It is with great frustration and a lack of understanding that British Wrestling confirms that the expected first phase of our Return to the Mat has not at this stage been sanctioned by the government.
To be very clear, our clubs and wrestlers should continue to follow public health guidance which means no indoor activity with people outside of your household. You can continue to deliver activities online and outdoors sticking with the 6-person guidance.
Our Return to the Mat plan was published last week based on evidence and expectation that the easing of the lockdown announced today (Tuesday 23rd June) would include the opening of leisure and sports facilities for indoor activity from 4th July. This was based on the hard work the sport and physical activity sector has been doing to ensure venues meet all public health guidelines.
Whilst we did not expect or anticipate restrictions being eased to the point where contact training could take place there was an expectation that the government would follow through on its claims of wanting to take care of the health of the nation. By not opening the facilities where our clubs and gyms reside this decision has a detrimental effect on the health of the nation. Specifically, groups that are traditionally underrepresented in participation figures, Black and Minority Ethnic and Lower Socio-Economic Groups, of which so much of our membership are a part of, are more likely to participate in indoor facilities.
There was no indication in the announcement of a timeline for the opening of these crucial facilities however following further details have emerged that a first stage opening can be expected in mid-July.
British Wrestling will work with the sector to lobby for opening as soon as possible so we can begin our Return to the Mat. We urge you to voice your frustrations online via social media and ensure your voice is heard by @10DowningStreet.
We are sure many of you will be very confused and disappointed by this decision but please be assured that British Wrestling is working hard on your behalf to challenge this position and make sure we can Return to the Mat.
We want to be clear. We are ready to return.