It’s been a long time coming.
For over a year and a half, UCD Karate members have been training in their respective homes due to COVID-19. Training was uninterrupted 3 times a week, every single week as we have continued on for decades – only this time on a new medium of Zoom.
Despite our year apart, the club kept growing – retaining and attracting new students with a portion of our new members having never met another fellow karateka in person.
As the 2021 academic year came around, UCD has finally reopened the Sports Centre and allowing us to come back to the good aul training halls.
We take a cautious approach with our reopening, and our club members safety is at the top of the priority list (both from the virus and from physical injuries).
Here is what we are doing to keep our members training safely.
Pre-class booking form
In order to get into training, every UCD Karate club member will have to fill in an online form (we’re not using pen and paper), stating that they are in good health and not displaying any symptoms.
We also use this form to limit the number of maximum members training capacity to 24 people* per session on the first-come-first-served basis.
*UPDATE 11/10/2021: We’ve been permitted to increase the capacity to 36 people per training session. Club members will still be kept in the groups of 6 per mat.
Cashless membership payment
One of the outcome of the year in isolation is the launch of UCD Karate online payment system, created for the freshers day since last year.
Our e-commerce platform allows students to seamlessly pay with their debit/credit cards without the trouble of bank transfer, or cross-contamination using physical cash. Students also receive an instant receipt on their membership payment delivered to their email inboxes.
On the spot temperature check
Using an IR non-contact thermometer, we perform on the spot temperature check of everyone attending before they are allowed to join the class.
Pod training system
Every training session will be split into groups of maximum 6 people in a training area.
By breaking up in smaller groups, we can allow people to safely train while limiting the potential spread between the larger groups of students. Those staying in pods of six are not allowed to switch groups for the rest of the day.
Our Freshers Day training had to be split into 2 halls to keep the number of people in each hall safely under 24.
All training sessions are for the moment non-sparring and non-contact based.
Masks are encouraged
Even though face masks are not mandatory during training, we highly encourage everyone to keep their masks on.
We also provide our members with single-use face masks and hand sanitisers at the beginning of the training for those who need it.
Training equipment disinfection
Apart from hand sanitiser provided, the club senior members also perform equipment disinfection using alcohol-based solutions and antibacterial wipes to limit the potential spread of viruses on the common surface areas.
At the moment, we are not using gloves and pad work due to the close proximity of action that can facilitate the spread of the virus.
Our training mats are stored under a protective cover and are thoroughly wiped with a disinfectant solution before and after class.
Cautious approach to training
While some sports clubs have already gotten back to close contact action, we are proceeding with great caution in order to protect ourselves, our club members, and the community.
Our club will continue to err on the safe side with our approach to reopening, until it is deemed safe by government regulations and UCD Sports restrictions.
We are genuinely excited to be back training in person. See you on the mats! Ossu.