Barra jiu-jitsu on the brink

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A LOCAL martial arts professor fears the death of certain minority sports unless Covid-19 restrictions change soon.

Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu, based at Fort Regent, is one of a number of 'minority-sport' clubs under threat, as government guidelines still do no permit high-intensity indoor activity

Numerous martial arts clubs in Jersey have been unable to resume full service due to the indoor and high-intensity nature of their sport.

Head coach of Gracie Barra Jersey, professor Rob Staples, said the club, which specialises in MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, won’t survive past early next year unless guidelines change and they can offer more training sessions.

‘Currently we only offer two conditioning classes a week for adults with a maximum capacity of ten per session. We have also resumed our kids classes but this is nothing close to how we operated pre-Covid,’ he said.

The club, which had 150 active members before lockdown, relies heavily on membership fees as their source of income.

Although some members have continued to pay, Staples said good will can only last so long.

‘We are forever grateful for those who have continued to pay but unless we can offer them something soon, I think they will go somewhere else especially in the colder months when people are looking for somewhere to train indoors,' he said.

‘As we come into winter, those who have been outdoors and taken up cycling and other activities will look for somewhere to go inside and if many clubs cannot operate it will put added pressure on those that can, which could place an added risk with the coronavirus situation.’

Full story in Wednesday's JEP.

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