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JHC
-20th April 2011, 13:32
I thought that I would let the forum know that there is a youth competition in Holland at the beginning of June (4th and 5th) this year.

This is the 7th Youth Korenbloemtoernooi (Cornflower Tournament) held in Wageningen Holland.

It is for all weapons and the age categories go from U10 to Junior. Last year there were over three hundred competitors from 7 different countries.

Whilst it is not the size of Wroclaw or the Paris Marathon we did find that it offered a very good introduction to overseas fencing. The language barrier is not there as virtually everyone speaks English and indeed the referees were happy to ref in English when appropriate. Everyone from the organisers to the other competitors were extremely friendly.

The format is two rounds of pools then everyone going forward to DE without repechage. Some of the age categories were combined at the youngest and oldest ages as this allowed for larger groups. This was done not only for the pools but also for the DE however medals etc were awarded based on the age group you were in so if you were the highest finishing U10 but came 7th in the combined U10 and U12s you got the U10 gold medal. This was also done for boys and girls.

It was very well organised and ran to time last year.

The competition is held in a large sports centre with two large halls and there is plenty of parking in the nearby streets. The sports hall has a very nice café / bar where you can get cooked snacks.

Wageningen is about 3 ˝ hours from the Channel Tunnel by car, there are a number of hotels in the area and there is a Van Gogh museum / art gallery nearby too.

The website is at [/URL][url]http://www.stichtingkorenbloem.org (http://www.stichtingkorenbloem.org) at present it still has last years information on it but it will be updated for the current year any day now. They did have an English version last year and as soon as that is available I will post a link to it.

If anyone does want any further information then please PM me or you can email the organiser direct at inschrijving at stichtingkorenbloem dot org.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this.

JHC
-20th May 2011, 17:08
Just to let anyone know who is interested in this event that the site now has the English invitation and entry form on it which can be downloaded from http://www.stichtingkorenbloem.org/articles.php?id=155.

Many thanks.

archer
-5th June 2011, 20:37
Just sat down for a cup of tea after unpacking from our trip to Holland. I must say that we were impressed by the organisation and welcome we received from the organisers. My daughter came away with a bronze medal, as well as a few bruises, from the Cadet Womens Foil. The girl who won the comp was from Germany and at 15 has competed on the U23 circuit.

On entering teh venue we first paid, then registered at another desk which had two screens up with a scrolling list of fencers and next we were given a vitamin / fruit drink and an apple. Two halls were set up, the main hall with 14 piste and another which we did not visted which held the sabre and epee fights. The organisers gave announcement in dutch, german and english. Refereeing was brilliant, any decent was either carded or put down verbally. Finals were staged with a back drop of various flags and a large LCD screen with the fencers' names, country and club.

The organiser took time out to speak to my daughter at length and expressed a wish that more fencers from the UK would attend in future.

As the thread on the 'death of cadet fencing' discussed in part parents looking at foreign trips to broaden experience outside of the national teams I would propose that parents and fencers look at this comp. You have some strong fencers from Germany and Holland and get two rounds of pools before the DE. In the Women's foil fencing started at 09:45 and finished at 17:00 with the final.

Thanks JHC for highlighting this, we are hoping togobacknext as part of a longer holiday.

Archer

Foilling Around
-5th June 2011, 21:02
Just a very quick reply to link to the Academy thread.

I congratulate Archer for going to this event and Young Archer for her result. This is exactly what should have come about on a motre orgaised level at the same time as restricting the numbers going to the European Cadet circuit events.

I am told that analysis shows that over recent years 76% of British Cadets have failed to reach the L64 in Cadet nominated foreign events. That kind of statistic shows that we are not targetting our fencers at the appropriate level of competition. It is a big part of the raison d'etre behind the reduction in numbers going to cadet events.

I know that some people will say that they can go for the experience and that the parents will go with them and make it an educational experience, but that is not what British Fencing Organised trips should be about. The coaches with these trips should be focussing on fencers with potential to achieve.

What we do need to do is build on the success of the Paris and Poland trips at U15 level and try to find this age group or lower level Cadet events for the fencers to go to. But this has to go in tandem with and not after the restriction of numbers.

And not Ray, I am not suggesting that you organise 6 or 9 events each year, but that we research and provide a database and contact details of recommended events so that parents and clubs can do their own thing.

archer
-5th June 2011, 21:10
FA - Thank you for the congrats.

One thing I noticed was that all the German foilists had some sort of 'log book' which was handed in to DT and completed by the organisers. I think an entry was madeof the event and their final placings. As most of these fencers had fenced for Germany at some point it may be a national thing used in association with development / sponsorship.

Archer

Foilling Around
-5th June 2011, 22:23
Yes, they have had that for years and it has to be stamped etc by the organisers.

It is the kind of thing that is going to introduced through the academy in terms of a log book etc, but one lurching step at a time please!!

archer
-6th June 2011, 07:20
FA, just an observation, not having any involvement in NA I did not know whether or not this had been discussed.

One quick addition to my description of the comp at the weekend, the organisers provided an A4 sheet with how the comp would be run, i.e number of pools, DE without reprecharge etc, and on the flip side two pool tables and the DE tableaux so that you could keep tabs on what was happening in your fencers pool and use to check against the results when they were posted. Simple idea but very handy.

Archer

JamesF
-6th June 2011, 08:02
Paul - I am genuinely confused by what you are saying.

I think you are arguing that these trips are good for fencers, but BF should NOT be involved in them.

I am also confused about the attitude to winning versus training and gaining experience. You seem to be arguing that fencers should not be too focussed on winning at the cadet stage, but you argue that BF should withdraw because the fencers are not winning.

It also seems to me that parents probably DONT need help in organising UK based training, but DO need help organising foreign trips.

Perhaps I am the only one who does not understand. I would like to try to fall in line with you and others who (selflessly) invest their time and effort in developing UK fencing, but I need to understand to be able to join in with your (laudable) enthusiasm.

pinkelephant
-6th June 2011, 08:51
FA, just an observation, not having any involvement in NA I did not know whether or not this had been discussed.

One quick addition to my description of the comp at the weekend, the organisers provided an A4 sheet with how the comp would be run, i.e number of pools, DE without reprecharge etc, and on the flip side two pool tables and the DE tableaux so that you could keep tabs on what was happening in your fencers pool and use to check against the results when they were posted. Simple idea but very handy.

Archer

That IS a good idea. How did they do the tableau - with seeding numbers and blank spaces fo parents/fencers to fill in the relevant bit?

archer
-6th June 2011, 09:17
Pinkelephant,

Yes the tableau was printed from L32 with the blanks for fencer names etc.

archer
-6th June 2011, 09:30
I have a pdf copy of the second side of the sheet which I will try an upload later.

Archer

pinkelephant
-6th June 2011, 09:40
I'll put one together for our LPJS epee event on 9th July and see how people like it.

JHC
-6th June 2011, 11:21
Just sat down for a cup of tea after unpacking from our trip to Holland. I must say that we were impressed by the organisation and welcome we received from the organisers. My daughter came away with a bronze medal, as well as a few bruises, from the Cadet Womens Foil. The girl who won the comp was from Germany and at 15 has competed on the U23 circuit.

Archer

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it so much and your daughter won a medal too!

I totally agree with Foiling Around about providing information on competitions like this abroad and I agree that it should be nothing to do with BF or the EF organised trips.

There does seem to be slightly more interest in overseas events at the moment as a couple of questions have been asked on the forum about finding them and quite a few fencers went to Wroclaw independently this year.

I would happily contribute reviews (not quite sure how technically competent they would be but an indication of the size, atmosphere and difficulty etc.) to a thread here. Baldric did suggest some repository being set up last year of info on foreign events at this level.

I think that overseas competitions do offer younger fencers an enormous amount of experience not just of fencing but other cultures, travelling and broadening their horizons generally. Also it makes a nice change from seeing the same old faces all the time at the home competitions.

Also there are different ways of doing things that you can take away and enhance what you offer as Pink Elephant has already decided to do.

As a last aside does anyone know at what age they can start using pistol grips in France as that is a lot near than Holland?

archer
-6th June 2011, 11:48
Pinkelephant - I have pm'ed you copies of the front and back. Its in german as they did not have an english version and I can at least read german.

JHC - If it were not for your post we would have missed a great opportunity to fence abroad and gain the experience. All the family went, mywife and other two children spent the day at a zoo in Arnhem and enjoyed the whole trip as they found the dutch very friendly.

Archer

JHC
-6th June 2011, 12:22
Thanks Archer, credit should go to Uphill Struggler though who originally alerted me to this comp (not sure how they heard of it) through the forum and to the very good European competition web portal Nahouw.net.

Hungry Hippo
-8th June 2011, 07:36
Credit to Archer for taking up this opportunity, and possibly paving the way for others to do so, particularly for those who will not find themselves at the forefront of selection, but still want to give themselves the chance to do everything possible to attain their goals.

Congrataulations too, to Archerettee on her medal!

archer
-8th June 2011, 08:14
HH,

Thanks. Things worked out this year that we could afford the trip as a family holiday. In previous years we looked at a couple of comps in France but could not afford them. The experience was great not only from a fencer's perspective but also from a parent's.

Some of the fencers did not know what to make of my daughter, but were soon aware that she was no bunny and one or two showed their appreciation. The referee for both pools even took time to review one of the fights I had recorded as my daughter had queried a decision.

Final thought - have a look around there are a number of medium sized events that are accesible, round trip for this event was 692 miles, some may even wave entry fees for foreign fencers.

Archer

Archer

Baldric
-8th June 2011, 13:03
Paul - I am genuinely confused by what you are saying.

I think you are arguing that these trips are good for fencers, but BF should NOT be involved in them.

I am also confused about the attitude to winning versus training and gaining experience. You seem to be arguing that fencers should not be too focussed on winning at the cadet stage, but you argue that BF should withdraw because the fencers are not winning.

It also seems to me that parents probably DONT need help in organising UK based training, but DO need help organising foreign trips.

Perhaps I am the only one who does not understand. I would like to try to fall in line with you and others who (selflessly) invest their time and effort in developing UK fencing, but I need to understand to be able to join in with your (laudable) enthusiasm.


Hi James

I don't want to put words into Paul's mouth, but I think that he and I are of the same mind on this.

Between (about) 13 and 16, lots of our fencers would gain a great deal out of going to European events that are lower level than the cadet circuit nominated events. I only really know the foil circuit, but there are several possibilities, including Dieppe, Nato, Trekanten, Wroclaw and Paris which have younger agegroups than cadet, plus cadet events like the one in this thread, and whichever of Moers, Bratislava, Budapest and Salzburg are not nominated. (Being ECC nominated automatically strengthens an event).

I think that Paul is suggesting that these should be seen as development opportunities OUTSIDE of the pressure of the ranking system, not part of squads or teams, not earning ranking points, just a genuine chance to improve your fencing experience before going on to the nominated events as part of a squad.

Oddly enough, I was chatting with Grizz about helping enable and support this just last weekend.

Unfortunately, it does cost money, although clubs or simply groups of parents working together can help reduce cost.

It is an unfortunate fact that getting on in any sport is likely to cost some money. Fencing is about in the middle of the pile - its more expensive than footie, table tennis, badminton or rugby, but less expensive than equestrian, sailing, motor or winter sports.

Whilst it is important that we work hard to support able fencers who need financial assistance, I think it would be a mistake to view all our development as something where the cheapest option should always be chosen. Whenever something with a cost attached is suggested, there will ALWAYS be people on the margins of affordability who will find it very difficult.

It is down to those of us involved in managing the sport to try to make sure that the benefits are genuinely worth the cost, and to maximise the support available to the fencers who need it.

Ray Stafford

edit - sorry, just to address one other point. Its not that cadet fencers are not winning that the squad size was being reduced - it is because many were not even competitive at that level. Losing every fight and getting cut in the first round is not experience. Getting through the pools and a round or two of DE is fine - thats when you are gaining experience, even if you go out in the 32 or 64.

JamesF
-8th June 2011, 17:30
Baldric

Many thanks for your (as ever) thoughtful reply.

I am all for fencers getting extra appropriate competition experience prior to competing in the European Cadet Circuit. I think you do a smashing job providing it in “Tomorrow’s Achievers” and without wanting to give you any more work, as far as I am concerned the more of those we can have the better, for cadets and cadet wannabes.

I also find myself in agreement over the whole cost issue- without wishing to “turn away” from those who find themselves taken to the very edge of (and sometimes beyond) what they can afford.

I suppose I was reacting to Foiling Around (FA) in light of the IC decision - now gone - which also made a fencers future depend on getting into the last 64. I am sorry if I misjudged his meaning. (I do feel there is a gap between your description of losing every pool match, and his focus which is getting into the last 64 however).

I am delighted to hear you are talking about how to enable these "development" trips. I really believe that this is a good way to go. I hope you will find an efficient way to enable it – as has happened by incremental steps in Tomorrows Achievers.

I can’t help reflecting that pursuing these sorts of ideas are a better use of time than trying to come up with a set of rules to try to select smaller and smaller groups of the best fencers (rules which will always get it wrong to some extent due to injury, late development, and of course chance). Is there any need to bother, in fact? Couldn’t we just make the squad as wide as makes sense – and be generous and inclusive?

There can only be a dozen or two fencers with international ambitions in each weapon per year and with that small a group, I would argue that we need to get everyone through into international competition that we can.

Natural selection will happen - as in domestic competitions - the successful will thrive, and the less successful fencers will choose themselves to drop away. A far more sensible way of proceeding than imposing arbitrary limits and rules. Better to let the fencers decide they have had enough than try to choose the moment for them.

I am not quite sure if this is a flight of fancy - but at present cant see what is wrong wth the idea. No doubt I shall find out...

Foilling Around
-8th June 2011, 17:45
Hi James

I don't want to put words into Paul's mouth, but I think that he and I are of the same mind on this.
.

Exactly as Ray says!