step but stay within a return to sport phase. We will keep this page updated with this information.

For example, in England from 29 March 2021 lockdown restrictions will move to step 1: at this stage organised contact combat sports can resume outdoors at phase 2 of the framework for children, and at phase 1 of the framework for adults.

Recommended approach:

  1. First review the phases list, and also review the Advice for Club Committees and University Facilities information tabs for further details.
  2. Agree an adapted training plan based on the return to sport phases with your institution administrator at the earliest opportunity, and discuss these in detail with your coach(es) and volunteers.
  3. This situation requires the ongoing review of plans by club committees – you must update details of your risk assessment depending on the current return to sport phase on an ongoing basis.

A phased based return to sport will be used. This will allow you to keep your club running in all circumstances, dynamically modifying your venues and activities based on a pre-agreed framework.

A standardised national phase level will not necessarily be applied as your club’s level may vary by your current regional, local and individual institution regulations. Moving between phases will be led by changes in UK government social distancing regulations, and then by your institution’s regulations being updated, prompting the update. You must confirm with your institution administrator before moving up a phase in your club training plan (e.g., moving from phase 1 -> phase 2).

The current phase indicated* can at any time vary between different regions, local authorities and individual institutions.

Contracted/ volunteer coaches please review and follow the guidelines provided by your SU/ Sport department for university club coaching, as well as guidance provided by your Public/ Products Liability and Professional [Instructor] Indemnity Insurance provider (e.g., a membership association & policy provider) where applicable. Coaches should follow your insurance provider’s guidelines if there are any differences to the information on this website to ensure the validity of your insurance, but must always be compatible with your contracting SU/ Sport department rules and regulations for their university facilities and sports clubs.

If club committees find conflicting regulations are provided to you by either your institution’s SU/ Sport department, regional or local government, or any contracted coaching staff, then it is expected you raise any potential issues up to your SU/ Sport department’s institution administrator immediately and in the meantime follow the most stringent of the regulations provided until such conflicts can be reviewed and clarified by your institution administrator.

In England (government’s version 23 March 2021)

From 29 March, the rules on social contact will change. People will not be required to stay at home, and will be permitted to meet outdoors in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of two households, for exercise or recreation.

Outdoor sport for adults and children is permitted in larger numbers, provided it is formally organised. Contact combat sports can resume outdoors at phase 1 of the contact combat sports framework for adults – see the government’s combat sport specific rules and the Return to Sport Phases tab on this page for a detailed summary.

Participants should adhere to social distancing when not actively participating (e.g. during breaks in play, or when awaiting substitutions). Social interaction before and after playing any sport should only take place outdoors, and in separate and distinct groups consisting of up to 6 people or two households.

Where sport is not formally organised, it can only take place within the rules on social contact above – in groups of up to 6 people, or two households. Therefore, make sure your SU/ Sports department have vetted your return to sport plan.

Indoor sport and physical activity is not permitted and indoor sport facilities must remain closed, except for specific groups.

In Scotland (government’s version 11 March 2021)

Virtually all areas of Scotland is under level 4, i.e., “stay at home” restriction level where no indoor sport is permitted, except for national team elite athlete training.

The current Coronavirus (COVID-19): local protection levels determine what restrictions on participating in sport/ martial arts are in place based on your area’s protection level for different age groups, indoors and outdoors.

In Wales (government’s version 27 Mar 2021)

There are no legal restrictions on sport, exercise and outdoor activity, but in practice this is constrained by other restrictions, such as the closure of indoor sport and leisure facilities. To avoid increasing the burden on the NHS and the emergency services, we continue to advise people not to take unnecessary risks while exercising or taking part in any activity. All reasonable measures must be taken to maintain physical distancing.

You can exercise in public outdoor places with members of your household or support bubble, or with people from one other household, as long as the total number of people exercising is no more than six (excluding any carers or children under 11 from either of those households), and you remain outdoors. In addition to this, from 27 March, children and young people aged under 18 (or persons who were aged under 18 on 31 August 2020) can take part in organised outdoor activities, which could include organised sport activities, where they are held outdoors.

Up to six people from no more than two households (excluding any carers or children under 11 from either of those households) can meet outdoors at any one time. Up to 4 people from two households can meet outdoors for non-contact, socially distanced exercise only.

You must stay within Wales. This means that you should not be travelling to other areas of the UK to meet with people and people from other parts of the UK should not be travelling in to Wales to meet you, except in limited circumstances.

In Northern Ireland (government’s version 25 Mar 2021)

The current regulations are in place until at least 1 April 2021.

Outdoor exercise (individuals/ single household exercise) only is currently permitted.

In all regions

all participants, officials, volunteers and spectators must undergo a self-assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms. No-one should leave home to participate in sport or officiate if they, or someone they live with, has any of the following:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste

Should an individual have demonstrated any such symptoms, they must follow NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation; you should not participate in any indoor or outdoor exercise or activity if you are self-isolating.

*the above shows a brief overview of current advice and on the date indicated only – in all cases you should refer to the UK and regional governments primary sources for the very latest legislation updates and advice in full.

Depending on your role in your club you will need to be aware different elements of this guidance in full, but we recommend all club members review the process and mitigations being applied to keep everyone safe as we return to training.

  • Rules will vary by institution – each institution will define their own regulations for the return of university sport within the regional government and local authority’s legal framework, and based on their specific requirements, resources and circumstances. Please be aware that the timeline for opening or restricting of activities may vary between institutions.

  • Club members – please stay aware of the current regulations for university club training issued by your institution’s SU/ Sport department, and read the updates from your club captain and committee. Please support your institution, club committee, coaches, volunteers and each other at this time.

  • Club captain and committees – as your club’s governors and custodians your committee members must now: (i) stay aware of the current guidelines being issued by your institution and it’s SU/ Sport department with whom you share a duty of care to your club’s members, contracted coaches and volunteers, as well as towards other facility users and members of university/ SU staff; (ii) stay aware of updates to the regional government and your local [county councils/ unitary county or district council/ London Borough Councils] authority’s current regulations on the practice of sport. Finally, we recommend committee members; and (iii) work in close consultation with your club’s contracted coaches and SU/ Sport department staff member(s) with all due diligence to protect the rights and safety of your members, staff, contractors, volunteers, and the general public.

  • Potential regulation conflicts – the current situation is highly dynamic and this could lead to conflicting, confusing or outdated information being identified by club committees. If you find conflicting regulations are provided to you by either your institution’s SU/ Sport department, regional or local government, or contracted coaching staff, then it is expected you raise any potential issues up to your SU/ Sport department and in the meantime follow the most stringent of the regulations provided, until such conflicts can be reviewed and clarified by your SU/ Sport department.

  • Coaches – contracted/ volunteer coaches please review and follow the guidelines provided by your SU/ Sport department for university club coaching, as well as guidance provided by your Public/ Products Liability and Professional [Instructor] Indemnity Insurance provider (e.g., a membership association & policy provider) where applicable. A university sport’s club members will have coverage provided by their institution’s SU/ Sport department member to member insurance policy, but this may or may not include coaching staff, who may be expected to hold a separate 3rd party indemnity policy (this may vary between institution and by the employment status of the coach). Where applicable, if you believe the guidelines for adapted delivery of sessions set out by your membership association & policy provider are materially more stringent than those being implemented by the institution’s SU/ Sport department for university sports clubs, you should raise such a disparity with your club committee/ SU/ Sports department employer, as it could impact your insurance cover.

Club committees will need to consider the following and brief their coaching staff, volunteers and members before returning to university taekwondo. Some of these polices will be set by your institution, and others may be decided in consultation with your institution administrator and coaching staff. Therefore, each club’s detailed return to sport and facility usage rules will vary between institutions.

  • (1) Club captains, first speak to your administrator: your university’s students’ union (SU)/ Sport department staff member(s) will be able to advise at what stage they have reached in planning for the reopening of facilities, return of training for sports clubs, booking systems and communication of information to club committees, members, contracted coaches and volunteers. Each institution will make their own decisions based on their own circumstances, available capacity, resources and risk assessments. We advise against attempting to accelerate/ decelerate your institution’s sport timeline by highlighting what a university down the road may be doing, and please at all times follow the rules stipulated for your institution’s members. The club captain will usually be the main point of contact between the club and your institution administrator (IA) and will need to keep on top of meetings with your IA and coaching staff, reading the guidance information provided, responding to queries, and updating your members on current policies throughout this academic year.

  • (2) Risk assessments: your university facility managers/ SU/ Sports department must conduct their own facility wide risk assessments, but may also ask club captains and/or contracted coaches to contribute to, or complete independently, a risk assessment for your club and its individual sessions. A risk assessment should consider of all of the points listed above, as it aims to: identify any health and safety risks; evaluate existing control measures; enhance control measures if necessary; and provide your club members with a record of all known risks and mitigating actions in place. Club committees please see the UK Government website for more advice on completing a risk assessment. 

  • (3) Three key variables of transmission: any risk assessment and adapted training plan should take into account that there are three main variables of transmission:

    • A. Droplet transmission and aerosol generation: The risk associated with each activity based on its duration and the proximity of participants. In practice, from lower to higher risk: fitness drills/ taekwondo techniques when maintaining 2 m distancing < any activity with training partners holding pads with partners (new risks: face to face interaction; using shared equipment < up to 15 minutes of partner sparring training with small sub-group/ ‘bubble’ of partners (new risk: close proximity for a limited time) < returning to a full training syllabus (new risk: close proximity for an unlimited time).
    • B. Fomite transmission: The risk associated with the handling and transfer of equipment in the activity. In practice, during heightened social distancing no shared equipment should be used in taekwondo classes. As restrictions are eased, equipment might be shared within small sub-groups/ ‘bubbles’ with a rigorous cleaning regime being implemented before and after use, and where possible a single piece of equipment should be held by a single person for the whole session. Numbering pieces of equipment may be helpful here, but watch out as your cleaning products may remove marker pen.
    • C. Population: The number of participants likely to take part in the proposed activity plus known risk factors of participants with underlying health conditions or high-risk groups, who wish to participate. In practice, university sports club members are predominantly young adults and at a very low risk of developing a severe illness from SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus, and this is a factor in the assessment of risk for your club’s return to sport plan. However, infections in healthy students can also lead to infections among more vulnerable people within your club and on campus, including faculty members and staff, and in the wider community, hence, making timely modifications to minimise the risk of transmission remains the very highest priority.

  • (4) Adapting training, a phase based approach: your training session must be adapted to the level of distancing and permitted contact levels based on current Government and Regional and Local Authority rules, and also your own institution’s and SU/ sport department’s rules in the case these are more strict than the government minimum requirements. A phase based model can be used to plan the distancing, types and duration of training interactions based on the needs at your university (see the Return to Play Phases tab). We encourage you to agree adapted training plan steps with your institution administrator at the earliest opportunity, and discuss these in detail with your coach(es) and volunteers. As the need for social distancing reduces/ increases you can then use your plan to reduce/ increase the level of adaptations you have in place.

  • (5) Booking ahead: university facilities are likely to require that all participants individually book ahead online or by phone before attending sessions (or might delegate this to the club committee, or the contracted coach). Members, you can help your club by booking early and updating the captain promptly if you need to cancel a booking.

  • (6) More limited availability: class sizes may be reduced for some time, with participant limits based on your room size (and possibly lowered further based on total building capacity). Club committees should look to create equitable systems to fill class spaces, for example, by assigning groups to different periods within the sessions (first half of session group, second half of session group, etc.,) or grouping by different days (Monday group, Tuesday group, etc.,).

  • (7) Queuing for check-in and finding sessions: expect your university facilities to provide a socially distanced queuing system at busy times to register people coming into and out of the facility, or for clubs to be asked to keep a register. Clubs collecting this data, keep every register for 21 days in line with GDPR standards before deleting them. This is essential for the Test and Trace programme that protects your members by identifying and isolating any potential transmissions. Clubs should create signage to help new students find their sessions efficiently. Help prevent bottlenecks at any location within your facility – if bottlenecks or congregations form it is likely your facility will reduce their capacity limit to address this.

  • (8) Sanitiser stations, masks and temperature checks: use of sanitiser gel on entering and leaving the building / training room will be required, and the wearing of masks when in the building before your session may be advised or required. Wash your hands regularly. You may also be asked to take a temperature check before entering the building. Leave a few minutes to cool down if you were planning a hard run to training!

  • (9) Moving through the venue: depending on the layout of your university’s facilities there may be a one-way system in place to reach different halls, studios and gyms, aiming to keep socially distance at 2 metres where possible when moving around the venue.

  • (10) No bags/ small bags: with more limited space, and potentially no access to lockers, you may not be allowed to take any bag, or only be allowed a small draw-string bag into your sports facility.

  • (11) The 5-minute changeover: there is likely to be a strict 5 or more-minute period before and after sessions to get in and get out efficiently. This will be enforced so that fewer people mix at the changeovers and the facility does not go over its capacity targets.

  • (12) Dress to train: changing facilities are likely to be closed at most venues for some time, so come dressed to train in freshly laundered sportswear/ uniform and bring a sweatshirt or jacket etc., to layer up after training as you will need to shower at home (an exception may be in place for individuals with a disability, ask your facility manager). Ask your captain if uniform or footwear requirements have changed.

  • (13) Individual training spaces: your institution and SU/ sport department/ facility manager will dictate the maximum capacity limits and training spaces as the maximum occupancy of each indoor facility is limited to providing a minimum of 100sqft per person (for this figure, the area is the net useable indoor facility space available to members to use, including changing rooms, toilet and wash facilities, and the venue must also meet the minimum ventilation standards). In earlier return to sport phases training will be fully distanced, therefore, you may find specific floor markings already provided in studios and gyms for each participants to train within. Captains, you must contact your SU/ Sports department to determine the number and size of marked training areas (if no marking are provided then dividing the training area into squares of 2.5*2.5 m per person, or alternatively 2*2 m areas separated by 0.5 m wide designated walkways, is recommended initially, e.g., a 10*10 m training area might accommodate 16 participants) and discuss in advance with your contracted coaches/ volunteers what adaptations will be made to training sessions based on the current restrictions tier/ social distancing requirements and space available.

  • (14) Equipment use and cleaning: rules on equipment use may require captains to (i) advise your members to bring their own protective equipment and not to share with anyone (ideally each member will also bring their own basic mini-first aid kit too), (ii) plan for training sessions that do not require the use any of your usual shared equipment, or, if currently permitted by your regional Government, (iii) plan for training sessions with limited and controlled permitted shared equipment and a well-defined cleaning regime for pre-session, when changing user, and post-session. We recommend planning different sessions for various equipment scenarios. Also check with your SU/ Sports department if and what cleaning regime and cleaning products will be available/ required for equipment and other room cleaning, and how to collect and return them. It is also essential to acquire a list of what cleaning the facility staff will be undertaking as well as what must be done,  is allowed be done, and/ or must be reported by the club and its members.

  • (15) Water fountains: water fountains may not be available, and if they are available they will only be for filling bottles. Everyone must bring your own bottle, label it, decorate it, name it, and don’t share it.

  • (16) Aerosols: check before sessions that the air conditioning system is operating. Introduce a no shouting/ kihap rule during sessions to as this is a controllable mechanism to project aerosols.Keep your voice down when moving about the facility. Participants should follow best hygiene practices and only cough or sneeze into their elbow and facing away from others.

  • (17) Mental health: many members will be excited about returning to university sport, while others may be returning with hesitation, and it is quite common for people to have bruised mental health due to the stresses of lockdown. We encourage club captains to keep reiterating all of the measures being take to mitigate against coronavirus, and for all members to be mindful and compassionate towards one another and the entire student taekwondo family as we progress back into training.

  • (18) First aid and injury mitigation: the most probable risk to health for club members remains sprain and strain injuries etc., especially for those returning to training after a long break from training. Do take extra time for warm-ups and cool downs, and ensure training intensity is ramped up in a measured way. Injuries during training should still be treated as participant wellbeing is paramount. After contact with an injured participant, clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser at the earliest opportunity. This advice is applicable to all situations, regardless of whether there was close contact, or the minimum 2 metre social distancing was maintained. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose.

  • (19) Expect further rule changes: your university facility will likely be introducing new rules for various other things including: contact-less only payment; handling spillages, footwear in hallways and in training halls/ studios/ gyms, personal protective equipment (PPE) for first aiders, accident reporting, security, fire alarm response, use of car parks, use of meeting spaces, use of facility cafes, rules limiting congregating etc. Club captains please check your SU/ sports department’s website regularly for new announcements and keep your members up to date.

  • (20) Communication is key: university facility/ SU/ Sport department staff will need to share a lot of information with participants, and the rules and regulations will vary between regions and institutions, and may change again on very short timescales – club captains and committees must prepare for this by organising very efficiently who will be responsible for reviewing and exchanging information, from which sources and with which members of university/ SU staff, and how this is to be disseminated across multiple channels with your other committee members, club members, contracted coaches and volunteers.

  • (21) Walk-in asymptomatic testing facilities: Your club might choose to ask for regular negative covid-19 tests for participants returning to training. Ask your sports department administrator/ CDO if your university are providing, or plan to provide, walk-in asymptomatic testing on campus, if this can be used on a regular basis by sports participants – this is being encouraged in some universities already – and what your institution’s policy is on sports club committees requiring Vs recommending negative tests as a gateway to accessing training. Think about how often your training sessions will be and how frequently you may be asking asymptomatic participants to get a test.

  • (22) Have symptoms, stay at home and report them: all participants, officials, volunteers and spectators must undergo a self-assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms before every session. No-one should leave home to participate in sport or officiate if they, or someone they live with:

    • have any coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, in which case book a test ASAP), or
    • have had contact within the last 14 days with someone who is now self-isolating (including, but not limited to flatmates), or
    • have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to isolate, then you must self-isolate yourself for 14 days

    You must also alert your club captain if you develop symptoms or test positive for covid-19. Do not wait to receive your test result; notify your club captain immediately if you develop symptoms.

    • Club captains, you must update your institution administrator right away if a team member reports they have covid-19 symptoms or tested positive
    • Provide to you institution administrator the name, email address and a registers of each sport session attended of anyone reporting symptoms

    If you have arrived from a county with a high coronavirus risk then you must self-isolate for 14 days before travelling outside or taking part in sport. Please read this government information on self isolation when travelling to the UK.

    If you have any covid-19 symptoms then please follow NHS guidance.

British Universities Colleges Sport (BUCS) have published Return To Play guidance ahead of the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

Key March 2021 updates for BUCS Student Taekwondo Championships Series:

As of 23 March 2020, no student taekwondo events are planned for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.  The British Student Taekwondo Federation’s board regularly reviews the latest UK Government and regional governments’ advice and policy, as well as regional Sports Council and Sport and Recreation Alliance guidance, and we remain in regular consultation with our partners British Universities Colleges Sport (BUCS).

As of April 2020 the remaining student taekwondo events scheduled for this academic year (including: three regional and one central Composite University Team training sessions, and the charity’s Annual General Meeting) have been postponed. The events will be rescheduled in due course according to UK Government advice and policy. Please be patient as we work to reschedule these events; many potential venues are restricted in their ability to take bookings, and we anticipate a large number of rescheduled events across many sports may be competing for limited bookings once restrictions are lifted.

For information about the EUSA European Universities Games please see that section in the FAQ.

BUCS have confirmed, following discussions with their Advisory Group, Senior Managers Executive and National Competitions Group, that all BUCS Points will be voided for the 2019-20 season. Further information is outlined in the BUCS Covid-19 Decisions And Next Steps report, specifically decision 8 here.

While this is doleful news for the whole student taekwondo family, not least because the 2019-20 season has been our first year in the BUCS main programme, it is not to be unexpected in these circumstances. The decision impacts on many tens of thousands of student-athletes across all 54 BUCS sports alike. We recognise the very difficult decision taken by BUCS, which was made in close consultation with all BUCS member institutions (i.e., the university sports departments and athletic unions themselves) who responded overwhelmingly in favour of this solution to the incomplete university season.  The BSTF board are now focused on making the next BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series bigger and better than ever!

Whilst BUCS will not publish a final Overall BUCS Points Table for the 2019-20 season those university taekwondo clubs planning to take measure of their performance this year as part of your: funding applications; sponsorship seeking; and performance target setting, should still be able to utilise Appendix 1, their final team ranking and final A-class student-athlete placements for analysis, target setting and decision making purposes.

Final placements for the BUCS Student Championships Series will be announced in due course and the physical BUCS medals will be posted to the winners respective students’ unions some time after they have reopened. Please be patient with all concerned as the movement of staff and closure of offices, including BUCS, all students’ unions and all sports departments, has introduced considerable delay to this process.

The European University Sports Association (EUSA) European University Games (EUG) scheduled for Belgrade in July 2020 have now been postponed. Further information is available on the EUSA Games pages of the BUCS website.

We will notify those student-athletes who have qualified by email in due course (please check your email regularly, including junk folders just in case) to provide further information, including registration deadlines for the EUG event being rescheduled.

The BSTF’s board and executive remain available via our online contact form. Please be aware that working arrangements have been disrupted and that we may take longer than usual to reply. Direct messaging via social media channels are also being checked less frequently at this time and we would encourage the use of the online contact form as the best way to ensure your message reaches us, thank you.