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British Fencing
-1st August 2011, 13:24
BRITISH FENCING ANNOUNCES NEW WORLD CLASS
PERFORMANCE PROGRAMME

Chairman; “This is our first major step towards our “Gold” agenda”

As of the 1st August, 2011, fundamental changes to British Fencing’s World Class Programme (WCP) get under way. These are part of the Board’s new focus on its “Green, Grow, Gold” strategy, which includes British Fencing’s aim to win a gold medal at the London Olympic Games.

Athletes selected for the WCP can now look forward to a new, highly professional programme of individual support. Alex Newton, British Fencing’s new Performance Manager has completed a comprehensive review of all parts of the previous WCP and highlighted key changes to ensure that all British fencers maximise their chances of success at the 2012 Games. These will take effect from today. The WCP is funded by UK Sport and British Fencing’s principal partner, Beazley, whose support amounts to £1m over five years.

Speaking today, Newton said: "We start our new WCP with fundamental changes. There are important things we can do differently, and better, in a very short space of time. I've spent a lot of my time so far on research and analysis, including monitoring what other top teams are doing. Of course, we must tailor our programme to our talents and resources. But we will have a world class system, to produce world class athletes”.

Newton is new to the sport but with proven pedigree. She has the full support of the Board. Chair of the Board, David Teasdale, said: “Alex Newton has a key role to play in our new 3G strategy - Green, Grow, Gold. Today is our first big step toward the Gold agenda”.

British Fencing Chief Executive, Piers Martin, added: “Under the new strategy our performance programmes are focused entirely on delivering Olympic Gold medals. To achieve this we need a real step change in culture so that every single thing we do on a daily basis is world leading and directed towards this goal.”

-------------------------

As of the 1st August 2011 the British Fencing World Class Performance Programme will include:

Podium Level

Richard Kruse; Laurence Halsted; Edward Jeffries; Jamie Kenber; (Men’s Foil)

Development

Alex O’Connell; James Honeybone; (Men’s Sabre)

Corinna Lawrence (Women’s Epee)

Claire Bennett; Anna Bentley; Martina Emanuel; Natalia Sheppard; Sophie Troiano (Women’s Foil)
Louise Bond-Williams; Joanna Hutchison; Katherine Kempe; Chrystall Nicoll; Sophie Williams (Women’s Sabre)

James Davies; Jamie Fitzgerald; Rhys Melia; Marcus Mepstead; Ben Peggs; Husayn Rosowsky; Alex Tofalides (Men’s Foil)

British Fencing
-1st August 2011, 13:28
The following is a statement from British Fencing Performance Manager Alex Newton on the changes to, and the plan ahead, the World Class Programme:

A thorough review was undertaken of the current arrangement with key issues highlighted:
• There was no clearly identified performance pathway with a lack of clear and transparent criteria for the Programme for the athletes
• There were significant issues in the way in which coaching was delivered across the weapons with a lack of a centrally driven approach
• Support was being driven by individual funding packages to the athletes meaning no central programme being developed which would drive a performance legacy
• Too many athletes were being supported who were not in the medal zone or on an upward performance trajectory
• There was a low selection performance standard for International Competitions
• There was no integration of sports science and medicine across the weapons

The BF Board were presented with a comprehensive analysis of all the issues highlighted from the review, received an Action Plan which detailed how the issues would be addressed. The BF Board unanimously supported the findings of the review and the Action Plan with the President, Keith Smith, saying he was glad to note the ‘get tough’ attitude.

As a result of the unanimous Board support, from 1st August a new centrally driven World Class Programme will be implemented which incorporates both technical fencing coaching with a comprehensive support package of sports science and medicine support.

This centrally driven approach means that British Fencing will now provide a formal programme to each athlete with a range of support services. This will include a nominated national coaches for the different weapons, sports science and medicine support including doctors, physio, nutrition and performance analysis, individual training programmes, monitoring and reviews against set targets and objectives.

The criteria to be on the Performance Programme is clear and transparent with athletes being clear why they are on the Programme, what they have to do to stay on the Programme and the consequence if they fail to meet their process and performance targets.

Athletes not currently on the Programme will have a clear idea what they have to do and the standards expected for them to be considered for the Programme.

In addition new and detailed criteria is being developed for how Teams for the team event will be selected. Again the athletes will be fully aware of what the criteria is to be within a Team and what they have to do in order to be considered whether they are on the Programme or not.

The initial cohort of athletes, have been selected up to and including the period to the end of the World Championships (end of October). Immediately following the World Championships a fundamental review will be undertaken of all athletes selected for the Programme from 1st August 2011.

As a result of the review athletes will be categorised as:
1. Capable of winning a medal in 2012
2. Showing a performance and training trajectory that would deliver a medal in 2016

Any athlete who does not fall in to one of these categories will be removed from the Programme.

Any athlete who demonstrates that they are in one of these categories but is not currently on the Programme will be included within the Programme.

Immediately following the GP and A grades next year a similar review will be undertaken with athletes being de-selected and selected for the Programme based on objective criteria to meet the above goals of a medal in 2012 and medals in 2016.

Following the Olympics in 2012 a fundamental review will be undertaken of both the Programme and the athletes against the criteria of winning medals in 2016.

Alex Newton
Performance Manager
July 2011

hokers
-1st August 2011, 13:34
The criteria to be on the Performance Programme is clear and transparent with athletes being clear why they are on the Programme, what they have to do to stay on the Programme and the consequence if they fail to meet their process and performance targets.

Athletes not currently on the Programme will have a clear idea what they have to do and the standards expected for them to be considered for the Programme.


What are the criteria please?

The Driver
-1st August 2011, 13:35
What are the criteria please?


You do the hokey cokey and you turn around, that's what it's all about

(No pun intended by the way)

aao
-1st August 2011, 13:52
One epeeist?! I will say more later, but suffice to say i 'politely' disagree with the way this has been implemented, and have grave worries for the future of the weapon I love.

The Driver
-1st August 2011, 13:53
One epeeist?! I will say more later, but suffice to say i 'politely' disagree with the way this has been implemented, and have grave worries for the future of the weapon I love.

Epeeiste, surely?

Lefty Foilist
-1st August 2011, 16:25
I should say that as a foilist you won't get any gloating from me about how MF and WF have essentially been ring fenced from cuts. Definitely not a time for inter-weapon rivalry.

Jamie Kenber's inclusion on the podium list... no disrespect to him, as I enjoy watching him fence and I understand that he had a serious leg injury for around 10 months leading up to the World CHampionships last year (correct me if I'm wrong). But his results either side of that injury haven't been outstanding (bar an L16 in Copenhagen a couple of years ago). There are one or two other on the inclusion list that I think the same about, but I can't be bothered to go into it.
Either way, today's announcement has hardly reduced the number and the gravity of questions facing British fencing.

Cyranna's Father
-1st August 2011, 16:46
*Waits to see what changes will be made in the youth program (actually having one for the lower age ranges might be a start!) to ensure that there is an "upward trajectory" in the encouragement and development of youth fencing in GB*

Without it we may be right where we are now in 2020 except that the PD will have passed on to another job by then.

hokers
-1st August 2011, 16:54
The reason I was asking about the "clear and transparent" criteria is to better understand the selections.

For example:
JW who is not on the list has 6xL64, 5xL32, 1xL16, 2xL8, 1x1st in the last two years (discounting satellites).
AOC who IS on the list has 9xL64, 1xL16.
CL who IS on the list has 3xL64, 3xL32, 1xL16
KK who IS on the list has 11xL64
JK who IS on the list has 5xL64, 2xL32

Am eagerly awaiting the criteria that fit those results in!

The Driver
-1st August 2011, 17:01
Perhaps ageism is creeping in and they are looking ahead to 2016.

thedoc
-1st August 2011, 21:19
If you read the analysis by Alex Newton in the second post, that is exactly what is suggested.

I actually agree almost entirely with what she says about the failings that existed in the previous WCPP and the establishment of clear criteria published well in advance can only be a good thing. Also proper support of the fencers can only be welcomed. However, to my mind a number of the people selected don't fit the criteria that she herself laid down, which is slightly concerning.

Much more unforgivable is that if she could identify all these failings in a matter of months, who in the Board and Executive were previously responsible for the oversight and why did it take them until only now to confront it? I think that those people need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask if they were really paying attention to what was going on.

There has been way too much worrying about corporate governance and 'having a policy' without sourcing quality coaches and allowing them to put a proper performance structure in.

If we win a medal at the Olympics, there will be only one set of people that will be responsible. They are Ziemek and the Men's Foil team. No-one else could or should take any credit whatsoever.

Threestain
-1st August 2011, 22:37
If we win a medal at the Olympics, there will be only one set of people that will be responsible. They are Ziemek and the Men's Foil team. No-one else could or should take any credit whatsoever.

But they will

munkey
-1st August 2011, 23:13
Alex Newton's analysis of the shortcomings of the World Class Programme she inherited seem pretty accurate and a lot of what she proposes that should be included also seems more than reasonable. I'm surprised by some of the inclusions/omissions from the WCP funding admittedly (more surprised by some of the inclusions really) but after 2 months in the job she seems to have the previous set-up sussed and seems determined to radically change and improve it. We may disagree with some of the decisions but some of the snide comments aimed at her are totally unwarranted. She has a job to do and, to my mind, is making a decent start. She doesn't seem over-fussed about winning any popularity contests with the general membership (and why should she?) but if the elite athletes are generally happy, well supported and well managed in the run-up to the London Olympics and beyond then I'll be happy too. Right now she deserves every chance to prove that the changes she is making are the right ones and she deserves our support in trying to turn a "World Class" programme that has been running for nearly 5 years into what it should have been from the start.

cesh_fencing
-2nd August 2011, 00:05
Perhaps ageism is creeping in and they are looking ahead to 2016.

I can understand younger athletes being in the 'development' envelope, however I am sure a couple of the WFs are pretty much the same age as JW and if they are funded having not really ever having done anything, I cannot see why JW has not been given the same chance considering that he has actually won World Cup events/made a number of L8s in his career.

If no-one over 25, lets say (just an arbatory number) was on development funding I could undertand that an age was set and that is the call, as it is I am a little confused.

Funding is a strange thing and ever since money has been available it has seemingly been randomly dished out in a very strange manner, but that is what happens with all the polotics I guess....

BigPappaBear
-2nd August 2011, 12:05
Would have been nice to see some male epeeist in there even if there was a get out clause of an earlier review.

At the moment it looks as though the 8 olympic spaces will be filled with 8 foilist, which I'm not sure sends a good message out to the young epeeists and sabreurs out there.

JohnL
-2nd August 2011, 12:38
It was good of BF and Alex to ppost onto the forum, let's face it they're not obligated to. I found the suggestion relatively vague however I thought I'd do a quick comment on one section of Alex's post;

"The initial cohort of athletes, have been selected up to and including the period to the end of the World Championships (end of October). Immediately following the World Championships a fundamental review will be undertaken of all athletes selected for the Programme from 1st August 2011."

I don't know how many A-grades there are between now and the Worlds, I'm assuming not many, so why would you wait until the worlds. I can do it for you now.

"As a result of the review athletes will be categorised as:
1. Capable of winning a medal in 2012
2. Showing a performance and training trajectory that would deliver a medal in 2016"

1. Ricahrd Kruse (a world class fencer who should receive funding committed up to and beyond the Olympics if HE chooses). Jon W (An extremely outside chance but worth wild card funding) MF team (On the back of RK and LH.)

2. Richard Kruse (should he not retire). No-one else over the age of 23. And given the current crop of "international" fencers we have I see little hope for 2016.

On previous (Oh the pessimism) posts when the Olympics were awarded to London, I commented that our chances of a medal were slim to none and the objective was short sighted. In fencing a 4 year or 6 year program for change will not work. It needs to be longer term.

If I was the PD I would have said;

a) We're 1 year away from the Olympics. It's too late to do anything significant to improve our chances of getting a medal.

b) We're funding 2 athletes who have a medal chance and one team (MF)

c) beyond that, we're looking to 2016 and 2020. We're going to select young fencers for all A-grades and Olympics and give them the experience and training they need over the next 8-10 years that will create a performance legacy for others to follow.

But then again I'm not the PD (and probably just as well !!)

Ronald Velden
-2nd August 2011, 14:37
As is usual with the culture of sport in Britain there are always policies and statements which look good on paper, but far too often are difficult to put in practice least of all in a sport like fencing, which lacks good facilities,top coaches, depth of talent
and above all some serious funding.

Looking at our Pathway Funding Programme there is no question that mens foil has offered the best if not the only prospect of a qualifier let alone a medal in 2012.

It is clear also by appointing Maciej Wojtkowiak who is on BFA payroll as Women's Coach that there appears to be an intention
to select a women's foil team for 2012. Whilst I have believed for a very long time from personal experience that this weapon
has been seriously neglected in this country I have to ask the question why this squad who have virtually no prospect of
'qualifying' as individuals or as a team have been given preferential treatment over womens epee or mens sabre. I would be surprised if any of these women will be still internationally competitive in 2016.

If they are selected as a team then the four other weapons will have just two or three discretionary places open to them in 2012.

The final point as John L raises is just how many of the Pathway Fencers will be still competing internationally in 2016. Apart
from some of mens foilists you are probably talking about a maximum of two to three fencers in this group.

Of course we need to put on the best possible show next year, but if the sport has serious ambition to improve then they need
to start by recruiting some genuine world class coaches. Bluntly apart from Ziemek there are none in the British system even if
we have some talented young coaches floating around.

sabregran
-2nd August 2011, 15:00
In fencing, it would be seem rather short-sighted if anyone was imposing such an early age limit on the developmental programme. It doesn't seem to be the case in other European countries. Having noted the age-range of the winning men's sabre team at Europeans (not one of them was under 30 - I'd seen most of those guys in London ten years ago!), I decided to take a look at the results for the last Olympics. Only one fencer under the age of 23 medalled and that was a bronze in women's sabre (a relatively very young discipline, partly, I would guess, as it is so new). In every other event, one of the medallists was at least 30, and in the case of women's foil, the winner was the oldest.

It's not so long since there were debates on the forum as to whether places on the GB squad at A-grades should be restricted to those under-40 "to give the upcoming fencers a chance to get the experience".

Ronald Velden
-2nd August 2011, 15:17
Sabregran

I agree with your point that fencers can maintain performance into their 30s. I raised this on a thread relating to European Championships. Furthermore as I discussed recently and statistics confirmed this country is now woefully short of experienced
adult fencers.

Nevertheless it is most unlikely that you are going to teach an old head new tricks and if we are going to invest in the future
of the sport we need to focus on our youth.

lizzieh
-2nd August 2011, 15:18
The reason I was asking about the "clear and transparent" criteria is to better understand the selections.

For example:
JW who is not on the list has 6xL64, 5xL32, 1xL16, 2xL8, 1x1st in the last two years (discounting satellites).
AOC who IS on the list has 9xL64, 1xL16.
CL who IS on the list has 3xL64, 3xL32, 1xL16
KK who IS on the list has 11xL64
JK who IS on the list has 5xL64, 2xL32

Am eagerly awaiting the criteria that fit those results in!

Noone seems have even considered the fact that men's epee has a much larger entry than all other weapons, and several times this year the massive entry number has meant some people have to win 3 DE fights to even get a 64. Take the euros this year - JW won 1 DE, whilst the best British result, a last 16 was achieved with just 1 DE victory too. Yet Jon is being told he's not good enough, whilst those who have got higher results often have won less DEs. In the Olympics, the entry is small so it is a level playing field across all weapons, for which Jon has as much chance of, if not greater chance of achieving success and winning DEs. He's done it before..who else on pathway has shown the same promise? At least in epee it's a much more open playing field! JW and Phil Marsh are prime examples!

Highlander
-2nd August 2011, 15:26
quote from John L
I don't know how many A-grades there are between now and the Worlds, I'm assuming not many, so why would you wait until the worlds. I can do it for you now.

For Mens Epee there are NONE ZERO
I hope with this in Mind JW still gets a place at the Worlds

Gav
-2nd August 2011, 15:38
I hope with this in Mind JW still gets a place at the Worlds

According to other websites. Nope.

Highlander
-2nd August 2011, 16:06
That can't be right
it would give him no chance to get back on the programme
THe JW Fund can fund him and pay hes entrance fee if needs be

if the BFA want to give Jon a chance to get back on the programme he must be entered into the Worlds!!

aao
-2nd August 2011, 16:33
Its not about funding, it never had been, the UK sport money remains stable as does the Beazley money. The expenses of the epeeists are relatively small when compared to the total outlay of the international program. The selection decisions are purely down to Alex/Piers and members of the selection committee.

jmayle
-2nd August 2011, 16:40
Highlander: It would appear to be right, his facebook page confirms it and that GBR are to send no ME at all. They may possibly send CL for the women, who knows.

Does BF realise just how idiotic they are going to look on the world stage with decisions like this. It was bad enough not to put a team in at Sheffield but this beggars belief.

If Jon and actually others of a sufficient standard can go without IC selection, then I am sure he/they will get all the financial support he/they need to go. Count us in.


June

jmayle
-2nd August 2011, 16:41
Its not about funding, it never had been, the UK sport money remains stable as does the Beazley money. The expenses of the epeeists are relatively small when compared to the total outlay of the international program. The selection decisions are purely down to Alex/Piers and members of the selection committee.

In which case, they need replacing.

nurrycat
-2nd August 2011, 16:41
[QUOTE=Highlander;251154
For Mens Epee there are NONE ZERO
I hope with this in Mind JW still gets a place at the Worlds[/QUOTE]

No. No place at the Worlds.

I don't think the female epeeists are laughing either.

hokers
-2nd August 2011, 16:43
See, that's a very interesting thing. In an Olympic qualifying cycle, not selecting JW effectively removes any chance of him qualifying by rights for the Olympics. Having been dropped from the WCPP yesterday, he doesn't qualify under rule 35 (http://britishfencing.com/uploads/files/seniorrankingschemeselectionprocedure2010.2011fina lversion.pdf ).
This means that he would have to qualify for the Worlds by rights, and his L8 in Sydney comes 14 months and 3 days ago, falling outside the 12 month limit specified in rule 37.

Now I REALLY want to see the rest of the team selection at this point. Having not selected him, there can be pretty much no justification whatsoever for selecting anyone who has not qualified by rights (only RK/LH/CN as far as I can tell). If the international committee uses rule 35 to select the WCPP atheletes, we might genuinely be in a position where some fencers are selected who have NEVER had a result higher than an L32, while not selecting a fencer who has actually won A-grades, which is farcical.

Gets more interesting next year when we have a chance to send a fencer to the ME zonal qualifier.
"7. It will be the BF policy to enter the European zonal qualifying competitions in all eligible weapons."
Can the international committee really select Jon, having shown this lack of confidence in him? Remember, Philip Marsh will still only be 15 at the opening ceremony, JME World Champion or not. Is there anyone else?

What about a host nation place for ME? Same argument, can you really take his funding, not enter him for the World Champs and then give him a host nation place?

Bottom line here is that he didn't qualify, injured or not. But if you're going to have such a heavily discretionary selection oriented policy for WCPP, host nation Olympic places, team selection etc, you might want to think seriously about using it to not alienate your only prospect for an epee medal in 2012.

Vote of no confidence in the board at the AGM?

The Driver
-2nd August 2011, 16:43
If Jon and actually others of a sufficient standard can go without IC selection, then I am sure he/they will get all the financial support he/they need to go. Count us in.

But presumably they cannot?

nurrycat
-2nd August 2011, 16:44
Highlander: It would appear to be right, his facebook page confirms it and that GBR are to send no ME at all. They may possibly send CL for the women, who knows.

Does BF realise just how idiotic they are going to look on the world stage with decisions like this. It was bad enough not to put a team in at Sheffield but this beggars belief.

If Jon and actually others of a sufficient standard can go without IC selection, then I am sure he/they will get all the financial support he/they need to go. Count us in.


June

Umm. I could have misunderstood but as it stands right now, self funding is not allowed. ie he/they can't go and pay their own way.

JohnL
-2nd August 2011, 16:57
In fencing, it would be seem rather short-sighted if anyone was imposing such an early age limit on the developmental programme. It doesn't seem to be the case in other European countries. Having noted the age-range of the winning men's sabre team at Europeans (not one of them was under 30 - I'd seen most of those guys in London ten years ago!), I decided to take a look at the results for the last Olympics. Only one fencer under the age of 23 medalled and that was a bronze in women's sabre (a relatively very young discipline, partly, I would guess, as it is so new). In every other event, one of the medallists was at least 30, and in the case of women's foil, the winner was the oldest.
.

I'm sorry sabregran, but the point is that all the Italian sabreurs (I noted their advanced age on a previous post) have been making finals of A-grades since they were in their mid 20's. Our problem is that our guys/gals who are in their mid-late 20's can't even make regular L64's in top tournaments. If you're looking for medalists at WC/Olympics then I'm sorry, but it just isn't going to come from those fencers. If they were making last 8's of A-grades, then I don't care if you have to help them onto the piste with a zimmer frame!!! Unfortunately, our fencers are not.

D'Artignan
-2nd August 2011, 17:00
My impressions, originally posted in another thread, are :-

MF - was pretty much always going to have the most people on the Pathway. A little surprised at one or two inclusions, but not about the amount of fencers included. IC possibly pinning all their hopes on auto qualification form the guys. Development guys funded to keep Podium fencers on their toes, and also with 2020 in mind, rather than (only) 2016.

WF - I suspect there's a feeling that they are not too far off of beating some of the big Nations, and so may be the next best weapon to fund a whole team after MF. If they don't automatically qualify, they may still produce and upset or two along the way and sneak a medal on home turf. Can't see any realistic individual medal hopes, though.

WE - I suspect that CL may be awarded a discretionary place, with a view to 2016, if she doesn't qualify automatically, hence her inclusion.

MS - AOC and JH will be viewed as more for 2016 as well IMO, but with one (or both) being awarded discretionary places, unless they qualify.

WS - Funded as an alternate to WF (or vice versa). IC possibly hoping that inter-weapon rivalry will spur at least one of the teams to automatic qualification?

Not altogether surprised JW or PM aren't funded, although personally I think they should have been given something. Possibly their ages working against them.

jmayle
-2nd August 2011, 17:06
Vote of no confidence in the board at the AGM?

How many of us would it take??

wix
-2nd August 2011, 17:08
"Philip Marsh will still only be 15 at the opening ceremony, JME World Champion or not!

Actually, he'll be 17 - born on 23 October 1994 and thus only a year younger than Alex Tofalides, who IS funded!

Totally agree with the rest of Hoker's post - I've no confidence in the Board any longer.

hokers
-2nd August 2011, 17:14
Actually, he'll be 17 - born on 23 October 1994
Whoops, I stand corrected.

fenderstrat
-2nd August 2011, 17:15
The Board have acted disgracefully, and, in view of the very short experience of the PD, precipitously.

The effect of this on young fencers in particular is incalculable, except in its direction.

fenderstrat
-2nd August 2011, 17:24
Here's the big thing, as ever:

Lack of transparency. Christ.

Ronald Velden
-2nd August 2011, 17:31
Selection for World Championships or Olympics should not be based on who is funded, but on qualification criteria. Basically very
few fencers look remotely like qualifying.

We do not know yet who will be selected for World Championships so we should perhaps wait and see what materialises once
International Committee approves selections. They received already severe criticism for not sending a full team to Europeans.

What I do know is that irrespective of selection policy for World Championships or World Cups Britain should be sending at least a full complement of fencers in ALL SIX WEAPONS to Olympic Qualifiers. Remember Richard Kruse failed to qualify for
Beijing through that process but Alex O'Connell who might have been considered a less likely candidate did.

JohnL
-2nd August 2011, 17:51
My impressions, originally posted in another thread, are :-

WF - I suspect there's a feeling that they are not too far off of beating some of the big Nations, and so may be the next best weapon to fund a whole team after MF. If they don't automatically qualify, they may still produce and upset or two along the way and sneak a medal on home turf. Can't see any realistic individual medal hopes, though.



Hey Dartignan

I just checked the FIE website for WF.

ME - Rank 80, has reached 1 L32 in the last 2 seasons
NS - Rank 101, has reached 1 L32 in the last 2 seasons
CB - Rank 111, has reached 1 L32 in the last 2 seasons
HB - Rank 152, has reached 1 L64 inthe last 2 seasons
AB - Rank 164, has reached 1 L32 in the last 2 seasons

(I've excluded WC and EC as these are restricted entries.)

And ANYONE thinks that they're on the verge of beating some of the Big nations.

Sneak a medal on home turf!!! Are you on the waccy baccy !!!! The Olympics could be in their back gardens and they wouldn't stand a chance!!!

Threestain
-2nd August 2011, 17:57
Selection for World Championships or Olympics should not be based on who is funded, but on qualification criteria. Basically very
few fencers look remotely like qualifying.

We do not know yet who will be selected for World Championships so we should perhaps wait and see what materialises once
International Committee approves selections. They received already severe criticism for not sending a full team to Europeans.

What I do know is that irrespective of selection policy for World Championships or World Cups Britain should be sending at least a full complement of fencers in ALL SIX WEAPONS to Olympic Qualifiers. Remember Richard Kruse failed to qualify for
Beijing through that process but Alex O'Connell who might have been considered a less likely candidate did.

From what has been released by those fencers set adrift, it is already quite evident that lines have been drawn in the sand.

D'Artignan
-2nd August 2011, 18:07
Hey Dartignan

I just checked the FIE website for WF.

ME - Rank 80, has reached 1 L32 in the last 2 seasons
NS - Rank 101, has reached 1 L32 in the last 2 seasons
CB - Rank 111, has reached 1 L32 in the last 2 seasons
HB - Rank 152, has reached 1 L64 inthe last 2 seasons
AB - Rank 164, has reached 1 L32 in the last 2 seasons

(I've excluded WC and EC as these are restricted entries.)

And ANYONE thinks that they're on the verge of beating some of the Big nations.

Sneak a medal on home turf!!! Are you on the waccy baccy !!!! The Olympics could be in their back gardens and they wouldn't stand a chance!!!You're forgetting that some of the big (relatively speaking) hitters will not be there from Europe, and Asia. That, and the fact that there will be an African team, and probably a second American team (barring any disasters from the US), brings the quality of the competition down quite a bit. Aside from Italy, Russia and a couple of others, I don't see any of the rest as unbeatable by any means. There's much of a muchness in terms of the quality of teams in WF (and frankly, it's not that high), which does actually give them a realistic (albeit an outside) shout of sneaking a bronze if there's a good draw. Like I said, I can't see any of them individually getting that far, but they shouldn't be scared of any of the teams.

Surely you can't blame a guy for trying find the positives out of this situation? I really don't want to go back to being miserable all the time...

munkey
-2nd August 2011, 18:32
It looks like only 1 (funded) GB epeeist for World Championships. Everyone else - your name's not down, you're not coming in!

Can't wait to see the full selection.

JohnL
-2nd August 2011, 18:33
So we're basing who we fund and ultimately select on hoping that the opposition either doesn't turn up or is of poor quality.

Now there's a lasting legacy we want!!!

:)

D'Artignan
-2nd August 2011, 18:41
I never said I agreed with the decision. I was merely trying to justify it in my own mind, then posted it to see if anyone else had come to any of the same conclusions as me. Evidently, the answer is a big, fat no...

D'Artignan
-2nd August 2011, 18:42
It looks like only 1 (funded) GB epeeist for World Championships. Everyone else - your name's not down, you're not coming in!

Can't wait to see the full selection.I can take a guess at most of them, just by taking a look at which fencers have been funded. Though that may just be me reverting to cynical mode again :whistle:

thedoc
-2nd August 2011, 19:00
I was having a look through the BF criteria for sending people to the Olympics and this sentence popped up:

7. It will be the BF policy to enter the European zonal qualifying competitions in all eligible weapons.

Do the changes they have made to funding and selection for World Championships directly contravene one of their stated policies? To me it does...

cesh_fencing
-3rd August 2011, 00:09
You're forgetting that some of the big (relatively speaking) hitters will not be there from Europe, and Asia. That, and the fact that there will be an African team, and probably a second American team (barring any disasters from the US), brings the quality of the competition down quite a bit. Aside from Italy, Russia and a couple of others, I don't see any of the rest as unbeatable by any means. There's much of a muchness in terms of the quality of teams in WF (and frankly, it's not that high), which does actually give them a realistic (albeit an outside) shout of sneaking a bronze if there's a good draw. Like I said, I can't see any of them individually getting that far, but they shouldn't be scared of any of the teams.

Surely you can't blame a guy for trying find the positives out of this situation? I really don't want to go back to being miserable all the time...

The trouble is that GB would need to beat a world top 8 ranked team in the L16 as GB will be a lower seed, then win a last 8 match probably needing to beat another top 8 team in the L8 and then win either the last 4 match or a 3rd/4th fight off to get a medal as there are no joint 3rds in team events.

When was the last time GBR managed such a feat in any weapon, let alone WF... I acannot remember many team wins against top8 ranked countries recently, let alone 2 in a row in non- placing-fight-off matches.

Certainly would pin my pennies on a JW wonderday rather than a WF team winning that many matches against strong opposition.

hokers
-3rd August 2011, 09:29
Do the changes they have made to funding and selection for World Championships directly contravene one of their stated policies? To me it does...

No, because this is for the Olympic zonal qualifier, which is a special case. The point is, as I tried to make above, that there is no way they can select JW for this, having decided that he's neither good enough to be funded or go to the Worlds. Which pretty much leaves Phillip Marsh, who will be only 17 at the time of the games.
Also pretty much rules Jon out of the 8 host nation places for the same reason. They can't climb back down, having made these two decisions, unless he pulls out some amazing results before March and even then it would make them look pretty stupid.

The Driver
-3rd August 2011, 09:36
unless he pulls out some amazing results before March

If unfunded fencers are not permitted to enter A-Grades then there is no chance of this

hokers
-3rd August 2011, 09:38
Yeah but that's just a rumour, and directly contravenes the current selection rules, saying the top 3 qualify for A-grades by rights.

Cyranna's Father
-3rd August 2011, 10:00
for curiosity.......who made the selection?

Also because I am a "fencing peasant" would someone explain very simply why funded & unfunded might define eligibility...dont we just send the best we can?

We did that for the rugby 2007 world cup & a bunch of "wily old geezers" who apparently didnt have a chance got their motivation right & nearly took Gold.

Gav
-3rd August 2011, 10:07
Also because I am a "fencing peasant" would someone explain very simply why funded & unfunded might define eligibility...dont we just send the best we can?

It's just a rumour.

Gav
-3rd August 2011, 10:10
I wasn't sure where to put this but some interesting comments from the yanks:


I hope everyone realizes that there is a DIFFERENCE between Euro zonals and PanAmerican Zonals...

Maybe the UK should rejoin the colonies and become member of the PanAmerican zone

Their results would be quite different! And Ms Newton would not feel so compelled to chop heads...

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/fencing/13285705.stm

The appointment in May of Ms Newton as Performance Manager of British Fencing, coming from her previous position as a consultant to sports including cricket and rugby league must have been a surprise for more than one. I'm sure her resume is impressive but I'm always perplex to say the least when someone with little or no exposure to fencing lands in a top spot at a fencing federation and makes statements such as,

"My long-term goals are to move the sport to a position where it can consistently win medals on the world stage.

"This will be done by putting in place a comprehensive performance structure to support both the current cohort and future generations of world-class fencers."

Considering that Britain has not won a fencing medal at senior world or Olympic level since 1965, she ought to be complimented for setting a pretty lofty goal for herself.

What concerns me though is her announced decision nary 2 months after taking charge to punish/cut post facto most British fencers who did not succeed in Paris world championships last fall and in the Euro zonals in Sheffield in July (which any semi fencing expert could tell is an even tougher venue than worlds). A more reasonable approach, especially for the medium and long term, would have been to announce that AFTER Catania, IF some targets were not reached, certain consequences will follow.

This rush to assert oneself with bold decision is typical of people who suffer a complex of inferiority due I assume to the fact that Ms Newton is more familiar with cricket and rugby and its problems than fencing.

Ms. Newton added: "This is an opportunity to lead and turn around a sport that has a group of talented athletes who are not consistently performing on a world stage.

"I will be reviewing the whole programme, including science and medicine, competitions and training programmes to ensure the focus is on the right things - and, importantly, the right athletes."

Critical as I am of her hasty chopping style I do agree with her when she makes a top priority to review the entire program, "including science and medicine" without which you cannot achieve top results and/or consistency in high level performance, something the USFA has not yet figured out..

Cutting off ex abrupto fencers she can hardly know is not the way to produce and improve short or long term results. She could check with France and have a word or two with Erik Srecki (her French counterpart). Few years ago France fencing dominated and now by their own admission are in a down period. But Srecki and fencing go a looong way, much longer than 2 months!

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89ric_Srecki

Let's hope for British fencing sake that Ms Newton's management style will mellow some in the months to come. It would be a good thing for British fencing and especially for the fencers who have already committed and sacrificed so much. And it would be also a good thing for Ms Newton own career prospective...

Best of luck to all BFA fencers in Catania and in London!


... it really couldn't have come as a surprise to anyone that funding earmarked to specifically to support Olympic medal hopefuls would be pulled from an older athlete who, currently, does not appear to have a realistic shot at even qualifying for the games - let alone reaching the podium once he got there.

When examining the entire portfolio of nationally supported athletes, the "medal hopefuls" are realistically those athletes who are ranked in the top-4 in the world. Occasionally, this can be extended to top-8 depending on various situational factors.

As a rule, when in doubt, support youth over older athletes (who appear to be on the decline). Funding decisions can look ugly.

Without much research into the situation on the ground, I suspect that British Fencing managed to oversell their hand, and were possibly encouraged by Sport UK, or the BOA to do so; thereby lending greater credibility and support to the hosting bid. The last few years have been a heady and ambitious era for Sport UK, and it'll be interesting to see how things shake out as we near the point where the rubber meets the road.

Cyranna's Father
-3rd August 2011, 10:19
Might I point out that Rugby League is a minority sport in this country and that someone without experience probably wouldnt be allowed anywhere near performance issues in the REAL game.

Cloudy
-3rd August 2011, 10:28
Might I point out that Rugby League is a minority sport in this country and that someone without experience probably wouldnt be allowed anywhere near performance issues in the REAL game.

Dear Sir, I know, that's why the unreal game let Shaun Edwards coach Wales without ever playing union. ;)

Cyranna's Father
-3rd August 2011, 11:11
Oh I think he had a LITTLE experience of rugby in general befoer he began coaching.....anyway, back to games with metal sticks

gettingonabit
-7th August 2011, 13:35
When age starts to creep into conversations about selection, you have to consider the recent 36 year-old world champions, and the age of current top women epeeists (not to mention the 48 year-old who made L8 in ME at Sheffield).

It should not matter how old people are, if they are still on a development path and improving or competitive, you cannot say they are 'too old'. (Or too young (Phil). Many international coaches and fencers asked me why Phil at least wasn't fencing at Sheffield, never mind the rest of the team.)

15 years is the widely accepted length of time to develop a world-class fencer (average), and most of our fencers are years behind their European opposition in terms of training-hours invested, so that figure might be even higher for us.

Sening youngsters to do Senior A grades with a view to Rio isn't going to make any difference (15-5 years means you have to be looking at people already ten years along their development path - i.e. exactly those people who have just been taken off the programme). Many of us believed that the last Olympic programme started too late to be any use, this is an even shorter lead-in.

Therefore, I would hesitate to write anyone off completely whilst they are still competing and learning, even if their results aren't on a consistently upward trend.

In any case, it is necessary in my view to give our top fencers reason to stay in the sport - the last thing we need is to hear that these fencers are so discouraged that they simply give up. It is also necessary to motivate those coming up behind - seeing all the fencers you can only aspire to beat dismissed as uncompetitive is not encouraging, and not least to the many people who invest time in developing the sport and developing these fencers (I count myself as one of those).

Epee is the largest weapon, the standard is much higher across the board and results have widely improved in recent years. We have broadened the base and as a result, the standard has gone up. We haven't (and others have referred to this and I totally agree with them) been fortunate enough to have a world-class coach like Ziemek on our case for the last 20 years, otherwise I think we too would be producing world-class results.

I can only conclude by saying I find it very disappointing that these guys should have been taken off the programme one year before the Olympics.

Kate Smith

Cyranna's Father
-8th August 2011, 00:01
I knew there was something nagging at me.........maybe it is my rugby loving soul but this 3G thing - am I the only person that associates Green & Gold with other countries in the southern hemisphere?

hokers
-8th August 2011, 12:43
What are the criteria please?

Has anyone seen the "clear and transparent" criteria for these selections yet?

fenderstrat
-8th August 2011, 12:53
<stifles bitter laugh>

hokers
-10th August 2011, 20:39
Has anyone seen the "clear and transparent" criteria for these selections yet?

Bump.
Perhaps the criteria could be published somewhere, in the interests of clarity and transparency?

hokers
-12th September 2011, 13:40
Bump.

Anyone seen anything published about this?