Ontario Jiu-Jitsu Association Statement on COVID19 – June 12th, 2020.

DON’T MISS THESE DATES!!!

Wednesday, June 17th

Saturday, June 20th

E-MEETING FOR OJA CLUB OWNERS

emails to follow – watch for it!

 

We hope this update finds our members safe and healthy.

 

Recently, the Ontario Government has made steps forward in opening the Ontario economy, slowly attempting to return our lives back to normal.

 

Specifically, several regions have moved into Phase 2 of reopening.  The Golden Horseshoe and the Border regions remain in Phase 1.

 

While martial arts schools haven’t been specifically mentioned to open on a wide-range basis, the government has amended the Emergency Order to allow member clubs of recognized PSOs to reopen – when the PSO has provided return to play protocols for their member clubs.

 

The emergency order is available here:

 

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200082?_ga=2.231510687.1454888364.1591896163-72640273.1581524744

 

Firstly, let it be said that the OJA Board of Directors is committed first and foremost to the health and safety of all of our membership – as such, since the beginning of the pandemic we have taken a measured, thoughtful approach to our response.  Covid-19 has presented unique challenges to our way of life, certainly nobody could have predicted the massive changes that have occurred in our daily lives.

 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Board has been meeting at least weekly to deal with issues arising from the Province’s response to the pandemic.  Additionally, Directors have been engaged in meetings and consultations with the Ministry, local Public Health agencies, local Municipalities as well as other Combat Sport PSOs.  We have been actively engaged in answering questions for our members.  We have collected economic loss data from our members to provide to the Ministry for the economic impact on our sector.  Additionally, we have dealt with the obvious changes to our yearly activities – cancelling of events/tournaments/training/shows.

 

We all want to open our academies/dojos/clubs – all of our Board Members run their own facilities – however, we want to do it right – the first time.  We need to be responsible and act on the best advice of Public Health in a measured and thoughtful way.

 

We realize that many of our colleagues in the other Combat Sport PSOs (many of the primarily striking based Combat Sports) have begun to greenlight their members to open with the appropriate protocols in place.  Jiu-Jitsu presents a unique challenge in that it is a close contact, grappling-based martial art – therefore we need to make sure our protocols reflect the same.

 

Additionally, protocols need to be vetted by Public Health, our Lawyer and our Insurance Company – we need to ensure our members (Club Owners and their Students) are protected.

 

We are pleased to say that we are finalizing our draft protocols.  Our plan is to have meetings with our registered club owners on Wednesday, June 17th and Saturday, June 20th in order to go over the protocols and field any questions our member clubs may have.    We will also discuss the return to play strategy and timeframe at that meeting.

 

Registered Club Owners will be contacted by e-mail with a formal invite to the meetings.

 

The OJA is committed to returning to our Art/Sport in the safest way possible.   We will continue to put the Health and Safety of all of our members first and foremost in our decision making.

 

Stay safe – stay healthy.

 

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

 

Doug Knispel

President

Ontario Jiu-Jitsu Association