The Student National Taekwondo Championships Series 2020-21
We are excited to share with you the provisional plans for the modified 2020-21 BUCS Student National Taekwondo Championships Series.
We would first like to commend the hard work of clubs’ committee members up and down the country who have been working exceptionally hard planning for the upcoming academic year. There are many unique challenges as we prepare to both welcome returning students back to regular training, and to make all new students feel included in their new university community and enjoying all their new taekwondo club has to offer!
We encourage every member of the student taekwondo family to keep on supporting your committee members, coaching staff, institution administrators, umpires, volunteers and each other at this time. To this end, please set aside time to read and review the plans your club’s committee are putting into action to secure your training arrangements in the short term, and to safeguard your club’s viability and development in the long term.
Time and space within university sports facilities will be highly sought after this academic year. Making sure everyone is up to speed on your institution’s current rules will help to make training safer, more enjoyable and more effective for everyone. Our Board members have been in working close consultation with institutions and student sport partners to develop comprehensive Return to Play advice for university clubs (read time of 15-20 minutes).
Individual universities will have the final say on setting their bespoke rules for facility use and sport delivery, but across the board we know training is likely to get off to a slower start this academic year, with smaller class sizes, pre-booking systems to administer, and modified (non-contact) training sessions to begin with. Close contact sparring will be the last element to return to regular class training, and university Championships Series events will not take place until we reach the last stage (Tier A) of easing social distancing measures.
With this in mind, options for this season were considered in detail, and the difficult decision has been made to cancel the Autumn Championships event for the 2020-21 season, and focus on the Winter Championships and Spring Championships only for in-person competition, with an online alternative for November.
One key factor in this decision is the limited amount of contact training time available before the end of November (even if we reach Tier A and may technically host competitions by this time) our goal is to provide the best overall student-athlete experience and give club committees as much certainty as possible at this stage. This is best achieved with a clear focus on returning to Championships Series events in 2021.
The end of November will still see a major university competition in the form of our new Online Patterns Championships! Competitors will have the chance to send entries they’ve pre-recorded under competition conditions from the comfort of their own dojangs from November 23rd – 28th. Our video editing pixies will splice the footage together and we’ll be broadcasting a ‘live’ stream of the event the weekend of December 6th, including live scoring and progression. So you can, in theory, watch your own progress through a taekwondo competition while simultaneously eating pizza in bed.
The Winter Championships and Spring Championships are provisionally planned for 20th – 21st February and 20th – 21st March weekends, respectively [Update: backup dates of 1st – 2nd May and 30th – 31st May will now be used]. The competition structure will be similar to last year’s Championships Series, but the event processes will see some changes with the addition of enhanced mitigation steps. Further details about these new processes will be shared with club captains in due course but, broadly speaking, picture moving through a lovely efficient German airport.
“To … not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of virtues.” Sun Tzu
We are also sharing at the outset two contingency dates, for use only if it becomes necessary to reschedule the February or March event due to a local lock-down or another unforeseen issue. The provisional backup dates are the 1st – 2nd May and 29th – 31st May weekends – please develop your own club plans with flexibility in mind, as there is an increased chance we might need to reschedule an event this year.
Please check the BSTF website and social media channels frequently for updates. If you run into any issues and need advice then the BSTF is here for you, please use the contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Working together there’s no doubt we can overcome the challenges we face, and make this academic year one to remember for all the right reasons. We very much look forward to seeing you all again soon, starting with the Online Championships at the end of November 2020!
Yours in student taekwondo,
The BSTF Board
Proudly serving university taekwondo practitioners for over 30 years, the multi-discipline BUCS Student National Taekwondo Championships was established in 1986 and is the seminal competitive taekwondo programme for students in higher education in the UK. Please follow us on social media to receive the latest announcements as we work with our partners at BUCS to bring you a peerless university sport experience.
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