Allow me to express my hearty appreciation to you for your great efforts in the development and promotion of Triathlon, Paratriathlon and the relevant Multi Sports.
With regard to the races, seminars and related businesses, the Japan Triathlon Union (JTU), have requested the organizers to refrain from holding those events with postponement as the main role part, in line with the policies set by the national government and the local authorities to cope with the spread of COVID-19.
In the past, virus infection cases would generally mitigate along the season turning toward summer, but, we cannot see any clue of the mitigation this year. On the contrary, it seems getting more serious.
Under this circumstances, the Japanese government declared a State of Emergency on 7th April to the sever prefecture for a month according the special law on new influenza and the like control. Accordingly, the seven prefectures are expected to immediately put the “emergency control arrangement” in place.
On the other hand, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) held a conference call to convene an extraordinary Executive Board meeting on 3rd April, where the “resolution on suspension of all ITU events and activities throughout the world until the end of June” was approved and announced. If the situation should improve well enough, it was also proposed that each, postponed ITU event may be organized at a stroke in this autumn.
However, this plan remains in uncertainty. The Olympic Qualification criteria is now being reviewed to make a new version fitting for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in 2021, while carefully monitoring the situation.
Many events including Miyakojima Triathlon scheduled for April have been cancelled or postponed, and new dates for those events are under consideration. We fully share how you, triathletes, feel when you cannot participate in events. It would mean very sad and unfortunate, not only for your records but also for the lost fulfilling time you would have spent with many other triathlon friends.
However, I hope you will also understand the situations around the local area of the host city and the enormous efforts that had been poured by the organizer, the Organizing Committee, and many other people concerned until the very end in order to organize the events. Said that, I dare to ask you to be patient for now to live proactively, although the training environment may be not perfect.
For the time being, JTU will continue meetings regularly with the organizers who are anxious about the feasibility of their events, while working on various coordination arrangements.
JTU also exchange views with our Member Federations and each Committee and Commission separately on their expertise. In addition, we continue reporting the current situation to JOC, JPC, JSPO, and JSC, and following resolutions set by the Japanese government and the Japan Sports Agency, while carefully monitoring the ongoing situation. With these efforts, we will provide holistic information to JTU members, athletes and coaches. We will have a meeting with them where necessary to discuss new schedules and future possibilities.
Furthermore, we aim to lead this period of time as the opportunity to act in creative manner to generate new idea and systems, while sharing information and exchanging opinions with our valued sponsors and partners.
Granted above development, JTU is facilitating arrangements with the following action items set by the JTU Crisis Management group.
1) All of the JTU events and businesses will be suspended until the end of June 2020, and the cancellation or postponement of the event will be determined at a later time considering the situation.
2) The events and businesses of our Member Federations will be also determined whether they should be cancelled or postponed, taking into account the local situation and the local authorities’ crisis management policy and guideline.
3) We continue asking parties concerned for their cooperation in blocking further outbreak of COVID-19.
4) We will review the balance of payment and financial aspects to take appropriate measures.
We apply the remote working measure to all the JTU office staff members subject to a daily online meeting at a fixed time for reports and communication. With this measure, excluding the personnel in charge of account settlement all the staff are required not to commute to the office.
However, inquiries and consultative questions from you remain handled at almost the same level as usual via Emails addressed to the JTU office.
Finally, I would like to note that we have overcome many, various infectious diseases and natural disasters with our wisdom and ingenuity.
I believe this time is not an exception. I would like to encourage everyone to do the following while looking forward to the re-start of Triathlon and Paratriathon events:
In order to overcome the national crisis by blocking the virus pandemic, we should;
1) lead a life, staying at home as much as possible avoiding the situations with any of the three crucial environments (closed, tight, and/or very close contact with people) and keeping social distance whenever you need to go out for essential task.
2) maintain a good health by having adequate sleep, eating well and doing appropriate exercise.
3) wash hands thoroughly, wear a mask, and follow the etiquette not to cough in public.
Let us fight together against this crisis with our “wisdom and courage” as triathletes!
To conclude my report and requests, I would like to pray for safety and health for all of you and your family members as well as all the parties concerned, and wish for the end of the new coronavirus at the earliest possible time.
For a while, although you may feel more restricted on your behavior, I would sincerely appreciate your continued understanding and cooperation.
President, Japan Triathlon Union