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aao
-30th July 2011, 17:58
The bbc's reporting on the story of GB fencers being dropped from funding can be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/fencing/14355140.stm

Some of Britain's top fencers have been told they will lose their funding, BBC Sport has learned.

The sport is embarking on wholesale changes following disappointing results at the 2010 World Championships and this month's European Championships.

New performance director Alex Newton recently said there were "significant things we can do differently in a very short space of time".

Epee fencer Jon Willis said he was "devastated" to be losing funding.

Willis, 30, was ranked as high as 27th in the world at the end of 2010 but British Fencing, who had promised to implement radical changes, has removed him from the sport's World Class Programme.

"I'm totally devastated to be told this morning that I have not been selected for the programme," Willis said on Twitter.

"I'm having a weekend in York to think about my future."

Willis had been the UK's number one epee fencer but struggled for consistency at an international level.

Other fencers are believed to be similarly affected.

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Foil fencer Laurence Halsted has starred in a music video for his favourite band, Brighton group Two Spot Gibi. In full GB regalia, Halsted takes on team-mate Ed Jefferies before a victorious finale on the piste in front of an adoring crowd.
Of fencing's three disciplines - epee, foil and sabre - the men's foil squad is considered the best prospect for an Olympic medal next year.

But they and the rest of the British team failed to deliver medals at either the 2010 World Championships in Paris or this month's European event in Sheffield.

Following the latter disappointment, Newton - appointed in May and formerly employed by funding body UK Sport - told BBC Sport: "We start on 1 August with something fundamentally different to the way we've done things in the past.

"We're at a mini-watershed now. I've identified all the issues we need to address and we have between the Euros and the Worlds [in Sicily this October] to start work on that."

As well as reducing the number of fencers receiving funding, the new regime will include fundamental alterations to training, use of science and medicine, and pre-fight preparation.

Britain has not won an Olympic fencing medal since 1964.

Exgeordielass
-30th July 2011, 18:40
Is anyone else as thoroughly depressed and demoralised as I am by all this?

Lefty Foilist
-30th July 2011, 19:18
You're not alone there Exgeordielass. Tempted to email British Fencing about it, but I'd be kidding myself if I got anything more than a lame response that will only want to make me bang my head against the wall.

I do hope British Fencing publish a damn good reason for doing this. Again, I'm probably kidding myself. It's sickening.

aao
-30th July 2011, 23:38
And now this from UK sport Via Eurosport:

UK Sport bosses are confident in new fencing performance director Alex Newton, despite a disappointing performance at the European Championships in Sheffield.

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Not a single member of Newtons team medalled, or got close to medalling, at the Championships a key date in repaying the British Olympic Association's decision to grant the sport eight home nation quota places for next year's Games
We have complete faith in Alex and her team who are 100 percent engaged in looking for the answers and looking for the opportunities to break through and go forward," said UK Sport performance director Peter Keen.
We were as disappointed as the fencers and their support staff with the results. We know they have the talent and indeed the track record to perform better than that so it goes without saying that we believe there is more to come.
Its a sport in an interesting place. Its now going in a different direction in terms of management and leadership.
"They have got a year they are going to have to work incredibly hard but an awful lot can happen in a year and they have experience and they have a track record to build on.
At the end of the day if we hear convincing answers to difficult questions saying weve learnt and we are going to move forward, we will support.
Its hard to accept a defeat when you know you can do better but if all eyes are on London 2012, thats all we can ask.
UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl defended Newton, who formerly worked at the elite funding agency, and insisted that the GB fencing performance director has not yet had the chance to assert her leadership, having only been appointed in May.
Nicholl was also quick to reject claims that the sport could suffer a similar fate to badminton, who saw their lottery money cut last year following a series of poor results.
We wont be making any knee-jerk reactive decisions based on the recent performance," she said.
"Well be working closely with the performance director, monitoring progress and hoping when we get to the annual review point in December they are in a good place and we can see some real potential continuing to emerge.
With each sport we have a key milestone event of the year and fencings milestone event is yet to come so thats not the major event of the year which we were measuring their performance at.

aao
-30th July 2011, 23:41
If I read the above correctly it basically translates to 'get medals at the Worlds or the funding will be cut'

I just wish I had more faith in the direction we appear to be heading in. Anyway I will await Alex's statement first before getting even more depressed.

DeGautet
-31st July 2011, 00:34
The bbc's reporting on the story of GB fencers being dropped from funding can be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/fencing/14355140.stm

Some of Britain's top fencers have been told they will lose their funding, BBC Sport has learned.

Britain has not won an Olympic fencing medal since 1964.

England soccer havent appeared in a world or euro cup final in nearly half a century, in fact they usually have a struggle to make a semi but no-one has cut their funding.

Red
-31st July 2011, 07:49
England soccer havent appeared in a world or euro cup final in nearly half a century, in fact they usually have a struggle to make a semi but no-one has cut their funding.

But does UKsport pay for the national Football team?
Their funding is largely derived from sponsors, TV rights and merchandising so is fairly secure.

fenderstrat
-31st July 2011, 08:28
What a dreadful piece of rambling rubbish that PR is.

"Alex and her team who are 100 percent engaged in looking for the answers and looking for the opportunities to break through and go forward"

"They have got a year they are going to have to work incredibly hard but an awful lot can happen in a year and they have experience and they have a track record to build on."

"insisted that the GB fencing performance director has not yet had the chance to assert her leadership"

Who writes this junk or speaks in such meaningless drivel? And why is this suddenly about blasted managers and desk jockeys and not about fencers?

It's enough to make you weep.

andylymn
-31st July 2011, 08:30
Just a quick stupid question or two, if all this funding is being cut from the athletes, where will the money be going? What does the sponsor think about what is happening and how their money is being spent?

Stuart_Twick
-31st July 2011, 08:45
At a guess, UK Sport will reallocate the funding to other sports that they consider a medal prospect.

Sabreur In Training
-31st July 2011, 09:11
I believe the idea will be to focus the money on those who are considered medal prospects so the additional money will be split among them. If you notice UK Sport are not cutting their funding levels, its all internal to BF.