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A personal statement from GM Nicholls
24th March 2020

Thoughts at this difficult time

In these difficult days, overwhelmed as we are by news bulletins, social media posts and emails, I would like to take a moment to personally reach out to each and every one of you as UK ITF members and instructors.

 

Firstly, I hope that you and your loved ones are well and keeping safe, following the advice we receive regarding social distancing, hygiene and limiting non-essential travel.

 

We have been drawn together over many years through our shared passion for Taekwon-Do.  Some volunteer our time and run clubs as a ‘not for profit’ enterprise alongside our ‘day job’, others have made teaching in academies, clubs, satellite clubs, in workplaces, schools and colleges our full-time employment.  In whatever capacity, we are all devastated by COVID-19, the coronavirus decimating families and communities here in the UK and throughout the world.  Like you, I teach in clubs I have worked hard to build up over the past 35 years and more and understand the shock and loss you have all experienced in these last few days.  We have tried our best to continue serve our communities and keep going, only stopping because we have been forced to.  For many of us, the loss of this income, but probably more importantly, the friendship and contact the club affords us, may be crippling.  Many students and families may face financial issues that force them to cancel their training fees and membership.  We must try our best to offer what support we can to encourage existing students to stay connect, or reconnect if and when possible.

 

Taekwon-Do is a way of life, not just a sport, and we and our club members will all sorely miss the camaraderie we enjoy training regularly together every week, as well as the physical and mental wellbeing it brings.  It has been a bitter disappointment and further loss to have had to cancel events which bring our UK ITF family together:  Finals Night, area seminars and gradings.  My thoughts go out to every member of our UK ITF family at this challenging time.

 

We educate students in Taekwon-Do in the proven and scientific use of the body for self-defence and wellbeing.  With this in mind, it is our duty to respect and adhere to the guidance of the scientists advising our government and world leaders to help bring this situation under control.  Our clubs are engaged not only in the provision of Taekwon-Do but also provide a meeting place for individuals to connect within our local communities for their and our mutual benefit.  This now may take the form of offering kindness and support in different ways, without of course putting ourselves or anyone else at risk.  We must keep in touch with each other, with our club members and others in our communities, to assist however we can.  This will make the job of reopening much easier as and when the time comes.

 

It is my sincere hope that humanity can work through this crisis, pull together and gain a fresh appreciation of what is important in life.  We look forward to the time when we can reopen our clubs and resume training, with a renewed enthusiasm for Taekwon-Do as a system for improving our health and wellbeing.  When it is possible to do so, we will update you of dates for UK ITF events, when we will once again be able to shake hands and continue our journey together.

 

I will forward to you updates from the BTC and request that you follow the NGB guidance.

 

With my personal thanks to you for your support for UK ITF, BTC and ITF.

 

I wish you all well.

 

TN

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Added: 24th March 2020
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